Fastest / Best SSD For The Money ! ( ~300$ )

I am building a new system which i'll purchase in about 1 month, i've set aside a 300$ budget for a a SSD to use as OS/Programs drive. I know there is a new Intel ssd coming out soon (hopefully?) and also Sandforce2, im not sure if I should wait ? I wouldnt want to wait more than 2-3 months though...

Concidering this, which ssd would you buy ?

I'm really looking forward to your answers, i've done some reasearch and those are the 3 currently available options that I found :

From what I understand, Intel X25-M 120GB SATA IIis a good candidate in terms of quality / reliability ? The specs arent that great though...250MB/s Read + 100MB/s Write

Another option is the Corsaire Performance 3 Serie 120GB SATA III , which seems to pack lots more performance : 410 MB/s
Read + 210MB/s Write
.... double the intel model ! probably due to sata3.

Finally, there is the the peculiar OCZ RevoDrive 120gb PCI Express which has currently from what i can tell the BESt performance : 540MB/s
read + 490MB/s write
!!! thats insane write speed... But the problem with this model is that its a pcie card... which to me seems weird / uncommon and im not really sure if there are any downside to this... also, im not too sure about the reliability of OCZ, it does have a 3 year warranty just like all the other drives but still, i really dont want ANY issues... and i do hope my drive will last more than 3 years. ( dont you HATE when electronics start to fail right after the warranty expire ? )

But what if I wait... ?
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  1. I would purchase a drive now to take advantage of the reduced prices instead of waiting for the newer models. If you have a motherboard with SATA III then go with the Crucial RealSSD C300 or the Corsair Performance 3 (this is a newer model SSD), otherwise go for a Sandforce 1200 SATA II drive (such as the OCZ Vertex 2). The RevoDrive is faster, but it costs more and takes up a PCI-e slot which may limit your SLI options.

    As far as reliability goes, OCZ lists their Vertex 2 series as having 2 million hours MTBF. For comparison, WD lists their VelociRaptor drives as 1.4 million hours MTBF.
  2. Here's a brief progress report.

    Corsair has relased their brand new Performance 3 series ssd's which are SATA III capable. They were first to market. The ssd'd are already available at newegg: [...] me=Corsair

    Two days ago news articles indicated Intel will be releasing their much awaited ssd's next month. They will actually release two series - The G3 which will be a new and improved version of their G2 ssd's. Those will be SATA II drives. The big surprise I was really hoping for will be their brand new 510 series which is SATA III capable.

    OCZ will be releasing their brand new Vertex 3 ssd's. However, current estimates, rumors, and opinions seem to indicate they will not be available until May.

    No word yet from Crucial.

    Vendors will probably be selling current drives at reduced prices to make room for the newer drives. already had a shell shocker deal and a daily deal. For a brief time the low capacity Crucial C300 and OCZ Vertex 2 were available for $99.99.

    The title of your thread includes the word "fastest". Fastest is a relative term. Different ssd's claim to be the fastest at something or other. There are many different benchmarks that measure different processes. It really depends on what you want the ssd to do.
  3. Not sure what you mean by "what I want the ssd to do" ? I mentionned that it would be for the OS and programs(including games)... I have a separate 1tb data storage for my images, videos, music, archives.

    Thanks Johnny for the headsup on the new intel models, here is what is said about them :

    Arriving in a 2.5-inch form factor, the 510 drives will provide read speeds up to 450 MB/s, write speeds up to 300 MB/s, and reportedly be capable of 20,000 IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second) for 4 KB reads and 4,000 IOPS for 4 KB writes. The SSDs will also feature multi-level cell (MLC) NAND memory chips manufactured on 34-nm process technology (although Intel has the means to produce 25-nm chips as seen with the G3). The drives will arrive in at least two capacities: 120 GB ($279) and 250 GB ($579).

    Originally it was believed that the G3 SSDs would launch in February. By comparison, these will offer read speeds up to 250 MB/s, write speeds up to 170 MB/s, and use NAND memory chips manufactured on 25-nm process technology. The G3 drives will also reportedly be capable of up to 50,000 IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second) for 4 KB reads and 4,000 IOPS for 4 KB writes. Various flavors include 1.8-inch and 2.5-inch form factors, and capacities of 80 GB, 160 GB, 300 GB and 600 GB.

    If you only look at the read/write speeds of the 510 series, it looks like they are far superior to the G3 series, but then there is also the IOPS... which im not sure what this represents, but the G3 has more than double the 510 series read IOPS....

    Anyhow, it seems like it would be good to wait for the 510 series at least, see how it compares to the other ones.

    So for now the Intel X25 is definitively out. I am also removing the OCZ RevoDrive from the list because it may limit my SLI Options.

    I am adding the Crucial RealSSD C300 128GB SATA III to the list though, it has up to 355MB/s read and 140MB/s Write, which is not that bad. The Corsair Performance 3 seems to have better performance but it is also 55$ more expensive, not sure if it is worth it.

    the OCZ Vertez 2 is out because it uses SATA II. Write speeds are good but read isnt as good as the other drives.
  4. My feeling is that in this next wave of drives the speeds are all great enough that I will not be able to saturate them for some time. ie I have nothing that can write to the drive at 100MB/s +. Also, iops greater than 40k read are plenty for booting windows, photoshop, and office, on my machine.

