Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

$260 budget - Crucial m4 256 or OCZ Agility 3

Last response: in Storage
Share
May 10, 2012 5:12:10 PM

I have about $260 that I can spend I have done my research and found these 2 drives

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I am dying to buy one of these drives ASAP! which would you recommend?

Baring in mind

Speed
reliability
Ease of install

I have shrunk the list down to these 2 based on the best 2 prices per GB that are IN STOCK and with helpful advice from a previous thread

Any and all advice will be very helpful :-)
a c 290 G Storage
May 10, 2012 5:28:03 PM

The Crucial m4 is very popular with gamers and enthusiasts. A few days ago the 256GB version was on sale at newegg for $199.99. It sold out very very quickly. If you are patient and check every day you might be able to get a similar sale price.

The OCZ Agility 3 is a general purpose mainstream ssd that is somewhat similar to the OCZ Vertex 3. It is okay for everyday use. However performance is not as good if you work with photos, videos, music, and lots of data files. It never really caught on with gamers and enthusiasts.
May 10, 2012 10:38:01 PM

JohnnyLucky said:
The Crucial m4 is very popular with gamers and enthusiasts. A few days ago the 256GB version was on sale at newegg for $199.99. It sold out very very quickly. If you are patient and check every day you might be able to get a similar sale price.

The OCZ Agility 3 is a general purpose mainstream ssd that is somewhat similar to the OCZ Vertex 3. It is okay for everyday use. However performance is not as good if you work with photos, videos, music, and lots of data files. It never really caught on with gamers and enthusiasts.



Hey i just came across this

http://compare.ebay.co.uk/like/370601755446?var=lv&ltyp...

Would buying a bare drive make any difference to the retail versions? as in would I have to do much more work when it comes to installing it etc etc?
The price is attractive
Related resources
a c 290 G Storage
May 10, 2012 10:54:13 PM

1. The seller is in the United States. Shipping charges to the UK are another 31.06 Pound Sterling.

2. The seller is not a Samsung authorized seller. Therefore, there is no warranty.

3. The OEM (bare) drives do not come with a sata cable, any software, or anything else. SATA cable is normally supplied with your motherboard. Power cable is normally supplied with your psu. Software and utilities can be downloaded from the manufacturers web site. About the only thing you might need is an adapter to fit the 2.5 inch ssd in a larger drive bay if you case does not have one. No need to purchase an expensive one. Cheap plastic will do quite nicely.
May 10, 2012 11:06:46 PM

I wouldn't recommend either of those drives.

Toggle nand, sandforce based ssd's are currently the fastest by a wide margin. There's no point in buying synchronous NAND drives when toggle nand are practically the same price.

The m4 uses synchronous nand, and the agility uses asynchronous.

here's a brief list of toggle nand drives

Sandisk Extreme
Samsung 830 SSD
Mushkin Chronos Deluxe
Patriot WildFire
OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS

I'm sure I left a couple out, but that should give you a starting point.

Oh, check this out
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-storage-value,3...

It takes the 256gb M4 to match 120gb toggle nand/sandforce ssd's in speed. The only reason people buy m4 it has accumulated lots of good reviews on newegg, etc, and people think it's fast because of that.

Since the ssd manufacturers don't openly disclose what type of nand is used in each ssd, the M4 continues to sell largely because of ignorance.
a c 290 G Storage
May 10, 2012 11:41:13 PM

quilciri - fastest at what? synthetic benchmarks?
May 10, 2012 11:50:11 PM

quilciri said:
I wouldn't recommend either of those drives.

Toggle nand, sandforce based ssd's are currently the fastest by a wide margin. There's no point in buying synchronous NAND drives when toggle nand are practically the same price.

The m4 uses synchronous nand, and the agility uses asynchronous.

here's a brief list of toggle nand drives

Sandisk Extreme
Samsung 830 SSD
Mushkin Chronos Deluxe
Patriot WildFire
OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS

I'm sure I left a couple out, but that should give you a starting point.

