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3 new SSDs to boost your laptop's speed

Lucas Mearian | July 11, 2013
Seagate, Samsung and OCZ have launched new consumer-class SSDs. We benchmarked all three to find which one has the best performance.

The Samsung 840 Pro won out by a hair over the other SSDs in read speeds, but handily beat both other SSDs in write speeds, displaying a sequential write speed of up to 495MB/sec. and a top read speed of 513MB/sec.

I've never tested a fully populated consumer SSD that achieved that kind of benchmark performance.

It took 10 seconds to transfer the 2GB MP4 file from the hard drive to my desktop.

Booting up my Mac using the Samsung 840 Pro took exactly 15 seconds. It took 30 seconds to shut down, which was slower than the Seagate SSD. A restart took 38 seconds.

OCZ's Vertex 450 SSD

OCZ's Vertex 450 replaces its year-old Vertex 4 SSD. Like the Vertex 4, the Vertex 450 uses Indilinx's Barefoot 3 controller with 20nm NAND flash.

OCZ Vertex 450 SSD
OCZ Vertex 450 SSD

The OCZ Vertex 450 retails for about $130 for the 128GB model and $250 for the 256GB model (the model I tested); there's also a 512GB version that lists for $499.

The Vertex 450 came through the benchmark tests with some of the lowest scores. Blackmagic's Disk Speed Test software revealed the Vertex 450 had a maximum read speed of 469MB/s and a top write speed of 355MB/s. The 2GB MP44 file transfer took 10 seconds.

The bootup time of 13 seconds, however, was only a second slower than the Seagate and was actually two seconds faster than the Samsung. Shutdown took 25 seconds and a restart averaged 37 seconds, just one second faster than the Samsung 840 Pro.

Overall, all three drives were impressive.

In the past, I've experienced longevity issues with OCZ's drives: I've had two completely fail after less than a year. In all fairness, those were older drives using different controllers -- but it's still worth mentioning.

When it comes to price, they are all close. A 240GB model of the Seagate 600 sells for $209, a 256GB model of the Samsung 840 Pro retails for $240 and the 256GB version of the OCZ Vertex sells for $250.

The Samsung comes with a five-year limited warranty, but the Seagate and the OCZ have only three-year limited warranties.

Where it counts the most -- performance -- the Samsung appears to edge out its competitors, but only by a small margin. Based on the Blackmagic benchmarking software, the Samsung slightly edged out the Seagate 600, but was markedly faster than OCZ Vertex, most significantly in write speeds. And, in fact, the Seagate beat the Samsung on boot up, which for some users is even more important.

In the end, if I had to choose, I'd be left wringing my hands trying to decide between the Seagate and the Samsung SSD based on benchmark performance.


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