If we are assembling a new PC or upgrading our machine, the memory department plays a fundamental role in guaranteeing great system speed and avoiding bottlenecks. Therefore, to build an optimal system, the choice of a SSD (solid disk) it is preferred for running programs and the operating system, while the now outdated technology HDD (hard disk), it can play the role of storage disk very well.
Choosing an SSD, however, is not so simple because there are a boundless series of acronyms related to the various disks available on the market: SATA, PCIe, NVMe etc. In this article, we see how to choose the best NVMe SSD, not only for price but also for performance, and that perfectly adapts to the needs of each user.
Editor’s note: we have updated the article to 13/02/2021 with a new addition! Happy reading and happy shopping!
Best Budget NVMe SSD
Sabrent Rocket SSD
Already available in stores, the Sabrent Rocket SSD 500GB offers all the flagship settings, so it is a Gen4 NVMe disk capable of take advantage of the M.2 PICe 4.0 ports of the latest AMD processor motherboards. The speed declared by the manufacturer is 5000 MB / s in reading and 4400MB / s in writing and enjoys its utility software which helps us in disk management. The price of just over a hundred euros make it an excellent choice as the main disk to host the operating system and the most used applications, whether they are gaming or productivity. At the moment it is the fastest and cheapest, super recommended.
Corsair Force Series MP600, 500 GB
Corsair is a brand that has been able to establish a relationship of trust with consumers, especially in the memory sector. He offers us this NVMe Gen4 SSD that he declares 4950 MB / s in reading and 4250 MB / s in writing and benefits from the excellent CORSAIR SSD TOOLBOX management and utility program, as well as a heatsink to improve cooling. Prices are in a continuous fluctuation phase, but taking advantage of the right moment is less than € 150.
Gigabyte Aorus NVMe 1 TB
The alternative proposed by Gigabyte is that of a 1 TB premium disk, with a beautiful copper cover that is at the heart of the wishes of those who try to take care of the aesthetics of the components while exploiting them to their maximum potential. Effective cooling is very important in these types of memories which tend to heat up a lot. Gigabyte claims a speed of 5000 MB / s in reading and 4400MB / s in writing and offers a management software that allows you to monitor all parameters. The price is in line with the competition and for this model we recommend the 1TB version, as the 500GB version comes down to several compromises in terms of speed.
Samsung 970 evo Plus 250 GB
Samsung has already presented its Gen4 evolution at CES 2020, but for the moment these solutions have not yet arrived on the market. In any case, the model with PCIe 3.0 interface remains a best buy: we are talking about an NVMe SSD capable of reaching top speeds of 3500 MB / s in writing and 3200 MB / s in reading. Samsung offers a full range of NVMe Gen3 SSDs, but the smaller 250GB denomination is offered at a very very attractive price: less than € 80 right now on Amazon.
Sabrent 256GB ROCKET NVMe
Even Sabrent’s proposal with a PCIe 3.0 interface has been able to conquer a respectable place in this crowded landscape of offers, plus at this time the cut from 256GB is proposed for only 50 €. Speed is respectable, 1050 MB / s in writing and 3100 MB / s in reading and can represent an excellent budget solution for those who approach the world of NVMe SSDs, but want a quality product right away.
Crucial P2 CT250P2SSD8
Designed for gamers, professionals and entry-level designers, the NVMe Crucial P2 CT250P2SSD8 SSD is the best choice considering its retail price of around 50 euros. It guarantees impressive speed, up to 2400 MBs in sequential read and up to 1900 MBs in sequential write. In addition to ensuring great speed, the Crucial P2 SSD improves computer performance by reducing loading times and increasing data transfer speeds, compared to many other products in this market segment. Finally, thanks to a proprietary management software, it will be possible to optimize performance, keep data protected and update the firmware.
How to choose an NVMe SSD
After taking a look at the best products on the market, it is good to address some concepts that help build the choice of a fast SSD that is suitable for your needs. So, let’s tackle different topics, such as “which SATA connector to choose?” but also “what does NVMe mean and why choose this type of SSD “. To effectively explain the salient points to reach the conclusion of the previous questions, we report below what are the characteristics to look for in an NVMe SSD, or M.2 interface, performance e storage capacity.
Interface, types and performance of connectors
First, the interface indicates the method used by an SSD to communicate with the rest of the system. The better the connection between the SSD and the system, the better the overall speed of the PC, whether in file transport or program management. To connect the SSD to the system then use the SATA or PCI connector. The first, however, is the most widespread and there are different types that we are going to deepen below.
The connectors SATA 3 they are the best on the market, the most updated and fastest, also provided with backward compatibility to work on PCs that support up to SATA 2. A feature that halves the speed of SATA 3 which stands at 6 Gbit / s theoretical. Currently, almost all computers on the market support SSD SATA 3 and it is precisely for this reason that it is advisable to focus on this type of connector. On some ultrabooks and mini-PCs the equivalent of SATA 3 or 2 is the mini-SATA or mSATA also compatible with the fastest SATA Express.
However, if you are looking for a product that exponentially speeds up the speed of your system, you can focus on SATA Express technology, which blends SATA technology with that of the PCI interface, which allows you to obtain a variable speed from 10 Gbit / s to 16 Gbit / s. And if this is still not enough, the new ones have arrived M.2 connectors (used mostly on ultrabooks), which work both on SATA Express SSDs, bringing them to a speed of 16 Gbit / s, and on PCI-Express ones, reaching a speed of 32 Gbit / s. All theoretically, since it is necessary to have components capable of supporting this speed.
Finally, we finally come to SSDs that support the protocol NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory express), much more used than the other available AHCI. Almost all PCIe SSDs are also NVMe, and this technology increases disk performance and decreases latencies to respond to modern connection technologies found in all PCs.
The performance of an SSD is based on two precise characteristics: the sequential speed, expressed in MB / s (Megabyte per second) or GB / s (Gigabyte per second) which corresponds precisely to the speed with which the files on the disk are written and read sequentially and input and output operations per second (IOPS), which instead indicates the speed of writing and reading files on the disk at random and how many operations per second the disk can handle.
When choosing, however, it is also useful to take into account maximum solid disc life, expressed in millions of hours and the guarantee offered by the manufacturer. Usually this is between a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 years but, with high-end SSDs, it can even reach 10 years.
There is no precise memory “cut” if you are looking for the best NVMe SSD, but there are some tips that can help you figure out which one to go for. In fact, not only the memory depends on the storage capacity but also the cost of each SSD, to save something you could therefore focus on a 120 GB SSD, especially if you aim to use it as a work disk while a second HDD works to store data and / or video games. A good setup would be a PC with the operating system and programs installed on the 120GB SSD while photos, videos and other files are stored on the 1TB HDD. Depending on your needs you can then go up “size”: if you have a lot of programs you can get to a 256 GB SSD or go even further, especially if you are configuring a gaming PC.
Source: Tom's Hardware by www.tomshw.it.
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