Solid state drives had a big year in 2012; not because of any controller breakthrough or performance barriers tackled but rather the fact that pricing dropped significantly over the past 12 months. Per gigabyte pricing for flash-based storage is still a great deal higher compared to spinning media but on average, you can expect to pay about a third less for an SSD now than you would a year ago.
The median price for a consumer-grade SSD last January was $1.64. By December 31, however, that figure had dropped to just $1.02 per gigabyte. Drives in the 240-256GB range saw the biggest price cuts, dropping a full 44 percent to only $0.83 per gigabyte as we waved goodbye to 2012.
Midrange drives in the 120-128GB category nearly broke the sub-$1 per gigabyte mark as they fell 34 percent over the last 12 months. Surprisingly enough, drives with capacities of 40-64GB had the poorest showing of all. Said SSDs finished at $1.29 per gig, good for a 28 percent drop since the beginning of last year.
As the Tech Report points out, pricing on solid state drives fell for the first three consecutive quarters of 2012. Drive pricing leveled out and even rebounded in the fourth quarter. According to data from Camelegg, some drives saw a significant price increase during Q4. For example, OCZ’s Vertex 3 120GB drive shot up 53 percent, the Vertex 4 64GB drive increased 31 percent and the Vertex 3 240GB drive went up 28 percent.
The OCZ Vector 256GB SSD model packs read and write speeds of 550MB/s and 530MB/s. All Vector models are loaded with 25nm IMFT NAND synchronous flash memory. The Vector SSD series is rated to deliver 20GB of writes per day for 5 years, which equates to a total of 36.5TB’s of written data. OCZ also provides a full 5-year warranty.
The Kingston HyperX SSD has a slim 2.5" design, measuring 10.1 x 6.9 x 9.3mm and weighing 94 grams. It consumes 2.0 watts of power when in use and just 0.455 watts in standby. The HyperX touts read and write speeds of 550MB/s and 520MB/s using SATA 6Gb/s.
The Samsung 840 Pro SSD has been fitted with Samsung's latest MDX controller, a triple-core ARM-based chip that supports SATA 6Gb/s and can be paired with the latest 20nm NAND flash memory. Samsung claims a MTBF of 1.5 million hours and a 1500G shock resistance and the 840 Pro is backed by a limited five-year warranty.
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