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4D SSD Watch: A Great Time to Buy

by Josh Fletcher

Just a quick update today, prompted by a The Tech Report article presenting an in-depth analysis of the plummeting cost of SSD's over the last year. I've also been watching the prices daily, read on for more details.


It's interesting to note that drop in SSD prices is being attributed to the aftermath of the 2011 Thailand floods and, while SSD prices have plummeted, HDD prices have remained stubbornly high.


I've been watching prices on Amazon on a daily basis for some key drives and have seen some crazy pricing; I saw the SanDisk Extreme 240 GB model for as low as $179.99 a week or two ago (that's a $399.99 MSRP drive!). For what it's worth, these are the drives I'm watching on Amazon with a little explanation why I'm watching each one:


  • SanDisk Extreme Series: I'm watching both the 240 and 480 drives. Drives in the ~256 GB class are approaching that dirt cheap price point where it's almost a mistake not to get one, while the ~512 GB drives are falling to the obtainable range quite rapidly. I saw the 480 drive for $379.99 on Amazon recently.
  • Samsung 830 Series: these drives are considered extremely robust and very fast and represent the higher-end of the enthusiast drive market.
  • OCZ Vertex 4: I talked about these drives in a previous blog. They remain extremely desirable for 4D environments because of amazing random I/O performance and 5 year warranty.


These are the drives I'm using on a daily basis (all without issue):


  • Intel SSD 320 Series 160 GB - I have two of these, one in a Dell PC running Windows 7 x64 and one in a 2006 MacBook Pro running OS X 10.6.8 and Windows 7 x64
  • MacBook Air 11-inch Late 2010, which has a 128 GB Samsung drive, running OS X 10.7.4 and Windows 7 x64
  • OCZ Vertex 3 120 GB - two of these as well in a desktop PC running Windows 7 x64


Finally if you're looking for an easy way to compare SSD performance, check out AnandTech Bench.

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