Over the last few months the price of flash storage has been on a steady downhill curve and this drop in price has effected multiple sectors of the storage market. On one front, SSDs on the upper end of the capacity scale have been coming more and more affordable and as a result users have been able to get faster and larger drives instead. On another front and one which affects the product that I’m looking at today, the cost of producing larger flash drives, or ‘memory sticks’ as they are commonly known, has plummeted and high-capacity drives are more than within the budget of most of us out there who need them.
The way to look at this drop in price is to look at how expensive flash drives used to be only a few years ago. When you went online or into your high street retailer to get a flash drive, the cost of getting a 2GB drive for example was very costly and typically you saw 1GB and even 512MB drives commonly being used. Today we laugh at the cost of a 2GB drive and now we are literally being given 4GB and 8GB drives for free and this leads us back round to the statement above about how the price of storage drops over time to a more affordable level.
Putting the cost of storage to the side for a moment and taking a little trip down memory lane, we are no strangers to Mach Xtreme and the drives that they have to offer with this being the fourth drive that I’ve had to look at. Not only is this the fourth drive, but it is also the biggest, yet smallest drive that I’ve had in to review, which once again ties in with the points made above. Typically the drives that I’ve seen before now have featured SLC NAND inside and to bring this down to earth, this meant that the cost of producing the drives was a little higher in order to offer up the faster write speeds that early USB3.0 drives failed to provide. SLC NAND at the same time doesn’t suffer from the same high rates of wear over time when compared to the more affordable MLC NAND, but with advances in technology, MLC NAND now offers the best of both worlds with faster speeds and greater storage density. The end result is a drive that is faster, smaller and cheaper than before – just what everyone wants to hear in this day in age!
Like every other Mach Xtreme drive that I’ve seen, the MX-LX comes on a card back with a plastic shell holding the drive in place. On the front and rear of the card we get the usual array of information with the drives capacity clearly stated, a note highlighting the drives optimisation for Asus motherboards and on the back a run-down on the drives specifications and features.