Second-Gen SandForce: Seven 120 GB SSDs Rounded Up

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compton

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Newegg has been having the odd sale on the M4 64GB, which for being a 64GB SSD is pretty awesome. Last week it was selling for $90 and sold out, then went on shell shocker for a hundred and sold out. I should point out that it probably SHOULD be $100 with it's cheap IMFT 25nm nand, but none the less looks like a good deal. I picked one up. When the time came two weeks ago to invest in a new 6gps drive, I went with the intel 510, despite it's lacking encryption like the 300 series and with its high price. If I were to do it over again, I'd get the Corsair P3 probably and save $50.

[citation][nom]chovav[/nom]nice work guys I do have a question though: for my own use, I need to encrypt the system drive using TrueCrypt (128bit AES). When I did that on a Vertex 2 60GB, the performance went down a hundred-fold! This apparently had to do with the fact that the data was in-compressible (bad for SandForce controllers) and the drive was completely "filled" by TrueCrypt's encryption (so you won't be able to see how much data is on it).This meant that the performance was actually LOWER than an encrypted mechanical hard drive, and actually almost unusable. Is there any way for you to devise a test that looks at this effect on SSD performance? This situation is not very rare, a lot of business users must encrypt their drives in order to comply with Company Policy.. I've used AS-SSD for testing, with read/write results at around 3.5MB/s :SThank you,Chovav[/citation]


I would recommend the Intel 320 series. They have built in encryption, AES 128 I believe. If you MUST use TrueCrypt (or some other encryption), I second Andrew's M4 recommendation, but if you just need the drive to be encrypted with AES 128, you don't even need to use true crypt with the 320 series -- not the more expensive 510.
 

thespin

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With so many candidates, the graphs use colors for the performance curves that are sometimes very close and hard to differentiate. The reader cannot always tell which color is for which candidate.

I have a suggestion. For the lists of candidates and colors below the graph, order the list in order of performance - high to low (as best you can). This would in most cases allow the reader to tell which curve color and which candidate go together.
 

zepfan_75

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[citation][nom]acku[/nom]There is no ONE holy grail benchmark. Our Storage Benchmark v1.0 is our attempt to provide a singular ranking system by subjecting a SSD to "average desktop use" (low qds, mostly sequential, reasonable amount of compressible data).YMMV depending on workload. For example, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is mostly random data. Crysis 2 is mostly sequential. Then we have to start picking apart transfer sizes and queue depths....If you need to look at one ranking system, that's the page I would recommend looking at.Cheers,Andrew KuTomsHardware.com[/citation]

Well, thank you, but what I meant was that I've heard a lot about 4k random writes/reads to be only important to server use, so whichSpecification[/b} is most commonly used in a SSD under average loads
*goes back to page I to look at graphs*
 

serendipiti

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I wonder what is best: 2 x 64GB RAID vs 120GB (would be an interesting review).Well, looking at the benchmarks (sorry didn't search for prices, don't know if it is worth or not) it makes sense go for a 2xCrucial M4-64GB RAID setup for a system drive.
 

clonazepam

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I picked up an ocz agility 3. I run it on a sata II connection, on a nvidia chipset. My benchmark results are very similar to these so my initial worries are for the most part, gone. In the near future, I'll probably give it to my mother though, and opt for a larger vertex 3, maybe max iops version or something. idk. Until I graduate to a sata III connection, the agility is more than agile for my needs.

Thank you for this article.

(I just wish I wasn't colorblind, some of those charts gets confusing lol)

P.S. When you realized the main site's link was going to the UK version of the article, why'd you then kill all the comments made there?
 

whysobluepandabear

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[citation][nom]clonazepam[/nom]I picked up an ocz agility 3. I run it on a sata II connection, on a nvidia chipset. My benchmark results are very similar to these so my initial worries are for the most part, gone. In the near future, I'll probably give it to my mother though, and opt for a larger vertex 3, maybe max iops version or something. idk. Until I graduate to a sata III connection, the agility is more than agile for my needs.Thank you for this article.(I just wish I wasn't colorblind, some of those charts gets confusing lol)P.S. When you realized the main site's link was going to the UK version of the article, why'd you then kill all the comments made there?[/citation]

A lot of men are vs women - of which it is EXTREMELY rare to find a colorblind woman. It's a XX vs XY chromosome defect if any of you are wondering. It only needs to take effect once for a man, and he'll see the effects. It would have to be defective in both for women, which is extremely rare.

I usually use the term color deficient. Reason being - most people literally think color blind means you cannot see color, or certain colors. That obviously is not true; you merely just see the color as dull, and have difficult times differentiating certain colors on top or close to each other.


