Consider this one big step for SSD-kind: Intel just sent along a note letting us know that its X25-M and X25-V SSDs are now available at Best Buy. The drives appear to be priced competitively if you look at Best Buy's online listings. An 80GB X25-M G2 will set you back $230 + tax while Newegg sells the drive for $220. Only the 40GB and 80GB drives are available in stores, the rest are online only.

Best Buy's website has carried SSDs before but this is the first time Best Buy will carry an SSD on its store shelves. The drives should be available in 800 Best Buy stores across the nation. Given Western Digital's command of shelf space in Best Buy it's amazing that the SiliconEdge Blue SSDs haven't been given a similar treatment. Perhaps WD and Seagate are waiting for more competitive product before taking it direct to consumers like that.

If you get the impression that this might have something to do with Intel trying to take SSDs more mainstream, it does. With the switch over to 25nm NAND, Intel hopes to bring SSDs down to even more mainstream price points. Today you can get a 40GB X25-V for around $120. By early next year I'd expect that price to give you 80GB of storage instead.

It's not all about pricing though. Intel believes it will have the performance crown back again with its new 3rd generation SSD controller due out in Q4. I believe the days of one company dominating all SSD recommendations are over and we'll instead see a series of leapfrogging. Today SandForce is doing quite well and I'm working on the Crucial drives with updated firmware. By Q4 we'll get to hit a giant reset button with new offerings from Indilinx, Intel, SandForce and Toshiba among others.

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  • vol7ron - Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - link

    I did the same thing. Only, I held off buying Win7 too. I bought them both at the same time.

    My feelings: Win7 isn't worth all the hype; however, I am still only running a C2D w/o hyperthreading and my XP was 32b, while this Win7 is 64b. So the only real advantage was the memory utilization. I think 7's major advantage is with multicore proc utilization, which I can't evaluate.

    I never got Vista, but I know people that have it and how it looks: Vista now w/ the service packs are about equivalent to Win7.

    I say it's a smart move to wait for Q4, it seem like a bunch of manufacturers are going to have some nice new lines, in addition to price competition.

  • HMTK - Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - link

    Mmmmm sure... With a dual core CPU and 3+ GB RAM, Vista (after SP1) is superior to XP. 7 is vastly superior to XP even on a Pee 4 with HT. Ditch XP and be happy :-) You'll have to to get most out of an SSD.
  • icrf - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    I've got a C2D running XP-64 with 4 GB of RAM. I ran Win7-RC1 for 8-9 months, but it expired back in March, so I went back to XP. I found a short-term deal on Windows 7, which is why I picked it up now. I liked 7, it is nicer than XP, but not significantly enough for me to reinstall twice in six months. Can anyone think of something useful to do with the old hardware?

    Aside from the storage, the rest of my system still feels relatively perky. I do a moderate amount of video encoding, so I've been eyeing these fancy new quad cores awhile. I'll probably hold off and see what's Intel's next tock is like, though. Worst that happens is I buy a cheaper tick.

    I'm waiting for the 160 GB SSD because I really want to image my work laptop on the thing and run a few benchmarks of my actual work load. I couldn't convince them to put in a SSD when they got the things a year ago. I want to show them how worthwhile $200 can be. I'm over 80 GB in size, hence the need for something more. The Dell M6400 chassis has two 2.5" HDD bays, only one in use, so this could really be a nice add-on.

    I really like the fact that these are showing up in retail shelves. That can only mean more volume, which can only mean cheaper prices in the long run.
  • vol7ron - Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - link

    "It's not all about pricing though."

    At this point, for Intel, it is :)

    Performance is a huge factor, but if Intel really wants to increase revenue, I think the major consumer market is wanting to be able to buy drives that aren't only affordable for a new machine, but also affordable enough that if something happens (eg. not enough space, drive failure, etc), that a new additional drive can be purchased.

    As for the performance measures, I do like that part of competition, but I feel like Intel has a product that has surpassed traditional HDDs, to the point that pricing is the pivotal factor. - this isn't new information, just restating the obvious.

  • iamkyle - Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - link

    Not applicable to Canadian BBY stores. Was hoping someone besides NCIX or CC would be carrying them here...
  • Taft12 - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    Newegg Canada and every PC shop in town?
  • Pessimism - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    I'm not sure if you live in Canada. "every pc shop in town" is some dingy hole in the wall adorned with ten year old sun faded posters that never has anything in stock.

    We consistently get the shaft with later product releases, poorer selection and higher prices than the US, even after modest allowance for currency fluctuations. Virtually every part I've ever read about being at Newegg does not exist at their Canadian site.

    Sure, we could order products online, if we find vendors willing to accept Paypal.. Then comes the matter of dropping our pants for UPS and Canada Customs to run a train on us to get our packages.
  • badkat7 - Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - link

    Has anyone bought a drive through a retail outlet recently? I would like to know if the instructions which go out with this drive include instructions on how to install firmware and TRIM tools on the drives? The one I have is accompanied by a paper note that says "this drive should be installed by a professional" and a mini disc that (fortunately) has a couple of web links attached. I am concerned the information going out with these drives is appropriate to the average consumer who might tackle this upgrade without "professional" installation. So could someone who has bought a RECENT drive (say through Best Buy) advise on whether it gives adequated guidance (more than just an indirect web link).
  • TGressus - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    1. Best Buy (among other B&M retailers) wants you to buy their professional support services. If you need proof of this check out the Asus laptop manufacturer warranties that are DENIED you if you buy at BB or Micro Center.

    2. Sit in a Micro Center or Frys return/exchange line. It's already the case that novices have far too much access to tech without appropriate prerequisite knowledge.

    People need to skill up. Fuck a warning label.
  • JohnMD1022 - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    $229.99 + tax = 243.79 in Maryland...

    Newegg... 199.99 or 214.99 (OEM/Retail) ... No tax, free shipping.

    Pretty obvious where I'd be shopping :)

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