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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  • therealnickdanger - Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - link

    Best Buy online has had them in stock since March at least - I almost bought one using a $200 Best Buy gift card that I had won. I haven't bothered to check brick+mortar Best Buy stores though...
  • therealnickdanger - Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - link

    Oops, I should RTFA.
  • Casper42 - Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - link

    Amazon isnt competitive on the 80GB, but when you factor in free shipping and no sales tax for most, it starts looking better.

    However on the 160GB G2, they have the best price between NewEgg/BB/Amazon and when you factor in the Free Ship and No Sales tax there, it looks even better.
  • bplewis24 - Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - link

    Amazon actually has been competitive on pricing for the better part of the last 4 months. For a significant period of time, it was priced at $224. It JUST went back up to $240 yesterday, I believe. It also went down as far as $214 for several days. I know, because I almost purchased it. I've been tracking it since I have a $100 gift card to Amazon. That, plus the fact that there's no shipping and tax for this California kid, make it the best choice.

  • Lemonjellow - Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - link

    Does not have them... That is unless someone from my team stocked them in the wrong place thinking they were flower vases or some such...
  • ogreslayer - Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - link

    Where I live they do; I got a 40GB there for 129.99 on 6/10/10. I was rather surprised. At my store it was stacked under the flash drives and near the externals rather than with all the internal drives on the other end of the isle. Was kinda an impulse buy
  • kevinqian - Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - link

    When are we gonna see a full review of the RealSSD C300? It seems to be in every benchmark you have but i can't seem to find the official review of it.
  • 7Enigma - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    Read the article. Anand mentions it at the end. After all the firmware issues that drive had it makes sense that a full review was shelved until a stable release is available.
  • Ronald Hummelink - Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - link

    Intel may not hold the performance crown, but they are rather competative still when you take price into consideration.

    Allmost all drives that are faster then the X25-M G2 are also more or a lot more expensive. This is very hard to judge easily in Anands SSD bench DB, as its only looking performance, not price.
  • icrf - Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - link

    I am waiting patently for a 160 GB Intel G3 for less than $250. I just bought a copy of Windows 7, but will probably hold off installing it until I get an SSD. Then I'll have to decide whether or not to just build a whole new computer, too....tis the woes of gadget-lust.

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