I'm red/green color blind and I can see the submit comment button and "feedback" to the right is the color red. So as you can see, I'm not literally "color blind".



Fun fact for people who are color blind: Notice how you're unable to see certain slides on the Ishihara (bunch of dots in different colors that show shapes or numbers) test? Well, color blind people likewise can see certain slides that people with normal vision cannot. So ideally, you could "hide" codes and etc in certain combinations of colors. The person with normal vision wouldn't be the wiser - though it'd stick out instantly to a color deficient person.
 

badger1194

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Love the review.

Newbie here !!

We'll dismiss the Z68 - which allows you to use a small SSD to boost your normal HDD - otherwise if your SSD is large enough, it's actually a worse route, and just instead use the SSD.
The z68 motherboard I purchased asus maximus IV-Z recommends to set up the cache in RAID 18.1GB - 64GB and the rest of the space on the raid can be filled with other data. Are you saying that setup will cause my performance to be worse than just using my OCZ Vertex 3 240GB as my main drive with no SSD caching?

I can't understand how the vertex 3 240G can perform worse with ssd caching as opposed to straight full boot drive. Maybe I missed something in the review. Can someone send me a link to a benchmark or to the theory as to how a setup with SSD caching (with say a 40G cache + 200GB in raid - for example) .. will be slower than full SSD to mechanical with no SSD caching?

 

acku

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[citation][nom]badger1194[/nom]Love the review.Newbie here !!The z68 motherboard I purchased asus maximus IV-Z recommends to set up the cache in RAID 18.1GB - 64GB and the rest of the space on the raid can be filled with other data. Are you saying that setup will cause my performance to be worse than just using my OCZ Vertex 3 240GB as my main drive with no SSD caching? I can't understand how the vertex 3 240G can perform worse with ssd caching as opposed to straight full boot drive. Maybe I missed something in the review. Can someone send me a link to a benchmark or to the theory as to how a setup with SSD caching (with say a 40G cache + 200GB in raid - for example) .. will be slower than full SSD to mechanical with no SSD caching?[/citation]

Yes, read the first paragraph in the article. That should sum it all up. Feel free to ask more questions, though.

Cheers,
Andrew Ku
TomsHardware.com
 

dkraptor

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Hi there, Andrew. I have a couple of quick questions :). What do you think of the AMD SB950 SATA600? Or ASM1061? which connector do you consider is more "mature" for the SSD? and what's your recommandation for the swap (SSD or HDD/or both)?
 

dan_L

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I passed on the OCZ SSDs because so the OCZ SSDs failed for way too many folks who bought them at newegg.com. I've been thrilled with the performance of the Crucial SSDs we bought instead -- fast and reliable. I was able to clone my old C drive to the new SSD without any glitches. And contrary to what salesfolk will tell you, you can clone an SSD to a conventional hard drive as backup and the hard drive backup works just fine. (Me thinks the sales people just want to sucker you into buying two SSDs when one will do - but that's just me being cynical....)
 

pinkeye

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[citation][nom]Hellbound[/nom]This article mentions installing the OS and applications to SSD, and the rest (movies, music) to conventional hdd's. But I'm not sure how to do that. I've google'd it and there are many suggestions how to do it. I would like to know the best way to go about this.[/citation]
Can't you find the forums?!
 

pinkeye

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[citation][nom]serendipiti[/nom]I wonder what is best: 2 x 64GB RAID vs 120GB (would be an interesting review).Well, looking at the benchmarks (sorry didn't search for prices, don't know if it is worth or not) it makes sense go for a 2xCrucial M4-64GB RAID setup for a system drive.[/citation]
Apples vs. Oranges

You're comparing absolute speed, using 2 connections, and using a hand-grenade (RAID0) to one single drive.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Installing OS & Software to SSD is great. What about the Win7 OS pagefile. Does the page file due to its constant read/writes dramatically reduce the SSD's overall m/Long term performance.
 

tecsi

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We need a comparison of the more affordable 60GB SATA3 SSDs, to understand how they perform vis-a-vis the 120/240GB SSDs.
 

ttg@th

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It's very odd that Tom's Hardware seems to ignore the OWC brand of SSDs...they offer industry-leading warranties, excellent support and unparalleled data loss prevention techniques including space reservation as well as special editions for use in RAID arrays...the SSD-specific sites report this, but Tom's does not. Interested in slightly lower speeds that OCZ Vertex 3 in exchange for much greater reliability and support? See independent reviews at bottom of ...Move over OCZ, Intel, Crucial, et cetera...OWC stands by their gear! And no, I don't work for them!
 

syntetik

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Andrew Ku: First of all .. very nice article .. like always in Tom's!

