How do you choose an SSD drive? – guide

The digital world is constantly evolving, especially when it comes to data storage. New and improved ways to store information emerge every day, making choosing the right solid state drive (SSD) more and more challenging. In this guide we will highlight the main criteria when choosing an SSD, taking into account the most current and promising models for PCs and laptops, which will be an excellent choice for purchase in 2024, based on SATA and NVMe M.2 SSDs .

Choosing the right SSD for your computer or laptop and determining which SSD is best for your Windows system can be a daunting task. If you’re thinking about which external drive is worth purchasing or which NVMe M.2 drive would be the best choice, this guide is just for you. We will also help you figure out how to configure disk selection in the BIOS, how to determine which brand of SSD is the most reliable, and how to find out which disk is installed in your system based on the type of memory in use.

SSD type

Different types of SSDs have different data transfer speeds and compatibility. For modern laptops and PCs, it is better to choose NVMe or PCIe for higher performance.

SSD-SATA

SSD SATA (serial ATA) drives are one of the most common types of solid-state drives on the market. They are commonly used in desktop computers, laptops and other devices. One of the main advantages of SATA SSDs is their affordable price with good performance. They provide fast access to data, reduce operating system and application loading times, and improve overall system performance. However, the data transfer speeds of SATA drives are usually lower than that of NVMe SSD M.2.

How do you choose an SSD drive?  – guide

Advantages of SSD SATA:

  • Affordable price;
  • Reliability.

Disadvantages of SSD SATA:

  • Lower speed compared to NVMe, especially when reading/writing large files.

NVMe SSD M.2

NVMe SSD M.2 (Non-Volatile Memory Express) is a modern SSD drive technology that provides high data transfer speeds and performance through the use of the PCI Express interface. They are usually installed directly on the motherboard of a computer or laptop, which makes them run much faster compared to drives connected via a SATA interface. NVMe M.2 SSDs offer low latency and high throughput, making them an ideal choice for workloads that require fast read and write speeds, such as video processing, gaming or professional applications. However, they typically cost more than SATA SSDs and require a compatible M.2 slot on the motherboard to use them.

Advantages of NVMe SSD M.2:

  • High data transfer rate;
  • More compact than SATA;
  • Energy efficiency.

Disadvantages of NVMe SSD M.2:

  • Higher price compared to SATA SSD.

External SSDs

External SSDs are convenient and portable solid-state drives that can be used to backup data or transfer files between devices. They usually have a compact and durable housing that protects them from damage during transportation. External SSDs usually connect to a computer or other device via USB, making them compatible with most modern devices. They also have fast data transfer speeds, making them a great choice for people who value speed and portability.

Read and write speed

The read and write speed of an SSD affects the time it takes to boot the operating system, launch applications, and copy files. It is measured in megabytes or gigabytes per second (Mb/s or GB/s). Fast read and write speeds make your system run faster and more responsive.

Manufacturer and reliability

When choosing an SSD, pay attention to the manufacturer’s reputation. Popular and renowned brands such as Samsung, Crucial, Western Digital and Kingston generally offer high-quality and reliable products.

Which SSD SATA to choose

  • Crucial MX500: An excellent choice among SATA drives. Has good speed and has a long history of reliability. Typically offered at a competitive price, the MX500 is the perfect solution for whatever power you need.
  • Samsung 860Evo: This drive is capable of extracting every last drop of performance from its old SATA interface. Because the SATA standard is limited to 600 MB/s, the Samsung 860 Evo does not have the highest read and write performance: 550 MB/s and 520 MB/s respectively. But it offers reasonable boot and transfer times for anyone who just needs a PC for basic productivity tasks. It’s also an excellent affordable choice for those who need a lot of storage at an affordable price, with a fantastic range of configurations including 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and 4TB. With so many options, you can always find the price and storage option that suits you.
  • SAMSUNG 860 QVO 1TB V-NAND SATA SSD: A solid-state drive based on an eight-channel Samsung MJX controller and featuring the new four-bit V-NAND memory. Positioned as an entry-level solution, it is designed for use on a variety of devices such as desktops, laptops and servers. Despite using new memory, the SAMSUNG 860 QVO retains the basic design principles and architecture typical of previous Samsung SATA drive models. This guarantees high performance and reliable operation.

