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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  • Taft12 - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    Perhaps WD and Seagate are waiting for more competitive product before taking it direct to consumers like that.

    Best Buy customers could care less about the performance differences between Intel, Sandforce, Indillinx, etc. SSD controllers. The problem is that at this price, this is not a profitable product to take up shelf space at Best Buy. External WD hard drives on the other hand (at BB retail price) have a very tasty profit margin.
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  • Ammohunt - Wednesday, June 23, 2010 - link

    I used to spend alot of cash as Best Buy 5 years ago(getting married and having kids changes things) and generally had good shopping experiinces there lately my store visits have been followed by a "why the hell did i go there" anyway frankly speaking Best buy is that last place i would buy computer components i would rather pay a few dollars more to buy from newegg. Reply
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