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Best SSDs: Mid-range

Best SSDs For The Money: April 2012
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SSDs prices continue to fall, and we're updating our list of recommendations to reflect those changes. This month, the best deals are found in mid-range arena. In particular, keep an eye out for 240 GB SSDs priced closer to $1/GB than we've ever seen.

Best SSDs: Budget 240 GB

Mushkin Enhanced Callisto Deluxe

Mushkin Enhanced Callisto Deluxe
240 GB
Sequential Read
285 MB/s
Sequential Write275 MB/s
Power Consumption (Active)
?
Power Consumption (Idle)?

If you value capacity over performance, keep an eye out for first-generation SandForce drives selling at bargain prices. Just be aware that several manufacturers switched from 34 nm to 25 nm NAND mid-way through their product cycle, resulting in products with less capacity. This left many of our readers with a bad impression when certain vendors didn't articulate the transition (see The OCZ Vertex 2 Conspiracy: Lost Space, Lost Speed?). After all, who wants to pay more for less capacity?

In response, Mushkin sells two Callisto Deluxe models with different names to differentiate the drives with 25 nm NAND from those equipped with 34 nm flash. The -DX suffix identifies the latter (for example, MKNSSDCL240GB-DX), while -DX2 indicates the former.

The -DX models are generally preferred for their better endurance specs, which is why Mushkin's 240 GB Callisto Deluxe with 34 nm flash gets our recommendation this month.

Best SSDs: Premium Performance Option

Mushkin Chronos Deluxe

Mushkin Chronos Deluxe
240 GB
Sequential Read
560 MB/s
Sequential Write520 MB/s
Power Consumption (Active)
3 W
Power Consumption (Idle)1 W

Two months ago, Mushkin's 120 GB Chronos Deluxe sold for just a little bit less than what the 240 GB model for goes for in the U.S. Sadly, we're having trouble sourcing either either of these Mushkins in the United Kingdom, so we can't tell you if this bit of value has reached the UK. If you happen to come across one that's priced decently, let us know. They're still great drives, and, at the right price (between £160 and £200), they're more than decent value for money.

Best SSDs for ~£220: Performance Option

Crucial m4

Crucial m4
256 GB
Sequential Read
500 MB/s
Sequential Write260 MB/s
Power Consumption (Active)
0.15 W
Power Consumption (Idle)0.10 W

If you're looking for a higher-capacity SSD with a performance-oriented tilt, Crucial's 256 GB m4 is a solid purchase. SF-22xx-based SSDs continue to sell for the lowest prices. However, Crucial's m4 gives you raw performance on a more consistent basis.

If you want to weigh each model's performance strengths, the comparison gets a little trickier. In a desktop environment, most data written sequentially tends to be compressible, favoring drives like the Vertex 3. When it comes to reads, the two drives perform similarly. But once you take into account that the m4 also offers more user-accessible space and a lower price, we think Crucial's drive is the clear victor.

Display all 4 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    tracker45 , 26 April 2012 23:46
    still too expensive by any standard.

    Stick with HDD,
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , 30 April 2012 12:11
    r u mad blud
  • 0 Hide
    LHL2500 , 30 April 2012 22:33
    Why didn't Intel 520 make the cut?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , 12 May 2012 04:56
    If I start to think about it a SSD would come in handy. I have managed with a 250GB HDD and about 60% of it is music, bigger downloads and movies. But on the other hand I doubt an ASUS Eee PC 1201PN is worth the upgrade.
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