Which SSD to get?

My SSD is fairly old (2011), and I’ve been getting occasional blue screens that I’m fairly sure are due to it (it is the main system drive). [The main evidence is that after a blue screen, the BIOS doesn’t recognize the SSD for a few minutes.] In any event it’s getting small (240 GB) and I’d like to get a new one.

What is the current state of SSD tech these days? What brands are good?

I am assuming you will need a SATA drive?

I use Crucial drives, they have been reliable. 1TB for $84.

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/crucial-mx500-1tb-3d-nand-sata-2-5-inch-internal-ssd-up-to-560mb-s-ct1000mx500ssd1/6254400.p?skuId=6254400&ref=212&loc=1

After I posted this I did a whole bunch of googling and I think I should actually get an M.2 drive. I have an MSI B250 from not too long ago that should have M.2 slots, according to the specs on their website.

I do think 1TB is probably right for me, budget-wise.

If your motherboard supports it, M.2 NVME drives are the best format and don’t cost much more than SATA unless you get PCIE 4 (which won’t help much if at all in a gaming environment). I can’t speak to a brand, but general advice is to pay close attention to the onboard controller that comes with any given drive, as several brands have top performing models which they quietly downgraded after a time. You will also see MLC (uncommon and expensive), TLC (common and midrange), and QLC (common and least expensive); these have a mix of performance vs. endurance tradeoffs. I would go TLC for an OS drive, personally, for the better endurance.

BTW m2 nvme and m2 sata are two different things. The price differential shouldn’t exist by now, fortunately. Nvme may be faster.

yeah that stuff is confusing

Thanks all!

I am concerned with endurance–I’ve gotten lucky with this one (10 years! I didn’t even think it was possible) and I’d like to repeat that. :)

OK, trying to read into this a little more, it looks like my mobo won’t support NVMe without an extra adapter card: image

source

Which is silly. Ugh.

Depending on the brand of SSD you have you can check its integrity. Using software from the manufacturers website.

Good call, it’s an OCZ Agility 3.

Edit: looks like OCZ has been acquired/rebranded/whatever a couple times since I bought the drive, heh.

image

i think it supports normal PCIe but the card is for an extra super duper PCIe 3.0 i’ve never heard of.

Probably the safe thing to do is to use the compatibility thingy on MSI’s website: https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/support/B250M-GAMING-PRO#support-hdd

Also, good lord, why does every bit of PC tech have to be marketed to 12-year old boys who just started puberty?

That’s just poor writing on that documentation. :) Your board will support M.2 NVME as well, and you definitely want that. My M.2 NVME drive loads MS Flight Sim a minute faster than my M.2 SATA drive.

I’ve had good luck with Crucial and Sabrent m.2 drives.

RPS’s current rec was a Western Digital Blue. I bumped up to Black because it was barely any more, in 500 GB, because my SSD is also dying. (I considered a TB but I think I’m going to save that for when I can do PCI-E 4 for DirectStorage shenanigans, at which point I should probably have a second M.2 slot.)

Samsung’s the big name I’ve seen thrown around but that’s what my dying drive is and it’s only like 3 years old, and that is waaaay too soon, IMO. So not going Samsung again soon.

Thanks! I’ve actually been thinking about whether or not I’m going to notice any difference, and I think the answer is probably “no”. But you never know, maybe this year is the year I’ll start flight simming or whatever. :)

I ended up going for the WD Black SN750 at 1TB because (a) all the 1TB prices seemed to be within 10% of each other, across all the brands I looked at, (b) it was on the compatibility list on MSI’s website, and © I got a bunch of WD Reds for the NAS RAID setup a while ago they seem fine so, I dunno, why not. Oh and (d), I could order it directly (“directly”) from the manufacturer, which I generally prefer for silly reasons.

It is NVMe, so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

I love Samsung drives. Use an M.2 for my OS.

I’d say stay away from Intel and Corsair SSD’s based on my own experience with them.

Thanks! Here’s hoping WD pulls through as well…

Honestly I think that probably for most major brands the reliability is probably pretty similar, excepting for the occasionally bad manufacturing run for whatever reason, and it’s just a roll of the dice.

I’m still really surprised that my current SSD is 10 years old and going strong mostly kind of ok.

I am also a fan of Samsung drives. The other one I have experience with is WD black, M.2.

Yeah, I imagine the reliability is similar across brands with SSDs and failure is just luck of the draw for the most part. Case in point: I’ve had one SATA SSD fail, and it was a Samsung. (But I replaced it with a new Samsung, so…)

My prebuilt PC came with a WD Blue 1TB. It’s plenty speedy, so the Black should really be snappy.

Samsung drives are great, but overpriced. You can get drives that are just as good for a lot less money from brands like Western Digital and Crucial.

Or just shop their sales which they have what seems like every other week.

Oh sweet jebus, the OG OCZ poison! Burn it with fire! Those SSDs are well and widely known to be utter trash. You got lucky lasting so long.

Anyway, it really doesn’t matter much which SSD you get. I suggest buying by price. Much better off with a 2TB SATA SSD than a blazing fast 1TB NVMe PCI-e 4.0 SSD. The speed does not matter for gaming.

That may change with the newfangled Xbox Series and PS5 style of using it like main memory, but that’s probably bullshit smoke and mirrors.

All that said, M.2 SSDs don’t command much of a premium now and they’re pretty convenient, no wires.