Set up a swank RAID 0 array and you'll still find situations in which your hard drives remain the bottleneck. Higher areal densities, fast spindle speeds, and beefy cache have kept hard drives from being pokey, but the future appears headed for Solid State Drives (SSDs). And with companies like OCZ pushing higher performing SSDs at increasingly lower price points, the future may be closer than you think.
Lest we get too excited, SSD technology still trails considerably behind traditional hard drives in the cost-per-gigabyte arena, but helping to shrink the gap, OCZ today announced its Core Series SATA II 2.5" Solid State Drives. OCZ dubs the new lineup as the "world's first truly affordable high-performance SSD for consumers," and while still out of mainstream reach, this is as close to that goal as high performing SSDs have come. The three new models include:
32GB - $169
64GB - $259
128GB - $479
OCZ's aggressive pricing trumps even Super Talent's recently announced MasterDrive MX series, but even still, paying $479 for just 128GB is nothing to scoff at, particularly when Newegg carries Western Digital's 300GB VelociRaptor for $300 shipped. But compared to where SSD pricing used to be, it might not be long before you start spec'ing out an SSD drive for your next system build or upgrade. And if all-out performance is your bag, a case could be made for jumping the gun now and slapping your OS onto a 32GB or 64GB Core SSD. They're comparatively expensive to their platter-based brethren, but won't break the bank any more than a mid- to high-end videocard will. Factor in read and write speeds to the tune of 120 to 143 MB/sec and 80 to 93 MB/sec respectively combined with a 1.5 million hour life expectancy, SSDs appear to finally be worth getting excited over.