Techies Guide to buying the perfect budget SSD

Are you still confused in buying the perfect budget SSD, after finally having decided on buying an SSD for your system after reading our earlier article, which you can read from the link below.
http://thetechiesguide.com/tech/upgrade-ssd-system/2879/. But are you still confused in buying the perfect budget SSD?

The decision now comes to what brand to prefer and how much should you pay for the SSD capacity. This article will help to clear some common doubts and misconceptions that might occur while buying an SSD. The SSD capacity and also the technology on which it is based on defers from SSD to SSD and from manufacturer to manufacturer. The SSD’s which we have listed here have been tested by our TheTechiesGuides Team and we have posted the relevant screenshots to back up our claim as well.

Different SSD Interface technologies explained: –
The common SSD interfaces in use today are listed below.
SATA: SATA aka Serial ATA interface is the most common connection interface for storage devices which you will find today on most systems with the most compatibility.
PATA: PATA aka Parallel ATA interface was found in older systems and has been replaced by the newer SATA interface.
PCIe: PCI-express aka Peripheral Component Interconnect Express is the standard connection interface which is used to usually connect Graphic Cards and other system expansion cards.Since this interface offers more bandwidth than the traditional SATA III interface standard, it has been used by the Storage manufacturers to create SSDs with even greater Read / Writes speeds with even greater durability.
 Serial / Parallel SCSI: This storage interface is found on the server and not in your typical systems.
USB: Since it is one of the most common and famous interfaces used, external SSDs seem to use it.

 

Different SSD NAND flash technologies explained:-
In this section, we try to explain why some SSDs are more expensive than the others even though they possess the same capacity.SSDs are built using NAND Flash memory and this affects the performance and durability of an SSD drive to a great extent.This mainly occurs due to the difference in the anatomy of an SSD as follows:SLC NAND: As the name suggests this type of NAND memory stores only one bit per cell. It is the most accurate type of NAND flash when it comes to reading and writing data cycles. All this leads to exceptional performance and better reliability than the other NAND flash memory.Pros: –
  1. Longest lifespan and best durability over other NAND flash.
  2. Error occurrence is very less due to its inherent structure.
  3. Best in class Read / Write speed and hence SLC NAND SSDs preferred in the enterprise.

Cons: –

  1. Most expensive due to its structure.
  2. Available in smaller capacities.

MLC NAND: This type of NAND SSDs stores multiple bits per cell and is one of the cheapest to produce and hence you will find it in most of the consumer grade SSDs.

Pros: –

  1. Less costly to buy.
  2. Get SSD class performance and fairly large HDD like capacity.
  3. More durable than TLC NAND flash memory.

Cons: –

  1. Less Read / Write cycles as compared to SLC NAND flash memory.
  2. Durability is also lesser than SLC NAND flash memory.

eMLC NAND: Enterprise Multi-Level Cell NAND is a cost effective alternative option to SLC NAND flash. It comes with better performance than standard MLC NAND flash but lower production cost than SLC NAND.

Pros: –

  1. Greater Read / Write cycles than standard MLC NAND flash.
  2. Lower cost than SLC NAND flash.
  3. Better Durability than MLC NAND flash SSD.

Cons: –

  1. Not much durable as SLC NAND flash memory.
  2. It is a bit expensive than standard MLC NAND flash memory.

TLC NAND: This type of NAND flash memory stores 3 bits per cell and is also cost effective for mass production. The cost-effective factor is due to the fact that it is the cheapest NAND flash to produce.

Pros: –

  1. Cheaper than MLC NAND SSDs.

Cons:

  1. Least durability among all the NAND flash memory.
  2. Least Read / Write cycles too compared to SLC / MLC NAND flash memory.

Having covered the common SSD buying doubts in great clarity above, now let’s get to the more interesting part i.e Discovering the best budget SSD.
We have tested in all 4 SSDs that we believe that offer great value for performance and cost effective for the end user as well.

Also, we feel that around 240 ~ 250 GB’s of storage space should be sufficient for the primary boot drive / RAID drive whichever way the user prefers to use the SSD drives.

The 240 ~ 250 GB bracket has been suggested due to the little difference between the 120 / 240 GB drive capacity.

Also, why not prefer the drive with double capacity when you are paying around ~ 1.5 times the price of 120 SSD drive.

