Solid state drives (SSD) were considered "nice to have" features only a few years ago. While everyone from professionals to gamers to casual users now see how beneficial faster SSD transfers are, there are still a few reasons why they're not "must haves." Price and capacity still continue to deter users from choosing SSDs over traditional platter-based hard drives. The tables are finally starting to turn, though, at least for capacity.
At its SSD Global Summit, Samsung announced its new SSD 840 EVO, the successor to last year's 840 Series SSDs, now with capacities from 120GB up to 1TB. Yes, the era of 750GB SSD and 1TB SSD is finally upon us.
Using a 10-nanometer class manufacturing process, the new 250GB 840 EVO SSDs are two times faster than the previous generation — with write speeds of 520MB/s. A 120GB 840 EVO SSD model isn't far behind with write speeds of 410MB/s — three times faster than the previous 120GB 840 SSD, according to Samsung.
Where Samsung really takes a leap forward is with its 1TB 840 EVO SSD, which has read/write speeds of 540MB/s and 520MB/s, respectively. That's the cream of the crop, seeing as how the biggest negative to choosing an SSD has been storage limitations.
The 120GB SSD is $109.99, 250GB is $189.99, 500GB is $369.99, 750GB is $529.99 and the 1TB is $649.99. For now, mechanical hard drives still offer more bang for buck for those looking for lots of storage. Samsung's 840 SSD are scheduled to arrive in the U.S. in August.
The Future Has Never Been Clearer
Until Samsung figures out how to make storing data on crystals attractive, SSDs will be crucial to designing gadgets with smaller, thinner, and lighter form factors. Sure, cloud storage is becoming a bigger threat, but nothing beats good ol' fashioned local storage. In that regard, Samsung is far and ahead of the competition thanks to the way it develops the entire "system" through its vertically integrated development.
Aside from faster read/write speeds, why choose an SSD over a hard drive? Samsung highlighted four points — all of which are obvious to computer geeks — as reasons why SSDs are the future: thin & light — can be molded to fit many different computer form factors, instant on — especially for Ultrabooks, low power consumption — highly beneficial for mobile devices, and robustness — no moving parts, and therefore lower failure rate compared to hard drives.
But make no mistake, while 1TB SSDs will be commonplace in the next handful of years, it'll only play out well if pricing comes down compared to 1TB hard drives. SSD pricing isn't quite there yet, but it'll eventually become the case as flash-based storage becomes even more ubiquitous. That shouldn't be too long, with mobile growth projected to push SSD output up 45% by 2015, according to Samsung's projections.
(Posted on location at the 2013 Samsung SSD Global Summit in Seoul, South Korea)