P.S. By the way, if I see the SSD Performance Hierarchy Chart from Tom's hardware, it seems like M4 has bad performance compared to (Does the chart reflect dramatic difference in performance??? both over different products and different size?)
Far as reliability goes, the only SSDs I will personally use in a customers PC right now are the samsung 830 and the crucial M4. The speed is very close in real world use, so I often use the M4 due to pricing, when the 830 is only 5-10 more I usually go with that. I hate the OCZ drives, all of them, maybe in a couple years I'll give them another chance, but currently I will not use them
I have had a 120GB Vertex III for over 8 months and it has been very good and fast. But if reliability is more important than performance, then you may wish to opt for the m4. The m4 had a firmware update a couple of months ago that put performance on par with the Vertex and others, so I don't think its slow.
For my next SSD, I am likely going to get the Mushkin Chronos deluxe. The Synchronous Nand is longer lasting and works better with incompressible data. Their prices are competitive, and they are an American company. The regular chronos is asynchronous.
(Does the chart reflect dramatic difference in performance??? both over different products and different size?)
If ya read the page, each tier ya drop is roughly a 10% performance drop.
so Tier 6 to Tier 3 = 1.1 x 1.1 x 1.1 = 1.33
So a tier 3 is 33 % faster, thereabouts, than a tier 6 .... according to the article's author. As far as reliability, there is so m much assumption and conjecture, with little of it based upon fact. Recently saw a pot that the peep stated:
"I'm buying an Intel 520 because Sandforce controllers are unreliable".
The 520 uses a SF controller
Most of the information on the web is anecdotal or "history" ..... that is things fixed by firmware updates. The other thing not oft taken into account when peeps slam one brand over another is they aren't comparing apples and apples..... the Vertex 3 (and Enhanced Chronos) uses different flash memory than the Vertex 3 Max IOPS (and Chronos Deluxe).
I'm inclined to agree w/ what THG says here:
With all ten of these SSDs leveraging the same controller hardware, flash memory becomes the key element in defining a given drive's performance. That's not to say all of these drives sport similar reliability. Taking shortcuts by using cheaper power components, for instance, can negatively affect one brand's models more so than a competing vendor leveraging higher-quality parts. But when it comes to the performance data, synchronous NAND, for example, means OCZ's Vertex 3 behaves an awful lot like Corsair's Force GT.
So, what's our lesson at the end of the day? When it comes to picking a 60 GB SandForce-based boot drive, NAND type is the biggest determinant of performance (although these drives are all significantly faster than anything with magnetic disks). And if you're worried about reliability, that difficult-to-quantify X factor, a vendor is only as good as its reputation. Some brands do better than others when it comes to supporting their products, so perhaps an exploration of rebate fulfillment, phone support, and RMA processing is in order next?
You alluded to NOTICEABLE difference. There is none between those three. Buy the cheapest.
The vertex 3 uses a sandforce 2281 controller and synchronous nand (this is the best there is just now.. however intel 520 is arguably the same as are a number of other company's drives).
The m4 uses a Marvell controller and... synchronous? nand. This is a great drive. Low on power use and impressive in almost every way.
The 830 uses Samsung's own controller and their own synchronous? nand. It is awesome and rivals the sandforce controller in many ways. Uses less power too.
Prices on SSDs are very well set up in today's market. The prices are tightly matched to:
first - Hardware or more importantly Performance (the 830 and vert 3 are very close in benchmarks but all 3 drives are extremely close in the real world)
second - Reliability (the 830 wins! The m4 is solid. OCZ has a bad track record but imho nothing recent)
The larger drives (240gb and up) use more nand dies and therefore they populate more of the controller's inputs thereby maximizing the controller. The difference is probably only noticeably in benchmarks.