I'm leaning strongly towards the Corsair drive as it is already on the limit of my budget, but if any of the other two drives are really that much better I could wait till Christmas before I buy one; however, I'd prefer not to. Please advise me on which is best.
I have used the Corsair Force GT model and found it to be a very good SSD so I would recomend it if your local retailer has that model. The GS model is a bit slower on the write speed but not enough to make that much of a difference, they both use the same Sandforce controller and are almost the same read speeds.
The Intel would be the better choice but the price is rediculous and that throws it out of the running no matter how good it may be.
The OCZ Vertex 4 would be a good choice if they were out of stock on the other two.
Since you live in South Africa you are held hostage by your local retailer on the prices of those SSDs and here in the US all of those SSDs are just about the same price so I don't know why the prce of the Intel is so high it should be the same as the others. Maybe $550 to $575.
I was only able to find the Intel drive at a smaller retailer. The other two are available at a larger retailer which explains the better price, but yes, the Intel drive is incredibly expensive. Just one last question. Do the Corsair drives have a good reputation as beig reliable and maintain their speed relatively well?
As with any SSD it requires some action on your part to help maintain the drive. The Corsair drive is very reliable and with the proper care will maintain it's speed.
In Windows 7 some of these things are done already so it's just a matter of checking to make sure. Disable automatic defrag and do not defrag the SSD on a regular basis, diable prefetch and super fetch and reduce the page file if you have a large amount of ram. For example I have 16 gb of ram and my page file is set to 0.You can also change the drive that the page file is set to so it's not taking up space on the SSD. Make sure before you load Windows that in the bios the Sata 3 ports are set to AHCI and of coudrse the SSD is connected to the Sata 3 port with a Sata 3 cable. Do not keep running benchmarks on the SSD , you only need to check if you think it might be slowing down. Don't fill up the SSD past 80% capacity.
You can always check for other tweaks and adjustments that will maintain your SSDs speed.
If you have 8gb of ram then you can set the page file to 1gb (1024 mb) and that way you are not using a lot of space on the SSD for the page file. You can also select the drive that the page file is on so that it's not on the SSD. If you want to try setting it to 0 then you can see how Windows behaves with no page file and you can allways change it , lower it , raise it and move it so you allways have options. You don't have to keep it at a certian size or place.
I would stay away from OCZ. They have had issues with a lot of their drives not to mention the company itself is in financial ruin. I use Crucial drives right now and am very happy with them, but they are getting a bit long in the tooth. I would probably go with Samsung next time around.
The OCZ vertex4 SSD's are rock solid and just great, have literally bought heaps of Vertex4 drives and wouldn't hesitate to buy more, the Vertex4's are really a massive leap over their older SSD offerings