Are you tired of watching your computer start up again every time? Would you like to be able to use your programs immediately after opening them without waiting for long loading times? Then you need an SSD hard drive. Thanks to modern technologies, these are significantly faster than conventional HDD hard drives. So that you don’t lose track when looking for the right product, we have compared 9 different SSD hard drives from different price ranges for you.
Afterward, we will go into our guide on what an SSD hard drive is, how it works and what you should pay attention to when buying it.
What is the best SSD?
1. Samsung 500GB 860 EVO
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The first SSD hard drive in our comparison comes from Samsung. The 500 GB Samsung MZ-76E500B / EU 860 EVO offers you a reading speed of 550MB / s and a writing speed of 520MB / s. Long loading or booting operations are a thing of the past. The operating temperature for this hard disk is between 0-70 ° C.
The integrated EXX algorithms ensure high performance even under heavily changing workloads. Various setting options in the Queued Trim area also enable you to have good Linux compatibility. With a size of 2.5 inches, the Samsung SSD fits into most common notebooks and desktop PCs.
Besides, this SSD hard drive offers you advanced hardware data encryption that is adapted to current standards. Thanks to SED technology (Self Encrypting Drive), your data can be protected with AES 256bit encryption.
Here is a list of our favorite Samsung SSD’s
2. SanDisk SSD PLUS 240GB
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The next product in our comparison is a very cheap hard drive from the manufacturer SanDisk. You get a 240 GB hard drive that offers you more than enough storage space for your most important applications. The SanDisk SSD hard drive is available with 480 or 960 GB for a corresponding surcharge. With a reading speed of 535MB / s and a writing speed of 445MB / s, your computer boots up to 20 times faster than when using a conventional hard drive.
With the SanDisk SSD dashboard, the manufacturer offers you a full-service software suite through which you can view the offers of other software providers for cloning and security apps.
Due to the small size of 2.5 inches, the SanDisk hard drive should find enough space in every notebook. SanDisk advertises this product with special shock resistance, which keeps your hard drive intact, even if your notebook should fall. This protects your data in the event of technical damage to the computer.
3. WD Green 240GB
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The WD Green SSD hard drive is available with 240, 500, 1000 and even 2000 GB. You can get the hard drive with 2.5 inches or in M.2 2280 style so that you can use the device for both a notebook and a desktop PC of your choice. Thanks to the integrated SLC (Single Level Cell) caching, this SSD hard drive offers you an increased write speed for the most efficient execution of your everyday tasks on the PC. Besides, the hard drive impresses with extremely low energy consumption, which can increase the battery life of your laptop.
The WD-Green hard drive has a WD F.I.T Lab reliability certificate, which proves that the device is as shockproof as possible and thus offers increased protection against data loss. In addition, the hard drive has been designed, tested and manufactured for maximum durability so that you can safely upgrade your memory.
Here is a list of our favorite Western Digital SSD’s
4. Intenso 2.5-Inch 256GB SATA III
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The SSD hard drive from Intenso is available with 128, 256 and 512 GB. Again, you can choose between an M.2 style or a size of 2.5 inches. The hard drive is therefore suitable for both notebooks and desktop PCs. In addition, the Intenso SSD hard drive offers you a reading speed of 520MB / s and a writing speed of 420MB / s. The high transfer rates significantly reduce access times and processing processes. It enables your PC or notebook to boot up in less than 20 seconds.
The Intenso SSD hard disk works very energy-efficiently and without heat generation. You can not only save some electricity but improve the battery life of your notebook. In addition, the device is very cheap, which is why you get a very solid SSD hard drive for everyday use.
5. Transcend 128GB MLC SATA III
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It continues with a mid-range SSD hard drive. The Transcend SSD370S offers you with 512 GB memory more than enough space for your most important programs, games or videos. For a small surcharge, the device is available with 1 TB of storage space. With a reading speed of 560 MB / s and a writing speed of 460MN / s, the SSD hard drive can reduce waiting times by up to 30 percent. Even memory-intensive applications and graphics programs open within a few seconds.
