The SSD market is more hotly contested than a bunch of starving plane-crash survivors squabbling over the last can of beans. With so many manufacturers stepping into the fray, and all of them offering what is essentially an aluminium wedge of flash chips with a controller, it's hard to determine exactly which product is good, which is bad - and which to steer clear of.
There is one company that appears to have done the legwork on SSDs thus far however, and OCZ has had a near-perfect record with solid state tech (their PCIe-based offering m84 notwithstanding). The Vertex was a great example of this, and it's been thrown back to the engineers for some tweaking: just add in a SandForce controller to replace that dusty Indilinx, cram 100GB's worth of decent multi-level cell flash chips in (with 7GB reserved by the controller for error correction) and sell it for five hundred bucks.
Performance is the best we've seen yet; returning sustained reads of 230.5MB/s, bursts of 249.9MB/s and access speeds of 0.1ms - though this is only marginally higher than the MX-DS 100GB drive seen in Issue 114. When full of junk data the drive returned slower averages of 201.4MB/s and bursts slightly higher at 257.4, so aim to keep some free space for top performance. OCZ also throws in a convenient 2.5in to 3.5in adapter, and the drive's controller supports TRIM.
It's surprisingly snappy to use, with 2GB of small files copying in just over thirteen seconds, and the three-year warranty is a nice touch. While it is possible to grab the aforementioned MX-DS SSD for slightly cheaper than the Vertex 2, an extra year's warranty and small performance increases do provide a tempting choice.