Fastest ssd for best price

i want to get a speedy-fast ssd for my new i7 laptop i just dont know where to start. ive done a little research but if someone could point me in the right direction i’d appreciate it.

as of now, i dont think storage size is an issue since ill have 2 hdd bays and i could run everything from my 500gb hdd (unless that slows things down to use the ssd to access from the hdd)

im willing to shell out cash for the fastest ssd out there as long as theres a significant increase in speed for the better one

thanks for the help

Hey techtic :slight_smile:

I think this SSD is a great value for its performance and size.

WD SiliconEdge Blue SSC-D0064SC-2100 2.5" 64GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive $135 shipped. Newegg lately has been running a lot of promotions so keep a look out for 10% off coupons and such, you can login to your newegg account and sign up for their email deals.

looks good. how does it compare to the phoenix pro or the vertex 2 in speed and price?

[QUOTE=eric93se;2530343]Hey techtic :slight_smile:

I think this SSD is a great value for its performance and size.

WD SiliconEdge Blue SSC-D0064SC-2100 2.5" 64GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive $135 shipped. Newegg lately has been running a lot of promotions so keep a look out for 10% off coupons and such, you can login to your newegg account and sign up for their email deals.[/QUOTE]

I agree 64 gigs for $135 shipped is the lowest cost per gig I have seen for an SSD and any drive smaller would be useless IMHO. The WD SiliconEdge Blue is much faster than magnetic drives but one of the slower SSD’s on the market. Its still a huge step up from a magnetic drive no question. Have a look Anandtech’s SSD Bench here. Make sure you change the tests to each option one at a time and look at each drives strong and week points. IMO 4k random read and IO’s per second are most important. sequential read/write is not as important but do not pick a drive that is at the bottom of the chart. Reads in general are more important than writes. All reads and writes on any SSD with correct partition alignment running Vista/Win 7 will be 4k aligned. This means non 4k aligned results from bench programs are not of much use.

I went down the same road a few months back. I knew nothing about SSD’s. I read my butt off and ended up getting a Intel X25-M G2 80 gig for my desktop. Best $200 I ever spent. My boot times dropped by over half, about 30-35 seconds from power on to ready to use. Most programs load in less than 1 second. Some upwards of 2 seconds. Really large programs load 3 to 4 times faster. The X25-M G2 has very fast random reads. IO’s per second smoke anything but the very high end SSD’s. The only down side is write performance. As I said write performance is not as big a deal anyway. Look at it like this. What data source have you got that would hit the 85 megs per second write speed limit of the X25-MG2 80 gig? None that I can see. When you use your PC you are mostly waiting for data to be read from the drive.

If money was free I would have definitely picked a different drive but I did not have an unlimited budget. If I did I’d go with a OCZ Agility2/Vertex 2 or limited edition. Or If I had SATA3 a Crucial RealSSD C300. If only I were a rich man. Keep in mind in most cases the smaller drives within the same model will perform much worse than their larger brothers. This is because in most cases the smaller drives use half the number of flash memory chips so half memory channels are not used. This hurts bandwidth big time. Oh and do not write off the WD SiliconEdge Blue. If it fits your budget go for it but if you can swing more I would. See screen shot of CDM bench on my drive.

Bill


One thing you need to know before you go with an SSD. The partition must be placed correctly on the drive. The partition must be aligned with the 4k boundaries that flash memory use. If its not performance will suffer badly and the life of the drive will be shortened. Since you say you have a new laptop I’d guess its running windows 7. If so format the new drive from within windows 7. (Do not create more than one partition as this will cause problems) This will give you the correct alignment.

The next problem is what are you going to do to get your OS on the new SSD. If you are going to clone your old drive to the new drive you may be in for trouble. Your existing drive may have more than one partition such as a restore partition etc. This can and most likely will cause alignment problems. I have gotten around this problem by imaging only the system partition and restoring the image to the new drive. You loose the built in restore feature but it gets around the problem. You may have to run a repair using the windows 7 DVD.

