Street prices higher than expected for Intel 335 Series SSD

Intel’s new 335 Series 240GB SSD has a suggested retail price of $184, which works out to just 77 cents per gigabyte. When Intel briefed us on the drive, it indicated that street prices could be different—and they are. The 335 Series started selling online yesterday, and a perusal of active listings reveals that actual selling prices are quite a bit higher than Intel’s MSRP.

Newegg, for example, is charging $210 for the drive. That price includes free shipping, but it’s still 14% higher than we were expecting. Amazon doesn’t fare any better. It’s selling the 335 Series for $209, and you’ll have to pay extra for shipping. Among major US e-tailers, Buy.com seems to have the lowest price, at $195. Shipping is another $9 on top of that, which is the same as what Amazon is charging to have the drive sent to your door.

Surprisingly, Canadian customers are getting a bit of a break. Newegg’s northern outpost lists the 335 Series for $200, while NCIX is selling it for $202. Neither of those vendors offers free shipping in Canada. However, NCIX’s US site charges $201 for the drive, and that appears to include ground shipping at no extra charge.

SSD prices have been falling steadily, but the price war that fueled much of that decline seems to be waning as OCZ backs off on the deep discounts typically attached to its drives. (Overly aggressive “customer incentive programs” were blamed for OCZ’s Q2 net loss.) Also, in just the past couple of days, the price of Samsung’s 830 Series 256GB has jumped from $170 to $190-200. That model is on its way out, and the 840 Series drives that replace it are no cheaper.

I suspect prices will fall again as competition for holiday shopping dollars heats up, but they may not return to their previous lows, at least for this generation of drives. Intel’s 335 Series uses next-generation NAND that should be cheaper to produce, though. Let’s hope lower production costs allow the drive’s street price to hit Intel’s $184 target sooner rather than later.

Comments closed
    • AlvinTheNerd
    • 7 years ago

    I am use to new hardware costing more right around launch. Very high prices for those that offer it before launch and typically higher most prices right after launch. In the past, as long as there is quanity, this goes away with a day or two as the retailers quickly get into a price war.

    But that doesn’t seem to be happening anymore. Newegg especially is keeping things kinda on the high price side for new products for a month or more after launch. The FX processors are still at the higher launch price. New cases are priced higher. And higher end SSD’s are priced higher until something newer is launched (though this is only about 2 weeks anymore). Amazon’s hardware prices usually follow newegg by 12 hours and thus has stayed high as well.

    Is this a change in Newegg? Trying to make money off their a reputation of customer service instead of using prices to build reputation as in the past? Or is it a more general trend that retailers are trying to make more money off premium hardware since they expect lower volume on everything else?

    • bcronce
    • 7 years ago

    I’ll be really happy if name-brand SSDs can hit $0.50/GB by first half of next year.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      BUT! will you *yawn* until then?!

        • bcronce
        • 7 years ago

        I just want to build a RAID next year using SSDs and it would help a lot if they dropped even a little by then. I’m only aiming for 256-512GB and a hot spare or two to start with, then expand that ever year.

        It won’t be enough for a “media” server, but enough to start storing stuff like docs and photos/etc.

          • AlvinTheNerd
          • 7 years ago

          I don’t see the advantage of SSD in storage arrys even at only 2x the cost of HDD. Storage arrays are about the cost of keeping the data and additional copies are far more valuable than fractional better reliability. If SSD costs are only 2x, the cost to have proper spares would allow a HDD array to have many more spares.

          It is the same reason that once you hit storage requirements large enough, tape is used over HDD.

          The only advantage I would see would be a hybrid where you keep data on HDD and on SDD. Since the storage mechanism is so different, you reduce the chance of losing data due to more systematic problems in either type of hardware. Even then, I would make the SSD an asynchronous, non-raid backup of important files.

            • bcronce
            • 7 years ago

            Current recommendations is not to use drives larger than 2TB in RAID because of rebuild times. The other consideration is power costs and inconvenience of heat management. You also have the whole argument of performance.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 7 years ago

      I just got a Samsung 830 256GB for 169.99. You just need to look a little for details. Don’t let a few cents be your “excuse”.

