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Best SSDs For The Money: February 2012

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February 28, 2012 4:15:28 AM

How could Intel 520 be omitted in Hierarchy Chart? It's currently the most reliable and the absolute no. ONE SSD !
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February 28, 2012 4:17:59 AM

Here's another resource if you're planning to buy value for money ssds


This website tracks the daily prices of SSD's to find the best value for money drives on the market. Check You can also view the daily price charts for comparisons

Here's the #1 ranked drive at the moment 256GB OCZ Synapse priced at $209.99 or $0.82 per gigabyte.

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February 28, 2012 4:26:16 AM

Why does the $300~400 page even exist when that Chronos Deluxe kicks soooo much ass?
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February 28, 2012 5:44:23 AM

The 240GB Mushkin Chronos D is a hell of a deal. I have the 120GB version, but I'm thinking about stepping up to the 240.
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February 28, 2012 9:18:03 AM

Reason to buy the intel 320 or 520 drives? RELIABILITY. Check Newegg and other online complaints... constant BSOD, performance drops, TRIM not available or working right, out-right failure... especially from OCZ. I've set up X25M in many systems without a hitch. And in some benchmarks, especially random - the X25M still holds its own.

I just built two systems with the 320 in one and the 520 in the other, otherwise same mobo Z68 Mobo and i5-2500K CPU. Both booted into Win7 in about 24 seconds (power on) / 11Sec after POST. Run a benchmark afterwards and the 520 is much faster in many categories, but not much better than the 320 in random read... but the i520 can do everything with much less CPU utilization. (0~4%) compared to the i320's 4~35%!

Intel has excellent SDD tools... which OCZ doesn't have, period. I worked on a rather new system with an OCZ, went to their site for utility tools... nothing.

Intel also includes a 3.5" bracket and cables (okay $5~10 worth of goods), a CD and a big-ass sticker that says Speed Demon. The removable plastic retainer is handy for different size drive bays. (intel doesn't include smaller screws when its removed... scotch tape works)

In the store I bought the latest SSDs, they have a basket full of 128GB $110 OCZ Petrol drives in cheap plastic... I don't think anyone would bother to steal them. (The intels are in a cage) - Yep, I'd take the $200 i320 SATA II over the $110 SATA 3 OCZ Petrol... the reviews for that drive are bad... very very slow drives with very fast failure rates. Lots of DOA and lots of deaths 1~50 days of use.

OCZ, trying to make a few bucks selling cheap drives ends up crapping on their own brand name. Something intel and Samsung try very hard to NOT do.... making crap is a way to drive away customers.

Intel drives, not the very fastest... but 5year support, minimal failure makes them worth every penny.
Read the horror stories on newegg.
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February 28, 2012 12:20:37 PM

belardoIntel drives, not the very fastest... but 5year support, minimal failure makes them worth every penny.Read the horror stories on newegg.

I agree, 5 year support is hard to beat, and Intel drives are definitively the most reliable.

My second choice (and the drive I have) is Crucial's M4 line. Yes they had some BSOD problems in the past, but they rolled out a firmware update to fix that awhile back. Now I find them as the next-best option to Intel's SSDs.

I personally avoid OCZ drives like the plague, as well as any other SandForce-based drives. If I'm going to be spending that much money per GB, I want it to be rock solid.
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February 28, 2012 12:30:40 PM

I have no complaints from my Corsair Force 3 120GB SSD that was only $135. Going 6 months strong with not a single BSOD.

Sorry but Intel is just not worth that big of a price difference. If they were at least a little more competitive I would be willing to pay a few extra bucks but not 150-170% more. Frack that.

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February 28, 2012 1:11:49 PM

120GB Chronos has a 3 year warranty and costs $143
120GB Intel 520 has a 5 year warranty and costs $225

Assuming SSDs drop in price by 50% and doubble performance every 2 years (which may be a little optimistic on performance, but should not be too far out of the ballpark on cost), you could buy the cheap drive now, plus a 2nd much faster and potentially much larger drive for ~$50-70 in 3 years and still cost less than the Intel drive did in the first place. For home/small business use this is a much better way to go, but always back up your system drive (even if you are on a traditional HDD).

