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 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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by Doug Crowthers

Plextor M5M mSATA SSD Review

Plextor recently announced the release of the M5M mSATA SSD designed specifically for Ultrabooks. The drive offers an mSATA form factor with SATA 6.0Gbps interface, Marvell 88SS9187 controller and Toshiba 19nm Toggle NAND flash. The SSD, paired with custom Plextor firmware, drive performance numbers of up to 540MB/s and 430MB/s sequential read and write respectively and random read and write IOPS of up to 79,000 and 77,000.

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by Kevin OBrien

SanDisk Ultra Plus SSD Review

The SanDisk Ultra Plus is a mainstream SSD designed for client system use. The Ultra Plus uses a standard 2.5" 7mm form factor with SATA 6Gb/s interface and is powered by a Marvell 9175 controller with in-house SanDisk firmware and SanDisk's 19nm MLC NAND. The combined package nets sequential read and write performance of up to 530 MB/s and 445 MB/s respectively. Like most SSDs though, the bottom line isn't just about top speed, it's also about smarter features that let users get more out of their drives while maintaining high levels of reliability.

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by Kevin OBrien

OCZ Vector SSD Review

The OCZ Vector is a new client SSD designed to appeal to mainstream and high-performance enthusiasts. The Vector is designed around OCZ's Barefoot 3 controller and firmware, finally giving OCZ a near end-to-end in-house solution, which means improved reliability and support for consumers. This is OCZ though, and if we know anything about the company it's that they like to ensure their high-end SSDs have top-tier performance. The case is no different with the Vector, which brings burst sequential reads and writes of 550MB/s and 530MB/s to the table, along with random read and write IOPS of 100,000 and 95,000 respectively. OCZ calls this scale of performance the "fastest sustained computing experience there is;" a point that may be hard to argue in many cases as we dive into this review.

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by Kevin OBrien

Intel SSD 335 Series Review

The Intel SSD 335 Series is a progressive update of the SSD 330, which was released in April of this year. Aside from minor software changes, the only major iterative difference with the SSD 335 is the NAND. Where the SSD 330 used 25nm MLC NAND, the SSD 335 takes advantage of a die shrink, thus using Intel's 20nm MLC NAND. All other hardware components remain the same, including the SandForce SF-2281 controller and SATA 6Gb/s interface. From a performance perspective, the SSD 335 still offers burst throughput of 500MB/s read and 450MB/s write, but does get a boost in IOPS. The SSD 335 posts 4K random read IOPS of 52,000 and random write IOPS of 52,000, which is up from 22,500 and 33,000 respectively in the prior generation SSD 330. One other small change, the SSD 335 will only come in a 240GB capacity, where the SSD 330 came in 60GB, 120GB, 180GB and 240GB capacities.

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