The manufacturer Transcend offers you free software that you can simply download from the manufacturer’s website. This allows you to monitor the current state of the SSD and maintain performance by preventing any errors and firmware updates. The Transcend SSD hard drive supports SATA device sleep mode, which reduces the battery power of your notebook when the SSD hard drive is not in use.
6. Crucial MX500 500GB
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The Crucial MX500 offers you 500 GB of storage space, which can be increased to 1 TB or 2 TB if required and at an additional cost. Due to the conventional form factor of 2.5 inches, which is used in most SSD hard drives, there should be more than enough space for the device in the majority of notebooks and desktop PCs.
The Crucial MX500 uses the same technical innovations as Micron, one of the largest flash memory manufacturers in the world. You benefit from the experience of a manufacturer who has brought some of the most advanced storage technologies on the market for more than 35 years. The Crucial hard drive offers you a reading speed of 560MB / s and a writing speed of 510MB / s. Loading times can be shortened considerably and your work processes on the PC become noticeably more efficient.
Thanks to the hardware-based 256-bit AES encryption, this hard drive offers you good protection against hackers and unwanted access to your personal data. To make installing your new hard drive and data transfer as easy as possible, the manufacturer offers you step-by-step Crucial SSD installation instructions. You can even look at these before you buy to really make sure you can easily install the device on your computer.
7. Seagate BarraCuda 500GB
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The next product in our SSD hard drive comparison is a very affordable device from Seagate. The Seagate ST500LM030 offers you 500 GB of storage space and can be upgraded to 5 TB if required, which offers more than enough space for many large applications.
With a size of 2.5 inches, this hard drive fits in all common notebooks and desktop PCs. The data transfer generally takes place at 140 MB / s and is therefore somewhat slower than with other products from our comparison. Nevertheless, you can look forward to great time savings compared to conventional HDD hard drives.
8. WD Blue 3D NAND 500GB
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It continues with an SSD hard drive from the mid-range price range. The WD Blue NAND offers you 500 GB of storage space, which can be increased to 2 TB if required. The fast read speed of 560 MB / s and the write speed of 530 MB / s ensure noticeably faster access to your data than with conventional HDD hard drives.
In addition, the durability of this model was improved and the active power consumption increased by about 25 percent compared to previous models. This means you benefit from lower power consumption and you can use your notebook a little longer overall.
Thanks to the integrated 3d NAND technology, the high capacities of up to 2 TB are possible and at the same time, less interference between the cells and an overall higher level of reliability are ensured. According to the manufacturer, the WD Blue 3D NAND is particularly shockproof. This protects you from unwanted data loss if your hard drive or notebook falls down. Overall, you get a very high-quality hard drive here for a fair price.
9. Kingston 120GB A400 SATA 3 2.5"
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The last SSD hard drive in our comparison is the cheapest product. Here you get a 128GB SSD and the memory can be increased to 960 GB. The read speed of 500 MB / s and the write speed of 460 MB / s ensure that your computer is up to ten times faster than when using a conventional HDD hard drive. The device is based on flash memory, which makes it more reliable and long-lasting than a traditional hard drive. The 2.5-inch form factor enables the hard drive to be installed in all modern notebooks and desktop PCs.
The Kingston SSD hard drive contains no moving parts and is therefore very robust and insensitive to vibrations. This gives you the advantage that your data is protected against accidental loss due to falls or vibrations. In addition, the SSD hard disk runs very quietly and generates little heat, which makes it ideal for use in notebooks.
What is an SSD hard drive?
The SSD hard drive has the same purpose in a computer as the traditional HDD hard drive. It is an alternative data medium on which data can be stored in large quantities. SSDs can hardly be distinguished from commercially available hard drives, although the storage technology works on a completely different principle.
How do SSD hard drives work?
