Best SSD for the money

So after much research and since I have to format my PC ANYWAY I kind of want to finally take the plunge and get a cheap SSD. I'm looking around on Microcenter and it looks like most 60GBs are around $70 but I dunno anything about 'em. Which ones good, bad etc.

I will basically just have Windows, WoW and MAYBE another game on it if I can fit it (Doubt I can with only $60.) I'm fine with going up to $100 but only if I gain quite a bit more space/speed. Anyone more familiar with these?

I'll be pairing it with a new 3570K and Extreme4 I'm buying so my 560Ti will be my limiting point.

Then once in awhile I see one like this - That's WAY cheaper than it should be for $128 (I heard it's ~$1 per GB ATM in SSDs) but why is it so cheap?
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  1. This may help...,3269-2.html

    How many games do you usually have or would like to have on your HD?

    For about $100 the best capacity you could probably get is around 128GB.Which is fine I think if you use your PC just for games.But if you like/need more space,then buying a really fast smaller sized SSD to use with Intel Smart Response Technology might be a better option.
  2. I have a Samsung 830 and can recommend it. It is fast and reliable and also below $100.
  3. On my SSD I'd like to have Windows, WoW and atleast one more on it. Probably GW2 or whatever other MMO I'm playing at the time. To be honest I don't know much about SSDs but I would like to see one. Games like Skyrim or League of Legends might be interesting on the SSD but I dunno if I'd warrant it (Especially on a low profile game like Lol).

    The 60GBs I see just don't seem right to me. That'd be Windows and WoW and borderline it being full. is in my cart ATM. It dropped another $20 from yesterday but the size-to-price ratio makes me nervous but as I said. I dunno what I'm even comparing in these.

    EDIT: Oh wow, I was nervous about the price being too good but I see it's ranked second on the list you sent me. Must just be a good deal.

    Edit 2: I see the Mushkin one they link has the others all beat but I see the price doesn't match the list at all. I also see the Agility 3 it talks about is 60GB. Do you think mine will be just as good?

    Weird, when I manually click the SSD in my shopping cart it loads up as $100 higher and tells me it's out of stock at my store...

    In fact every single SSD is claiming to be out of stock. I'll have to call once they open. Think there is an issue.
  4. You could get by with a 60gb ssd, but realize that you will have only 54gb or so useable.
    If a SSD gets to near full, it will have a hard time finding free nand blocks to do updates, and will become slower.

    A 120gb ssd will be faster, and should hold the OS and half a dozen games. I used one that way for quite a while.

    For reliability, I would look at Samsung 830 or Intel 330 or 520 ssd's
    The Intel 330 is a good value ssd @$103.

    Read this review from amamdtech on the 330 series:
  5. I'm getting a lot of good feedback about the 830. I'm trying to see how much it is on MicroCenter but MC's website is not working well ATM so have to wait for them to open. I did find it in this months catalog though, and the Agility 3's price is $79.99.

    I would like 120GB. ATM I have a 2TB HDD for my pictures/videos (Recordings/editing.) and a 400GB for my OS. I'd like to use the 400GB for random programs/games, the SSD for my main games, and maybe my streaming program (Do you think my Streaming program being on the SSD is a good idea? It's mostly using the CPU so I dunno if it'll be worth it or not. I don't wanna kill the SSD too quick.)

    P.S. To install it does it just take the same 4 prong connection and the red connector to the mobo? Or do I need to get some kind of other cable?
  6. Any game that loads frequently,such as skyrim,you would want to be running it on a SSD.You can really see the difference every time you open a door or something that requires 5 seconds of loading.

    Yah go for an Intel or Samsung drive.Not to say other drives aren't as reliable but those drives get some of the highest satisfaction from people.From my personal experience I would stay away from OCZ drives.

    I would suggest getting a 90GB SSD for strictly games and getting a 30GB SSD for use with your old HDD to use with Intel SRT.As you can see from the benchmarks it's not that much different than using solely an SSD.And it gets faster with every use.

    Well if your getting a new processor I would expect you got a new mobo.Most of the SATA connections should be SATA III.You'll want to use the SATA III cables with it for the SSD.Some should have came in the mobo box.No SSD's don't use 4 prongs.In fact no HDD's use 4 prongs anymore.They all use SATA power cables.They are right angled.
  7. Oh wow. Actually, you're right. My HDDs have the small red cable (SATA) and then the thin wired cable. I was thinking a bit -too- far back.

    So you think is worth the $20 extra? I see non on sale it's actually $60 less, but $20 more on sale. Weird.

