Are you also tired of watching your computer again and again as it slowly starts up? Would you like to be able to use your programs immediately after opening 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 disks. So that you do not lose track of the search for the right product, we compared 9 different SSD hard disks from different price ranges for you. Afterwards, we go into our guide on what an SSD hard drive is, how it works and what you should pay attention to when buying. You can also find out whether well-known test portals such as Stiftung Warentest have already performed an SSD hard disk test.
Top 10 Internal SSD Hard Drives
- Innovative V-Nand Technology: Powered by Samsung V-NAND Technology, the 860 EVO SSD offers optimized performance for everyday computing as well as...
- Enhanced read write speeds: Sequential read and write performance levels of up to 550MB/s and 520MB/s, respectively
- Secure encryption: Protect data by selecting security options, including AES 256-bit hardware-based encryption compliant with TCG Opal and IEEE 1670
- Store more, compute faster, and do it confidently with the proven reliability of BarraCuda internal hard drives
- Build a powerhouse gaming computer or desktop setup with a variety of capacities and form factors
- The go to SATA hard drive solution for nearly every PC application—from music to video to photo editing to PC gaming
- GO BIG, DO MORE: The 870 QVO is Samsung’s latest 2nd generation QLC SSD with up to 8TB of storage capacity
- ENHANCED IN EVERY WAY: With an expanded SATA interface limit of 560/530 MB/s sequential speeds, the 870 QVO improves random access speed and sustained...
- BOOST CAPACITY: The 870 QVO is available in 1, 2, 4 and 8TB
- Fast start up, loading and file transfers
- More reliable and durable than a hard drive
- Multiple capacities with space for applications or a hard drive replacement
- IronWolf internal hard drives are the ideal solution for up to 8-bay, multi-user NAS environments craving powerhouse performance
- Store more and work faster with a NAS-optimized hard drive providing ultra-high capacity 10TB and cache of up to 256MB
- Purpose built for NAS enclosures, IronWolf delivers less wear and tear, little to no noise/vibration, no lags or down time, increased file-sharing...
- SLC (single-level cell) caching boosts write performance to quickly perform everyday tasks
- Shock-resistant and WD F.I.T. Lab certified for compatibility and reliability
- Ultra low power-draw so you can use your laptop PC for longer periods of time
- INNOVATIVE V-NAND TECHNOLOGY: Powered by Samsung V-NAND Technology, the 970 EVO Plus SSD’s NVMe interface (PCIe Gen 3.0 x4 NVMe 1.3) offers enhanced...
- BREAKTHROUGH READ WRITE SPEEDS: Sequential read and write performance levels of up to 3,500MB/s and 3,300MB/s, respectively; Random Read (4KB, QD32):...
- PERFORMANCE OPTIMIZATION AND DATA SECURITY: Seamless cloning and file transfers with Samsung Magician Software, the ideal SSD management solution for...
- Desktop performance hard drive
- Performance storage available in up to 6TB capacities
- 2X DRAM cache up to 256 MB for faster read operations
- 3D NAND SATA SSD for capacities up to 4TB with enhanced reliability; As used for storage capacity, one terabyte (TB) = one trillion bytes. Total...
- Sequential read speeds up to 560MB/s and sequential write speeds up to 530MB/seconds; As used for transfer rate or interface, megabyte per second...
- An industry leading 1.75M hrs mean time to failure (MTTF) and up to 500 TBs written (TBW) for enhanced reliability; MTTF based on internal testing...
- Sequential reads/writes up to 560/510 MB/s and random reads/writes up to 95k/90k on all file types
- Accelerated by micron 3D NAND technology
- Integrated power loss Immunity preserves all your saved work if the power unexpectedly gets cut
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 disk that can store a large amount of data. Externally, SSDs are virtually indistinguishable from standard hard drives, although the technique of storage 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 read/write head. Whenever the user needs data, this reading head must shut down and read the HDD hard disk to the required point. The difference between HDD and SSD hard drive is therefore in the read-out process. The digital readout of data makes SSD hard drives much faster than conventional HDDs. Thus SSDs differ technically hardly from other forms of flash memory.
USB sticks, memory cards, as well as the memory of smartphones, also work according to this principle. However, the SSD hard drive is somewhat higher quality and technically more 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 port, just like the usual HDD hard drives. The chips in the SSD are not necessarily dependent on it, which is why there are some variants that have a PCI Express port.
The advantages of an SSD hard drive
Required data are read out or written considerably faster than with the fastest HDD hard disk, with a few exceptions. This increased speed is clearly noticeable when using almost all applications. For example, if the operating system was stored on the SSD hard drive, booting the computer is much faster. Furthermore, many programs can in most cases be opened directly and without significant delays. In addition, SSD hard drives also accelerate programs during use. For example, when editing a video, you can load individual images into memory much faster. Even for computer players brings an SSD hard drive with a speed advantage, namely during the loading times of the games.
