SATA 3 SSD Roundup Review

Introduction and Setup

Anvil SSD Benchmark Introduction

Introduction

Solid State Drives are constantly becoming cheaper and cheaper, whilst the performance is increasing massively from the first ones that we tested. Of course if you're going to grab a SSD you want the best performing one you can, and that means going SATA3. Even the average models will max a SATA II connection and its 300MB/s cap.

Benchmarking is always a tricky balance. On the one hand we want to give you the most up-to-date and relevant benchmark tests possible, but equally data in a vacuum is pointless and so we can't just endlessly chop and change.

One area that has been in need of some tweaking has been our storage testing though. A lot of the benchmark suites we've been using were originally designed with mechanical drives in mind rather than the blistering pace, and abilities, of Solid State Drives. As our storage reviews have solely focussed upon SSDs for a long while now, Velociraptor RAID notwithstanding, we felt it was time to finally refresh our suite.

Enter the Anvil SSD Benchmarking tool. This provides the simplest 'one stop shop' for testing Solid State Drives and is the most consistent method we've found to obtain the all important IOPS result. Regular readers will remember our brief trials with IOMeter for these, but Anvil manages to be both easier to use, much easier to configure, and more reliable with its output.

So we felt it was time to give a roundup of some of the most popular SATA 6Gbp/s SSDs on the market and see which one of them will come out on top.

Test Setup

We have four of the main drives on hand, the Intel 520, the Mushkin Chronos, the Corsair Force 3, and the Kingston Hyper X. All of these drives are the 240GB versions, so that we'll be comparing like for like. This is important as different sized Solid State Drives have differences in performance.

Intel 520
Mushkin Chronos
Corsair Force GT
Kingston Hyper X
Intel Core i7-3960X @ 4.6GHz
ASUS Rampage IV Extreme
nVidia GTX570
Corsair AX1200W
Corsair GTX8
Corsair H100
Windows 7 Ultimate x64

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Most Recent Comments

27-02-2012, 04:11:41

tinytomlogan


As we bring a new benchmark to the OC3D suite of testing, we thought we'd give you a quick run through of some popular SSDs.

Continue Reading

27-02-2012, 04:43:27

airdeano
bravo... awesome review. thank you for the information, testing and evaluation. puts a better light

to the SSD market. and thatll change with the months due to more and more technology and users of SSD.

airdeano

27-02-2012, 08:02:25

Excalabur50
Nice review OC3D just keeps getting better and better

27-02-2012, 08:24:08

dugdiamond
great review VB

27-02-2012, 08:39:10

steve30x
The prices are finally coming down now and should be a reasonable in price within the next two years hopefully so it will be time to upgrade to SSD when that time comes.

27-02-2012, 08:46:05

Leerooy
Interestingly enough, I was reading an article on Tom's Hardware that took a look at Toshiba's 400GB Enterprise SSD, a $7000 USD SSD. In their testing, the Intel 520 outperformed it in many regards as well. I never really looked at SSDs and compared them but these last two articles I have read from two sites I trust have me very impressed with the Intel 520 Series, to say the least. Well done on the review.

27-02-2012, 10:32:19

badtaylorx
funny how dif. benchmarks can paint such dif. pictures.....

27-02-2012, 17:43:18

chudley
Finally a review for SSDs, all I need to do is price them up to see which one comes out on top

All prices are approx after a quick search:

Intel = 360

Mushkin - only found a price for 120gb = 170

Corsair = 280

Kingston = 300

Definately gettting bang for your buck.

27-02-2012, 17:48:36

Timbaloo
I'm not cheap, and i believe the intel 520 is one of if not the best SSD out there, but paying almost twice the money per GB compared to eg. the Mushkin Chronos is something to consider.

...

F*** me, i'll get the 520 240GB sooner or later anyway...

edit: @leerory: Companies have quite different demands in terms of reliability, as such they pay more for that than raw POWER!!!!111

27-02-2012, 18:15:33

kilobravo
Downloaded the new ssd test suite and tried it on my force gt Nice to have some other tests to compare with.

28-02-2012, 01:46:49

d6bmg
Gone through in last few minutes. Nice review.

28-02-2012, 06:32:56

Zaim
Very good review mate.

Glad I bought a Corsair Force GT 120GB the other week. Awesome drive imo.

28-02-2012, 08:49:31

Zeals
Great job, this is exactly the kind of review I am looking for when it comes to SSDs, having a whole batch of them tested at the same time. Any chance you can do the same for HDDs that are performance (7200rpm) and Eco (5400rpm) from Seagate, Samsung and WD?

28-02-2012, 17:50:33

MaXiMiZe
Great review. Makes it a helluva lot easier

13-03-2012, 14:16:08

Timbaloo
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timbaloo View Post

I'm not cheap, and i believe the intel 520 is one of if not the best SSD out there, but paying almost twice the money per GB compared to eg. the Mushkin Chronos is something to consider.

...

F*** me, i'll get the 520 240GB sooner or later anyway...
Forget that. Just found it for 299

15-03-2012, 22:55:21

C3mods
Current Prices in the US are:

Mushkin Chronos Deluxe - $279

Kingston HyperX Drive - $330

Kingston HyperX Kit - $350

Corsair Force GT - $330

Intel 520 Series retail- $370

Intel 520 Series OEM - $335

Price wise, the best is the Mushkin drive. As long as you don't mind getting a OEM package you can get the Intel for close to the same price as the Corsair and Kingston offerings. For the most part, most of us on here build our own computers and don't really need a retail package.

IMHO if I was going to pay extra for a drive I would get the HyperX kit, comes with the external case, screwdriver, migration software, sata and usb cables, and a 3.5" tray.

For me personally the Intel did perform the best, but I have really good luck out of corsair products and think I will continue to buy quality products they offer.

26-04-2012, 15:55:40

oshunluvr
To be fair to Mushkin; the review states "Mushkin Chronos" not "Mushkin Chronos Deluxe" which are different drives. The Deluxe model uses high-end Toshiba nand and performs better than the non-deluxe model tested here. I believe Mushkin is the only maker using the better nand in the smaller (down to 60gb) drives.
Reply
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