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59137280

join:2006-07-06
Montreal, QC

Which SSD drive to get?

My system is Core i7, P8Z68-V PRO mobo, 8 gigs RAM, HD 6970 2GB video card

I want a ~250 gig SSD drive as my main drive where OS will be installed, instead of my current SATA drive.

Which ~250 GB SSD would you recommend withing $300 range (at very most)?
--
God is a superstition. Religion is poison.


KoRnGtL15
Premium
join:2007-01-04
Grants Pass, OR

Cant go wrong with the latest series from Intel or Crucial. I personally would go with Intel.



59137280

join:2006-07-06
Montreal, QC

said by KoRnGtL15:

Cant go wrong with the latest series from Intel or Crucial. I personally would go with Intel.

Someone told me to get a Kingston because they are well reviewed and unlike Intel, Kingston specializes in hard drives, while Intel does not
--
God is a superstition. Religion is poison.

KoRnGtL15
Premium
join:2007-01-04
Grants Pass, OR

What? Intel is king in the ssd division for reliability.


JoelC707
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Lanett, AL
kudos:5
reply to 59137280

Intel is actually one of the top brands as far as SSD reliability and you do pay for that too. OCZ is also a good one, especially their Vertex 3 line.

For what it's worth, Kingston doesn't specialize in drives, they specialize in memory chips. And by that same logic so does Crucial



Octavean
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-31
New York, NY
kudos:1
reply to 59137280

There was a 512GB OCZ Vertex 4 going for ~$300 on Newegg not too long ago. I was very tempted at that price,…….



DKS
Damn Kidney Stones
Premium,ExMod 2002
join:2001-03-22
Owen Sound, ON
kudos:2
reply to KoRnGtL15

said by KoRnGtL15:

Cant go wrong with the latest series from Intel or Crucial. I personally would go with Intel.

I agree.
--
Need-based health care not greed-based health care.


Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12
reply to 59137280

said by 59137280:

said by KoRnGtL15:

Cant go wrong with the latest series from Intel or Crucial. I personally would go with Intel.

Someone told me to get a Kingston because they are well reviewed and unlike Intel, Kingston specializes in hard drives, while Intel does not

"Someone" is wrong. Intel owns reliability in SSDs...
--
If we lose this freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment, those who had the most to lose, did the least to prevent its happening.


Octavean
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-31
New York, NY
kudos:1
reply to 59137280

When it comes to reliability, I think of Intel, Crucial and Samsung.

I think some early Kingston SSD models were just rebranded Intel SSD units, maybe that is where the confusion is coming from,.....

Not to say that Kingston SSD units are bad or anything,.....



59137280

join:2006-07-06
Montreal, QC
reply to 59137280

Narrowed it down to these 3, which one is the better?

»www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as···20148443

vs

»www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as···20227707

vs

»www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as···20239046
--
God is a superstition. Religion is poison.


Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12

Instead of the Vertex 3, I'd get the Vertex 4: »www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as···20227792

It's faster, takes less power, has a longer warranty (5 v 3 yrs), includes the 3.5" adapter, and uses OCZ's proprietary Indilinx controller instead of the third-party Sandforce in the Vertex 3. It's only $10-15 more than the Crucial/Kingston you are considering.
--
If we lose this freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment, those who had the most to lose, did the least to prevent its happening.



Octavean
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-31
New York, NY
kudos:1
reply to 59137280

I’ll just say that I have a number of OCZ SSD units. Not one of them has given me even a nanosecond worth problems (yet). Still there have been quite a few reports of problems which is why I hesitated on the 512GB Vertex 4 for under ~$300. I’m kind of kicking myself for that as I think it was worth the risk and well worth the price.

Anyway, to the OP, I have a Crucial M4 256GB SSD. I think they are great and reliable as well. I think you can probably do better on the price though.



59137280

join:2006-07-06
Montreal, QC
reply to Krisnatharok

said by Krisnatharok:

Instead of the Vertex 3, I'd get the Vertex 4: »www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as···20227792

It's faster, takes less power, has a longer warranty (5 v 3 yrs), includes the 3.5" adapter, and uses OCZ's proprietary Indilinx controller instead of the third-party Sandforce in the Vertex 3. It's only $10-15 more than the Crucial/Kingston you are considering.