For business/enterprise where things are more 'mission critical' and down time costs thousands of dollars per hour, the Intel drive is still the way to go. The idea is not that you would not replace the drive within 5 years (because you probably will), but that you would replace the drive on your time table instead of when the drive fails on you and you need to replace it.
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February 28, 2012 1:56:11 PM

Another vote for Corsair Force 3 120GB. Paid $160 - $30 MIR (approved) = $130 back in December. And although their rebate company isn't great, Corsair is known for paying rebates themselves if the company screws you (and you have your copies of the form with UPC stapled, etc., of course).

No BSOD. Win7 64 login screen ~7-8 seconds after POST with i5-2500k at stock speed. I love my SSD.
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February 28, 2012 2:04:23 PM

The 128GB version of the M4 also dropped in price last month as is generally available for around $160. At least is was at the time that I decided to buy. I can't say how it performs, because I haven't installed it yet.
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February 28, 2012 2:16:11 PM

Cheaper sandforce alternatives don't seem to last as long as their warranties do. For power users who keep regular clones of their drives, SSD dying once in a while is probably not a big deal, but for regular lazy bloke like myself who only have 1 desktop system and no spare drives, and don't do regular backups, spending the extra $100 and getting an intel drive buys so much peace of mind.
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February 28, 2012 3:08:20 PM

Best SSD for the money entirely depends on the PRICE to CAPACITY/....PERFORMANCE the DAY you're BUYING the SSD. I've seen what I wanted go up $50 in one day and it's nearest competitor go down by $50 the same day, plus Rebates. $100 savings sure influences my choices on consumer SSD's. Obviously, daily pricing complicates the hell out 'choosing' the 'best' ; assuming money still matters and to me it does!

Take the $100 saving and buy a better GPU, CPU, HSF, etc. The vast majority of folks couldn't tell the fastest from the slowest SSD 9/10 times. Nor am I recommending purchasing a sub-par aka unreliable SSD. IMO - 1. Reliability 2. Capacity per price, and don't bother with an SSD smaller than 120GB; if one's 550MB/s 120GB @ $190 and another is 500MB/s 180GB @ $190 then get the larger capacity if it's reliable, and don't get hung-up with 550MB/s vs 500MB/s -- reality is it's all about 4KB random R/W -- not ATTO fastest oddball sized R/W speeds.
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February 28, 2012 4:22:04 PM

Where is the very best place to purchase that Intel 520, 120G "Cherryville" from in order to get the best price? Is it Newegg or that ssdtracker website?

I have to play it safe and go with an Intel SSD for our small business. I'd rather get a cheaper one but, I can't afford to get cheap on reliability and lifespan.

I've never had an SSD before so I'm curious about basic maintenance. What all do I need to know before getting my first SSD?
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February 28, 2012 5:25:26 PM

When are you guys going to finally update your read speed on the Crucial M4s? After the M002 firmware, the read speed went to 500 MB/s, it hasn't been at 415 MB/s for over 10 months now.
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February 28, 2012 5:29:39 PM

josejones said:
I've never had an SSD before so I'm curious about basic maintenance. What all do I need to know before getting my first SSD?


Make sure AHCI is enabled in bios, and install Windows 7. That's it. Windows 7 will automatically install in correct partition alignment, enable TRIM, disable defrag etc. You don't have to do any extra work.

Some people may tell you to do further maintenance (disable indexing, page files, etc), but that's absolutely unnecessary.
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February 28, 2012 5:43:44 PM

The chronos deluxe is already OOS at both newegg and amazon (and price rose on amazon). Call it the tom's hardware effect
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February 28, 2012 8:34:05 PM

It's exciting to see the Mushkin Chronos Deluxe on the list. I bought one while back during the awesome Xmas and New Years sales (saved well over $300 on my build with rebates) and couldn't be happier with the drive and bought another for a family member's build. Great drive! I hope my checks in the mail Mushkin!
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February 28, 2012 9:24:59 PM

It would be nice if the price per gigabyte was listed. Although for some people who also take in consideration of the performance, the price per gigabyte would be useful for the budget spenders as the slowest SSDs runs in circles around the fastest HDDs.
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February 28, 2012 10:45:00 PM

comptonThe 240GB Mushkin Chronos D is a hell of a deal. I have the 120GB version, but I'm thinking about stepping up to the 240.


