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Nov 20 2018

How to Buy the Right SSD? A Purchase Guide for You

Warm hints: This article contains about 3000 words and reading time is about 15 min.

How to choose SSD? Some netizens are still not very clear about the SSD of the computer and don't know how to choose it. The following will introduce the SSD purchase guide, let's get to know it!


Introduction

A solid state disk (Solid State Disk), referred to as a solid disk, and a solid state hard disk using a solid state electronic memory chip array, is composed of a control unit and a storage unit (FLASH chip, DRAM chip). The specifications and definitions, functions, and usage methods of the SSD are exactly the same as those of the ordinary hard disk. The shape and size of the SSD are also identical to those of the ordinary hard disk. It is widely used in military, vehicle, industrial control, video surveillance, network monitoring, network terminals, power, medical, aviation, navigation equipment and many other fields.

Article Core

SSD

Purpose

Introduce how to buy a satisfied SSD

Application

Military, vehicle, industrial control

Keywords

SSD


Catalog

Evaluation


Tips and Methods

for Purchasing SSD

Interface Type

Select Capacity

Flash Granules

Brand


7 Classic

SSD Recommendations

The Best M.2 SSD: Toshiba XD5

The Fastest M.2 SSD: Samsung 970 Pro

The Best SATA SSD: Micron 5200

The Fastest SATA SSD: Samsung 883 DCT

The Best PCIe SSD: Intel Optane 4800X

The Fastest PCIe SSD: Western Digital PC SN720

The Best SSD: Seagate Barracuda


Evaluation

Before deciding to upgrade an SSD, you must first evaluate whether your computer is suitable for installing an SSD. It’s need to explain here that SSD can be used in the computer is not represent the installation. Our definition of suitable installation is to play at least 70% of the performance of the SSD. If this ratio is not available, buy a new one. The notebook may be more suitable.

The assessment is divided into two levels, the software level and the hardware level. The software level is relatively simple, users who insist on using XP system are better not to upgrade, because XP system does not support Trim (win7 or above support), when the SSD is written, the erase operation will be performed in advance, and if it is repeated for a long time, it will lead to SSD. A large speed drop or a stuck card situation has a certain impact on the service life.

The hardware level is not complicated. First, let's see if the notebook supports AHCI. Because the traditional IDE mode can't meet the new features of SSD, the performance of SSD in IDE mode will be seriously degraded.

Check whether the notebook supports AHCI, which can be found in the BIOS 'SATA Mode'; then look at the single-core performance of the processor, because the single-core performance is too weak, it will directly affect the performance of SSD in 4K reading and writing.

The easiest way is to compare it with the first generation of Core i series processors, you should give up if before it.

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The last point is more controversial, that is, the hard disk interface. It is recommended to upgrade the notebook with SATA3 interface. The SATA2 interface can be upgraded but the performance may not be as good as SATA3. Users who want to install the SSD in the optical drive position should also pay attention to it. Since most of the optical drive is SATA2 interface, it is not recommended to install the SSD in the optical drive. If the notebook can meet the above requirements, you can go to the SSD step.


Tips and Methods for Purchasing SSD

(1) Interface Type: Firstly we should determine the type of SSD interface. Currently, mainstream notebooks will have SATA or M.2 interfaces, and some models will include two types of interfaces. Under the same capacity, the M.2 interface has more advantages in terms of transmission bandwidth, capacity, thin and light characteristics, and the technology is more advanced, so the SSD of the M.2 interface is generally more expensive than the SATA interface. If the notebook has M.2, it is recommended to purchase the SSD of the M.2 interface.


(2) Select Capacity: After determining the interface, we should select the capacity. At present, the capacity of mainstream SSDs is 128GB (120GB), 256GB, 480GB, 512GB, and so on. It is recommended to start from 256GB. Because on the one hand, the capacity will not be stretched, and on the other hand the price of 256GB is within an acceptable range.


(3) Flash Granules: The last point is the flash granules. I often see that some users said that they were lucky to buy TLC instead of MLC particles. Compared with the two particles, MLC is really much better, but most of the current household-level SSDs have been cost-effective. Occupied by TLC, MLC can hardly be bought, and the life and performance of TLC has been greatly improved compared with the past, so it is recommended that there is not much entanglement in the flash granules.