Good advice! Will probably do just this!
--
God is a superstition. Religion is poison.


Octavean
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-31
New York, NY
kudos:1
reply to 59137280

Click for full size
What about this though:

»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···20239046

***edit***

Oh I see your link was to Newegg.ca, not sure if the coupon code will work for you there but I guess you could give it a try.


59137280

join:2006-07-06
Montreal, QC

said by Octavean:

What about this though:

»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···20239046

Well, it seems cheaper... I'd rather a better quality one
--
God is a superstition. Religion is poison.


59137280

join:2006-07-06
Montreal, QC
reply to Octavean

said by Octavean:

What about this though:

»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···20239046

***edit***

Oh I see your link was to Newegg.ca, not sure if the coupon code will work for you there but I guess you could give it a try.

Ok, the initial price is the same as Vertex 4, but the coupon doesn't work in Canada
--
God is a superstition. Religion is poison.


Octavean
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-31
New York, NY
kudos:1
reply to 59137280

said by 59137280:

said by Octavean:

What about this though:

»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···20239046

Well, it seems cheaper... I'd rather a better quality one

Then I would suggest Intel:

»www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as···20167127

The Crucial M4 you already linked to or Samsung which I can’t seem to find “anywhere” on Newegg.ca (plenty on Newegg.com though).

I’m not saying OCZ is to be avoided since I have a number of OCZ SSD units that work fine its just the user reviews are often polarized at about ~50 : 50. I typically like to see a higher satisfaction rate then that. OCZ isn’t known for reliability and that seems to be what you want. Therefore, I wouldn’t even recommend the newest Vertex 4.

KoRnGtL15
Premium
join:2007-01-04
Grants Pass, OR
reply to 59137280

OCZ is absolutely horrible. Do not even think or consider them if you want reliability. Samsung is also excellent.



59137280

join:2006-07-06
Montreal, QC
reply to 59137280

Ordered the Vertex 4



Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12
reply to KoRnGtL15

said by KoRnGtL15:

OCZ is absolutely horrible.

My personal experience contradicts your opinion.


Octavean
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-31
New York, NY
kudos:1
reply to 59137280

said by 59137280:

Ordered the Vertex 4

I don’t blame you.

Like I said before I’m still kicking myself for not buying that 512GB Vertex 4 for slightly under $300 while the deal lasted. Newegg.com has a 512GB Vertex 4 for ~$330 now but its not the same thing as under $300.

I said Intel as well as Samsung (which didn’t seem to be an option at Newegg.ca) and Crucial. However, that’s a little like saying “do as I say not as I do” since I was looking to buy the Vertex 4,…although I do have a 256GB Crucial M4,….but you know what I mean.

Just please let us know how you get on with your new SSD. Good or bad I’m sure people would like to know both short term and long.

Enjoy and good luck!
said by Krisnatharok:

said by KoRnGtL15:

OCZ is absolutely horrible.

My personal experience contradicts your opinion.

My personal experience with OCZ SSD’s contradicts it as well.

I have the following SSD models:

OCZ Agility 60GB (1x)
OCZ Vertex 2 120GB (1x)
OCZ Vertex Plus 240GB (2x)
OCZ Octane 128GB (1x)
OCZ Agility III 360GB (1x)
Kingston SSDNow V Series SNV-S2 64GB (3x)
Kingston SSDNow V Series SNV-S2 128GB (1x)
Corsair Force Series 3 120GB (2x)
Crucial M4 256GB (1x)
SandDisk 60GB mSATA (OEM on Asus Eee Slate EP121 Core i5 Tablet PC)

I have yet to have any problems with any of them. From what I have been reading of user reviews, OCZ SSD units that fail presumably do so out of the box (DOA) or within hours / days although sometimes longer. IMO if a part is to fail its ideal for it to do so quickly rather then after the return period elapses or when the warranty expires.


KoRnGtL15
Premium
join:2007-01-04
Grants Pass, OR
reply to Krisnatharok

Ditto. With me though. It does not take long to do some google work and see how horrible they are with customer service and reliability.

said by Krisnatharok:

said by KoRnGtL15:

OCZ is absolutely horrible.

