How to choose best ssd. How to choose best ssd

If you’re on a tight budget, don’t care about speed, or put data reliability first, you should stick to a traditional spinning hard drive. For everyone else, it’s time to switch to SSDs if you haven’t already.

What type of SSD should you buy?

[email protected] Don’t understand the different types of SSDs? Not sure which one you should put on your computer? Alaina discusses speeds and feeds as well as shape factors you need to be aware of when making your decision. * This video is sponsored by SK hynix, manufacturer of the fastest SSDs in its class. Buy Gold P31 and S31 on Amazon and upgrade your PC quickly and reliably: Gold P31 M.2 NVMe SSD – Gold S31 SATA SSD –

Solid-state drives have a distinct advantage over old hard drives: SSDs are faster, quieter, and use less power. The problem is that they also have a number of acronyms listed in their specifications, which can make it difficult to identify what you need.

Getting through the mess is really easy – just choose the format and speed. Our guide explains how to do this.

SSD form factors: M.2 drives vs 2.5-inch drives

We’ll start with the aspect ratio. SSDs come in all shapes and sizes, but the two most common types are M.2 and 2.5-inch drives. Each type has its own advantages: rubber-shaped M.2 drives connect directly to the motherboard (reducing cable clutter in desktops), and some types are faster than 2.5-inch drives. On the other hand, rectangular 2.5-inch drives that can be connected to a computer like a conventional hard drive are often less expensive.

Other less common factors are PCIe expansion cards and U.2 drives, which are used in desktop computers. PCIe expansion cards look similar to a sound card or graphics card and connect to the motherboard via the same PCIe slots. U.2 SSDs are similar to 2.5 inch drives, but only work if your vendor has added a U.2 connector to your motherboard (or you’ve purchased an adapter to use with an M.2 slot). You may also encounter mSATA drives in older laptops or mini-computers, but these have been replaced by M.2 drives in modern hardware. The mSATA and M.2 SSDs are not interchangeable.

So how do you choose a type? It depends on what your desktop or laptop can handle, as well as your performance needs, budget size, and build preferences. Most people can just focus on choosing between the 2.5 ” and M.2 formats as PCIe and U.2 expansion cards are more niche mSATA only comes into play when replacing an existing drive or adding it to older compatible hardware.

Of these types of chassis, 2.5-inch and M.2 drives are the most popular. Others are only considered if 2.5-inch or M.2 drives won’t work in your situation (which is not a common occurrence).

Best budget 2.5-inch drive

addlink SSD S10 512GB 2.5 ″ SATA SSD

For desktops with modern hardware or slightly older high-end hardware, you should be able to use both M.2 and 2.5-inch drives. Many people don’t even choose between the two and choose a combination instead – usually M.2 for the boot drive and 2.5-inch drives for additional storage. This solution helps reduce cable management problems and overall cable clutter, while also allowing builders to use higher capacity, fast and inexpensive SSDs in a single computer.

For older desktops, you’ll likely be stuck selecting only 2.5 inch drives. If you really want the faster speeds you can get with some M.2 drives, you can look at PCIe expansion cards if your motherboard has PCIe 3.0 slots. These expansion cards accept M.2 drives, so you can use one of them in the PCIe slot.

(Need a guide on how to install an M.2 or 2.5 inch SSD? Our step-by-step instructions explain how to do this.)

When it comes to laptops, if you can choose between forms of SSD when setting up your new notebook, choose the one that offers the best value and performance for the price. But with most laptops, you won’t be making a decision.

Got an older motherboard that lacks M.2 slots? If you have an open PCIe 3.0 x4, x8, or x16 slot on your motherboard, you can use an M.2 NVMe to PCI 3.0 adapter card like the one shown here.

For upgrades on older laptops, you may also not have a choice. Laptop setup may only limit you to one factor. To find out if your model has an M.2 slot, a 2.5-inch drive bay, or both, you’ll need to find its service manual online or search the forums and Reddit. You can also try contacting customer service. Be sure to purchase a laptop compatible drive – pay attention to details such as the interface type (which is covered in the next section) and the Z height of the original 2.5-inch drive. Also check the reviews to find out what the power consumption of any SSD you’re considering will be affecting battery life.

