There was a period of time when it felt like the majority of SSDs were essentially the same product with a few tweaks between brands. Some of those were firmware related, others a move to a different brand of storage inside and in some cases a new or more advanced software solution and bundled extras.
In the last few months the SSD market has started to evolve again. Now we have drives which feature a wide range of controllers from various manufacturers that all look to offer the best balance of price/performance or features. Today we are taking a selection of the best and putting them up against each other in a Windows 8 environment.
Shown above are the drives featured in our performance round-up today. They have all been flashed to the latest firmware and include some older models such as Intels Sandforce based 520 Series as a baseline "older" drive to one of the latest Sandforce models (Corsair Force GS), Indilinx based Vertex 4 from OCZ and Samsung’s latest 840 Pro drive. Added to that we also have Corsair’s Neutron and Neutron GTX which take two approaches to the Link A Media controller architecture (Toggle vs ONFI NAND).
Before we look at performance it is also worth noting that each drive offers (or will offer) upgradable firmware with some also providing maintenance software. Intel, Samsung and OCZ offer the most feature packed software including the ability to Secure Erase each drive whereas Corsair, at least on the Force drive, stick to Firmware updates only. There is no Neutron update yet.