This drive packs a truly epic spec list with 256GB of MLC flash storage, 128MB of cache (that's fast DDR rather than SDRAM memory), eight memory channels and quoted read and write performance of 220Mbps and 200Mbps respectively.

But what about the drive's all-important controller? Samsung is sticking with developing controllers in-house and, as before, the chip is based on an ARM processor core rather than purpose-built silicon.

The result is excellent all-round performance. Synthetic benchmarks showed the PB22-J falling a little short of OCZ's Vertex with sustained transfer rates of 220Mbps for reading and 190Mbps for writing. However, in real-world testing, this drive comes into its own, clocking much faster times than the OCZ.

An easy win for Samsung in the SSD game, then? Not so fast. For starters, this is our first taste of the PB22-J and we've yet to see how it holds up over time. And then there's the price. £550 is a huge amount of money for a 256GB hard drive, even one this good.

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