You get what you pay for, with SSDs and just about everything else

My aunt called last night to ask about a laptop she saw advertised in the weekly circular. It had most of the features she wanted, and was priced lower via the ad than she’d seen online for a similarly configured laptop. This led to a brief discussion of name brand preferences for laptops, and the price differences between them. I had to explain to my aunt that you get what you pay for: a laptop is made up of lots of little parts, each available from a variety of OEMs and distributors. Different brand name laptops use different OEMs and distributors for their parts, so the quality of the individual components inside the laptops vary wildly. Generally speaking, better quality parts cost a bit more, but provide better performance and better reliability. A recent study from DRAMeXchange Technology (who?!) proves this point as it relates to solid state drives.

According to an Infoworld story, DRAMeXchange Technology found that there exists a “wide disparity” of quality in SSDs, due to controller chips, NAND chips, and firmware. Intel ranked number one in their tests at the 100-160GB range, as well as in the 60-80GB range.

Top grades for performance were given to companies for a number of criteria, including best performance for the price, best overall transmission efficiency, best high-speed writing, best system boot disk, and best high-load input/output. The research company plans to conduct tests to determine if SSD performance declines after long-term use.