So far this year, we have looked at a wide variety of SSD drives in the $200 price range. We have reviewed just about every combination of controller/flash brand, from various manufacturers from OCZ to Crucial, to ADATA, to Patriot. After all this, our recommendation has always been the Crucial M4 128GB as a solid drive for the price, with the OCZ Agility 3 trailing not far behind (it gets an extra boost because it is actually priced quite a bit lower if you take mail-in rebated into consideration).
But what if you want to step things up a bit in terms of price, but not too much? There are still other options available to you in the 120GB range, mostly using the SandForce 2281 controller. The difference of course, is that they use different types of Flash. We have reviewed two 128GB SandForce drives so far – the OCZ Agility 3 which sends 32 channels of Asynchronous NAND flash to the controller, as well as the A-Data S511, which has 16 channels of Synchronous flash.
To change things up a bit, OCZ has paired up the SandForce 2281 controller with Toshiba’s alternative Toggle flash – the 120 GB version has 8 chips with 4 channels each, sending 32 total channels of flash to the controller. Similar to the Agility 3, but without the issue of a low ONFI spec.
The Vertex 3 Max IOPS edition retails for about $240 right now – most other SATA6 SSDs are no more than $215. Does that extra cash and the switch to Toggle flash buy you extra performance at this capacity? Read on to find out!