Legit Editorial Reviews
The Legit Reviews Best of 2009 Hardware Awards
|Product:||Best PC Hardware of 2009|
|Date:||Wed, Dec 23, 2009 - 08:00 AM|
|Written By:||Nathan Kirsch -|
Storage Drives and Cases
Best Solid State Drive of 2009:Winner: Intel X25-M Gen 2 (34nm) - $239.99
Runner Up: OCZ Vertex - $259.00
Solid-State Drives (SSDs) have really come down in price in 2009 and many enthusiasts and gamers have already embraced this relatively new technology this year. One drive out of the dozens that we have reviewed has won the coveted Legit Reviews Editor's Choice award and that would be the Intel X25-M 34nm MLC G2 drive series. This drive was an update of the original Intel X25-M series and uses 34nm Flash. This means the drive has decreased latency and faster random write Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS) than its 50nm predecessor. When it came out in July of 2009 it was clearly the drive to have and our benchmark numbers clearly showed that.
Not everything was smooth sailing for this drive, though, as in October of 2009, Intel released a firmware update that was supposed to improve the drive's performance and enable TRIM support for Windows 7. The firmware update worked great on our Windows 7 64-bit test system, but for others running the firmware update, it could brick their drives. Intel promised a quick fix, but the fix didn't come until December 2009 when Intel released firmware version 02HD. This drive, even with its minor firmware snafu, is still hands down the best SSD of 2009.
Best Hard Drive of 2009:Winner: Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB - $349.99
Runner Up: Western Digital Green Series 2TB - $338.99
In 2009, when it came to storage drives with rotating platters and magnetic surfaces it was the year of massive storage! The drives to have were those that were labeled 2TB and if you had one or more of those drives you had bragging rights over your friends to help ease the fairly large price tag on one of these drives. Would you rather own a 160GB SSD or a 2TB hard drive for your system? The price tag between the two is close to the same and this question was one that was frequently sent into Legit Reviews.
Our answer was and still is, both! We have found through testing and personal use that using an SSD for our primary boot drive and then high capacity hard drives for media storage is ideal for an enthusiast system. The large files are written and stored on the hard drive, which keeps space open on the SSD and doesn't wear it out as quickly. When we took a look at the Seagate XT in our SATA 6Gb/s testing we saw a huge increase in burst speeds and really liked that the drive was 'future proof' as it is the only hard drive to support SATA 6Gb/s transfer speeds. The runner up for this award was the Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB hard drive, which was found to be quiet and energy efficient.
Best Computer Case of 2009:Winner: Corsair Obsidian Series 800D ATX Chassis - $269.99
Runner Up: Cooler Master HAF 922 Mid Tower Case - $99.98
Corsair had been hard at work developing a new chassis long before their first chassis was released in August of 2009. This chassis wasn't a clone of an existing case, but rather a new design from the ground up that was aimed at computer enthusiasts. When we reviewed the chassis in August of 2009 we found that this full size tower was massive, but we fell in love with the space, appearance and functionality.
The case was delayed a number of times and even had to go through a slight re-design right when it was launched, but the end product is spectacular to say the least. We liked the Obsidian 800D so much, that we gave case the innovation award when we reviewed it this summer!
Next Page - Memory, CPU Cooler, Peripheral
Page 1 - Legit Reviews Best of 2009 Awards
Page 2 - Storage Drives and Cases
Page 3 - Memory, CPU Cooler, Peripheral
Page 4 - Netbook, Disappointment and Final Thoughts