The lesson that can be drawn from this is that drives with less bit memory per cell and higher endurance are best as they will have a longer lifespan. On average, the lifespan of SSDs is 8 to 10 years.

Check and Compare SSD Pricing

SSD prices have fallen sharply in the last few years. In 2010, the average price was around $ 3.00 per gigabyte, while in 2021 you could find SSDs for as little as

What Are the SSD’s Physical Specifications?

Every time you buy equipment, you must pay attention to potential incompatibilities. The best SSD in the world is useless if you can’t mount it on your system, right? Fortunately, SSDs are largely standardized (for the most part), so you’ll be fine as long as you pay attention to it.

Form Factor

Most modern SSDs are 2.5 inch in size, which is the standard size of laptop hard drives. Such a drive is not suitable for desktop computers, which typically require a 3.5-inch format, but can be overcome with an adapter like this 2.5 “to 3.5” SABRENT mounting kit for $ 7. Moreover, most modern PC cases now come with integrated SSD mounting options.

Along with the standard 2.5-inch format, there is an additional SSD format that can be found in many devices: the M.2 standard (previously called NGFF). M.2 SSDs are small and thin and fit ultra-thin laptops and mini personal computers. M.2 drives come in three main types and can offer even faster read and write speeds than a regular 2.5-inch SSD. Moreover, because they are very slim, they are useful for a wide range of equipment. For example, you can add an M.2 SSD to your PS5 to increase its capacity.


Just because you’re buying a 2.5-inch SSD doesn’t mean it will fit directly into your laptop. You also need to make sure the Z-height or thickness is small enough to fit inside the laptop case.

Typical Z heights are 9.5mm and 7mm, and modern SSDs are tilted more towards 7mm. Again, check your laptop’s user manual or user manual to see what thicknesses are supported.


Almost all consumer-grade SSDs have a Serial ATA (SATA) interface, although whether you should get 3Gb / s SATA or 6Gb / s SATA will depend on whether your computer can handle these speeds. Today, 6 Gbps drives are more popular, but 3 Gbps are often cheaper if you can find them.

However, you can get SSDs with a PCIe interface. Not sure what to buy? Our PCIe vs. SATA has detailed information on this, but in short, a PCIe SSD is likely to perform faster than its SATA-based alternative.


One of the advantages of an SSD over a hard disk is that SSDs are silent as they do not contain any mechanical parts. If you want to go past the whirr of a hard drive as it spins and chirps when searching for files, choose SSD.

.09 per gigabyte (like Western Digital 2TB WD Blue for $ 187). Of course, the price per GB of SSDs will also decline as capacity increases, but prices will remain relatively stable.

Relatively, however, SSDs are still more expensive than traditional spinning hard drives, and the difference is not insignificant. For example, Western Digital Blue 1TB can be purchased for $ 40. Compared to the SanDisk SSD PLUS 1TB, WD Blue is half the cost but many times slower than an SSD.

Thus, in terms of economy, HDDs are clearly superior to SSDs. If you’re on a budget, stick to the hard drive. However, SSDs have never been cheaper than they are today, and they’re quite affordable, so don’t be afraid to spend your cash. Even if you take a 120GB SSD to use as an OS boot drive, you’ll still notice the difference!

If you decide you will need an SSD, purchasing a larger capacity drive will provide better value for money. For example, 1TB Crucial MX500 costs $ 99 (


The main advantage of an SSD over a hard drive – and the reason why so many people use an SSD after making the switch – is because SSDs are much faster. With SSDs, computers start up in seconds, programs start almost instantly, and files are transferred up to 10 times faster.

This means that even the worst SSDs still outperform HDDs in terms of performance. If you’re all about speed, there’s no doubt: SSD is a winner every time.

That being said, not all SSDs are created equal. Consider these two options:

  • sanDisk Ultra 500GB ($ 54), which has a sequential read speed of 560MB / s and a sequential write speed of 530MB / s,
  • samsung 870 EVO 500GB ($ 95) with a sequential read speed of 560MB / s and a sequential write speed of 530MB / s.

