Adoption of solid state drives, at least at the end-user level, has been stymied to a degree by the cost of the drives when compared to traditional hard drives. To overcome this, at least partially, manufacturers have turned to multi-level cell NAND flash memory chips which are cheaper to produce and allow them to keep prices in check. Single-level cell technology holds a couple of benefits over MLC but is more expensive; two of those benefits are performance and longevity due to greater write/erase cycle endurance. However, due to costs issues, most SLC-based SSDs have been found in the enterprise market where performance is paramount and costs are not as much of an issue.
OCZ today announced a new series of SSDs called Agility EX that make use of SLC NAND based memory at a more affordable price point. Equipped with an Indilinx controller, the Agility EX offers greater performance compared to MLC flash drives, especially when you take the greater life span and total cost of ownership into account. The drives feature 64MB of onboard cache and up to 255MB/s read and 195MB/s write speeds. The OCZ drives also come with upgradable firmware and unique performance optimization to keep the drives at peak performance.
Initially offered in a 64GB model, OCZ didn't disclose when the drives would become available but did make known a suggested retail price of $399US.