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Best SSDs For The Money: July 2012

Best SSDs: $200 To $300

Best SSDs for ~$200: Premium Performance Option

Mushkin Chronos Deluxe (Check Prices)

Mushkin Chronos Deluxe240 GB
Sequential Read560 MB/s
Sequential Write520 MB/s
Power Consumption (Active)3 W
Power Consumption (Idle)1 W

Like last month, Mushkin continues pricing its 240 GB Chronos Deluxe at $200. When you consider that the Chronos Deluxe's performance equals OCZ's Vertex 3 MAX IOPS and Patriot's Wildfire, both of which cost more than $400, spending half as much sounds like a real bargain for anyone unwilling to compromise on capacity or performance.

Best SSDs for ~$210: Performance Option

Crucial m4 (Check Prices)

Crucial m4256 GB
Sequential Read500 MB/s
Sequential Write260 MB/s
Power Consumption (Active)0.15 W
Power Consumption (Idle)0.10 W

If you're looking for a higher-capacity SSD that doesn't come with a caveat about data compression, Crucial's 256 GB m4 is a solid choice. SF-22xx-based SSDs continue to sell for the lowest prices. However, Crucial's m4 gives you good performance on a more consistent basis.

Weighing each model's performance strengths, the comparison gets a little trickier. In a desktop environment, much of the data written sequentially tends to be compressible, favoring SandForce's architecture. However, that trend changes as our library of compressed audio and video content grows.

Separately, when it comes to read operations, the two drives perform similarly. But once you take into account that the m4 also offers more user-accessible space and a lower price, we think Crucial's drive is the victor.

Best SSDs for ~$270: Gaming Option 256 GB

Samsung 830 SSD, Bundle (Check Prices)

Samsung 830256 GB
Sequential Read560 MB/s
Sequential Write525 MB/s
Power Consumption (Active)0.12 W
Power Consumption (Idle)0.08 W

If you're a gamer already prepared to buy Ghost Recon: Future Solder, you might want to consider picking up Samsung's 256 GB 830 SSD. All retail bundles (desktop and notebook) come with a free copy of the game, which normally sells for $50. This should make Samsung's 830 mighty tempting; it costs $30 more to buy the game and drive seperately.

  • ipopeidr
    Grazie per la condivisione!
  • blazorthon

    $180 for the Mushkin Chronos Delux 240 GB rather than the $200 in the article. Not only that, but free shipping and this purchase is offered directly from Amazon, meaning that you get their excellent (in my experience) customer service should a problem arise. That's only $0.75 per GB for one of the fastest SandForce SSDs available!
  • bdizzle11
    "At under $1/GB, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better deal below $100."

    With daily sales and other promotions the prices of 120gb drives are especially good. I just got a 120gb kingston hyperx for $80, no MIR required. Best PC purchase in awhile in my opinion.
  • EzioAs
    The title on page 2 and 3 is wrong. The recommendation was supposed to start with below $100. Please fix it guys :)
  • envy14tpe
    No Intel? 128GB for $95.
  • I was lucky enough to snag a Samsung 830 256GB for $230 on Newegg this evening. Lowest price of the year so far!

    I have three of them that I've been able to work with so far, both of the 256GB versions perform up to and above their rated speeds in real world testing. Nice having an SSD that works well with compressible and non-compressible data equally well.

  • sayantan
    Price ranges are incorrect!!
  • cmcghee358
    Aww. I got a Samsung 830 128GB SSD on 6/17/2012. But my SKU is MZ-7PC128B/WW. I got it from I'm curious why this /WW isn't included in the list of SSDs that can get the code?
  • odiervr
    FYI: Intel 330, 180 GB SSD. Great product. Newegg $160. Got one w/ rebate for $140.
  • envy14tpe
    tomshardware is starting to drop the ball on why they are making choices. Now I see why people are telling me not to trust their price ratings.