Anyone considering SSD: the Intel X-25M is better than you think.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by revelated, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. revelated macrumors 6502a


    Jun 30, 2010

    Decided that in order to maximize my 17" I would do 6 GB of RAM and a SSD. (would have done 8, but I used one 4GB stick as a sales incentive on my 15" which is fine. 4 is good enough as it is). Primary reason 1: VMWare. Primary reason 2: Adobe Creative Suite.

    I want to go on record by saying that I'm probably a step above power user in terms of much I rely on my machines and what I subject them to. I'm an MCSA, MCTS, A+, Net+, work in IT, so my usage is likely way above the normal Joe. That said, if you're considering SSD, I want to point out a few bullets from my experience.

    • Prior to the SSD I had a Hitachi 7200RPM 500GB drive that has served me well across three different MacBook Pros. It started getting more and more audible; not dealbreaker audible, but just enough to be annoying. The SSD is is literally so quiet that unless it's against your ear you probably won't hear a thing. That's how it should be (IMO).
    • On the Hitachi, the fastest boot was about 15-20 seconds from the gray apple. With the SSD (get this), a staggering 5 seconds from the gray apple. May not seem like much, but it's a noticeable improvement in speed. (Caveat: I don't have much loading at startup. iTunesHelper is the only auto-loading deal on mine)
    • The majority of Apple apps (with the exception of GarageBand, of course) open near instantly or 1 second later. FireFox is about 3-4 seconds compared to the 4-10 seconds it took before.
    • Web pages render a lot faster than they had been, even ones heavy with Flash or HTML5.
    • The MBP does not operate much cooler. This is likely due to the GPU and the CPU under load, which generate the most heat.
    • Windows inside the VM is even faster than it normally is, even with low RAM allocated. I'd go on a limb and say that it's as fast as Boot Camp which is significant if you've ever used Boot Camp. Set it to 1GB of RAM (Windows 7, or Server 2008, as an example) and let it page. It'll fly.
    • If you're not using VMWare or some other intensive app and just using it casually (browsing, email, eBook reading, iWork, etc), expect about an extra half hour or so of battery life. It's not much, but every little bit and all.

    I bought the 80GB, and decided I would simply buy a Firewire portable that was 7200 for the VMs that I need to run besides my primary VM. I don't access those VMs but once every blue moon, and I figured I would just go with the smaller drive and store infrequent files elsewhere, which seems to be working fine for me.

    Overall, the SSDs are still overpriced. But the performance gain is substantial if you're a moderate-to-power user, or if you're just plain impatient. IMO, the 80GB is right at the border of affordability, and if you can live with the lower space, it'll pay off.
  2. 1finite macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2010
    That's cool, but those seem to be characteristics of most SSD's. What makes the Intel "better than I think?"
  3. revelated thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 30, 2010
    Most other SSDs don't have the stability or performance of the Intel with the latest firmware. Many are sticking to the idea that Intel has the best SSD out there. Not all SSDs are as fast as the Intel is now, and the Intel is always near or at the top in terms of general performance.

    Additionally, since Intel makes horrible graphics cards, one might be a bit nervous to buy a drive from them.

    IN any case, I didn't state in my review that the Intel was better than any other SSD. I'm simply sharing my experience with this one.
  4. 1finite macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Okay thanks. I'm in the market for a SSD, and I wanna get the best
  5. MacModMachine macrumors 68020


    Apr 3, 2009
    because them making bad graphics cards has what to do with a ssd?

    intel is the best, because they invested a ton of money and time into perfecting the drives controller, Its firmware is updated more often (not as often as OCZ) and they FIX the issues the drive has.

    i will only buy intel because of its RELIABILITY, it works all the time for me and it works hard.

    Random performance is top notch.

    i bought the expensive C300 crucial and quickly went back to my intel.
  6. revelated thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 30, 2010

    Graphics cards over the years have become mini computers. They have their own memory, they have their own processing core, they have wants and needs like any other component. Many stats and reviews have consistently shown Intel integrated chips as the worst out there.

    Smart consumers lean towards companies with a track record of success. Adobe is one such company which is why they can overprice for their software.

    Anyway, I'm providing an objective viewpoint. It's up to the person buying to make their own decision.
  7. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    are you comparing intel's integrated graphics to other low cost integrated chipsets or full fledged cards requiring multiple leads from the psu for operation?
  8. revelated thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 30, 2010
    integrated vs. integrated. But let's not veer off topic. The thread is to share an experience with the X-25M, period.

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