The Intel X18-M and Intel X25-M drives live up to the promise of solid-state drive's advantages over traditional, magnetic disk-based media.

The Intel X18-M and X25-M are solid-state drives that can capitalise on the theoretical advantages solid-state memory offers over hard disk drives. Intel isn't new to SSD, but it is looking to reinvent the rule book with its latest - and most mainstream - entry in the market, first announced at August's Intel Developer's Forum.

The Intel X18-M and X25-M drives are shipping this month, and are designed to fit 1.8in or 2.5in SATA hard drive bays, respectively. Both lines come in 80GB and 160GB versions. The drives use multilevel cell (MLC) flash technology, and feature complex wear-leveling algorithms to handle the write stresses placed on drive technology.

The biggest news, though, lies in the performance of Intel X18-M and X25-M's new SSD line. In the our Test Centre's evaluation of an engineering sample, the X-25M dramatically outperformed both a 4200-rpm hard drive and another SSD drive from Ridata.

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