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Data Storage

Solid State Drives Break the 50 Cents Per GiB Barrier, OCZ ARC 100 Launched 183

MojoKid (1002251) writes Though solid state drives have a long way to go before they break price parity with hard drives (and may never make it, at least with the current technology), the gap continues to close. More recently, SSD manufacturers have been approaching 50 cents per GiB of storage. OCZ Storage Solutions, with the help of their parent company Toshiba's 19nm MLC NAND, just launched their ARC 100 family of drives that are priced at exactly .5 per GiB at launch and it's possible street prices will drift lower down the road. The ARC 100 features the very same OCZ Barefoot 3 M10 controller as the higher-end OCZ Vertex 460, but these new drives feature more affordable Toshiba A19nm (Advanced 19 nanometer) NAND flash memory. The ARC 100 also ships without any sort of accessory bundle, to keep costs down. Performance-wise, OCZ's new ARC 100 240GB solid state drive didn't lead the pack in any particular category, but the drive did offer consistently competitive performance throughout testing. Large sequential transfers, small file transfers at high queue depths, and low access times were the ARC 100's strong suits, as well as its low cost. These new drives are rated at 20GB/day write endurance and carry a 3-year warranty.
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Solid State Drives Break the 50 Cents Per GiB Barrier, OCZ ARC 100 Launched

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @09:53AM (#47662975)

    An arbitrary number is not a "barrier". A barrier is what your father should have worn.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ClintJCL ( 264898 )
      It's a mental barrier. People have price points, and they are often round numbers like $1/M, $1/G (depending on when you grew up), etc.
      • Indeed. $100 seems to be a common barrier.

        With the 256 GB Samsung 840 EVO less then $100 ($0.78125/GB) and the 256 GB for only $130 ($0.5078125/GB) people really don't have an excuse anymore.

        * http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-... [amazon.com]
        * http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-... [amazon.com]

      • by msim ( 220489 )

        The fourminute mile was a barrier that athletes had as a psychological barrier for years.

        Then oger Bannister broke the record after training with the mentality that he could go faster, not that he had reached his peak and couldn't go any better. Record after record after record tumbled as people realised that it wasn't a limit and trained with the mindset that they COULD get better and run faster than a mile in four minutes

    • Also - how is that news? Crucial MX100 256GB that became available in the beginning of summer costs 110$ at Amazon. That is less than 0.5$/GB.

  • Cheaper drives (Score:5, Informative)

    by Vigile ( 99919 ) * on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @09:53AM (#47662977)

    Good drive, for sure, but keep in mind that the Crucial MX100 broke that barrier at its launch in June (and at $0.44/GB).

    http://www.pcper.com/reviews/S... [pcper.com]

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      What barrier is this? Is there some reason why getting below $0.50/GB is difficult, or is it merely the result of gradually falling prices?

      • Re:Cheaper drives (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Vigile ( 99919 ) * on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @10:14AM (#47663157)

        No, no particular technical difficulty, just another step in gradually falling prices. We have seen drives hit $0.39/GB as well with standard Amazon.com pricing. The Crucial M550 (a bit faster) is at $407 for 1TB model today, for example: http://amzn.to/1kBpIs1 [amzn.to]

      • It's falling prices, but it's a measure of how fast they're falling. Not too long ago, $1/GB was the "barrier" everyone wanted to cross. Before that it was probably $5/GB or something. Next we'll be looking to break $0.25/GB, then probably price parity with hard drives.

        It's like the 1GHz barrier on CPUs, back in the day. It wasn't so much a barrier as it was a milestone, a mark of how far we've progressed.

        • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

          It's falling prices, but it's a measure of how fast they're falling. Not too long ago, $1/GB was the "barrier" everyone wanted to cross. Before that it was probably $5/GB or something. Next we'll be looking to break $0.25/GB, then probably price parity with hard drives.

          Price parity with hard drives is hard, because SSDs only really get cheaper according to Moore's law (because each transistor is the storage element - the more of them you can stuff on a die, the more storage). But hard drive capacity and cos

          • by qval ( 844544 )
            yes, but in smaller capacities, they will probably catch up before the end of the decade. At 320GB or so, a 250 GB SSD that costs $30 or $50 more will be a no brainer. I'm looking forward to the days when the cheapest laptops all come with SSDs because it's cheaper. It's kind of happening already with the 16 GB chromebooks, but a few more steps of moore's law will put that into very competitive capacities.
          • by mlts ( 1038732 )

            There is a "good enough" point. What SSDs bring to the table is the fact that any number of processes can access the drive at virtually the same time without queuing up for the drive head to get in line with the data wanted, or hopefully find the data in the cache.

