MicroCenter is offering a promotion where new customers can grab an Inland 256GB Professional or Platinum SATA 3 SSD for free from its brick-and-mortar locations. There is no red tape, and the offer is available until supplies run out. All you have to do is sign the form and you'll receive a coupon to get either one of the two SSDs.
256GB isn't a lot of storage these days, especially for 2.5-inch SATA SSDs like the one MicroCenter is offering. However, they are still perfectly viable solutions as boot drives for a budget PC build. If you have the space, you can also throw one of these into your tower, just to have an additional 256GB of storage if you need it.
Arguably the best solution of them all is to turn the drive into an external drive with a USB enclosure. Enclosers are as cheap as $10 on Amazon these days, and in conjunction with a SATA 3 SSD, you can get up to 520MBps of storage speed in a portable form factor — something which cannot be said of all USB 3.0 or even 3.1 USB thumb drives.
The Inland Professional or Platinum SATA SSDs, on offer from MicroCenter, are 256GB 3D TLC NAND flash models with read speeds of up to 520MBps and read speeds of up to 430MBps. The professional version is slightly more capable though, with 170TBW of endurance, 55,000 IOPS of random read 4k performance, and 50,000 IOPS of random write 4k performance.
The Platinum version comes with 150TBW of endurance, and 40,000 IOPS of read-and-write random 4k performance respectively. Both drives retail anywhere between $45-$69.99 without a discount (free or not) at MicroCenter. They can be found elsewhere, however, for considerably less. If you're looking for a drive that's faster or more spacious (or both), be sure to check out our SSD deals page for more good offers.
Microcenter has been running discounts and freebies for new customers for a while now. I've seen the ssd before, as well as $50 off any cpu and even the ender 3 pro for $99 after the new customer coupon.