60/64 GB SSD Shootout: Crucial, Samsung, And SandForce

Test Setup And Benchmarks

Test Hardware
Processor
Intel Core i5-2500K (Sandy Bridge), 32 nm, 3.3 GHz, LGA 1155, 6 MB Shared L3, Turbo Boost Enabled
Motherboard
ASRock Z68 Extreme4, BIOS v1.4
Memory
Kingston Hyper-X 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR3-1333 @ DDR3-1333, 1.5 V
System Drive
OCZ Vertex 3 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s
Tested DrivesCrucial m4 64 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 0009

Samsung 830 64 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: CXMO

Crucial m4 128 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 0009

Crucial m4 256 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 0009

Crucial m4 512 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 0009

Samsung 830 256 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: CXMO

SandForce Async 60 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: -

SandForce Sync 60 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: -

SandForce Toggle 120 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: -

SandForce Sync 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: -
Graphics
Palit GeForce GTX 460 1 GB
Power Supply
Seasonic 760 W, 80 PLUS
System Software and Drivers
Operating System
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
DirectX
DirectX 11
DriverGraphics: Nvidia 270.61
RST: 10.5.0.1022
Virtu: 1.1.101
Benchmarks
Tom's Hardware Storage Bench v1.0
Trace-Based
Iometer 1.1.0
# Workers = 1, 4 KB Random: LBA=16 GB, varying QDs, 128 KB Sequential: QD=1
PCMark 7
Storage Suite
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43 comments
    Your comment
  • GhosT94
    what about ocz vertex 3 ?
    -1
  • acku
    GhosT94what about ocz vertex 3 ?

    Read page 2.

    Cheers,
    Andrew Ku
    TomsHardware.com
    6
  • Anonymous
    Wow. Absolutely wonderful article. I did second guess my decision on SSD for my next build for a few. But honestly I'm just using it as a boot drive.
    2
  • acku
    kixofmyg0tWow. Absolutely wonderful article. I did second guess my decision on SSD for my next build for a few. But honestly I'm just using it as a boot drive.


    Glad to hear that!

    Cheers,
    Andrew Ku
    TomsHardware.com
    1
  • xtreme5
    gr888888!
    0
  • rossi004
    Ok, so I have the whole SSD for boot, HDD for storage and less intensive programs, but I have a practicality question:

    Is there a way to have files and programs automatically downloaded, installed, and run from the HDD without doing it manually every time if I have the SSD as the base drive?
    0
  • james_1978
    rossi004Ok, so I have the whole SSD for boot, HDD for storage and less intensive programs, but I have a practicality question:Is there a way to have files and programs automatically downloaded, installed, and run from the HDD without doing it manually every time if I have the SSD as the base drive?


    You can move your personal folders to your HDD (my documents, my music, downloads, ...), so downloads will end up there automaticaly, but programs will go to your C drive (SSD) by default.
    1
  • james_1978
    james_1978You can move your personal folders to your HDD (my documents, my music, downloads, ...), so downloads will end up there automaticaly, but programs will go to your C drive (SSD) by default.

    Ok, sorry, but actually you can move your program files by editing the registry:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/6643-63-windows-boot-drive-user-files-program-files-normal
    Moving only user files is far easier nevertheless, just using "move" in the folder properties...
    0
  • james_1978
    james_1978Ok, sorry, but actually you can move your program files by editing the registry:Moving only user files is far easier nevertheless, just using "move" in the folder properties...

    "Add an url" didn't quite work for me :-)
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/6643-63-windows-boot-drive-user-files-program-files-normal
    0
  • Soul_keeper
    nice article

    Worth mentioning, plextor PX-M3S are micron based and use toggle nand
    I don't think they make a 64GB version however
    0
  • exban224
    Are the tests on the m4 with the new firmware, if not then is you update the firmware the m4 is overall better. 120gb sandforce speeds anyone in a 64gb package.
    0
  • ojas
    Hey great in-depth article Andrew, really liked it!

    BTW: Intel lists different IOPS for its drives. They say, for example, that:
    Random Write (8GB Span)=21000 IOPS
    Random Write (100% Span)=600 IOPS

    Reads seem to be unaffected. What's this about?


    p.s. The graphs in any article (in general) aren't readable using the iOS app :( have to open it in safari then use the reader...and some comments aren't displayed entirely...i'm using an ipod touch, maybe it works fine on a tablet? :O Just thought i'd let someone know, didn't who develops the app...
    0
  • Dacatak
    What kind of flash does Super Talent use in their 64GB SATA III drives? They are hardly any slower than the higher capacity drives, which shows lower capacity doesn't always have to mean lower speed.
    0
  • burnley14
    Confirms my good decision to buy the 64GB m4! :)
    0
  • john4real4ipok
    my Nokia 2688 is hot and faitning
    1
  • a4mula
    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2011/08/07/nand_flash_faces_off_synchronous_vs_asynchronous/1

    Something that isn't even mentioned in the article is how full these drives were when benched. A fresh installed SSD with most of its capacity available will perform wonderfully. In real world scenarios where the drive is at 50% capacity however, the asynchronous drives performance falls off the map while the synchronous drives continue to perform well.

    Another issue that really could have been tackled here is RAID0 and performance per dollar of the 60/64GB drives vs their 128/256GB counterparts. I know there is a RAID0 scaling article already out there it would have been nice to see that incorporated here.

    Looking strictly at these benches it would seem as though a 256 m4 is the automatic choice. Maybe straight out of the box, not taking RAID0 into consideration that's the case. Once the drives start filling and considering the near 100% scaling of RAID I think you'd come to a different conclusion.
    2
  • peevee
    So, it is pretty clear that at the current flash density 64GB is both too slow (even slower than an old-tech HDD in some cases!) and too inconvenient (fits almost nothing you want to be faster).
    If you cannot afford at least 120GB, just wait and save money, with money saving and prices falling soon you will be able to buy it and enjoy your speed with almost everything except videos and backups/archives (for which HDDs are absolutely adequate).
    Or 240GB better yet.
    2
  • BlackHawk91
    *&^*&, should have bought it back on Black Friday when it was $100 bundled with Batman: Arkham City, but didn't had the money at the time.
    0
  • Reynod
    Thanks Andrew.

    I'm getting a Samsung ... this looks to good to miss as a new boot drive, and I'll keep my Momentus XT for storage.

    I'm thinking of 2 of the Seagates in RAID0.

    Does that seem good value for the money ?

    cheers.

    :)
    1
  • jjb8675309
    I have had a single crucial m4 64 GB running for a little over a year now as a rock solid and fast OS/APP drive
    0