In addition to the speed of an SSD, these hard drives also score with the fact that no moving parts are installed inside their housing. For the most part, SSD hard disks consist of a small logic board with a few memory chips. Depending on your needs, a controller or housing is included. This simple design makes SSD hard drives much less susceptible to defects. If conventional HDD hard drives are moved during their use, it is not uncommon for the so-called head crash. This type of defect can not occur with an SSD hard disk. Even the strongest movement during use has no impact on the security of your data. Of course, this is especially important for users of notebooks who want to use their own computer constantly and constantly on the move.
For the inclined user of notebooks is also advantageous that an SSD hard drive consumes much less power than a conventional HDD hard drive. In direct comparison shows that an SSD requires only a fraction of the power of an HDD to be functional. Furthermore, this lower power-hunger also has positive effects on external hard drives. If you use an external SSD instead of a conventional HDD hard disk, no additional power supply unit is required for operation. The SSD hard drive can be fully powered via the USB port. So you do not need so many different cables on the go.
Another not to be underestimated advantage of SSD hard drives is their lower noise level. You too probably know the typical noises that can occur with an HDD hard drive. Especially under load, an HDD hard drive can chatter quite loudly. Although higher-end HDD models have a minimized noise level, a silent HDD version would still have to be invented. However, an inferior SSD hard disk may cause you to hear a low beep. Normally you will not hear an SSD hard drive during operation. Furthermore, the industry appreciates SSD hard drives, because they vary in their format as well as completely free in the design. Unlike HDD hard drives, where designers always have to confine 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 feature of SSDs has made it possible to make notebooks, tablets and smartphones smaller and smaller.
For the best possible overview, we have listed the pros and cons once more clearly for you:
- Faster access speed
- Less prone to defects
- Lower power consumption
- Lower noise
- Higher acquisition costs
The application areas of SSD hard disks
SSD hard drives are typically used where common HDD hard drives are a legitimate option. Just about any computer can be upgraded without complications with an SSD hard drive because SSDs rely on the standardized interfaces to which HDD hard drives are also connected. Meanwhile, the prices of SSDs have dropped so much that they are factory installed on many computers. This is particularly true for notebooks, although upgrading with an SSD hard drive is more difficult here than with a normal desktop PC. In some models, the hard disks for the user are not freely accessible at all or even soldered in the worst case.
In this case, unfortunately, the laptop can not be retrofitted with an SSD hard disk. In addition to the normal desktop PC SSD, hard drives are also an option for many other devices. For example, many game consoles such as the Xbox One or the Play Station 4 can be upgraded with SSDs. Benchmark tests show that a significant speed advantage can be achieved. SSD hard drives are also widely used as a storage medium in tablets because of their compact design and lower power consumption.
What different models of SSD hard drives are there?
Today, SSD hard drives come in many different variations, all of which have different advantages and disadvantages. The most important representatives are:
- 2.5 inch SSD hard drives
- MLC SSDs
- SLC SSDs
- M.2 SSD
- External SSD hard drives
- 2.5 inch SSD hard drives
The normal 2.5-inch SSD hard drives are the most common version. These are very similar in shape and size to the HDD plates. The models have established themselves with 2.5 inches. Although SSD hard drives with 3.5 inches exist, but only in a very small number. The big advantage of the 2.5-inch SSD hard drives is that they can be installed in just about any computer or laptop. They use the same interface (SATA connection) as standard HDD hard drives and, due to their dimensions, they also fit in all common installation slots.
- MLC SSDs
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 method, which is noticeable by a lower price. With the MLC-SSD hard disks, a favourable entry into the range of the SSD hard disks is possible, however, the speed of the data is noticeably smaller than with other variants.
- SLC SSDs
If SSD hard disks have an SLC chip, they always store exactly one bit per memory cell, which has a positive effect on access times. The disadvantage of this chip is its higher cost. In the end, of course, you have to decide for yourself whether this additional investment pays off 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. Although this can be connected to the storage media with virtually any computer, the speed is slightly reduced. Modern SSD hard drives have long since outdated the old standard of SATA and need an alternative connection so that they can maximize their potential – there are the M.2 SSD hard drives.
- M.2 SSD hard disks
An SSD hard drive with the M.2 standard is counted to the second generation of SSDs. You no longer use SATA standardization, but you are using the PCI Express port on your computer. It is possible to use up to four lanes, which allows a maximum transfer speed of up to 32 GB per second. The latest SATA-3 standard reaches just one-fifth of this speed. An M.2 standard SSD hard drive differs enormously also in the optical sense of the first generation of SSDs. The housing can be freely designed by the manufacturers because the SSD hard disks no longer have to fit into a designated slot.
