Sata 3 ssds: Computer parts, laptops, electronics, and more

Best SSDs for 2023: Reviews and recommendations


The best solid-state drives can supercharge your PC.

By Sam Singleton and Brad Chacos

PCWorld Jul 24, 2023 9:00 am PDT

Image: Rob Schultz/IDG

Switching to a solid-state drive is the best upgrade you can make for your PC. These wondrous devices speed up boot times, improve the responsiveness of your programs and games, and generally make your computer feel fast. But not all solid-state drives are the same. You can spend big to achieve read and write speeds that reach a whole other level, or you can find top-notch SSDs that offer solid performance without breaking the bank.

Many SSDs come in a 2.5-inch form factor and connect to your PC via the same SATA port used by a traditional hard drive. But tiny NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) “gumstick” SSDs that fit in an M.2 connection on a modern motherboard are becoming increasingly common, along with blazing-fast PCIe 4. 0 solid-state drives for compatible PCs, and you’ll even find SSDs that sit on a PCIe adapter and slot into your motherboard like a graphics card or sound card. Picking the perfect SSD isn’t as simple as it used to be, though excellent drives like the SK Hynix Platinum P41 are certainly trying to achieve no-brainer upgrade status.

That’s the purpose of this guide. We’ve tested numerous drives to find the best SSDs for any use case, and offer our top picks below. In addition to that we give you useful information on what to look for in an SSD so you can be a more knowledgable shopper. Quick note: This roundup only covers internal solid-state drives. Check out PCWorld’s guide to the best external drives if you’re looking for a portable storage solution, such as the Samsung T7 Shield—our newly crowned pick for the best high-performance portable SSD.

Updated 07/24/2023: We’ve added the WD Blue SN580 SSD as our new choice for best budget option. Read more about this fantastically affordable SSD with super-fast real-world transfers in our summary below.

Samsung 870 EVO – Best SATA SSD


  • Excellent performance, especially with small file operations
  • Unlike the QVO, long writes don’t slow down


  • A little expensive

If you’re looking to add some storage via a traditional 2.5-inch SATA drive rather than a tiny M.2 “gumstick,” Samsung’s spectacular 870 EVO is your best bet. It’s the fastest SATA SSD we’ve tested, it’s available in up to 4TB of capacity, and it’s exceedingly affordable given its speed. Enough said, really—though Samsung’s killer Magician SSD management software and long warranty period also deserve a shout-out. The EVO series is a legend among SSDs for a reason.

That said, the SK Hynix Gold S31 is also worth considering. It’s just a hair behind the 870 EVO in benchmarks and costs $12 less in its 1TB version, at $98. The SK drive is only available in a 1TB flavor these days, however, while the 870 EVO ranges from a 250GB model for $60 all the way up to a massive 4TB goliath for $450. Samsung’s 1TB offering costs $110.

Read our full

Samsung 870 EVO SATA SSD review

Crucial BX500 – Best budget SATA SSD


  • Good everyday performance
  • Low price per gigabyte


  • Slows drastically when secondary cache runs out

The Samsung 870 EVO offers an intoxicating blend of performance and affordable pricing, but if you want as much capacity as possible for as cheaply as possible, consider the Crucial BX500. You can get its 1TB model for $41.99, a whopping $50+ less than the equivalent EVO, while a 480GB version costs just $24. 99. 240GB and 2TB versions are also available.

“We recommend this QLC drive in the larger capacities for those who want good everyday performance for a budget price,” we said in our review. “The smaller capacities will likely run into more slowdowns during heavy writes.”

Read our full

Crucial BX500 SATA SSD (2TB) review

Crucial P3 – Best PCIe 3.0 SSD


  • Excellent everyday PCIe 3 performance
  • Fantastically low price per GB


  • Very low TBW rating
  • Non-cached QLC writes are extremely slow

Sure, PCIe 4.0 SSDs scream during big file transfers, but if you’re still using an older system with PCIe 3.0, upgrading to an NVMe SSD still provides substantial benefits to your PC’s speed and overall responsiveness. Better yet, you don’t need to break the bank to take advantage. The Crucial P3 is a very good daily performer, but it’s available for a bargain rate of just $44 for a 500GB model or $84 for a 1TB model. Though it doesn’t have top-tier PCIe 4 performance and the TBW rating is pretty low, the P3 does have excellent real-world write times and unless you really stress the drive you shouldn’t notice much of a difference anyhow.

