The 8 Best SSDs
The easiest way to slow down a fast computer is to put a slow mechanical hard drive in it. Thus, the powerful processor can perform billions of cycles per second, but due to the slow delivery of information from the disk - its potential can not be reached. Hard disks, well known for decades, are especially slow because they are mechanical have moving parts. 8 Best SSDs.
To get the most out of a storage computer, select solid state media.
SSD stands for Solid State Drive and is a modern and fast alternative to traditional mechanical hard drives, which have been widely used in desktops and laptops for decades.
There are many differences between the two types of disks, but we will look at them as briefly and clearly as possible.
SSDs get their name because they do not have mechanical (moving) parts. Mechanical hard drives (HDD for short) have rotating disks and a head (reader)
Because of this major difference, SSDs read and write to memory much faster than hard drives.
Thus, the operating system and all programs (including games) load much faster.
And although SSDs are much faster, they are also more expensive than mechanical drives.
For example, an SSD disk with a capacity of about 500 gigabytes can cost about 200 leva, but for this money you can also take a mechanical disk with a capacity of 2 to 4 terabytes.
However, if you are determined that you want to equip your computer with an SSD - then read our guide to make an informed and correct choice.
Here are some quick tips to get you started with this guide.
Learn what your computer has to offer:
Check what slots are on the bottom to know which SSD would be best. If you are going to put a 2.5-inch SSD - make sure there is room for it in the chassis of the laptop or in the box of the desktop computer.
Capacity between 500 gigabytes and 1 terabyte:
It is now almost pointless to buy SSDs with a capacity of less than 256 gigabytes. It's best not to bet on the absolute minimum and stop at a drive with at least 500 gigabytes of storage space - these models offer good value for money.
And if you want to have more space and everything to load much faster - SSD drive with 1 terabyte is also a good option.
SATA interface is cheaper, but also slower:
If your computer supports NVMe, PCIe or Optane drives - better get an SSD with one of these interfaces. However, SATA drives are much more popular, cheaper, and although slower, they offer pretty good performance in more general applications.
Each SSD is a better choice than an HDD:
Even the slowest SSD will be at least three times faster than a standard mechanical hard drive. Depending on the load, the difference in speed between a mid-range and high-end SSD can be noticeable.
Most custom SSDs range in capacity from 120 gigabytes to 2 terabytes.
Although 120 gigabyte disks are very cheap, they do not offer enough space for many programs or games and are usually slower than their larger capacity options.
Must Read: 7 Best Memory Cards
The price of an SSD with a capacity of 120 gigabytes varies and can reach a bottom of 30-40 levs, but in most cases such a purchase is not justified.
It is better to consider buying a disk with a capacity of at least 250 gigabytes in this case - these disks are not much more expensive. The best price-performance ratio is for SSDs of 500 gigabytes.
Of course, there are also models with a capacity of 1 or 2 terabytes (mainly manufactured by Samsung). But terabyte SSDs are now relatively expensive, and if you really don't need that kind of capacity (usually for professional purposes), such an investment is unlikely to be justified.
What type of SSDs does your computer support?
SSDs are available in different sizes and with different interfaces for connection to a computer. What kind of work you do depends entirely on what your computer supports.
If you have a modern desktop computer with a mid-range or high-end motherboard - you will probably have all the modern interfaces for connecting an SSD.
Modern laptops also have more than one interface (for example, SATA and M.2 slot), but some extremely thin models switch entirely to M.2.
In some rare cases, laptop manufacturers solder the SSD to the motherboard and it cannot be replaced at all. So before you start looking at the different models of SSDs - read the instructions for use of your computer or laptop and check exactly what drives it supports.
What kind of SSD do you need?
Currently, SSDs are available in three main types and one just entering and still rare.
2.5-inch Serial ATA (SATA) drives:
The most common type of disc. They resemble a standard mechanical disk for a laptop in size and shape and connect in the same way - via SATA interface.
If your laptop or desktop computer has a 2.5-inch drive bay and a free SATA port - you can safely buy such an SSD drive.
PCI-e Add-in Card (AIC) drives:
These SSDs have the potential to be much faster than others because they work via the PCI Express bus instead of the SATA interface. AIC drives are inserted into the PCI-e slots on the bottom, which are typically used for video cards or RAID controllers.
Of course, this means that such a drive is an option only for desktop owners. To connect it you will need a free PCI-e x4 or x16 slot.
If your motherboard is compact and has only one PCI-e slot in which a video card is already installed - then an AIC drive is not your option.
But if you have a more modern, higher-end motherboard with a free slot - mounting such a SSD can make working with computer programs significantly faster. Keep in mind that AICs heat up a bit more - however, when transferring data at lightning speed, heat is released.
These SSDs have the shape of a laptop RAM board, but are smaller in size. They are becoming the standard for modern computers and laptops and especially for very thin models.
Some modern motherboards have two or more M.2 slots, which allows the installation of SSDs in RAID.
