Sep 24, 2009

SSD Drives For Mac - 2010 Price And Performance

WOW! What a year it's been for the solid-state disk drive marketplace. As we head into the final stretch of 2009 it's amazing to see some of the best SSD technology advancements ever this year. Traditional hard drives got thier lunch served to them on a - spinning silver platter - so to speak as SSD performance soundly out-performed and trounced even the fastest of fast hard disks once and for all.

A huge part of this SSD performance leap was thanks to Indilinx and Samsung drive controller chips in 2009 - With much larger cache memory than any of the JMicron based SSD's that dominated the beginning of the year - these two new SSD controllers took Read (and more importantly) Write performance to new levels exceeding well over 200Mbps.

It also led to a leveling of the playing field: As most current solid state drives now use these controller chips - performance has largely evened out. So whether it's an SSD from OCZ, SuperTalent, Patriot or others - the guts inside are largely the same with more minor variations in cache size and speed of NAND flash used. Data transfer rates are far more incremental now - not the huge leap we saw earlier in the year.

The best value lies in these few drives: An OCZ Agility, A Super Talent UltraDrive ME, The Patriot Torqx or Warp V3 Series, and an OCZ Vertex -- or perhaps a RAID 0 Apex. And oh, Intel's X-25 series SSD still ain't a bad choice either.
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