Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals: Solid-State Drives

A High-End 256GB SSD for $100 - 150? Yes, This Is Possible

by Anton Shilov
11/28/2013 | 11:00 PM

This year we do not publish a fully-fledged Black Friday-related article, but instead release several news-stories covering hot prices on popular products. Please note that in many cases Black Friday prices are valid in online stores from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Nonetheless, some offerings are limited in time or quantities the retailer/e-tailer has.

 

Solid-state drives have become a corner stone of virtually all high-performance desktop computers these days. The NAND flash-based storage devices manage to significantly improve responsiveness of PCs, something that everyone expects today.

Unfortunately, proper solid-state drives – which offer high read and write speeds are reliable and will work for years without major performance drops – are still quite expensive these days. Fortunately, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are here to help us get high-end solid-state drives at significant discounts. A number of retailers and e-tailers are offering good SSDs with 20% - 50% discounts this year, but what is noteworthy is that many of those SSDs never go significantly below $1 per gigabyte. A good news is that those SSDs are better than solid-state drives that were on sale last year.

When we picked up SSD offerings from leading U.S. retailers/e-tailers during the Black Friday – Cyber Monday campaign, we focused on high-performance (~550MB/s read speed, ~500MB/s write speed) models from well-respected brands with solid reputation. Here is what have caught our eyes:

Although Samsung Electronics (and possibly some other manufacturers) has started to relatively low-cost use triple-level cell (TLC) NAND flash memory inside its solid-state drives, prices of SSDs have not dropped dramatically this year. The sweet-spot SSDs – with 240GB – 256GB capacities – got slightly more affordable than they were last year, whereas smaller-capacity drives retained their prices, but gained performance and/or reliability features thanks to new controllers.

The reason why normal-capacity solid-state drives are not getting really affordable is because SSD makers are constantly improving their products with new controllers and tailored firmware, which results in better, not cheaper drives. Such approach also allows manufacturers to sustain their profit margins. It is unclear whether next year SSDs prices will get to significantly lower levels than $1 per gigabyte, but what is obvious is that 2014 solid-state solutions will be able to provide sustainable high-performance and will be better overall than current-gen devices.