The next problem is most clone/imaging/partitioning programs do not understand SSD’s 4k sectors. All magnetic drives from the past used 512 byte sectors and most OS’s placed the beginning of the partition at sector 63. Because of this most clone/imaging/partitioning programs do the same. (New programs should fix this problem but many brand new programs still do not handle 4k sector drives correctly) Starting the partition at sector 63 is not aligned to the 4k flash boundaries.

If you use windows vista/7 to format a drive the partition will start at sector 2048 and is thus aligned correctly. One thing to note if installing windows 7 (clean) to a unpartitioned drive it will create a 100-200 meg hidden diagnostic partition at the beginning of the drive. This will cause the OS partition to be misaligned. In many cases you will not have a problem cloning or imaging an existing drive that uses a 2048 sector offset that has a single partition to an SSD with the correct 2048 offset and a single partition even if the software is not directly compatible with 4k sector drives. This is not a proven fact but in my and many others experiences it seems true.

Which clone/imaging/partitioning software works correctly for sure? I have no idea. Most likely any program will still have problems if the SSD has more than one partition. Even windows vista/7 can only create a single partition that is aligned correctly. Any additional partitions will not be aligned correctly. I have read some people have used a disk editor to correct the partition alignment of additional partitions after using windows vista/7 to partition the drive. There are also utilities that can fix the alignment of a drive with a single partition. WD drives come with this tool. Paragon also makes a tool that works on any brand drive.

The easy way to get around these problems is to do a clean install of windows 7 on a SSD that was formatted from within windows 7 itself. Using a single partition of course. If you can’t do this from within windows 7 you can use Diskpart. Diskpart is a command line utility that is included on the windows 7 install disk. The below commands are a quote from Tweakhound.com If you do not have a windows 7 install disk your back to doing it the hard way as above.

“Windows 7 Installation Advanced Drive Formatting
1 - Boot up from the Windows 7 installation disc.
2 - Choose Repair your computer.
3 - In the System Recovery Options screen, choose Use recovery tools… and click Next.
4 - Open the Command Prompt.
5 - Type diskpart and hit Enter.
6 - Type list disk . Find the disk you wish to install Windows 7 on. If you only have one disk then it will show as disk 0. If you have multiple disks find the drive you wish to install 7 on.
7 - Type select disk 0 (or use the number of the disk you wish to install Windows 7 on)(note - that is a zero)
8 - Type list partition. There shouldn’t be any.
9 - Type create partition primary.
10- Type select partition 1.
11- Type active.
12- Type format quick.
13- When finished reboot and begin your installation.”

Other thoughts. You should make sure your PC’s hard drive controller is in AHCI mode or can be switched to AHCI mode. This is a bios setting. This mode allows windows 7 to invoke the trim command. If your PC is in IDE mode you can’t just switch to AHCI mode. My pen is temporarily out of ink.:wink:
The best place I have found for info on SSD’s is the OCZ forums. Google trim/SSD/AHCI etc. for more info.

Good luck. If you have any more questions just ask.

Bill

Just checking another review the WD SiliconEdge Blue 64GB drive is pretty impressive. Review link When it hits $100 I think I might get one.


It does look like a good performer for the price. Too bad the reviewer used a old version of CDM as it does not test 4k aligned reads and writes. Here is a screen shot of AS SSD and my X25-M G2 80 gig for comparison. The reviewer could have included the IOPS results but oh well.



Yo-

I bought a Kingston 64GB SNV425-S2BD/64GB ssdNow drive for my burning computer - did note a very slight improvement on boot time - but NO noise!!

I would think that besides performance - that the power consumed - especially for laptop use - would be very important - and note that in looking at various specs of ssd drives - that there is a vast difference in power consumptions-eh

For a laptop, given that many of them only allow SATA1 speeds, it doesn’t make sense to buy a mega powerful SSD.
IMO, an Intel G2, OCZ Agility or Vertex (version 1) make excellent choices, as does the WD Silicon Edge. Also, don’t disregard the low cost OCZ Onyx, this makes an excellent laptop drive, as does the older Kingston SSDNow drives.

update:

i was busy and pushed off the ssd research until now. ive got time so please help me out…

whats the current fastest ssd on the market for the best price?

