Will 2009 finally become the year Solid State Disk goes mainstream?

Samsung256gbssd20080525We’ve followed the SSD or Solid State Disk developments for the past few years and we’ve been waiting on two things: storage capacity and price. Put another way, the cost per gigabyte has been prohibitively high so very few consumers have opted for this faster drive option. Make no mistake, it’s still going to be high next year when compared to traditional magnetic storage, but this news from Samsung reduces the gap for sure.The company announced a 256 GB SSD drive that uses multi-level cell technology, which is less expensive than single-level cell options currently available. The downside to MLC has been reliability, but it sounds like Samsung has that licked, claiming a mean time of a million hours before failure. The new drive uses a 2.5-inch form factor although the company expects a 1.8-inch version by the year’s end as well. Sequential reads (not random, mind you) are in the lightning-fast neighborhood of 200 MBps with sequential writes around 160 MBps though the SATA II interface.There’s no price yet and that’s important when you look at the cost per gigabyte equation. I certainly don’t expect these to be priced comparably to a magnetic drive of the same capacity, but I don’t think we’re talking about several thousands of dollars here either. My best guess would be that we could see this drive in the $800 to $999 range at introduction. Still ways to go on price per gig, but we should see more SSDs find their way into consumer notebooks. What will it take for you to with an SSD drive? What’s the minimum capacity useful for you and what are you willing to pay?


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