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The Great High-end SSD Shootout (2014 Edition)

The Great High-end SSD Shootout (2014 Edition)


Introducing the Drives (Corsair, Crucial, OCZ and Plextor)

Corsair Neutron GTX

Controller: Link_A_Media LM87800
Memory type: 19nm Toggle-Mode NAND (Toshiba)
Accessories: 3.5-inch HDD bay adapter
Z-height: 7mm

Our defending champion is back and this year Corsair has refreshed its flagship SSD with the latest 19nm Toggle-Mode NAND from Toshiba - last year’s drive had memory from Toshiba but was manufactured using a 24nm process. Otherwise, it retains the same Link_A_Media LM87800 controller and comes packaged with a 3.5-inch HDD bay adapter. The Neutron GTX wowed us last year with blazing fast performance and reasonable price tag and it will be interesting to see if they can repeat the feat this year.

 

Crucial M500

Controller: Marvell 88SS9187
Memory type: 20nm MLC NAND (Micron)
Accessories: 9.5mm bumper
Z-height: 7mm

Crucial is the consumer arm of Micron Technology, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of flash memory. The M500 is their latest flagship drive and it uses Marvell’s newest 88SS9187 controller - last year’s M4 drive used the older Marvell 88SS9174. Interesting to note also is that this is the first drive in the world to use Micron’s new 128Gbit MLC NAND die. The increased storage density will help bring down costs, and while the M500 was not designed to be a speed demon, it is expected to offer decent performance at a substantially lower cost.

 

OCZ Vector 150

Controller: Indilinx Barefoot 3
Memory: 19nm Toggle-Mode NAND (Toshiba)
Accessories: 3.5-inch HDD bay adapter and Acronis cloning utility
Z-height: 7mm

It is not very often that we see a brand new SSD controller, so imagine our excitement when we first reviewed the Vector back in November 2012. The drive showed a lot of promise and was very quick on certain benchmarks, but was a little inconsistent and extremely pricey. The Vector received a refresh last year in the form of Toshiba’s latest 19nm Toggle-Mode NAND and firmware updates, otherwise, the rest of the drive is unchanged.

 

Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme

Controller: Marvell 88SS9187
Memory: 19nm Toggle-Mode NAND (Toshiba)
Accessories: 3.5-inch HDD bay adapter & NTI SSD utility
Z-height: 7mm

The Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme is an interesting SSD. It began life as the “simple” M5 Pro, but through firmware updates gradually became known as the Plextor M5 Pro Xtreme. It was also one of the first drives to use Toshiba’s 19nm Toggle-Mode NAND. Firmware differences aside, the other difference between the M5 Pro and M5 Pro Xtreme is that the latter features 16 NAND chip packages instead of 8.