Performance vs. Value: Making Some Picks

Newer and faster PCIe drives have made buying an SSD more complicated than ever as we are not only seeing a huge variation in performance but also price. To help us understand some of the benchmark data we've broken things down in a performance vs. value graph.

The data below is based on the file copy tests and the 7-Zip test as we feel these results paint the most accurate picture while the prices are based on dollars per gigabyte. For a closer look at SATA drives only, see the second scatter plot further down below.

Right out in front we have the Samsung SM951 effectively eliminating the Intel SSD 750 Series along with the Kingston HyperX Predator PCIe SSD and G.Skill Phoenix Blade PCIe SSD in terms of performance and ultimately value.

At a cost of $1.37 per gigabyte the G.Skill Phoenix Blade PCIe SSD 480GB is particularly poor value, which is a shame because the drive delivered better performance than the Kingston HyperX Predator, just not enough to its price premium. The same could be said about Kingston's drive, which matches the Intel SSD 750 Series in terms of price while delivering considerably less performance.

Next up, Plextor's PX-G512M6e was worlds slower than the Samsung SM951 and not a whole lot cheaper at $0.81/GB versus $0.89/GB. SanDisk's Extreme Pro can also be scratched as it's more expensive than Samsung's SSD 850 Pro while delivering slightly less performance.

The SSD 850 Pro looks to be the best SATA SSD in terms of price vs. performance, eliminating the much slower OCZ Vector 180 and Kingston HyperX Savage which are just as costly.

For budget shoppers, Samsung's SSD 850 Evo is a tiny bit faster than the Crucial MX200. With a recent price drop on Samsung's drive, you are bound to find both selling for about the same and we could happily go either way. If you're focused on savings, Crucial's BX100 is a mere $10 cheaper than the MX200 while delivering just 3% less performance. Transcend's SSD370 surprised us as well by delivering a close match to the Crucial BX100.

To conclude, Samsung's SM951 is the top choice for those seeking maximum performance, the SSD 850 Pro is best for enthusiasts who want the most bang for their buck, and those on a budget should consider the SSD 850 Evo or MX200, with our recommendation leaning toward the latter given how reliable its predecessor was and because it relies on MLC NAND instead of TLC.