SSDs picked up pace in the later half of 2011 with several SandForce enabled drives flooding the market. Even our SSD contenders list was mostly driven by the same SF2281 controller with only two opting to use Marvell’s solution. While it seemed difficult to tell them apart based on just pure hardware specifications, a winner eventually emerged from our rigorous testing. Our scope for the Best SSD drive this year were defined by the following traits:- consumer class SSD, MLC flash memory and a capacity of about 250GB. Without further ado, the following are our selected contenders that fit our criteria, including the timeline in which they were made available.
And the Winner Is...
While there were certain leaders in our various benchmark tests, the Kingston HyperX 240GB SSD raked in more constant results across our full test suite than other close contenders. Take note that it wasn't necessarily the leader in any one benchmark, but it was near the top of the pack in most of them, which is unlike the rest of the drives that tend to come out top in selective tests and trail off in others.
Performance aside, Kingston’s drive was one of the best designed of the lot that an enthusiast could proudly use it without any drive casing if he/she chooses to do so via a host system's eSATA connectivity. Other aspects such as a well packaged kit and excellent service/support to fall back upon doesn't hurt its standings at all. It may not be the cheapest, but looking at the overall proposition, it deserved to take home the best SSD title from our comparison. If it’s pure performance and price you’re after, the Corsair and OCZ drives won’t disappoint either and were the next closest contenders.
Here are a few select benchmarks, but take note that many more results are taken into consideration for the final performance score:
|Criteria/Model||Corsair Force GT 240GB||Crucial M4 256GB||Intel SSD 510 Series 250GB||Kingston HyperX SSD 240GB||OCZ Vertex 3 240GB||Patriot Pyro SE 240GB|
*Note: Prices and ratings listed are accurate at the time of individual product evaluation.
For more details on how we selected our winners, check out the full reviews and articles listed at the References section at the end.