Solid State Drives

Solid State Drives Overview

Solid state drives (SSDs) are computer storage devices that use digital flash memory rather than moving parts. There are two broad types of SSDs: internal and external. Internal SSDs are installed inside of a computer and connected directly or indirectly (i.e. through converters or arrays) to the motherboard. External SSDs are enclosed in separate casing and connect to the computer through an external bus, usually through a USB port, though USB-C connectors are fairly common.

SSDs have several advantages over traditional hard disk drives (HDDs), such as faster read/write speeds and better durability. Installing programs, applications, and operating systems on an SSD improves their overall performance compared to HDD installation. Because SSDs are less reliant on physical parts, they make less noise, they are more compact and lightweight, and they can help keep equipment cooler. For these reasons, SSDs have become the go-to data storage source for many users, and most out-of-the-box desktop and laptop computers have SSD storage installed.

However, SSDs tend to be more expensive than an HDD with similar storage capacity. Maximum HDD storage sizes for mainstream consumers also tend to be higher than mainstream maximum SSD storage. This makes HDDs a great option to store files that don’t need to be constantly accessed, such as video, image, or audio files.

Best Solid State Drives include:

Samsung SSD, Western Digital SSD, SanDisk SSD, IBM SSD, Intel SSD, and Marvell SSD.

Solid State Drives Products

(1-14 of 14) Sorted by Most Reviews

The list of products below is based purely on reviews (sorted from most to least). There is no paid placement and analyst opinions do not influence their rankings. Here is our Promise to Buyers to ensure information on our site is reliable, useful, and worthy of your trust.

Samsung SSD

Samsung offers solid state drives.

Western Digital SSD

Western Digital offers solid state drives.

Marvell SSD

Marvell Semiconductors offers solid state drives.

IBM SSD

IBM offers solid state drives.

SanDisk SSD

SanDisk solid state drives are available and supported by Western Digital since the 2016 acquisition.

Silicon Power SSD

Silicon Power is a manufacturer of flash memory cards, USB flash drives, portable hard drives, solid state drives, DRAM modules and industrial-grade products.

XPG SSD

XPG SSD is an active product of ADATA Technology, a vendor of DRAM modules and USB flash drives, as well as memory cards, solid state drives, and portable hard drive

Sabrent

Sabrent is a manufacturer of computer peripherals and accessories. Services offered include same day shipping on most orders. and maintaining large inventory levels to avoid backorders.

Seagate SSD

Seagate's SSD are products for computing and gaming functions.

Corsair SSD

CORSAIR is a global developer and manufacturer of high-performance gaming and streaming gear. With 21 different product lines CORSAIR offers a complete range of products.

Kingston SSD

Kingston is an independent manufacturer of memory products. Kingston serves an international network of distributors, resellers, retailers and OEM customers on six continents. The company also provides contract manufacturing and supply chain management services for semiconductor…

Intel SSD

Intel offers solid state drives.

SK hynix

SK hynix is a provider of semiconductors, such as DRAM, NAND Flash and CMOS Image Sensors.

Crucial

Crucial is an Australian web hosting and domain companies. Crucial helps Australian small businesses succeed online through hosting products and customer support.

Learn More About Solid State Drives

What are Solid State Drives?

Solid state drives (SSDs) are computer storage devices that use digital flash memory rather than moving parts. There are two broad types of SSDs: internal and external. Internal SSDs are installed inside of a computer and connected directly or indirectly (i.e. through converters or arrays) to the motherboard. External SSDs are enclosed in separate casing and connect to the computer through an external bus, usually through a USB port, though USB-C connectors are fairly common.

SSDs have several advantages over traditional hard disk drives (HDDs), such as faster read/write speeds and better durability. Installing programs, applications, and operating systems on an SSD improves their overall performance compared to HDD installation. Because SSDs are less reliant on physical parts, they make less noise, they are more compact and lightweight, and they can help keep equipment cooler. For these reasons, SSDs have become the go-to data storage source for many users, and most out-of-the-box desktop and laptop computers have SSD storage installed.

However, SSDs tend to be more expensive than an HDD with similar storage capacity. Maximum HDD storage sizes for mainstream consumers also tend to be higher than mainstream maximum SSD storage. This makes HDDs a great option to store files that don’t need to be constantly accessed, such as video, image, or audio files.

Solid State Drive Features

The most common solid state drive features are:

  • Low latency data access
  • Small size and low weight
  • Flexible read/write speeds
  • Flexible storage options
  • Hardware encryption
  • Support for PCIe and SATA bus types
  • 2.5-inch and M.2 forms
  • Product warranties
  • RGB LED lighting
  • Upgradeable firmware
  • Packaged software utilities
  • Packaged migration software
  • Data caching
  • TRIM support

Solid State Drive Comparison

When choosing the best solid state drive for you, consider the following:

Connection requirements. SSDs connect to your equipment using a range of interfaces, so knowing which connectors your hardware uses will be important in choosing the best SSD for you. This is especially true if you are considering internal SSDs. Laptops and desktops generally have differing connector requirements, as do modern and older computers, so make sure your computer can accept the SSD.

Storage capacity. The most popular SSD sizes range between 120 GB and 4 TB. Knowing which size you need will come down to the data you need to store. Software and app developers, game designers, content creators working with raw files, and 3D modelers will need more storage than most, but the average user in other industries can make the most of a drive in the 500 GB to 2 TB range. However, if you need anything beyond 4 TB, it may be more economical to consider a traditional HDD or a combination of the two drive types.

Read and write speeds. In short, read and write speeds refer to how quickly the SSD can locate, access, and transfer stored data. A drive with a higher read and write speed is a faster drive. Much like storage capacity, the best read and write speed for you will depend largely on the type of data you intend to use. If you frequently transfer necessary data to and from the drive, or if you need apps or web pages to load quickly, aim for a higher read/write speed.

Warranty period. While SSDs are among the sturdiest storage devices, you’ll still want a suitable warranty in the event of drive malfunction. 3 to 5 year long warranties are virtually guaranteed to cover the physical SSD itself, but some product warranties offer support until end of life or data recovery options. Additionally, warranties may be limited by the number of terabytes written (TBW), a type of metric that essentially measures “wear and tear” of constantly rewriting data on the SSD.

Heatsink. Internal SSDs with higher performance may require a heatsink to store and dissipate the heat generated by the SSD. Overheating negatively affects the performance and endurance of the SSD and can affect other computer parts. Most SSDs that require a heatsink have one included as part of the product, but some SSDs may require you to manually attach a heatsink to the drive. Additionally, a heatsink will increase the physical space needed to install your SSD, so make sure there is enough room in your computer for both components.

Pricing Information

Solid state drive prices typically vary based on three factors: the amount of data stored, read/write speed, and whether the SSD is internal or external. Other factors, such as device lifespan or included heatsink, may be a pricing factor as well. The average internal 1 TB SSD with moderate read/write speeds range between $100 to $250 per drive. External 1 TB SSD range between $140 and $350.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What do solid state drives do?

Solid State Drives store data on using flash memory instead of moving parts.

Why choose a solid state drive over a hard disc drive?

Solid state drives are fast, allowing quick access to files, applications, programs, and operating systems. They are also small, quiet, and have a range of offerings, meaning there is an SSD for just about any need.

How much do solid state drives cost?

Solid state drive prices vary based on a variety of factors, but namely storage capacity and read/write speed. The average price for the most popular SSD specifications range between $100 and $350.