Best SSDs: July 2014

by Kristian Vättö on 7/23/2014 11:50 AM EST
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  • tukkas - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    If I enable Bitlocker without TPM (by changing the group policy editor) will the hardware encryption on the mx100 be used? or will overhead be added? thank you very much Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    If you change the policy to allow hardware encryption without TPM, then BitLock will utilize the hardware accelerated encryption in the MX100 (i.e. TCG Opal 2.0 / eDrive). No overhead will be added like with normal BitLocker. Reply
  • tukkas - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    thank you very much. Reply
  • 8steve8 - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    seems odd to not mention the plextor M6E M.2 PCIe SSD.
    the only currently available pci-e m.2.

    the XP941 may be better, but it's also hugely overpriced because it is practically a ghost for USA customers.
    Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    We haven't been able to test the M6e due to some incompatibilities with our testbed, so I don't feel comfortable recommending a drive that we haven't benchmarked. It may look fast on paper with high sequential speeds but without thorough tests there is no way to determine whether it's consistent etc. It is also an x2 solution, meaning that the XP941 is up to twice as fast in some scenarios, which warrants the premium.

    As mentioned in the article, the 512GB XP941 is currently available on NewEgg so it is no longer a ghost in the US.
    Reply
  • Dahak - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    Probably because it is a pci-e X2 and not X4 like the Samsung drive. Reply
  • wicketr - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    What are the theoretical benefits/max speeds of each technology? Is everything going to go PCI-E in the next couple years? Where does this leave M.2? Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    M.2 is just a form factor, whereas PCIe is the interface. In other words, you can have an M.2 SSD with a PCIe interface like the XP941. Reply
  • asmian - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    Thanks for highlighting power-loss protection as an important feature. Since Crucial have proved it's possible to add this at the lowest-price end of the market (without significantly compromising performance in balance) Samsung's use of this to differentiate "consumer" (without it) from high-cost "professional" drives is extremely poor. It should be a basic feature in all new drives and that's what we should demand as consumers from Samsung and others. Reply
  • kyuu - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    Is RAPID really a feature worth considering? It certainly boosts benchmark scores, but does it have any significant effect on real client workloads? Reply
  • Nickolai - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    I don't consider it as a benefit, as I don't like (paying for, and using in general) the extra software layer that stands between me and the hardware. Also, I don't use Windows and would like to keep m options open with regard to what operating system I might use on my computer in the future. Reply
  • willis936 - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    I'm going to file this question under "duh". Such features already exist but you run the risk of permanent data loss if you lose power or crash at the wrong moment. Extra ram can buy you performance at the cost of data reliability. You could also run your minecraft server off of a ram drive and do 4 backups a day to make the players happy. Reply
  • AnnihilatorX - Friday, July 25, 2014 - link

    I run something called PrimoCache, formerly FancyCache that does it for all HDD/SDDs for a long time. I'd say it does help HDDs, SSDs, not so much.

    I also thinks you won't lose any data when power is off, as good implementation should not cache write operations and not have the physical write take place asap.
    Reply
  • AnnihilatorX - Friday, July 25, 2014 - link

    If I recall correctly PrimoCache delay the writes for a few seconds, which aims to reduce write amplification in SSDs (more than performance as the main motivation), because any data update shortly after first write updates the data on the cache and avoid duplicate write on the SSD. Not sure if this is a feature of RAPID. Reply
  • TrevorH - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    You seem to have missed the enterprise segment out. Samsung 850's 150TB write endurance would last my database about 6 months. Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    The enterprise market is so complex that it would need its own post. The 850 Pro certainly has some appeal in the entry-level enterprise market but 150TB is still not much in the enterprise. Reply
  • mapesdhs - Thursday, July 24, 2014 - link


    How would the Sandisk X210 fair in this regard?

    Ian.
    Reply
  • MikeMurphy - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    Samsung 845DC should be worth looking at. Reply
  • MrBlonde - Thursday, July 24, 2014 - link

    I may have read (on another site's review) that the 850 Pro's 150TB endurance rating is not the true limit of the hardware, but a marketing specification to "entice" enterprise customers to purchase Samsung's enterprise products. But yes, the 850 Pro is not designed to be used in an enterprise drive's setting. Reply
  • Nickolai - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    Are all of the Samsung 850 Pro drives rated at the same 150 TBW? It's strange: I would expect the drives with higher capacity to have higher endurance. Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    Yes, all capacities are rated at 150TB. Bear in mind that the rating is rather conservative and one of it purposes is to guide enterprises to the more expensive enterprise drives with higher endurance. I tested the endurance briefly and you should be able to get far more than 150TB out of the drive:

