The high cost of an SSD is its downside, even though the technology has become more widespread and memory prices continue to decline, depending on the performance level SSDs can still cost anywhere from $2 up to $10 per Gigabyte, compared to the average 20¢ to 50¢ per Gigabyte of a conventional hard drive. The wide price difference between SSD drives depends largely on the type of chips it uses, Single-Level Cell or Multi-Level Cell. MLC chips have a higher density but slower access speeds, and have been around for years in flash media, cell phones, MP3 players and USB drives. SLC chips cost more and have about half the capacity of MLCs, but with faster performance.
When it comes to Solid State Drives, the old adage holds true... speed costs, how fast do you want to go? Which is why the first SSD I reviewed last summer, the Transcend 32GB model, one of the most inexpensive SSDs at the time at around $150, was not very impressive when it came to performance. In contrast, OCZ's own SSDs such as their Core series of drives, have often garnered praise for their fast read/write times, but like other brands have been priced out of reach of the average consumer. To combat this OCZ has released their Solid Series, a value line of SSDs for the masses. The 30Gb model they sent over for review today can be found for right around $100. But at that price can it live up to the OCZ name? Or is it merely a glorified USB thumb drive in disguise? Continue as I aim to find out!