Crucial M4 256GB
This Crucial drive uses Marvell’s new 88SS9174-BKK2 controller, and should hopefully fill the empty gaps experienced with its predecessor, the C300. Although this is a Sata 3 drive, the prices are very close to its Sata 2 brethren, making this potentially a good buy if the numbers add up. Indeed, Crucial and Marvell have done themselves proud on this one, all the right boxes are ticked with the major I/O all happening above 200MB/s and excellent random read/write performance at the low end. While the peak performance still might not be able to beat Samsung’s 470 drives, I could see many opting for this drive for the Sata 3 interface if they’re looking ahead to reuse this on future devices supporting this bus.
Reg Rating 90%
Price £187 (128GB), £375 (256GB), £748 (512GB)
More Info Crucial
Intel 320 300GB
The new 320 series packs a proprietary controller and a Sata 2 interface along with a competitive price. Intel also claims 270MB/s reads and 220MB/s writes, which sounds quite plausible. A lower capacity drive wasn’t available so a 300GB model was used for testing. It notched up 255MB/s which isn’t quite 270MB/s, but it’s pretty damn close – so sequential reads are good, and there’s that promised 220MB/s sequential write too, right where it should be. Random performance suffers somewhat, but if these numbers can also be seen by the 128GB version I’d say it’s worth a punt, considering it’s the cheapest here at £130. If it’s capacity you’re after, then when it comes to value for money this one’s an easy choice – you can have the 600GB 320 Series for £665 or Kingston’s 512GB V+ 100 for £1000.
Reg Rating 80%
Price £70 (40GB), £140 (80GB), £180 (120GB), £250 (160GB), £450 (300GB), £850 (600GB).
More Info Intel
Next page: Kingston SSDNow V+ 100 128GB
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.