By itself, Intel's 20GB 311 Series "Larsen Creek" solid state drive commands around $115 street. But when bundled with select Gigabyte motherboards, that price drops below $100. It's part of an extended promotion that now applies to two Gigabyte motherboards instead of just one, in which 11 participating retailers offer a $20 discount when purchased together. But is it worth it?
"Due to the overwhelming success of the pre-bundled Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3-iSSD, Gigabyte is pleased to be able to offer an additional bundle program on our latest hot selling mSATA motherboards," commented Henry Kao, vice president of Worldwide Service and Marketing at Gigabyte. "Not only does this bundle promotion with 11 North American online retailers make it easier for our customers to buy an mSATA equipped motherboard and Intel Solid-State Drive 311 Series, but they can save some money in the process while enjoying the performance benefits of Intel Smart Response Technology."
And there's the pitch. A 20GB SSD won't get you very far in and of itself, but an mSATA drive you can stick in a motherboard equipped with Intel's Smart Response Technology is a different story. Compatible boards offload bits of data from frequently used applications to the SSD, so the things you do most should see a speed improvement. It's similar to how hybrid HDD/SSD devices work, though Gigabyte claims its "Z68 boards with Intel Response Technology are able to outperform hybrid HDD/SSD drive systems by more than 4X (PCMark Vantage HDD test score) and deliver a 60 percent performance improvement over HDD-only systems in PCMark Vantage."
Qualifying boards include Gigabyte's Z68XP-UD3 and Z68P-DS3 when purchased from a participating retailer (Amazon, Buy.com, Canada Computers, Fry's, Memory Express, Micro Center, Bestbuy.com, mWave, NCIX, Newegg, and Tiger Direct).