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Best SSDs: $300 To $400

Best SSDs For The Money: July 2012
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Best SSDs for ~$320: Performance And High-Capacity Option

Corsair Force GS (Check Prices)

Corsair Force GS
360 GB
Sequential Read
555 MB/s
Sequential Write530 MB/s
Power Consumption (Active)
4.6 W
Power Consumption (Idle)0.6 W

There's a roughly $150-$200 price gap between 240/256 GB SSDs and larger 480/512 GB models. If you're willing to split the difference, Corsair's 360 GB Force GS might be worth considering. Priced at roughly $0.88/GB, you're still getting a lot of performance for a relatively attractive price.

For those not familiar with this drive, it's Corsair's recently-announced competitor to OCZ's Max IOPS, Patriot's Wildfire, and Mushkin's Chronos Deluxe. All four drives leverage SandForce's second-generation controller along with Toggle-mode NAND to achieve some of the fastest speeds that we've seen in the lab. But Corsair's 360 GB Force GS should be an attractive solution if you're looking for slightly more capacity, but aren't interested in slapping down $400 or more to jump up to 480/512 GB.

Best SSDs for ~$350: Honorable Mention, High-Capacity mSATA

Mushkin Atlas (Check Prices)

Mushkin Atlas
240 GB
Sequential Read
560 MB/s
Sequential Write530 MB/s
Power Consumption (Active)
2 W
Power Consumption (Idle)0.7 W


Intel's SSD 310 was phased out earlier this year. Fortunately, other SSD vendors have have stepped in to address mSATA-based SSDs since our original look at the interface. Although we haven't yet had the chance to test Mushkin's Atlas, and therefore cannot officially recommend it, we're willing to give competing mSATA-based solutions a shot.

Mushkin's Atlas is particularly interesting because it's really the first mSATA SSD that we've seen employing SandForce's second-generation controller, making it a SATA 6Gb/s stunner. In comparison, OCZ's Noci and Intel's SSD 313 (successor to SSD 310) still employ SATA 3Gb/s controllers.

In the past, every mSATA SSD we saw used only half of its available NAND channels, which is why we didn't substitute mSATA drives for 2.5" SSDs on the desktop. But Mushkin seems to have addressed throughput by using speedy 24 nm Toggle NAND from Toshiba, resulting in performance specs identical to its 2.5" Chronos Deluxe series. That's impressive in our book. mSATA lets you keep your notebook's high-capacity SATA-based conventional disk, facilitating access to the best of both worlds.

Best SSDs for ~$400: Performance And Max Capacity Option

Crucial m4 (Check Prices)

Crucial m4
512 GB
Sequential Read
500 MB/s
Sequential Write260 MB/s
Power Consumption (Active)
0.28 W
Power Consumption (Idle)0.10 W

High-capacity SSDs are starting to become more accessible as their prices slide into affordable price points. At $400, Crucial's 512 GB m4 is a very tempting bargain.

A 512 GB drive is plenty, even in mobile environments, where you're typically limited to just one SATA-based device. The math works out to just over $0.78/GB, which is really expensive compared to a hard disk, but really good for an SSD. More important, you really don't have to worry about running out of space on it unless you have a library of full-length movies in HD to cram in.

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  • -1 Hide
    ipopeidr , July 30, 2012 4:21 AM

    Grazie per la condivisione!
  • 5 Hide
    blazorthon , July 30, 2012 4:27 AM
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B0057VOVE8/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&condition=new

    $180 for the Mushkin Chronos Delux 240 GB rather than the $200 in the article. Not only that, but free shipping and this purchase is offered directly from Amazon, meaning that you get their excellent (in my experience) customer service should a problem arise. That's only $0.75 per GB for one of the fastest SandForce SSDs available!
  • 5 Hide
    bdizzle11 , July 30, 2012 5:04 AM
    "At under $1/GB, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better deal below $100."

    With daily sales and other promotions the prices of 120gb drives are especially good. I just got a 120gb kingston hyperx for $80, no MIR required. Best PC purchase in awhile in my opinion.
  • 3 Hide
    EzioAs , July 30, 2012 5:04 AM
    The title on page 2 and 3 is wrong. The recommendation was supposed to start with below $100. Please fix it guys :) 
  • 2 Hide
    envy14tpe , July 30, 2012 6:11 AM
    No Intel? 128GB for $95.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , July 30, 2012 6:44 AM
    I was lucky enough to snag a Samsung 830 256GB for $230 on Newegg this evening. Lowest price of the year so far!

    I have three of them that I've been able to work with so far, both of the 256GB versions perform up to and above their rated speeds in real world testing. Nice having an SSD that works well with compressible and non-compressible data equally well.