            What I see that may become more common are drive units that have 256 gigs or so of SSD space and several terabytes of HDD, presenting themselves to the OS as two separate volumes. This allows the OS and core applications to boot and quickly whil

      • The result is just one of gradually falling prices, but it is one where it is cheap enough to interest more people. At that price the drives are now "cheap enough" for them.

        • Exactly. The magic price point for business use was when $150 would buy you a big enough drive to meet the needs of 90% of your office workers. The cost is small enough that it's worth spending the extra amount of money in order to get a machine that performs much better then a traditional drive. It means less twiddling of thumbs of your employees while they wait on a slow hard drive. (More common then a lot of people think, they've just grown used to the slowness.)

          Personally, I think that happened at
      • What barrier is this? Is there some reason why getting below $0.50/GB is difficult, or is it merely the result of gradually falling prices?

        How can people be so worked up about this "barrier" thing? It was obviously chosen as an interesting goal as it is exactly half a dollar per gigabyte. That's all there is to it.

      • Well there will be a point where SSD are cheap enough for people to decide to pay a little extra to get them.

        As magnetic drives get cheaper per storage, they are sold at around the same price but with more storage. It isn't uncommon for someone to get a PC built with a few Terabytes of data in a magnetic drive. Or for the same price you can get a SSD rated in hundreds of Gigabytes.

        At a particular point the faster SSD drives with be affordable enough to offer the space that they need at a cost they want to

      • by jon3k ( 691256 )
        It's just more of a milestone.
    • by schlachter ( 862210 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @10:07AM (#47663083)

      Maybe Apple will soon be breaking the $2.00/GB barrier.

    • I'm definitely in favor of more solidly adequate drives at attractive prices; but a quick look through newegg (without any effort at comparison shopping or grubbing for special offers) shows a fair selection at and under the $0.5/GB mark. The MX100 has a particularly good reputation for that price; but prices in that range haven't been a 'barrier' for some time.
    • Yeah, I was reading this and thinking to myself, "haven't they been under $0.50/GB for awhile now?" Just yesterday I was speccing out parts for a new PC, and the prices for SSDs went as low as $0.35/GB [pcpartpicker.com]. They're still roughly an order of magnitude more expensive per GB than HDDs [pcpartpicker.com], but they're starting to get cheap enough that the difference is mattering less and less.

      • I know the Samsung 840 1TB drive has been available for $500 or less for most of the year. I've had one since February. "Prices stay relatively constant for 6 months but LOOK new shiny!" is just less discussion worthy.

    • Samsung's 840 EVO 500GB dipped below $0.5/GB unformatted on Newegg a couple weeks ago, with coupon.. IIRC the Crucial M550 512GB at newegg is below $0.5/GB without coupon..

    • Re:Cheaper drives (Score:4, Interesting)

      by FuzzNugget ( 2840687 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @11:18AM (#47663673)
      Yup, I bought a 512GB Crucial MX100 for less than $250. It gives 90%+ the performance of Intel models I've used at 50% of the price, without using any nasty trickery like compression.
      • I got a 256GB MX100. I haven't done any testing, but the day to day experience is that it's good enough for everyday use. Small apps take about a second to launch and become responsive.

    • The crucial MX100 will also run circles around this drive, and was reviewed here on Slashdot, including its pricepoint. How did this even make it through the submission queue.

  • As do you (Score:4, Funny)

    by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @09:58AM (#47663011) Journal

    > 50 cents per GiB

    I prefer to think of it as 0.0007 cents per body part closeup.

  • Performance (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @10:02AM (#47663045)

    If SSD's had come first we'd be talking about how HDD's finally broke the 3ms latency barrier or the or the 1 Gb/s barrier. SSDs' aren't about capacity, that's just not what they're for. While it's certainly nice that you can have a usable amount of space for a decent price, 120GB is enough SSD space to see 95% of the benefits for 60% of users. If laptop manufacturers would make 2 bay laptops standard that 60% would jump to 95%.

    • Re:Performance (Score:4, Insightful)

      by harrkev ( 623093 ) <kfmsd AT harrelsonfamily DOT org> on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @10:13AM (#47663135) Homepage

      Bingo. Laptop users. Laptops are on the way up, desktops are dying. And since the higher-end laptops (ultrabooks) are even ditching optical drives to save size and weight, what do you think are the odds that they will make space for a 2nd drive. In fact, I would not be surprised of the 2.5" drive bays went away entirely in the next three years, to be replaced by slots (probably PCIe or something similar). Unless you are going for a larger device -- gaming or workstation laptop, you are not going to have the luxury of two drive bays.

