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Performance Indexes

Tom's Hardware's Summer Guide: 17 SSDs Rounded Up
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This chart lists our SSDs' average online prices. If the drive isn’t listed, it's because we couldn’t find any merchant with availability or even prices. As you can see, 256 GB SSDs remain way out of range for mainstream consumers, costing as much as a mainstream laptop. The 100 to 160 GB zone is more palatable in the roughly $300 price range. The 40 and 64 GB SSDs are more affordable still, but they have performance disadvantages on top of their lower capacities.

Recently, some prices were lowered. Since this is a static chart we cannot update it on a regular basis, so we recommend to check prices of your favorite SSDs before making a purchase. The following cost per gigabyte and performance evaluations are based on prices dated end of August 2010.

Cost per gigabyte isn’t a key metric when purchasing an SSD, but it’s interesting to compare the candidates. The 64 GB RealSSD C300 looks like a bargain, but keep in mind that it doesn’t perform well in all benchmarks. SandForce-powered SSDs are typically more expensive per gigabyte, but they also deliver balanced performance. WD is too expensive considering its performance limits, and OWC needs to get a grip.

You might remember our performance index from previous articles. We weighted 50% for throughput, 25% on I/O performance, and 25% for PCMark Vantage. This should reflect everyday performance. The fastest drive is the 256 GB RealSSD C300. Overall performance winners are the SandForce SF-1200 drives. They deliver better performance than Indilinx drives without utilizing any cache memory. Unfortunately, they’re also more expensive.

Many users will be more interested in performance per dollar than pure performance. In this light, the two entry-level SSDs by Crucial and Intel do exceptionally well, providing twice the performance per dollar than all other drives. As performance here doesn't vary as much as cost, the differences in this index are significant. Interestingly, SandForce SF-1200 SSDs rule here once again.

Lastly, we decided to look at performance per dollar and per gigabyte, because ultimately this is what has the highest relevance. You want maximum performance at a reasonable price, and you probably also want reasonable storage capacity. In this overall summary, Crucial shines, followed by the SandForce SSDs and Intel. Even the low-cost SSDs are serious alternatives.

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  • 0 Hide
    Onyx2291 , August 31, 2010 6:16 AM
    Good, before I saw this my decision on getting an Intel would have been fine.
  • -4 Hide
    M3God , August 31, 2010 6:19 AM
    Have (2) 30GB OCZ Vertex in RAID 0. They are pretty darn quick.
  • 4 Hide
    El_Capitan , August 31, 2010 6:35 AM
    You can get the Crucial RealSSD C300 128GB for $240. Only problem is the sketchy firmware (read about at anandtech) and poor performance in RAID.

    SSD's I have (I always look for deals and buy when I think it's the lowest):
    1. (2) Crucial RealSSD C300 128GB ($240) - Fast, great price, used for video editing and programming.
    2. Intel x-25m 160GB ($380) - Fast, expensive, used on my server.
    3. (2) Corsair P128 ($260, $290)- Decently fast, very low power consumption, decent price but now expensive, used for my HTPC and laptop.
    4. Kingston SSDNow V-series 64GB ($110) - Fast enough, somewhat cheap, used for my gf's computer.

    Luckily none have gone bad on me, and would buy them again. Glad to see other SSD's in the mix, though. More reviews and benchmarks never hurt, and THG's always used when I need more information to make a decision. :) 
  • 3 Hide
    WarraWarra , August 31, 2010 6:46 AM
    Nice piece very informative.

    G-Skill Phoenix 100GB looks like a good all rounder.
    OWC a good 2nd choice for me.
    Western digital would have been my 1st choice but seems to lack a lot.

    The rest is too all over the place with it's performances for me.
  • 0 Hide
    The Greater Good , August 31, 2010 6:57 AM
    I just used 2 120 GB Phoenix Pros in RAID 0 for a friend's build. It's freakin FAST! I got one for my parents as their HDD just crashed. They love it.
  • 0 Hide
    heretocrave , August 31, 2010 7:02 AM
    "reads and whites" is that supposed to be some sort of play on words? Just kidding. Good article, much appreciated.
  • 1 Hide
    blackmancer , August 31, 2010 7:19 AM
    I got 2 intel 80 G2s in RAID0 and they haul. sure under heavy 4K scenarios they do fall behind, but for most use its no problem. you can also purchase 2 intel 160G drives for slightly more than a C300 and you'll get far better results per dollar per GB in a RAID0 setup.

