- How much should I spend on SSD?
- Factors to consider in purchasing a Solid State Drive
- The best SSDs available in 2020: get the best SSD for PC
- Samsung 970 Evo 500GB – Performance
- Why buy the Samsung 970 Evo 500GB?
- How to choose SSD
- SATA or PCIe?
A guide to buying the best solid-state drives in 2020
Solid-state drives (SSDs) are a solution for storing data on tablets and smartphones, where they rely on tiny size and power consumption. The same advantages can be useful in laptops, but the speed of the SSD compared to a traditional hard disk is the main reason for the upgrading of m.2 SSD for gaming.
This speed factor is much more than just bragging. Old school desktop users can still fight for who has the fastest processor or graphics card, but SSD performance is more dependent on overall user experience — applications run almost instantly, web pages load faster, and files are copied in a fraction of the time.
How much should I spend on SSD?
We will guide you in which SSD is truly affordable for your gaming Laptop. Here will share the best SSD under 200$ quick system boot ups, blazing-fast transfer speeds and ultimate reliability in a compact form factor.
Of course, the hard drive is still much cheaper, but you can install Windows and you’re most frequently used programs on the SSD and store your libraries of music, video, and photos on a huge hard drive, where performance is not so important.
Factors to consider in purchasing a Solid State Drive
For those who are looking for the best performance, it is possible to find the fastest, and not just choose the cheapest SSD.
Here you have a choice. Currently, there are two different types of solid-state drives: SATA and PCIe. SATA is the type with which you are probably most familiar since it has been around for many years and is used in PCs and laptops for hard drives and DVD drives. Most SATA SSDs are 2.5 inches wide, as they are designed for laptops. But they are also compatible with all the latest computers.
Especially for laptop users, you also need to know the exact height of the SSD to make sure it fits: some are 9.5 mm thick and not 7 mm thick.
The new type is a PCIe SSD. This is confusing because there are other abbreviations and terminology: NVMe and M.2. Simply put, PCIe (PCI Express) replaces SATA, because it is a much faster interface.
NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) is a protocol that replaces AHCI: it complements the PCIe interface. Although it is important to note, it is the form factor that determines whether you connect one of these discs to your PC or laptop.
This is where M.2 comes up. This is a relatively new type of slot, which you will find on the latest motherboards and on some laptops. Most M.2 SSDs are type 2280, which means a width of 22 mm and a length of 80 mm. You can check the motherboard manual or contact the manufacturer of your laptop to find out if such a drive will be compatible.
Notes: The fact that the SSD has an M.2 interface does not mean that it is an NVMe drive. You can buy SATA solid-state drives with M.2 connectors, which will continue to be limited to SATA speeds, so watch for this when you buy.
Returning to performance, this is effectively a plateau among SATA SSDs. The point is not that flash memory has reached its limit, but that the Serial ATA interface is a bottleneck.
The fastest SATA solid-state drives can read at a speed of about 550 MB / s, and the fastest PCIe NVMe drives at more than 3000 MB / s.
In this case, SSDs cover the most high-end models available today, as well as some cheaper options that take the cost factor into account, rather than the best-in-class performance indicators.
What about MLC, TLC, and SLC?
There are various memory technologies used on solid-state drives, from multi-level cells (MLC) to cheaper architectures with three-level flash memory cells (TLC). You may even come across the rare and most expensive single-level drive (SLC). The differences between cell technologies are reduced to the number of bits (data) that a single cell can process (within the SSD).
TLC handles three, MLC two and SLC one. The greater the number of bits per cell, the higher the likelihood of failure, inconsistencies and, most importantly, performance. However, since this is a general statement, manufacturers have found ways to circumvent the limitations of SSD technology.
When buying a solid-state drive, pay attention to long-term guarantees and high write limits (expressed as TBW values) if you value data integrity, although using proper backup procedures, data loss today is not really a problem.
Different solid-state drives require more or less power during active use or in standby mode, and again there are different power ratings when the laptop is in sleep or hibernation mode. This is, of course, the least important factor when choosing an SSD.
