2010 Storage Devices You Care The Most About

The cost of SSDs dropped rapidly over the course of 2009 and 2010, making an SSD feasible for most any build where you want snappy responsiveness with boot-up and application loading. Of course, capacity vs. cost is still an issue, but many drives now offer enough space to handle Windows 7 and some the games you want to play. For multimedia storage, HDDs are still ideal, and you’ll find a number of 1TB and 2TB options on the market.

Winner: OCZ Vertex 2 (240GB)
$599.99; www.ocz.com
The OCZ Vertex 2 features the Sand-Force SF-1200 controller, which offers a significant performance increase over the Indilinx Barefoot, including a nearly 100MBps increase in the max write speed (from 180MBps to 275MBbs). The 240GB OCZ Vertex 2 has a maximum read speed of 285MBps, and OCZ indicates that it can produce sustained write speed up to 250MBps.

The OCZ Vertex 2 includes native TRIM support, which erases blocks of NAND flash before they are re-written, so that the SSD doesn’t slow down over time. Note that you’ll need to be running Win7 or a version of Linux with kernel 2.6.33 to benefit from TRIM. The Vertex 2 can also be used with OCZ’s Toolbox Software, which lets you quickly update the Vertex 2’s firmware, securely erase the drive, and optimize the sectors to match the OS. OCZ also throws in a 3.5-inch desktop adapter bracket, so you don’t need to find any creative ways to stow the SSD in your build. The 240GB Vertex 2 is backed by a three-year warranty from OCZ and offers a 2-million hour MTBF.

First Runner-Up: Crucial RealSSD C300
$599.99; www.crucial.com
Crucial added a Marvell 88SS9174-BJP2 controller to provide native support for 6Gbps file transfers, and the 256GB RealSSD C300 is built using 34nm Micron ONFI 2.1-compliant MLC NAND flash memory. Crucial indicates that the 256GB RealSSD C300 offers read speeds up to 355MBps and write speeds up to 215MBps. Even though it was introduced in April, the RealSSD C300 is still one of the fastest consumer SSDs around.

There’s a 128MB built-in cache, where Crucial stores mapping levels and access history for quick performance with recent tasks. Of course, you’ll want to pair the Crucial RealSSD C300 with motherboard that features a 6Gbps SATA interface to take full advantage of the SSD’s speed. Otherwise, the RealSSD C300’s maximum read speed drops to 265MBps. Crucial offers a three-year limited warranty on the SSD and indicates it should last 1.2 million hours.

Second Runner-Up: 3TB Western Digital Caviar Green
$239.99; www.wdc.com
Due to a 2.2TB limit in the maximum size of the master boot record used in our PCs, manufacturers have been hesitant to create drives greater than 2TB. With the 3TB Caviar Green, Western Digital includes an AHCI-compliant Host Bus Adapter that enables the operating system to support all the space on the hard drive. The 3TB Caviar Green is built using a 750GB per platter areal density and Advanced Format technology. The latter increases the media format efficiency, so it can read and write more data in same amount of space than it could before.

The Caviar Green line offers Western Digital’s IntelliPower technology, which optimizes spin speed, transfer rate, and caching to save power. Western Digital indicates that the 3TB can hold up to 1,150 hours of DVD-quality video or up to 750,000 MP3s. The drive is covered by a three-year limited warranty.

2010 Graphics Cards You Care The Most About

Source of Information : Computer Power User (CPU) January 2011


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