Consumer SSD Reviews
SSD reviews span both consumer and enterprise SSD reviews forming an umbrella over SATA, SAS, mSATA and M.2 SSDs. Consumer SSD reviews focus on SSDs engineered for use in client computers. We also offer a section for client PCIe storage reviews which covers high throughput flash and caching solutions. For help deciding on an SSD for your system or to get support, please post to our SSD Forums.
by Lyle Smith

OCZ Vector 150 SSD Review

OCZ continues its trend to build on past acquisitions of innovative controller technology, system-on-chip talent, and storage IP portfolios with the new Vector 150 SSD series launch, designed specifically for the enthusiast. With OCZ’s new ultra-thin 2.5-inch 7mm form factor SSD line, it can fit into virtually any notebook. It also features next generation 19nm MLC NAND flash, proprietary in-house OCZ built controller and firmware designed for superior mixed workload performance, and increased write endurance and reliability due to its advanced suite of flash management tools. OCZ’s Vector 150 SSD line brings burst sequential reads and writes of 550MB/s and 530MB/s to the table, along with random read and write IOPS of 95,000 and 90,000 respectively which is pretty much in line with the quoted performance of the prior-gen Vector. Additionally, it comes bundled with a 3.5” adapter as well as Acronis Cloning Software.

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by Josh Shaman

Samsung 840 EVO SSD Review

The Samsung 840 Evo is the company's latest mainstream SSD that differentiates itself in the market with features and components that benefit from Samsung's vertical integration approach including its own 19nm 128Gb TLC NAND, proprietary firmware and newest-gen multi-core MEX controller. Capacities on the 840 Evo range from 120GB all the way up to a full 1TB model, and the drive also implements an updated version of Samsung Magician (v. 4.2) that enables users to easily migrate to the SSD and manage it once it's in use. Samsung is also quoting much higher performance figures on the slim, 7mm z-Height 840 Evo than with the previous generation Samsung 840 - up to 1.5-3x the sequential write rates.

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by Josh Shaman

SanDisk Extreme II SSD Review

The SanDisk Extreme II, announced today, is a 2.5" 7mm form factor performance SSD with capacities that range up to 480GB. The Extreme II is naturally the second iteration in the performance SSD line, and SanDisk has brought several changes to market with the new Extreme II. One of the most significant changes is that SanDisk has dropped the SandForce controller, moving to Marvell so they can provision the Extreme II with their own in-house developed firmware. SanDisk has also replaced the 24nm MLC NAND found in the original Extreme with 19nm MLC NAND, keeping in line with NAND die shrinks. Another important change comes in the form factor; the Extreme II shrinks to 7mm down from 9.5mm to meet the growing demand for drives that fit space-constrained applications. Lastly, SanDisk is now offering an additional two years for their warranty which now stands at 5 years.

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by Josh Shaman

OCZ Vertex 450 SSD Review

The OCZ Vertex 450 is the latest mainstream client SSD from OCZ that leverages their own Barefoot 3 controller, 7mm form factor and 20nm MLC NAND. That 20nm MLC NAND represents a significant 20% decrease over the NAND die utilized in its predecessor Vertex 4 which was 25nm. The Vertex 450 replaces the Vertex 4, and the reduction in NAND package size and move to proprietary controller enables OCZ to squeeze maximum value out of the Vertex 450 for consumers delivering a blend of economics and performance. While the 7mm form factor enables it to fit in most any notebook, the included 3.5" adapter makes it a snap to install in desktops and the Vertex 450 is bundled with Acronis True Image software to simplify moving data from an existing drive to the Vertex 450.

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by Doug Crowthers

Samsung SSD 840 Review (TLC)

The Samsung SSD 840 is an entry-level consumer SSD and is the first to be made with TLC (Triple Level Cell) NAND. This differs from the MLC (Multi Level Cell) NAND used in every other consumer SSD. Up to this point, TLC NAND has only been used in less critical applications like USB thumb drives and memory cards, but its acceptance in the SSD space is emerging in large part because of the reduced cost of the NAND packages. Of course the tradeoff for the lowered price-point is endurance, but as consumers are coming to accept, most of them really don't write all that much data to their drives. The Samsung SSD 840 is built off of the same platform as the Samsung SSD 840 Pro with the Samsung MDX triple-core ARM 9 controller which is clocked at 300MHz and leverages Samsung's NAND and proprietary firmware.

