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Intel replies to solid-state drive 'slowness' critique

A technology review Web site claims Intel solid-state drives slow considerably after extended use.

After a technology review site claimed Intel solid-state drives slow considerably after extended use, Intel said it has not been able to duplicate the results.

SSDs have been gaining in popularity because independent testing done to date has typically shown that SSDs--especially the newest generation of drives--outpeform hard disk drives.

A review, however, entitled "Long-term performance analysis of Intel Mainstream SSDs" on technology Web site PC Perspectives claimed, among other things, that the Intel X25-M solid-state drive may degrade in performance as a result of "internal fragmentation" and that "a 'used' X25-M will always perform worse than a 'new' one" and, in some cases, drives "would drop to significantly below manufacturer specs."

The reviewers claimed that they made an effort to reproduce real-world scenarios. "Dozens of different scenarios were played out on our drives. XP / Vista installs, repeated application / game installs, batch copying of files...were all liberally applied to the X25-M." The review concluded that "all three of our SSDs suffered a drop in performance regardless of the type of workload applied to them."

In response, Intel made a statement on Thursday. "Our labs currently have not been able to duplicate these results," Intel said. "In our estimation, the synthetic workloads they use to stress the drive are not reflective of real world use. Similarly, the benchmarks they used to evaluate performance do not represent what a PC user experiences."

Intel continued. "In general, when a PC's drive (SSD or HDD) is full, there will be some reduction in system performance, however the performance reduction reported by PC Perspective is higher than we generally expect, which is why we are looking into the methodology."