Fastest Consumer SSD?

game junky

Based on the drives I have used, the Intel 520 has been the best experience. I haven't had to do any firmware upgrades, it hasn't comflicted with any drivers and the read/write speeds are phenomenal.

If I had money to burn, I would make a RAID5+1 setup of 180GB Intel 520 SSDs - my motherboard has 6 SATAIII ports so theoretically I could have almost 3 gbps read/write speeds. Talk about living the dream...


Apr 4, 2012
You arent going to see a notcieable real life difference between the absolute fastest and the middle of the road fastest for gaming. Anything with a 6gbs interface would be perfectly suited to your needs. Unless you like to benchmark and say you have the best of the best.



Pretty much this.

What's really funny is the Rift benchmarks that Tom's did I found to be completely misleading. I specifically got a Vertex 3 64GB for either Boot+a Few games or SRT. My zone load times between just using a straight up mechanical drive vs the SSD were only the difference between about 10 seconds on the hard drive and 8 seconds on the SSD. I ended up just not bothering with the whole SSD and just threw it on as an SRT setup (which actually seems to work just as well as just on the SSD... I'm sure it's not quiet as fast, and if you have some type of screen recording could probably measure the difference if you really tried).

Keep in mind they used a completely non-optimized 5400RPM drive, in the slowest setup they could possibly manage to do those benchmarks. I keep my drive organized with Ultimate Defrag, and am using a regular desktop (1TB 7200RPM, 64MB cache) drive that you would find in any normal gaming machine setup.
You may read about glowing benchmarks for the newest SSD's.
The sequential benchmarks drive the SSD to it's maximum with programs that issue I/O operations
at a much faster rate than an application can, and does so at high queue levels. 6gb sata looks great.
But, a normal desktop user rarely does anything remotely like that.

The second type of benchmark measures maximum IOPS which will be done at high queue levels again. Think >30.
That is also not what we do. The OS does mostly small random I/O, and at smallish queue lengths.
It is the response time that matters most.

It turns out that at low queue lengths, Most SSD's have the same response time, and they are very low.
That is exactly what you want from a SSD, particularly for the OS.

So, what does this mean when buying a SSD?

Buy the capacity you need from a vendor you trust.
Today, I think Intel and Samsung seem to be the most issue free.
Also, buy enough capacity so that you will have sufficient free space to maintain performance.
Have perhaps only 75% maximum usage.