(4) Brand:  The most important point in purchasing SSD is the brand. Because SSDs are different from mechanical hard drives, their assembly costs are relatively low, so we see a lot of low-priced brands that have never been heard before. Some small brands only focus on sales, and not very good at product quality and durability, and worry about after-sales, almost no recovery after data loss. Therefore, it is recommended to buy SSD to choose big brands, such as Samsung, Intel and other well-known manufacturers.

What is the best SSD on the market today? What is the fastest SSD? What kind of SSD is best to buy? The following will answer these complex questions.


7 Classic SSD Recommendations

Solid-state drives (SSDs) play an important role in the business of the enterprise and have more development and advancement in form, capacity, speed, functionality and price range.

Earlier versions of solid-state drives (SSD) were only used in storage arrays, servers, and personal computers. While such specifications are still popular in SAS and SATA drives, there are smaller PCIe and M.2 products. Some flash products are getting closer to the shape of the CPU.

Recently, SSD hard disks using the NVMe protocol have been developed to increase the speed of SSD hard disks through modern data transfer protocols. This speed is of concern to storage managers: this is because the fastest NVMe SSDs are generally considered the best.

In addition, as storage speeds increase, flash blurs the line between memory and hard disk. SSD drives are becoming memory-level storage. Instead of storing the data on a slower storage tier, it stays in memory. Because memory is expensive, using flash products can add memory resources more economically.

The best SSD are shown below in a variety of formats. These products come from some of the industry's top suppliers, including Intel, Western Digital, Samsung, Toshiba, Seagate and Micron.


(1)The Best M.2 SSD: Toshiba XD5

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Compared with HDD hard drives, the price of SSDs is always high. But the Toshiba XD5 stands out in the best M.2 SSD category because it can write nearly 4 terabytes of data per day for five years. Its NVMe deployment makes it faster, making it an ideal choice for enterprise storage systems that support heavy transaction workloads and other applications that need to continuously write data.

The Toshiba XD5 is known for its durability. When consistent quality of service (QoS), consistent read latency, and consistent performance are important, XD5 SSD drives are often preferred.

For enterprise storage systems, it handles heavy transactional workloads and other applications that need to continuously write data at predictable, good performance rates. It is light in weight and low in power consumption.

In addition, Toshiba NAND flash and controllers offer high reliability, data protection, power loss protection and encryption required for enterprise applications.


(2) The Fastest M.2 SSD: Samsung 970 Pro

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The Samsung 970 Pro uses NVMe to provide extremely fast speeds for the M.2 form factor. In the test, it performed very well. Because it is one of the lower-priced M.2 SSD hard drive options using the NVMe protocol, products that require high throughput and IOPS will be favored. However, applications with lower application requirements may choose a lower-priced SAS hard drive or a SATA SSD hard drive.

The Samsung 970 Pro combines NVMe and tiny form factor with V-NAND 2-bit MLC technology. Its 3.5GB/s throughput and 500,000 IOPS make it a popular choice for businesses.

This unit is the best performance for queue depth and peak performance in continuous read tests. It combines a fast NVMe and PCie in a compact M.2 form factor to deliver higher performance for businesses with demanding workloads. For companies that need NVMe speeds, it is one of the lower cost M.2 SSD options. Those who demand high throughput and IOPS will tend to adopt it.

The Samsung 970 PRO delivers high performance with the latest V-NAND technology and a new Phoenix controller in a compact M.2 (2280) form factor. Durable up to 1,200 TBW with a 5-year warranty to ensure the life of your SSD drive.


(3) The Best SATA SSD: Micron 5200

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Micron's Micron 5200 wins the best SATA SSD hard drive category because it can write and rewrite up to 8.4 PB of data and reach 3 million hours of use before failure. It also has the advantages of SATA performance, high capacity and low price.

The device is designed to replace existing hard drives and traditional SSD drives. To this end, it uses the architecture of the 5100 SATA SSD. Micron designed these SATA SSD drives for virtualized workloads and cloud computing architectures.

The Micron 5200 delivers good throughput for SATA with latency as low as 55 microseconds, making it one of the most reliable and durable SSD drives. Its read and write performance may not be high. But its low price makes up for this shortcoming. With a capacity of 7.68 TB, it ensures that it is always a candidate for budget-conscious organizations looking for SSD drives that can hold large amounts of data and provide data with sufficient performance.


