Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Intel Cuts SSD Prices, But Still Not Cheap Enough

intel x-25mSSD drives might be faster, cooler and quieter than standard hard drives but with a price of $4/GB they simply can't compete in the mainstream market. The average cost of a 160GB SSD drive is over $600, for that price the average geek could get six to either times the storage using regular old SATA hard drives.

With such a wide price gap its not wonder SSD manufactures like OCZ and Intel are slashing prices. Intel has steadily been lowering prices on several of their more popular SSDs in a response to increased competition and a lack of early adoption. Lets face it not many in the mainstream can afford to add on a $600 storage device.

Over the past four months the company has rapidly been dropping prices on its X25-M series of mainstream 2.5-inch SSDs, which use Multi-Level Cell flash. This week the company announced its latest round of cuts which places the drive at almost two thirds the original cost. The 160GB version of the X25-M is down from $945 in December to the target price of $630 dollars today. This weeks cut to the 160GB model is nearly a $100 price cut off the MSRP, while the 80GB model will drop $50 in price.

While it looks like the prices of SSDs are slowly beginning to creep downwards they have a long way to go before they reach the affordable. The 80GB X25-M is still well over $300, which is still no where near the real of reasonable. I think Intel, OCZ, Kingston and the other SSD manufactures would have to get the prices down to the neighborhood of $1-2/GB before we could see real mainstream adoption.

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