The Best Sub-$100 SSDs Tested, Reviewed

By Julio Franco ยท 28 replies
Nov 13, 2012
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    3DCGMODELER TS Enthusiast Posts: 307   +18

    I have a system... And was thinking of going SSD 256 gig will I benifit if I switch to a SSD???
    Gigabyte 1136 socket MB, i7-970 6-core, 32 gig ram. I am using a Antec case with a SSD mount on the very top of case..
  2. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 7,668   +988

    You don't mention what storage you're using right now, but regardless if it's a standard hard drive you are bound to see a big performance increase if you use a SSD... but wait, did you read the article?

    For comparison sake we included a speedy 10k RPM HDD in all benchmarks, and it still gets kicked in the nuts.
  3. Jesse

    Jesse TS Evangelist Posts: 358   +42

    FYI, The table with the SSD data gets cut off on my iPhone 4.
  4. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,868   +2,035

    Works on my Galaxy 3 :) upgrade :p
    ghasmanjr likes this.
  5. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,270   +91

    Really like the graphs. :)

    And this roundup's timing for me is excellent. Was looking to finally get an SSD this weekend, coming from a 1TB Barracuda. I've heard good things about the 830, mainly about its long-term reliability. I read you would do some benchmarks to simulate this very thing, but I didn't see the HD Tach benchmark. Did I miss something?
  6. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,868   +2,035

    You cannot simulate long-term reliability. You can only determine long-term reliability by using at least one (preferably numerous) versions of a particular SSD for a year or more. That said yes the 830 is reliable based on our testing, I have had a pair of 830 SSDs in use for over a year now.

    The HD Tach is used to test TRIM performance by filling the drives completely numerous times before benchmarking.
  7. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,270   +91

    Ah, I see. I misinterpreted the wording. I thought all benchmarks were pre-HD Tach, and then we'd see post-HD Tach benchmarks.

    I know most of the benchmarks are about raw performance, but I'm particularly interested in reliability and overall longevity of the drive. In your opinion, since you've owned the Samsung 830 would you recommned it on that basis over the OCZ Vertex 4?
  8. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,274   +461

    Your 1366 mobo is probably only going to have SATAII - so you'll be limited there, but it will still be much faster than any spindle based drive you put in there.
  9. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,485   +45

    Agree, I'm still on my rampage II extreme and I'm extremely limited with newer drives and speed test.
  10. Why isnt sandisk in the test
  11. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,868   +2,035

    If you want to know how a sub-$100 Sandisk SSD performs look at the Kingston HyperX 90GB which uses the SandForce SF-2281 controller just like the Sandisk Extreme. There is no point including every SandForce based SSD, it would just make the results confusing for the reader.
  12. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,958   +215

    Steven I have to ask, don't you think it's strange that the Samsung 840 Pro vs non-pro are so far apart in some file copy tests?

    I have not seen others review the smaller capacity 840 drives but to me it seems strange that it would be THAT much slower...
    If that's the case then the TLC NAND drives are to be avoided just as much as the ASYNC NAND drives as you mentioned in the review...

    AS SSD 4K-64
    Samsung 840 120GB: 101.5MB/s
    Samsung 840 Pro 512GB: 228.7MB

    Game File Copy Test:
    Samsung 840 120GB: 107.6MB/s
    Samsung 840 Pro 512GB: 249.9MB
  13. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    I can attest to the below par performance of the Kingston V200, got one of those with a deal with a new laptop and I've replaced it with an older Seagate Momentus XT 500GB hybrid disk and don't see much of a difference. Have to be careful with all these new 'affordable' SSDs on the market. Good article Techspot!
  14. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,868   +2,035

    You realize you are comparing the write performance of a 120GB SSD to a 512GB SSD right?

    Samsung's own spec says that the 840 120GB has a write speed of "up to" 130MB/s while the 840 Pro 512GB has a write speed of up to 520MB/s. So I don't think its strange.
  15. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,958   +215

  16. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    "128GB KINGSTON V200 SSD, SATA 6 Gb (300MB/R, 190MB/W) (Special Offer)"

    Thanks Per, guessing that the one I have is the original JMIcron version I have. It's stuck in my desktop as a scratch drive now for LightRoom. The mSata 256GB Crucial M4 I put into the laptop is worlds ahead of it.
  17. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,958   +215

    Okay thanks, I guess it was just on my head then that there would not be such a huge performance difference between then :)
    I even read Anands review of the non-pro 840 but guess the numbers must have not catched, they match nicely with what you found :)
  18. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +138

    I didn't want to complete my build until I at least got an SSD for my bootup. I did plenty of research and the one I leaned towards was the OCZ Vertex 4 128GB, but it never went to a sales price point that I could afford. Instead, I decided to go with the Kingston HyperX 120GB SSD. At the time I bought it Newegg had it on sale for $69.99 after $30 off and free shipping. Including the two year warranty my out the door cost was $79.98.

    Buying the SSD was best decision I made for my build: Bootup times is under ten seconds and accessing Excel, Outlook and Word takes less than three seconds. The size of the drive is perfect for just these applications and it is never going to be used for games or saves.

    I think over the next few months pricing on SSD in the 64GB-128GB range is going to drop considerably (at least I hope so). Anyone who hasn't gotten one yet should definitely look into making the investment along with a two-three year extended warranty.
  19. SSD adoption has been slow not only because of price but because of storage capabilities. If consumers see a number bigger than another they instantly think that one is better the write speed is of absolutely no importance to them. Nice comparison btw!
  20. Using myself Samsung SSD 830 128GB as OS disk for my desktop, and 256GB version for my laptop, I can guarantee that SSD change the PC experience a lot.

    Performance has increased at 200% and with all benefits of SSD, PC makers should consider the idea to build new computers with SSD as primary drive and HDD as data storage drive. The Samsung SSD are very reliable for my part. The prices of SSD are also decreasing.
  21. I use 2x Vertex 4's in raid 0. These are not sandforce which has caused some headaches but I get some wicked speeds. Took a gamble since they were a new controller. Very pleased the live boot CD upgrade the firmware with out breaking raid. =)

    My AS-SSD scores are about 1500 and I used 2x 128GB, they were $100 a piece and the speed is well worth the money. I just run Windows and Steam off it all storage hits my raid 5.
  22. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,936   +1,101

    Would have been nice to see the Agility 4 on here, other then that nice roundup. Think I saw a 256GB Agility 4 for $130 the other day, no rebate nonsense either.
  23. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,868   +2,035

    We didn't include the Crucial v4 or OCZ Agility 4 for a reason. We recently reviewed both models and concluded that they should be avoided. They are just a fraction cheaper than the m4 and Vertex 4 and the performance trade off simply isn't worth it. OCZ also didn't want the Agility 4 to be included so they obviously don't have much faith in that product either.

    We also cannot base the pricing on what was seen the other day. The 256GB Agility 4 is a $185 product. 4 256GB
    amstech likes this.
  24. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,936   +1,101

    Yes I remember reading that review, which was also well done. And I was wrong, the deal was a Agility 4 256GB for $145 but that bargain is long gone now. Thank you Steve!
    I am still waiting for a Tri SLi/Quad SLi vs Tri-fire/Quadfire review with the 670, 680, 7950 and 7970. :D It would bring in many, many, many hits/visitors! (just wait until the new official Nvidia drivers release please, the beta's show promising results in BF3)

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