The best SSDs available in 2020: get the best SSD for PC
1- Corsair Force MP510 Series
I really love this drive. Computer boots up super fast in about 11 seconds from a cold start. The entire system is fully loaded when you get past the login screen. It is much smaller than you think it is. I stuck this in an Asrock Z270 Extreme 4, and it is pretty tiny where it is sitting at the bottom of the board. Whenever I point it out to people where the hard drive is on my motherboard, they are always surprised, almost as if they don’t believe it. Super small, super fast. After installing Windows 10 on this, I had 84 GB left. The drive came in at 111 GB. I knew what I was getting. This drive has been a great staple to my new computer build. It has been fun to have such a fast and responsive computer.
2. Samsung 860 EVO SSD Review
The Samsung EVO series is so popular in some countries that there are twice as many such drives sold than all other SSDs combined. Samsung intends to use the proven formula in the new EVO series to maintain its dominant and so profitable position in the market. The company flexibly changes prices and releases faster models in cases where competitors fit too close in performance.
The 860 EVO series drives come with the same set of capacities from 256 GB to 4 TB, like the 860 Pro SSD, which we recently tested. The EVO series drives use TLC flash memory (3 bits per cell), with 2.3% of NAND capacity reserved for caching and for background services. This allows you to compensate for the lower constructive write performance of the TLC type memory.
860 EVO is also available in three form factors. All five capacities are available in the 2.5-inch form factor, the maximum capacity of the M.2 2280 (SATA) modification is 2 TB, and the mSATA modification – 1 TB. Samsung and Mushkin are the only SSD manufacturers to introduce new models in the mSATA form factor in recent years. Most switched to M.2 and simply ignore the existence of a standard SATA interface.
On paper, the 860 EVO Series drives are little different from the 850 Series drives and the new 860 Pro, but much of the stated parameters were measured with a load with a high queue depth, which is more typical for professional products. Consumer load almost always has a low queue depth and there are long periods of inactivity between bursts of activity.
Samsung has equipped the 860 series with a new MJK controller that supports low-power DDR4 memory, so it obviously has a new onboard memory controller. We believe that the MJK controller is made on the basis of smaller lithography, which allows reducing energy consumption, heat generation, and at the same time the cost of production.
Samsung entered the QLC race today with its 860 QVO. The drive comes in capacities ranging from 1TB to 4TB. The 860 QVO leverages Samsung’s 4-bit MLC V-NAND and SATA interface. QLC promises more density at a lower cost but can come with a performance hit. To keep performance up with its 3-bit NAND drives, Samsung leverages the same MJX controller promising read speeds of 550MB/s and write speeds of 520MB/s. The drive comes with a 3-year limited warranty and can be bought for slightly under what the Intel QLC is being sold for, though the later leverages NVMe interface.
For performance, the only comparative QLC drives we’ve tested use NVMe and therefore will be faster. For 4K random, the QVO was able to hit throughput of 75,994 IOPS read and 63,690 IOPS write. Sequential saw the QVO with 445MB/s read and 417MB/s write. For our VDI benchmarks, the QVO had high scores of 28,684 IOPS boot, 20,638 IOPS Initial Login, and 17,526 IOPS Monday Login. True to the claim (though you can’t see it here) the 860 QVO gives very similar performance to the company’s last 3-bit, 2.5” SATA drive.
The Samsung 860 QVO uses the new 4-bit technology to increase the density of a 2.5” SATA drive while maintaining performance and driving down costs. While not as blazingly fast as an NVMe drive, the 860 QVO will meet the demands of the overwhelming majority’s needs in their daily use.
3- Samsung 970 Evo 500GB Review
- INNOVATIVE V-NAND TECHNOLOGY: Powered by Samsung V-NAND Technology, the 970 EVO SSD's NVMe interface (PCIe M.2 2280) offers enhanced bandwidth, low latency, and power efficiency ideal for tech enthusiasts, high end gamers, and 4K & 3D content designers
- BREAKTHROUGH READ WRITE SPEEDS: Sequential read and write performance levels of up to 3,500MB/s and 2,500MB/s, respectively; Random Read (4KB, QD32): Up to 500,000 IOPS Random Read
- PERFORMANCE OPTIMIZATION AND DATA SECURITY: Seamless cloning and file transfers with Samsung Magician Software, the ideal SSD management solution for performance optimization and data security with automatic firmware updates
Samsung’s 970 EVO continues to lead industry standards with V-NAND technology for reliable and superior performance. Accelerate into next-gen computing with reading speeds up to 3,500MB/s* and a 5-year limited warranty with exceptional endurance up to 1,200 TBW*. Experience the SSD that goes further. * May vary by capacity. Memory – More than 2 GB DRAM
The Samsung 970 Evo is the more intriguing SSD of the firm’s two latest releases. While the flagship 970 Pro tends to grab the headlines, Samsung’s Evo drives are the more affordable products and the models that most folks tend to buy.