    And yes, my new mobo will be I didn't think ASRock made it but I guess so.
  8. My thoughts:

    1. No less the 120 GB's ... it's just easier to manage. Esp since you have a couple hdd's.
    2. Good brands: Intel 330 or 520, Samsung 830, Crucial M4. I have the 180 GB Intel 330 - it rocks. Once you put your OS on an SDD you will never use another HDD for your OS
    3. Of the 3 above - look at newegg, amazon, and mircocenter (, find the cheapest post tax and S&H - BUY and don't look back!

    Enjoy. Some intallation tips at youtube, 'newegg computer build part 3'

    Good luck !
  9. I'm excited to try it. Curious as to why no one mentions the Agility 3. Is it just because usually it's so expensive it's not compared to the others or does it have bad reviews? The benchmarks I've seen and it's base specs seem very higher. Stronger than the 830 120GB. But I mean, if it's gonna be dead in 2 months...
  10. Do not be much swayed by vendor synthetic SSD benchmarks.
    They are done with apps that push the SSD to it's maximum using queue lengths of 30 or so.
    Most desktop users will do one or two things at a time, so they will see queue lengths of one or two.
    What really counts is the response times, particularly for small random I/O. That is what the os does mostly.
    For that, the response times of current SSD's are remarkably similar. And quick. They will be 50X faster than a hard drive.
    In sequential operations, they will be 2x faster than a hard drive, perhaps 3x if you have a sata3 interface.
    Larger SSD's are preferable. They have more nand chips that can be accessed in paralled. Sort of an internal raid-0 if you will.
    Also, a SSD will slow down as it approaches full. That is because it will have a harder time finding free nand blocks to do an update without a read/write operation.
  11. Like I said I try to avoid OCZ.I've had bad experiences with their Vertex 2 line.First their was a fault in their firmware that caused the drive to fail.Then they sent me a new model that was slower but they market it as being the same.Customer service is great but if I had to buy again I'd probably go with a different brand.Just my 2 cents.

    You should try Newegg.Almost all of their item have free shipping.

    This seems like a good deal
  12. KanagiF said:
    I'm excited to try it. Curious as to why no one mentions the Agility 3. Is it just because usually it's so expensive it's not compared to the others or does it have bad reviews? The benchmarks I've seen and it's base specs seem very higher. Stronger than the 830 120GB. But I mean, if it's gonna be dead in 2 months...

    The I/O rates listed in the specs for ssd on newegg, etc are 99% B.S.
  13. I'd go with 120GB or larger with a non-Sandfarce controller (reliability issues, such as those plaguing OCZ), like the Samsung 830. I have a 256GB version and it's been great.
  14. Your post mentions "cheapest" and also "best". First you need to decide which you want. BTW, IMHO a 60GB drive is a waste of money.
  15. Not if you use it for Intel SRT.
  16. I do Not recommend 1) <80 gig SSD for OS + Programs, 2) combining a OS + Program SSD with a SSD for SRT. If you want a 2nd SSD - Just use it as a stand-along FAST working drive, NOT SRT

    Curcial M4 and Samsung 830s are a toss-up, whichever is cheapest at time of purchase.
    YOU will NOT see a diff in performance.

    Your question on agility III (same as many other low end/cost Sata III SSDs). They use Async NAND chips and DO NOT really benifit from Sata III interface. ie A review of the agility III showed that its performance was nearly identical on sata II as on Sata III. I also verified this on my Agillity III. Not the HUGH compatability problems have pretty much been sorted out - But still do not recommend OCZ.

    I pretty much only recommend the curcial M4s and the Samsung 830s (can add the Plextor m3 to that). Not a Lover of SF 22xx controller. Intel now uses that controller in their SSDs - Great reliability, just poor choice of controller.

    I Have
    2 x 128 gig M4's + 1 256 gig M4. 2 x 128 gig Sqmsung 830s + 1 x 256 gig 830, 2 x 120 gig Agility IIIs (Bought whenthe first came out, my mistake!!.
    Also have 2 x Intel SSDs, Plus older versions of torqx and Phenix Pro

    PS ALL SSDs purchased from Newegg - Never recieved a bad one, normally free shipping and in most case they are cheaper Plus save on tax (5.5 % in Va.)
  17. I meant use his old mechanical HD as OS with the SRT for mass storage.Then a separate larger SSD entirely for games.Can you even do SRT with just SSD's? Would it be wise?

    Quite a collection you have.How many rigs is that?
  18. Currently 3 laptops (oldest laptop I swap 2 in/out) plus thre desktops.

    In reference to using an SSD for SRT.
    Orginal intent was to use a low capacity SSD to cache a Large HDD. In this case the SRT will cache files used for booting and most often used programs, out side of thoes it then becomes a cra^% shoot on what is in the cache. For other than OS and programs, it can infact slow down the system. When a request is made t read a file, it must first check the SSD cache - Waisted time if file is not there.

