Intel Solid State Gaming X25-M 160GB SSD Review for one have never really put much faith into the whole SSD craze. I will admit I am always skeptical until proven wrong. Well I was proven wrong not once but three times. First time I tried an 80GB Solid State Drive from Intel two years ago I was blown away by its performance over other solid state drives, not to mention how it dominated traditional moving parts drives. Then when I tried the solid state hybrid that Seagate put out I was impressed yet again, now for the third and probably not the final time I was able to test out the new X25-M drive from Intel and believe me when I say this I was thoroughly impressed with its performance. Intel sent us not one but 2 SSD’s and a ton of other goodies to give them a thorough testing so let’s see what we were able to achieve and see if SSD gaming is right for you:


Provided by: Intel

Price: $437.99

Closer Look and Testing:




Testing Rig:


HD Tune:

WD 1TB 64MB Cashe 7200 RP Drive:
Higher is Better
AVG: 60MB Per Second
Lower is Better:

Intel X25 SSD:
Higher is Better
AVG: 102MB Per Second
Lower is Better:


WD 1TB 64MB Cache 7200RPM Drive:
Lower is Better
Assassins Creed 2: 22 Seconds
Rainbow 6 Vegas 2: 40 Seconds
FarCry 2: 35 Seconds

Intel X25 SSD:
Lower is Better
Assassins Creed 2: 17 Seconds
Rainbow 6 Vegas 2: 30 Seconds
FarCry 2: 29 Seconds 

Windows Starut Up and Shut Down:

WD 1TB 64MB Cache 7200RPM Drive:
Lower is Better
Startup: 1 Minute and 12 Seconds
Shutdown: 35 Seconds

Intel X25 SSD:
Lower is Better
Startup: 34 Seconds
Shutdown: 8 Seconds


Specifications and Features:

High-performance storage for notebook and desktop PCs – now on 34nm NAND flash memory featuring the Intel® SSD Toolbox

High-performance storage for notebook and desktop PCs

Intel® Solid State Drives (Intel® SSDs) represent a revolutionary breakthrough that delivers a giant leap in storage performance. Intel Solid State Drives are designed to satisfy the most demanding gamers, media creators, and technology enthusiasts. These new drives bring a high level of performance and reliability to notebook and desktop PC storage, at a fraction of the cost of the previous generation of Intel® Solid State Drives (Intel® SSD) products.

Wait less. Do more.

Why wait for a traditional hard disk drive to spin up? Unlike traditional hard disk drives, Intel Solid State Drives have no moving parts, resulting in a quiet, cool, highly rugged storage solution that also offers faster system responsiveness. And for laptop PCs, the lower power needs of Intel SSDs translate to longer battery life and lighter notebooks. Higher performance with more durability means you can be truly mobile with confidence.

Better by design

Drawing from decades of memory engineering experience, and now on new, industry-leading compute-quality 34nm NAND flash memory manufacturing processes, Intel® Mainstream SATA Solid-State Drives are designed to deliver outstanding performance, featuring the latest-generation native SATA interface with an advanced architecture employing 10 parallel NAND flash channels equipped with multi-level cell NAND flash memory. With powerful Native Command Queuing to enable up to 32 concurrent operations, Intel Mainstream SATA SSDs deliver higher input/output per second and throughput performance than other SSDs on the market today – and drastically outperform traditional hard disk drives. These drives also feature low write amplification and a unique wear-leveling design for higher reliability, meaning Intel drives not only perform better – they last longer.

Featuring the Intel® SSD Toolbox with Intel® SSD Optimizer

The Intel® SSD Toolbox with Intel® SSD Optimizer provides a set of applications to easily manage the health and optimize the performance of your Intel SSD. The Intel SSD Toolbox includes a powerful set of management, information, and diagnostic tools, and is designed to work best with 34nm Intel SSDs. The Intel SSD Optimizer utilizes the new ATA Data Set Management Command (Trim Attribute) to help maintain your SSDs performance at “fresh-out-of-the-box” levels, and is specifically designed to run with Microsoft Windows 7*. The Intel SSD Optimizer also works with Microsoft Windows Vista* and XP* operating systems as well.

Two options. No worries.

Intel® Mainstream SATA Solid-State Drives are available in either 2.5in (Intel® X25-M Mainstream SATA Solid-State Drive) or 1.8in (Intel® X18-M Mainstream SATA Solid-State Drive) standard hard drive form factors. And all Intel Mainstream SSDs are tested and validated on the latest Intel-based mobile and desktop platforms for your peace of mind.



I went into this review already knowing SSD’s where much faster than a traditional drive but this is the first time I have reviewed one in a specifically for gaming purposes; my thoughts? SSD’s are in fact the best thing for gaming since the first multiple DPI mouse came onto the market. The fluent transitions, quick load times, and EXTREMELY snappy menu and inventory improvements make HDD gaming a thing of the past. I have never been so impressed with an SSD until now. I honestly think that going back to gaming on a HDD would be the equivalent to trading in one of my testing rigs for a 486 and trying to be just as productive.

I know the cost of an SSD can be stifling but if you have been gaming for several years count to yourself how many drives you have gone through….now drive prices are great now but back then they were expensive, so what is the total? I think you would agree that you have spent probably over $500 in HDD’s in the past 5 years easily. So granted you do not have a huge amount of space for that $500 SSD but the amount of time you save and the blinding speed and responsiveness you gain make up for the initial ouch of the final bill. I am sure in the next few years we will see a drop in the cost of SSD’s to make it more budget friendly for the average user but I would say if you have a top end gaming rig and you have spent some serious coin on it and you do not have an SSD as your back bone you are seriously bottlenecking your PC’s potential and investing in even an 80GB SSD will make you one happy gamer in the end.

Would I recommend this product? No, that is if you are playing solitaire or hearts and you check your e-mails twice a week and you have a nice doily on top of your tower with a house plant on top, but if you have LEDs in your case, a graphics card you spent over $150 on, and you spend most of your paychecks at EB Games or Game Stop then you are in serious need of and SSD and its time to put up or shut up because HDD gaming is lame and you gotta have than SSD goodness. The truth of the matter is if you experience SSD gaming going back to your HDD is gonna look a lot like your old black and white TV.

  • Freakin Fast
  • Seamless Gaming
  • Compact
  • Snappy Menus in Game
  • Start Up, Shut Down, and over all Productivity Improvement
  • Did I Mention it was Fast?
  • Really Really Ridiculously Fast….


  • Ouch…Price Tag Hurts…


How to Enter

Below are the questions that need to be answered. Make sure you subscribe to this channel on YouTube and the send an e-mail with the subject line: “SSD Contest” to Munk(at) ****North American Entries ONLY!****

Question #1: What makes an Intel® Solid-State Drive so rugged?
HINT: Your answer will be 3 words.

Question #2: How much faster (in seconds) does the Intel® X25-M SATA SSD complete the demo vs. (2) 7200 RPM HDDs in RAID 0?
HINT: It’s a number. You’ll have to do some math. Ignore milliseconds.

Question #3: In the test scenario, how much faster did Assassin’s Creed™ 2 load on an Intel® Solid-State Drive vs. a traditional 10,000 RPM drive?
HINT: Watch closely beneath the screen captures. Again, you’ll need to do some math.

Where You Can Find Answers
URL: watch 3 videos—each of which will give you an answer to one of the three questions (provided above) 

Five of our viewers and followers who answer the three questions correctly will be chosen to win an Intel® Solid-State Drive “Get in the Game Faster Kit” package containing:

· One 80 GB Intel® X25-M Mainstream SATA Solid-State Drive
· One super-small 2 GB USB Key


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