Oh, check this out
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-storage-value,3...

It takes the 256gb M4 to match 120gb toggle nand/sandforce ssd's in speed. The only reason people buy m4 it has accumulated lots of good reviews on newegg, etc, and people think it's fast because of that.

Since the ssd manufacturers don't openly disclose what type of nand is used in each ssd, the M4 continues to sell largely because of ignorance.


I have an Intel HM55 chipset what does this mean with the SSD's you mentioned above?
a b G Storage
May 10, 2012 11:54:24 PM

quilciri said:
I wouldn't recommend either of those drives.

Toggle nand, sandforce based ssd's are currently the fastest by a wide margin. There's no point in buying synchronous NAND drives when toggle nand are practically the same price.

The m4 uses synchronous nand, and the agility uses asynchronous.

here's a brief list of toggle nand drives

Sandisk Extreme
Samsung 830 SSD
Mushkin Chronos Deluxe
Patriot WildFire
OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS

I'm sure I left a couple out, but that should give you a starting point.

Oh, check this out
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-storage-value,3...

It takes the 256gb M4 to match 120gb toggle nand/sandforce ssd's in speed. The only reason people buy m4 it has accumulated lots of good reviews on newegg, etc, and people think it's fast because of that.

Since the ssd manufacturers don't openly disclose what type of nand is used in each ssd, the M4 continues to sell largely because of ignorance.


this is hands down the best answer you are going to get. outof the drives he listed get either the samsung or the mushkin enhanced chronos deluxe. if you choose the mushkin make sure its the enhanced version.
May 11, 2012 12:09:17 AM

From the list above when it comes to storage over 200GB I can only afford the Sandisk extreme, so for me financially its between that and the crucial M4
May 11, 2012 12:19:42 AM

Crucial M4 hands down.

If you want great speeds and amazing reliability go with the Crucial M4.

Yes other drives do perform better than the Crucial M4 but like that one hilarious guy said ONLY in benchmarks.

And benchmarks that don't even matter to real life situations.

I don't even own a Crucial M4 -- yet because I just ordered one, and I can tell you it is the best out of all the research I have.

Other SSD's are up there in speed and reliability but none can top the Crucial M4, and for the fact that they are going down in price nearly every week, and you just missed a really nice deal that had the 256GB at $200.

I love Mushkin but look at what the previous post said make sure its the enhanced version. In all honesty I don't know why Mushkin has an Enhanced version of everything why not just make it enhanced to begin with.

I've done my research in and out. Have looked at reviews, benchmarks, and feedback ratings from many different sites, and like I said the Crucial M4 wins a lot of the time. Not all the time and sometimes loses by a good margin but for the simple fact that it does it's job, well, and is extremely reliable it is your best bet.

OCZ Vertex 3 hands down the fastest SSD on the market but the failure rate has to be somewhere in the 30%. Just go to New Egg and ;ist all 240/256 SSD's and I will bet you the Crucial M4 will be at the top of the list if it isn't sold out which I know one type is -- which is the plain SSD. There are other packages that include a 3.5 bracket and one with a transfer cable and cloning software.
May 11, 2012 12:23:18 AM

Does New Egg ship to the UK??
May 11, 2012 12:34:21 AM

No just said look at them for reviews and stuff and what people had to say for certain SSD's.

Make your decision and then buy where you can.
May 11, 2012 12:50:32 AM

The Crucial M4 is popular because of reliability, and because outside of the realm of bench marking software, the differences between the "fastest" and "fast" SSDs are not noticeable.

In the end it comes down to user experience, capacity, and price.

Focusing intently on SSD benchmarks is a similar folly to paying close attention to display technical specs, e.g. contrast ratio, response time, etc.
May 11, 2012 3:11:44 AM

Please don't start with who's ssd's are more reliable bull. If you want an ssd for reliability, buy intel. They use the cream of the crop of Micron's flash memory batches. Almost everyone else uses the same memory from the very few companies that actually make flash memory. The quality of the flash is the biggest determinant in reliability, so everyone else's ssd's are pretty equal in reliability (though I personally am averse to OCZ, their customer service seems to be sketchy).

