The more solid state drives grow in popularity, the larger the need to make them affordable. As it sits now, companies are choosing between two paths to achieve low priced drives. The first has been to extend the lifecycle for current products on the market, either leaving the existing model numbers in tact or releasing a new product SKU based on existing technology. A good example of this is the Corsair Nova, a slightly revised Indilinx Barefoot controlled drive that is very close to the original Performance Series offered by Corsair last year.
The second way to achieve a low cost product is to introduce an entirely new product SKU and use older technology that is for the most part, obsolete. This also has a documented parity and can be found in the Kingston SSDNow V Series, second generation drive. The second generation V Series uses a JMicron controller once thought to have served its purpose on the market even though it was released last June at Computex. The drive performs much slower at real world tasks than the Indilinx Barefoot, but Kingston has priced the drive so low that would be purchasers with the understanding of You Get What You Pay For know that you are paying little for little performance. At 259 USD the Kingston SSDNow V Series has a much lower cost than the Corsair Nova that is currently selling for 330 USD.
I hold no ill feelings for either of these two methods when it comes to offering low cost solid state drives on the market in 2010. That said, what happens when a company chooses to take a product from paragraph 2 and price it like a product from paragraph 1? We are going to examine that today since that is exactly what Patriot has done with their entry into the low cost SSD market; Zephyr.