SSDs compete on cost and speed as Samsung and SanDisk chime in

Looking to speed up that ageing laptop or desktop of yours with a replaced hard drive? It’s time to consider a solid state drive, with two on the way priced for speed and cost effectiveness.

Solid state drives are gradually making a dent on the computer world, providing faster access times with some battery saving special sauce thanks to the lack of moving parts, even if conventional drives still offer more space.

That said, the speed and battery savings are more or less unmatched when compared to a regular hard drive, and that’s helping to drive sales, with gamers and creative types loving the performance, while anyone else keen to salvage an older laptop loving the improvements to battery life.

This week, two solid state offerings have popped up in the news, as Samsung launches something for those who love the speed, while SanDisk takes the side of cost effectiveness.

Now both drives are different, but given they’re based on the same area, we figured we’d save some space and put the two in the one story, showcasing the technologies simultaneously.

First up is SanDisk’s Ultra II SSD, which the company is reporting as an “ease, cost-effective solution to supercharge your PC,” similar to an article we wrote a year ago about how to bring a laptop back from the dead with an SSD, taking it out of retirement with one part change.

For SanDisk’s new solid state offering, the technology available offers read speeds of up to 550MB/s and write speeds of just under this at 500MB/s, with some improvements to battery life and caching technology. SanDisk has also made some improvements to the drivers used here, providing firmware updates and security information.

“We live in an era where we expect to have information at our fingertips anytime, anywhere, with technology that keeps us connected to both our personal and work lives on devices that won’t fail,” said George Saad, SanDisk’s Country Manager for Australia and New Zealand.

“The new SanDisk Ultra II SSD, together with the improved SSD Dashboard, provides consumers with an easy, affordable way to ensure that their PC can keep pace with their increasingly connected, information-driven lifestyle.”

Prices for SanDisk’s Ultra II solid state drives start at $110 for 120GB, with 240GB fetching $160, 480GB coming in at $300, and an almost 1TB size of 960GB grabbing $590.

But that’s a solution for cost, and while that might suit some people, speed and long-term durability could be what you’re after.

If that’s the case, Samsung’s latest release of the 850 Pro SSD might be what you should look into, taking advantage of a proprietary 3D architecture inside the drive that contributes to better energy efficiency, speed, and some extra endurance for extended read and write amounts over time.

Speeds are marginally increased, we’re told, with the same 550MB/s read time, but a slightly faster 520MB/s write speed, and some performance increases to to random read and write operations.

“The new proprietary 3D V-NAND technology solidifies Samsung’s position as a leader in SSD technology by offering high performance and endurance that is backed by a 10 year warranty,” said Samsung’s Todd Lynton, Director for Samsung’s Business Solutions in Australia. “We know the 850 Pro will satisfy Australian enthusiasts and gamers that demand the fastest seek and transfer times in their applications.”

Pricing on this one is a little different, with the replacement to last year’s Samsung 840 boasting nearly identical pricing, with 128GB fetching $189, 256GB going for $379, 512GB netting $749, and 1TB scoring the $999 price point.

All that’s left for you to do is work out which offering is best for your system, and then grab the screwdriver and get to changing drives.