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Intel SSD X-25M new K series explained

Many people shopping for the popular 80GB and 160GB Intel X25-M SSD products to upgrade their laptops are confused by Intel's new "K series." How is it different from the other X25-M SSD products?

Here's what you need to know.

The same SSD product is sold in different packages with different accessories. Just look at the very end of the model number so you know which package you're getting.

If the SSD model number ends in...

  • G2C1, then it's "OEM" package with just the SSD
  • G2R5, then it's "Retail" package with SSD + 3.5" adapter
  • G2K5, then it's "Pretty box" with SSD + 3.5" adapter + SATA & power cables

Yes, Intel really calls it "Pretty box." See it on this Intel page's table and footnote #8, as well as on this page with detailed photos of the cables that come in the "K series" pretty box.

Bottom line, if you want the 2.5" X25-M SSD to upgrade a laptop, just get whichever package is cheapest for the storage you want (80GB or 160GB), instead of paying extra for a "pretty box" or other stuff you don't need.

For example, here's the 80GB X25-M G2R5 and Newegg is trying to upsell you to the K series G2K5, but the only difference is that the new K series has SATA and power cables to help install this SSD in a 3.5" desktop drive bay.

Intel X25 SSD

Back in the day, everyone wanted faster processor speed. Then it became common knowledge that you needed more memory to get your computer to work better. Now that most computers have processors around 2GHz and 2, 3, or 4GB of memory, the most effective way of making your computer faster in one fell swoop is to get a solid state hard drive like this.

Intel X25 solid state drives, or SSD for short, are probably the most popular for people to upgrade their laptops. The cheapest is the X25-V (V for Value) and it gives you 40GB of storage. Plenty if only want your system files on it and you plan to store all your music, photos, movies, and other data on a separate hard drive. The X25-M drives (M is for Mainstream) are a little better for a full replacement of your current hard drive, because they are bigger, at sizes of 80GB and 160GB.

The X25-V usually hovers between $100 and $125. Then the 80GB X25-M is usually a little over $200, and the 160GB X25-M normally costs a bit over $400. Newegg and Amazon usually have competitive prices, but whenever there is a better deal on an X25 Intel SSD that will save you some extra money, it will be posted on this page. Recently most of the best deals have been offered by Superbiiz (ewiz.com).

Intel also makes a higher end X25-E series. The "E" stands for Extreme edition. They are a little faster, but they are also way more expensive. The 32 GB usually costs around $400 and the 64GB is a little under $800. There aren't often big deals on the X25-E series, but here are links where you can check current prices and save probably 5 to 20 bucks, depending on who has the best sale right now.

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