Comparing Three Great SSDs

Fast becoming the go-to storage media for PC manufacturers, solid-state drives (SSDs) are coming down in price. Here are some of the best on the market right now, taking into account capacity, portability and affordability.

Unlike their mechanical counterpart the hard disk drive (HDD), SSDs don’t have any moving parts; instead, data is written to NAND flash memory chips as a series of electrical charges. For this reason, SSDs are much smaller than HDDs, and are far less prone to mechanical failure. There are no read/write heads to crash, no platters to scratch, and no spindle motors to fail. While they certainly do have their downsides – like limited storage capacity and higher cost-per-gigabyte – they are surging in popularity due to their high performance and compact size. If your PC is compatible, replacing your HDD with an SSD can provide a new lease of life. You can also use SSDs in the same way as you would a portable HDD or USB stick. In fact, SSDs use NAND flash chips just like USB flash drives do. Here is an overview of some of the better SSDs on the market at the minute.

Samsung 970 Evo Plus
Not only is this Samsung SSD one of the fastest on the market right now, it’s also one of the most affordable – which is why it’s our number one pick. The Evo Plus comes in 250 GB, 500GB, 1 TB and 2 TB models, offering 3.5GB/s of sequential read performance, and up to 3.3GB/s write, depending on the capacity. This is due to the SSDs containing a small amount of faster SLC flash, used to boost performance. Prices start from around £75 for the 250 GB model, £115 for the 500 GB model, £209 for 1 TB and £444 for 2 TB. While you can certainly get more storage for the same cost if you opt for a hard disk drive, with the Samsung 970 Evo Plus, you’re getting an SSD with an incredible performance.

WD My Passport Wireless SSD
This SSD is aimed at professional photographers, but regular uses will find this portable SSD worthwhile, too. Joining WD’s growing number of wireless hard disk drives, this SSD allows you to view and move files via Wi-Fi, although you can still connect it to your PC via USB for faster speeds. But where this SSD sets itself apart from other portable models is the SD card slot, allowing you to transfer photos and other files to it on the go. For the portability and SD card slot, however, you’re going to have to pay a fair but more. Like the Samsung Evo 970 Plus, the My Passport Wireless comes in four sizes: 250 GB (£220), 500 GB (£254), 1 TB (£435) and 2 TB (£665).

Kingston KC2000
Built for speed and longevity, this SSD uses TLC 3D NAND to offer excellent performance – 3.2GB/s reads, and 2.2MB/s writes. This NVMe SSD is a self-encrypting drive, supporting end-to-end data encryption using 256-bit AES hardware-based encryption. With read speeds rivalling the Samsung 970 Evo Plus, this SSD is designed for high-performance computing (HPC) systems. Like the previous two SSDs, this drive comes in four storage sizes: 250 GB (£60.48), 500 GB (£109.36), 1 TB (£197.05) and 2 TB (£391.59). As you can see, this is a fairly substantial saving compared to the Samsung 970 Evo Plus, sacrificing some read speed.

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