The hunt for the fastest SSD: Winter 2013 edition

In the market for a SSD replacement of your mechanical hard drive? Are you tired of synthetic benchmarks and holy wars in SSD forums? I’ve got some pure numbers here for the most popular models: Samsung 830, OCZ Vertex 4, Crucial M4 and the new Samsung 840 Pro, all tested under Mac OS X 10.8.2 with Blackmagic Disk Speed Test.

First, a fast recap of the most popular SSD choices of the past 2012:

Crucial M4 256Gb $189.99

BlackMagic Disk Speed Test for Crucial m4 256Gb SSD

Quite slow for a modern SSD but still faster than a SATA3 hard drive. Put this one in an aging MacBook Pro (late 2008 or mid-2009) and you’ll squeeze the last drops out of their CPU/chipset performance, capping read/write at around 270MB/s on these notebooks.

Samsung 830 512Gb $499

Samsung 830 256GB

This is the previous generation of Samsung’s SSD line, and is a very popular if not a “standard SSD” drive now, especially the lower capacity versions of 128Gb and 256Gb.

OCZ Vertex 4 256Gb $236.99

OCZ Vertex 4 256Gb

The last two are pretty much the dominant players on the market now, being also the best dollar to gigabyte ratio for the moment at around $0.85 per Gb.

And now, the new top performer of 2013: Samsung 840 Pro 256Gb $234.33

Samsung 840 Pro 256Gb DXM03B0Q

The 512Gb version is even faster and if you need more speed, you can achieve it by striping the SSDs together in a RAID0 setup. Still not enough? Add more SSDs and don’t forget about the backups, I’ve heard that RAID0s tend to fail often. 🙂

A bonus benchmark: 4 x Samsung 840 Pro 512Gb $504.15 in a 2Tb RAID0 32Kb stripe:

Samsung 840 Pro 512GB DXM03B0Q x4 RAID0

Yeah, I know, this one is clearly an overkill… Unless you are dealing with 2K and higher resolution video capture and editing 😉

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