The normal HDD hard disk works with magnetic disks that are mechanically processed by a reading or writing head. Whenever the user needs data, this head must move the HDD hard drive to the required point and read it out.
The difference between HDD and SSD hard drives lies in the readout process. Due to the digital readout of data, SSD hard drives are much faster than conventional HDDs. Technically speaking, SSDs hardly differ from other forms of flash memory.
USB sticks, memory cards and the memory of smartphones also work according to this principle. However, the SSD hard drive is somewhat higher quality and also technically advanced, which is also noticeable by significantly higher write and read rates.
An SSD hard drive is connected in a different way depending on the model. Many devices are connected to the normal SATA connector, just like the usual HDD hard drives. The chips in the SSD are not necessarily dependent on this, which is why there are also some variants that have a PCI Express port.
The advantages of an SSD hard drive
With a few exceptions, the required data is read or written much faster than would be possible even with the fastest HDD hard drive. This increased speed is clearly noticeable when using almost all applications. For example, if the operating system was saved on the SSD hard drive, the booting of the computer is significantly accelerated. Furthermore, in most cases, many programs can be opened directly and without significant delays. In addition, SSD hard drives also accelerate programs during use.
When cutting videos, for example, individual images can be loaded into RAM much faster. An SSD hard drive also brings a speed advantage for computer gamers, in terms of the loading times of the games.
In addition to the speed of an SSD, these hard drives also score with the fact that there are no moving parts inside their housing. SSD hard drives mostly consist of a small logic board with a few memory chips. Depending on requirements, a controller or housing is also included. This simple structure means that SSD hard drives are much less susceptible to defects. If conventional HDD hard disks are moved while they are being used, the so-called head crash often occurs.
This type of defect cannot occur with an SSD hard drive. Even the strongest movement during use has no impact on the security of your data. This is of course particularly important for users of notebooks who want to use their own computer always and constantly on the go. For the inclined user of notebooks, it is also advantageous that an SSD hard drive uses a lot less power than a conventional HDD hard drive. A direct comparison shows that an SSD only needs a fraction of the power of an HDD to be functional.
Furthermore, this lower power consumption also has positive effects on external hard drives. If you use an SSD hard drive instead of a conventional HDD hard drive, no additional power supply unit is required for the operation. The SSD hard drive can be completely supplied with power via the USB port. You don’t need so many different cables for on the go.
Another not to be underestimated advantage of SSD hard drives is their lower noise. You too are probably familiar with the typical noises that can occur with an HDD hard drive. Especially under load, an HDD hard drive can rattle quite loudly. Higher-quality HDD models have a minimized noise level, but a silent HDD variant would still have to be invented.
However, with an inferior SSD hard drive, you may hear a slight beep. You will normally not hear an SSD hard disk in operation. Furthermore, the industry also appreciates SSD hard drives because their format can be varied in design almost completely. Unlike HDD hard drives, where the designers always have to restrict themselves to a rigid and rectangular format.
With SSD hard drives, the memory chips can be arranged in any form and connected to the rest of the system. This property of SSDs has made it possible to make notebooks, tablets, and smartphones smaller and smaller.
The application areas of SSD hard drives
SSD hard drives are generally used where ordinary HDD hard drives are a legitimate option. Almost every computer can be upgraded with an SSD hard drive without complications because SSDs also rely on the standardized interfaces to which HDD hard drives are connected. In the meantime, the prices of SSDs have dropped so much that they are already factory-installed in many computers.
This is particularly true for notebooks, whereby upgrading with an SSD hard drive is more difficult than with a normal desktop PC. In some models, the hard drives are not freely accessible to the user or, in the worst case, even soldered. In this case, the laptop cannot be upgraded with an SSD hard drive.
In addition to the normal desktop PC, SSD hard drives are also an option for numerous other devices. For example, many game consoles such as Xbox One or Play Station 4 can be upgraded with SSDs. Benchmark tests show that a significant speed advantage can be achieved. Because of their compact design and lower power consumption, SSD hard disks are also often used as storage media in tablets.
