The Fastest & Best Solid State Drives (SSD) – 2014

With the continuous increase of demands on a high speed storage solution that can take the place of the slow mechanical hard drive, enthusiasts find their way to the best solid state drives (SSD) to resolve their problem. It’s not sufficient for them to possess just any SSD, but their selection only goes for the fastest high-end ones. When we say “enthusiast” we mean those who deal with heavy resource-demanding applications such as video editing software and high graphic video games or they work often with multitasking operations. A cutting-edge SSD is what can satisfy their need.

Anyone who remains undecided should know that there’s never been a better time to make the transition to SSD storage. Tumbling NAND Flash memory prices have made high-end drives cheaper than ever before, and right now, there are dozens of ultra-fast solutions on the market that we’d quite happily recommend.

As the landscape of SSD drives continues to evolve, it becomes more difficult for consumers to discern the good drives from the not so good and which ones offer a good value. To make it tougher, many manufacturers have several different lines of drives that offer various levels of performance. For this reason we have written this article wherein the top-rated and most recommended SSDs are gathered based on the IT professionals’ verdicts, and is updated for [June 2014] to make it easy for you to find the most recent and best suited SSD for your needs. The items and their respective prices are updated regularly every month.

This article will help you save plenty of time and efforts reading the reviews and benchmarks on each solid-state drive and what you find here is the top-rated and most awarded SSDs by IT professionals, coming with some basic information you need to acquire in order to make the right decision of purchase.

If you are not a professional computer user and do not need all the complicated features of premium SSDs, I strongly advise you to either go for a mainstream SSD or a speedy hard disk drive.

So here we go with our list for the month of [June 2014]

Note: The products prices are as of 15-June-2014 at 12:44 GMT -

** The Best Performance SSDs **

The drives selected for this section are meant for computer enthusiasts who seek the utmost level of performance and speed an SSD can provide. These drives are based on MLC NAND which gives them huge endurance capability that makes them a perfect solution for serious gaming experience and extreme workstation jobs.

Samsung 840 Pro Series SSD

Capacity Price Where To Buy
128 GB $159.99
$109.99
Buy On Amazon
256 GB $269.99
$198.99
Buy On Amazon
512 GB $719.99
$364.87
Buy On Amazon

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[Released in September 2012]: Samsung 840 Series Pro is designed for professionals and demanding applications, the SSD 840 PRO provides exceptional read, write, and multi-tasking performance. It’s built for the real world, with no moving parts to reduce the risk of damage from shock, while using the latest in security technology including AES 256-bit encryption. Additionally, its ultra-efficient design means increased battery life.

Basic Features
  • Form Factor: 2.5-inch (Reduced 7mm thickness for use with ultraportables and netbooks)
  • For Use With: Desktop and laptop PCs (including ultraportables and netbooks) and workstations
  • Interface: SATA 6Gbits/s (backwards compatible with SATA 3Gbits/s and SATA 1.5Gbits/s)
  • Random Read Speeds: 100K IOPS
  • Sequential Read/Write Speeds: 540 MB/s / 520 MB/s
  • Controller: 3-Core Samsung MDX Controller
  • Type of NAND Flash: 2xnm Samsung Toggle DDR 2.0 NAND Flash Memory (400Mbps)
  • Type of Cache: 512MB Samsung LPDDR2 SDRAM
  • Included Software: Samsung Magician 4.x, Samsung Smart Data Migration software
  • Dimensions: 0.28 by 2.75 by 3.94 in. (H x W x D)
  • Warranty: 5-Year Limited
Awards & Testimonials


  Anandtech (September 24, 2012):

The performance and power characteristics of Samsung’s SSD 840 Pro are as close to perfect as we’ve seen from any drive this generation. In all but a handful of benchmarks, the 840 Pro is the fastest consumer SSD we’ve ever tested. Even more important than its industry leading performance is the fact that the 840 Pro delivers great performance while remaining one of the lowest power SSDs to make it through our labs.

  Tom’s Hardware (September 24, 2012):

Although we’ve had it for a very limited time, Samsung’s 840 Pro is making a good first impression in our lab. It’s very quick, topping a majority of our benchmark charts. Moreover, it achieves its great performance while using less power than its competition. This makes the 840 Pro the fastest, most efficient SSD we’ve seen to date.

  PC Magazine (May 20, 2013):

The Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB is the fastest internal solid-state drive we’ve tested, and comes with a 5-year-warranty.

Special Notes
  The 128-GB Version Is NOT The Fastest:

While Samsung 840 Pro SSD is the fastest SSD out there when it comes in 256-GB and 512-GB model, OCZ Vector 128-GB SSD beats its corresponding model of Samsung 840 Pro.

