In preparation for CES we learned that RunCore would have a new SandForce model ready for us to test, so we shipped our TweakTown Storage Product Workstation to the desert to get our first taste of SandForce goodness. Maybe it was a language issue, but we were told that the CES Pro V we looked at was final hardware and ready to be produced in mass production. If this was the case, then RunCore was in a position to compete head to head with OCZ who had sent Anand an early sample just days before our CES test.
After the CES test things were very quiet from RunCore and for the most part still are. The pair of RunCore Pro V 100GB drives that arrived at the TweakTown U.S. Lab looked nothing like the SandForce SF-1500 / MLC drive we tested at CES. We know OCZ was planning on releasing a similar SF-1500 / MLC drive and that model was scrapped between the time the drive arrived in our test lab and our article went live. The reason given for this by OCZ was a high end user cost from the SF-1500 controller when compared to the relatively cheap SF-1200 consumer part. We heard rumors of these two parts having a cost difference of around 100 USD with the enterprise focused 1500 being one of the most expensive SSD controllers to purchase in recent time.
With OCZ backing down from a hybrid 1500 / MLC drive, it makes since for RunCore to do the same for the consumer market. Think of it kind of like The Cold War; CES was RunCore's partner's big moment and the first shots were fired from the cannons. Since then everyone has realized that they don't want a full on war at this time at a 600 USD price point for a 100GB product.
The war everyone's involved in wants to see it actually paying out now and will get even more heated as time goes on. That is the full consumer class SF-1200 / MLC battle that I have already written five articles on this month alone. When I say everyone, I truly mean everyone; from manufacturer, to distributors and even you, the consumer. As these companies struggle to sell products in this tough economy, it is understood that deep discounts get potential buyers attention. Selling a product at a lower price means less revenue for a company, but at least they are able to make money rather than pay for expensive warehouse storage.
RunCore hasn't taken the 1500 / MLC drive off the table, though; it has just moved into the enterprise category and it is now going by the name Kylin II.
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