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by Josh Shaman

Seagate 600 SSD Review

The Seagate 600 SSD is a performance-focused 2.5-inch MLC NAND client SSD in z-Height 5mm and 7mm form factors with a capacity up to 480GB that is primarily designed as an upgrade for laptop users who are gamers, enthusiasts or road warriors or simply need the drive for read-intensive applications. Additionally, as an SSD with no moving parts, there is less of a disk failure risk if users accidentally drop their laptop. Primarily though, Seagate developed the 600 SSD with performance focused on reducing wait times; its boot speed and load times are 50% faster than traditional HDDs. As far as endurance goes, the Seagate 600 SSD offers up to 40GB of data written per day for a maximum of 72TB written over its 3-year warranty period.

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by Josh Shaman

Crucial M500 SSD Review

The Crucial M500 (and the OEM-tailored Micron M500) are a new mainstream SSD family that offers a SATA 6Gb/s interface, Marvell controller, 7mm drive height and Micron's latest 20nm MLC NAND. Along with the top-level hardware components, the Crucial M500 comes with Micron's firmware which is made in-house. The M500 builds on a longstanding heritage of reliability and compatibility - Micron's calling cards with both their consumer and enterprise SSDs. What makes the M500 family unique though isn't blazing burst speeds; this time the story is more about price and capacity. The M500 is the first mainstream SSD that offers a drive at the near terabyte capacity, 960GB. The suggested MSRP is under $600 as well, which while still expensive, presents the market with the first viable opportunity from a trusted brand to go SSD-only. What's more, this is all within a 7mm drive body, which makes the M500 a solid fit for just about any client computing platform.

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by Doug Crowthers

Intel SSD 525 mSATA Review

Intel's SSD 525 mSATA drives are the latest iteration in the line and utilize 25nm MLC NAND memory with LSI SandForce SF-2281 controllers. According to Intel, SSD 525 drives can reach up to 50,000 IOPS random read and 80,000 IOPS random write, while sequential read performance runs up to 550 MB/s with sequential writes of 520 MB/s. The SSD 525 series measures 50.8mm x 29.85mm x 3.7mm, weighs 10 grams, and includes a PCIe mini-connector intended to support applications from netbooks, thin-and-light systems, mini and sub-notebooks, all-in-one computers, and embedded platforms. The SSD 525 Series offers additional key features such as: Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 128-bit Encryption, End-to-End Data Protection, and Data Compression.

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by Josh Shaman

OCZ Vertex 3.20 SSD Review

The OCZ Vertex 3.20 SSD is the latest rendition in the Vertex 3 line and now offers a smaller MLC NAND configuration. Most SSDs, such as the Vertex 3 that we reviewed in 2011, have relied on 25 nanometer (nm) process geometry, but OCZ is taking strides to create production efficiencies and cut costs by moving to 20nm NAND die. However, other than decreased NAND die size, updates are minor. The Vertex 3.20 retains the same controller and processor as its predecessor and produces very similar performance.

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by Lyle Smith

Toshiba THNSNS SSD Review (HDTS112XZSWA 120GB Upgrade Kit)

Toshiba is a well-known name in the storage industry and they have produced quality SSDs for the enterprise and OEM market. However, they have been very quiet on the retail consumer front. That being the case, it was nice surprise when Toshiba revealed its first venture into the consumer market with an SSD upgrade kit for PCs, allowing end-users to easily migrate from hard disk drives to an SSD-based system. Each upgrade package comes with all of the tools needed to upgrade any desktop or notebook PC including a USB data migration cable and NTI Echo2 cloning software. Of course there's a Toshiba THNSNS SSD inside as well, which runs a SandForce controller and Toshiba NAND to deliver read and write performance of 557MB/s and 526MB/s respectively. 

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