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OCZ Vertex Still Delayed

Intel has announced a series of price cuts on its lineup of SLC (Single Level Cell) and MLC (Multi Level Cell) Solid State Drives. Their NAND flash is produced by IM Flash Technologies, an Intel joint venture with Micron Technologies.

Lower sales due to the global economic slump are a key reason for the price cuts. However, declining NAND flash prices are lowering production costs for Intel's competitors, many of which are entering the market with a new generation of products. Intel launched their 160GB X-25M for $945 just under two months ago.

OCZ's Apex series of SSDs use an integrated RAID 0 controller to boost performance for a modest price premium over regular MLC SSDs. G.Skill's Titan series uses a similar design, as both use JMicron RAID and SSD controllers. However, OCZ has heavily optimized their firmware to provide extra performance. They are both available at retail.

The Vertex series, also from OCZ, has up to 64MB of DRAM cache to boost performance. This is especially critical for random write performance, an issue that has plagued previous generations of SSDs due to the use of a first generation JMicron SSD controller.
OCZ is still tweaking the firmware of their Vertex line in order to maximize reliability and performance. While many customers are anxious to purchase these SSD, it is commendable that OCZ is trying to avoid Seagate's firmware mistakes.

Intel's mainstream M series uses MLC NAND, while the E series uses the faster SLC NAND. Pricing is for OEMs in lots of 1,000 and above.


 Old Price

 New Price

 X-25M 80GB



 X-25M 160GB



 X-25E 32GB



 X-25E 64GB



Intel has plans for a 128GB SLC drive and a 320GB SSD using 34nm MLC NAND chips. They are expected to be released later in 2009.


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RE: Prices
By therealnickdanger on 2/6/2009 8:59:48 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah, Intel is so predictable... in an awesome way. They know they are still #1, but they aren't afraid to slash prices to compete. However, they still make you pay that premium! :D

I would still rather pay $299 for the 128GB Titan than $369 for the 80GB X25-M. More capacity, faster writes, and a lower price trump the X25-M's faster reads, IMO.

RE: Prices
By protomech on 2/6/2009 10:01:00 AM , Rating: 2
It may have faster theoretical writes, but for most users the x25-m offers better performance. With 128GB vs 80GB at (basically) the same price, it's hard to make a general recommendation..

RE: Prices
By therealnickdanger on 2/6/2009 10:22:33 AM , Rating: 2
$70 != "basically"

The slight overall performance advantage of the Intel drive isn't justified in that price differential, IMO, when the other factors are applied. To each his own. Given the choice, I'd rather have a 128GB Intel drive... ;-)

RE: Prices
By ekv on 2/6/2009 11:25:23 AM , Rating: 2
I would agree Intel is predictable ... but not in the same way 8)

They know they are still #1, and so they wait till another manufacturer can make something that competes with their product. When they get close, that is when Intel cuts prices. Compare to what just happened with AMD's Phenom II [lousy named, finally acceptable perf] cpu and Intel's quad 9550. Intel is aware early adopters will pay extra for higher performance, and it is how they recoup R 'n D costs.

I do like the Titan 128GB though. Wanted to wait for a comparison of it to the OCZ Vertex before I committed that much dough however.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein
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