Best SSDs: $300 To $400
Best SSDs for ~$330: High-Capacity Option
|Corsair Force 3||240 GB|
|Sequential Read||550 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||520 MB/s|
|Power Consumption (Active)||2.0 W|
|Power Consumption (Idle)||.5 W|
If you are willing to spend more to get a better deal, Corsair recently dropped the price on its 240 GB Force 3. At $330, you're only paying $1.38 per gigabyte. Compare that to 240 GB first-gen SandForce SSDs, which run around $320. In that light, you're only paying an extra five cents per GB to enable 6 Gb/s performance.
Even if you don't own a 6 Gb/s-capable motherboard, we still recommend the Force 3 because of its ability to fully saturate a SATA 3Gb/s controller, whereas older solutions options can't.
Best SSDs for ~$375: Performance & Capacity Option
|Crucial m4||256 GB|
|Sequential Read||415 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||260 MB/s|
|Power Consumption (Active)||.15 W|
|Power Consumption (Idle)||.10 W|
If you're looking for a higher-capacity SSD with more of a performance-oriented flavor, we're torn between Crucial's 256 GB m4 and OCZ's 240 GB Agility 3. Both hover around the same price and offer similar performance. However, our recommendation this month goes to the 256 GB m4 because it's slightly cheaper per gigabyte.
For most enthusiasts, this really tops out the budget, especially since we imagine that you'll want even more storage for user data, necessitating a couple of 1.5 or 2 TB hard drives. There are larger options, but the performance picture really doesn't get much better.