* I snatched up sandisk's first toggle ssd because they've been making their own flash memory since fire was invented, and they've also been making enterprise level ssd's for a long time as well.

Just going by tom's rankings, a toggle/sandforce ssd is a little over 20% faster than a synchronous, non sandforce drive such as the m4. I can't speak for the OP, but 20% is noticeable to me. Tom's uses app loading, game loading, etc as well as synthetics, so each drive is given a fair shake in real world performance.

Long story short, toggle NAND is faster than any other MLC nand. period. Conceptually, toggle is like DDR, sending data on the rise and fall of each clock cycle, instead of just at the peak.

You can use any of those drives with your mobo. Chipset has little bearing on what ssd you can use.
May 11, 2012 3:38:37 AM

quilciri said:
Crucial drives aren't any more or less reliable than just about any other ssd. If you want an ssd for reliability, buy intel.

Just going by tom's rankings, a toggle/sandforce ssd is a little over 20% faster than a synchronous, non sandforce drive such as the m4. I can't speak for the OP, but 20% is noticeable to me. Tom's uses app loading, game loading, etc as well as synthetics, so each drive is given a fair shake in real world performance.

Long story short, toggle NAND is faster than any other MLC nand. period. Conceptually, toggle is like DDR, sending data on the rise and fall of each clock cycle, instead of just at the peak.

You can use any of those drives with your mobo. Chipset has little bearing on what ssd you can use.


Between work, home, and my laptop I use a Vertex 4, an intel 25x-m, and a crucial M4. I can hardly notice a difference between my desktop (old ass intel SSD) and my Vertex 4, even though I have benchmarks showing the OCZ drive is vastly superior. It's not a perfect comparison because the other hardware in the systems is not identical, but I believe its a useful one. My laptop (which has the 128GB crucial M4) boots insanely fast and has instantaneous application loading for almost everything I use. It almost feels faster than both the desktop systems I use.

I'm not doubting that you can notice a 20 % difference in sequential/random write speeds, I'm just saying that it wouldn't make a difference to most people in terms of user experience. Add this to the fact that you'd have to pay upwards 25-40% more for toggle nand drives, you are reaching the SSD land of diminishing returns (for value vs performance).
May 11, 2012 3:41:13 AM

Kamab said:
. Add this to the fact that you'd have to pay upwards 25-40% more for toggle nand drives, you are reaching the SSD land of diminishing returns (for vaue vs performance).


Sounds like someone gave you really bad information. Toggle nand drives are the same price as synchronous. This is why there's no point in buying synchronous nand.

$139 sandisk extreme 120gb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$140 crucial m4 128gb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a c 353 G Storage
May 11, 2012 4:03:50 AM

I have 2 128 gig m4's, 2 120 gig Agility III, and one 128 gig Samsung 830's

Performance wise, No diff between M4's and 830's.
Agillity III's are a little slower in real life usage. Benchmark wise Overall score for Agillity IIIs are mid 400's while M4's and 830 overall scor is mid 700's. Also You can stick a Agillity III in a SATA II slot and it will perform juat as wel as if it was in a SATA III Slot - Basically this says the Agillity III is a SATA II SSD in a SATA III Wrapper.

Do NOT be mislead by High Sequencial performance as this is the LEAST important paramere for an OS + Program Drive. It is important for a "High capacity drive (ie HDD) when working with VERY large file structures.

