As SSD prices continue to decline, manufacturers continue to reduce the number of hardware accessories included with products. Desktop adapter brackets, screws, SATA data and power cables and other trinkets were once standard with SSDs, but add to the overall cost of product. High performance SSDs routinely sell at 50 cents per gigabyte, and value SSDs sometimes dip into the 35 cents per gigabyte range.
We can point our finger at several reason why SSDs have become so cheap over the last two years. Lithography shrinks have reduced the cost of flash, higher adaption rates are also a factor. Another reason is a good 'ol price war between FabCos (Fab Companies: SSD makers that also produce NAND flash - Crucial, Intel, Samsung, SanDisk and Toshiba/OCZ Storage Solutions) with guaranteed access to flash pulled the pin on the grenade and steadily decreased the cost of consumer SSDs.
Lower retail prices also mean lower margins per retail product sold. Accessories like desktop adapter brackets, screws and other accessories made by third-parties and bundled with SSDs have a fixed price and that adds to the overall cost of SSDs. For the last year, we've seen the extravagant bundles replaced by software bundles. In many cases, the software is built-in house and distributed for free as a value add-on with all SSDs from a manufacturer. The initial cost of the development is the only major cost and it doesn't multiply with the number of products sold, as is the case with hardware accessories.
In our consumer SSD product reviews, we usually mention if a product has a software package and gloss over the features without a lot of detail. In reality though, the SSD Toolbox / Dashboard / Magician software is very detailed, with multiple functions, features and packed with useful information.
Today we're taking a deep dive into the major software releases from SSD manufacturers. We're going to roll through them in alphabetical order and see what each company has to offer.
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