    When used as SRT in addition to a OS + Program SSD. You again are ate the mercy of the algorthim doing the caching. In this case, The user KNOWs which files they want "cached" so it is more advantagous to use it as a seperate drive where YOU select which files are one it. This is how I set all my daul SSD systems up. ie In my i5-2500k I have a 128 gig 830 as a OS + program drive and the "faster" 256 gig as a "working/scratch" drive. Older i5-750 also setup this way.

    The other problem is more MB specific (HD chipset) and I've seen several posts where individuals have problems setting up a 2 SSD drive with one as a SRT to a HDD. First off limited to Intel Chipset and 2nd (user problem) I think is in setting bios to raid for the SRT while initially seting up the First drive with AHCI - LOL.
  19. Well their is always the option of using the 3rd party chipset.The OP's board has an ASMedia ASM1061 controller.
  20. Guess not.And I thought the ASMedia controller was better than Marvell.
  21. Link not working, for me, apparently worked for purple.
    Howevber, in general totally agree, 3rd party chipsets (for aditional SATAIII) underperform. My self I only use the Sata III HDDs on them as they are a WASTE of a good intel sata III port.

    To be honest have not looked @ ASMedia ASM1061, but the last two marvel controllers were not good. It's hard to beat the Intel chipset, using the latest RST driver (Not to confuse with SRT.
  22. Yeah I get it.I was just saying if you were to use SRT you could use the 3rd party chipset so it wouldn't conflict with the Intel ones.Therefore having RST and the separate SSD for games without causing conflicts with the RST RAID.And I would think the speed advantage over the 3rd paty chipsets wouldn't matter a whole lot with RST.Would still get the job done.
  23. The old engineering rule applies here. Your SSD can be fast, cheap, or good (reliable). Pick two.

    If it's going into a desktop system and will function as just an OS and apps drive, then personally I think reliability is the easiest to sacrifice. I just set up the SSD to backup via a partition copy to the boot partition of the HDD. That way if the SSD ever fails, I just remove it and the computer boots off the HDD as if nothing happened. A week later when I get the replacement SSD under warranty, I copy the boot partition from the HDD to the SSD and everything is back to normal. It's easy to test the backup too - just select the HDD off the boot menu.

    But given how much prices have fallen the last 6 months, there's a strong argument now for paying extra to get a fast, reliable SSD.
  24. Wow just checked this. I actually got the Samsung 830 last night. It didn't come with an install kit or the SATA cable. I got a SATA 3 cable (Man Microcenter's in store is a mess. Thank god for Pre-purchase Pick-up. Finding cables made me feel like I was at a thrift store.)

    Am I able to just ghetto rig it's position until I get a kit in the mail? I'm excited to install it later today. 128GB Samsung is what I got. Gonna use my original 600GB drive for main programs, and my 2TB drive for videos I'm editing as usual.

    Thanks a lot for all the help! Much appreciated.
  25. Yeah just use some tape until you get the mounting kit.
  26. iknowhowtofixit said:
    I can't believe you would be willng to advocate doing all that extra work to save $5-$25, at most, between a garbage SSD and a quality one. Maybe my time is more valuable than yours.

    Extra work? If you're upgrading an existing HDD system, it's no work at all. Your computer is already set up that way. You're just copying the HDD's boot partition to the SSD to let it boot off the SSD. All you have to do is not delete the boot partition from the HDD, and set the BIOS to boot from the SSD.

    It's actually less work than doing what most people do when they install an SSD - delete the boot partition off the HDD and expand the data partition. I should be asking you, why are you advocating doing more work to reduce overall system reliability, just so you can create an artificial need to pay more money for a more reliable SSD?
  27. How's that new SSD working out for you?
  28. iknowhowtofixit said:
    You would spend far less time working from a fresh installation on a reliable SSD than coping 30-40 gigs of data every few months when the subpar SSD fails.

    You have an extremely warped sense of how reliable "unreliable" SSDs are. I've bought 3 "low reliability" OCZ drives with a total of approx 4.5 years use among them. I haven't had any failures. (I also have Intel and Kingston SSDs, also with no failures.)

    Your argument is backed by completely flawed logic. Perhaps you are trying to justify a personal purchase you have made?

    You claim it's flawed logic but haven't identified anything wrong with it. I came up with this system to increase reliability and system availability among computers I set up for business clients. I would recommend doing it with "reliable" SSDs as well. It's nice to have an instantly available backup boot partition in the event your primary boot partition fails (whether it be due to SSD failure, a virus, a bad update, or accidentally deleting system files).

    Lastly, I never said someone shouldn't back their data up. If your data is important, there are plenty of hardware and software based solutions that take care of that. However, it seems a bit silly to go through the trouble of what you are suggesting based solely on the premise of purchasing inherently flawed hardware with extremely high rates of failure to save less than $20.