All told, this drive is an outstanding choice for anyone looking to snag a solid everyday SSD at a great price.

Read our full

Crucial P3 review

WD Black SN850X – Best PCIe 4.0 SSD


  • Excellent performance
  • Decently affordable given its speed
  • Available up to 4TB
  • Optional heatsink for 1/2TB models


  • Pricey per gigabyte
  • Somewhat parsimonious TBW ratings

The WD Black SN850X is one of the fastest drives we have ever tested and ranks right up at the top next to the FireCuda 530 in terms of speed. The reason that the WD Black SN850X takes our top spot for PCIe 4.0 is that it offers the same great speed for a slightly lower price, meaning better value for your money.

Also, in terms of overall performance, the SN850X is not only fast, but it provides outstanding real world transfer rates and top-notch random write performance. This is one of the best SSDs on the market, and holds its own at the top despite stiff competition from a crowded field of competitors.

Read our full

WD Black SN850X review

WD Blue SN580 SSD – Best budget PCIe 4.0 SSD


  • Fantastically affordable
  • Super fast real world transfers
  • Single-sided for laptop upgrades


  • Slows to less than 300MBps when writing off secondary cache
  • Slightly low endurance rating

Cutting-edge PCIe 4. 0 SSDs aren’t quite as cheap as SATA or PCIe 3.0 NVMe drives, but now that the technology is becoming more established, we’re starting to see several models available at compelling prices. The best of the affordable bunch? The WD Blue SN580 NVMe SSD—and by quite a large margin. At just $50 for a 1TB model, you won’t likely find any PCIe 4.0 drives with storage that cheap. In our testing, the SN580 turned out both stellar benchmark and real-world results. It did slow down considerably in the large 450GB transfer test, but seeing as how it’s unlikely anyone will write that much contiguous data it likely doesn’t matter. In the end, the SN580 is a wonderfully high-performing PCIe 4.0 SSD that well undercuts the cost of competitors. At this price point it simply can’t be beat.

Read our full

WD Blue SN580 review

Crucial T700 – Best PCIe 5.0


  • Breathtaking performance
  • Available with or without heatsink
  • Up to 4TB in capacity


  • Extremely pricey
  • Requires the still rare PCIe 5. 0 M.2 slot

PCIe 5.0 is finally here and for those who crave the latest and greatest, the upgrade will help satisfy your desire to be on the bleeding edge. If you do decide to upgrade, there is currently no better PCIe 5.0 SSD than the Crucial T700. It is, without a doubt, the fastest NVMe SSD for sustained throughput that we at PCWorld have ever tested. In our testing, the Crucial T700 absolutely obliterated the competition in both synthetic and real-world benchmarks. Just to give an idea of how fast we’re talking here, in a side-by-side comparison with the WD Black SN850X, our pick for best PCIe 4.0 SSD, the T700 almost doubled it in sequential read and write benchmarks and was over a minute faster in the 48GB transfer test and about 40 seconds faster in the 450GB transfer tests. Those are pretty insane numbers.

The drive itself is available in 1TB, 2TB, or 4TB capacities of storage. This kind of speed will cost you though, as the T700 is nearly twice as expensive as some very good PCIe 4. 0 drives on this list. Still, the T700 is undoubtedly the king of the hill by a fair margin among any SSD currently, and if your system is equipped to handle it, you’re not likely to find a faster drive for quite some time.

Read our full

Crucial T700 PCIe 5.0 NVMe SSD review

Adata Elite SE880 SSD – Most portable SSD


  • Very fast, over-20Gbps USB connection
  • Extremely small form factor
  • 5-year warranty


  • Slows considerably during long contiguous writes
  • Somewhat low TBW rating

No SSD we’ve seen can match Adata’s Elite SE880 for portability. Indeed, measuring in at only 2.55 inches long, 1.38 inches wide, and 0.48 inches thick, it reminds you more of a USB thumb drive than a standard SSD. It weighs a mere 1. 1 ounces to boot, virtually disappearing when placed in your pocket.

