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Roundup: The Best SSDs For Enthusiasts

Conclusion And Recommendations

Thanks to our work on this roundup, all of our future SSD tests will include CrystalDiskMark results, as these are more reliable when it comes to showing an SSD’s peak performance capabilities. The benchmark helped to show that Samsung’s new 470-series SSDs do well in maximizing performance. Our review unit uses SATA 3Gb/s instead of 6Gb/s and it doesn’t really outperform any of the other drives, but it shows consistency across all benchmarks and no severe weaknesses.

This has been an issue with other products. The throughput champ, Crucial’s RealSSD C300, remains the fastest drive in terms of megabytes per second, but it consumes more power and lags the SandForce drives in I/O performance. Intel has high I/O numbers and strong application performance, but it lacks write performance. And SandForce falls down on power consumption.

An SSD evaluation that provides you with a truly comprehensive picture on performance, power, and consistency won’t provide simple answers. Gone are the times when hard drives had a certain throughput and an access time. It’s extremely important for SSD testing to take workload types and popular application scenarios into account. A recommendation based on just a few benchmarks might be misleading because you can’t do justice to products without assuming all relevant viewing angles.


Having said that, the recommendations from our last SSD roundup are still valid. Architecture is what you should be looking for: Crucial/Marvel, Indilinx, Intel, Samsung, SandForce, or Toshiba?

You usually won’t regret buying an SSD with a SandForce SF-1200 controller. The balance between throughput, I/O performance, and application performance is still impressive. Corsair, G.Skill, Patriot, OCZ, Runcore, and others have suitable offerings. Look for best prices, warranty, and maybe an installation kit for your desktop PC if needed.

If you want to maximize throughput, you have no alternative but to purchase Crucial’s RealSSD C300. Mobile users can only get rock bottom power consumption if they stay with Toshiba hardware, which isn’t the fastest. Intel SSDs offer a good compromise between power and performance, but you have to be aware of their limited write performance.

Samsung’s 470-series only shows marginal weaknesses across our benchmark suite. If Samsung were to price the drive more aggressively, it would be a more compelling option.