Which 256GB SSD to get.

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Which 256GB SSD to get.

Postposted on Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:16 pm

I am planning to get my first ever SSD in a month, if I get an income tax credit (fingers crossed)

I have it down to a few choices, the Plextor PX-256M3, crucial M4, Corsair perf Pro, and the Samy 830.

However here in Canada the Samy 830 is pretty much non-existant (1 place $400), so that pretty much eliminates it unfortunatly.

I seen conflicting info about the corsair and plextor, some review say 34nm and others say 24nm, which is it? They both have 512MB cache vs the crucial.

Cheapest I have seen the M4 in Canada is $297, the Corsair $355 and the plextor is $340. (without the 13% tax here)

Basically I am looking for silence, and boot/load times for win7, a few source games, cad, etc. I suppose even a 240GB sandforce is an option.

Any suggestions?
Thanks
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anotherengineer
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Re: Which 256GB SSD to get.

Postposted on Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:26 pm

Well, in the end it is going to be a personal preference. But, to me the M4 seems to be the most widely talked (liked) SSD. Personally, I have the OCZ Vertex 2 (256 MB SATA II), almost 2 years now and it is running strong (the time bomb coming up?). Best performance upgrade I have made in a long time. In all honesty, I would just go with the cheapest at a good performance mark. I've had the Intel X2 for years and the performance has been great even tho the write speeds are at the low end - it was not something that I noticed.

Just make sure that you backup the drive regularly. I most strongly recommend this. I don't care how good the drive is, stuff happens. AND this will give you the peace of mind when jumping onto the SSD bandwagon.

I know< i'm not much for links, but just googling reviews on 256 SSD will get you plenty. Even the one TR did a month or so ago is an awesome read. I especially like this one: http://techreport.com/articles.x/21843
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Re: Which 256GB SSD to get.

Postposted on Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:01 pm

IIRC the Plextor M3 is the fastest of those.
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Re: Which 256GB SSD to get.

Postposted on Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:10 pm

Firestarter wrote:IIRC the Plextor M3 is the fastest of those.


Yea, you are right. But for a person who is doing it the first time is not going make that much of a difference, just that fact that having a SSD will blow everything he knows about fast away. So, just getting the cheapest, most reliable one will do.
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Re: Which 256GB SSD to get.

Postposted on Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:23 pm

The Intel 520 series SSD's are the most reliable bet, but also the most expensive. Intel only jumped into the Sandforce market recently (basically 1 year after everyone else with the 2281 controller which they have apparently spent doing extensive validation testing) Here is a review which according to Intel, even current firmware fixes have missed some reliability related issues with sandforce controllers that only Intel has found and fixed. I'm not entirely convinced that there's much left to worry about with sandforce based SSD's (at least those companies that provide firmware updates..aka OCZ and Corsair that I know of) In that respect, I would recommend an OCZ Agility 3 which costs $100 less and gets you roughly the same performance. I have a OCZ Vertex 3 and Corsair Force3 and have had NO ISSUES with either.

The samsung 830 is probably better than the Crucial m4 in my opinion, but that doesn't mean the m4 is a bad choice. You might want to go to TR's "storage" section and read a couple of their articles to get familiar with what different controllers and NAND types offer in terms of performance and price. As far as I'm concerned, for the majority of users, buy SSD's based on lowest price from a reputable company that is good at providing firmware updates. If you're paranoid about reliability, get an Intel 520 or Crucial m4. Samsung has a good reputation for reliability as well but the 830 series are still fairly new so some issues may arise that need to be fixed with firmware updates down the road. Sandforce's past reliability issues (BSOD's that have since been fixed) did not result in loss of data (to my understanding) like the Intel 320 series bug (which has also been fixed), but they did require the user to unplug the drive from power and plug it back in to restore the drive functionality.
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Re: Which 256GB SSD to get.

Postposted on Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:52 pm

I've had good experience with the Crucial M4 (the 512MB version). And let's be honest, even the slowest of that group is going to be faster than any hard drive for most anything you could do with it. So it's just a matter of degree.
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Re: Which 256GB SSD to get.

Postposted on Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:06 pm

Both the Plextor M3 and the Corsair Performance Pro are faster than the Crucial M4. They trade places, with the Performance Pro being a smidgeon faster. Either one is great, and it would boil down to price for me. Corsair uses 32nm NAND and Crucial uses 24nm NAND.

I just bought a 128 GB M3 for $149 a couple months ago, and it has been great, even though my desktop only supports SATA 2.
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Re: Which 256GB SSD to get.

Postposted on Sun Mar 25, 2012 6:54 pm

Hmmm.

I don't know why the corsair is so much more than the M4 for ($60 w/o tax) since it has half the nand chips!?! I can get the M4 256GB here in Canada for 296.00 cnd (w/o tax & shipping) making it very tempting over the corsair and plextor. Crucial's website is also decent as is their firmware support.