Which NVMe M.2 SSD you should choose

  • Crucial T700: For now, the T700 is best suited for the PCIe 5.0 SSD role, given its relatively affordable price with a 4TB capacity. The T700 isn’t the fastest drive available, as more and more options are appearing with speeds over 14 GB/s. But it’s still faster than all fourth-generation SSDs and many fifth-generation SSDs. The model has a good warranty, but is not very energy efficient.
  • Kingston Fury Renegade M.2 PCIe 4.0 SSD 2TB: It’s a PCIe 4.0 SSD that can reach sequential speeds of up to 7,300 MB/s, which is only second to the performance of the Crucial T500. Several tests supported the performance claims, delivering excellent results across the board, including fast game loading and fast file transfers.
  • Samsung 990 Pro: The brand’s latest 4th generation M.2 SSD offers the highest performance for PS5 and PC. In tests, the 990 Pro 2TB showed read speeds of 7462 MB/s and write speeds of 6877 MB/s, which is pretty good for a 4th generation drive. In terms of gross speed, this is the best SSD we’ve tested. Such drives now clearly face the limitations of the PCIe Gen 4 interface.

Which external SSD to choose?

  • SanDisk Pro-G40 SSD: A great all-round portable SSD. It has Thunderbolt 3 and USB modes, so it works on a wide range of devices, although you may need a Type-C to Type-A adapter or cable. Overall performance is good, write performance is exceptional, and performance should be consistently fast. The metal and rubber housing is another advantage, as it keeps the drive cool while protecting it from most environmental hazards. The biggest disadvantage of the Pro-G40 is the price. If you don’t need Thunderbolt functionality, you might be better off with other models. You can also build your own portable solution by purchasing the right case and drive.
  • Silicon Power PX10: Portable SSD is another product that offers one of the best peak speeds above 800 MB/s. If you don’t need to transfer terabytes of files often, the Silicon Power X10 is a great option at a very good price.
  • Crucial X10 Pro: If you work with large files or libraries and can take full advantage of the USB 3.2 Gen 2 2×2 interface, the Crucial X10 Pro is very fast and inexpensive. The reasonable price, along with reliable software and a compact metal body, make it easy to recommend.

How to install SSD

The SSD installation process may vary slightly depending on the type of computer or laptop, but the general steps are roughly the same:

  1. Prepare the necessary tools. You may need a screwdriver or other tool to open the case of your computer or laptop.
  2. Turn off the power. Make sure your computer is completely turned off and unplugged.
  3. Open the housing. If you are installing an SSD in a desktop computer, open the side or top panel of the case. If you are installing an SSD in a laptop, find a place where you can access the drive bay.
  4. Locate the slot or connector. Locate the correct M.2 slot, SATA port, or PCIe slot on the motherboard or laptop system board.
  5. Install an SSD. Carefully insert the SSD into the correct slot or connector, paying attention to the orientation. Then fix it in the grooves or holes. Connect the power and data cable from the motherboard to the SSD if you are installing a SATA drive in a PC.
  6. Close the case. Close the side or top of your computer case, or close the drive compartment of your laptop.

How to find out which SSD is in the system and select it in the BIOS

Follow these steps to find out which SSD is installed in your system:

  1. Open computer properties.
  2. Select the button on the left “Device Manager”.
  3. Expand the item in the window that opens “Disk Devices”.
  4. Select the disk you need.

If you need to configure or select the drive in the BIOS, follow these steps:

  1. Restart your computer. Turn on your computer and wait for the operating system to load or the BIOS to enter.
  2. Open BIOS. To enter the BIOS, press a specific key (usually Del, F2, F10, or Esc) when you start your PC.
  3. Go to the Storage Devices section. In the BIOS, locate the section responsible for storage devices or booting (usually called Storage or Boot).
  4. Select SSD. In this section you will see a list of all storage devices connected to your system. Identify your SSD by its model or serial number and select it as the first boot device (if necessary).
  5. Save the changes and exit the BIOS. Once you have selected the SSD, save the changes in the BIOS and restart your computer. After restarting, the computer should boot from the installed SSD.

These steps may vary slightly depending on your motherboard manufacturer or BIOS version. So check the user manual for your specific hardware if you encounter any problems.

Source: VG Times

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