Tom's Hardware's SSD Hierarchy Chart
We understand that SSD prices make it difficult to adopt the latest technology. Maybe that's why you aren't too keen on blowing a couple hundred dollars on solid-state storage, especially when you can spend the same amount and buy four 2 TB hard drives or a high-performance processor. That's why it's important to put things into perspective.
Over the past five years, CPU performance has hit new and unforeseen heights, and processors are increasingly spending time waiting on data from hard drives. This is what makes storage today's most glaring bottleneck. Overcoming it requires an SSD.
As a point of comparison, 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. That why you shouldn't let less aggressive benchmark results at the low-end deter you from making the switch. You don't have to have the best SSD to get great performance relative to a hard drive.
Many of you have been requesting some sort of SSD hierarchy chart, which we're finally going to start providing. However, there are multiple ways to rank SSDs. Performance rankings can change drastically based on the following:
- seek distance (random versus sequential)
- transfer size
- queue depth
- amount of data
We're going to rely on the information provided in our Storage Bench v1.0, as it ranks performance in a way that reflects average daily use for a consumer workload. This applies to gamers and home office users. The chart has been structured so that each tier represents a 10% difference in performance. Some rankings are educated guesses based on information from testing a model at a different capacity or a drive of similar architecture. As such, it is possible that an SSD may shift one tier once we actually get a chance to test it. Furthermore, SSDs within a tier are listed alphabetically.
There are several drives that we're going to intentionally leave out of our hierarchy list. Enterprise-oriented SLC- and 512 GB MLC-based SSDs are ignored due to the extreme price they command (and the difficult we have getting samples in from vendors). Furthermore, SSDs with a capacity lower than 60 GB are left off because of the budget nature of that price range.
|SSD Performance Hierarchy Chart|
|Tier 1||Adata S511 240 GBCorsair Force GT 240 GBMushkin Chronos Deluxe 240 GBOCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240 GB Patriot WildFire 240 GB|
|Tier 2||Kingston HyperX SSD 240 GBOCZ Vertex 3 240 GB|
|Tier 3||Intel SSD 510 250 GBMushkin Chronos Deluxe 120 GBOCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 120 GB Patriot WildFire 120 GB|
|Tier 4||Corsair Force 3 240 GBCrucial m4 256 GBOCZ Agility 3 240 GB|
|Tier 5||Intel SSD 510 120 GB|
|Tier 6||Adata S511 120 GBCorsair Force GT 120 GBCrucial m4 128 GBKingston HyperX SSD 120 GBOCZ Vertex 3 120 GB|
|Tier 7||OCZ Agility 2 240 GBOCZ Vertex 2 240 GB|
|Tier 8||Corsair Force 3 120 GBIntel SSD 320 300 GBOCZ Agility 3 120 GBOCZ Solid 3 120 GB|
|Tier 9||Kingston SSDNow V+100 128 GBIntel SSD 320 160 GBOCZ Agility 3 60 GB|
|Tier 10||Crucial m4 64 GBIntel SSD 320 80 GBOCZ Agility 2 120 GBOCZ Vertex 2 120 GB OCZ Solid 3 60 GBOther first-gen 120 GB SSDs|