Tough decisions............
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Re: Which 256GB SSD to get.

Postposted on Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:21 pm

anotherengineer wrote:Hmmm.

I don't know why the corsair is so much more than the M4 for ($60 w/o tax) since it has half the nand chips!?! I can get the M4 256GB here in Canada for 296.00 cnd (w/o tax & shipping) making it very tempting over the corsair and plextor. Crucial's website is also decent as is their firmware support.

Tough decisions............


Plextor has also been very good with their firmware support. They issued a firmware fix for the M3 within a month of release, and propagated the new firmware into their shipping drives very quickly as well.
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Re: Which 256GB SSD to get.

Postposted on Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:25 pm

Voldenuit wrote:Both the Plextor M3 and the Corsair Performance Pro are faster than the Crucial M4.

So? They're all blazingly amazingly fast. Even the "slow" M4. It's a great product at a good price.

Plextor charges too much for many of their products, good as they may be. Corsair makes great stuff -- no complaints there -- I've owned a bunch for their RAM (along with Crucial's).

My point is you can't lose with the M4. If it were more expensive, yes, I'd recommend one of the others. But I've used the M4, and it's a great product.
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Re: Which 256GB SSD to get.

Postposted on Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:33 pm

Thanks.

This leads me to another question. I know I will have to flip my bios from emulated ide to ahci.

Is there any other tweaks/recommended settings when putting in an ssd or just leave win7 defaults in place? I have just seen lots of conflicting info on the net about disabling certain things..........
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Re: Which 256GB SSD to get.

Postposted on Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:08 pm

anotherengineer wrote:This leads me to another question. I know I will have to flip my bios from emulated ide to ahci.

Is there any other tweaks/recommended settings when putting in an ssd or just leave win7 defaults in place? I have just seen lots of conflicting info on the net about disabling certain things..........


Make sure that the BIOS is set to AHCI before starting the windows install.(although, it is possible to do it afterwards, see link below) After you complete the windows 7 install, right click on my computer => properties => rate your computer. This will allow windows to detect that you indeed have an SSD and it will automatically disable defrag, turn on trim, etc. etc. I found this article pretty helpful. I chose to only disable drive indexing and adjust the power options so garbage collection could work when my computer was idle. There are many other things listed in the article, but many of them have little/no effect.
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Re: Which 256GB SSD to get.

Postposted on Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:06 pm

Well I think I will wait a little bit longer, although there is a a not bad deal for the corsair at newegg.ca, free shipping, -15$ coupon code and a $30 MIR.

I see Marvell is releasing a new ssd controller, I wonder how long it will take to make it to market though?

I like how aggressive the garbage collection is on the corsair http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storag ... html#sect0 even with the older revision marvell controller, and the extra write cycles vs the micron nand in the crucial. However I don't know what corsair's rma and f/w support is like????

The plextor has a 5-yr warranty, now that is tempting. I think it's going to be between the Corsair and Plextor, unless the M4 has a good deal between now and the next 2 months.

*fingers crossed income tax rebate*
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Re: Which 256GB SSD to get.

Postposted on Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:44 am

Well I just ordered a Plextor M3 256GB. My old 640GB WD black is going to cry.

Now I just have to learn what things (indexing, etc.) should be disabled.

Does anyone have any good suggestions?
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Re: Which 256GB SSD to get.

Postposted on Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:59 am

anotherengineer wrote:Well I just ordered a Plextor M3 256GB. My old 640GB WD black is going to cry.

Now I just have to learn what things (indexing, etc.) should be disabled.

Does anyone have any good suggestions?


You don't have to disable anything. Performance gains are minimal from disabling indexing/superfetc etc. Windows 7 already disables defrag automatically when it senses you have an SSD. Just make sure to follow the steps in DPete's post to switch to AHCI.

If you want to regain space, you can disable system restore, hibernation and/or indexing (if you don't keep any documents/personal files on your SSD).
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Re: Which 256GB SSD to get.

Postposted on Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:18 pm

Voldenuit wrote:
anotherengineer wrote:Well I just ordered a Plextor M3 256GB. My old 640GB WD black is going to cry.

Now I just have to learn what things (indexing, etc.) should be disabled.

Does anyone have any good suggestions?


You don't have to disable anything. Performance gains are minimal from disabling indexing/superfetc etc. Windows 7 already disables defrag automatically when it senses you have an SSD. Just make sure to follow the steps in DPete's post to switch to AHCI.

If you want to regain space, you can disable system restore, hibernation and/or indexing (if you don't keep any documents/personal files on your SSD).


In my experience, Win7 does not automatically turn off Defrag with an SSD unless it is initially installed on one. When I installed my brother's SSD, I dup'd his HDD and had to go and manually turn off the scheduled Defrag process. I don't know if this was an anomaly, but best to check just in case.
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