Computers relying solely on age old hard disk drive technology should be deemed a thing of the past. Mechanical devices suffer from slow response times, so if and when performance matters, spending a small amount of money on upgrading a PC's boot drive could pay off enough to render other potential upgrades useless.
TechSpot's first SSD review was published in early 2009, a roundup no less. Back then we tested Intel's first generation consumer-level solid state drive, the X25-M. The first-gen OCZ Vertex also made the cut, along with drives from G.Skill and Super Talent. These last three were companies that had a background on selling computer memory (RAM) but that sought the opportunity of entering the performance flash-based storage market.
But of course, the major issue with SSD adoption over the past few years has been price, the astronomically high price when you are counting in hundreds of gigabytes.
Some 2 years ago we published a budget sub-$150 SSD roundup that included half a dozen popular SSDs of the time. Although they all cost less than $150, they also had in common a very limited storage capacity.
The OCZ Vertex 2 40GB came at $3.10 per gigabyte and was still one of the best drives featured in our review. The Kingston SNV425-S2 64GB was one of the better value drives at $125 ($1.95 per gigabyte) and was also amongst the highest capacity SSDs tested.
At best, these sub-$150 SSDs could be used as a boot drive, but beyond that getting all your favorite applications and games installed on a budget SSD was going to be a stretch. Thankfully a lot of progress has been made since then and while drives have become considerably faster they have also become significantly cheaper.
In today's comparison review we are going to look at 8 popular SSDs that cost $100 or less and feature capacities of up to 128GB. The table below will give you a snapshot of the drives, models, capacities and key differentiating features:
|OCZ Vertex 4||128GB||$115||90c||OCZ Indilinx Everest 2||25nm Synchronous|
|Samsung 840||120GB||$110||92c||Samsung MDX||19nm Toggle|
|Crucial m4||128GB||$105||82c||Marvell 88SS9174||25nm Synchronous|
|Kingston HyperX 3K SSD||90GB||$100||$1.11||SandForce SF-2281||25nm Synchronous|
|Kingston SSDNow V+200||120GB||$90||75c||SandForce SF-2281||25nm Asynchronous|
|OCZ Vertex 4||64GB||$75||$1.17||OCZ Indilinx Everest 2||25nm Synchronous|
|Crucial m4||64GB||$73||$1.14||Marvell 88SS9174||25nm Synchronous|
|Samsung 830||64GB||$70||$1.09||Samsung MCX||27nm Toggle|
The SSDs have been arranged by price and you will notice that the top three, which includes the OCZ Vertex 4 128GB, Samsung 840 120GB and Crucial m4 128GB are currently listed just above the $100 mark. However, we decided to include them as numerous online deals have enabled buyers to purchase these SSDs at under $100 over the past few weeks.
Moreover, these tend to offer exceptional value even at their list prices and are likely to drop in price permanently sooner rather than later.
The most affordable high-capacity SSD featured in our roundup is the Kingston SSDNow V+200 120GB, while the OCZ Vertex 4 64GB, Crucial m4 64GB and Samsung 830 64GB should all offer stellar performance for under $80.