(4) The Fastest SATA SSD: Samsung 883 DCT

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The Samsung V-NAND SSD 883 DCT drive is ideal for enterprise server storage systems. It provides reliability and data protection for applications that process large amounts of data. If speed is more important than budget, choose a fast system based on NVMe. But if users want good performance, sufficient capacity, and high reliability, this SATA storage system is a good choice.

The unit is designed to provide a high level of QoS (Quality of Service) over the SATA interface for optimal performance. It has a 6 Gb / s SATA interface and an impressive storage capacity of up to 3.84 TB.

Given this capacity, data security is very important. Protection 883 DCT is end-to-end data protection to ensure an overall consistent data transmission path. This prevents data corruption in the event of a power failure protection. In addition, the quality and reliability of high-quality SSD drives produced within Samsung components is an advantage.

In addition, there are lower cost SATA SSD options, such as the Micron 520. But for storage administrators who need enterprise-class SATA SSDs, the Samsung 883 DCT is one of the best choices.


(5) The Best PCIe SSD: Intel Optane 4800X

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Intel's SSD drive has earned the title of the best PCIe SSD with its high random read/write speed, excellent throughput and high endurance. It is ideal for companies looking to reduce transaction costs for latency-sensitive workloads.

It's worth to notice that this unit reduces storage bottlenecks and enables larger, more affordable data sets. It is the only storage product on the market that uses 3D Xpoint technology and offers latency as low as 10 microseconds. It accelerates applications, reduces transaction costs for latency-sensitive workloads, and increases the overall cost of ownership (TCO) of the overall data center.

This unit is a single port device. It is compatible with PCIe Gen3 x4 speed. Based on a 64-layer stacked Intel 3D NAND TLC, it accelerates read-intensive workloads at higher service levels and increases overall system reliability and flexibility. SATA firmware adds compatibility with existing SATA arrays, making it easy to upgrade.

The standard 2.5-inch size ranges from 240 GB to 7.68 TB. At the same time, these SSD drives offer high performance and low power consumption. Users who choose to upgrade their storage arrays from HDD drives to these SSD drives can add hundreds of times more IOPS. In addition, end-to-end data protection helps keep data safe regardless of power consumption.


(6) The Fastest PCIe SSD: Western Digital PC SN720

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The Western Digital PC SN720 has a 500k/400k ratio on random read/write, 3.4 GB/s throughput and high endurance better than competitors. The NMVe and PCIe protocols make it a powerful candidate for Layer 0 workloads running enterprise applications.

The device provides a high-capacity compact storage device. Supports PCIe Gen3 x4 for high-intensity applications such as ultra-high definition video, 4K video, VR content creation, post-production processing, high-bandwidth enterprise computing, software development and compilation. 64-layer 3D NAND extends life. Its layered cache and fast NVMe architecture delivers extreme performance and durability up to 500 TBW.

Western Digital PC SN720's new fast NVMe SSD firmware and controller architecture is designed to maximize the performance and scalability benefits of 3D NAND for low latency and low power consumption.

In short, the device has an impressive sequential read/write speed that delivers high performance. This is the first choice for companies that require top-tier storage products.


(7) The Best SSD: Seagate Barracuda

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Seagate's Barracuda SSD drives offer superior performance compared to affordable SATA SSDs. Its outstanding throughput and durability figures add value, making it the preferred storage product for businesses that require good but not top performance.

Barracude SSDs can be launched quickly, allowing instant access to data and applications. It features a SATA 6Gb/s interface for optimal performance and compatibility. It uses 3D TLC NAND flash memory to provide continuous read and write speeds of up to 560/540MB/s. Upgrading an HDD hard drive or an existing SSD drive to Seagate Barracuda can improve the efficiency of data processing and retrieval.

Its throughput is the best choice for the most competitive SATA or SAS SSDs, and Barracuda SSD offers up to 560/540 MB/s continuous read and write speeds. However, if the capacity exceeds 2 TB, this is not large enough for enterprise workloads.

In terms of random reads and writes, the Barracuda SSD provides 90,000 read and write IOPS and a lifetime of 1.8 million hours, or 1,067 TB of data can be written over its lifetime. This is enough for most SMB use cases.

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