      • by plopez ( 54068 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @10:20AM (#47663221) Journal

        Laptops, hand held devised, tablets, space exploration verticals, drones, and remote sensing equipment are probably only a few examples.

      • No desktop should be HDD-only. The are too slow. Conventional wisdom used to be that maxxing out RAM was the first thing to do, but after even 8GB (which isn't all that much in a desktop any more) I would get an SSD for it before anything else.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        desktops are dying

        LOL. People have been saying that for over a decade and it ain't happening. It seems like the myth lives on by being rekindled in new generations of geeks who weren't around to see the prognosticating last go 'round.

        • desktops are dying

          LOL. People have been saying that for over a decade and it ain't happening. It seems like the myth lives on by being rekindled in new generations of geeks who weren't around to see the prognosticating last go 'round.

          I agree that they're not dying as in becoming obsolete, but they're certainly dying in terms of consumer demand. I'd guess that 90-95% of my friends don't own and desktop and will never buy one again.

          Add to that the fact that many companies automatically retire systems after 3 years (warranty expired) resulting in lots of incredibly capable enterprise-class desktops available for under $200 through Craigslist. Really, unless you're a gamer, there's little reason to buy a brand new desktop as a consumer.

        • A little over a decade ago was when Apple announced that laptop sales had passed desktop sales for them. This wasn't surprising, because their desktops were far less competitive than their laptops (and no one bought an Apple desktop to save money). The rest of the industry followed about two years later. We've been in a world where more laptops are sold than desktops for almost a decade. Even accounting for the fact that laptops are replaced rather than upgraded, there are now more people who use laptop
      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

        Many "ultrabook" class laptops moved to mini PCIe SSDs a few years ago. My NEC LaVie X has a socketed 250GB Toshiba drive that I am considering upgrading for one that supports Opal V2. I can the move it to my server machine.

        • mSATA isn't mPCIe. They may be the same form-factor, but mSATA is hooked up to a SATA bus and mPCIe is connected to a PCIe bus. They aren't interchangeable.
      • Laptops are on the way up, desktops are dying.

        Lol nope. Laptops are on the way up, smartphones are on the way up, tablets are on the way up, computerized glasses are on the way up, brain-computer interfaces are on the way up, and desktops are on the way up.

        Want to kill off the desktops? Find something with better display and user input.

        • by harrkev ( 623093 )

          Want to kill off the desktops? Find something with better display and user input.

          How about the same display and user input. Have you not heard of USB and HDMI? A laptop can be easily connected to an external keyboard, mouse, and monitor. I do this all the time! Since even a relatively low-end computer is more than good enough for most tasks, there is really little down-side to this approach. The extra expense is justified because you can carry it with you.

      • The slot you're thinking of already exists, comes on some motherboards (my new HTPC Mini ITX board has one) and it's becoming standard on laptops.
        Current sizes dictate they can do 500gb drives on the micro cards which go into the slots.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M... [wikipedia.org]

    • I would not want to replace the SSD in my Mac Book Air with a HD ... and I doubt there is any that fits.
      For you it might be only speed (sad ;) ) for me it is how long the machine is running ... 14h with my way of using it is quite superb.

  • by omems ( 1869410 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @10:05AM (#47663067)
    After my only two Vertex drives spontaneously died when the power was cut, I'll never own another OCZ product. This turned out to be a common problem with the first gen Vertex, and I will not forgive their engineers. Thankfully my backups worked. +1 for Acronis.
    • by Admiral_Grinder ( 830562 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @10:30AM (#47663307)

      I hear your song, but I heard it before by the HDD cover band before the SSD members were even born. All hardware is prone to not coming back up after the power was cut (or turned off in the case of a laptop I have), SSD is not special in this. It appears you have heard it, but if not, tune in to the greatest hits channel and you will hear the number 1 song for the past 30 years: "Always have working up to date backups". I'm glad your backups work.

      • by thsths ( 31372 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @11:02AM (#47663529)

        >All hardware is prone to not coming back up after the power was cut (or turned off in the case of a laptop I have), SSD is not special in this.

        But OCZ SSDs were. The failure of OCZ drives doubled the industry average failure rate, that is how bad they were. Returns were in the double digit percents.