In relation to the 128-GB model of these two drives, if you write a lot of data to your drive rapidly, the Samsung option will shuffle that data and your user experience will decrease due to the additional latency. The Vector on the other hand will switch to storage mode and the sequential performance will decrease for a short time. Personally, I can live with slower sequential reads and writes when working on my PC, but increased latency is a deal breaker since it slows everything else down that I’m trying to accomplish. The OCZ drive has a built-in multitask safeguard which limits QD1 reads so you have additional bandwidth for another task, that’s why we don’t see storage mode increasing latency in AIDA64.

 


OCZ Vector SSD

Capacity Price Where To Buy
128 GB $229.99
$142.48
Buy On Amazon
256 GB $351.24
Out Of Stock
Buy On Amazon
512 GB $702.65
$399.99
Buy On Amazon

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[Released in November 2012]: The Vector Series delivers a new industry-leading solid state storage solution for the high-end consumer and workstation user. Meet the storage expectations you didn’t know you had.

Basic Features
  • Up to 550MB/s Sequential Read
  • Up to 530MB/s Sequential Write
  • Up to 100,000 IOPS 4k Random Read
  • Up to 95,000 IOPS 4k Random Write
  • Available in 128GB, 256GB and 512GB
  • Controller: Indilinx Barefoot 3
  • Type of NAND Flash: 25nm Multi-Level Cell (MLC)
  • Warranty: 5-Year Limited
Awards & Testimonials


  Anandtech (November 27, 2012):

In our tests, Samsung typically enjoys better peak performance, but OCZ’s Vector appears to have the advantage when it comes to worst case performance and IO consistency. The latter tend to be more valuable in improving overall user experience in my opinion.

  Tom’s Hardware (November 27, 2012):

Fortunately, the Barefoot 3 controller serves up enough performance to put the Vector on par with the 840 Pro. In the real world, it’s almost a certainty that you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between them. More interesting than its tested performance is the speed at which the Vector is able to recover from taxing workloads.

  Tweak Town (December 11, 2012):

OCZ’z Vector 128GB is nearly as fast as the 256GB version, something we rarely see these days. All three of the Vector capacity sizes are amazingly fast, but the 128GB offers next generation performance at the lowest price point.

Special Notes
  OCZ Vector Vs. Samsung 840 Pro:

[Quoted from TweakTown.com]: “After running Vector next to a Samsung 840 Pro in identical Lenovo w530 notebooks, I can tell you that Vector is faster in real world tasks when writing data. When reading data the two are very close, nearly identical. The power consumption nod goes to Samsung though, but not by a large margin.”

  OCZ Vector Is NOT The Fastest:

Although OCZ Vector can be labeled as the best performing and most reliable SSD available today in the market, it is not the fastest drive, and it concedes this honor to Samsung 840 Pro.

[Quoted from TweakTown.com]: “Vector is faster than the previous generation drives based on the SF-2281 and Marvell controllers. It’s also a little faster than next-gen products that are shipping now with LAMD controllers and Samsung’s new 840. Vector even outperformed the TweakTown Chris Ramseyer 128GB SLC SSD when writing data to the drive in DiskBench. Through process of elimination that makes it one of the highest performing SSDs available on the market today.

There are two things that keep us from calling Vector the fastest consumer SSD in the world, though. The first is the 350MB/s single request read speed that can limit your file transfers when moving data around. The second is storage mode on the write side. Depending on what you do and how full you run your OS drive either or both could slow down your performance. If you run into these issues you’ll be doing something very focused, transferring large amounts of sequential data or using your drive near capacity. It’s a bit like saying SandForce slows down when working with incompressible data. These are all targeted issues and most of us really won’t notice them.”

 


SanDisk Extreme II SSD

Capacity Price Where To Buy
120 GB $149.99
$83.75
Buy On Amazon
240 GB $249.99
$168.96
Buy On Amazon
480 GB $534.99
$287.00
Buy On Amazon

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[Released in June 2013]: The SanDisk Extreme II is a performance-driven SSD that provides high endurance and a long warranty along with performance that for the most part matches that of comparable SSDs.

Basic Features
  • Launch applications faster and enjoy quicker system boot ups/shut downs
  • Sequential Read/Write up to 550MB/510MB per sec
  • Random Read/Write up to 95000 /78000 IOPS
  • Low power consumption for cooler operation and extended battery life; Power Consumption (active): 0.22w
  • Noise reduction for quiet drive operation; Vibration (Operating/Non-operating) : 5 gRMS, 10-2000 HZ / 4.9 gRMS, 7-800 HZ
  • Durable Stainless-steel casing in 7.0mm thickness; Shock Resistance up to 1500 G @ 0.5 m/sec
  • Operating temperature: 32ºF to 158ºF (0ºC to 70 ºC)
  • Warranty: 5-Year Limited
Awards & Testimonials


  Anandtech (June 03, 2013):

It’s honestly my favorite client SSD on the market today.

  The SSD Review (June 26, 2013):

The SanDisk Extreme II SSD has shown some of the best test results we have seen to date and they have been consistent.