The Elite SE880 is also very fast at everyday tasks. In real-world 48GB transfer tests, the drive displayed outstanding marks. However, it did lose significant ground in the longer contiguous write tests meaning photo and video pros with large files might want to look at other options. Considering the respectable transfer rates and the small form factor, the Elite SE880 is a great pick for those looking to take their SSD on the go.

Read our full

Adata Elite SE880 SSD review

4TB Samsung T7 Shield – Best external SSD


  • Fast 1GBps sustained transfers
  • Excellent real world performance
  • Vast 4TB capacity
  • Svelte and handsome


  • Not cheap
  • Small 4K performance glitch under CrystalDiskMark 8 writing 4K files

Samsung’s upgraded 4TB capacity T7 Shield maintains all of the speed and durability of the previous 1TB and 2TB versions, but now with double the capacity. The Shield models make excellent performance drives for out in the field because they focus on physical protection, with IP65 ratings against particulate matter and water spray.

While the 4TB model is a bit pricey, it is more than capable of handling the largest end-user data sets. But if you don’t need so much storage, you can opt for either the 1TB or 2TB versions which retail for more budget-friendly prices. Regardless of the size, all T7 Shields boast USB 3.2 10Gbps implementation allowing for blistering 10Gbps transfer speeds, which gives it the edge over many other external drives, and the superior durability means it should last you well into the future.

Read our full

Samsung T7 4TB review

Sabrent Rocket Q4 NVMe SSD – Best SSD for Steam Deck


  • Half-sized 2230 (22mm wide, 30mm long) form factor fits a variety of devices
  • Amazingly fast at real-world tasks
  • Decently affordable
  • Unmitigated five-year warranty


  • Writes slow to a crawl when secondary cache is depleted

In the past, you were out of luck if you wanted to upgrade your storage in a smaller-sized device such as a handheld gaming console where the longer 2280 NVMe SSDs wouldn’t fit. Thankfully, Sabrent has changed that with its line of Rocket half-sized 2230 small for- factor SSDs. Its latest Rocket Q4 is our favorite, with up to 2TB of capacity and shockingly good real-world performance. It’s only 30mm long, which means you can use it in small devices such as the red-hot Steam Deck. This HMB (Host Memory Buffer) drive has great everyday performance and a decent capacity-to-cost. In our testing it aced the 48GB and 450GB transfer tests—even beating out other top-notch full-sized PCIe 4.0 drives. The Rocket Q4 is a great SSD, but if your device is able to handle the longer 2280 drives, you’ll likely have more options to choose from and might be able to find better price-for-performance at that standard size. Regardless, the Sabrent Rocket expertly fits a niche that is only growing more common with devices such as the Steam Deck.

Read our full

Sabrent Rocket Q4 NVMe SSD review

Seagate Beskar Ingot NVMe SSD (FireCuda 530) – Most collectible SSD


  • Exceptional performance
  • Long warranty with a high TBW rating
  • Beefy Star Wars-themed heatsink


  • Pricier than a plain FireCuda 530

If you’re a die-hard Star Wars fan, then we have the perfect SSD for you. Seagate recently released a series of two Mandalorian-themed SSDs—the Beskar Ingot SATA SSD and the Beskar Ingot NVMe SSD. And while both SSDs are excellent options for any budding bounty hunter, we chose the Beskar Ingot NVMe SSD due to its exceptional performance and blazing-fast speeds.

If you think it’s just a middle-of-the-road NVMe with a hefty Beskar-themed heatsink, then much to learn you still have, young padawan. The FireCuda 530 is one of the fastest NVMe drives we’ve ever tested and very well could compete against the Millenium Falcon in the Kessel run.

All of that being said, this is a top-notch drive perfect for the Star Wars fan with a windowed case who wants to show off their latest Beskar metal bounty.