So there is no obvious difference in disk capacity, nor any obvious difference in sequential read and write speeds, and yet a Samsung drive costs almost twice as much as a SanDisk SSD. Make sure you read the SSD’s specifications to judge its performance compared to other drives of similar price and specification.

0.09 for GB). For an additional $ 67, you can double the capacity to 2TB (

Storage Capacity

There is an important difference between the way SSDs and hard drives work. While hard drives often have to deal with disk fragmentation, SDD drives have their own quirk: garbage collection.

When data is written to an SSD, it is written in chunks called pages. A group of pages is called a block. At any time, the pages in a block can be all blank, all full, or a mixture of both blank and full pages.

Due to the way SSDs are designed, it is impossible to overwrite existing data (which is possible with a hard drive). To write new data to an occupied block, you must first delete the entire block.

Also, to prevent data loss, any information in the block must first be moved elsewhere before the block can be deleted. After the data has been transferred and the block deleted, the new data can be written to the previously used block.

This process, called garbage collection, requires empty space to function properly. If you don’t have enough space available, the garbage collection process loses efficiency and slows down. This is one reason why SSD performance degrades over time: it fills up too much.

For the best garbage collection efficiency, traditional advice is to keep 20 percent of your disk empty. For a 250 GB drive, this means you should use a maximum of 200 GB.

0.083 per GB).


The last thing to consider is how long the SSD drive lasts. From our hard drive lifetime comparison, it was clear that approximately 74% of hard drives have survived their fourth year. How does SSDs compare?

Unlike hard drives, SSDs have no moving parts, which is great for silent operation and also means there are no parts to wear out. Therefore, a mechanical failure should not worry you.

The downside, however, is that SSDs are more prone to a power outage. Losing power while the drive is running can corrupt your data or even cause the device to fail completely. Power outages can affect computers in a number of ways, although some mitigation steps can be taken.

In addition, the memory blocks on an SSD have a limited number of writes. So if you are constantly writing data to an SSD (in the order of gigabytes per day), the drive may lose the ability to write more data (although reading would still be possible).

The expected lifetime of an SSD is five to seven years, which is the average time to failure. With each year that passes beyond this point, the risk of disk failure increases.

It’s also worth noting that the 250GB and 500GB models in particular seem to be going down relatively quickly. PC component prices are very low at best, but hopefully this is a sign that all four capacities will become more affordable in the near future.

Best SSD 2021: Give your computer a speed boost with these solid-state drives

SSDs are where they are when it comes to storage. They’re much faster than traditional mechanical hard drives, and much more compact – and it doesn’t hurt that SSDs are also completely silent.

For all of these reasons, an SSD is the perfect solution for an old desktop or laptop computer. Even if you already have an SSD, the latest models are faster than ever – and prices have dropped in the last few years, so if you’re running out of space, you can upgrade to a larger model without breaking the bank.

Here’s our expert guide to choosing your new SSD, as well as our pick of the best models available today. We focused on 500GB or 1TB models because it’s a convenient size for most users’ programs and personal files, but if your needs are different, all of these drives come in different capacities at generally available prices according to their size.

In short, whether you’re looking for a small, sleek drive or a large drive, you’ll find the SSD to suit your needs. Read on to find out which one is perfect for you.

How to choose the best SSD for you

Do I need a SATA drive or can I use M.2?

This is the first thing you should take – and it can come down to what your PC supports. The traditional 2.5-inch SATA SSD is a direct replacement for your hard drive and can transfer data at speeds up to around 550MB / s. The newer M.2 format is much faster – in theory, a drive using the latest NVMe technology can be ten times faster than a SATA drive. However, M.2 drives tend to be more expensive, and not all devices or motherboards have an M.2 slot.

Is it worth paying for the fastest speed possible?

