Require Help Choosing SSD: Samsung 830 or Intel 520


I would be purchasing a new laptop this fall (specifically, Lenovo W530). I am considering upgrading the storage to an SSD, as soon as I get the machine and I need advice on choosing one. Note that I have never purchased or experienced any SSD before, so do excuse me for being naive.

For the sake of reliability, I have narrowed down my choices to these Intel 520 240GB SSD and Samsung 830 256GB SSD. Here is what I have come to know of these two SSD manufacturers, going through many posts by people who have used drives from one or both of these manufacturers.

Intel seems to be recommended by a great many people. But Intel uses Sandforce controller, which had been causing problems some time ago. And while Intel modifies and tests its own firmware, a minority has nonetheless experienced the BSOD. But, Intel is quite confident of its product and offers a 5-year warranty.

On the other hand, Samsung makes both its own memory and controller, and they have an excellent reputation in reliability. They offer a 3-year warranty.

One more issue that I thought of was Sandforce compression. If the data being written to the drive is not compressible, the throughput of the drive may be reduced. But since Samsung does not apply compression, it would have a constant throughput.

I would be using the SSD as the primary disk, partitioning it for Windows and Ubuntu. I will retain a 500GB HDD for bulk storage.

So, which drive would you recommend? For me reliability and then performance are the main concerns, the budget being upto $350.
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  1. you cant really go wrong with either one. another suggestion would be a plextor m3 pro 256gb (or so i think thats what it is called). it uses toggle nand plus the marvel controller which makes things both fast like a sandforce controller but consistent as a marvel
  2. Thanks for your reply, TheBigTroll.

    I check out Plextor M3 Pro (256GB), and found that it has performance comparable to that of Intel, is a bit cheaper, but has the same 5-year warranty. And as you said, it uses a Marvell controller.

    As for toggle-mode NAND, I have heard of it, but cannot seem to find what it is, and what advantages does it offer. Could you please help me out here?
  3. toggle nand is made by toshiba and is pretty much the best nand that is consumer oriented. it has more write cycles compared to standard synchronous Nand and is often much faster. i happen to have a mushkin chronos deluxe 240gb and it runs off a sand force controller and toggle nand. the toggle nand makes up for the bad things about sandforce
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