How to Buy the Right SSD

Upgrading a platter hard drive to an SSD is one of the greatest (and cheapest PC) upgrades you can make. Here's a guide to help you choose.

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  1. yes thx 4 sharing the info mate
  2. Very nice article for beginners, clear and to the point, practical: bravo!
  3. What about having onboard DRAM cache, at least for lookup tables? Or is that a controller detail that will be clearly expressed in performance graphs?
  4. M.2 connectors have different keys. The common ones for SSDs are B and M. B is 2x PCI and a lot of OEM drives are B+M keyed. M is 4x PCI and what you'll find on NVMe drives. Very important for laptop upgraders as cheaper machines may only have a B+M key.
    Good rundown from TomITPro http://www.tomsitpro.com/articles/datacenter-m.2-ssd-pcie-specification,2-950.html
  5. I concur. Very good article for average computer user. I learned a thing or two as well.

    You should add that Optane works with Intel processors only, so AMD buyers don't need to bother with it.
  6. I bought a PCIE unit (Corsair MP500; 240Gig) for my new build and kinda dread the "new connector" stuff. I'm sure it will work fine but ... I still dread it.
  7. Can't edit to add p.s.2? awww c'mon ... it's 2018 ...
    Anyhow: I think that PCIE unit will work wonders as boot drive, with a selection of high-performance software (ArmA3 rocks!)
  8. "2.5-inch SSDs run on the Serial ATA interface, which was designed for hard drives (and launched way back in 2000)"

    I remember that in 2004/2005 I could still buy a new laptop with an IDE hard drive, and SATA drives were pretty new at the time and had a higher price tag than IDE. But either way, you forgot to mention that there are 3 types of SATA and that the Sata 3 is what an average user would need to unleash a full potential of a modern SSD.
  9. Optane is not limited to just Intel processors. Optane Memory is a speciality product that is part of a system. You can use it with AMD's cache software, or use it just as a regular SSD.
  10. Nice article worth to be read.
    Thanks a lot for sharing the knowledge with us.
  11. What about mSata drives? You can get the Samsung variety easily enough...
  12. i bought a 2 tb adata sata , it's not a nvme or m.2 and such stuff but it's never the less 2 tb 's
  13. I would have to say that everything is pretty much spot on for most users. However, low capacity M.2 SSDs (like those w/ similar specs to the 960 EVO) used as a boot drive w/ 2.5" SSD(s) to make up the rest of your storage (assuming you don't need more than 1 or 2TB), I feel is the best for cost if you want raging speeds for your OS. Price points for SSDs for over 500GB, IMO, are showing some pretty bad returns in terms of performance to volume to cost ratios.

    However, I completely love M.2 SSDs since it cuts out so much when you're talking about cable management. Love this in mini-ITX builds the most.
  14. "CRamseyer
    Optane is not limited to just Intel processors. Optane Memory is a speciality product that is part of a system. You can use it with AMD's cache software, or use it just as a regular SSD."

    You're right. I thought both 900P series and the earlier cache drives were Intel platform limited. I verified it with Intel website and 900P drives are not chipset/platform dependent. I stand corrected.
  15. There are some details where I concur and other where I disagree.

    1. Low end SSD is much faster than HDD, but even faster SSD is a matter of seriously diminishing returns at much higher cost.
    Totally true.

    2. Don't even consider buying a drive that has less than 256GB of storage.
    I wouldn't be that strict in general. Much better to analyze one's needs and decide from that. I have a 120 GB system SSD, and the programs I'd like to have on SSD but can't fit in there won't make it on a 256 GB (or even 500 GB) SSD either. For me the only reason to pick 256 over 120 is that there's almost no added cost.

    3. Form factors.
    Do consider that the downsides of M.2 are typically higher prices and less cooling compared to 2.5".

    4. Actual cost.
    In the "sweet spot" at 250 - 500 GB you'll get (at least) eight times more storage if you buy HDD instead.
  16. good quick reference!
  17. Most comprehensive article on this I have read. Thanks!
  18. I'm not sure whether to put my PNY 120gb as primary and put swap on a spinner after reading this article. Good info and I'll figure it out once this blond moment slides past. Say hi to the 'heeland kuouws' next time wandering Scotland.
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