Less than a month ago, Intel announced its line of solid-state hard drives. We didn't have much information at the time, other than a model number and a few benchmarks provided by Intel, but we're pleased to officially announce the X25-M, or the Intel Mainstream SATA Solid-State Drive.
The drive uses NAND flash technology specifically built for computing with 10 parallel channels and optimized firmware. As stated previously, the drive will come in both 2.5 inch (X25-M) and 1.8 inch (X18-M) sizes that will fit in both desktops and laptops with the same performance specifications.
The 80GB drive will ship this week for $595. The price is certainly higher than what we've found on NewEgg.com where price range from $226 for a 60GB drive and a fairly inexpensive $435 for 120GB. The price tag for the Intel SSD factors out to about $7.43 per gigabyte compared with most of the other drives that cost about $3.50 per gigabyte. The price jump isn't exactly deal breaking if you consider the decrease in the overall cost of SSDs over the past year. Take the Apple MacBook Air, for instance. When it was released in January, a 64GB SSD upgrade would have set you back a staggering $1,000. In either case, the price of Intel's drive might be attributed to system level benchmarks and increased transfer speeds over generic brands. Our own CNET Labs is running tests on the 80GB 2.5 inch drive and we'll report our findings in a hands-on review coming later today.