The Greatest SSD for Much less Than $100

Computers that rely solely on age-old hard drive technology should be a thing of the past. Mechanical devices suffer from slow response times. So when performance matters, spending a little cash upgrading a PC's boot drive can pay off to ruin other potential upgrades.

Catrachadas's first SSD review was released in early 2009, a round-up no less. At that time, we tested Intel's first-generation solid-state drive at the consumer level, the X25-M. The first generation OCZ Vertex made the cut together with drives from G.Skill and Super Talent. These last three companies had a background in computer memory (RAM) sales, but were looking for opportunities to enter the high-performance flash-based memory market.

But the main problem with SSD adoption in recent years has of course been the price, the astronomical price when you count on hundreds of gigabytes.

About two years ago, we published a roundup of $ 150 SSDs that included half a dozen popular SSDs of the time. Although they all cost less than $ 150, they also had very limited storage in common.

The OCZ Vertex 2 40 GB was priced at $ 3.10 per gigabyte and was still one of the best drives in our test. At $ 125 ($ 1.95 per gigabyte), the Kingston SNV425-S2 64GB was one of the lower-priced drives and was also one of the highest-capacity SSDs we tested.

At best, these under $ 150 SSDs could be used as a boot drive, but beyond that, getting all of your favorite applications and games installed on an inexpensive SSD would be a challenge. Fortunately, great strides have been made since then, and while the drives have gotten significantly faster, they have also gotten significantly cheaper.

In today's benchmark test, we're going to look at 8 popular SSDs that cost $ 100 or less and have capacities of up to 128GB. The following table gives you an overview of the drives, models, capacities and key distinguishing features:




Price / GB



OCZ Vertex 4 128 GB $ 115 90c OCZ Indilinx Everest 2 25nm synchronous
Samsung 840 120 GB $ 110 92c Samsung MDX Switch 19nm
Crucial m4 128 GB $ 105 82c Marvell 88SS9174 25nm synchronous
Kingston HyperX 3K SSD 90 GB $ 100 $ 1.11 SandForce SF-2281 25nm synchronous
Kingston SSDNow V + 200 120 GB $ 90 75c SandForce SF-2281 25nm asynchronous
OCZ Vertex 4 64 GB $ 75 $ 1.17 OCZ Indilinx Everest 2 25nm synchronous
Crucial m4 64 GB $ 73 $ 1.14 Marvell 88SS9174 25nm synchronous
Samsung 830 64 GB $ 70 $ 1.09 Samsung MCX 27nm switching

The SSDs have been sorted by price, and you'll find that the top three, including OCZ Vertex 4 128GB, Samsung 840 120GB, and Crucial m4 128GB, are currently listed just above the $ 100 mark. We decided to include them, however, as numerous online listings have enabled buyers to purchase these SSDs for under $ 100 in the past few weeks.

In addition, these tend to offer exceptional value even at their list prices and are likely to drop permanently in price sooner rather than later.

The cheapest high-capacity SSD in our roundup is the Kingston SSDNow V + 200 at 120GB, while the OCZ Vertex 4 64GB, Crucial m4 64GB, and Samsung 830 64GB should offer great performance for under $ 80.

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