Hello Everyone, I am putting together a build and want to know if there is any definitive data classifying reliability of brands/models of SSD's. I know Intel undoubtedly takes the crown but I am not sure how comfortable I am spending extra for their drives. I have heard good things about the Crucial m4 and Samsung 830 but just wondering if anyone can offer some insight before I make a purchase. Thanks
To the best of my knowledge there is no "long term" definitive data. It would take 3 to 5 years to accumulate the necessary information. By then we'll all probably ugrade to something "new and improved".
For the short term one could take a look at problems and issues that have surfaced. The problems are usually related to the SSD Controller and firmware. In that respect OCZ ssd's and SandForce Controllers have had more than their fair share of problems. Samsung, Intel, and Crucial which you mentioned have been doing very well. Those are the three brands I normally recommend. Of those three I recommend Samsung. They've got a very well established track record.
I have oft seen the Intel 520 recommended for reliability as opposed to "other brands with Sandforce controllers" ..... but the 520 has a sandforce controller. I think the days of "rushing to market" are over and it would kill a company to repeat firmware problems as we've seen in the past so I expect manufacturers to be more careful. I stopped worrying about SF firmware after this:
I think many who bought before the fix are still wary but as Jonny said above, it' going to be years before we have any definitive data.
For long term life, personally, I look for Premium 3Xnm Toshiba Toggle Mode Flash. And this segways into one of the industry's most popular misconceptions that purchase decisions based upon brand names are valid. Antec and corsair make some great PSU's....they also make some crappy ones. One solid SSD from Corsair doesn't mean that all their SSD's are necessarily good. There is oft a huge difference between product lines. The Mushkin Chronos is a decent SSD but, unlike the Deluxe version does not have Premium 3Xnm Toshiba Toggle Mode Flash. The Vertex 3 Max IOPS has it, the Vertex 3 doesn't. Ones that come to ind include the Patriot Wildfire, OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G (latest revision), OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS, and Mushkin Enhanced Chronos Deluxe.
Synchronous flash, also called ONFi 2.x is really the first step for enthusiasts, especially now that prices have really dropped. The final flash type used is 3Xnm Toggle Mode flash from Toshiba, a form of ONFi 2.x without the JEDEC classification. 25nm IMFT is rated for around 5K P/E cycles and 3Xnm Toshiba Toggle Mode flash is rated for around twice as many. Even though we are talking about writing a lot of data for a very long time, the 3Xnm flash will still last even longer.
At this time there are very few consumer SSDs that use Toshiba Toggle Flash; you can count those available in the US on one hand - Vertex 3 Max IOPS Edition, Patriot WildFire, OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G (240GB capacity size only) and what we looked at today, the Mushkin Enhanced Chronos Deluxe. That said, the Chronos Deluxe is in a very limited class of products right from the gate.
To sum it all up with a bow on top, you get amazing performance, extremely long service life and a hassle free low price point on a drive that literally has very little competition in the marketplace.
With the Chronos Deluxe's current pricing, I'm inclined to agree about the lack of competition. $250 for a tier 1 240 GB SSD hurts a bit as we were paying almost that for Tier 3, 120 Gb models just weeks ago. The 120 GB models are $140