Read our full

Seagate Beskar Ingot NVMe SSD (FireCuda 530) review

NVMe SSD setup: What you need to know

Be aware of what NVMe drives deliver before you buy in. Standard SATA SSDs already supercharge boot times and loading times for PCs, and for a whole lot cheaper. You’ll get the most use from NVMe drives, be it in a M.2 form factor like the Samsung 980 Pro or a PCIe drive, if you routinely transfer data, especially in large amounts. If you don’t do that, NVMe drives aren’t worth the price premium.

mentioned in this article

Intel Core i5-12600K

If you decide to buy an NVMe SSD, make sure your PC can handle it. This is a relatively new technology, so you’ll only be able to find M.2-connection motherboards from the past few years. Think AMD Ryzen and mainstream Intel chips from the 6th-generation era onward, for the most part. NVMe SSDs that were mounted on PCIe adapters were popular in the technology’s early years, before M.2 adoption spread, but they’re rarer now. Make sure you’re actually able to use an NVMe SSD before you buy one, and be aware that you’ll need four PCIe lanes available in order to use it to its full potential. You’ll need a newer Ryzen 3000- or 5000-series CPU, or an Intel 11th- or 12th-gen CPU, to run a PCIe 4. 0 SSD to its full potential. PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs will work in a PCIe 3.0 computer, but at slower PCIe 3.0 speeds.

The Samsung 960 Pro NVMe SSD in an M.2 slot.

To get the most out of an NVMe drive, you want to run your operating system on it, so you must have a system that recognizes the drive and can boot from it. PCs purchased during the past year or two should have no problem booting from an NVMe drive, but support for that can be iffy in older motherboards. Do a Google search for your motherboard and see if it supports booting from NVMe. You may need to install a BIOS update for your board. If your hardware can’t boot from an NVMe SSD, your machine should still be able to use it as a secondary drive.

What to look for in an SSD

Capacity and price are important, of course, and a long warranty can alleviate fears of premature data death. Most SSD manufacturers offer a three-year warranty, and some nicer models are guaranteed for five years. But unlike the olden days of SSDs, modern drives won’t wear out with normal consumer usage, as Tech Report tested and proved years ago with a grueling endurance test.

The biggest thing to watch out for is the technology used to connect the SSD to your PC. We go into deeper details and buying advice in our guide on which type of SSD you should buy.

  1. SATA: This refers to both the connection type and the transfer protocol, which is used to connect most 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch hard drives and SSDs to your PC. SATA III speeds can hit roughly 600MBps, and most—but not all—modern drives max it out. (More on that in the next section.)
  2. PCIe: This interface taps into four of your computer’s PCIe lanes to blow away SATA speeds, to the tune of nearly 4GBps over PCIe gen 3. Those sort of face-melting speeds pair nicely with supercharged NVMe drives. Both the PCIe lanes in your motherboard and the M.2 slot in your motherboard can be wired to support the PCIe interface, and you can buy adapters that allow you to slot “gumstick” M.2 drives into a PCIe lane. PCIe 4.0 drives are significantly faster, but require an AMD Ryzen 3000-series or Intel Core 11th-gen (or newer) processor, along with a compatible PCIe 4. 0 motherboard.
  3. NVMe: Non-Volatile Memory Express technology takes advantage of PCIe’s bountiful bandwidth to create blisteringly fast SSDs that blow SATA-based drives out of the water. Check out PCWorld’s “Everything you need to know about NVMe” for a nitty-gritty deep-dive.
  4. M.2: This is where things get tricky. Many people assume M.2 drives all use NVMe technology and PCIe speeds, but that’s not true. M.2 is just a form factor. Sure, most M.2 SSDs use NVMe, but some still stick to SATA. Do your homework. Many modern Ultrabooks rely on M.2 for storage.
  5. U.2 and mSATA: You may also stumble across mSATA and U.2 SSDs, but both motherboard support and product availability are rare for those formats. Some older Ultrabooks included mSATA before M.2 became popular, and drives are still available if you need them.

Speed matters, of course, but as we said most modern SSDs saturate the SATA III interface. Not all of them, though.

SSDs vs. hard drives

Do you need an SSD? “Need” is a strong word, but we heartily recommend that everyone upgrade to an SSD. Solid-state drive speeds blow even the fastest mechanical hard drives out of the water. Simply swapping out the hard drive in your old laptop or desktop for an SSD can make it feel like a whole new system—and a blazing-fast one at that. Buying an SSD is easily the best upgrade you can make for a computer.

SSDs cost more per gigabyte than mechanical hard drives, though, and thus aren’t often available in ultra-high capacities. If you want speed and storage space, you can buy an SSD with limited space and use it as your boot drive, then set up a traditional hard drive as secondary storage in your PC. Place your programs on your boot drive, stash your media and other files on the hard drive, and you’re ready to have your cake and eat it too.

