The Samsung 860 EVO is the best SSD in this list when it comes to the best general purpose SSD. The SSD is excellent, offers essential performance, has sufficient storage capacity, as well as a five-year warranty from the manufacturer. Luckily, you may not even use the warranty since Samsung are known to produce the most reliable SSDs in the market. Thus, if you need a cheaper SSD, you can purchase any from the list above, but your budget should be highly considered.
The solid state drives are the latest in the high-performance storage for the computer systems. They provide incredibly high data transfers rates in comparison to the traditional HDD’s while consuming little energy. As the name suggest solid state drives do not have any moving parts making them considerably more reliable than their mechanical cousins. Making them an excellent choice for your next epic gaming rig (hands up whos spent hours downloading all their steam games after a HDD failure!).
The performance and features can significantly vary from disk to disk. Therefore, it’s essential to consider things carefully when purchasing a solid state drive for a gaming computer. In this guide, you will learn more about some of the crucial features to look out for in an SSD. The features, quality and reliability do influence on the cost and performance of the drive, but we attempt to de-mystify this below and help you make an informed buying decision.
The first thing to understand is the interface, SATA or M.2. The interface of the SSD in most cases for a PC is SATA and for a laptop M.2. SATA 3 has a throughout of 6 GB/s, you should check your motherboard or laptop manual (google the model number) to confirm it supports the SATA speed of your new drive. SATA is backwards compatible, but it’s good information to know as you may wish to upgrade your motherboard or at least understand why it’s not performing as well in benchmarks.
SATA 1, 2 and 3 speeds for reference:
- SATA I (1.5 GB/s) or 187.5 MB/s
- SATA 2 (3GB/s) or 375 MB/s
- SATA 3 (6GB/s) or 750 MB/s
SSD Size Matters…
Another feature to look out for is the size of the disk. While most SSD sizes start as low as 120 GB, it is not recommendable to get this small size especially if you are looking to store games and using an OS like Windows 10 which takes up a fair amount of space as time goes on with windows update cache. The ideal SSD size of a gaming machine is as much as you can afford, typically we recommend 1Tb, although you can purchase as large as 2TB if you have a vast budget. If you have fewer games installed on your PC at any one time then you can get away with a small drive, but lets face it’s not worth your time deleting and uninstalling games you regularly play. Pro tip, check out steam for the games you play and see how much disk space they need.
The speed of the SSD is another feature to look out for. Normally, all SSD drives are faster than mechanical HDDs. However, the read/write speeds can significantly or slightly vary between the SSD models. For your gaming machine, you will need an SSD with high write speed, preferably 500MB/s and above. The Samsung 960 Pro with over 2100MB/s may seem appealing for you as a gamer, but it’s overkill for a gaming PC (unless you’re performing other tasks, or want the best for future proofing). High end SSDs are suitable for the servers and workstations that require reading and writing large amounts of data frequently (video editing, virtual machines etc).
SSD M.2 vs SATA
Additionally, you should check whether the SSD is M.2 or SATA. Presently, the internal SSDs connect to the PC’s motherboard via the M.2. or SATA interface. If you have both option and are wondering which is better, it is proven that M.2 has a higher theoretical throughput but SATA is more than enough for game storage and typically offers a better price per GB than M.2. SATA SSD’s are similar in appearance to 2.5 inch HDD’s found in laptops, and M.2 SSD’s are much smaller, and can easily fit notebooks, laptops and smaller form factor PC cases. If the physical size is not an issue, at the time of print we would advise you go for the largest capacity SATA drive for game storage.