Best SSDs: $315 To $400
Best SSDs for ~$350: High-Capacity Option
|OCZ Agility 2||240 GB|
|Sequential Read||285 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||275 MB/s|
|Power Consumption (Active)||2.0 W|
|Power Consumption (Idle)||.5 W|
If you are willing to spend more to get a better deal, OCZ recently dropped the price on its 240 GB Agility 2. At $350, you're only paying $1.50 per gigabyte. While this isn't as much of a performance-oriented SSD in light of today's more aggressive options, you're still getting a lot of bang for your buck.
Many people prefer the Vertex 2 to the Agility 2, but the only real difference is that the higher-end Vertex employs OCZ's optimized firmware to achieve better performance, while the Agility utilizes SandForce's more generic firmware implementation.
Best SSDs for ~$425: Performance & Capacity Option
|Crucial m4||256 GB|
|Sequential Read||415 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||260 MB/s|
|Power Consumption (Active)||.15 W|
|Power Consumption (Idle)||.10 W|
If you're looking for a higher-capacity SSD with more of a performance-oriented flavor, we're torn between Crucial's 256 GB m4 and OCZ's 240 GB Agility 3. Both hover around the same price and offer similar performance. However, our recommendation this month goes to the 256 GB m4 because it's slightly cheaper per gigabyte.
For most enthusiasts, this really tops out the budget, especially since we imagine that you'll want even more storage for user data, necessitating a couple of 1.5 or 2 GB hard drives. There are larger options, but the performance picture really doesn't get much better.