Consider also buying another 120gb for a 2 X 120GB in raid0 array... should be faster and a smaller price for you. Most MBs have raid0 support baked in.
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February 28, 2012 11:12:30 PM

b8453942 said:
Opps here's the correct link
www.ssdtracker.com


Oops, seems the deal listed for the synapse drives has incorrect information. Chalk it up to "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is". Overall a good site though; bookmarked.
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February 29, 2012 12:05:28 AM

OntarioHeroMake sure AHCI is enabled in bios, and install Windows 7. That's it. Windows 7 will automatically install in correct partition alignment, enable TRIM, disable defrag etc. You don't have to do any extra work.Some people may tell you to do further maintenance (disable indexing, page files, etc), but that's absolutely unnecessary.

Thanks for that! High-5!
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February 29, 2012 4:35:42 AM

According to the the read/write rates, it appears that the 90GB drive should be the minimum consideration for an SSD. Otherwise, you're better off buying a HDD. And I can't see the difference between the $200 120GB SSD and the $170 120GB SSD. Thoughts?
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February 29, 2012 9:43:33 AM

I went in a slightly different direction for my new system... bought a Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3 motherboard and one of the Kingston SSDNow mSATA cards (64GB) which is working as my boot drive/OS drive. I also have a SanDisk Ultra 120GB SSD for the D: drive (for programs) and moved the WD Velociraptor (pagefile) to E: for storage and data. The SanDisk was $130 from Newegg, and the Kingston was $90... and so far I have had no regrets for the purchases or the way things were set up.
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February 29, 2012 12:35:37 PM

tsnorConsider also buying another 120gb for a 2 X 120GB in raid0 array... should be faster and a smaller price for you. Most MBs have raid0 support baked in.

Then you lose TRIM support... if the drive is already SATA III, then RAID 0 isn't going to improve performance that much.
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February 29, 2012 12:37:11 PM

Ragnar-KonI agree, 5 year support is hard to beat, and Intel drives are definitively the most reliable.......I personally avoid OCZ drives like the plague, as well as any other SandForce-based drives. If I'm going to be spending that much money per GB, I want it to be rock solid.

]

The Intel 520 **is** a SandForce based drive.
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February 29, 2012 12:38:44 PM

mel_gibson_ And I can't see the difference between the $200 120GB SSD and the $170 120GB SSD. Thoughts?

Go to newegg, read the reviews of the $110~140 OCZ Petrol drive and then compare it to the $200 Intel 320 or $240 intel 520 drives.

That is a major difference.
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February 29, 2012 1:41:56 PM

A word of caution when buying from companies like OCZ. They make good solid state hard drives but when it takes a virtual fist fight to get your rebate back, HOW GOOD ARE THEY NOW? They are permanently OFF my build list.

The only way to fight back is not to buy anything offered with a rebate.

Thanks
Rick M.
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February 29, 2012 7:22:39 PM

Man. I've been watching the prices on the M4 drop and it just hurts that the prices were much higher just a month or two ago.

Paid $210 for the 128GB and it was $130 just the other day...
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March 3, 2012 1:11:33 AM

I think it is funny how you used to tout how great the Intel's SSDs were with the mantra of, "even if they are slow, they are secure and faster than any HDD." Now when Intel switches to a sandforce 2281 on their SSD 520 they are the best thing since sliced bread even if they are 2 to 2.5 times more expensive than all the other 2281 based SSDs. Personally, I'm loving my $150 120GB Kingston HyperX SSD, which is as fast as any of the drives mentioned in this article. The only thing that I'm pissed about is that I didn't get two when there were running their special so I could have put 2 in a raid 0 array and got around 1000 MB/sec read times as many others have reported.
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March 4, 2012 10:49:13 AM

love ocz series..
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March 7, 2012 4:41:31 PM

OntarioHeroMake sure AHCI is enabled in bios, and install Windows 7. That's it. Windows 7 will automatically install in correct partition alignment, enable TRIM, disable defrag etc. You don't have to do any extra work.Some people may tell you to do further maintenance (disable indexing, page files, etc), but that's absolutely unnecessary.


