Tom’s Hardware’s SSD Hierarchy Chart
Best SSDs For The Money: June 2012
AS SSD Benchmar Tool:
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Samsung 830 SSD 256GB
OCZ Vertex 4 256GB SSD
OCZ Agility 4 256 SSD:
Info about IOPS:
In this video I am benchmarking a Samsung 830 Series SSD but I also go over some things to consider when looking for and upgrading to an SSD.
These days most people are buying laptops for their computing needs and you have to make the decision between getting either a Solid State Drive (SSD) or Hard Disk Drive (HDD) as the storage component. So which is best to get, a SSD or HDD? There’s no straight forward answer to this question, each buyer has different needs and you have to evaluate the decision based on those needs, your preferences, and of course budget. Even though the price of SSDs has been falling and right now there is a tight supply of HDD drives due to Thailand floods, the price advantage is still strongly with HDDs. But if performance and fast bootup is your top consideration, and money is secondary, then SSD is the way to go. We’ll make a comparison of SSD and HDD storage and go over the good, the bad and the ugly of both.
What is a SSD?
You might be shopping for a computer and simply wondering what the heck SSD actually means? To begin, SSD stands for Solid State Drive. You’re probably familiar with USB memory sticks, SSD can be thought of as an oversized and more sophisticated version of the humble USB memory stick. Like a memory stick, there are no moving parts to an SSD, information is stored in microchips. Meanwhile, a hard drive uses a mechanical arm with a read/write head to move around and read information from the right location on a storage platter. This difference is what makes SSD so much faster. As an analogy, what’s quicker, having to walk across the room to retrieve a book to get information or simply magically having that book open in front of you when you need it? That’s how an HDD compares to an SSD, it simply requires more physical labor (mechanical movement) to get information.
A typical SSD uses what is called NAND-based flash memory, this is a non-volatile type of memory. What does non-volatile mean you ask? The simple answer is that you can turn off the disk and it won’t “forget” what was stored on it. This is of course an essential characteristic of any type of permanent memory. During the early days of SSD rumors floated around saying stored data would wear off and be lost after only a few years. Today this is not true, you can read and write to an SSD all day long and the data storage integrity will be maintained for well over 200 years. In other words, the data storage life of an SSD can outlive you!
An SSD does not have a mechanical arm to read and write data, it instead relies on an embedded processor (or “brain”) called a controller to perform a bunch of operations related to reading and writing data. The controller is a very important factor in determining the speed of the SSD, decisions it makes related to how to store, retrieve, cache and clean up data can determine the overall speed of the drive. We won’t get into the nitty gritty of the details for the various tasks it performs such as error correction, read and write caching, encryption and garbage collection to name a few but suffice to say, good controller technology is often what separates an excellent from simply good SSD. An example of a fast controller today is the SandForce SATA 3.0 (6 Gb/s) SSD controller that supports up to 500 MB per second read and write speeds.