How we test SSDs

We test SSDs using a variety of synthetic benchmarks (such as CrystalDiskMark 6’s various tests) and real-world tests, including 48GB transfers that showcase how a drive performs in common tasks, and a grueling 450GB transfer test that pushes an SSD’s cache performance to the brink.

The PCIe 3 tests utilized Windows 10 64-bit running on a Core i7-5820K/Asus X99 Deluxe system with four 16GB Kingston 2666MHz DDR4 modules, a Zotac (Nvidia) GT 710 1GB x2 PCIe graphics card, and an Asmedia ASM2142 USB 3.1 card. It also contains a Gigabyte GC-Alpine Thunderbolt 3 card, and Softperfect Ramdisk 3.4.6 for the 48GB read and write tests.

The PCIe 4 testing was done on an MSI MEG X570 motherboard socketing an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-core CPU, using the same Kingston DRAM, cards, and software. All testing is performed on an empty, or nearly empty drive. Performance will decrease as the drive fills up.

SATA 3 vs M.2 vs NVMe – Overview and Comparison

There are a variety of different terms for solid state drives these days, the three most popular being SATA 3, M.2, and NVMe.

If you’ve recently looked at purchasing an SSD, chances are you’ve come across these terms, but you may not completely understand the technical differences.

Table of Contents

    In this article, we’ll be laying out the differences, explaining which is better/worse, and providing details on how the technology for each SSD type works.

    The Evolution Of the Solid State Drive

    Firstly, let’s talk about the origin of the solid state drive, and why it has been such a popular hardware item for PC builders and laptop manufacturers in recent years.

    A typical storage drive used in laptops and PCs is known as a traditional hard drive. These types of drives have moving parts. A hard drive works similarly to an old record player.

    There is a moving disk (platter) and a large header that can read data and write off of them as the disk spins.

    Typically, the faster the hard drive spins (7200 RPM, 10,000 RPM, etc.), the faster the storage drive can be read. Unfortunately, there is a limit to how fast a hard drive can read the data. There’s also a latency that comes with waiting for the head to physically move. This is where SSDs come in.

    SSD stands for solid state drive and it’s a type of storage that does not have moving parts. SSDs instead use semiconductor chips to store and access memory.

    An, SSD in particular, has a huge array of these semiconductors that can be charged or uncharged, which the computer will read as a ‘1’ or ‘0’ in binary and convert that to actual files or data viewable on your machine.

    What’s interesting about the type of memory used in an SSD is that the cells retain their charged or uncharged state even after shutting down and this is how memory is stored and not forgotten.

    A PC or laptop is able to read data many times faster off of an SSD because the flash technology just works that much faster than old mechanical hard drives with moving parts.

    More recently, we’ve had a variety of different types of solid state drives, namely SATA 3 and NVMe. These drives use the same semiconductor arrays explained above, but they have different potentials for different reasons.

    Let’s take a look at how each solid state storage type differs below.

    SATA 3 vs M.2 vs NVMe – What’s the Difference?

    As it turns out, the technology used to read and write data off of an SSD is so fast that the limiting factor actually comes down to the method the drive shares data to the PC.

    There are two different methods a PC uses to read an SSD: SATA 3 and NVMe.

    SATA 3 connections are made by connecting a data cable and a power cable directly into the motherboard and the solid state drive itself.

    An NVMe connection, on the other hand, allows a solid state drive to have its data read straight from a PCI-E slot right on the motherboard. The drive draws power directly through the motherboard. More importantly, the NVMe drive will also draw data through the motherboard at a faster rate than SATA 3.

    Why, you ask? Simply put, an NVMe can queue more data at once due to having access to more PCI-E lanes.

    PCI-E lanes are essentially data lanes on a motherboard. There’s a limited amount, and the different ports and slots on a motherboard are given certain lanes. On a typical newer motherboard, you’ll see slots of various sizes corresponding to the number of PCI-E lanes available (x1, x2, x4, x16, etc).

    The end result is that with more PCI-E lanes, and direct PCI-E read/write potential, NVMe drives are typically far faster than SATA SSDs.

    However, the performance boost is only really seen for sequential read/write speeds. Or, in simpler terms, for moving large files.