Added: There is NO true reliability figures based on USER Data as NONE of the SATA III drives have been out that long.
There is Data on frequence of user problems - even if you CAN NOT buy from newegg Look user ratings 1/2 egg verses 4/5 egg rating (must have at least 25 or more raters otherwise ignore). OCZ generally in the "poor choice" catagory. Look for High Volume of raters and a LOW 1+2 egg rating, ie <10%

BOTTOM Line, Get the M4 and ENJOY!!!!!!!
May 11, 2012 4:38:12 AM

quilciri said:
Acc. to Tom's rankings, the Vertex 4 isn't very fast at all.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-storage-value,3...


In comparison to an intel x25-m it's much faster, which happens to be what I was comparing it to.

Also, I wouldn't buy a 128GB M4 that wasnt on sale. Just so happens that you can usually find one somewhere on sale anywhere from 99$-119$. In general, the average price for which you can find an m4 is cheaper than toggle NAND. a 120GB sandisk at 139.99 is 1.5x as expensive as a 128GB Crucial M4 for 99.99$ (I haven't seen a sandisk on sale and I see the m4s on sale every other week) if you are looking at $/GB

Either way, I'm just saying that most people won't be able to tell the difference and shouldn't be swayed solely by benchmarks. Read entire reviews and make decisions that are correct for your budget.

If money aint no thang, buy a PCI-X based SSD, since they don't have the bandwidth bottlenecks of SATA3. Then slap a few of the fastest SATA3 based SSDs you can find in RAID 01, and you can be benchmark king of storage.
a c 353 G Storage
May 11, 2012 1:35:51 PM

For benchmarks.
First choice: PCMark vantage - Closest to real life. Provides an overalll score and individual scores for apps. Simular to benchmark comparing a specific game score by Bming the specific game.
2nd choice AS SSD, at LEAST it uses data that is Compressed for te4st, closer to real life.
3rd and that at least use compressed data

LAST choice - ATTO - OOPs Uses Highly compressable data, not a choice as I do NOT recommend. Kinda like using windows WEI benchmark, On 2nd though WEI may be better than ATTO if it was not for the fact that wei caps out at 7.9 - LOL
May 11, 2012 2:23:28 PM

Kamab said:
In comparison to an intel x25-m it's much faster, which happens to be what I was comparing it to.

Also, I wouldn't buy a 128GB M4 that wasnt on sale. Just so happens that you can usually find one somewhere on sale anywhere from 99$-119$. In general, the average price for which you can find an m4 is cheaper than toggle NAND. a 120GB sandisk at 139.99 is 1.5x as expensive as a 128GB Crucial M4 for 99.99$ (I haven't seen a sandisk on sale and I see the m4s on sale every other week) if you are looking at $/GB

Either way, I'm just saying that most people won't be able to tell the difference and shouldn't be swayed solely by benchmarks. Read entire reviews and make decisions that are correct for your budget.

If money aint no thang, buy a PCI-X based SSD, since they don't have the bandwidth bottlenecks of SATA3. Then slap a few of the fastest SATA3 based SSDs you can find in RAID 01, and you can be benchmark king of storage.



Actually the sandisk has been on shell shocker twice now. I got it for $120.

The Mushkin Enhanced Chronos Deluxe is on newegg for $120 right now, even cheaper than the m4.

The Patriot Pyro is $130 after mail in.

The samsung 830 and ocz drives are too expensive, but I can point to some synchronous drives that cost that much.

Toggle is the same price as sync.....

If you *can* find an m4 for $100, that's a solid investment, but I don't see one anywhere for $100 now. You can find a sale on just about anything. regular price is what counts for comparison.
May 11, 2012 6:52:36 PM

See I love Mushkin, but I can't trust Sandforce.

Look at the first page of reviews on New Egg.

That is what I don't trust. One guy said Mushkin sent out bad drives and played Russian Roulette with the customers. I know this isn't the case.

Sandforce is the biggest problem. Yes it is fast from my research I can tell obviously it is the best but with all the problems surrounding it, I don't think it is worth the risk.

Even if you are rich or have the money to spare it isn't worth all the trouble and time wasted on all the potential risks.

I know Samsung makes a great SSD but their prices are a few bucks above the Crucial Mr'2.

