Solid-state drives (SSDs) are seen as the next frontier in the area of storage technology for personal computers. SSDs are remarkably fast, generate less heat, make no noise, and are lighter than their HDD counterparts.
One factor that has kept SSDs from wide-spread adoption, however, has been the high price of entry. OCZ recently announced 32GB and 64GB SATA-II SSDs use single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash and are priced at $599 and $1,099 respectively. Likewise, Super Talent's new 256GB SATA is priced at a whopping $5,995.
Luckily for end-users, prices are starting to drop and Super Talent is looking to populate the lower-end of the market with a new lineup of SSDs. The company today announced new MasterDrive MX 30GB, 60GB, and 120GB SSDs -- incredibly, all are priced under $1,000. The drives retail for $299, $449, and $649 respectively.
All of the drives use a SATA-II interface and contain multi-level cell (MLC) NAND memory. The use of MLC memory means that these new "budget" drives can't hold a candle to SLC drives when it comes to write performance. However, all three drives manage to achieve read speeds of 120MB/sec and write speeds of 40MB/sec.
On a slightly higher performance plane -- and with a notable increase in pricing -- are the new MasterDrive DX 30GB and 60GB SSDs. Both use SLC memory and offer read speeds of 120MB/sec and write speeds of 70MB/sec -- they are priced at $699 and $1,299 respectively.
"These new SSDs are a rugged, lightning fast, low power storage alternative for mobile professionals and enthusiasts. With such overwhelming benefits, MasterDrive SSDs are sure to revolutionize mobile storage," said Joe James, Super Talent's Marketing Director.
The Super Talent MasterDrive MX SSDs are currently listed on Newegg's website and are in stock. The MasterDrive DX SSDs, however, are not currently available.
It remains to be seen if other SSD manufacturers will follow Super Talent’s lead with lower pricing across the board on their hardware, but it’s nice to see that the ball is finally rolling. Super Talent’s MasterDrive MX may leave a little to be desired in write performance, but the price tags should allow SSDs to reach a much larger audience.