I used to think, “Solid state, shmolid state — a standard hard disk drive is good enough for most things. After all, not everyone needs a Corvette. Some people are okay with a Toyota.” Then I got a MacBook Air with an SSD. Holy smokes, my eyes had been opened. The analogy still held true, but I had underestimated how good the performance was. Now that I’ve been spoiled, there’s no going back — and with prices falling, I don’t see why I have to.
Tom’s Hardware ran performance tests using PCMark 7, and using the same benchmarks for throughput during application loading, it discovered that SSDs performed an average of more than 10 times faster than traditional hard disk drives. To enjoy these gains, what users often sacrifice, however, is storage space and money. SSDs always tended to be smaller and more expensive than HDDs.
Enter the latest from Digitimes: Apparently large SSD companies like Kingston, OCZ, Crucial and Intel want to narrow the market and squeeze out smaller competitors by going on an all out price war. We’ve seen some evidence of this, as SSD prices are already coming down — largely due to falling NAND chip costs — and that might be just the tip of the iceberg. The big guys also want to push SATA3 versions to edge out the SATA2 drives, which only lends credence to the idea of even more price drops.
This could be crazy good news for consumers, especially bargain hunters who scoff at $280 for a 250GB SSD drive when the same size HDD costs $80. This gap is closing, offering faster computing power for a cheaper cost.
Do you rock a solid state drive in your computer? Tell us what your experience has been like in the comments. And if you held off due to cost, let us know if this makes you reconsider taking the plunge.