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Ultimate guide to SSDs (plus reviews of 7 new drives!)

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Corsair Neutron (240GB): The middle of the road

Photograph by Robert Cardin

Corsair's move to the Link A Media LM87800 controller has been a good thing. The Neutron GTX performs better thanks to its faster toggle-mode NAND, but the Neutron with its synchronous MLC NAND is still a very fast drive—fast enough to take the fifth spot among some very tough competition in our roundup.

Read our entire review.

Corsair Neutron GTX (240GB): A gamble pays off

Photograph by Robert Cardin

Corsair's move to the Link A Media LM87800 controller has paid dividends. Though not quite as fast as the Samsung 840 Pro or the OCZ Vector, the Neutron GTX beat out the OCZ Vertex 4 to take third place overall.

See our complete hands-on review.

Kingston HyperX 3K (240GB): An excellent buy

Photograph by Robert Cardin

Kingston's HyperX 3K was the best performer among the SandForce SF-2281 drives in our December 2012 roundup, by a fair margin: It took the sixth spot in overall performance. Kingston somehow managed to squeeze significantly better write performance out of this controller than the other vendors using the same part.

Read the rest of our review.

OCZ Vector (256GB): Bangin’ Barefoot

PHOTOGRAPH BY ROBERT CARDIN

OCZ's latest drive, the Vector, utilizes the company's new IndiLinx Barefoot 3 controller in conjunction with synchronous MLC NAND. Said NAND is rated for 550-MBps sequential writing and 530-MBps writing, as well as for 95,000/100,000, 4KB write/read operations per second. Whatever the numbers, the Vector is fast.

Find the entire review.

OCZ Vertex 4 (256GB): Hitting the sweet spot

Photograph by Robert Cardin

While it’s not quite as fast as its OCZ Vector sibling, OCZ’s Vertex 4 is a very speedy SSD. It uses the company's older IndiLinx Everest 2 controller, but contains the same synchronous MLC NAND used in the Vector. The combination proved fast enough for this drive to take fourth place in overall performance.

Read the entire review.

Samsung 840 Pro (256GB): A screaming-fast SSD

Photograph by Robert Cardin

It's always easy to write about the best—in this case, the Samsung 840 Pro with its proprietary MDX controller. Samsung also manufactures the toggle-mode MLC memory found in the 840 Pro, and judging from the results of our tests, the company knows what to do with it. The 840 Pro finished first in overall combined reading and writing. It also placed first in three of our four individual read and write tests.

Find all the details in our review.

SanDisk Extreme (240GB): Bang for the buck

Photograph by Robert Cardin

SanDisk's Extreme SSD is a study in extremes, at least pricewise. With the 240GB version carrying a $399 suggested retail price, you might dismiss it out of hand. That would be a mistake: We found the drive selling online for a mere $165 (as of December 18, 2012), which lowers the drive's price per gigabyte to just 69 cents—the lowest price in the entire roundup.

Read more about this drive in our review.

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