What are the different models of SSD hard drives?
SSD hard drives are available today in numerous different variations, all of which have different advantages and disadvantages. The main representatives are:
- 2.5 inch SSD hard drives
- MLC SSDs
- SLC SSDs
- M.2 SSD
- External SSD hard drives
2.5" SSD hard drives
The normal 2.5 inch SSD hard drives are the most common variant. These are strongly based on the shape and size of the HDD disks. The models have established themselves with 2.5 inches. SSD hard drives with 3.5 inches also exist, but only in very small numbers.
The big advantage of the 2.5 inch SSD hard drives is that they can be installed on almost any computer or laptop. They use the same interface (SATA connection) as normal HDD hard disks and, due to their dimensions, also fit into all common installation bays.
If an SSD hard disk uses so-called MLC chips, several bits are stored on a single memory cell. The production is much cheaper with this process, which is noticeable at a lower price. With the MLC SSD hard drives, an inexpensive entry into the field of SSD hard drives is possible, but the speed of the data is noticeably slower than with other variants.
If SSD hard drives have an SLC chip, they always store exactly one bit per memory cell, which has a positive impact on access times. The disadvantage of this chip is its higher cost. Ultimately, of course, you have to decide for yourself whether this additional investment is worthwhile for you.
In all cases, SSD hard drives in HDD format are not the fastest on the market. The standardized SATA connection is both an advantage and a disadvantage. This means that the storage media can be connected to almost any computer, but the speed is somewhat reduced. Modern SSD hard drives have long overtaken the old SATA standard and require an alternative connection so that they can reach their full potential – that’s what the M.2 SSD hard drives are for.
M.2 SSD hard drives
An SSD hard drive with the M.2 standard is included in the second generation of SSDs. You no longer use SATA standardization, but use the PCI Express connection in the computer. It is possible to use up to four lanes, which enables the highest possible transfer speed of up to 32 GB per second.
The latest SATA 3 standard achieves just one-fifth of this speed. An M.2 standard SSD hard disk also differs enormously from the first generation of the SSDs. The case can be freely designed by the manufacturers because the SSD hard disks no longer have to fit into a designated slot.
If you value maximum performance, an SSD hard drive according to the M.2 standard should be your first choice. However, this type of SSD can only be installed on desktop PCs. Very few laptops or notebooks offer the option of using PCI Express devices. At the moment there are only a few attempts to connect M.2 to notebooks in a different way.
These SSD hard drives are only installed by the manufacturer and the SSD is in most cases permanently soldered to the mainboard. This happens, for example, with the coveted MacBooks from Apple. M.2 SSDF hard disks have been used here for years, but the user cannot replace them.
External SSD hard drives
All types of SSD hard drives are not only used internally but also exist as external variants. The external SSD hard drives work exactly like external HDD hard drives. They can be connected to your computer via a USB cable and are used to read or write data.
The great advantage of these external SSD hard drives is their mobility. Users can take any amount of data with them anywhere and have constant access to their documents, films, photos, etc. However, the type of connection has a major disadvantage. Especially if an external SSD hard drive uses USB 3.0 or even USB 2.0, it will slow down considerably. In the worst case, such an SSD hard drive will hardly be noticeably faster than an ordinary HDD hard drive.
The design influences the speed
SSD hard disks, regardless of their design and the chips used, can sometimes differ significantly in terms of their real speed. How fast a model shows in practice depends on numerous factors. These include the technology inside and the number of memory chips used.
Which SSD hard drive is really the fastest can only be determined with the datasheet with certainty. For this reason, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with reviews before buying.
Especially when buying SSD hard drives, online shops can fully exploit all their advantages. The products are often cheaper, the shopping experience is more relaxed, the selection is almost unlimited and even in terms of security, online shops score in comparison to retailers.
