Best SSDs For The Money: June 2012

Best SSDs: $200 To $300

Best SSDs for ~$200: Premium Performance Option

Mushkin Chronos Deluxe (Check Prices)

Mushkin Chronos Deluxe
240 GB
Sequential Read
560 MB/s
Sequential Write520 MB/s
Power Consumption (Active)
3 W
Power Consumption (Idle)1 W

Last month, the 240 GB version was selling for $230. This month, its price is down another $30, pulling this big drive's cost under $1/GB.

When you consider that the Chronos Deluxe's performance equals, OCZ's Vertex 3 MAX IOPS and Patriot's Wildfire, are priced in excess of $400, spending $230 on it sounds like a real bargain for anyone unwilling to compromise on capacity or performance.

Best SSDs for ~$210: Performance Option

Crucial m4 (Check Prices)

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

If you're looking for a higher-capacity SSD that doesn't come with a caveat about data compression, Crucial's 256 GB m4 is a solid choice. SF-22xx-based SSDs continue to sell for the lowest prices. However, Crucial's m4 gives you good performance on a more consistent basis.

Weighing each model's performance strengths, the comparison gets a little trickier. In a desktop environment, much of the data written sequentially tends to be compressible, favoring SandForce's architecture. However, that trend changes as our library of compressed audio and video content grows.

Separately, when it comes to read operations, the two drives perform similarly. But once you take into account that the m4 also offers more user-accessible space and a lower price, we think Crucial's drive is the victor.

Best SSDs for ~$270: Gaming Option 256 GB

Samsung 830 SSD - Bundle (Check Prices)

Samsung 830
256 GB
Sequential Read
560 MB/s
Sequential Write525 MB/s
Power Consumption (Active)
0.12 W
Power Consumption (Idle)0.08 W

If you're a gamer already prepared to buy Ghost Recon: Future Solder, you might want to consider picking up Samsung's 256 GB 830 SSD. All retail bundles (desktop and notebook) come with a free copy of the game, which normally sells for $50. This should make Samsung's 830 mighty tempting; it costs $30 more to buy the game and drive seperately.

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  • mjmjpfaff
    On the "Best SSDs: $200 To $300" page there is a typo in the "Best SSDs for ~$270: Gaming Option 256 GB" option. In the chart it says it is a 240gb SSD but it is a 256gb SSD. I'm sure its just a typo...
    1
  • bim27142
    Is this accurate?

    Samsung 830 240 GB
    Sequential Read 560 MB/s
    Sequential Write 525 MB/s
    Power Consumption (Active) 3 W
    Power Consumption (Idle) 1 W
    1
  • hmp_goose
    I never noticed before, but does the Samsung 830 really change power consumption as capacity grows?
    1
  • DjEaZy
    ... and... still... my Vertex 3 is strong... by the prices now, i maybe buy a nother one for RAID 0...
    -5
  • mayankleoboy1
    ^
    bet you cant tell the difference between RAID0 SS's and a single SSD without benchmarking.
    8
  • acku
    mjmjpfaffOn the "Best SSDs: $200 To $300" page there is a typo in the "Best SSDs for ~$270: Gaming Option 256 GB" option. In the chart it says it is a 240gb SSD but it is a 256gb SSD. I'm sure its just a typo...


    Fixed! Thanks for being so cool about everything. :)

    Cheers,
    Andrew Ku
    Tom's Hardware
    2
  • Pawessum16
    I think this is definitely your best article in the "Best SSD's For the Money" series. I can finally agree with the majority of your recommendations, and even though you don't explicitly state it, I feel like you finally took user feedback on reliability into consideration for the different recommendations. i.e. fewer OCZ recommendations, and no ridiculous pedestal recommendations for Intel's ridiculously overpriced ssd's that provide nothing over the likes of Crucial and Samsung.
    Two thumbs up!
    0
  • acku
    We'll I always try. Not saying I'm always right. There simply are too many SSD vendors out there. It's hard to cover them all. But I'm glad you like the changes. :)

    I think for some people the confidence that Intel is going to back your play should something go wrong means a lot. Not saying it's worth the premium, but for some people, it is. That said, I do like the idea of game bundles. I think it's a great way to get more value from an SSD.

    Cheers
    Andrew Ku
    Tom's Hardware
    3
  • palladin9479
    I love my Samsung 830 256GB's. I got one for my main gaming box awhile back, liked its performance and eventually bought a 2nd one for my DV6z notebook.
    1
  • erunion
    The product name and link for your $115 drive is in error. The drive is actually the Chronos Deluxe MX.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226318

    Your link shows virtually every Mushkin drive except that one.
    0
  • radon_antila
    ackuI think for some people the confidence that Intel is going to back your play should something go wrong means a lot. Not saying it's worth the premium, but for some people, it is.


    This is true for enterprises, certainly. Essentially, if the data is more valuable than the storage, the Intel SSD is worth the premium. For everyone else, the Crucial and Samsung SSDs are better value propositions.
    0
  • Onus
    Two points and a question:
    1. Yes, please incorporate reliability into your ratings. I've had 2/4 Sandforce drives I bought fail, so I will choose an alternate.
    2. I like my Samsung 830, although I am not getting its claimed performance. I suspect it is because I'm running an AMD system, even though it's a 990FX. As the article points out, the performance of a SSD beats the snot out of a mechanical HDD.
    Finally, and this article wouldn't be the place to cover it, but I'd like more information on the performance of SRT using a 64GB SSD along with a mainstream (i.e. not "green") HDD. Does such a system generally perform closer to the speed of a SSD, or more like just a fast HDD?
    Thanks.
    0
  • pinkfloydminnesota
    Microcenter has ocz 4 gen's for $100 to $120 for the 128 GB size.
    0
  • LordConrad
    Why recommend the Mushkin Enhanced Chronos 90GB when you can get the 120GB version for $3 more?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226236
    1
  • LordConrad
    jtt283 Yes, please incorporate reliability into your ratings. I've had 2/4 Sandforce drives I bought fail, so I will choose an alternate.

    Reliability is subjective and Track Records are just statistics. I've installed 4 SandForce drives, each in a different computer, and never had a single problem. The computers include one desktop and two laptop PCs and one Mac Mini, all of which continue to work without problems.
    0
  • Anonymous
    Geez I just bought a 256G Samsung 830 for $190. Newegg. Cool
    0
  • josejones
    There's a distinction between the "Mushkin Enhanced Chronos Deluxe" DX version and the MX version:

    Mushkin vs. Intel SSD
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/284841-32-mushkin-intel
    1
  • Isaiah4110
    The ~$115 recommendation "Mushkin Enhanced Chronos Deluxe" has some incorrect information. The drive referenced here is actually the "Mushkin Enhanced Chronos MX" (model MKNSSDCR120GB-MX, currently selling for $115 on Newegg). This drive isn't a "Toggle-mode SF-22xx-based SSD", but actually uses "synchronous mode NAND flash" according to Mushkin's website.

    http://www.mushkin.com/Digital-Storage/SSDs.aspx

    The 120GB version (model MKNSSDCR120GB-DX) of the Chronos Deluxe SSD, which actually uses Toggle-mode flash memory, currently sells for $190 on Newegg (and roughly the same everywhere else).
    1
  • grody
    OCZ Agility 3 90GB for $55:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227757

    I'm sure most people check newegg anyway, though.
    0
  • Anonymous
    With the SSD price drop/war right now, I'm in dilemma of choosing btw Corsair, Kingston and OCZ for 120GB SSD (~$90). Which of these are best for this price point?
    0