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The Great High-end SSD Shootout
Clash of the Titans
The performance benefits of SSDs over traditional mechanical hard disks are obvious and have long been extolled on our sites. For the most part, and in terms of raw performance, even the most average, mainstream SSD will leave the fastest 10,000rpm mechanical hard disk for dead. Furthermore, SSDs have made significant improvements where reliability and endurance are concerned. Unfortunately, price remains the greatest barrier to entry for most users, but that is gradually changing too.
If you’ve been diligent following prices of SSDs, you will know that prices have since fallen to record lows. Take for instance the Intel SSD 520 Series. When we reviewed the drive earlier this year, the 240GB variant of the drive retailed at around S$570. Now, the same drive can be found for around S$300 - a massive drop of nearly 48%.
It’s the same story for other drives too. For instance, the 256GB variant of the Transcend SSD720, which retailed at S$453 at the time of our review can now be had for S$335 - a reduction of over S$100 or 26%.
Thanks to dwindling prices, SSDs are fast becoming the latest must-have accessory for enthusiasts and mainstream users alike. Furthermore, their popularity is such that there is now a bewildering selection of different SSDs from various manufacturers to choose from.
To help you decide, we have decided to round up 10 of the latest high-end drives in the market today. These drives are flagship models from their respective makers and they all utilize the latest and fastest SATA 6GBps interface. Furthermore, the drives employ the use of synchronous or Toggle-Mode MLC NAND memory. We have also decided to test the 240/256GB variants of the drives since these would be the most popular capacity point for most users.
Some of the drives have been reviewed earlier this year, so it’ll be interesting to see how they fare in this comprehensive roundup.
Here’s the list of contenders:
- ADATA XPG SX900
- Corsair Neutron GTX
- Crucial M4
- Intel SSD 520 Series
- Kingston HyperX 3K
- OCZ Vector
- Plextor M5 Pro
- SanDisk Extreme
- Strontium Hawk
- Transcend SSD720
Before revealing the performance charts, we shall begin the shootout by providing a brief overview of the drives in the following pages.
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