Pick a SSD based on controller?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by sfscott, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. sfscott macrumors member

    Oct 13, 2008
    Starting to look at SSDs for my MBP.

    I have searched threads, so don't flame me; my question is a bit different, IMO.

    I'm confused about whether to choose based on controllers.

    Seems like Crucial is a good balance of price/performance and reliability.

    OCZ and OWC seem to use SandForce, which Anand and others say is the performance winner--but somewhat proprietary in its design. But they're expensive

    Intel has its 320-series drive, and they have a 300 GB device, which sounds great but with its own controller and supposedly lower performance.

    For an average user, does it matter? Is there wisdom in picking any device so long as it has brand X controller?

    Do any of these controllers handle TRIM or garbage collection better (natively?)

    All things being equal, I like the idea of the 300GB Intel, am more confused the more I read.
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    I think the Sandforce controller is actually the most common one. Used in the OCZ, Patriot, Corsair and others. They often differ, however, in the type of flash memory used which can affect performance. If you want the fastest, go for a Force GT, Wildfire, Vertex 3 type drive. Unless you fill up the drive, however, the difference between that and the cheaper drives will be small. I have both a Patriot Pyro and an OCZ Agility 3 and they are both plenty fast and can be had for $160 or so in the 120GB form.
  3. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    With SSD's as with most computer parts I go by the specs and actual customer reviews on Newegg.com. This has not steered me wrong so far. So no the controller being used does not matter to me as specs and reviews will weed the bad ones out.

    I generally prefer to use the power search for product categories with a lot of variety to more quickly zero in on the spec range I am looking for, Power Search SSD. Take this Crucial M4 256GB it reads and 415MB/s and writes at 260MB/s. It also has very good customer reviews currently 83% give it a 5 out of 5. Which beats all other SSD's in the 250GB to 480GB range.

    Then there is the Intel 510 series it is the fastest at 500MB/s read and 315MB/s write. However, to get a roughly 20% performance boost you need to spend nearly 50% more money. For the vast majority of uses I doubt you would notice the difference in performance.
  4. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    you could choose based on controllers. SF-2200 is the least reliable, and the rest seem fine, both this generation and last.

    performance is much more than just looking at max read/write numbers. in fact, I doubt you'll ever see those numbers on a system drive. what matters is random IO, which you'll have to look at reviews and benchmarks to see. the best all-around SSDs in that regard have SF, Samsung, Intel, or Micron controllers.

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