However, the market is packed with fast SSDs now, and they’re cheaper than ever. So does the 970 Evo still warrant a place in your PC?
The 970 Evo is a more affordable option, then, which means you get a modified specification when compared to the flagship 970 Pro.
The biggest change from the 970 Pro is in the memory chips themselves. The pricier drive relied on 2-bit MLC memory, which is faster, but more expensive and less efficient in terms of how many transistors it can include. The 970 Evo uses 3-bit TLC memory, which crams more transistors into each chip to bring the cost down – but at the expense of a little speed.
The 3D V-NAND inside the 970 Evo uses 64 layers, which matches the 970 Pro and is an improvement on last year’s 40-layer V-NAND.
Don’t be fooled by Samsung’s claims that the 970 Evo actually uses 3-bit MLC – that isn’t really a thing that exists, and it’s just an attempt by the Korean firm to rebrand TLC memory as MLC, which tends to have a better reputation for speed.
It’s easy to see why Samsung is taking this tact. The use of 3-bit memory inside the 970 Evo will mean that this drive is a little slower than the 2-bit memory inside the 970 Pro – simply because it takes the controller-less time to write data to 2-bit chips than to more complex 3-bit chips.
Samsung 970 Evo 500GB – Performance
The switch to 3-bit TLC memory rather than 2-bit MLC memory does mean that the 970 Evo can’t quite match the 970 Pro for speed, but the gap between the two drives is often negligible.
In CrystalDiskMark, for instance, the 970 Evo’s sequential read speed of 3568MB/sec is actually 1MB quicker than the 970 Pro. Impressively, it’s also faster than last year’s 960 Evo and 960 Pro drives, albeit by small margins.
The 970 Evo reads smaller files with a pace of 433MB/sec – which is 10MB/sec quicker than the 970 Pro.
The 970 Evo’s read speeds only fell behind the more expensive drive when handling the smallest files. At this level, the Evo hit a decent pace of 49MB/sec, but the Pro managed 60MB/sec.
In CrystalDiskMark, the 970 Evo scored a writing pace of 2495MB/sec. That, again, is better than the 970 Pro – the flagship drive topped out at 2336MB/sec. Those results are all faster than last year’s drive. The 960 Evo could only manage a write speed of 1617MB/sec.
The 970 Evo maintained a slim lead in the 4K Q32TI write test, where its result of 323MB/sec was 19MB/sec ahead of the 970 Pro. And, just like when reading the smallest files, the 970 Evo only fell behind when writing them: its final 4K result of 168MB/sec was 5MB/sec behind the pricier 970 Pro.
Why buy the Samsung 970 Evo 500GB?
The Samsung 970 Evo may not be the flagship drive, but there’s arguably more to like about this drive than the range-topping 970 Pro.
For starters, the speeds are excellent. The 970 Evo outpaces the 970 Pro in a couple of tests, and it’s never far behind in the rest of the benchmarks. Compared amongst the rest of the market, the 970 Evo remains faster than almost anything else.
In those tests where the 970 Evo falls behind, it’s never by a significant margin – and you’ll never notice the speed difference inside the average PC. And, while the 970 Evo does have lesser endurance ratings than the 970 Pro, only the meatiest workstation systems will push those figures to the limit. For the vast majority of us, the 970 Evo has ample longevity.
The 970 Evo is cheaper than the 970 Pro while offering similar speeds and a great specification. The 970 Pro may remain the ultimate SSD, but the 970 Evo is a more balanced drive that most people would be better off buying.
The 970 Evo may not have the endurance ratings of the 970 Pro, but the majority are unlikely to notice. With excellent speeds and a keen price, the 970 Evo is the best mainstream SSD on the market.
4. WD Black SN750
- An exclusive WD BLACK SSD dashboard with gaming mode improves game performance.
