Best SSDs: $200 To $300
Best SSDs for ~$200: Performance Alternative 128 GB
Samsung 830 (Check Prices)
|Samsung 830||128 GB|
|Sequential Read||520 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||320 MB/s|
|Power Consumption (Active)||.15 W|
|Power Consumption (Idle)||.08 W|
Samsung's 830-series SSDs are arguably the fastest MLC-based consumer drives available right now, generally outpacing Crucial's m4. If you look at retail prices, the 830 only commands a $5-$10 premium over the m4, which is why we consider Samsung's SSD to be a better deal.
Best SSDs for ~$215: Premium Performance Option
Mushkin Chronos Deluxe (Check Prices)
|Mushkin Chronos Deluxe||120 GB|
|Sequential Read||560 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||515 MB/s|
|Power Consumption (Active)||3 W|
|Power Consumption (Idle)||1 W|
Mushkin's Chronos Deluxe is on par with OCZ's Vertex 3 MAX IOPS and Patriot's Wildfire. These are some of the are the fastest 120 GB SSDs we've ever tested. All three demonstrate what SandForce's newest controller can do when it's matched up to Toggle DDR flash. If you're willing to pay a little more per gigabyte to get better performance, we highly recommend one of these drives.
Best SSDs for ~$270: Reliable Option
Intel SSD 320 (Check Prices)
|Intel SSD 320||160 GB|
|Sequential Read||270 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||165 MB/s|
|Power Consumption (Active)||0.15 W (Typical)|
|Power Consumption (Idle)||0.1 W (Typical)|
We continue to believe that Intel's SSDs are the most reliable you can buy. Our opinions are shared by data center managers in the enterprise world, who we've polled about their own experiences with solid-state technology. Almost exclusively, they let us know that they lean on Intel drives.
As such, we recommend Intel's 160 GB SSD 320 for anyone willing to sacrifice the performance of a SATA 6Gb/s interface in favor of a more mature controller with several new firmware-enabled nods to data security. The ability to map up to one die's worth of failed blocks to redundant flash is an example. Additionally, on-board capacitors keep the drive running for long enough to write cached data to nonvolatile memory in the event of a power loss.