From Laptop Knowledge Database


    DRAMless SSDs[edit]

    There is little to no reason to purchase a DRAMless SSD. Not only do they (usually) perform significantly worse than a comparable SSD with DRAM, but it is often to the point where you might as well opt for a fast hard drive with a smaller, better SSD to act as a boot drive. In even a simple sustained random 4kB read, the MX500 easily outperforms the Mushkin Source, which is the fasted dramless SSD AnandTech had tested at the time. It's worth noting you could get similar performance to this MX500 for a lower price, such as from a two-tone Blue/White WD Blue m.2 SSD, a TeamGroup Vulcan, or a Sabrent Rocket SSD depending on costs at any given time.

    NAND flash types[edit]

    In general: SLC > MLC > TLC > QLC.

    One should avoid buying a QLC drive in most instances, as QLC has the worst endurance as well as the worst overall speeds. You'll often see high capacity QLC drives cheaper than an MLC or TLC drive of the same capacity for this reason. QLC drives often don't come with DRAM since QLC drives tend to be budget-oriented, so it's important to look out for that. There are however exceptions to this statement such as with the Rocket Q thanks to a good controller, good 4D chess caching, and second generation QLC. AnandTech review available here for the Rocket Q.

    The NVMe M.2 vs 2.5" SATA debate[edit]

    This is not really even a debate. Even if you want to spend easily $400+ on a top of the line SSD, assuming you are the average consumer, the reasonable performance difference one is going to see for almost any task, be it game load times, moving files around on your pc every once in a while, or even just booting windows is going to be negligible. If you have a use case for a drive that you KNOW (not think) can utilize sustaine 5GB/s sequential reads, go right ahead. However, for most people, you will likely have pretty much the same experience on a $400 Samsung NVMe drive as on a $100 2.5" SATA WD Blue SSD.

    Should you get a SATA M.2 SSD?[edit]

    It is worth noting that not all systems support SATA M.2 drives, so this could be a problem. More and more often, laptops are omitting the hardware required to support SATA M.2 drives. While it is not completely gone, it is likely to fall into obscurity in just a few short years. If you do not want to have to deal with adapters, going with an NVMe SSD that provides good performance at a fair price would be your best bet.

    Suggested SSDs[edit]

    SSD Price Form Factor Connector PCIe Gen Controller Cache Cell level Additional Notes:
    WD SN550 M.2 NVMe 1.4 3.0 x4 SanDisk 20-82-01008-A1 SLC Cache, DRAMless TLC In spite of the lack of a DRAM cache, the SN550 well outperforms other SSDs in its price bracket
    WD SN750 M.2 NVMe 1.3 3.0 x4 In-house controller SK Hynix DDR4 TLC
    HP EX920 M.2 NVMe 1.3 3.0 x4 SM2262 Nanya DDR3 DRAM Cache TLC
    HP EX950 M.2 NVMe 1.3 3.0 x4 SM2262EN Nanya / Micron DDR3 DRAM Cache TLC
    SK Hynix Gold P31 M.2 NVMe 1.3 3.0 x4 SK Hynix Cepheus SK Hynix LPDDR4-4266 TLC Highly recommended for all builds, especially laptops
    Rocket Q M.2 NVMe 1.3 3.0 x4 Phison E12S Both DDR3 and DDR4 reported QLC
    Samsung 970 Evo Plus M.2 NVMe 1.3 3.0 x4 Samsung Phoenix 512MB-2GB LPDDR4 DRAM Cache MLC Only recommended in very high end systems with money to burn or prosumer systems which REALLY need fast storage
    Firecuda 520 M.2 NVMe 1.3 4.0 x4 Phison E16 Nanya DDR4 DRAM Cache TLC
    Crucial MX500 2.5" SATA 3 N/A SM2258 DRAM Cache TLC
    TeamGroup T-Force Vulcan 2.5" SATA 3 N/A SM2258G DRAM Cache (DDR4?) TLC
    TeamGroup L5 Lite 2.5" SATA 3 N/A SM2258 DRAM Cache TLC
    TCSunbow X3 2.5" SATA 3 N/A SM2258G (reports of SM2258XT) DRAM Cache TLC Good as a dirt cheap option, sold by Amazon, but has no manufacturer warranty; you rely on Amazon's warranty
    Samsung 860 Evo 2.5" SATA 3 N/A Samsung MJX 312MB-4GB LPDDR4 DRAM Cache TLC

    Johnny Lucky SSD Database

    Unsuggested SSDs[edit]

    As of late 2020, the ADATA SX8200 Pro is no longer found to be suggestable due to a swapping of the SSD's controller and the NAND flash becoming a lottery. This is a good example of a company making a good product, that product getting a good reputation, and then said company pulling a bait & switch without a majority of the population noticing until later on.

    Hard Drives[edit]

    Seagate HDDs Comparison Chart[edit]

    Seagate HDDs Comparison Chart.png