My personal experience contradicts your opinion.



koitsu
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-16
Mountain View, CA
kudos:23

1 recommendation

reply to Octavean

Been avoiding this thread because I tend to focus mainly on MHDDs despite knowing a bit about SSDs as well. Anyway, wanted to comment briefly on the Vertex 4 thing.

I did some quick skimming of the drive and thought "wow, this thing kicks the crap out of my Intel 510 120GB", followed by having the item in my Amazon cart. Was ready to check-out when I thought "...you know what, I shouldn't be hasty". I did more digging around and I found 3 things that concern me greatly about the Vertex 4:

1. Firmware behaviour (re: performance). TomsHardware did a review of the drive using 1.4 firmware and wasn't impressed. They then did a follow-up review regarding the 1.5 firmware stating that it looked much better. Except that isn't what I see at all: »www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ver···245.html

What I see in those screenshots indicate 1.4 was behaving about right (what I'd expect), while 1.5 beta was behaving *amazingly* well, but 1.5 final appears to behave *worse* than 1.4. Am I missing something? If they reversed their 1.5 final and 1.5 beta screenshots then I could understand the conclusion that "things looked much better", but to me they don't.

2. TechSpot's review indicates some general benchmarks were "all over the place", with absolutely nothing being consistent: »www.techspot.com/review/543-ocz-vertex-4/

That inconsistent behaviour could be a badly-implemented wear-levelling algorithm, but that's purely speculation on my part.

I don't like how TechSpot criticises the drive in their "Final Thoughts" (justified IMO), but then in later paragraphs states that "everything today looks great vs. how it looked months ago". The reviewer is obviously walking on eggshells to try and make someone happy.

3. The Vertex 4 provides an absolutely pathetic number of SMART attributes for monitoring. You get attributes 1, 3, 4, 5, 9, 12, 232, and 233. And hell, attribute 3 (Spin-up Time) doesn't even serve a purpose with an SSD, unless OCZ chose to use 3 for some other purpose.

The lack-of SMART attributes is either a) caused by lack of insight into the underlying behaviour of the Indilinx controller, and/or b) shotcomings on the part of the firmware author. smartmontools IS NOT hiding attributes from you -- literally those are all you get.

I would expect to see something more like what is shown in the first data set here.

Either the Indilinx controller provides absolute *jack squat* visibility into the state of things, or the underlying firmware lacks tie-in code for SMART attributes from the controller itself. Given what I've seen in the past with certain controllers, I would say it's probably the former.

These 3 things are what caused me to nuke the item from my cart.
--
Making life hard for others since 1977.
I speak for myself and not my employer/affiliates of my employer.



Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12

Man, here comes koitsu See Profile to shatter preconceived ideas and opinions.

Thanks for the informative post, as always. I wonder if Tom's truly switched the images or they perform worse under 1.5...
--
If we lose this freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment, those who had the most to lose, did the least to prevent its happening.



Octavean
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-31
New York, NY
kudos:1
reply to koitsu

I was of the understanding that the Vertex 4 controller was not in fact Indilinx based but rather Marvell:

quote:
With the Vertex 4, OCZ switched to Marvell silicon, rebranded it Indilinx Everest 2 and built their own custom firmware.

»www.anandtech.com/show/6143/ocz-···b-review

Therefore to answer your concerns one would look at the SMART attributes of the corresponding Marvell controller without the custom firmware (whatever generic model SSD that might be).


koitsu
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-16
Mountain View, CA
kudos:23

Yup, could be Marvell's fault, could be the firmware -- only the actual engineers (not generic OCZ support people) involved would know the answer.

For those confused by the terminology here (OCZ vs. Indilinx vs. Marvell):

»www.ocztechnology.com/ocz-vertex···ications

quote:
NAND Controller -- Indilinx Everest 2

With extra confirmation:

»www.tomshardware.com/news/Octane···304.html
»www.engadget.com/2012/04/12/ocz-···marvell/

Review of Wikipedia shows that Indilinx was at one time a separate (South Korean) company, but was subsequently bought by OCZ in March 2011.