Things worth knowing about SSD hard drives
An SSD hard drive offers numerous advantages that some users are probably not aware of at all. For example, SSDs do not need defragmentation. The access times are already so short that a different arrangement of the data does not result in a significant speed boost. By avoiding regular defragmentation, there are good time savings. This is not the case with an ordinary HDD hard drive. Here the read head has to collect all the necessary data piece by piece. Of course, this takes longer if bits and bytes are distributed over several disks.
The technology of SSD hard drives is generally quite susceptible to signs of wear. There is no wear on mechanical parts, but electrical effects, especially in the older SSD generations, ensure that the SSD can “forget” data after a certain number of writes.
For models of the older generation, a few thousand write operations were sufficient in some cases, which is why this data loss sometimes occurred after a few weeks. It is particularly unfavorable that an SSD hard drive continuously writes to the PC, even if the user does not save any new data.
Today, however, this problem is of little concern to the end-user. Manufacturers continue to improve the technology of SSD hard drives, which means that hundreds of thousands or more write operations are possible today.
What needs to be considered when buying an SSD hard drive?
In order for you to find a product that fully meets your requirements, we would like to tell you in the following section what you should pay attention to when buying a new SSD hard drive.
There are basically four factors that you should consider when making your purchase decision:
- The storage space
- The speed
- The connection
- The price
Of course, storage space is particularly important when buying an SSD hard drive. This should always be adapted to the area of application of the hard disk, although larger is not always better. Because 64 or 128 GB are enough to save an operating system on the hard drive, which in total contributes to a significantly higher speed of your computer. Saving games or films has a comparatively minor impact on speed.
If you want to take advantage of an SSD hard drive for yourself, but only have a small budget available, a hard drive with relatively little storage space can also make sense. However, if you want to store all your data on the SSD to take full advantage of modern technology, you should use an SSD with at least 500 GB, at best with 1 TB of storage space.
Speed is also an important factor that you shouldn’t forget when buying an SSD hard drive. Do not rely too much on the manufacturer’s information, which of course sounds surprisingly good in most cases. Although these are not a lie, the values come from laboratories and assume the best possible conditions with optimally coordinated hardware.
In most cases, the promised speed values are not achieved and should only be considered as a guide. Therefore, independent sources are the best way to get an overview of the speed of the respective hard drive.
Nothing is more annoying than buying hardware for the PC and then finding that the computer does not have the necessary connection. You should definitely pay attention to this before buying it. However, if you have a relatively modern PC, you usually don’t have to worry about it. Because here the common connections like SATA or PCI-Express are already available.
The conventional SATA version offers transfer rates that are too slow for SSD hard drives, which means that you cannot exploit the full potential. SATA 2 also does not have the optimal transfer rate. To get the most out of your SSD hard drive, you should therefore primarily use SATA 3 or PCI-Express.
If you want to find out whether your computer’s motherboard supports SATA 3, a look at the manual or the manufacturer’s website is usually sufficient. If there is no SATA 3 slot, but your computer has a free PCI Express connection, you should consider investing in a slightly more expensive M.2 SSD hard drive. In our SSD hard drive comparison, you will also find devices that are available both in the form factor 2.5 inch (SATA 1-3) and in the M.2 style.
Another connection option is USB 2.0. These are external hard drives, which you should avoid if possible because the slow connection can lead to enormous performance losses of the SSD hard drive inside your computer.
Of course, the price also plays an important role. Nobody likes to pay more, even if it is cheaper. What matters most is what you expect from your new hard drive. If you can accept a slightly lower speed, it may make sense to look for an SSD hard drive with MLC chips. Although this is the slowest type of SSD hard disk, it is still significantly faster than traditional HDDs.
The advantage is that these are now very cheap. Corresponding hard drives are sometimes available for less than 50 cents per gigabyte. However, if you want to be well equipped in the long term, we recommend investing in an SSD hard drive according to the current M.2 standard. These are expected to be up to date in a few years. If you put a little more money in your hand, you won’t have to replace your hard drive as quickly.
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Last product update on 2022-09-29 | Source: Amazon Affiliate