How to Choose an SSD

Fast, performance-enhancing and durable. SSDs are taking over the once hard drive market, but which ones are worth buying?

Lately, the challenge between hard drives and SSDs seems to have been won by the latter. Solid state drives offer faster transfer rates, consume less power and are also more durable. If we don't have a lot of knowledge on the subject though, it's not easy to buy an SSD.

To understand how to get around in the world of SSDs, let's see what features we absolutely need to take into consideration before buying a solid state drive. Let's start by saying that after a great success on laptops now SSDs are finding more and more way on desktops as well. Let's start with the interface. The most recommended is Serial ATA. It is the latest generation interface for these devices and therefore offers the best performance. To make sure you get one of the best possible purchases the most recommended choice at the moment could be a 6GB SATA.

Data on SATA interfaces

It's good to remember that interfaces indicate the data writing speed. A 6GB SATA III guarantees a speed of 750MB per second. A little worse is the 3GB SATA II which stops at 375MB per second. The first generation SATA has a writing speed of 187.5MB per second. It must be said, however, that these data are recorded under optimal conditions that will almost never be replicated on your machines. So always try to understand your needs before buying. To be more exhaustive we can say that on a computer generally SATA III have a speed of 500-600MB per second. There are also new interfaces that are entering the market recently. For desktops a new solution is the SATA Express. This solution increases storage performance to 2GB per second. Yet these are not even the fastest models.

M.2 Interface

M.2 is a fairly new interface forĀ SSDs. It is not a different technology from SATA but the drive being structured differently is much better performing than older SATA solutions. This is a solution that lately is used a lot on notebooks, especially in the ultra-thin ones. Compared to a SATA interface the main difference is the shape. Performance ranges from 4GB to 8GB per second.

Physical limits

If we are thinking of installing a solid state drive on our laptop we have to consider the compatibility of the SSD size with our notebook. Generally, the dedicated space on laptops is 2.5 inches with a height ranging from 5 millimeters up to 9.5 millimeters, depending on the machine. Fortunately most M.2 and SATA are compatible with these measurements. However, it is not advisable to buy blindly and without inquiring about compatibility. For example, some latest generation and ultra-thin notebooks can only support M.2.


This is a basic feature, and it is not hard to see why. These solutions are designed to save as much data as possible based on our needs. In the beginning, SSDs with a lot of storage space were quite expensive, but prices have come down considerably in the last period. Average values of solid state drives range from 64Gb to 4TB.

Write cycles

SSDs have a life marked from birth. Each solid state drive has a finite number of cycles it can complete before it no longer works. This is a very important aspect to consider before purchasing. The average life of a SSD according to the reports of the manufacturers ranges from 3 thousand to 5 thousand writing cycles. Attention then to the cleaning system present by default on many SSD solutions that allows you to eliminate junk files and amplify performance but at the same time also shortens the life of the solid state drive. To avoid this inconvenience, it is best to choose an SSD with TRIM function. A program that optimizes the cleaning and does not make it detrimental to write cycles.