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Best SSDs For The Money: October 2011

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 SuiteAverage Power Rating (W)ActualPower Used (mW)AverageCPU utilization (%)Completion Time (mm:ss)
Kingston SSDNow 100 V+0.68514.78:06
OCZ Agility 21.418610.97:54
Intel X25-M1.424210.810:17
OCZ Vertex 3 Pro1.620715.17:41
OCZ Vertex 21.926913.98:28
Seagate Momentus 5400.62.242610.411:40
OCZ Vertex 32.330515.17:50
G.Skill SATA II FM-25S2S-64GB2.636913.58:40
  • aznshinobi
    Kingston has truly stepped up their SSD game, Their HyperX SSDs are a huge step from where they were with their basic Kingston SSDs. Good Work.
    Reply
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    This is EXACTLY the article I wanted, since I want to get an SSD soon! Great review, though a bit short... maybe could do boot time comparison?

    This 60GB OCZ Agility 3 seems like a great option and costs only $100... well, $156 'round here :( Still, it has the best read/write speeds for the price; anyone having issues with that drive? Don't want to run into some BS for that much money...

    Any other good drive for that money? The hierarchy chart has many models listed, but very few made it in the "Best" categories.
    Reply
  • cumi2k4
    I don't get this sentence: "a file operation completes 85% faster on a low-end SSD than it does on a high-end hard drive, but there is only an 88% speed difference between a high-end hard drive and a high-end SSD"

    does this mean there's only 3% margin difference between low-end and high-end ssd?

    Also i don't get the chart...does this mean OCZ Agility 3 60 GB (tier 9) is worse than OCZ Agility 3 120 GB (tier 8) in speed? or is it just due to less capacity?

    (sorry this is my first time to foray into ssd...budget user here ;))
    Reply
  • Just bought Samsung 470 128GB on Newegg for $179.99.
    Great deal, if you ask me. And the speeds are absolutely amazing!
    Lucky me, sale ended day after I ordered mine. $229.99 at the moment.
    Seq read 200 MB/s
    Seq write 245 MB/s
    Rand read 28000 IOPS
    Rand write 15000 IOPS
    Reply
  • sceen311
    I think breaking it down, Best buy for capacity would be > then for the money.
    Reply
  • radium69
    Crucial M4 hands down ;)
    Reliability is #1 priority
    Don't forget that!

    Can we see some failure and RMA rates please!
    Reply
  • flong
    Finally, an SSD hierarchy that actually matches the data of other professional reviewers with the exception of the M4. A much better job by TH for this article.

    However, the Muskin 120GB is the top dog for 120GB SSDs. It beats most 240GB drives including the Vertex 3 240GB in most benchmarks. This is phenomenal for a 120GB drive.

    I still don't get the obsession with Crucial M4 as it is slower than the top tier SSDs. I am not sure why it keeps getting recommended as it is not faster and there is no reliable data to show it is more reliable. Maybe someone can chime in and explain why TH chose the M4?
    Reply
  • flong
    radium69Crucial M4 hands down Reliability is #1 priorityDon't forget that!Can we see some failure and RMA rates please!
    There are no comprehensive reliability studies for SSDs so why do you think that the M4 is more reliable than any other SSD? Also, if reliability is your top goal then Intel's SSDs supposedly are the most reliable though we have no data to confirm this factually.
    Reply
  • flong
    ViciousDeliciousJust bought Samsung 470 128GB on Newegg for $179.99.Great deal, if you ask me. And the speeds are absolutely amazing!Lucky me, sale ended day after I ordered mine. $229.99 at the moment.Seq read 200 MB/sSeq write 245 MB/sRand read 28000 IOPSRand write 15000 IOPS
    The Kingston Hyer X is $179.99 on Newegg right now and it is more than twice as fast. What is the attraction to the Samsung 470? I am asking sincerely, not in a smart ass way.
    Reply
  • thrawn1799
    Why is Samsung left off this list? Yes, I read about the reason they left off the 830 series but that still doesn't explain why the 470 is excluded.
    Reply