  • 4 Hide
    sayantan , July 30, 2012 9:25 AM
    Price ranges are incorrect!!
  • 0 Hide
    cmcghee358 , July 30, 2012 12:22 PM
    Aww. I got a Samsung 830 128GB SSD on 6/17/2012. But my SKU is MZ-7PC128B/WW. I got it from newegg.com. I'm curious why this /WW isn't included in the list of SSDs that can get the code?
  • 1 Hide
    odiervr , July 30, 2012 12:39 PM
    FYI: Intel 330, 180 GB SSD. Great product. Newegg $160. Got one w/ rebate for $140.
  • -4 Hide
    envy14tpe , July 30, 2012 12:51 PM
    tomshardware is starting to drop the ball on why they are making choices. Now I see why people are telling me not to trust their price ratings.
  • 0 Hide
    spookyman , July 30, 2012 2:54 PM
    Sold on the Samsung. Get a free game.
  • 0 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , July 30, 2012 3:14 PM
    The problem with quoting prices is they fluctuate all the time. Prices can change daily.

    Tom's Hardware has a link to daily deals located in the news section on the left hand side of the home page. Eventually readers who follow the link find themselves at LogicBuy which is a service that lists the lowest prices at any given time. The sale prices and special promotions fluctuate daily. LogicBuy also has a web page just for drives. If you are thinking about purchasing an ssd, then it pays to check the prices at LogicBuy. The prices are well below $1.00 per GB. Recently an ssd was down to $0.50 per GB. Heck of a price but the ssd was not one I would buy.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , July 30, 2012 3:29 PM
    I don't understand why there is no Corsair Force GT in these recommandations.
    http://www.hookbag.ca/product/H3C06MOP8/ 120GB
    Maximum Read Transfer Rate 555 MBps
    Maximum Write Transfer Rate 515 MBps
    For 123$ ?
    BTW i got 2 OCZ Agility 2 and both dead withing 1 month of installling ,then went to Corsair which is more then you need ... 7.9 windows score
  • 0 Hide
    jerreddredd , July 30, 2012 3:29 PM
    interesting how the Crucial M4 is absent.... 128Gb version can be found for $90-115 on sale all throughout July, with a regular price of $130-150. very solid SSD
  • 1 Hide
    blazorthon , July 30, 2012 3:35 PM
    jerreddreddinteresting how the Crucial M4 is absent.... 128Gb version can be found for $90-115 on sale all throughout July, with a regular price of $130-150. very solid SSD


    The Samsung 830 is around for about the same price, but is significantly faster despite being similarly reliable and using slightly even lower power. The M4 is kinda like the 830's little brother when it comes to performance and unless it is priced accordingly, it is not as good of a deal as the 830 has been lately.
  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , July 30, 2012 3:38 PM
    Yoshi ToshiI don't understand why there is no Corsair Force GT in these recommandations.http://www.hookbag.ca/product/H3C06MOP8/ 120GBMaximum Read Transfer Rate 555 MBpsMaximum Write Transfer Rate 515 MBpsFor 123$ ?BTW i got 2 OCZ Agility 2 and both dead withing 1 month of installling ,then went to Corsair which is more then you need ... 7.9 windows score


    Maybe the Kingston Hyper 3K that they recommended instead of the Corsair Force GT was cheaper than the Force GT when they looked up the prices for this article.
  • 0 Hide
    g-unit1111 , July 30, 2012 3:59 PM
    I'm planning on switching out my Intel 320 for either a Crucial M4 or an OCZ Vertex 4 - I'm waiting on the next firmware update before I decide.
  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , July 30, 2012 4:00 PM
    g-unit1111I'm planning on switching out my Intel 320 for either a Crucial M4 or an OCZ Vertex 4 - I'm waiting on the next firmware update before I decide.


    I think that a Samsung 830 versus a Vertex 4 is a better decision to make. The M4 is a great drive, but it's not as fast as the 830, especially in the 256GB capacity. The M4 has no other perks that I know of that the 830 lacks.
  • 1 Hide
    inmytaxi , July 30, 2012 4:03 PM
    The Agility 3 is $90 not including $10 rebate for the 120 GB model at a place that doesn't advertise here.

    The Agility 4 is $100 with no rebate for the 128 GB model at ditto.
  • 0 Hide
    jacobdrj , July 30, 2012 4:14 PM
    g-unit1111I'm planning on switching out my Intel 320 for either a Crucial M4 or an OCZ Vertex 4 - I'm waiting on the next firmware update before I decide.

    I don't see why you would do that unless you were also significantly increasing your storage size simultaneously. The speed differences in most scenarios between the drive you have and the ones you are considering are negligible at best...
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