Our Summary and Conclusion
Performance Summary: Three of the drives featured here consistently offered ‘best of class’ performance throughout our testing, the OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS, the Corsair Force GT, and the Patriot Wildfire. Not surprisingly, all three of these drives feature the same SandForce-built controller and synchronous NAND flash memory. These drives offered the highest transfer rates in the majority of tests, and while performance does drop off as the data being used gets more incompressible, performance still remained very high overall.
That is not to say the other drives didn’t perform well. It’s quite the contrary, in fact. All of the drives we tested here offered excellent performance and would be huge upgrade over any standard hard drive. It’s just that some of the drives—namely the three we mentioned--offer higher transfer speeds in most test cases. With that said, users would be hard pressed to “feel” or a see a perceptible difference between any of these drives in typical day-to-day use. We should also point out that the Crucial M4 offered the lowest access times and most consistent performance with highly compressible or incompressible data.
Now that we have the performance results covered, it’s time to see how all of these drives stack up in terms of price. The chart posted below lists all of the drives featured here, along with their current street price as of press time, and completely capacity details. Please note, cost per GB was calculated using actual formatted / usable capacities.
* Prices Current As Of 3PM EST, July 12, 2011
As you can see, the Crucial M4 was by far the least expensive drive looking at its cost per GB. If you want a high capacity drive and work with lots of incompressible data, the M4 is a fine choice. For all out performance, the Corsair Force GT offers a good balance; its cost per GB is lower than the OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS drive despite offering similar performance. For best all out performance, price be damned though, the OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS and Patriot Wildfire drives are the ones to beat. They’re the most expensive, but it shows in the numbers they put up throughout our testing.