I'm planning on buying a new small SSD to put my OS and most used games onto. I've seen multiple videos / reviews that highlight how fast certain SSDs are, and most the speeds are in the 500 Mb/s range. Is there a noticeable difference in performance between the higher end and lower end SSDs, or does the price / branding difference between, say, a Kingston SSDnow or Samsung 840 EVO refer to dependability or even no difference at all?
In my opinion you would want to avoid sandforce based drives, I've had two fail, one of which was a Kingston, so I would go with either a Samsung drive or one that uses a Marvell controller such as the Crucial drives.
Yes they have less write performance, but in reality you would probably never perceive it to be any different. I know I couldn't see any difference between my Kingston HyperX and my brothers Samsung 830.
I don't know that much about the different types of controllers, but I can recommend the Kingston Hyper X 3K. I have a 240gb drive and I love it. Its crazy fast and I have had no problems (knocks on wood :). the new Intel 730 series ssd's look very good. They're supposed to be very similar in reliability to server ssd's.
Avoid the 840 evo, it has the shortest lifespan out of all of the modern SSD's TLC flash is just lacks the endurance.
When it comes to modern SSD's the most important aspect are the IOPS . While your SSD may do 500MB/s, those speeds will be pretty rare during normal use, and more common will be 30-100MB/s in many cases.
The full speeds of the SSD, are only reached when the queue depth is high and the reads and writes, are large and linear.
one of the highest performing SSD's for the money, is the samsung 840 pro http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA2W00ZD1539
after that, you are going with a sandisk extreme 2 (though it is not as good of a value)
Go with Adata, really fast, really reliable and TekSyndicate Approved!
True, but wrong at the same time.
Anandtech did a review of the EVO, and they addressed this concern in its very own chapter, aptly named "Endurance: not a problem even at 19 nm". Basically, it will outlive all your components.
Rule of thumb: avoid the Sandforce controllers like the plague. They benchmark well when it comes to write speed, but that's because they compress the data. The speed drops dramatically when you write uncompressible data, like music, video files or encrypted data.
I have had several of the Kingston SSDNow drives fail on me within a month or two. I have been running a 500GB Samsung 840 EVO now for about 6 months and have had 0 issues.
I am wary about generalizing, but I've also seen in an endurance test for SSDs that the only SSD that failed was a Kingston SSDNow, while the EVO was still going strong (they started the test at the same time with both SSDs).
My first SSDNow would just erase itself after about a month of use, I restored from my backup and about a month later it did it again. I had it replaced under the warranty and the second one, as ridiculous as it sounds, would interfere with my bluetooth signal. I would take it out and try another drive and I could use my BT headphones all across my house. With the SSDNow in, it would cut out if I got more than 5 feet away. Kingston told me it wasn't possible, but they couldn't explain why it worked fine with another drive.
I used to work for an Apple Warranty and upgrade center and i was responsible for testing SSDs to determine which we would offer for upgrades. In all of my tests, it was only the SSDNow ones that I experienced issues with.