Earlier this year we looked at budget solid state drives (SSDs) that gave you the most memory for your dollar. Since that time, drive maker Mushkin Enhanced MFG has set the bar even lower for SSD prices. Their new line of Enhanced ECO2 2.5-inch SATA SSDs are priced well below $0.40 per gigabyte, and are available exclusively through Newegg and NeweggBusiness. These drives have been the category’s top-sellers since their arrival in late March.
“Mushkin are the price leaders for SSDs at the moment, and customers have been responding to the aggressive price points,” says Jason Chen, NeweggBusiness merchandise manager for SSDs.
As of this publishing, SSD prices per gigabyte for the ECO2 line are as follow:
- $54.99 for 120 GB, which comes out to $0.45 per gigabyte.
- $86.99 for 240 GB, which comes out to $0.36 per gigabyte.
Tech reviewers have noted a good cost to performance ratio as well, as have NeweggBusiness customers, who have given these two drives full five-egg ratings in their reviews (see product pages for details). The key metrics for performance clock in at 550 MB/s for the read, and between 485 and 530 MB/s for the write, depending on the capacity.
Using 7 mm MLC flash memory from Micron and SandForce SF-2000 processors, Muskin assembles its SSDs in the United States, a proud claim that the Austin, Texas-based manufacturer touts its marketing collateral.
Mushkin is in the process of updating the firmware for a 480 GB Enhanced ECO2 SSD. When that model becomes available it will carry a per-gigabyte price of between $0.32 and $0.33 according to the manufacturer. This will set the bar as the figure to beat when it comes to SSD prices.
“For us it is a question of getting the right drives to the user for the right price,” says Brian Flood, Mushkin’s director of product management. “Price has usually been the prohibitive factor with SSDs and now that is changing.”
Replacing a spinning hard disk drive (HDD) with a 2.5-inch SATA SSD has become a fast and simple way to boost performance in laptops. Organizations can potentially extended the lifecycle of laptop PCs and MacBooks for several years by installing a solid state drive in place of a hard disk. SSD prices have come down to a point where migrating from HDD to SSD makes financial sense when you can gain a few extra years of use with a simple hardware upgrade that is less than $100.
This hardware trend shows no signs of letup. Flood said that prices throughout the industry may even go down another 20 percent over the course of 2015, but cautioned that SSD prices can be hard to predict accurately.