- Available in capacities ranging from 250GB to 2TB
- Ideal for enthusiasts building custom desktops or gaming rigs
Capacity: 250GB | Interface: PCIe 8Gb/s | Sequential IO: 3,470/3,000MB/s read/write | Random IO: 515/560K IOPS read/write | Endurance: 600 TBW
Western Digital has long been recognized for its role in the volatile spinning hard drive market, space often ridiculed for the fundamental unreliability of the technology it bolsters. If we weren’t clear enough already, the WD Black SN750 is proof the company can find success outside the rickety data storage hardware of yesteryear. Though it’s not without its faults, this M.2 form factor NVMe drive is a speed demon, made faster by a Gaming Mode you can toggle on or off in the company’s integrated SSD Dashboard software.
Of course, kicking it into overdrive also means cranking up the heat which, according to Western Digital, necessitates the use of a thermal heatsink. Sold separately, the heatsink model is optional and sold at a premium, but the company claims its “passive cooling features” aid with ushering in “optimal levels of performance.”
My final thoughts on this are: this drive performs very close to the Samsung 970 Plus drive. They are also about the same price. The Samsung and this are about the fastest drives you can buy at this price point and are essentially interchangeable. The SN750 is vastly superior to an SSD, and the differences are noticeable in everyday use.
WD products in my experience have been reliable with no drive failing for me in the past. So to anyone looking to get this, I would recommend it.
5- Crucial MX500 1TB Review: The best budget option for SATA SSDs
- Sequential reads/writes up to 560/510 MB/s and random reads/writes up to 95K/90K on all file types
- Accelerated by Micron 3D NAND technology
- Integrated Power Loss Immunity preserves all your saved work if the power unexpectedly gets cut
Start your system in seconds, store up to 2TB of data, and upgrade with an SSD you can count on. Join more and more people who are keeping their family videos, travel photos, music, and important documents on an SSD, and get the near-instant performance and lasting reliability that comes with solid-state storage. Upgrade with the Crucial MX500 SSD, a drive built on quality, speed, and security that’s all backed by helpful service and support. Even if you’ve never installed an SSD, don’t fear – our step-by-step guide walks you through the process to make installation easy. It’s worth it.
The ideal SSD for a gaming PC strikes a perfect price/performance/reliability balance, which is more difficult than it sounds. Crucial’s MX500 is one of the few drives that really has no weak points, and with game install sizes getting larger, buying the largest SSD you can afford is becoming increasingly important. The MX500 is one of the top-performing SATA drives, and perhaps more important, it’s one of the more affordable SSDs. It ends up delivering incredible value, and the only way to get meaningfully faster results is to move to an NVMe drive.
6- WD Blue 2TB Review: High capacity SSD at a reasonable price
- Reliable everyday Computing
- Wd quality and reliability
- Free Acronis True Image WD Edition cloning software
I’ve tested the 1TB WD Blue, and the 2TB model performs the same or slightly better based on my research. Performance is pretty middle of the road, and even lower on some charts, but the saving grace is the 2TB capacity at a very competitive price. This is currently the lowest cost 2TB SSD around and runs just $0.17 per GB. 2TB is a lot of games, even with some games creeping past 100GB install sizes. The only higher capacity drives cost substantially more (see the next option if that’s what you’re after).
7. Samsung 860 Evo 4TB: The highest capacity and highest performance SSD
- INNOVATIVE V-NAND TECHNOLOGY: Powered by Samsung V-NAND Technology, the 860 EVO SSD offers optimized performance for everyday computing as well as rendering large-sized 4K videos and 3D data used by the latest applications
- ENHANCED READ WRITE SPEEDS: Sequential read and write performance levels of up to 550MB/s and 520MB/s, respectively
- SECURE ENCRYPTION: Protect data by selecting security options, including AES 256-bit hardware-based encryption compliant with TCG Opal and IEEE 1670
Samsung 860 EVO solid-state drive is the SSD to trust. Based on 3D VNAND flash, Samsung offers enhanced read/write performance, endurance and power management efficiency. With multiple form factors, the 860 EVO is ideal for mainstream PCs and laptops.
I’m giving the 860 Evo a second shout out in this guide, mostly to highlight the 4TB model. It’s currently the largest widely available (and still somewhat affordable) SSD around, priced at $532. Endurance is also an impressive 2,400TB, and performance is also as fast as you can get with a SATA drive. That’s thanks to the high capacity, which will almost always have some ready to go NAND available for use, avoiding periodic slowdowns.
