High-end hardware calls for blazing fast storage devices to output results at blistering speeds. Using a conventional hard drive as primary storage would bottleneck performance in scenarios where speedy read and write operations are critical— for example, audio and video capturing/editing, 3D modelling, image editing, and so on. In such cases, using a high-end SSD works wonders. Older generation SSDs with SATA 3GB/s interface are more than twice as fast as regular hard drives. The new SATA 6GB/s interface and with high-speed controllers have changed the ball game, yet again. Plug a SATA 6GB/s SSD to a 3GB/sport on the motherboard and then connect it to a 6GB/s port—you’ll see a vast difference in transfer speeds. We tried it and noted a difference of 45 percent in speed with the same drive. The average read and write speeds of a 6GB/s SSD, when connected to a SATA 6GB/s port is around 510MB/s and 490MB/s, respectively. When connected to a SATA  3GB/s port, which has half the bandwidth of the average read and write speeds it dropped to 270MB/s and 260MB/s, respectively.

10 SSDs compared

10 SSDs compared

SSDs are available in capacities ranging from 64GB to 256GB. The ideal capacity for your PC depends on the amount of storage space required by the operating system and applications you use. For example, a 64GB SSD is ideal for a basic home PC, whereas a 128GB SSD is good for a gaming PC in which a lot of storage space is required to install games. Nowadays, with even entry-level motherboards featuring SATA 6GB/s interface, opting for a SATA 6GB/s SSD is a smart choice. If you want plenty of storage space without compromising on the performance and spending too much money, you can use an SSD as the primary drive and a high-capacity hard drive as the secondary storage. Such a set-up would be ideal, if you want to store your entire collection of music and movies on your PC. However, in the case of an office PC, where you just need to store documents and files related to work, even a 64GB SSD should suffice.

Upgrading your laptop’s storage by replacing the hard drive with an SSD is a very smart upgrade. You’ll find an improvement in the boot time and the speed at which applications load. Also, the battery life will improve because SSDs consume less power than hard drives, due to the absence of moving parts. In this comparison, we compared high-performance SSDs with SATA 6GB/s interface. We tried our best to round-up all the brands in the market, and we got our hands on 10 speed demons. Here’s a look at the entire group followed by the two best SSDs of the lot.

ADATA XPG SX900 – Best Performer

ADATA claims its XPG SX900 solid state drive is the most powerful SSD on earth. This seems true after having tested the fastest SSDs available in the market. The SX900 belongs to the Xtreme Performance Gear series of enthusiast-class hardware and uses optimized firmware to efficiently utilize the NAND chips. Coupled with a SandForce 2281 controller, the SX900 can reach read and write speeds greater than 500MB/s. This SSD is available in 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities, which give you multiple options depending on your budget and application area. The package includes a 3.5-inch drive bay adapter. We received the review unit (256GB) as soon as the SX900 was launched. After formatting, you get 238GB of usable storage space.

Best value for money

Best Performance

The capacity is sufficient to comfortably store hundreds of movies and music albums or multiple games and applications that require gigabytes of storage space. The only drive that came close to this one was the 240GB SSD in Intel’s 520 Series. The sequential read and write scores reported by ATTO Disk Benchmark and SiSoft Sandra 2012 indicate how fast the SX900 is. It was the only drive in the round-up that could write data faster than 500 MB/s. Think of a hefty 4GB file getting transferred in under 5 seconds!(You'd need an equally fast source drive, too.) With the highest scores in most benchmarks, this drive scored a whopping 97 points out of 100. There's no other choice, if you want a super-fast PC.

Specifications: Capacity: 256GB; Formatted capacity: 238GB; Interface: SATA 6GB/s; Bundled 3.5-inch adapter: Yes

Pros: Terrific performance, Acronis True Image HD (free download)

Cons: None

Corsair Force GT – Best Value
Corsair has a high recall value when it comes to memory solutions, power supplies and PC cases. The Force 3 and Force GT series of high-performance SSDs were launched sometime in the middle of 2011. Corsair first introduced lower capacity variants (60GB, 90GB and 120GB) and later added 180GB, 240GB and 480GB variants a few months later. The one that we received for the round-up was the 120GB variant of Corsair Force GT. This SSD stands out from the rest because of its bright red shell. It comes with all the necessary hardware to fit the drive into the 3.5-inch hard drive bay of the PC case. With an overall performance score of 84 points out of 100, the Force GT ranks seventh and is at par with the Kingston HyperX SSD of the same capacity. 

The best performer

Best Value for money

Both ATTO Disk Benchmark and SiSoft Sandra 2012 reported sequential read and write speeds of 512 MB/s and 481 MB/s, respectively. On the other hand, Crystal Disk Mark logged read and write speeds of 466 MB/s and 169MB/s, respectively. The Force GT is powered by the SandForceSF-2281controller, which is the key to the drive’s superior performance. The average price of the 120GB SSDs that participated in the round-up is Rs.14,000 and the 120GB Corsair Force GT is priced below Rs.10,000. This is the biggest reason why this SSD won our Best Value award. Considering its superior performance, the Force GT is our recommendation, if you want a high-performance SSD at an attractive price.

Specifications: Capacity: 120GB; Formatted capacity: 111GB; Interface: SATA 6GB/s; Bundled 3.5-inch adapter: Yes

Pros: Very good value for money, good performance, bundled 3.5-inch adapter.

Cons: None

We hope this round-up will be helpful for your next SSD purchase. If you have any other questions, feel free to throw us a comment or simply discuss it in our forums.

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