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SSD Fight: Samsung PM 800 256 GB vs Intel X-25M Postville

I am using the first version of the Intel X-25M in my MacBook and I am very happy with it. So now its time to upgrade the desktops. Since some time has passed since I bought my first SSD there are now actually alternatives to the X-25M on the market. The Samsung PM 800 seems to have the X-25M beat in every benchmark I have seen, except one, and that was random 4K block read/writes. In that benchmark the IBM was about 10 times faster than the Samsung.


My suspicion was, that this particular benchmark would be of great importance, to my foremost interest, when it comes to disk speed, which is compiling. Unfortunately this aspect is rarely benchmarked. So here goes. So I ordered both and tried them in my MacBook.

Samsung Intel X-25M Postville Intel X-25M (Generation 1)
GB/€ 0,50 0,42 -
SL Installation time (min) 27 31 -
Xcode Installation time (m:s) 6:21 6:21 -
Build time (m:s) 2:40 2:42 2:41

What I did was I put each SSD into my MacBook, partioned it to one partition and installed Snow Leopard 10.6 from DVD on it. I measured how many minutes that took. Than I installed Xcode and checked the installer log for the time elapsed. Finally I used xcodebuild to built a decently sized software package. The I did a clean and then I measured it with time xcodebuild.

Samsung SSD

Conclusion: In my tests on the white MacBook there is no big difference between both SSDs, but the Samsung seems to be the all around better pick on first look. The Intel is going into my Windows system and the Samsung will go into my G5.

An advantage the IBM package has, it comes with a 2.5" to 3.5" adaptor.