So effectively what happened with the Vertex 4 was this: Indilinx (now OCZ) went to Marvell and requested that they design/engineer a NAND controller on their behalf. Marvell agreed, designed/engineered a controller per what Indilinx wanted, and handed over some of the rights to it (which is what legally allows OCZ to silkscreen "Indilinx" on the IC rather than retain a Marvell logo). So it's a proprietary chip, basically.

This kind of thing is exactly what companies like Nintendo used to do with console hardware back in the 80s -- for example the custom Nintendo/Famicom CPU (6502 but contains audio circuitry) was silkscreened with the Nintendo company logo but was actually designed/enginereed by Ricoh. Same with the SNES/SFC (designed by Sony).

But anyway, regardless of who made the chip and/or designed the underlying firmware, the situation with crummy SMART attributes still applies. Whether or not those can actually be addressed with a firmware update is completely/entirely dependent on what the underlying controller can actually provide statistics-wise. The only people who know that for certain are the folks at Marvell and Indilinx/OCZ.
--
Making life hard for others since 1977.
I speak for myself and not my employer/affiliates of my employer.

Indy Sabre
Sabre Rider From Indianapolis

join:2003-10-02
reply to 59137280

Kind of wanted Intel based on limited research but ended up with SanDisk based on price and reviews. I like the 128GB Sandisk I got a lot but only have had it for few weeks.



59137280

join:2006-07-06
Montreal, QC
reply to koitsu

Koitsu, do you think Vertex 4 256GB will be a good drive regardless of all the above?
I mean, all the reviews of it are still good. I think it will be fast, much better than non-SDD and last me long time.



koitsu
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-16
Mountain View, CA
kudos:23

2 edits

1 recommendation

I really don't know or have a way to ascertain whether or not I'm grinding axes or not.

The lack of SMART attributes are just me bitching; generic end-users won't care about this part.

But the bizarre performance shown in the screenshots (re: firmware behaviour before / beta / after firmware updates) are something that greatly worry me. I'm not sure whether or not to blow off their review or not:

»www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ver···5-6.html

The 1.4 benchmark (with 25% free space) looks fine to me. The 1.5 beta benchmark (also with 25% free space) looks *incredible* (very, VERY impressive). But the 1.5 final benchmark looks like crap.

In fact, if you read very closely what TomsHardware wrote, you'll begin to question their benchmark environment to begin with. Read this slowly and in full a few times:

quote:
Performance is immediately restored with firmware 1.5 beta, and is markedly different from what we observed with firmware 1.4.1.3. When we ran AS SSD's Compression Benchmark on the final version of firmware 1.5, performance appeared more erratic. Our hypothesis is that read and write performance are impacted by internal clean-up operations running in the background when the benchmark was active. So, we rebooted and re-ran the test. The results looked a lot more like the results for firmware 1.5 beta.
I have no idea what "clean-up operations" they're talking about; are they talking about TRIM, or are they talking about some other process on their benchmark system running WHILE they were doing the benchmark? If they're talking about TRIM, then it's possible rebooting would provide temporary relief of the issue.

So like I said, I really don't know what to believe. TechSpot's review showed performance which was spotty/all over the place. I don't know what to make of that combined with what TomsHardware posted. Just utterly bizarre on all fronts.

One thing you should take away from everything I've written here: like I have advocated from day one, you should try to avoid using more than 60% of your SSD's total capacity to ensure wear-levelling / garbage collection performs efficiently and decently. This is also why buying a larger SSD is helpful (e.g. 256GB SSD = use only 153GB of it, etc.); with smaller SSDs you have less overall *real* usable room before performance penalties start to kick in.
--
Making life hard for others since 1977.
I speak for myself and not my employer/affiliates of my employer.


Ghastlyone
Premium
join:2009-01-07
Las Vegas, NV
kudos:5
reply to 59137280

I'm running a 128gb Vertex 4 currently, and I upgraded to the v1.5 firmware in the last couple months. Supposedly there's a v1.6 in the works.

I've currently got 48gb of free space, only my OS and a few other small programs installed.

This PC is lightning fast. No complaints on my end. I would totally purchase another one of these drives in a second. Next one I get will be a 256gb model.