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 Kevin OBrien

Intel SSD 330 Review

Intel was one of the last manufacturers to adopt SandForce controllers for their enthusiast grade SSD 520, but apparently they seem to be doing well enough with it to commit to a second line of SandForce-based SSDs with the Intel SSD 330 family. The SSD 330 uses the same controller as the 520 does, the core differentiation being the a change in NAND layout from the SSD 520 to SSD 330 and different firmware. The Intel SSD 330 makes use of fewer memory channels, resulting in slower write speeds in certain scenarios. Such diversification is common in the client SSD space as manufacturers look for ways to provide different levels of performance and pricing for broader market appeal.

Read more
by Kevin OBrien

Micron RealSSD C400 mSATA SSD Review

Micron has released a new version of their RealSSD C400 SSD in an mSATA form factor. While most consumers aren't familiar with the C400 line, it closely mirrors the performance and design of the client-facing Crucial m4. The C400 mSATA SSD will be offered through Micron's OEM partners and will generally be found in the ultrathin compute space where mSATA SSDs are finding great strength in caching and in some cases even as primary storage. The C400 mSATA SSD leverages a SATA 6Gb/s interface, 25nm Micron NAND and a Marvell 9174 controller.

Read more
by Kevin OBrien

Kingston HyperX 3K SSD Review

Kingston has launched the HyperX 3K SSD, a new entry in their enthusiast line of client SSDs. The twist with the HyperX 3K compared to its HyperX bigger brother is a simple NAND change. While they both use high-quality 25nm Intel MLC NAND, the 3K is rated for 3,000 P/E cycles where the HyperX is 5,000. The difference in practical terms is modest, most consumers won't ever tax the write life of an SSD in the five year effective life of the drive. Even better then that Kingston offers the HyperX 3K SSD for those who want the great performance the HyperX line provides, with a lower price.

Read more
by Kevin OBrien

Crucial Adrenaline Caching SSD Review

The Adrenaline Caching SSD solution is Crucial's effort to leverage their m4 SSD pedigree to make application acceleration for consumers easy and affordable. Based around the Marvell controller and SATA 6Gb/s interface, the 50GB caching SSD gives consumers an interesting blend of performance, reliability and Micron home-grown NAND in an easy to install caching platform based on NVELO's Dataplex software.

Read more
by Kevin OBrien

Corsair Accelerator Series Caching SSD Review

At CES Corsair formally announced they had partnered with NVELO to launch a caching SSD for consumer use. The Corsair Accelerator Series Caching SSDs are shipping now and promise to give users up to a 5X performance boost over a standard hard drive. With hard drives trickling to market at up to 4TB, the idea of getting near SSD speeds across such a large volume is desirable to many.

Read more
by Kevin OBrien

OCZ Vertex 4 SSD Review

The OCZ Vertex 4 SSD is a bold step for the company - OCZ has abandoned the high-flying LSI SandForce controller for their own Indilinx Everest 2 in the flagship Vertex 4 client SSD. It could be said that OCZ has had as much to do with SandForce's success as SandForce has had with OCZ's. But OCZ had long wanted to own their own controller technology, buying Indilinx to bring that key IP in-house. The first consumer-facing products of the updated Indlinx controller were the Octane and Petrol SSDs, which did well with market validation. With the Vertex 4 on Everest 2, OCZ goes all-in, making the commitment to go forward in the consumer space at least, with their own controllers and technologies.

Read more
by Kevin OBrien

Plextor PX-M3P SSD Review

When we reviewed the Plextor M3S last year, it earned an Editor's Choice award for excellent read performance, aggressive pricing and class leading support with the included five year warranty. At CES in January, Plextor showed us the upcoming M3P (P stands for Pro), which from a hardware perspective is nearly identical to the M3S, they both use the same Marvell controller and Toshiba Togggle NAND, but the M3P uses a 7mm form factor to be friendly with space contrained devices. The big difference though is firmware; the Plextor M3P is designed to post the fastest Marvell-based SSD speeds yet, with 540MB/s read and 450MB/s write sequential and upwards of 75,000 IOPS read and 69,000 IOPS write.

Read more
by Kevin OBrien

OWC Mercury Aura Pro Express 6G Review (480GB)

We've reviewed OWC's perpetually growing line of Apple MacBook Air SSDs a few times, most recently the 240GB capacity of their Mercury Aura Pro Express 6G, which bested the SSDs Apple includes with the MacBook Air in every single benchmark we ran and in one case the OWC drubbed the Apple offerings by 10 times. Until recently 240GB was the top end capacity for the Mercury Aura Pro Express 6G, but in January OWC started producing a 480GB capacity, which we look at today.

Read more
by Kevin OBrien

Kingston SSDNow KC100 SSD Review

The Kingston SSDNow KC100 may sit in Kingston's business-class family of SSDs, but don't let the standard grey casing fool you - it's a performance drive through and through. Sharing the same high-throughput components as their enthusiast-grade HyperX SSD, the Kingston KC100 gives client users within the enterprise up to 555 MB/s read speeds and 510 MB/s writes thanks to the SATA 6Gb/s interface, SandForce controller and Intel NAND.

Read more
by Kevin OBrien

SSD Performance Review - 270TB Written

We all know SSDs are fast, but we also know they're fast for a finite period of time. SSDs wear out as they're written to, some faster than others depending on NAND, how much or what type of data is written to the SSD and so on. The fear of SSD death, or poor performance in an old SSD, keeps many people from migrating to solid state. Coming to grips with endurance is difficult for consumers, because as with cell phone minutes, most of us don't know how much data we write in a given day. So the notion of counting program/erase cycles in an SSD as it ages, is more than a bit foreign. To help SSD buyers and current owners get a better perspective on SSD life and endurance, we've been torturing a Patriot Wildfire SSD with constant drive writes for the better part of a month and have rebenchmarked it for this review, 270TB later. In this review, we look at just how much performance changes over time when you bring a 120GB LSI SandForce SF-2200-powered SSD to 20% of remaining life.

Read more