Solid State disks offer a lot of benefits over traditional hard drives. They have no moving parts, so they tend to be quieter and harder to break. Many are also significantly faster than hard disks, since platters don’t need to spin for your computer to find the data it’s looking for. Solid State disks also use less power than hard drives. But not all SSDs are created equal.

A few years ago virtually every netbook shipped with solid state storage instead of a hard drive. That’s because they were cheap, durable, and didn’t generate as much heat in a tightly packed 7 to 10 inch case. But the SSDs that shipped with early Asus and Acer netbooks were hardly speed demons. In fact, in many situations, you’d get better performance from a typical hard drive. To boot, the SSDs generally stored just 16GB or less.

Flash forward a few years and most netbooks and larger notebooks come with hard drives — but you can find some high end models with high performance SSDs that offer significant benefits including faster speeds and lower power consumption. Or you can buy an SSD and install it yourself.

These high performance solid state disks used to run hundreds of dollars. But anyone who’s been following the Liliputing daily deals section knows that you can often find 32GB to 64GB models on sale for under $150.

The folks at TechSpot have rounded up a number of budget models from OCZ, Kingston, ADATA, and Intel to see how these sub-$150 SSDs compare with one another. The long and short of it is that they all outperformed a standard hard drive in most tests — but some took longer than others to boot Windows or load applications. Performance in a series of benchmarks also varied a bit — but honestly, not by all that much.

The main problem with SSDs — even budget SSDs — is that they still cost considerably more than an average hard drive. You can get a 32GB SSD for about the same price as a 500GB or even a 1TB hard drive. So you have to decide which matters more… performance or storage capacity? Of course, if you’re using a desktop or another computer that has room for two drives, you might not have to choose one or the other at all.

via Kotaku

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6 replies on “Budget SSDs rounded up, tested”

  1. I have read of a flash drive to ssd socket adapter. If SSD could use less expensive but bigger flash drives as a SSD, perhpas it would make it more affordable and more desirable? (just thinking out loud).

    I agree on the hybrid drive; SSD and HDD. The SSD would run the operating system while the HDD held the data and apps/programs. IMO; it would have the benefit of both worlds. 🙂

  2. Some larger laptops also have room for two drives, I’ve got two in my Dell 1737 for example… though with mSATA all they need is a free Mini PCIe size space and hopefully they’ll start doing that soon to give us more options.

  3. What happened to flash drives on netbooks is that although consumers seemed more than willing to buy netbooks (small network centric products with low local storage needs that flash could satisfy), everyone stopped making them in favor of small form factor Windows PCs with much higher price points and profit margins.

    When you think about it the ‘smartbook’ is just the netbook idea reborn as a dream of the cell carriers. Except it too was stillborn. We never learned if customers would actually buy them because they never made it to stores before everyone started wetting themselves over the iPad.

  4. You don’t have to choose between spinning disk and SSD with a notebook computer, since there are hybrid drives such as the Seagate Momentus XT. These have large capacities and some, but not all, of the speed of an SSD. See e.g. Anandtech test and discussion of the Seagate drive.

    1. I would use caution on the Momentus XT. The reviews at Newegg.com are not good, nontrivial problems ranging from
      excessive vibration to heat to failure. Seagate seems to have
      let its quality go. Some say WD and Hitachi also have quality
      issues, and perhaps also Samsung.

      I hope a non-Seagate mfr comes up with a hybrid drive like the Momentus XT, but with a far lower problem rate, and much bigger SSD (4 GB just doesn’t cut it as Windows 7 seems to use all of it, we really need 8 or 16 GB). I’ve given up on Seagate.

      Also, on pure SSDs, I would stay away from those < 64 GB as
      they typically have half the throughput of the 64 GB SSDs.

      Finally, Intel will be making a big push by the end of the year, with a new feature size for its circuits. Expect a big price drop
      beyond the steady drops we've been seeing. I have a 96 GB
      SSD now, and am putting my pennies away to get a 256 GB by
      then or mid 2011, hopefully around $200.

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