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/8239/update-on-samsu...
    Reply
  • usama_ah - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    I'm in the market for an SSD now to drop in a Mac Mini. This is perfect, thanks!! Reply
  • Vigneshj - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    Just a note, 850 Pro - 512 GB can be purchased at a lower price than Extreme Pro for about $360 from Samsung directly in the US. I wonder, if this is the new MSRP for the 512 GB drives. Reply
  • hojnikb - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    Damn, i really wish Crucial would offer mx100 in 1TB version. Reply
  • CrystalBay - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    Thanks Kristian for all the SSD information and reviews written ! Reply
  • brentpresley - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    For the record, ASUS Z97 boards now officially have boot support for the XP941 (as of the 7/3/14 bios) Reply
  • CrystalBay - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    Nice ! Reply
  • MadMan007 - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    So a few months before the MX100 came out I jumped on a nice MIR deal for a Seagate 600 240GB for <$100 when Tigerdirect was running deals on a regular basis. After reading these recommendations I checked the AT Bench to compare the 600 and the MX100...turns out the 600 is all around the better performer, in some cases by quite a bit. I know it's got a dated controller feature-wise and at regular prices the MX100 may be a better choice, and is the clear choice if those features matter, but the Seagate's regular price isn't that much higher in absolute terms. Not trying to justify my purchase (although it makes me feel less bad about the MX100 coming in at such low prices), just throwing it out there for others to consider. Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Thursday, July 24, 2014 - link

    The Seagate SSD 600 was a great deal when it was still available. Now it seems to be discontinued as NewEgg doesn't have it at all, and it would explain the low prices a couple of months ago. Reply
  • kyuu - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    Newegg doesn't have it, but it's still available on Tigerdirect and Amazon for $130. I guess it's possible it was discontinued and they're just clearing out their remaining stock? Reply
  • kyuu - Saturday, July 26, 2014 - link

    Yeah, I picked up the Seagate 600 240GB from Tigerdirect as well. It's a great drive, and the price made it doubly so.

    You shouldn't feel bad about the purchase at all. We're not going to have any need to upgrade for moar speed for a long time.
    Reply
  • chizow - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    MX100 really started a big drop on SSDs. Last-gen top-performers (840EVO, Extreme II) started dropping in price to match the MX100 and it looks like their replacements have picked up where they left off.

    I saw a deal on Newegg for the Extreme Pro for $135 for the 240GB part, sick value for top of the line performance!
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?nm_mc=A...

    Great time to be in the market for an SSD, or multiple if expanding a larger RAID array. I've already got more small SSDs than I can use atm, waiting for 500GB or larger capacities to drop some more so I can start consolidating.
    Reply
  • jeffrey - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    Waaaay off on the SanDisk Extreme Pro retails. The 240GB is $149.99 at both Newegg and Amazon and not $210 as listed in the article. Reply
  • jeffrey - Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - link

    Off almost $100 on the 480GB SanDisk Extreme Pro drive too. Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Thursday, July 24, 2014 - link

    The prices in the article are not wrong since I took them less than 24 hours before publishing the article, but they can already be out of date. It is certainly possible that SanDisk decided to run a sale after they saw this article to boost sales. Reply
  • jeffrey - Thursday, July 24, 2014 - link

    You are correct! Both places are back up today. Whoever bought yesterday got a great price! Reply
  • GreenMeters - Thursday, July 24, 2014 - link

    Any word on when/if Samsung will be bringing out an 850 EVO (or whatever they end up calling the non-enterprise SSD using the larger process 3D NAND)? Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Thursday, July 24, 2014 - link

    Samsung said "later this year" at the Global SSD Summit. Reply
  • Roland00Address - Thursday, July 24, 2014 - link

    Sad there are no Intel drives up there. Not that Samsung and Crucial are bad in any means. Did Intel just prices themselves out of the market, or it is because they have done barely updates except in the high end or both? Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Thursday, July 24, 2014 - link

    It's both price and performance. In the mainstream market their offerings (SSD 335 and 530) are not price competitive with the MX100, so for an average user there is no benefit to pay any premium for an Intel drive. In the high-end, on the other hand, the SSD 730 isn't capable of competing with the Samsung and SanDisk drives in performance and features, plus it is more expensive. Reply
  • MikeMurphy - Friday, July 25, 2014 - link

    I wonder if Crucial plans on releasing any software support for their SSDs, like the Intel SSD Toolbox etc. Reply
  • pimd - Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - link

    What about any drives in the m.2 42mm format? I got screwed over by lenovo with a y410. Bought early before everyone started complaining on the forums about them confusing msata with m.2 (their info was wrong on the website, printwd documentation and tech support either lied or didn't know). Reply

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