    With the true read/write speed potential of NVMe only being reached with larger files, differences may not be that noticeable for gaming and everyday tasks.

    So, for boot up time and gaming, NVMe won’t offer much difference. For video editing and photo editing, NVMe drives can offer much better results.

    Here is a look at the typical read/write speeds of a hard drive, a SATA 3 SSD and an NVMe SSD for large files.

      • 7200 RPM Hard Drive – average read/write speed of 80-160MB/second
      • SATA 3 SSD – read/write speed up to 550MB/second
      • NVME SSD – read/write speed up to 3500MB/second

    What About M.2? Where Does That Come In?

    So far, we’ve explained SATA and NVMe. These are two methods, or protocols, used to read and write data. One uses PCI-E (NVMe) and the other doesn’t (SATA).

    An M.2 drive is simply a term to describe the physical form factor of a drive. M.2 drives are the slim ones shown below. M.2 drives are not another protocol like NVMe and SATA. In fact, you can get an M.2 drive that uses either SATA or NVMe.

    Here is an M.2 drive with a SATA connection:

    And here is an M.2 drive with an NVMe connection:

    An M.2 drive is not faster just because of its form factor. It’s just usually the case that M.2 drives use the NVMe protocol because they already connect via PCI-E anyway.

    If you’re in the market for an NVMe drive, just make sure that the M.2 drive you look at clearly has NVMe in its description or title and not SATA.

    Summary – Should You Get SATA 3 or NVMe?

    If you’re upgrading from a traditional hard drive, both SATA 3 and NVMe will offer you spectacular improvements. NVMe is typically more expensive than SATA 3, which is a problem considering standard SATA 3 SSDs are already expensive enough.

    NVMes really are only useful for those larger file transfers, too, so unless you regularly move large files for photo and video editing, or find a great deal on an NVMe drive, you may as well stick to a standard SATA 3 SSD because you can get a much bigger size for the same price. 

    Also, for gaming, both NVMe and SATA 3 will offer very similar boot speeds. They are both so fast that other hardware, such as RAM and CPU performance, ends up being the bottleneck.

    Hopefully, this summarizes the difference between SATA 3 and NVMe and makes it clear how M.2 fits into the equation as well.

    Below is a quick summary of everything we’ve covered so far.

      • M.2 – A slimmer form factor for storage drives
      • NVMe – A protocol that lets data be read and written via PCI-E
      • SATA 3 – An older protocol that is typically not as fast as NVMe

    What are your thoughts on this topic?

    SATA III or PCIe NVMe?

    The question of choosing a high-performance solid-state drive for a home / work PC is now extremely relevant. And if you still have not replaced a slow HDD with a fast SSD, you should do it as soon as possible. Which option to choose: SATA or PCIe NVMe (form factor does not play a significant role)? Any. The result will be impressive in any case. Of course, there is a speed difference between drives with the mentioned interfaces, but in real applications it is not so noticeable. It is much more important to pay attention to the functional nuances.

    PCIe NVMe SSDs offer faster speeds than SATA III drives.

    Traditional SATA III SSDs are like yesterday. For example, Intel has abandoned such devices in relation to the consumer segment. Solid-state drives with the specified interface have long hit the speed ceiling (600 MB / s), so there is nothing to develop here technologically.

    But PCIe NVMe drives, as the bus is updated (the specifications of the sixth version of the interface were recently approved), offer ever higher data transfer rates. And this means that the future lies with such drives.

    Drives that support the NVMe protocol are much faster than SATA options (at the same time, they cost plus / minus the same), and it is logical to choose the fastest SSD. But everything is not as simple as it seems (tests carried out confirm this fact). That is why we decided to publish this article.

    Form factor

    M.2 modification or classic 2.5″ SSD? It is impossible to answer this question unambiguously, because a lot depends on the computer. For example, a laptop may not have a profile connector for connecting one or another solid state drive (or it is already occupied). It’s easier on desktop.

    The advantage of a PCIe NVMe SSD is that it does not require any wires. In addition, it practically does not take up space in the case.

    In turn, the 2.5″ form factor is closer to most users, since it is easier to deal with a device that has been used to for many decades.