    But these backups take time to restore if you should ever need them. With the system I outlined, your backup is available for use immediately should your primary drive fail. And it takes less time to set up and the same amount of time to make daily or weekly backups.

    It's less work. I don't know why you keep insisting it's more work. The concept I'm advocating is not new either. It was the initial rationale behind RAID. Instead of buying one super-reliable, super-expensive enterprise hard drive, you put together an array of inexpensive consumer drives and statistically increased their reliability to surpass that of the enterprise drive. Hence Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks (which was later backronymed to Redundant Array of Independent Disks since the concept works just as well with expensive reliable enterprise drives as it does with cheap consumer drives.)
  29. Reliability and Compatability are two different issues. Most all the the SSDs are reasonably reliable. Most likely a High percentage of failures are user caused.
    SF22xx based SSDs had a Hugh Compatability problem when they first came out and it took considerable time to iron out the "BUGS". My biggest problem with OCZ was that th company would NOT admit to the problem initially and Placed the Blame on Users - You should read the "OLD" forums, and for this reason I do NOT recommend OCZ - There are alternative with equally good performance at competitive price!!!!

    Back up of a SSD used as a OS + Program drive is NOT the same as backing up a storage drive full of YOUR generated Data. It does not need to be down near as often. I always make an image (using windows 7 backup) right after initial Installation, Windows updates, all drivers installed and My programs installed. Should I need to restore this image (due to drive failure, or Just to RE-FRESH my SSD (Some do this anually). It is a 10->15 min process to restore this image and boot to exactly the way the boot drive was when the image was made. SO NO BIG Deal.
  30. RetiredChief said:
    I always make an image (using windows 7 backup) right after initial Installation, Windows updates, all drivers installed and My programs installed. Should I need to restore this image (due to drive failure, or Just to RE-FRESH my SSD (Some do this anually). It is a 10->15 min process to restore this image and boot to exactly the way the boot drive was when the image was made. SO NO BIG Deal.

    It is 10-15 minutes and no big deal if you have a replacement drive sitting unused on the shelf. In that case I completely agree - pop in the new drive, boot off a backup recovery CD, reimage the new boot drive using the image, and 10-15 min later you're back in business.

    But what if your boot drive dies and you don't have a replacement drive on hand? That's the scenario 99% of users are going to encounter. Only tech geeks like you and me keep spare hard drives on our shelves. 99% of people are going to be dead in the water until they can get another drive to replace the dead one.

    The system I outlined uses your existing hard drive as a replacement boot drive in the event of the primary boot drive failing. You have no downtime (not even 10-15 minutes) - just remove the dead drive and boot. You can continue using your system as normal (it'll just be a little slower since it's a HDD instead of a SSD). Then you can pick up a new drive from the store after you get off work, order it from Amazon, or even wait for a replacement under warranty. There is no rush because your computer still works, just not as quickly as it used to.

    The only downside is that you're now using your backup as a live drive, and if that fails you have no backup. But there's nothing stopping you from copying the partition as I've outlined AND making a backup image as you've outlined. I toss backup images on my file server anyway.

    Really, this should be a no-brainer and I'm surprised at the resistance I'm getting to the idea. If you're converting a HDD desktop to a SSD+HDD system, leave the boot partition on the HDD alone after you've shrunk it so you can copy it to the SSD. In the event the SSD ever fails, you can always boot off the old HDD, instead of having a dead system.
  31. purple stank said:
    How's that new SSD working out for you?

    Sadly, as excited as I was to test it all out I didn't get too much. I had a major problem arise that I posted over at

    Windows installed fast as anything though haha. But still haven't gotten to try it out much since my system is bottlenecked ATM with this interrupt thing.
  32. iknowhowtofixit said:
    You are not connecting the dots in what I'm saying. There is nothing wrong with your practice of backing up the boot partition to a storage drive. What IS wrong is saying that by doing this you should, in turn, sacrifice purchasing a quality product for an inferior one.

    Regardless of what you choose to do in terms of backups or protecting data, saving <$20 isn't worth a failure, even with a backup in place. You will still have to spend time RMAing the drive (potentially paying for return shipping), or spend additional money purchasing a replacement.

    If that's all you were concerned about, please re-read the last paragraph of my first post. I stated quite clearly: "But given how much prices have fallen the last 6 months, there's a strong argument now for paying extra to get a fast, reliable SSD."

    There are no dots to connect because you were basically agreeing with what I wrote. When you disagreed with me strongly enough to insult how I valued my time, I of course assumed you were critical of the efficacy of the backup methodology I had described. One doesn't typically insult people one agrees with. :D

    No hard feelings then, since this was just a misunderstanding on your part.
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