@bigmike:
ssd makes battery life longer or shorter?

@Dee: are u saying that if i get the fastest ssd on a laptop it will only perfect a fraction of its ability? no one else mentioned that as a concern whatsoever

It varies from laptop to laptop, most are capped at SATA1 speeds to give longer battery life. An SSD will be much faster than any HDD, just don’t expect to get the same benchmark results as you would on a desktop PC.

Currently the fastest SSD for SATA2 are the SSDs based on the SandForce SF-1200/1500 SSD controller, such as the OCZ Vertex 2.
The 60GB and 120GB versions are pretty well priced too, but there are cheaper alternatives that will also work well in a laptop, such as the ones listed in this thread.

theres no way 2 uncap it?

Huh, are you really sure of the SATA1 cap since there no way for the controller to know if it’s an SSD or not? There are power saving functions that can lower performance but it’s still SATA2. I’m not sure if its the same issue as people are seeing but I can choose performance vs battery life in the drivers on my new Toshiba laptop with Q57 chipset (stock drivers from downloadcenter.intel.com).

Anyhow, if you want to buy a new SSD you should have a look at Samsungs new 470 series that performs very well.
http://www.hardwareluxx.de/community/f227/koreanischer-leckerbissen-samsung-470-series-ssd-update-11-09-2010-a-741047.html

Available in .de and .uk and US (newegg) at least. Haven’t reached .se yet :frowning:
//Danne

I just picked up a new laptop for my wife. I got her a MSI A6200-206US for $500 at Office Depot. I was going to change out the 5400 rpm drive with a SSD but decided to give a 320 gig Seagate Momentus XT a shot. Boot times dropped from about 1 minute to 30-40 seconds. Measured from the end of bios post screen to on the desktop and startup wave played. Programs launch much faster. Not as fast as my main rig running an Intel X25-M G2 80 gig but way faster than any conventional drive by far.

[QUOTE=DiiZzY;2544729]Huh, are you really sure of the SATA1 cap since there no way for the controller to know if it’s an SSD or not? There are power saving functions that can lower performance but it’s still SATA2. I’m not sure if its the same issue as people are seeing but I can choose performance vs battery life in the drivers on my new Toshiba laptop with Q57 chipset (stock drivers from downloadcenter.intel.com).//Danne[/QUOTE] It doesn’t know its an SSD, there were just no 2.5 HDD that could exceed 150MB/s so it never became apparent until fast SSDs became available that there was some sort of cap on transfer rates with SATA2 in laptops, and it’s not all laptops.
Using the high performance setting in Win7 helps, but as far as i’m aware, there is no way to get full SATA2 speed on many laptops.

[QUOTE=wonderwrench;2544741]I just picked up a new laptop for my wife. I got her a MSI A6200-206US for $500 at Office Depot. I was going to change out the 5400 rpm drive with a SSD but decided to give a 320 gig Seagate Momentus XT a shot. Boot times dropped from about 1 minute to 30-40 seconds. Measured from the end of bios post screen to on the desktop and startup wave played. Programs launch much faster. Not as fast as my main rig running an Intel X25-M G2 80 gig but way faster than any conventional drive by far.[/QUOTE]

I’m thinking about getting something similar for my oldest daughter.

The Toshiba Protege R705 is pretty nice otherwise
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Toshiba+-+Portege+Laptop+/+Intel%26%23174%3B+Core%26%23153%3B+i3+Processor+/+13.3"+Display+/+4GB+Memory+/+500GB+Hard+Drive+-+Blue/1007392.p?id=1218207656035&skuId=1007392&st=r705&cp=1&lp=1

I have the business model (R700) and I’m very happy with it.

//Danne