For most people, SSD speed is something like a red herring. Even a cheap SATA drive is light years ahead of a mechanical drive and allows you to load Windows, games and programs in seconds. However, if file performance is important to you – perhaps you’re a photographer or a video editor – there are a few metrics worth taking a look at. The first is sequential speed, which reflects the speed at which the drive can continuously read and write large data streams such as raw video files; we use the CrystalDiskMark benchmark to measure this. The second is random-access performance, which gives you an insight into what the drive will look like when multiple programs access it simultaneously. We test this by copying a folder full of small files to and from each drive and measuring the average transfer speed.

Is it safe to keep my programs and files on an SSD?

Flash memory degrades every time data is written to it, so SSDs have a limited lifespan. To give you an idea of ​​how much data can be stored on the disk before there is a risk of failure, all disks have a write durability in terabytes written (TBW). Expensive drives tend to last much longer than cheap drives, but even a cheap SSD should last for many years of normal, everyday use. If your drive fails before the stated write durability is reached and is still within the warranty period, the manufacturer will replace it – but won’t be able to restore your data, so always back up.

The best SSDs you can buy

1. Kingston A2000: The best all-round SSD

Price: £ 34 (250GB), £ 55 (500GB), £ 97 (1TB) | Buy now at Scan

When it was launched last year, the A2000’s amazing price-performance ratio immediately made it a top M.2 SSD, and even despite the devastating time – and newer, faster drives – it still stands out today.

To be clear, what most impresses with the A2000 speeds is not how high the peak they can be: we recorded a sequential read speed of 2,281MB / s and a sequential write speed of 2,183MB / s, both of which outperform Kingston’s official data, but generally they don’t run many tables. Keep in mind, however, that sequential speeds are rarely maintained in normal use, and many seemingly ultrafast SSDs can slow down to indexing on more demanding transfers involving hundreds of non-sequentially stored files. The A2000 is unique in that, despite its lower price and seemingly lower specs, it can maintain good speeds even under these much tougher conditions.

As a result, in most cases, the A2000 can compete with the best in terms of performance for much less money. In fact, it’s even cheaper than the WD Blue SN550 and Crucial P2, so it’s probably the best budget M.2 SSD.

Key Specifications – Form factor: M.2; Connection Protocol: NVMe; Capacities: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB; Warranty: RTB five years; NAND Type: TLC

2. Samsung T7 Touch: The best portable SSD

Built with life on the road in mind, the Samsung S7 Touch Portable SSD is about the same size as a business card holder (57 x 85mm) and weighs 58g excluding the cable. This makes it perfect to put in your pocket or bag when, for example, you get off the train or leave a meeting.

It also has a party trick: the square on the front of the device is a fingerprint reader that allows you to protect your files with 256-bit AES encryption. If other people must use it as well, you can set up to four fingerprints or a password.

But how fast is it? We measured a decent 912MB / s read speed in our test, which is slightly below the promised 1050MB / s. Write speeds were slower, but still exceeded anything you’ll get with a SATA connection. However, it has lagged behind its SATA rivals when it comes to random access performance.

However, its size makes the Samsung T7 Touch the perfect travel companion, and the biometric scanner will give you peace of mind.

Key Specifications – Form factor: Portable SSD; Connection Protocol: USB 3.2 Gen2; Capacities: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB; Warranty: three years RTB

Samsung T7 Touch Portable SSD – 500 GB – USB 3.2 Gen.2 External SSD Metallic Black (MU-PC500K/WW)

£ 74.99 Buy Now

3. Kingston KC2500: The best high-end M.2 SSD

There’s no getting around it: the KC2500 isn’t cheap. However, it is extremely fast, for both sequential and non-sequential loads; its CrystalDiskMark scores of 3,445 MB / s in read test and 2795 MB / s in write test are just one example of its power.

We hope you will enjoy the items we recommend and discuss! MUO has affiliate and sponsored partnerships, so we get a revenue share from some of your purchases. It won’t affect the price you pay and help us to offer you the best product recommendations.


The best SATA SSD is the Samsung 860 Pro.

NVMe drives are undeniably the future, but SATA is still doing well as many gaming machines still use the interface. Fortunately, there are still plenty of SATA SSDs on the market for gamers who aren’t ready to upgrade to the best gaming motherboard just yet, and the Samsung 860 Pro is the best of the group.

