Best SSD drive for SATA 2 laptop

Hi everyone,

I am awaiting the arrival of my new Sony VAIO F series laptop and am trying to decide upon the best SSD to buy to replace the slow 5400 rpm hard drive that it ships with.

I currently have an OCZ Vertex 2 60GB drive but I'm looking for something more around the 120 GB mark for this new laptop.  Unfortunately I think the laptop only comes with a SATA II interface and so I need your advice.

I've got my eye on a Crucial 300 series 120 GB drive which has some raving reviews about the speed of the thing.  I've also read that it performs at its best on a SATA III interface (which is to be expected of course).

My question, therefore, is what is my BEST option (performance wise) for an SSD for this laptop's SATA II interface.  I've done my googling and I'm after some real experience and educated views in answer to this question.

Many thanks in advance.

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Ady FootSharePoint ConsultantAsked:
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Gary CaseConnect With a Mentor RetiredCommented:
If I was buying an SSD today, it'd most likely be this one, now that Intel is shipping the 320 series:

Reason:  The X-25 series has been far-and-away the most reliable, so I'll stay with Intel.   Their drives are consistently the best at random write performance, so the overall "feel" of the drives is consistently better than the specs might indicate.    

Note that the OCZ Vertex-3's with the new Sandforce controller are also well worth a look ... if I bought anything but Intel that would probably be it.

I have no experience with the Crucial drives ... but have read the reviews on their newest drives, and they ARE impressive.    Note that Intel is using the same Marvel controller in their 500 series SSDs (the SATA-III drives) ... but these are focused on sequential writes and do not do as well as the 320 series drives in random write tests.    I still think the most balanced performance in SSDs is with the Intel drives using Intel controllers (i.e. the 320 series).

Note that regardless of relative performance in reviews, one attribute that is ALWAYS the best for Intel is their rock-solid reliability.

Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
The only SSDs I will use are the Intel X25 units and OCZ Vertex 2's.

I'd simply buy a 120GB (or larger) version of one of those.

Don't worry about the interface speed -- SATA-II is plenty fast for all but the briefest burst transfers from any SSD.
Ady FootSharePoint ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Hi Gary,

Thanks for the reply.  I'm happy with the Vertex 2 but the Crucial C300 seems to be faster and has better reviews.  

I thought the interface played a large role in the overall performance you would receive so I'm happy to be put right regarding that.

Do you have any experience of the Crucial drives at all?  Regarding the Vertex 2 and the X-25 - if you had to choose between them, which would win and why?


Ady FootSharePoint ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Another great answer from Gary - thanks once again!
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