        • shaq_mobile
        • 7 years ago

        same here. awesome purchase. this thing hauls nuts!

    • sschaem
    • 7 years ago

    Pricing the drive this way is great to reduce your overstock of Korean made SSD?

    Intel is strong enough to weather price wars from Asia for years,
    but smaller shop will be destroyed.

    Samsung own the entire production line (They probably even make the trucks that dig the raw material from the earth to make the factories, that makes the ship, that transport the SSDs).
    If they decide to sell at cost, or a bit below cost In 12 month expect the little guy to fire people left and right.

    Luckily for american, SSD manufacturer, company have moved those job to Asia (Like OZC building its factory in taiwan), so it just mean the manufacturing capacity will be absorbed by the bigger conglomerate.

    • NeelyCam
    • 7 years ago

    Newegg always gouges customers in the beginning. Nothing new here.

    • spuppy
    • 7 years ago

    At $190 I think the Vertex 4 is the best deal. Good performance, solid steady state performance (doesn’t slow to a crawl once it becomes a used drive), good price, and 5 year warranty (although who knows if OCZ will be around in 1 year let alone 5)

    In that case I’d take a Samsung 830

    If the 335 really was >$190, I would pick it up in a heartbeat.

      • Duck
      • 7 years ago

      OK, what if some data is in the massive cache of the Vertex 4 about to be written to the NAND when the power to the drive is cut? Data or filesystem corruption? Sandforce drives are famously 0MB cache drives. You won’t get that problem.

        • spuppy
        • 7 years ago

        What if my house catches on fire?

        • willmore
        • 7 years ago

        0MB of *external* cache. We have no idea what they have on chip.

          • Duck
          • 7 years ago

          No idea at all? Well it’s not going to be much, is it? 100s of KB or less I would expect. Probably the drive could write all the cache to NAND OK during a power outage. But even if it couldn’t, with a total cache size 1/1000th the size (or of a similarly small amount), the chance of there being a problem during a power outage should be all that less likely.

        • flip-mode
        • 7 years ago

        Windows 7 system backup.

      • Ethyriel
      • 7 years ago

      OCZ has some pretty decent assets now, with the Indilinx acquisition. Someone will buy them if things get that bad, and hopefully honor the warranties.

      • wierdo
      • 7 years ago

      I’d take the Samsung 830 personally, Samsung’s reliability record is a big plus when it comes to my data. OCZ needs to work on their reputation, their quality assurance needs a little work imho.

    • brucethemoose
    • 7 years ago

    No surprise there, you pay a hefty premium for the Intel logo.

    Sad too. With their NAND fab tech, Intel can undercut almost everyone in price, but choose not to.

      • 5150
      • 7 years ago

      Brand and reputation is worth a lot of money. Ask Apple.

      • absurdity
      • 7 years ago

      However, Intel can’t control if Newegg and others decide to price it higher than the MSRP. Once it starts listing at the MSRP, it will be very competitive, price-wise.

      • phileasfogg
      • 7 years ago

      >>> Sad too. With their NAND fab tech, Intel can undercut almost everyone in price, but choose not to.

      I wouldn’t quite jump to that conclusion. Intel pays Micron Tech to produce their NAND flash chips. Micron sells these chips to Intel “at cost” – it says so in Micron’s quarterly earnings report (has been that way for many quarters now). So I don’t think there’s quite the wiggle room for SSD pricing as there is with CPUs and chipsets. And if you add in the cost of the 3rd party flash controller, Intel probably doesn’t have much to “give” in component costs. It can only differentiate itself on a) firmware quality and b) drive build quality (reliability). Both of which are obviously very good.

        • Game_boy
        • 7 years ago

        Intel have to get 60% gross margins or else lose their standing among very low-risk investors. So btm’s statement is correct, they could sell cheaper but they choose not to.

        This is how AMD survives as well, they sell at 40% gross margins to undercut Intel where they can but still profit some.

      • indeego
      • 7 years ago

      This isn’t a monopoly by any means. We have more selection and choices than ever before. The market pays what it wants to. Take advantage of the situation and spend less on another brand, and you might feel good on the inside. It is kinda silly to worry what other people will pay for a product or who sells what at what rate, (unless that is something you are paid to do?).

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