Best SSDs For The Money: April 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
Average
Power Rating (W)
Actual
Power Used (mW)
Average
CPU utilization (%)
Completion Time (mm:ss)
Kingston SSDNow 100 V+
0.68514.78:06
OCZ Agility 2
1.418610.97:54
Intel X25-M
1.424210.810:17
OCZ Vertex 3 Pro
1.620715.17:41
OCZ Vertex 2
1.926913.98:28
Seagate Momentus 5400.6
2.242610.411:40
OCZ Vertex 3
2.3
305
15.1
7:50
G.Skill SATA II FM-25S2S-64GB
2.636913.58:40
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  • Anonymous
    for me reliability & gigabyte/$ are the only criteria that should matter for most consumers looking for SSDs .
    especially 1st time buyers.
    12
  • eddieroolz
    I think I'd be going with a Crucial m4 for its superb reliability.
    12
  • Other Comments
  • Anonymous
    for me reliability & gigabyte/$ are the only criteria that should matter for most consumers looking for SSDs .
    especially 1st time buyers.
    12
  • eddieroolz
    I think I'd be going with a Crucial m4 for its superb reliability.
    12
  • hellfire24
    i agree that crucial drives are not the fastest but they are a great value with high quality and reliability.
    4
  • kyuuketsuki
    Those Mushkin drives that consistently sit at or under the $1/GB mark are simply killer. If I had some money to burn, I'd have already popped a 240GB one in my system.
    4
  • hmp_goose
    I'm still lost, after all these months: Why are there drives with higher prices listed after the Chronos Deluxe?

    Honorable Mentions for laptop use? The price premium surely doesn't cover 16GB of extra capacity …
    1
  • sirencall
    I got an OCZ Agility III for my aging laptop and made that thing into a screamer and boots faster than my cell phone. I paid 150 for it and it is 120gb so I think it was a pretty sweet deal and a great investment.....it also managed to double my battery life somehow lol. What I want to see is a review of msata SSD's for those who have a mobo with a built in msata port since its hard to find a which ones would fit the board since there are various types that are not true msata and thus result in wasted money
    1
  • slomo4sho
    How is the reliability on the Samsung drives?
    3
  • ikyung
    Currently using an M4 on my laptop and the Samsung 830 which I got couple months ago in my desktop. Both are superb devices.
    2
  • noobnerd
    call me when they're 50 cents per gig. i r broke
    2
  • SkyWalker1726
    Agility 3 User , boots fast , Read/Write Fast :)
    2
  • __-_-_-__
    crucial m4 better then samsung 830?!?!? WHAT A JOKE. wonder how much crucial paid toms. I upgraded from a crucial to a samsung and I can see clearly the improvements.
    -5
  • Anonymous
    ssd drives now still do not give the bang for buck in terms of capacity compared to HDDs..
    -9
  • blackbirden
    Does Toms have any idea how well the Plextor M3 Pro series performs compared to the rest of the crowd,
    it seems a bit intresting. But i cant tell from reviews ,
    some shows very exelent performance others not so good.
    1
  • ubercake
    SSDs are kind of ugly. This is one of those monthly articles that could use one of the Tom's models to spice it up a bit.
    -3
  • catchphrase
    Recently bought an Intel 820 120GB from Newegg, on sale for under $140. It's now the boot and gaming drive for a Core Duo system. In my opinion, even operating on SATA3, it has proven a very effective upgrade.
    1
  • catchphrase
    Recently bought an Intel 820 120GB from Newegg, on sale for under $140. It's now the boot and gaming drive for a Core Duo system. In my opinion, even operating on SATA3, it has proven a very effective upgrade.
    -5
  • Onus
    I'd like to see more focus on reliability. I've had to RMA 2/5 SSDs, and lost some data when they died. I added a Samsung 830 recently, and I hope it holds up; it is backed up weekly onto a mechanical drive.
    2
  • grizzlebee
    As Kyuuketsuki said, I'd go with the Mushkin for $1/GB. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226236
    2
  • Anonymous
    Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 240gb for CAN$199 after MIR... just ordered one... for once we are getting some deals. http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=62972&vpn=MKNSSDCR240GB%2DDX&manufacture=Mushkin%20Enhanced&promoid=1058
    3
  • inflexion
    I was fortunate enough to pick up a Crucial M4 128gb last month for $1 per gigabyte to my doorstep a little over a month ago. I have been using it as my primary drive in my work laptop and I have been very impressed. Good performance and rock solid. I would recommend if you can find it in that price range. I wanted the Samsung 830 that Toms recommends this month. I am in the market for 2 more 128 gb drives and maybe I can get one for $1 a gig in the coming months.
    0