I need to buy an SSD for my April 2011 Macbook Pro. Almost buy the Vertex 3 120 Gb, but after i saw a lot of forums with people getting BSOD, low performance, problems with firmwares, etc i stop to think again. In OCZ forum, lot of people still have problems even with firmware 2.11 and 10.6 drivers from intel. I don' care about price of SSD, just want the fastest and most stable SSD in the market with 120 GB. I look at the benchmarks results that u post, i Patritor Wildfire and Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 120 GB looks nice, but in some tests far behind OCZ Vertex 3. In your opinion, what's the best SSD at the moment, speed vs stable. thanks a lot in advance.
 

syntetik

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Another question Andrew ... i see a lot of tests with AJA system and Quickbench 4.0 for osx since the other benchmark software used in this article don't work for OSX and the random 4k reads/writes are way fast.

http://barefeats.com/ssd6g.html ... don't want to make pub, but in this site, they test some SSD with Quickbench 4.0 and the results are pretty impressive. OSX file system could be the reason ? thanks in advance
 

dvc612

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Dear Bros... I just wondering and little desperate.. Whats is the best SSD in the market right now.. Best mean(Reliable, Fast, Not too expensive my budget 500or less for 240.. and 300or less for 120).

I just so confuse.. because last time I read all the reviews in Newegg, Amazon, OCZ Forum.. They are makes me disappointed (because all of fast ssd are involved in Freeze and BSOD).

Please help me out...
 

flong

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Right now in the 120GB size there are three to SSDs to consider as the "best":

1. OCZ 120 GB Max IOPS
2. Patriot Wildfire
3. Corsair GT Force 3 (I own this SSD and it is wicked fast and it does not have any problems with BSOD or reliability issues)

The OCZ Max IOPS and the Patriot Wildfire are the fastest 120 GB SSDs on the market and the Force 3 GT is right behind them. I chose Corsair because they stand behind their products better than any other manufacturer and they honor their warranties. Avoid the Corsair Force 3 (non GT) for now until the QC problems are worked out.

Note that Intel is coming out with new SSDs that supposedly will double the speed of the SSDs listed above and Intel is widely considered the most reliable SSD manufacturer.
 

syntetik

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For what i saw in many reviews, Mushkin Chronos Deluxe, Mach Xtreme MX-DS TURBO Series SSD and Kingston HyperX are way fast than any Corsair SSD and equal or better then OCZ e Patriot ... i think the SSD market with the new SandForce controller is now moving, so we have to wait to see new benchmarks. Other very nice SSD is OWC Mercury Extreme Pro .. i saw benchmarks for MBP 2011 and they are fast than OCZ.
 

flong

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[citation][nom]syntetik[/nom]For what i saw in many reviews, Mushkin Chronos Deluxe, Mach Xtreme MX-DS TURBO Series SSD and Kingston HyperX are way fast than any Corsair SSD and equal or better then OCZ e Patriot ... i think the SSD market with the new SandForce controller is now moving, so we have to wait to see new benchmarks. Other very nice SSD is OWC Mercury Extreme Pro .. i saw benchmarks for MBP 2011 and they are fast than OCZ.[/citation]

I just read a review of the Kingston Hyper X and it is indeed impressive. The Mushkin and the Patriot Wildfire are about equal and also are very fast. The Corsair Force 3 GT 120 GB (emphasize the GT) is very fast and beats the OCZ 240 GB SSD in many real world tests. I own the GT and it boots Windows 7 in less than 20 seconds (from the moment you push the start button). It is wicked fast. The Kingston Hyper X 120 GB is similar in speed and may be faster but not by much. The Mach Xextreme is embarrassingly slow and so I am not sure what you are talking about or why you even mention it.

To give you some perspective, in real world tests, the Corsair Force 3 GT 120 GB outperforms the OCZ 240GB in many benchmarks and even the 240GB Max IOPS in some benchmarks. But more importantly it has the Corsair name behind it and their legendary customer service. I have first-hand experience with their customer service and it is truly amazing.

When Corsair puts out their 240 GB Force 3 GT it may be the fastest drive on the market - however the Kingston Hyper X 240 GB is very impressive. It has the fastest benchmarks I have read to date.

Remember to look at the real-world benchmarks; they give you a much more realistic understanding of how the drive really performs. Also remember to look at the "fill" benchmarks. The real-world performance of many SSDs falls like a rock as they start to fill.
 

flong

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Sorry you are talking abut the Mach Xtreme MX-DS TURBO (as opposed to the non-turbo)- and it is right there with the other drives we are talking about.
 
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