I've been all-SSD for about 6 months now, using four machines regularly - and this list is just my own purchases, not those I've put in machines for others.
Having started life on Indilinx Barefoots (Patriot, OCZ), I built RAID0 arrays rather than upgrading capacity. The Patriots both died, I ended up having to RMA the first OCZ after a year or so, too.
I moved to a gen-1 Sandforce (Agility2) which was supposed to be quicker but didn't feel it. It died, I RMA'd it, it died again - so I RMA'd it once more and sold the unopened replacement on eBay. I didn't touch Sandforce again until they fixed the second gen BSOD's, taking the plunge because the SATA 6GB/s controllers were too tantalising to pass up with my new P68 board.
I bought some gen-2 Sandforce drives, all asnyc versions like Agility3 or Force3. Even the cheaper async ones felt like a huge upgrade over earler SSD's, probably because they were combined with my first 6GB/s SATA and UEFI boot managers.
I moved my laptop's pathetic Kingston V200 (The JMicron controller which is still junk even after the "fixes") to my work PC which doesn't have a 6GB/s SATA port and bought a Samsung 830 on offer which is truly the best drive I have ever come across. It doesn't benchmark much better than the async Sandforces, but it's a tangible improvement over the Agility/Force3 in everyday use.
Finally, I bought a couple of Intel 330's for my HTPC, because that is (oddly) my primary machine and I really REALLY don't want to fiddle with that. That's a RAID1 which is probably wasteful but goddamn
, I am hoping I don't have to open that case for a long, long time. They're my first Intel drives having fitted G2's and 320's for others in the past because of their reliability record. Normally I've been more interested in value/speed than reliability but I've spent hours trying to cram 6 drives a quad-core and a 150W graphics card into a tiny case AND cool it very quietly. It involved customizing power cable lengths, ordering custom-length SATA cables to the nearest and making my own ducting with acrylic sheet and hot-melt glue.
If I had to pass on any of my experience, I would say that the brand/controller of SSD doesn't really matter that much. What matters more are these things:
- Capacity - most drives don't populate all the controller channels until you hit a certain size at the moment, typically 256GB.
- 6GB/s SATA - For those big sequential loads, it'll occasionally turn a two-second wait into a one-second wait.
- UEFI boot manager - Hello 10s cold-boots. Why suspend/sleep when you can wake from a shutdown just as fast?