    I get 525MB reads and 175MB writes. For an OS drive that doesn't do a whole lot of writing I'm ok with the performance.
  • 2 Hide
    JonnyDough , August 31, 2010 7:48 AM
    For my dollar I'll do a smaller OCZ Vertex 2 for a boot drive...they have great performance and come in under $150.
  • 5 Hide
    jgv115 , August 31, 2010 8:11 AM
    I'm still rocking a Intel X25-M G1, no probs at all. I see no point to change.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 31, 2010 8:34 AM
    I just picked up the kingston SSDNow-now SNV-425, Im happy with it but am thinking about picking up another for raid 0. Does anybody have this setup?Im curious to know your read/write numbers as I cant find anybody with this setup on the net. Please Post.
  • 0 Hide
    jsowoc , August 31, 2010 8:35 AM
    Two corrections to the graph titles (other SSD articles have the same problems):

    - it says "[t in ms]" (should be "t in us")

    - it says "including rotational latency"; which parts of the SSD are rotating and have latency? ;-)
  • 3 Hide
    ruffopurititiwang , August 31, 2010 9:31 AM
    I like how you did the price/performance index. People don't usually buy SSD's for storage but for performance so it makes much more sense to show the performance vs dollar metric than gigabyte vs dollar. This way, people can pick what capacity will suffice for them then decide which drive will give them the most performance for the money. Kudos!
  • 1 Hide
    Travis Beane , August 31, 2010 9:32 AM
    Interesting.
    Guess I'm still waiting for the Gen3 Intel drives.
    I have been saying that for a while now...

    Though I will avoid RAID for a boot drive, and RAID 1/5 only for storage.
    I've had enough headaches from RAID.
  • 0 Hide
    avatar_raq , August 31, 2010 12:14 PM
    I just ordered an OCZ vertex 2 60GB for ~155 USD, excluding shipping and other costs, if the performance is close to the 120GB version then I'm in good shape, but I highly doubt that. Any one got a good comparison between the 2 drives?
  • -6 Hide
    Reynod , August 31, 2010 12:24 PM
    Great stuff ... thanks guys.

    Sorry I came across so rude in your other article P & A.

    I have a soft spot for core2.

    :) 
  • 0 Hide
    andune , August 31, 2010 12:50 PM
    Maybe I missed this in the tables, but was the Crucial drive tested on a 6 Gb/s interface only? For those of us with only 3Gb/s boards, it'd be interesting to see how the performance compares. I seem to recall from Anand's review that throughput was somewhat less than saturated.
  • 3 Hide
    sstym , August 31, 2010 1:28 PM
    Patrick and Achim, great to see you included price in your performance ratios! The previous articles focused on power consumption, which is less relevant for SSD (a 1W difference when your laptop CPU consumes anywhere between 13 and 35W, and your GPU anywhere between 7 and 50W?)
    128GB C300 SSD's are already barely above $2 per GB. I can't wait for the next generation of intel SSD and the widely predicted price drops at the end of the year.
  • -8 Hide
    zaixionito , August 31, 2010 2:17 PM
    Raid does NOTHING to improve SSD speed....
  • 0 Hide
    cknobman , August 31, 2010 2:21 PM
    Western Digital should hang their head in shame. Pathetic SSD offering and I cant see anyone actually buying one.
  • 0 Hide
    sublifer , August 31, 2010 2:22 PM
    I'm kind of surprised seeing the aggregate performance chart with the intel V series outperforming the indilinx drives. Seems fishy to me.

    Not surprised with WD as I've noticed the same thing myself. If you look at the lower capacity WD drives though you'll find the price competes with the intel (and Kingston) V series but performance is closer to the indilinx and M series (I can only assume as I'm not sure I've ever seen the smaller cap versions benched). A much better buy in my opinion.

    That said, I really want a Vertex2 (or larger cap C300) but I'm waiting for a reasonable capacity under $200. I think that threshold is shared by many and the first mfg to make it there is going to make a killing.
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