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Time To Upgrade: 10 SSDs Between 240 And 256 GB, Rounded Up

Test Setup And Benchmarks

We continue revising and updating our SSD testing procedures. Most recently, we started benchmarking logical volumes to better represent the performance of solid-state storage the way you'd actually use it. Unfortunately, it's a lot more difficult to generate consistent numbers this way. So, we're averaging the results of multiple iterations in an effort to better zero-in on the best results possible.

Test Hardware
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2400 (Sandy Bridge), 32 nm, 3.1 GHz, LGA 1155, 6 MB Shared L3, Turbo Boost Enabled
MotherboardGigabyte G1.Sniper M3
MemoryKingston Hyper-X 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR3-1333 @ DDR3-1333, 1.5 V
System DriveOCZ Vertex 3 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s
Tested DrivesIntel SSD 320 300 GB SATA 3Gb/s, Firmware: 1.92
Intel SSD 320 80 GB SATA 3Gb/s, Firmware: 1.92
Intel SSD 330 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 300i
Intel SSD 330 180 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 300i
Intel SSD 330 120 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 300i
Intel SSD 520 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 400i
Intel SSD 520 60 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 400i
Samsung 830 256 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: CXMO
Samsung 830 64 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: CXMO
Crucial m4 256 GB SATA 6Gb/s Firmware: 0309
Crucial m4 64 GB SATA 6Gb/s Firmware: 0309
OCZ Vertex 3 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 2.15
OCZ Vertex 3 120 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 2.22
OCZ Vertex 3 60 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 2.15
OCZ Vertex 4 256 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 1.5
OCZ Agility 3 120 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 1.5
OCZ Agility 4 60 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 1.5
OCZ Vertex 4 64 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 1.5
OCZ Agility 4 256 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 1.5
OCZ Agility 4 128 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 1.5
Samsung 840 Pro 512 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: DMX02B0Q
Corsair Neutron GTX 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: M206
Corsair Neutron 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: M206
Intel SSD 335 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 335s
OCZ Agility 4 256 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 1.5
Monster Daytona 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 5.0.2
Adata XPG SX900 256 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 5.0.2
Adata XPG SP900 256 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 5.0.2
SanDisk Extreme 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: R201
PNY XLR8 Pro 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 5.0.2
PNY XLR8 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 5.0.2
Transcend SSD720 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 5.0.2
Transcend SSD320 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s, Firmware: 5.0.2
GraphicsPalit GeForce GTX 460 1 GB
Power SupplySeasonic 760 W, 80 PLUS Gold
System Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 x64 Ultimate
DirectXDirectX 11
DriverGraphics: Nvidia 270.61 RST: 10.6.0.1002 Virtu: 1.1.101
Benchmarks
Tom's Hardware Storage Bench v1.0Trace-Based
Iometer 1.1.0# Workers = 1, 4 KB Random: LBA=8 GB, varying QDs, 128 KB Sequential, Logical LBA Span
PCMark 7Storage Suite
  • mayankleoboy1
    get the cheapest, biggest you possibly can. Benchmarks exaggerate the difference between SSD's.
    Reply
  • A Bad Day
    I agree. Unless if you're buying a glorified USB stick (there is a 128 GB stick) or an SSD with an OC'ed processor, the main factor that consumers should be concerned about is price per gigabyte.
    Reply
  • A Bad Day
    EDIT: And reliability.
    "In order to install a new firmware that significantly boost performance and stability, you must backup all of your data because it will be wiped."
    Reply
  • Tanquen
    Yea, it’s getting a little out of hand. For 90% of the things 90% of people do on their PC, 200MBs+ read and write speeds just don’t mean much. There are too many other bottle necks going on. I messed around with a RAM drive using most of my 64GB of RAM and the read and write speeds are fun to test (4000MBs or so) but games and VMware sessions I launched from the RAM disc saw no noticeable improvement in launch times or anything else. Same goes for my 830 SSD drive. It’s fast but games and software I use for SCADA development just don’t see any real benefit. They are cool if you want to open 10 sessions of MS Word and 15 Internet Explorer and a bunch of other stuff at the same time but if you just open one instance of Excel and use it and the Photo Shop and use it and then a web browser and use it, you’ll never really see the difference. You have to benchmark it or have two PCs setting right next to each other to see that something started or saved a split second faster.

    At least with my 64GB of RAM and actually get 64GB of RAM unlike HDs and SSDs.
    Reply
  • tomfreak
    unless the sandforce drive is priced a lot cheaper than the similar capacity non-sandforce SDD. I always choose the non-sandforce SSD. 16GB is a big deal in SSD.
    Reply
  • stoogie
    until theres affordable 512gb ssd's then i wont get 1, my c drive is 360gb~ and i have 11tb
    Reply
  • sna
    TanquenYea, it’s getting a little out of hand. For 90% of the things 90% of people do on their PC, 200MBs+ read and write speeds just don’t mean much. There are too many other bottle necks going on. I messed around with a RAM drive using most of my 64GB of RAM and the read and write speeds are fun to test (4000MBs or so) but games and VMware sessions I launched from the RAM disc saw no noticeable improvement in launch times or anything else. Same goes for my 830 SSD drive. It’s fast but games and software I use for SCADA development just don’t see any real benefit. They are cool if you want to open 10 sessions of MS Word and 15 Internet Explorer and a bunch of other stuff at the same time but if you just open one instance of Excel and use it and the Photo Shop and use it and then a web browser and use it, you’ll never really see the difference. You have to benchmark it or have two PCs setting right next to each other to see that something started or saved a split second faster.At least with my 64GB of RAM and actually get 64GB of RAM unlike HDs and SSDs.
    to see the difference you will need to put the system itself on RAM Disk. not only the installed programs.


    Reply
  • Where are Samsung SSDs ? Especialy model Samsung 830- 256GB which is on sale in Europe for 160-180€. That is best offer, reliable, faster than basic 840. Get some MB with Z77 chipset and you can RAID them with TRIM support. 2x256 for 330€ is so awesome with 1035Mb/s read in RAID 0. I tested it on Gigabyte Z77-UP4 TH, its a shame that there are only 2x6Gbit ports so 1x840 Pro + 2x830 in RAID 0 is impossible on this MB without SATA2 speed loss on remaining SATA ports. This was my scenario for fast gaming /500GB Steam inventory/ : Raptor, later RAID 0 HDDs, later Velociraptor, next 128GB SSD + 1GB Samsung HDD cached by OCZ Synapse 64GB /totaly unreliable/. So I ended up with 1x boot SSD + 2x SSD in RAID 0. Maybe I am little bit offtopic but any ideas how to "live" with increased Steam inventory and keep it fast enough ? Steamover SW is not reliable for me. Thanks for nice article.
    Reply
  • ojas
    When Thomas, Don, and Paul prioritize the parts for their quarterly System Builder Marathon configurations (the next of which is coming soon, by the way)
    Wait, SBMs are fine, but where oh where went BestConfigs?
    Reply
  • Yuka
    I went for a Vertex4 and placed it in my notebook. What a boost. I'd say it also helped improve battery life.

    For a Desktop, I don't have a particular use TBH. I have a RAID0 with 2x512GB WD's and it works amazingly good (and fast as well). I'd say, for desktops, SSDs are still not viable because of price, unless you clench your teeth with loading times or such, hahaha.

    Cheers!
    Reply