Best SSDs: Mid-range
Best SSDs: Budget 240 GB
Mushkin Enhanced Callisto Deluxe
|Mushkin Enhanced Callisto Deluxe||240 GB|
|Sequential Read||285 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||275 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 Write||520 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||256 GB|
|Sequential Read||500 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||260 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.