Top 5 Best Internal Solid State Drives
The storage drive of your computer or laptop is not only a place to store files, it’s essentially the engine of the system where information is read and transferred. The cheaper and older technology of hard disk drives are slow and have short lifespans, while modern solid state drives are the complete opposite. Here are our 5 best internal solid state drives to speed up your laptop (take a look at our best external solid state drives here).
|Compatibility||Windows / MAC||Windows / MAC||Windows / MAC||Windows / MAC||Windows / MAC|
|Capacity||275GB / 525GB / 750GB / 1TB / 2TB||120GB / 250GB / 500GB / 1TB / 4TB||120GB / 240GB / 480GB / 960GB||250GB / 500GB / 1TB||120GB / 240GB / 480GB / 960GB|
|Sequential Read/Write Speed||530/510 MB/s||520/540 MB/s||530/400-445 MB/s||545/525 MB/s||550/350-500MB/s|
|Random Read/Write Speed||92K/83K||N/A||N/A||N/A||Up to 90k & 15-50k IOPS|
|Software||Crucial Storage Executive||None||SanDisk SSD Dashboard||None||Acronis Data Migration|
|Warranty||3 years||5 years||3 years||3 years||3 years|
|Price||**CHECK PRICE**||**CHECK PRICE**||**CHECK PRICE**||**CHECK PRICE**||**CHECK PRICE**|
Until recently, computer buyers had little choice when specifying storage devices for new PCs. An ultra-portable laptop would have a solid-state drive (SSD) as its primary drive, whereas desktop workstations and larger portables came with characteristic hard disk drives (HDD).
SSDs work well if speed, ruggedness and noise are important factors. Lower pricing, higher capacity and wider availability continue to make the best internal solid state drive choices increasingly attractive.
Important Features | Best Internal Solid State Drive
Functionally, an SSD does everything a hard drive does except that data gets stored on flash memory chips instead of a rotating disk. These integrated circuits may be a permanent fixture on the system motherboard, on a PCI Express (PCIe) card, or in a casing that is configured to fit the drive slot on a desktop or laptop PC.
Compatibility – Suitable for a wide range of computers (do check Windows or Apple Mac version compatibility), SSDs are commonly available in 2.5-inch laptop drive-sized boxes. However, this is mainly due to historical reasons and simple convenience. As laptops and tablets become even slimmer, the newer M.2 size specification (see below) looks set to become more prevalent. Some older motherboards and laptops may not support the new NVMe transfer protocol, introduced to increase SSD performance. If the hardware is more than two years old, it is worth double-checking. In some cases, an update may resolve the issue and provide the required device support.
Capacity – 120GB drives currently retail at around the $70 price point. SSDs with capacities of 250GB and 500GB are relatively inexpensive, while even 1TB models might be economically justifiable to larger data users and businesses.
Interface – SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) hard disks use serial data transfer, unlike Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) hard drives that employ parallel signalling. SATA SSDs are more common and cheaper, but their transfer limit of 500-600 Mbps (SATA III standard) means they are the slowest type. Conversely, NVMe (Non-volatile Memory Express) SSDs require a PCIe (PCI Express) slot but offer dizzying 3000 MB/s (or higher) transfer speeds. M.2 is a physical format definition that can refer to either a smaller SATA drive or a PCIe type but fitted to a smaller M.2 slot and often found on ultra-thin laptops.
NAND Technology – Based on the principles of NAND (negative AND) logic gates, NAND flash memory provides non-volatile storage; it does not require power to retain data. 3D NAND technology stacks storage cells to increase density, capacity and speed while also lowering the cost per Gigabyte. The latest development is 3D V-NAND, expected to reach the marketplace in late 2017 to offer dynamic write acceleration for even faster file saves and data transfers.
Sequential Read/Write Speed – Impressively fast, cool and quiet SSDs operate around ten times faster than an older type HDD rotating at 7,200 RPM (revolutions per minute). Some manufacturers claim speeds up to twenty times faster. Certainly, an SSD-equipped PC or Mac will boot, launch and run programs faster. Read and write performance has, in effect, now reached a plateau among the best SSDs of 500-600 Mbps due to the Serial ATA interface.
Random Read/Write Speed – According to manufacturer claims, their solid state drives are optimized for random performance and – in some cases – also for multi-tasking to reduce those frustrating waits while the computer catches up. The hardware deals efficiently with applications that are heavy on resources, without the user noticing a significant slowdown. Random read and write may be as slow as 92K or 83K per second average for all file types.
Energy Efficiency – Some manufacturers claim 90 times greater energy efficiency for SSDs, with a consequent extension of the laptop battery life.
Security Encryption – Hardware-based disk encryption is available on an increasing proportion of the best internal SSD models. Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) technology and a dedicated, onboard cryptoprocessor, means that reportedly, there is little or no performance penalty.
Shock-Resistant – The absence of fragile moving parts makes SSDs more reliable and durable. Busy mobile device users and frequent business travellers will appreciate this physical robustness; the new hardware is ideally suited to representatives, utility workers, journalists and researchers.
Software – Some manufacturers offer support with firmware updates for various platforms. Most brands still favour the Wintel (MS Windows – Intel) world, though cross-platform upgrade tools are increasingly available in the form of downloadable, bootable ISO images.
Warranty – NAND logic circuitry that forms the flash memory has a finite number of write and erase cycles. Over time, performance deteriorates. Some manufacturers overprovision their systems to compensate, while Western Digital – among others – advertise hardware with error correcting technology and almost 2,000 hours mean time to failure (MTTF).
SSD lifespan and reliability is tending to increase. Warranties have two limits – one for data and the other timed. Coverage expires with whichever limit the drive reaches first – and manufacturers have built monitors in to log total data volumes written. The best internal SSD devices have longer warranties, typically three to five years.