TechSpot: Budget sub-$150 solid state drive round-up

Recently there has been a surging demand for solid state drives that sacrifice space for speed and more affordable price tags, and manufacturers have been racing to deliver just that. Most of the drives featured in this round-up offer 32GB - 40GB capacities, while a few others top out at 64GB. As limiting as a 32GB drive might appear, they can still be extremely useful in enhancing a PC's performance when set to run as the boot drive. These smaller drives can also accommodate for select programs where they can greatly speed up the use of the application, for example, Adobe Photoshop.

Today's round-up is comprised of the following contenders: OCZ Agility 2 40GB ($135), OCZ Vertex 2 40GB ($124), OCZ Onyx 64GB ($130), OCZ Onyx 32GB ($85), ADATA S596 Turbo 32GB ($83), Intel X25-V 40GB ($100), and the Kingston SNV425-S2 64GB ($125). In addition to these affordable SSD offerings we have added to the mix the Seagate Momentus XT ($135), a highly-touted hybrid drive that attempts to deliver the best of both worlds by offering huge storage capacity at a reasonable price, with the added performance boost of NAND flash memory for caching data.

We'll be putting each drive through a set of tests including four synthetic benchmark programs plus our own file copying and load time tests.

Read: Budget Sub-$150 Solid State Drive Round-up

These articles are brought to you in partnership with TechSpot.

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Well I'm a sucker, just bought 2x of the Kingston SNV425-S2 64GB. $110 with mail in rebate from Newegg, and includes the 2 1/2 mount and screws.

freedonX said,
Well I'm a sucker, just bought 2x of the Kingston SNV425-S2 64GB. $110 with mail in rebate from Newegg, and includes the 2 1/2 mount and screws.

Got my Kingston SSD last week. Not going to make a full post review, just let me say these babies are FAST. I play Wordofwarcraft and a little bit of SC2 and the difference is very noticeable, even opening small apps like IE, Firefox, windows explorer, you name it, it's fast!! SSD are indeed the best upgrade you can give your computer. At the moment I'm running just 1 of the 60GB, haven't connected the second. Also using a 400GB as my standard 'file hard drive'

I haven't touched upon the subject of SSDs... ever since I heard they degrade over time with noticeable results. That was like almost a year and a half ago. Have they fixed this yet? If so, please link me to the absolute best SSD that exists today on the newegg. (don't worry about price!!!) I just can't seem to decide which one to get in terms of "the absolute best without the performance issues over time"

Is it going to be the intel x25-e ?

3rd impact said,
c'mon people with money! buy buy buy! so the prices will go down down down. eventually. not holding my breath.

Under this theory, they would go up up up with buy buy buy. Supply and demand, they see no one wants them price goes down .

And yes, absolutely the best upgrade. Like someone said above me, you DONT USE IT FOR SPACE!!! Run windows, and all your apps equaling about 20-30gb the most, and thats stretching it. Get a 40gb SSD, keep your 200gb HD on slave or shelf, and RUN QUICKER.

And duh. Its the 'ReadyBoost' but much more official and legit how it should be (Its basically a very large flash drive put on readyboost). YAY

PS. Newegg, got my 60gb for 130. OCZ Agility, 10 seconds from ASUS boot to icons . WORTH IT

Edited by theslam08, Sep 8 2010, 11:18pm :

I am so happy!! I found the 64GB Kingston drive online for an absolute steal at £53! (New!)
Brought it and installed it, much faster, really happy!
See this article, and think "Damn, Ive probably brought the worst one"
Ready the Article, even more happiest to find Ive brought one of the best ones!
At an amazing price too!
I'm going to have to write a review about this!

Wombatt said,
I am so happy!! I found the 64GB Kingston drive online for an absolute steal at £53! (New!)
Brought it and installed it, much faster, really happy!
See this article, and think "Damn, Ive probably brought the worst one"
Ready the Article, even more happiest to find Ive brought one of the best ones!
At an amazing price too!
I'm going to have to write a review about this!

How did you get it for that price?

King Mustard said,

How did you get it for that price?

Play.com have a play trade section. And some Tech noobie posted a new one up for £53. It was just luck, I was comparing the price to eBuyer's £75!

People have to understand SSDs aren't used for storage!! That's what a conventional hard drive is for. Apples to Oranges. I personally can't wait to save a bit more to buy a 80GB one. All I hear is how the SSD upgrade is the best performance boost you can give your computer

I have a 40GB OCZ SSD in my netbook with Adobe Web Design Suite and Visual Studio installed and still have about 10GB of free space. The thing absolutely flies and will run Photoshop, Illustrator, and Visual Studio all at once with no problem. I paid $55 for the drive after rebate and it was probably the best purchase I've made. Well worth it if you find the right price.

i run Intel X-25M SSDs as primaries on both my laptop and desktop, both Win7 x64. i don't regret spending a penny on either one - the performance is phenomenal.

if anyone is considering buying an SSD for a system drive, always make sure the firmware supports TRIM and the random 4K benchmarks are exceptional. fast sequential large reads which are always used in advertising tell you little about real world performance on a boot drive.