  Tweak Town (June 03, 2013):

The SanDisk Extreme II 120 GB delivers the best 1xnm performance we’ve seen to date. The drive is stable, has a decent price and is very fast. With a little extra tuning Sandisk can have the fastest 128Gb class SSD on the market today.

Special Notes
  Equal Performance Level To Samsung 840 Pro And OCZ Vector:

[Quoted from TweakTown.com]:The SanDisk Extreme II delivers equal performance to both of these products in the 256GB class size, but it manages to do it with less power consumption. For mobile users this is a big deal, desktop users not so much. Having used all three drives in the same notebook, I can say that the performance is nearly indistinguishable.

 


Corsair Neutron GTX SSD

Capacity Price Where To Buy
120 GB $136.99
$119.99
Buy On Amazon
240 GB $244.99
$185.99
Buy On Amazon
480 GB $514.99
$349.99
Buy On Amazon

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[Released in August 2012]: Neutron Series GTX is Corsair’s flagship line of SSDs, designed for high-end desktop and notebook PCs. Powered by an advanced Link_A_Media (LAMD) SATA 3 SSD controller, the GTX excels at both random read/write speeds and sequential write speeds, and provides amazing responsiveness for all types of data-intensive work.

Basic Features
  • Up to 555MB/s Sequential Read
  • Up to 511MB/s Sequential Write
  • Toggle NAND for up to 92K IOPS random write speed
  • High-performance LAMD SSD controller
  • Native TRIM support (O/S support required)
  • Impressive read and write speed with compressed and uncompressed data.
  • Warranty: 5-Year Limited
Awards & Testimonials


  Anandtech (August 20, 2012):

Overall I have to say I’m fairly impressed with Corsair’s Neutron GTX, at least from a performance standpoint. The LM87800 controller proved to be very potent in my testing, ending up near or at the very top of most of our benchmarks. Even though we’re still ultimately bound by the limits of 6Gbps SATA, the Neutron GTX manages to pull ahead of the competition in a few areas.

  Legit Reviews (November 05, 2012):

Pairing the Link_A_Media Devices LM87800 controller with Toshiba toggle NAND has proven to be a formidable combination that puts the Corsair’s flagship Neutron GTX SSD on the very short list of drives we’d want in our system.

  Storage Review (August 20, 2012):

If you want a consumer grade drive that can deliver under heavy load and write tasking, then the Neutron GTX is the best we’ve seen.

Special Notes
  This drive is a better solution for desktop computers than laptops:

Due to the fact that Corsair Neutron GTX consumes more power than average SSDs, it is a more recommended drive for desktops than notebooks working on battery power.

 


Intel SSD 520 (Cherryville)

Capacity Price Where To Buy
120 GB $159.99
$143.95
Buy On Amazon
180 GB $235.00 Buy On Amazon
480 GB $549.99
$409.99
Buy On Amazon

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[Released in February 2012]: Intel® Solid-State Drives (Intel® SSDs) continue to evolve with the Intel SSD 500 Family. Available in a wide range of capacities, the Intel® SolidState Drive 520 Series offers built-in data protection features and delivers exceptional performance over hard drives.

Basic Features
    • SATA 6Gb/s (Compatible with SATA 3Gb/s)
    • Sequential Reads Up To 550MB/s
    • Sequential Writes Up To 520MB/s
    • Random 4 KB Writes Up To 80,000 IOPS
    • Form Factor: 2.5 inch.
    • Warranty: 5-Year Limited
    Awards & Testimonials


      Anandtech (February 06, 2012):

    If you want the absolute fastest SSD on the market today, the Intel SSD 520 is the only drive to get.

      Storage Review (February 06, 2012):

    The 520 brings industry-leading SSD performance to the table, paired with the support, reliability and compatbility buyers long for. Even with a price premium at launch, the 520 is an easy to recommend SSD and sets the bar for what other SSDs should aspire to be.

      Tweak Town (February 14, 2012):

    The Intel 520 Series is the fastest we’ve tested to date.

    Special Notes
      Intel Fixed The Previous Issues With SF-2281 In This SSD Series :

    [Quoted from TweakTown.com]: In the past Intel has received an egg on their face and needed to quickly make corrections to problems missed during testing. Only time will tell if Intel missed an issue with the new SandForce controlled drive. One thing we do know is if Intel has an issue the problem will be addressed quickly. We say this based on Intel’s track record of dealing with issues related to their products. The big SF-2281 issue that was widely reported took several months for SandForce to address and even users who didn’t experience the problem were worried that it may affect their drives. Those issues were eventually corrected, but the several month wait was stressful for everyone. By the time a fix was released several consumer had already swore off SandForce products completely, those users can now take a serious look at the 520 Series knowing that Intel is involved and brings with them the resources needed to keep this sort of thing from happening again.

 

 
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