In the synthetic tests we see that the smaller SandForce drives see a small performance reduction, but once we get into real world tests any reduction to speed is minimal thanks to SandForce's outstanding controller. The one area that does show a weakness for the smallest capacity Vertex 2 was where the SF-1200 is the weakest and that is when dealing with data that is already compressed. Oddly enough this is also the kind of data that should not be on a drive this small to begin with since at 60GB you are mainly looking to install your OS and programs while leaving your media content on another, much larger drive.
The largest reasonable priced SandForce SF-1200 controlled drive is the 240GB version. My Digital Discount currently has what should be regarded as the best in class Vertex 2 E 240GB available now for 619.99. This version is a beast with all around performance and the capacity to be used as the only drive in your system. With your OS and a few games, Office and other necessaries installed, you will still have a ton of room for music, movies and anything else you like to keep around at all times. Business travelers looking for high speed and high capacity should take to the Vertex 2 E 240GB quite well, but I think most enthusiasts will find the cost to be a little out of their range still.
Today we saw a few things that are note worthy. The first is that the Vertex 2, no matter the capacity is faster than the Intel X25-M by quite a large margin in many tests. The Vantage test that produces performance numbers for many of our typical day to day activates really drives this point home.
We also saw today that the fastest consumer platter drive in the world that is appropriately named after a dinosaur can be considered one as well. Western Digital will never be able to push this drive to mainstream users due to cost. That leaves enthusiasts and power users, but these groups are looking for ultimate performance and at this stage the best performance doesn't come with rotating parts. I am still a bit blown away by the application load test in Vantage where the Vertex 2 drives just belittle the latest VelociRaptor.
So here is the final tally. My Digital Discount does to other e-tailers what the Vertex 2 does the VelociRaptor. Their business model has them moving drives in volume just like the Vertex 2 does data. This is an outstanding way to do things with this economic climate since everyone is looking to save money where ever they can. No one wants to the guy without an SSD, so MDD is where you can get your drive and save a few bucks on it, too.
The prices are 60GB (184.99), 120GB (344.99) and 240GB (649.99). OCZ Technology has sweetened the deal with a 20 Dollar mail in rebate for the 60GB model (after MIR price 164.99), 25 Dollar MIR for the 120GB (after MIR price 319.99) and 30 Dollar MIR for the 240GB (after MIR price 619.99). Where do you need to go to get it? RIGHT HERE! - You will not find a better deal, that is at the link. Click it while supplies last!
Personally I recommend the 120GB capacity drive for 319.99. It is the fastest drive in the group and has enough space for both desktop and notebook users. The price point is right around where most of us spend on new component hardware and the drive will make any system, even an older one feel and act faster.