Equipped with read / write speeds of 560MB / s and 530MB / s respectively, a heavy duty 860 Pro hard drive replacement. Samsung’s SATA offering also offers a capacity of up to 4TB, meaning you don’t have to worry about searching your Steam library again. Moreover, the drive uses 256-bit AES hardware encryption which should help keep all important bits safe.

Highest read / write performance for SATA
Compatible with older systems
High-capacity options

Specification of the Samsung 860 Pro
Controller Samsung V-NAND
Memory Samsung MLC NAND
Electric socket SATA
Capacity 256GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB
Sequence read / write 560 MB / s / 530 MB / s


The best low-cost PCIe 4.0 SSD is the Crucial P5 Plus.

PCIe 4.0 SSDs don’t have to cost a fortune, and Crucial’s P5 Plus proves that you can buy a decent performance drive without breaking the bank.

Not only can the P5 Plus boast read speeds of up to 6,600 Mbps, its two-millionth MTTF (mean time to failure) means it’s reliable at startup. Of course, the P5 Plus also comes with a five-year warranty in case its impressive durability rating isn’t enough to inspire confidence.

What we like
Super fast read / write speeds
great endurance rating
Five-year warranty

Key P5 Plus Specifications
Controller The key at home
Memory Micron Advanced 3D NAND
Electric socket NVMe
Capacity 500GB, 1TB, 2TB,
Sequence read / write 6,600 MB / s / 5,000 MB / s

It’s also worth noting that the 250GB and 500GB models in particular seem to be going down relatively quickly. PC component prices are very low at best, but hopefully this is a sign that all four capacities will become more affordable in the near future.

How to choose the right SSD?

After reviewing all of the above information, I’m sure you are thinking of upgrading to an SSD and replacing the old and noisy hard drive in your desktops and laptops. But you still may not know which SSD to choose, how much capacity you need, and which variant is most suitable for you.

Well, worry no more as I will walk you through all the steps in finding the SSD that best suits your needs. Here are some questions you should ask yourself before purchasing an SSD as they will have an impact on whether an SSD is right for you. Here is a list of the best SSDs for laptops.

What slots are available on your motherboard?

This is the basic question anyone looking to upgrade to an SSD needs to check. Not every motherboard supports all types of SSDs. So first check your motherboard and analyze which SSD it will support, then refine your choices from there.

To check it, simply visit the Crucial Advisor website and search for your system. It will give you information about what technology your motherboard supports, ie SATA or NVMe. You can also download CPU-Z for exact information on the available PCIe version of the motherboard.

NVMe socket

NVMe socket

PCIe slot

Note 1: If your motherboard supports M.2 NVMe PCIe it is best to buy an NVMe SSD as it will provide much better speed. If your motherboard doesn’t support NVMe (PCIe) speeds, buying an NVMe SSD is a waste of money.

Note 2: If your motherboard has a PCIe v3.1 slot, any NVMe SSD will be capable of speeds up to 4GB / s or 4000MB / s.

motherboard bus specifications on CPU Z

Do you need an SSD for storing data or running the OS?

By answering this question, you can decide if you really need an SSD or better without it. If your goal is to transfer all programs from your device to SSD for increased performance, SSD is the right choice for you. However, if you’re considering an SSD for long-term external data storage, we recommend sticking to the hard drive.

Note: If your goal is to install the operating system on an NVMe SSD, please check if the BIOS has the option to set the NVMe or PCIe disk as the operating system drive. If neither option is available, you will have to keep the NVMe SSD as a normal disk. In that case, it’s better to buy a much cheaper M.2 SATA or SATA 2.5 drive instead of the expensive NVMe drive.

What amount of space do you need?

By now, you need to know that an SSD offers much less space than a hard drive. The maximum amount of space on the SSD drive does not exceed 4 or 6 GB. So, if you are the kind of person who needs a huge amount of free storage space on your device, be prepared to spend a lot of money. Or you can combine SSD and hard drive to increase space and speed up processing.

Why do you want to upgrade to an SSD?

