The computer industry is moving at a frantic pace, especially when you have technology that is just about to go mainstream and that is exactly where solid state drives reside today.
To get the latest and most advanced solid state drives, you have to pay a heavy premium. Like it or not, your flashy new SSD could be out of date in a matter of months. But that's the story of the early adopters, be it graphics cards, processors or memory expansions. Six months ago you would have paid twice as much for some DDR3 sticks as you do today.
Likewise, solid-state drives move fast, having already received an initial wave of price drops and a makeover that makes them less prone to long-term slowdowns. From desktops to laptops, it's now safe to say that buying an SSD is one of the most rewarding upgrades a modern system can have, as long as you're willing to pay for it.
Unlike traditional hard drives, where we didn't have more than five or six manufacturers to choose from, there are now a multitude of storage manufacturers that offer solid-state drives. Avid hardware maker OCZ seems to be at the forefront of SSD technology, adopting virtually every SSD controller that hits the market.
The range of SSDs is extensive (OCZ Core, Solid, Agility, Apex, Vertex, Vertex EX and Summit), most of which are based on MLC technology, with the exception of the Vertex EX, which uses SLC and is therefore terribly expensive.
The cheapest SSD you can get from OCZ is from the Solid series. Priced at $ 270 for 120GB, followed by the new Agility series for $ 330 for the same size drive. The Vertex series is probably the best known as it offers an amazing $ 380 performance for the 120GB version.
Not that long ago we finished our Solid State Drive roundup, comparing four popular SSD drives, including the OCZ Vertex and the almighty Intel X25-M. The Vertex did surprisingly well against the Intel drive and therefore received the “Outstanding” award together with the X25-M.
That was only two months ago, and now OCZ has brought in a new contender with the OCZ summit, which is currently $ 350 for 120GB. While this sounds like a lot of money to spend on a small capacity hard drive, keep in mind that with the 80GB Intel X25-M you get $ 320 back, while the 160GB version gets you over $ 600.
New at the OCZ Summit is a new Samsung controller (S3C29RBB01-YK40) with a larger 128 MB cache. The Vertex instead used the Indilinx Barefoot controller with a smaller 64MB cache. As you may have learned from our previous SSD roundup, it is controller efficiency that can affect or affect the performance of a solid-state drive. It will therefore be interesting to see how this new arrival transforms our outlook for today's best solid-state drives.