Although the standard M.2 discs are 22 millimeters wide and 80 millimeters long - there are models that are of different sizes. You can specify this by the four- or five-digit number in the name, with the first two digits indicating the width and the others the length.
The standard size is marked as M.2 type 2280.
Although laptops only work with this size, many desktop motherboards also support longer or shorter M.2 SSDs.
The largest M.2 disks have a capacity of 1 and 2 terabytes.
At first glance, these 2.5-inch drives look like traditional SATA models. However, they use a different connection and send the data via the fast PCI-e bus.
They are usually thicker than a standard 2.5-inch drive. U.2 drives are more expensive and have a larger capacity than M.2 models. Server machines with many open disk compartments can take advantage of the U.2 SSD.
Disk with which interface do you need - SATA or PCI-e?
Get ready, because things are a little more complicated than you think. As already mentioned, 2.5-inch SATA drives are slower than those on the PCI-e bus.
M.2 drives can work both via SATA interface and via PCI-e bus. And the fastest M.2 SSDs also support NVMe - a protocol developed for modern fast data storage.
The hard part is that M.2 drives can be on SATA interface, PCI-e without NVMe support or PCI-e with NVMe support.
Keep in mind that most fast M.2 SSDs released in the last year or two support the NVMe protocol.
Both M.2 drives and M.2 motherboard slots are compatible, no matter what exactly is supported. However, it's best to check your computer's manual or motherboard to see what exactly it supports before investing in an SSD.
If your daily routine consists of surfing the Internet, office applications and even games - you will not feel much difference with an NVMe SSD compared to a regular M.2 or SATA.
However, if you make bulk file transfers in your daily life, process high-resolution photos and videos, compress files, and more. - then probably NVMe SSD drive would be useful for you. Disks that support this protocol are up to five times faster than regular SATA models.
In addition, the price of some NVMe drives is close to that of SATA models. So if your computer supports NVMe and you can afford such an SSD - this is the best option, especially if you will take advantage of higher speeds.
What capacity SSD do you need?
This is already even below the absolute minimum in terms of capacity - so it is best not to buy such a drive. Apart from the small storage space, these disks are slower because they have a minimum number of memory modules.
If the disk will be used only for the operating system and some programs - you can consider buying. However, if you put games and personal files - the place will run out very quickly.
Plus, for literally a little more money, you can buy an SSD with twice as much memory.
These discs are very cheap, but again do not offer much space. We can say that they are the absolute minimum.
If you are going to install an operating system, programs, games and personal files - again the capacity will not be enough.
Either you will have to put up with an operating system, important programs and possibly a game - or you will have to raise your budget and consider buying a larger SSD.
These drives have the best value for money, although terabytes are becoming increasingly popular.
Unless you really have a lot of personal files and games - an SSD with a capacity of 1 terabyte would be enough. You can easily put an operating system, programs, games and more on it.
Such an SSD would be suitable for people who like to play games, process videos and photos and have large collections of movies and music.
Few will feel the need for such a large SSD, but if you are one of these people - then this is your best choice.
Keep in mind that a disk with such a capacity can be quite expensive - over 1000 BGN.
In addition, there is not much choice in terms of models on the market.
If you have a desktop computer or laptop with more slots - you may need to put a few smaller SSDs.
This will save you money and you will have enough space to store your files. Once 4-terabyte SSDs become more popular and their price drops enough - you can replace the old ones with ones.
What memory should the SSD be with?
When looking for a SSD for general use - you do not need to delve into what memory is, etc. In fact, most models on the market do not have much choice.
But if you are curious or it is important to know what kind of memory your SSD has - let's take a brief look at the different types.
Some memories are much less commonly used, while others are becoming standard.
SLC memory - with it were the first models of SSDs and it was used for years. Because this memory stores one bit of information per cell - the memory is fast and lasts a long time.
This memory is very expensive and is therefore no longer used in mass SSDs.
MLC memory - it displaces SLC and allows the storage of more information and at a lower cost, nothing that is slower. To catch up, many SSDs with MLC memory have a small cache of SLC memory that acts as a write buffer.
MLC memory has also been replaced by a newer technology - TLC.
TLC memory - used on most SSDs. It is slower than MLC, but allows large capacity drives to be produced at affordable prices.
Most TLC drives (except for some of the cheapest models) also have caching technology to catch up with lower memory speeds.
For the average user, an SSD with TLC memory is sufficient.
But professionals for whom speed is above all may prefer a disk with faster memory.
QLC memory - is just being implemented in disks and is the next step in the technological revolution. SSDs with QLC memory will be even more affordable and will have even more storage space
How durable are SSDs?
Another factor that the average computer user should not worry or think about. Of course, since SSDs have memory modules - this same memory has a limited life.
It can record a certain amount of information a certain number of times. Most SSD manufacturers give the approximate memory life of a given model - it is measured in total recorded information in terabytes (TBW) or records per day (DWPD).
