Intel has slashed prices on its mainstream solid state drives, but Micro Center has trumped it on the low end. While Intel is offering its X25-V 40GB SSD for $99, Micro Center is offering a 64GB model for essentially the same price.
In addition to getting more storage for an equal outlay, the Micro Center drive delivers superior performance thanks to its newer, more powerful Sandforce SF-1200 controller. The X25-V's sequential read/write performance of 170MB/s and 35MB/s can't match the Micro Center's 280MB/s and 270MB/s, and that gap is maintained in random read/write performance (25K/2.5K IOPS vs. the Micro Center's 30K/10K IOPS). The Micro Center SSD also promises a longer life span, with 2 million operating hours before failure, compared to the Intel's 1.2 million operating hours.
Better performance, same price: Is there a catch? Well, if you go to the Micro Center Web site, the drive is currently listed as out of stock. However, I spoke with a Micro Center rep, who assured me that the drive is available at all of the chain's brick-and-mortar locations. Those who don't live near one will have to wait for the Web site to show that it's restocked for virtual customers. It may be worth the wait.