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Time to Buy: A discussion of SSD Economics

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June 4, 2011 11:37:46 PM

I would like to start a discussion among regular window-shoppers (and real shoppers) about the best time to buy certain SSD's as the market changes.

For example, my computer has SATA II, and I'm guessing that due to the recent releases of SATA III SSDs and new upcoming batches of updates, that the best time to buy a SATA II SSD will be in late June of 2011, assuming you expect to still have most popular drives in good stock.

The SATA III drives will push the SATA II prices down, plus June is a graduation month, so one could expect some cool deals.

However, I think that after the summer, probably as early as August, the prices will start to stagnate as stock drops and demand remains.

What does the Tom's community think? Do the SSD companies still plan on producing some SATA II drives, or are they just going to push the newer and more expensive generations? Does anyone have suggestions for people looking for a time to buy SATA III SSDs? Are there certain drives that are a must have if some special deal drives them to a spectacular price point?

Opinions are welcome and discussion is encouraged. Share your knowledge for the benefit of all wanna-be buyers!

Cheers

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a c 283 G Storage
June 5, 2011 1:06:33 AM

The Summer doldrums have just started in the northern hemisphere. We will not see much in the way of new ssd's being released this Summer.

If all goes according to plan the next batch of new solid state drives will be released during the last quarter of this year (Sep to Dec). The new batch will include PCIe x4 based consumer oriented ssd's to complement the new motherboards that will be equipped with the new PCIe 3.0 slots. We've been seeing a lot of delays in release dates so actual availability may be postponed to the first quarter (Jan - Mar) of next year.

Intel focused on SATA II based ssd's and will continue to do so. In fact, some of the new ssd's they will be releasing will still be SATA II drives. It was a disappointment to gamers and enthusiasts but Intel knows exactly what they are doing. There is a extremely huge base of users with pc's that do no have SATA III capable pc's. Most of them either will not or cannot upgrade their motherboards or cpu's just to have SATA III capability.

I am in the same situation as you. My personal pc is not SATA III capable and I have no reason to upgrade to a new motherboard and cpu this year. My pc works quite well with the applications I use. I am satisfied with it.

Although we have seen some price reductions, prices are still a crapshoot. Sale prices around $1.50/GB seem to be a bargain for now. That may or may not change.

Two weeks ago Newegg had a sale featuring the Kingston SSDNow 100 V+ SATA II 96GB ssd for $99.99 after mail in rebate. That is just a hair over $1.00/GB. It is considered to be an entry level ssd. It cannot compare to the high end ssd's but performance for the typical user should be satisfactory. I bought one just so I could experiment with it. I want to see how it performs with the applications I use. I have not installed it yet. I am waiting for Tom's Hardware to publish a new article in the very near future about Windows and ssd optimization. I am hoping the article will be an in depth analysis of the optimization techniques.
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a c 143 G Storage
June 5, 2011 1:10:00 AM

Any time in the middle to the end of the month from Neweggg is a good time to purchase a SSD. The Crucial C300 is a typically a really good drive for either SATA II or SATA III for pricing. The best SATA II drive is the Intel 320... IMO, with the OCZ Vertex 3 being the best on SATA III.

I don't foresee many new SATA II drives coming out on the market outside of cache type drives for the new Z68 boards.
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June 5, 2011 6:32:19 AM

You can get the Vertex 3 120GB for $250 w/ free shipping this weekend on newegg with the promo code EMCYTZT512 until midnight on Sunday.

From what I understand it works well on SATA II just fine, then when you do upgrade you will already be SATA III ready.
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June 5, 2011 6:34:59 PM

Everyone seems in agreement that the key is going to be to look for a particularly nice deal... so the urge must be resisted for now, which is a bummer. I keep hearing that once I go SSD I won't go back, and I want to jump that boat!

Were there also recommendations for laptop SSD's? I've already dialed my total HDD usage down under 100GB, but I understand that it's a good idea to buy well above maximum capacity... a 160GB Intel then?

Would other people agree that it may be a good idea not to take a chance with an OCZ Agility 2 or Vertex 2? Various articles and the newegg reviews leave me wondering about the chance of ending up with a faulty drive.

Thanks for your input!
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a c 283 G Storage
June 5, 2011 6:47:10 PM

I am not familiar with laptops but I do know from reading articles and forum threads that the Macbook Pro's can be quite finicky because of their configuration and setup. The Intel 320's seem to be the ssd's of choice for the Macbrook Pro's.
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June 7, 2011 9:59:24 AM

tecmo34 said:
Any time in the middle to the end of the month from Neweggg is a good time to purchase a SSD. The Crucial C300 is a typically a really good drive for either SATA II or SATA III for pricing. The best SATA II drive is the Intel 320... IMO, with the OCZ Vertex 3 being the best on SATA III.

I don't foresee many new SATA II drives coming out on the market outside of cache type drives for the new Z68 boards.


What are "cache type drives" and what are they used for?
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June 12, 2011 8:40:46 PM

Best answer selected by greenrider02.
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