Seven... SSD sizzlers
Speed-boost upgrades for your laptop
Product Round-up While there’s no escaping the fact that solid-state drives are still expensive, they are steadily getting cheaper and the capacities are increasing. For the average PC user to be convinced that it is a must-have upgrade, the performance benefits would really need to be experienced.
Costs aside, no doubt concerns as to whether a system would actually benefit significantly from installing an SSD without the latest and greatest I/O bus is another factor and an area that this round-up examines.
To give you an idea of what's out there that can deliver those super sweet performance numbers, without draining your savings, this round-up looks at mostly 128GB drives with a focus on Sata 2 performance measured with Crystal DiskMark. If budget is of no concern to you, a couple of the latest Sata 3 models are included for good measure.
Corsair Force 120GB
Corsair doesn’t include any additional kit, just the 3.5in adapter plate and accompanying screws should you wish to use the drive in a full-size tower. No additional software or accessories. The Vertex 2 packs an SF-1200 controller from SandForce. In the past several manufacturers have used this controller with great success, such as OCZ, Patriot and, of course, Corsair. Despite all the praise it received, the SF-1200 is an early 2010 design and as such now seems to show its age, unable to see 200MB/s in any operation, things aren’t looking so good. It does, however, still perform fantastically with smaller operations, ousting most of the competition except some of those featuring newer Marvell controllers. If you’re looking for a more affordable low-capacity boot drive then these models are a great choice, but they’re certainly not top of the charts anymore.
Reg Rating 75%
Price £170 (120GB), £250 (160GB)
More Info Corsair
Next page: Crucial M4 256GB
Drive size is important
Drive size is important whilst benchmarking as the lower capacity drives have less chips rather than smaller ones. This means you can have fewer active data paths and so the smaller drives are slower. 3 of the 7 drives in this test used larger drives and so they will show greater performance than you would have seen with all 128GB drives. So its not exactly a fair comparison.
UK site, prices qoted in GBP so why are the links to amazon.com not .co.uk?
Couple of tips...
I bought a 40GB SSDNow about 18 months ago, best/biggest I could afford without various TRIM and stuttering issues. Promptly installed Windows 7 on it and it really will transform your computer!
Bear in mind, by default, Windows will create a swap file and a hibernate file the same size as the RAM in your PC, in my case, it created 2x 8GB files, that is instantly 16GB of the 37GB available plus Windows itself. Add in Apple and Chrome creating all their data files on the C partition without asking and you will run out of space very, very fast!
I've made my swap file 512MB, switched off hibernate and system restore and used 'mklink' to create junction points to move things like Apples backups to the spinning disks. Happy enough at the moment but currently looking at drives around the 120GB mark. It's also worth noting that many controllers perform much worse with smaller drives so if you are comparing performance figures, it must be on the size of the drive you are considering.
Using these drives for backup is ridiculous. Use 2TB drives in RAID-1 instead.
These drives are performance enhancers, not volume storage.
At normal usage levels (ie not hammering them with 100GB of backup data per night) this current generation of SSDs should last about 10 years according to most recent studies on the subject.
Remember, mechanical drives fail too. Often well before 10 years if they are in regular use. The difference with an SSD is that the moment of failure is (usually) predictable and measurable.
In terms of power, SSDs generally use a little less than mechanical drives.
All current generation should have TRIM support, with some of the newer/newest ones not really even needing it as the controllers have started running their own garbage collection.
I think Tom's or Anand has much more info on the topic - and apologies in advance if I'm not exactly accurate with my comments above.