It is known that an SSD is much faster than a hard disk. But if you’re updating a device that doesn’t have a lot of data transfer or doesn’t run cache-demanding applications or has games with graphics, there won’t be a noticeable difference in device performance. SSD will improve your laptop’s performance, but if you don’t use its full potential it will be a waste of money.

SSD based on the storage memory

Choose from four storage options based on the amount of memory per cell. They are as below:

  1. Quad-Level Cell SSD: they store four bits of data in one cell and are therefore slightly slower compared to other types of SSDs. On the other hand, these drives have more space and are also cheaper compared to single-tier SSDs.
  2. Triple-Level Cell SSD: The TLC SSD stores three bits of data in one cell in the circuit. They are slightly faster than QLC SSDs, but still far behind MLC and SLC SSDs in terms of processing speed.
  3. Mono-Level Cell SSD: The Mono-Level Cell SSD stores two bits of data for each cell. This means that they are twice as fast as QLC SSDs, but they have half the space compared to them.
  4. SingleLevel Cell SSD: The fastest type of SSD based on storage is the SingleLevel Cell SSD. Since only one bit of data is stored in a cell, processing is very fast. They are also the most expensive SSDs compared to the three types above.

Note: QLC SSDs should be avoided these days as they are more likely to wear out due to more cells loaded in a single cell. Especially if you want to use it for heavy typing tasks like frequent copy-pasting, you should choose anything and not QLC.

Key Specifications – Form factor: M.2; Connection Protocol: NVMe; Capacities: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB; Warranty: RTB five years; NAND Type: TLC

– Discover the top SATA-powered SSDs available

(Pocket-lint) – Adding additional storage to your computer is a great way to get a little more space, and it doesn’t necessarily cost a lot of money.

Some of the simplest and fastest options available are 2.5 inch SATA SSDs, which have the advantage of being much faster than traditional hard drives and are also much smaller. They are really easy to install and most come with instructions for those unsure.

Testing these drives is a complex task that involves getting them into our team’s computers and testing their speed and transfer speed, and figuring out which represent the best value for their quality. It is a process that we go through carefully.

We’ve compiled some of the best options on the market for you right here, covering options in a variety of price ranges.

What are the best 2.5 inch SSDs? Currently, our best recommendation is the Samsung 870 EVO. However, other options worth considering are the Crucial MX500, SanDisk SSD Plus, Kingston A400, and HP S700 Pro.

Our Top Pick: Best 2.5-inch SSD

Best SATA 2021 SSD: Expand Your PC's Memory Quickly Picture 1


Samsung is one of the most respected brands in the SSD industry and has been making excellent drives for years.

One of the newest is the brilliant 870 EVO, which boasts an impressive read and write speed, exceeding 500 MB / s at the same time.

It is a great option for whatever purpose you plan it for, for gaming, professional or otherwise, and it also represents a really solid value which is impressive considering its freshness in the market.

Non-Volatile Memory Express is another protocol interface built for SSD. This variant of SSD is much faster than SATA and is usually suitable for devices that operate with high data transfer rates.

Power and energy efficient

Since an SSD has no moving parts, it requires less power to run compared to a HDD with a spinning magnetic disk. Energy efficiency is a big advantage of using an SSD when it comes to PCs and mobile devices where battery life is a highly marketable and desirable feature.

Due to their smaller size, SSDs are lighter in weight than larger hard drives with magnetic heads and metal disks. Their compact design makes SSDs ideal for laptops, tablets and other small electronic devices. The lack of moving parts also makes SSDs infinitely quieter than HDDs, whose noise and vibration can be very distracting.

More practical sizes/form factors

Since its release, hard drives have been limited by their larger sizes. SSDs, on the other hand, come in a variety of sizes, with the smallest being the chewing gum size, up to 2.5 inches.

Here are the most common form factors for SSDs:

  • the most popular is the 2.5 inch format; offers the best value per GB; closed housing
  • mSATA has a very small package; a different type of connection; bare printed circuit board; perfect where space matters
  • M.2 is a bare PCB; available in both SATA and PCIe NVMe; small housing; the size of a chewing gum
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