If you have more than $450 to spend on an SSD, your budget allows for a little less focus on price per gigabyte, and more emphasis on performance. Enthusiasts fortunate enough to enjoy that luxury will want to shift their mindset a bit from what we've discussed so far. While you can certainly find larger SSDs, we're still confident in the decision to suggest a joint SSD/HDD operating environment. A 240 GB is plenty large for operating systems, applications, and games. You can still make better use of your money by moving user data over to a large hard drive.
So, beyond our recommendations, start looking at ways of augmenting performance while staying in that 240/250 GB range. OCZ's Vertex 3, for instance, sells for $530 in its 240 GB trim. It continues to be the fastest SSD we've seen in the lab, and if you want to take advantage of the 6 Gb/s interface, it is the drive you'll want.
We understand that SSD prices don't make it easy to adopt the latest technology. Maybe that's why you aren't too keen on blowing a couple hundred dollars on solid-state storage, especially when you can spend the same amount and buy four 2 TB hard drives or a high-performance processor. That's why it's important to put things into perspective. Over the past five years, CPU performance has hit new and unforeseen heights, and processors are increasingly spending time waiting on data from hard drives. This is what makes storage today's most glaring bottleneck. Overcoming it requires an SSD.
As a point of comparison, a file operation completes 85% faster on a low-end SSD than it does on a high-end hard drive, but there is only an 88% speed difference between a high-end hard drive and a high-end SSD. That why you shouldn't let less aggressive benchmark results at the low-end deter you from making the switch. You don't have to have the best SSD to get great performance relative to a hard drive.