        And still I hear your statement that this could happen to any company. Which is true. But OCZ ignored the problem and pretended it did not exist, instead of showing a bit of generosity towards the (rightly) disappointed customers. This I will not forget, and like me many others.

        • by Hamsterdan ( 815291 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @01:23PM (#47664695)

          And Intel had drives that reverted to 8GB after a reboot, IBM had the Deathstars, Quantum had their Fireballs, Seagate, well, about every model between 500 and 1TB.

          *everyone* in the industry comes out with bad products.

          • by Luckyo ( 1726890 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @03:11PM (#47665645)

            You don't understand. OCZ has a history of a very specific form of manufacturing and marketing strategy.

            What they did for a long time was take a SSD controller that every else uses, and then disable every single data safety feature they can get away with so they can squeeze a little extra speed in benchmarks out of it. Then they actively market themselves as "fastest and cheapest SSD maker". The obvious result is that their drives are very fast, very cheap and very unreliable.

            This wasn't about one model being off. This is their consistent strategy and why their returns were over double industry standard and sitting in double digits of percent. Their strategy was to sell a lot of drives with marketing hype to overcome the costs from massive amount of failed drives.

            It failed and company went bankrupt and had to be bought out by Toshiba. And now it seems to continue with the trend.

          • Of course. The question is what do you do when you get into that situation. OCZ was bought by Toshiba, now the question is will the follow the IBM Deathstar route and bring the product back to quality under a new name, or will they follow the Quantum Fireball, into Maxtor which then failed spectacularly only to be absorbed by a competitor?

            Then there's history. IBM, Quantum, Seagate, they all had a dodgy line here or there, all of them have reasonable warranties and do a good job of repair. OCZ had a long hi

      • For what obscure reason should an SSD not come back after a power cut? Care to explain?
        Filesystem error, because a directory was not written, ok, but a haedware failure, I would say: no way! (And same for a HD, why should there be a hardware problem on next boot after a power loss?)

        • For what obscure reason should an SSD not come back after a power cut? Care to explain?

          When you tell your drive to write a block of data, SSD drives can't just write that block. They can only erase complete 128KB or 256KB pages and write into empty pages. So writing a single block always means a certain amount of bookkeeping information, and complex data structures stored somewhere. If that information isn't flushed properly, it's actually quite likely that a drive could fail after being powered down.

          The problem is that making sure that the drive information is always valid after power goe

        • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

          Controller failure. This is about as "obscure" as "engine failure" is "obscure" on a car.

    • After the Toshiba acquisition, the designs and quality assurance procedures for OCZ drives have most likely been completely revamped.
  • So much SPAM... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bobbied ( 2522392 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @10:12AM (#47663131)

    I don't see how this whole article is anything but a commercial advertisement. $0.50/Gig was broken a long time ago, at least for your average consumer. I have a 500GB SSD in a laptop that was well under $0.50/GB from a national brick and mortar retailer.

    So this is just more evidence how far Slash-dot has fallen? Come on folks, I don't mind the banner ads on the website, you all have to eat, but can we dispense with these kinds of stories?

  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @10:14AM (#47663159)
    Cheapest retail magnetic disks are about 3 cents a gigabyte and a fraction of cent gigabyte for digital tape.

    Unless one is a video hog a terabyte should be enough for anybody. And I'd stream most new content anyways. I only read/watch most stuff once.
    • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @10:37AM (#47663341)

      This is a little short sighted. Video files are not th eonly kinds of file that have grown demonstrably larger over time, due to "hey, everyone has the spaces these days, let's fill it! It's CHEAP!" being a development consideration.

      Be it audio files (FLAAC vs MP3), Images (jpg vs png vs bmp vs RAW), Documents (RTF vs DOC vs DOCX) 3D object files (OBJ vs MAX vs BLEND) and of course, application files (I've seen 10mb and larger DLLs and other libraries become commonplace these days, where previously they were a few kilobytes to meg or two, with 5mb being 'large')

      What you mean to say, is that 1TB is more than enough for anyone, "right now."

      4 years from now, not so much.

  • newegg has a 1TB one on sale for like 390... which would be 39 cents per GB, 50 cents a GB has been the rule of thumb for SSDs for over a year now.
  • OCZ is known to be junk that fail with a very short lifespan. Call me when a RELIABLE SSD like a Samsung or Intel, that has a proven track record hits the $0.50 per GB mark.

  • My 480 GB Crucial M500 cost ~200€ a month ago - that's 41.66 cents per GB.

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