12.3.7
if one had a 360GB mechanical boot hd, could they simply copy the windows partition to a new 256GB ssd, and substitute that ssd as the boot hd (after removing that older mechanical hd), or must one do a fresh install of W7 64b on the ssd?

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March 7, 2012 4:54:00 PM

12.3.7
also the 60GB ssd article indicates the Samsung significantly below the other ssd in alot of the benchmarks. Was that just a fluke with the 60GB vs the tier 1 Samsung 830/256GB in this article?
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March 9, 2012 8:23:34 PM

belardothe $110 SATA 3 OCZ Petrol... the reviews for that drive are bad... very very slow drives with very fast failure rates. Lots of DOA and lots of deaths 1~50 days of use.


Having been googling and checking sites for mention, let alone reviews, of Petrol SSDs, I'd be interested in some links to these bad reviews and reports of lots of DOAs. I have to wonder whether you're just bullshitting but maybe you've seen what I've been waiting patiently for; a review of Petrol.
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March 14, 2012 3:24:26 PM

Newegg has the Samsung 830 256 GB SSD on sale at the moment for 299$ US -- Might want to check it out!
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Anonymous
March 17, 2012 5:03:49 PM

Is everyone here on a different planet than me? I've bought 2 Intel 320 series SSDs and BOTH failed on me, with the very well known 8 MB bug, which turns the drive into an unrecoverable brick. One failure happened right before a huge presentation and another before a global conference.

I've never had a spinning hard drive fail on me in the last ten years but BOTH 320 SSDs died in 4 months, both from the same bug Intel said it fixed but then didn't!
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March 17, 2012 5:09:45 PM

Quote:
Is everyone here on a different planet than me? I've bought 2 Intel 320 series SSDs and BOTH failed on me, with the very well known 8 MB bug, which turns the drive into an unrecoverable brick. One failure happened right before a huge presentation and another before a global conference.

I've never had a spinning hard drive fail on me in the last ten years but BOTH 320 SSDs died in 4 months, both from the same bug Intel said it fixed but then didn't!


Thats the only one. I have had a X25-M for a year, no issues. The sales manager at my work has had a 320 for a year as well, no issues.

Are you sure you updated the firmware? Intels SSDs have the best NAND, maybe not the best performance apart from their PCIe SSD and the new 520 which has the SandForce controller.
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Anonymous
April 8, 2012 4:49:01 AM

Thanks!
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April 24, 2012 3:00:08 AM

My 240GB OCZ RevoDrive 3 x2 hasn't let me down and would eat this.
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April 26, 2012 1:20:57 AM

In reality the Chronos Deluxe 240GB is $300 so the difference between that and the $340 top of the line Vertex 4 256GB drive is the difference between ordering out for Chinese or eating leftovers. So are you going to eat three day old spaghetti and have a substantially better SSD or are you going to going to order out and curse yourself as you eat a mediocre bowl of General Chow?
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April 26, 2012 2:16:17 AM

mikbetkIn reality the Chronos Deluxe 240GB is $300 so the difference between that and the $340 top of the line Vertex 4 256GB drive is the difference between ordering out for Chinese or eating leftovers. So are you going to eat three day old spaghetti and have a substantially better SSD or are you going to going to order out and curse yourself as you eat a mediocre bowl of General Chow?

...but General Chow is my favorite....
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Anonymous
May 2, 2012 8:22:27 PM

Samsung's ".15W active and 0.8W idle" seems completely out of line with the numers that people have measured. I generally find they have good products, but these numbers seem complete lies. As someone concerned about power&heat, I find it is very difficult to find reliable data and comparisons between drives.
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Anonymous
May 9, 2012 2:39:34 PM

OCZ is a garbage brand. Never ever #1.
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