  1. Kingston (SUV400S37 / 240G)

This SSD is based on the TLC NAND flash memory but its tremendous speed can be attributed to the Marvell 88SS1074 controller.

Interface: SATA III ( backwards compatible to SATA II ).
Capacity: 120 / 240 / 480 / 960 GB.
Form-Factor: 2.5 inch.
Data transfer speed: 240 GB model ~ 550 MB/s Read and 490 MB/s Write.
Operating temperature: 0 ~ 70 degrees celsius.
Maximum Random 4k Read/Write (IOMETER): 240 GB model up to 90,000 IOPS and 25,000 IOPS.
Power Consumption: 0.672W Idle / 0.693W Avg / 0.59W (MAX) Read / 2.515W (MAX) Write.
Total Bytes Written ( TBW ): ~ 100 TB for 240 GB model.
Life Expectancy: 1 Million Hours before failure.
Warranty: 3 Years limited warranty.

SSD benchmark:

SSD_UV_kingston

If you prefer to buy it, here’s the Amazon Link for it.

Buy Now

2. Samsung 250GB 2.5” 840 EVO SATA III SSD

This SSD is one of the only ones based on TLC NAND flash which ships in bulk capacities worldwide. Even though TLC NAND offers the least performance as stated above but Samsung’s SSD still packs a punch.

Even though TLC NAND offers the least performance as stated above but Samsung’s SSD still packs a punch.

This SSD kit includes Samsung’s Magician software which uses roughly 500 MB ~ 2 GB of user’s system RAM depending upon the drive capacity installed.

Interface: SATA III ( backward compatible with SATA II ).
Capacity: 120 GB, 250 GB, 500 GB, 750 GB, 1 TB.
Form-Factor: 2.5 inch.
Data transfer speed: 250 GB model ( up to 540 MB/s Read and 520 MB/s Write).
Operating Temperature: 0 ~ 60 degrees celsius.
Power Consumption: 0.45 W and DC 5V.
4KB Random read (QD32): up to 97,000 IOPS (250 GB).
4KB Random write (QD32): up to 66,000 IOPS (250 GB).
Life expectancy: 1.5 Million hours before failure.
Warranty: 3 years limited warranty.

SSD Benchmark:

best budget SSD

If you are interested in buying it, here’s the Amazon link below.

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3. Samsung 250GB 750EVO SSD SATA III 2.5IN MZ-750250BW

 Evo 750

This SSD from Samsung is also based on TLC NAND to mitigate lower costs to the consumer.

However same as the 840 EVO SSD series from Samsung, this SSD also has superior performance in spite of TLC NAND due to the inclusion of Magician Software which utilizes user’s system RAM as a fast cache to enhance overall Read / Write speeds.

Interface: SATA III ( backward compatible with SATA II ).
Capacity: 120 GB, 250 GB, 500 GB.
Form-Factor: 2.5 inch.
Data Transfer speed: 250 GB model ( up to 540 MB/s Read and 520 MB/s Write ).
Operating temperatures: 0 ~ 70 degrees celsius.
Power Consumption: 250 GB model, Active Read: 2.1 W
Active Write: 2.7 W.
Random Read (4KB, QD32): 97000 IOPS ( 250 GB model ).
Random Write (4KB, QD32): 35000 IOPS ( 250 GB model ).
Life expectancy: 1.5 million hours.
Total Bytes Written ( TBW ): 75 TB ( 250 GB model ).

SSD Benchmark:

750 EVO benchmark

If you are interested in buying this SSD, here’s the Amazon link for it.

Buy Now

4. Transcend TS256GSSD340

This SSD from Transcend is built using high-quality synchronous MLC NAND flash.

which SSD to buy

which SSD to buy

Interface: SATA III ( backward compatible to SATA II ).
Form-factor: 2.5 inch.
Capacity: 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB.
Data Transfer speed: up to 550 MB/s Read and 330 MB/s Write ( 256 GB model ).
Operating temperature: 0 ~ 70 degrees celsius.
Power Consumption: DC 5V.
4KB Random read (QD32): up to 69,000 IOPS (256 GB).
4KB Random write (QD32): up to 68,000 IOPS (256 GB).
Life expectancy: 1.5 Million hours before failure.
Warranty: 3 years limited warranty.

SSD Benchmark:

which SSD to buy

If you are interested in buying this SSD, here’s the Amazon link for you

Buy Now

Related Articles: Buying a SSD for upgrading an older system?