Intel Cuts SSD Prices

In an effort to compete with manufacturers such as OCZ and G.Skill, Intel has announced price cuts for its lineup of SLC (Single Level Cell) and MLC (Multi Level Cell) Solid State Drives.  The global economic slump and lower sales are key reasons for the price cut. However, decreases in NAND flash prices are also helping to lower the production costs for Intel’s competitors. Many of these competitors are now entering the market with a new generation of products.

Intel X-25M Intel launched its 160GB X-25M for $945 about two months ago. Competing products such as OCZ's Apex series of SSDs make use of an integrated RAID 0 controller in order to boost performance without a huge price premium over regular MLC SSDs. G.Skill's Titan series uses a similar design, but OCZ’s SSDs are optimized through firmware to provide extra performance. OCZ also offers the Vertex series, which utilizes up to 64MB of DRAM cache to boost performance. This design is especially important for random write performance; previous generations of SSDs have had issues with random write performance due to a first generation JMicron SSD controller.

Intel’s drives are currently available. OCZ is still tweaking the firmware for its Vertex line in order to maximize readability and performance. As a result, this line has been delayed.

Intel uses NAND flash produced by IM Flash Technologies, an Intel joint venture with Micron Technologies. The company’s mainstream M series uses MLC NAND, while the E series uses the faster SLC NAND. Intel also has plans for a 128GB SLC drive and a 320GB SSD using 34nm MLC NAND chips. These drives are expected to be released later this year.

OEM pricing for lots of 1,000 and above are as follows:


 Old Price

 New Price

 X-25M 80GB



 X-25M 160GB



 X-25E 32GB



 X-25E 64GB