But it's your choice.
May 11, 2012 7:51:49 PM

The m4 does have slightly better newegg reviews than the mushkin, but both are 4 egg. Though if you want to get into that, the sandisk has better reviews than either of them.
a b G Storage
May 11, 2012 8:07:46 PM

This question answers itself if you simply read the reviews.
a c 290 G Storage
May 11, 2012 8:47:07 PM

Tom's Hardware publishes a daily deals alert for computer components. A link is located on Tom's home page in the news section on the left side of the page.

The daily deals also has a page listing just the ssd and hard drive specials. Here is the link:

http://www.logicbuy.com/categorydeals/computers/hard-dr...

You have to check every day since a lot of the deals are one day specials. Others may be available for up to a week.

Newegg reviews - Do not rely too much on user comments at newegg. They are not competent technical reviews. I see far too many complaints due to user ignorance and misconfiguration. Links to competent technical reviews are located in the ssd database:

http://www.johnnylucky.org/data-storage/ssd-database.ht...

Synthetic Benchmarks - They are called synthetic benchmarks for a reason. They are not real. They are fake. The synthetic benchmarks were designed to grossly exaggerate very minor differences between ssd's. The synthetic benchmarks can be manipulated. By changing the configuration and settings an ssd company can make their ssd's look more favorable in the hopes that potential buyers will fall for it. I call it deceptive advertising since the configuration and settings do not in any way reflect real world performance.

From Tom's Hardware Best SSD of the month articles:

"At the end of the day, the real-world characteristics between SSD don't differ by a large degree. The biggest change that you'll see will be from upgrading from a hard drive. That said, there are differences between SSDs, but they have to be taken as a whole sum."
a c 353 G Storage
May 11, 2012 8:55:30 PM

quilciri - While they may be OK, They do NOT have better reviews than say the M4's
SD 240 ONLY has 6 and 3 reviews. You can not draw any conclusion for that small of a sample Nr. Myself, I tend to ignore ratings with sample Nrs < 30, and prefer 50 or greater.

I dropped back to the 120 Gig SD and found that the 1 & 2 egg ratings are 20 % verse Only a 7 % 1/2 egg review for the 128 gig M4's (m4's much better based on these numbers).
Also do not use the Overall score, compare the 1/2 ratings to the 4/5 ratings (ignoring the 3 egg number is much better to get a feel on USER problems. (Note is is not a reliability rating as neither have been in use to truely get a reliability value).

As to performance, do not get hung up on benchmarks, try to look at Games (if that's your Bag) and look for the FPS for the specific game you play - Will probable find that for the top end there is NOT enough diff (OK maybe a Nickels worth). If Not a gamer, you should look at the Specific applications you run (reason I prefer PCMark vantage based comparisions), and in this case again I find the best choice is to select one that has the best (lowest) 1/2 egg rating.

My bottom line remains - go for the M4
PS curcial was a spinoff from Micron, and I believe all there NANDs are supplied by Micron.

Added as My good friend Hopefully snuck in there.
Johnny makes a valid point "Newegg reviews - Do not rely too much on user comments at newegg. They are not competent technical reviews. I see far too many complaints due to user ignorance and misconfiguration"
I normally also read the 1/2 egg reviews and you can sometimes weed these out. The 2nd point is part of the reason I prefer large same Nrs - In that the Percentage of "User INCompentance should be about equal and cancel out.

And that vain, Johnny has an OUSTANDING" web page on SSDs, with links to just about anything you would want to Know about SSDs.
May 11, 2012 10:37:25 PM

Thanks for all the great reviews guys! ive been away for a day and Ive just managed to read through about 30 posts..... the generally consensus still seems to be completely divided however I am confident that If i pick just 1 of the drives you have compared/argued/posted about on this thread I will be a happy customer in the end.

