Best SSD for ~$110: Performance System Drive
Kingston HyperX 3K (Check Prices)
|Kingston HyperX 3K||90 GB|
|Sequential Read||555 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||510 MB/s|
|Power Consumption (Active)||2.11 W|
|Power Consumption (Idle)||0.46 W|
SandForce-based SSDs come armed with one of three memory interfaces: Toggle-mode DDR, synchronous, and asynchronous. Although controllers are often said to play the biggest part in defining an SSD's performance, the type of flash memory used has an effect, too. In fact, when you compare SandForce-based SSDs, the drives with synchronous memory consisteny perform well and command reasonable price tags. That's why we think that Kingston's 90 GB HyperX 3K is a solid choice.
Best SSDs for ~$115: Performance 120 GB
Mushkin Enhanced Chronos Deluxe (Check Prices)
|Mushkin Enhanced Chronos Deluxe||120 GB|
|Sequential Read||560 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||520 MB/s|
|Power Consumption (Active)||3 W|
|Power Consumption (Idle)||1 W|
As the lowest priced 120 GB Toggle-mode SF-22xx-based SSD, we're recommending Mushkin's 120 GB Enhanced Chronos Deluxe for those who want performance and capacity. As we said, 90 GB is a floor of sorts for getting an operating system and important apps onto an SSD. But 120 GB provides enough space to add personal files and big game installs to the mix.
Best SSDs for ~$145: Performance 128 GB
Samsung 830 - Non Bundle (Check Prices)
|Samsung 830||128 GB|
|Sequential Read||520 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||320 MB/s|
|Power Consumption (Active)||.15 W|
|Power Consumption (Idle)||.08 W|
We know that SSDs based on SandForce's DuraClass technology demonstrate different behavior depending on the information with which they're presented. That is to say incompressible data like media-oriented files and actively-encrypted partitions aren't handled as elegantly as more easily compressible files.
In contrast, the behavior of Samsung's controller doesn't change based on the information you feed it, and the 830-series drives are arguably the fastest MLC-based offerings available, generally outpacing Crucial's m4. Interestingly, the 830 and m4 are priced comparably, too, making Samsung's SSD the better deal.
Best SSDs for ~$165: Performance 128 GB
Plextor M3 Pro (Check Prices)
|Plextor M3 Pro||128 GB|
|Sequential Read||535 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||350 MB/s|
|Power Consumption (Active)||5 W|
|Power Consumption (Idle)||0.1 W|
If you're willing to spend a little extra on a 128 GB repository, Plextor's M3 Pro is a great option for enthusiasts moving lots of data around. Thanks to the company's TrueSpeed firmware enhancements, garbage collection helps maintain top-notch sequential performance, which explains why this drive tops our in-house benchmark.