8- Mushkin Reactor 960GB: decent performance and a good price
- 250GB SATA-III 2.5" 6Gbit/s MLC 7mm SSD
- Compatibility: PC / Mac / Linux / PlayStation / Xbox
- Silicon Motion Controller: SM2246EN
Mushkin is a smaller brand that has been in the memory and SSD markets for a long time, and its Reactor line is over three years old. However, it can still be found at low prices and performance is more than acceptable. The 960GB model is the real star of the show, often beating newer budget SSDs with one of the lowest prices per GB currently available. The drive uses MLC NAND as well, which means even though no endurance numbers are given it’s unlikely to run out of writes any time soon.
9- Mushkin Enhanced Source 500GB: An excellent price for a budget SSD
- 500GB SATA-III 2.5" 6Gbit/s 3D-TLC 7mm SSD
- Compatibility: PC / Mac / Linux / PlayStation / Xbox
- Max Read: 560MB/s ; Max Write: 520MB/s
Mushkin just released a new Source line of SATA drives, which use 3D TLC NAND to help reach even lower prices. The 500GB model currently sells for as little as $69, and the 1TB drive goes for $109. While performance is relatively modest (the older Reactor beats the Source in several tests, including the overall metric), this is an easy upgrade for any system currently lacking an SSD.
10-Gigabyte UD Pro 512GB: affordable drive using 3D NAND
- Form Factor: 2.5-inch internal SSD
- Interface: SATA 6.0Gb/s
- Total Capacity: 512GB
Form Factor: 2.5-inch internal SSD Interface: SATA 6.0Gb/s Total Capacity: 512GB Sequential Read speed: up to 530 MB/s Sequential Write speed: up to 500 MB/s Toshiba 3D TLC NAND Flash offers blazing speed, high capacity & enhanced reliability External DDR3 DRAM Cache for Better Sustain Speed TRIM & S.M.A.R.T supported.
Gigabyte jumped into the SSD ring recently, and its UD Pro drive offers modest performance at a modest price. It also provides 512GB instead of the more common 480GB or 500GB, helping to keep the price per GB lower. It’s not the fastest drive, but the overall value is still decent.
How to choose SSD
The best solid-state drives have completely changed the hard drive market, each year providing faster data transfer speeds, requiring technological innovations from chip developers, motherboard manufacturers, and interface designers.
The first thing you need to talk about when you want to buy an SSD is capacity. All SSDs will be faster than rotating mechanical disks of a standard hard disk, but the old hard disk still has the advantage of being delivered in huge sizes for small amounts. And games, applications and other resources are only growing. I demand large volumes from disks.
For this reason, I would say that for any SSD less than 240 GB is a waste of money. With games like Doom and Hitman that occupy 72GB and 61GB respectively. You can only get your operating system and, possibly, four games on your high-speed boot disk. Ideally, you need as much free space as possible.
To select a high-speed accumulator, you need to know how they and their memory controllers work. SSDs mainly consists of NAND flash memory chips (where storage occurs), a DRAM memory chip, and a memory controller (brain).
Most memory controllers really do well in multi-threading, so the more NAND chips connect to the multi-channel memory controller, the faster the drive can intercept the data. With large capacity drives, where there will be more NAND chips, that will be faster.
SATA or PCIe?
One of the most popular questions to choose is whether you can take a standard SATA-based disk or choose one of the new-fangled options for M.2 NVMe based on PCIe?
The SATA interface is the primary connection on which your hard drives have been connected for many years, and it barely evolved. The SATA interface has been upgraded to provide a theoretical limit of 600 MB / s. At a time when it seemed fast, doubling the previous speed, but the SSD performance grew rapidly to reach this limit, thereby rejecting the SATA interface.
Thus, the upper echelons of the SSD market switched to a higher bandwidth offered by the PCIe interface. Unfortunately, they were still associated with the AHCI (Extended Host Controller Interface) protocol, a set of commands for each storage device.
PCIe SSD using the AHCI protocol, and still has to run through many obsolete commands designed to rotate hard drives. It distracts a whole bunch of processing cycles and means that it responds until the commands are processed and largely ignored before it can actually do anything. That is why the new protocol was desperately needed to promote solid-state drives. Thus, a non-volatile transmission protocol (NVMe) was obtained, built from scratch specifically for the advantages of solid-state media. NVMe has about a third the number of teams in the stack, freeing up compatible SSDs to use the full bandwidth offered by the PCIe interface.