But most disks leave spare cells in memory.
Thus, over time, when some memory cells wear out and begin to die, the information is transferred to the backup. In this way, the life of an SSD is significantly extended. Usually, if you do not use your SSD as a server or in another case in which you constantly write information to it, the average life expectancy is between three and five years.
If you plan to use the disk for a server or for many and daily recordings, then it is better to choose a model with more expensive memory, which is not QLC.
Samsung's Pro Series discs have a longer life and warranty. But again, for the average user, disk life and memory type don't matter at all.
The best SSDs on the market
Once you know everything you need to choose an SSD, you can choose the right model. Remember that there will not always be a noticeable difference between the more expensive and faster models - it all depends on what you use your computer for.
In any case, if you switch from a mechanical hard drive to an SSD - you will notice a huge difference in speed.
Let us also introduce you to the SSDs that offer the best ratio in terms of capacity, speed and price.
- Samsung 970 Evo Plus
The best SSD for all purposes and tasks.
Capacity: 250GB / 500GB / 1TB / 2TB Interface: PCI-e Gen 3 x4 M.2 | Manufacturer's warranty: 5 years
Samsung is one of the companies that makes incredibly good SSDs. The 970 Evo Plus is faster and more productive than the previous 960. It is currently one of the fastest drives on the market, and its price is just incredibly good. Because the drive is fast, durable and affordable - it is not difficult to define it as the best SSD.
- WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD
The best SSD for games.
Capacity: 250GB / 500GB / 1TB / 2TB Interface: PCI-e Gen 3 x4 M.2 | Manufacturer's warranty: 5 years
The manufacturer of this SSD has long built the name of one of the best in terms of hard drives, so this model can easily be called the best for gaming. Its speed is incredibly fast, which means that any game will charge in a flash - and this is very important for most gamers.
In addition, the price of this SSD is not high, which makes it affordable for more gamers.
- Samsung 970 Pro
The best NVMe SSD.
Capacity: 512GB / 1TB Interface: PCI-e Gen 3 x4 M.2 | Manufacturer's warranty: 5 years
For years, Samsung has been one of the leading manufacturers of SSDs on the market, despite competition from other large companies. The 970 Pro is one of the fastest drives you can find at the moment.
Although the read speed is not higher than the previous 960 Pro, the write speed is much higher (up to 2700 megabytes per second). If you want a fast SSD drive without having to compromise on quality - you can't go wrong with this model.
- Adata XPG SX8200 SSD
Excellent performance for little money.
Capacity: 240GB / 480GB / 960GB Interface: PCI-e Gen 3 x4 M.2 | Manufacturer's warranty: 5 years
This drive is a great choice for people who want something really fast and affordable. There is no other model at the moment to compare with this in terms of price / performance. Of course, you can buy a much faster SSD, but at a much higher price.
However, this is recommended for people who want to get the most out of their money.
- Intel 750
A disc with a view to the future.
Capacity: 400GB / 800GB / 1.2TB Interface: PCI-e Gen 3 x4 U.2 | Manufacturer's warranty: 5 years
The U.2 standard allows the disk to have more capacity and to use the PCI-e x4 slot on the computer for maximum read and write speeds.
A cable for people with desktops is included in the set of this disk.
- Samsung 860 Pro
The best SATA3 drive.
Capacity: 250GB / 512GB / 1TB / 2TB / 4TB Interface: SATA3 | Manufacturer's warranty: 5 years
Some users may consider SATA3 drives obsolete, but Samsung's 860 Pro model is still the best among them.
Its capacity can reach 4 terabytes, which is more than enough for anyone who does not mind using an SSD drive on SATA interface.
- Intel 760p
Incredible performance at a good price.
Capacity: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB Interface: PCI-e Gen 3 x4 M.2 | Manufacturer's warranty: 5 years
The best NVMe SSDs were too expensive for the general public. But Intel puts an end to this with its 760p, which changes everything. This drive has incredible performance and lags just behind Samsung's 960 Evo.
But what makes this model stand out from the rest is the incredible value for money.
Yes, there are faster NVMe drives on the market, but is it worth paying much more for them? Intel's SSD is one of the best offerings on the market at the moment, not only because it is fast, but also because it shows us what to expect in the near future.
- Samsung 860 Evo
Incredible speeds at a fantastic price.
Capacity: 250GB / 500GB / 1TB / 2TB / 4TB Interface: 2.5-inch, mSATA, M.2 | Manufacturer's warranty: 5 years
The previous model 850 Evo was a very popular and sold model and Samsung had to present a worthy replacement. Fortunately, the 860 Evo fully met everyone's expectations. Although its speeds are limited due to the SATA3 interface, the drive has high performance (better than the previous model) and is available in different sizes, and the price is still affordable.
This model is an excellent choice for any user who wants a strong, fast and reliable SSD drive without spending too much.