Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past five years, it’s no secret that solid-state drives are awesome. The list of advantages they have over traditional hard drives includes superior performance, smaller size, lower power draw and improved reliability. But, all those obvious benefits come at an inevitable increase in cost.
A decent terabyte mechanical drive can be purchased for between $60 and $100 depending on features and performance, while a similarly-sized SSD on the other hand will run in the range of $400 to $1,000 or more, a considerable jump that can make anyone think twice about how much they really need all their files and folders to be available at lightning quick speeds.
Now, a new SSD from SanDisk looks to challenge the status quo, and offer a flash-based drive at the same cost you’d pay for an HDD.
According to a recently released spec sheet, the Z400s will come in available storage flavors of 32GB, 64GB, 128GB and 256GB. The drives will be available as M.2 or 2.5-inch SATA and will supposedly offer sequential read/write speeds of 549 megabytes per second and 330MB/s, respectively.
We found that Intel’s PCI-E 750 Series SSD completely stomps that achievement at 1,226 MB/s read, though this result can be attributed almost entirely to the fact that it connects over PCI-E, rather than the slower SATA standard. Compared to other SSDs in general, though, the Sandisk Z400 series won’t be particularly slow — if it hits the quoted performance.
The Z400s series will offer many of the advantages you’ve come to expect out of other SSDs, though the company says the cost will be just about on par with what you’d spend on a traditional hard disk.
This is the first time any SSD maker has been able to come close to creating a flash-based storage system that can keep pace with a standard mechanical hard drive in the pricing department.
Unfortunately, SanDisk is being tight-lipped about exactly how much the Z400s will cost or when it will be released. We’re skeptical that the company will be able to exactly match mechanical disk prices, but if they even come close it’ll be a big step forward for SSD affordability.