Mouettus said,
since when 32gb is enough for a boot drive? i mean, windows7 itself plus the cache files are enough to fill about 40gb, let alone the headroom it needs.

at least get your facts straight... I bought a 60gb ssd last week, windows7 is about 18gb. I have a supporting 160gb raptor for large games etc so I still have around 30gb free on the ssd. I pick and choose what gets installed where so as a boot drive it's working well. hibernate is disabled and swap files etc are on the raptor.

I get to desktop in less than 14 seconds from switch on. From the second it's on the screen I can start loading apps. It's pretty damn amazing. I paid around £100 from ebuyer (yes, still costly for 60gb but the performance is worth it). For larger sizes though, I wouldn't pay the prices.

I'd be all over an SSD if I used a desktop, since you can fit multiple HDDs in there. But with laptops it would have to be >250gb which is too pricey

Sub-$150 is pretty decent for any SSD (depending on the storage and features); however, it's still overpriced compared to conventional hard drives. Right now, I can buy a 2TB hard drive for about $99 CAD. I don't know when SSDs will be go down in price but I certainly hope it's within the next two years.

since when 32gb is enough for a boot drive? i mean, windows7 itself plus the cache files are enough to fill about 40gb, let alone the headroom it needs.

Mouettus said,
since when 32gb is enough for a boot drive? i mean, windows7 itself plus the cache files are enough to fill about 40gb, let alone the headroom it needs.

Um my Windows folder on 7 (installed since it RTMed) with all updates is 18gb.

Mouettus said,
since when 32gb is enough for a boot drive? i mean, windows7 itself plus the cache files are enough to fill about 40gb, let alone the headroom it needs.

Well, I have a 36 GB Raptor as my boot drive with Win 7 64 bit and it definitely does not use 40GB with the cache. I acutally have over 15 GB of free space (and this is counting that I have a lot of applications installed, like Office 2007, Photoshop and IIS)

There alot better then the $300 I have seen.
Still I'm like the rest of you. Holding out.
I would rather upgrade my video card atm.

SSDs are still unaffordable. As someone mentioned, they should come down in prices now as we havent seen a significant drop in prices yet. Then they would be worth buying.

cork1958 said,
You're kidding me, right?

How is that a "budget" drive?

Drive is too generic. It could mean hard drive, CD drive, etc. In the case of this article, it's about budget solid-state drives (SSDs). Considering the current prices of SSDs, sub-$150 is pretty decent.

Anaron said,
Considering the current prices of SSDs, sub-$150 is pretty decent.

Not really. I purchased my first SSD in Dec. of 2008 (30 GB OCZ Vertex) for under $100. Almost two years out, the price hasn't dropped but has increased! Manufacturers are selling much larger drives now, but the price of the low-end hasn't changed. If 30 GB were in the $25-30 USD range I'd start buying.

Vlad said,

Not really. I purchased my first SSD in Dec. of 2008 (30 GB OCZ Vertex) for under $100. Almost two years out, the price hasn't dropped but has increased! Manufacturers are selling much larger drives now, but the price of the low-end hasn't changed. If 30 GB were in the $25-30 USD range I'd start buying.

Agreed! ... 30GB-80GB type SSD drives need to be priced 'reasonably' (i.e. $100 MAX. although 50-ish sounds much better)

because right now standard 3.5" hard drives are all around better considering space is a issue for most people nowadays to where if i am going to sacrifice space for speed i could do it for a boot drive but i got to have a 'fair' price which current prices are still to steep.

Pixil Eyes said,
Once it hits about 75 cents a gig is when I'll buy.

75cents per gig? then you will be waiting another 10+ years.

wow, so much whining. This goes to everyone.

truth is 30-80GB SSDs are very affordable, when you take into consideration ho much your performance will improve.

and stop comparing hard drive prices to SSDs prices.

I doubt 10 years. Look at the price trends. 2 years ago a 40 gig was over $200+ bucks. Now a 40 gig is about $100 on sale.

How is it whining? What are we winning about? About getting the best bang for the buck?

Why should we not compare them? Both are data storages. Its like not comparing AMD to Intel processors when both do the same thing.

Edited by PixilEyes, Sep 9 2010, 3:27pm :