The estimated pricing and a new release date are now posted at VR-Zone
I'm just not getting this. Why on earth would anyone choose these over the last generation of Intel SSDs? What am I not getting??????????????????
If the performance were equal between the X-25M G2 (34nm) and the 320 Series (25nm) and the price were the same the profits would be higher for Intel. At least you'd know there wouldn't be any shortage of supply and Intel wouldn't have to raise prices*.
If the performance is worse on the 25nm SSD and the price is the same it'd be what the Consumerist calls The Grocery Shrink Ray
. Higher profits + a drawback for the consumer.
We can hope that performance is greater or that prices will drop significantly but as it stands now it looks like it'll be a mixed bag with slightly faster reads and slightly slower writes which is not a desirable trade off in my book.
We'll have to wait a few weeks for reviews and pricing to be sure how it all pans out but for now the G2 120GB drive looks to be the boot drive I'd most want if I someone offered me a 50% discount on a drive of my choice (say newegg or amazon I'd love some store credit
Now about that *. You might ask why would any manufacturer need to raise prices. Well any manufacturer with exposure to Japan would be incuring costs right now with damaged factories.
An Intel office in the Japanese research center of Tsukuba was badly damaged following last week's earthquake, but the company says no one was hurt.
Intel does no production in Japan, though it relies on Japanese companies to provide wafers for its chips.
Memory chip prices are already rising. Toshiba Corp., the world's second-largest supplier of one kind of memory chip, said shipments from its central plant in Japan could fall up to 20 percent.
The quake could also create a shortage for silicon wafers, the foundation upon which semiconductors are built.
Japan produces 60 percent of the world's silicon, according to the research firm IHS iSuppli. It said any shortage wouldn't appear until the end of the month, but could linger into fall.
Shin-Etsu Group, which makes silicon wafers for Intel and other manufacturers, shuttered production at several facilities following the quake.
Both Intel and Qualcomm say their operations are spread out enough geographically that the ongoing troubles in Japan from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami won’t hinder processor production.
Officials with both Intel and Qualcomm say they will have no problems getting products out to customers, despite concerns about supply chain issues for many chip makers due to the ongoing troubles in Japan.
Both companies said that their operations are spread out enough geographically that a disaster like the one that has struck Japan will not impact their operations too greatly.
Of course the more cynical could say that flash memory isn't a processor and not too greatly isn't the same as not at all.
Q2: What impact did the quake have on your supply chain?
A2: Preliminary assessments are relatively positive from our direct suppliers, whom we currently believe came through this event in reasonable shape. Challenges in power and transportation infrastructure are evolving and we continue to monitor and interpret the implications to our suppliers. We do hold buffer inventories for unforeseen events and supply chain interruptions.
Q3: Can you tell us who your suppliers are and their status?
A3: We don't disclose information regarding our suppliers.
Q4: Do you have second source suppliers for the materials you source from Japan?
A4: We generally work to insure multiple sources of the materials in our supply chain.
OK, so lets say we believe them 100%. And we need another explanation for * that doesn't involve Japan.
How about that bit of news about WDC buying Hitachi. Why is the hard drive industry consolidating?
I'd say it's because the market for Hard Drives is shrinking and will either become a niche or will disappear eventually. That's a long term thing that no one can prove or disprove. Even if it were true what does it have to do with SSD prices?
I'd answer that SSDs are were the enthusiast and the DIY builders are spending the largest chunk of their storage budget (in $ not GB). So Intel and all the other major SSD players are watching demand for SSDs rise and need to produce more to keep up with demand. Combine the decline of interest in Hard Drives with the increase in interest in SSDs and the manufacturers have reason to keep prices up to maximize profits even as they increase market share.
Maybe there are other reasons. I'd welcome everyone's best guesses of reasons I left out. Whatever the reason it's up to the marketing/finance pencil pushers to decide what price to sell the drives for. Thank goodness we have true competition in the SSD market. Things would be much worse for us consumers wanting cheap SSDs if there was only 1 or 2 big players with comparable drives.