8 of the best SSDs for your gaming rig

Intel X25 E Extreme

They are smaller in size, have no moving parts, are much more durable, they cut boot-up/shutdown times in half, launch programs much faster and generally give your PC one of the biggest bumps in performance in recent memory.

But are SSD (or Solid State) drives worth forking out your hard-earned cash for that extra performance boost just yet?

My recent article on building your own gaming PC sparked a fury of debate on a number of websites precisely because I omitted an SSD from my build.

I’ve since done a little research and have compiled a list of 4 high-end SSDs and 4 more affordable models that won’t break the bank.
What mainly interested me when choosing these 8 drives was cost, hard drive capacity and read/write speeds.

Top of the range SSDs

The Intel X25E Extreme offers a  low 64 GB of storage for a hefty $743.99.

Intel 64 GB X25E Extreme

Capacity 64 GB $743.99
Read speed 250 MB/s
Write speed 170 MB/s
Complete spec sheet

Next let’s take a look at the OCZ 1 TB Colossus Series. This thing is a monster, especially the price.

OCZ Technology 1 TB Colossus Series

Capacity 1 TB $4,290.99
Read speed Up to 260 MB/s
Write speed Up to 260 MB/s
Complete spec sheet

The Corsair 240 GB Force series comes in at a more affordable $644.78 and a decent 240GB capacity.

Corsair 240 GB Force Series

Capacity 240 GB $644.78
Read and write speed Up to 285 MB/s
Sustained write speeds 275 MB/s
Complete spec sheet

The Kingston SSDNow V+Series offers half a terabyte of storage but at a steep price.

Kingston SSDNow V+Series 512 GB

Capacity 512 GB $1,393.72
Read speed 230MB/sec
Write speeds 180MB/sec
Complete spec sheet

Lower priced models

The Intel X25M Mainstream is low on storage (80GB) but is at a price point within the reach of most gamers I think.

Intel 80 GB X25M Mainstream

Capacity 80 GB $199.99
Read speed Up to 250MB/sec
Write speeds Up to 70MB/sec
Complete spec sheet

OCZ’s lower end model offers a nice 120GB storage for an affordable $266.

OCZ Technology 120 GB Solid 2 Series Solid State Drive

Capacity 120 GB $266.00
Read speed 125 MB/sec
Write speeds 100 MB/sec
Complete spec sheet

Kingston’s  SSDnow Vseries offers 128GB at $226, offering better value than OCZ’s lower end model above.

Kingston SSDNow V Series 128 GB

Capacity 128 GB $226.00
Read speed 200MB/sec
Write speeds 160MB/sec
Complete spec sheet

Corsair’s Performance Series offers 128 Gb for $299.99, the most expensive-per gigabyte of the lower end models we’ve spotlighted.

Corsair SATA II 3.0Gb/s 128 GB Performance Series

Capacity 128 GB $299.99
Read speed 200MB/sec
Write speeds 160MB/sec
Complete spec sheet

In conclusion

The best value lower end model is the Kingston by at least $40, although the Intel Performance series model is the cheapest, but only offers 80GB of storage.

All in all, SSDs have come a long way in the past 3 years. We’ve seen the price come down considerably but for many gamers the amount of gigabytes you get for your buck still isn’t worth their hard-earned Dollar. What do you think of SSDs? Do you own one yourself? How have you found the performance gains? Any regrets in buying one? Maybe you’ve bought 2 for a RAID-0 setup?

Let us know your experience with SSDs or your intentions (if any) to invest in these drives for a future or current games machine.

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