SSD technology grew stale after saturating the SATA 6Gb/s bus, bringing minor improvements and making up for it with price cuts. With new PCIe and M.2 drives presenting a high performance alternative, it's time for a roundup. We review fourteen of the best consumer-grade SSDs using the SATA, PCI Express or M.2 interfaces and tell you what to buy.
Had Samsung's SM951 arrived before we reviewed the Intel SSD 750 Series 1.2TB I think our conclusion might have been a little less favorable for the Intel drive. The SSD 750 may tout NVMe support, but Samsung's SM951 is generally faster while being more affordable.
Designed for enthusiasts and workstations, the key feature of Intel's SSD 750 Series is its adoption of Non-Volatile Memory Express or NVMe, bringing multiple queues and lower latency with a direct path from the storage to the CPU. The drive is rated to deliver sequential read performance of up to 2.4GB/s with sequential writes hitting 1.2GB/s.
Back when OCZ released the RevoDrive 3 X2 in 2011, it was the fastest SSD for desktop users that we had seen. Using PCI Express, it eliminated the SATA bottleneck that most SSDs still face today while also offering hassle-free RAID. Three years later, the company is replacing it with the RevoDrive 350, touted as the ultimate storage solution for intensive workstation applications. The new RevoDrive has been upgraded to x8 PCIe 2.0 and boasts read/write speeds of 1.8/1.7GBps.
It’s worth pointing out that almost all the "magic" that has been developed around flash was already scoped out in 2007. It just takes a while for a whole new industry to mature. Individual die capacity increased, meaning fewer die are needed for a solution – and that means less parallel bandwidth for data transfer…