If you’re looking for maximum performance, an M.2 standard SSD hard drive should be your first choice. However, this type of SSDs can only be installed in desktop PCs. Only very few laptops or notebooks offer the option of using PCI Express devices. Currently, there are only a few attempts to connect M.2 to notebooks in other ways. However, these SSD hard disks are only installed by the manufacturer and in most cases, the SSD is soldered firmly to the mainboard. This happens, for example, in the coveted MacBooks from Apple. Here M.2 SSDF-estplatten are used for years, which can not be exchanged by the user, however.
- 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 connect to your computer via USB cable and are used to read or write data. Of course, the big advantage of these external SSD hard drives is their mobility. Users can take any amount of data with them wherever they are and constantly access your documents, movies, photos, etc. However, the type of connection has a big disadvantage. Especially if an external SSD hard disk uses USB 3.0 or even USB 2.0, it will be slowed down considerably. In the worst case, such an SSD hard drive will hardly be noticeably faster than a standard HDD hard drive.
- The design affects the speed
With SSD hard drives, regardless of their design and the chips used, there can sometimes be significant differences in terms of their true speed. How quickly a model shows itself in practice depends on numerous factors. Counting among other things, the technology inside and the number of memory chips used. Which SSD hard drive is really the fastest, can be determined only with the datasheet with certainty. For this reason, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with testimonials before you buy.
Worth knowing about SSD hard disks
An SSD hard drive has many benefits that some users may not even know about. For example, SSDs do not need defragmentation. The access times are already so short that a different arrangement of the data brings no appreciable speed boost. By dispensing with the regular defragmentation, of course, results in a good time saver. This is not the case with an ordinary HDD hard disk. Here, the read head must collect all necessary data piece by piece. Of course, this takes longer if bits and bytes are spread over several disks. For older generation models, some thousands of writes were already sufficient, which is why this data loss occurred in some cases after a few weeks. Particularly unfavourable is that an SSD hard drive in the PC constantly performs write operations, even if the user does not save new data.
What should you watch out for when purchasing an SSD hard drive?
In order to find a product that perfectly suits your needs, we would like to tell you in the following section what you should look out for when buying a new SSD hard drive. There are basically four factors to consider when making a purchase:
- The storage space
- The speed
- The connection
- The price
- The storage space
Of course, the storage space is especially important when buying an SSD hard drive. This should always be adapted to the scope of the hard disk, where larger is not necessarily always better. Because already 64 or 128 GB are sufficient to save an operating system on the hard disk, which in total contributes to a much higher speed of your computer. Saving games or movies has a relatively small impact on speed. So, if you want to take advantage of an SSD hard drive, but only have a small budget, a hard drive with a relatively small amount of storage space may be useful. However, if you want to store all your data on the SSD to take full advantage of modern technology, you should use an SSD of at least 500 GB, or better, 1 TB of storage. Of course, you will also find such hard disks in our SSD hard disk comparison on STERN.de.
- The speed
Speed is also an important factor that you should not neglect when buying an SSD hard drive. Do not rely too much on the manufacturer’s information, which in most cases, of course, sound surprisingly good. Although these are not a lie, the values come from laboratories and assume the best possible conditions with optimally matched hardware. In most cases, however, the promised speed values are not achieved and should be considered as a guide only. Therefore, independent sources, such as reviews, are the best way to get an overview of the speed of your hard drive.
- The connection
Nothing is more annoying than buying hardware for the PC and then discovering that the computer does not have the necessary connector. You should pay attention to this before buying. However, if you have a relatively modern PC, you usually do not have to worry about it. Because here are the common connections such as SATA or PCI Express already available. If you want to find out if the mainboard of your computer supports SATA 3, it is usually sufficient to have a look at the manual or the website of the manufacturer.
If you do not have a SATA 3 slot, but your computer has a free PCI Express connection, consider investing in a slightly more expensive M.2 SSD hard drive. Our SSD Hard Disk Comparison also includes devices that are available in both 2.5-inch (SATA 1-3) and M.2-style form factors. Another connection option is USB 2.0. These are external hard drives, which you should rather avoid if possible because the slow connection can lead to enormous performance losses of the SSD hard disk inside your computer.
- The price
Of course, the price also plays an important role. No one likes to pay more, though it’s cheaper. However, what matters most is what you expect from your new hard drive. If you can afford a slightly lower speed, it may be useful to look for an SSD hard drive with MLC chips. Although this is the slowest type of SSD disks, they are still much faster than traditional HDDs. The advantage is that these are already very cheap. In some cases, such hard drives are already 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 disk according to the current M.2 standard. These are expected to be up-to-date in a few years’ time. So when you spend a little more money, you do not have to replace your hard drive so quickly.