I just want to change my Hard drive in the end whether its an M4 or a Samsung or what ever! that makes it slightly quieter and faster than what I had previously I will be happy

Thanks for the overall education however I now feel I could pass some knowledge on to others about SSD's
May 11, 2012 10:40:41 PM

RetiredChief said:
quilciri - While they may be OK, They do NOT have better reviews than say the M4's
SD 240 ONLY has 6 and 3 reviews. You can not draw any conclusion for that small of a sample Nr. Myself, I tend to ignore ratings with sample Nrs < 30, and prefer 50 or greater.
.


The sandisk does.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

74 reviews seems to fit your criteria.... the 240gb version has only been out a few weeks. it'snot going to have many reviews yet, but you can expect they'll be in line with the 120gb version when they do accumulate.

I do agree that newegg reviews on the whole are unreliable due to the varying technical ability and misconfigurations by users, but a few replies here use them as a reference to support a case for the m4, so i figured I'd just format the rebuttal for that in a similar fashion.
May 11, 2012 10:41:46 PM

steveomcl said:
Thanks for all the great reviews guys! ive been away for a day and Ive just managed to read through about 30 posts..... the generally consensus still seems to be completely divided however I am confident that If i pick just 1 of the drives you have compared/argued/posted about on this thread I will be a happy customer in the end.

I just want to change my Hard drive in the end whether its an M4 or a Samsung or what ever! that makes it slightly quieter and faster than what I had previously I will be happy

Thanks for the overall education however I now feel I could pass some knowledge on to others about SSD's


good luck!
a c 290 G Storage
May 11, 2012 11:46:39 PM

Glad I posted that link to the daily deals. Just purchased a Samsung 830 Series 256GB solid state drive for $225.00 and free shipping. It is actually $10.00 more but I had a coupon.

It is for my wife. She wanted a pc that was as fast as my own.
May 12, 2012 4:25:18 AM

Yeah, the Ultra is sandisk's asynchronous drive, extreme is the toggle.
May 12, 2012 2:15:08 PM

Good to see this come to a conclusion.

My only opinion on this is yes, there are some great SSD's out there, and there are some horrible ones as well.

The SanDisk Extreme I would not doubt for a second that their product is top notch. But you guys are only recommending it because of personal use.

Obviously it has gotten very good ratings, and of course its SanDisk they are very well known for everything they make.

But as you can see a lot of people have also recommended a Crucial M4 only because this guy is fairly new to SSD's or hasn't really done thorough research, mind you we all gave him a full lesson on how SSD's work by now.

But the Crucial M4 is very reliable and works well. And on top of that the price per GB is one of the lowest even without a sale. This is why you can not knock it down.

Hell if all SSD's were priced similar we'd all either get an Intel or Samsung based or a PCI based SSD. And NO to OCZ.

But really good recommendations. I'm actually thinking about going and getting an SSD myself today. Going to see what they have in stock and at what prices.
May 15, 2012 9:11:50 PM

Razec69 said:
t their product is top notch. But you guys are only recommending it because of personal use.


I do use it personally, but that's not the reason i recommended it.

Sandisk makes their own flash memory. I don't think any other ssd manufacturer does. I know for a fact intel doesn't, they simply skim the cream of micron's batches. For the benefits of controlling the whole vertical stack, ask Apple.

Sandisk has been making enterprise level ssd's (as well as other flash memory products) even longer than intel. It's a fair bet their consumer level drives are highly reliable, even though they've only jumped into consumer ssd's recently. Only 2 of the 2/1 egg reviews were for failed drives (and one is suspect of incorrect configuration)

The Sandisk extreme drive has better newegg reviews than any other ssd I've ever seen, including intel's 510 (though it's a slim win there :)  )
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
...One of the 2 egg reviewers is actually posting on the wrong product...it was for an ASUS mobo posted on the sandisk's reviews...

btw, the 240gb extreme is down to $240, the 120 dropped to $125, mushkin's 120gb Chron.D. is $120, and the m4 is $110.
!