    So, it really is coming down to price/gb. For that I await the g3 25nm drives. Apparently these crucial drives will be in the neighbourhood of $1.69/GB at release? Fine, $200 for 120Gb? Probably enough for me. Lower would be better.

    ... my 2 cents
  5. I was going to ask your same question but in the form of:

    Would 2x Vertex 2 80gb or 60gb's(Raided) be better than getting the OCZ RevoDrive 120gb?

    I know that the Revo is the fastest thing I have ever seen, and 120gb's of it will be 309$.

    The Vertex 2 80gbx2 is 170$ and would equal 340$

    However the Vertex 2 60gb only costs 115$ giving you two 230$ and enough to get a third for whatever.

    I am thinking that the revo has more potential being that it isn't locked down by the bandwidth of sata 2 or 3. Pci-e gives it more freedom to hit 500mb's read and over 400mb's write.

    This will not effect my CFX setup, but I know that it lacks in the TRIM department. I wanted a second opinion on whether a raid configuration would even match the speeds of the Revo??
  6. While researching ssd drives I crossed over into the maintream big business world. I discovered that SATA ssd's are not the wave of the future. Instead, PCI-e based ssd's will be the focus of attention. A consortium of industry leaders are already pushing to make PCI-e the standard for ssd's. It will take a very long time for PCI-e drives to be fully developed and mass produced at an affordable price that will eventually trickle down to the gaming and enthusiast niches.
  7. The Revo Drive is PCI-e Based and it is affordable if were talking 300$?

    I do think that companys won't be limited to the power of sata, and PCI-e gives GPU's so much room, they should utlize this for all SSD's.

    I realized that the two ssd's in Raid will only give it a 30-35% boost, making even the Vertex 2 in raid not worth because of the loss of trim and still won't hit 400mb/s

    I plan to get the Revo Drive when I order my new sandy bridge, which will be compatible!
  8. That's kinda like asking "What's the best tool ?" Is it a hammer or a screwdriver ? Well it depends on whether ya wanna bang in a nail or put in a crew. Right now there are two families to choose from:

    Corsair P3 / Crucial C300 - These are basically the same thing as both use the same Marvell controller, the difference with the Corsair is they have updated firmware. Both have very fast read speeds (410 for P3 - 355 for C300) but both have relatively poor write (210 - 140) speeds.

    Vertex 2 & other Sandforce based SSD's - have comparable read (285) and write (275) speeds. Sandforce 3 is expected to arrive in may and they are talking 550 read - 525 write.

    If all ya want the thing to do is read, the Marvel's are your ticket .... if write performance is a concern (swap file, temp file, scratch disk usage), then the Sandforce is your baby.
  9. The c400 should hit soon.

    It is a difficult time to make a decision. Maybe wait for sandy bridge to mature (ie give us more chips to chew on) and set a date (or a price point) to jump!

    Perhaps Feb. 15 or even March 15. Check all the sales starting on Wed. Feb. the 9th and start buying components. By the 15th you should have a great sandy bridge/ssd setup that will knock your socks off. Beat it down for a couple of years and do it all again!
  10. If you are in the United States, then Monday, February 21st is a national holiday. There should be some very good sales.
  11. The revo drive is nothing special. It is actually setup in raid 0. You would be better putting Crucial or Corsair 64G drives. And you would have less issues.
  12. Is that why it doesn't support TRIM?
  13. I think I am going to get the Corsair Performance 3's instead!
  14. Salt-City_Slasher said:
    Is that why it doesn't support TRIM?

    It seems that TRIM is possible for some PCIe SSD cards :

    However, If the Revo Drive doesnt support TRIM , then i'd say this is a big reason not to buy it, no ?

    Unless TRIM is overrated ? idk i just dont wanna mess with things i dont know much about and that could affect my data... So for now its the the Crucial or Corsair models that are leading, waiting for C400 and/or Intel 510 to come out...
  15. I was doing some more investigating/researching and the limited increase the C300 offers in read is no match for the uncomparable speeds of its write with the OCZ's.

    Sata 3 is cool and all, but I mainly will just need a good read, but the C300 is just to slow at writing.

    Check this out, this is what opened my eyes a little bit:

    Since this is my mobo I want, I came across this when checking benchmarks!

    I just think the 285/275 is way more balanced in my opinion.
    However there are some things that will only be done by reading, so in those cases the C300 would be more preferable.
  16. I forgot to add this, It shows a very detailed comparison between the C300 vs Vertex 2.

    Since C300 increases write speeds from the 64-128-256, while the Vertex is the same across the board, they have a

    C300 64vs128vs256vsVertex 100gb

    "So who do you pick? The big company with a controller that behaves more traditionally, yet still tops the charts. Or the smaller company, with a controller that acts more like a rockstar.

    If you’re running Windows 7, have a 6Gbps controller and want a 256GB drive, go Crucial. If you’re running any other OS, are using RAID or can only afford a 128GB drive, go SandForce." -Conclusion
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