Best SSDs For The Money: May 2012

For Reference, SSD Versus HDD: Power And Performance

Do you transcode video, copy large amounts of data, or run your own Web server? If you consistently perform I/O-intensive tasks, SSDs are a great way to improve speed. But even if you only browse the Internet, SSDs still offer tangible benefits in performance and power. Take a look at the CPU utilization and power consumption results from one of our recent reviews:

A disk-based drive will always consume more power absolutely. At the system level, an SSD increases power consumption because CPU and memory utilization rises in response to increased I/O activity (they're not sitting there, waiting on a hard drive to send data). But remember that an SSD-based configuration will always finish those operations faster. You see that reflected in the charts above. At the end of the day, an SSD lowers power consumption. This is why performance and power go hand-in-hand.

PCMark Vantage (x64)
HDD Suite
Power Rating (W)
Power Used (mW)
CPU utilization (%)
Completion Time (mm:ss)
Kingston SSDNow 100 V+
OCZ Agility 2
Intel X25-M
OCZ Vertex 3 Pro
OCZ Vertex 2
Seagate Momentus 5400.6
OCZ Vertex 3
G.Skill SATA II FM-25S2S-64GB
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  • _zxzxzx_
    Great how Tom's hardware has an article on this every month :)
  • Other Comments
  • DjEaZy
    ... my vertex 3 still strong...
  • barracks510
    vertex=75 or 65 dollars. shows both
  • mayankleoboy1
    what about Vertex4 drives?
  • acku
    Anonymous said:
    what about Vertex4 drives?

    I need to retest the 256 GB Vertex 4 because of weird results. Couldn't make it in time this month. Definately will be in next month's feature.

    Andrew Ku
  • _zxzxzx_
    Great how Tom's hardware has an article on this every month :)
  • vestibule
    Gotta love random deals on Newegg, I narrowly missed a 128 GB Crucial M4 for $110 a couple weeks ago, it was out of stock just seconds before I decided to get it. A week later they had a 256 GB one for $210 which is an even sweeter deal, it took days for that to be out of stock.

    Both were the newest version BTW, and I'm just holding on to the SDD for a bit for a build I'll do in a month or so.
  • iamtheking123
    "But if you look at performance over an entire month, you will find the 830 to be a faster performer"

    Still going to do 4x SSD's in raid 0 in my next build for the e-peen.
  • Anonymous
    darn, should have waited, I could have got double the space for $10 more, good to see SSD prices come down though
  • deepb
    Is there a reason why the Mushkin 90GB version is recomendded over the OCZ Agility 3 90 GB version as the OCZ one is available at Amazon for 85$
  • wmfoster2001
    Would the 180Gb Intel 520 SSD belong in Tier 2 or 3?
  • Anonymous
    There's a cheaper option for the 120GB drive:
    The only listed "Mushkin Enhanced Chronos Deluxe" is not available also.
  • juan83
    At 1$/GB i think is time to talk about raid 0, but i know little about reliability of this disks.

    2 x 90GB = 180GB and ~ 900 Mb/sec and spending 180$
  • notsleep
    i managed to snag a brand new samsung 830 128 gb for $119 a couple weeks ago for my new build. it's my very first desktop ssd. one of the best thing performance wise that i noticed in my new build was the ssd. :)
  • Anonymous
    Remember that with Raid 0 you lose TRIM functionality and performance will degrade overtime.
  • eddieroolz
    Bought a Crucial m4 128GB for $148CAD, then prices dropped to $128CAD this month. Ah well.
  • jaquith
    There are so many sales that it's impossible to justify "Best" based upon MSRP. I truly wish the maximum R/W wasn't listed in this review as the headliners, especially since IOPS (R/W) and 4K (R/W) are what's important -- not to mention Reliability, $/GB, and Warranty.

    Choosing the "Best SSD" per price range needs to be a weighted scoring.
  • RaidenSix
    Any particular reason the Corsair Performance Pro series was not included?
  • samuelspark
    deepbIs there a reason why the Mushkin 90GB version is recomendded over the OCZ Agility 3 90 GB version as the OCZ one is available at Amazon for 85$ [...] 637&sr=1-6

    Mushkin Enhanced Chronos has sychronous flash and offers much better performance, comparable to the Vertex 3.
  • Anonymous
    The Mushkin Enhanced Chronos has asynchronous NAND.
  • TheBigTroll
    mushkin chronos deluxe is awesome