'Affordable' SSDs to get mainstream approval this year -

With hard drive shortages and falling NAND flash prices, there have been many claims that this could be the year when SSDs really hit the mainstream.

And with cloud computing increasingly popular who needs a over a terabyte of data anyway?

Of course this may be heavily disputed by those in charge of knocking out HDDs, but with big jumps in performance and increasingly accessible price points SSDs are certainly becoming more viable.

Speaking to Kingston Technologies SSD specialist Marco Biermann at CeBIT, it is clear the fight between the fight to grab market share from HDD is set to increase.

“Hard drives have really held back performance of a system,” he says. “It is the slowest component in the system.”

Of course the SSD speed boost is a clear winner over a hard disk drive, but the issue of price is one which is critical to reaching the mainstream usage that Kingston belives we are beginning to see.

“In the UK the price is sitting about a pound a gigabyte, so it is becoming more and more cost effective to go out and buy a computer with a 120 GB SSD.”

“Last year customers were discussing a 60 or 90 GB SSD, it was a big decision at that point because the price was still quite high.  Now we have reached a tipping point a 120 GB SSD isn’t a big deal.”

While prices may still be well above what is paid for on a HDD, Kingston claims that it has truly become “affordable” at last.

Aside from purchasing computers Kingston is attempting to increase the numbers upgrading old systems.  Of course this is problematic in itself with many PC or laptop owners breaking into a sweat at the thought of playing around with the innards of a machine.

“From a customer perspective it is a daunting task - taking a hard drive is like a brain operation. So how do you make it easy for people to do?”

According to Kingston cloning an operating system with Acronis software is a quick way to switch over without

“It is becoming a lot more easy to manage. In under one hour you are good to go – you don’t even need to reinstall your operating system.  Afterwards you can even use your hard drive as storage afterwards, and use it is a back up.”

Problems cited with reliability are also being overcome Biermann says, with Kingston apparently missing out on problems its competitors have suffered from.

“One of the reason we were six months we were six months later with Sandforce SSD is that we were in the process of testing the firmware to ensure that it works well out of the box. We were the only ones not to have bluescreen issues.”