    Silicon Power P34A60 512 GB

    Acer RE100 512 GB

    Heat dissipation

    As a rule, all PCIe NVMe SSDs heat up significantly during operation (many of them are equipped with standard heatsinks). This fact, in theory, can negatively affect performance in the long run (speed drop when high temperatures are reached).

    2.5″ drives with SATA III interface do not have such problems (lower speeds, plus the presence of a large metal case have a positive effect on the result). And in this regard, the advantage is clearly on the side of the traditional form factor SSD.

    Silicon Power P34A60 512GB Acer RE100 512GB
    Form factor M.2 2280 2.5″
    Interface PCIe Gen3 x4 SATA III
    Memory 3D TLC NAND 3D TLC NAND
    Read/Write (linear) 2200/1600 MB/s 562/529 MB/s
    MTBF 2 million hours 2 million hours
    Warranty 5 years 5 years
    Dimensions 22x80x3. 5 mm 100x70x6.7 mm
    Weight 8 g 40 g

    Mounting, configuring and installing the operating system

    When PCIe SSDs were not yet so popular, difficulties with installing the OS, properly configuring the drive and initializing really existed.

    Sometimes I had to reflash the motherboard, the drive itself, get into the BIOS and adjust certain parameters. But now everything is different (largely due to the widespread adoption of the NVMe protocol and the emergence of modern equipment).

    Four-digit numbers in disc specifications are often of no use.

    Current motherboards/OS instantly and without any additional delays detect a freshly installed M.2 drive in the slot. But the nuances associated with the correct operation of the PCIe SSD still remain.

    The M.2 connectors on the motherboard may operate at different speeds (or not at all) depending on the processor model installed. Therefore, avoiding even the slightest immersion in the principles of PC and BIOS operation, if you want to achieve maximum performance from the disk subsystem when using a PCIe SSD, will not work.

    The 2.5″ SATA III drive is a lifesaver in this regard. There are no hassles with him. Installed, connected two wires, and started working. You will get the maximum speed without any settings.


    We have already mentioned that PCIe NVMe SSDs offer faster speeds than SATA III drives. And, in general, it is obvious that linear 1000-1500 MB / s look more preferable than 450-550 MB / s. So, the higher these indicators, the faster applications / games / folders will open and the OS will start, right? No not like this.

    The reality is different. There are benchmarks that confirm the superiority of PCIe NVMe drives over SATA alternatives, but there are real tasks that each of us faces on a daily basis. It is they who prove that there is often no use from additional zeros in specifications.

    Silicon Power P34A60 512 GB

    Acer RE100 512 GB

    Test bench:

    • Motherboard ASUS ROG Maximus XII Hero (Wi-Fi)
    • RAM XPG Spectrix D50 DDR4-3600 (2×8 GB)
    • Silicon Power P34A60 512 GB and Acer RE100 512 GB drives
    • Operating system Windows 10 Enterprise 64-bit

    Test results

    If you look at the specifications of the Silicon Power P34A60 512 GB and Acer RE100 512 GB, no one will doubt which drive is faster. But what results have we received in practice?

    The speed of these devices was evaluated in four disciplines:

    • Windows 10 Enterprise 64-bit boot time
    • Total War: Three Kingdoms launch
    • opening a multipage text document
    • opening 24 MB presentation

    Silicon Power P34A60 512 GB handled the office load faster (by a few fractions of a second), but the Acer RE100 512 GB (noticeably) handled the launch of the game and the OS. Surprised? We ran the experiment twice (in cold and hot formats), and the situation has not changed.

    The final result is affected by many factors (motherboard model, SSD controller, BIOS settings, OS version, number of devices connected to the PC, etc.), therefore, in certain cases , the scales may well swing in the other direction.

    Launching Total War: Three Kingdoms

    Windows 10 Enterprise 64-bit Boot Time

    Opening a 24 MB presentation

    Opening a text document


    SATA or PCIe NVMe SSD? In short, it’s not that important. Especially in the case of moving from HDD to SSD. Users who are not afraid to get into the BIOS and system unit will probably choose a more compact and nimble drive. And for those who do not want to bother with the setup and technical aspects of the M.2 form factor, 2.5″ SSDs have been created.

    Virtually any SSD currently on the market is ideal for most gaming/multimedia/working needs. And you don’t have to chase speed. Beautiful numbers are expensive, but in practice they do not give anything (modification Seagate FireCuda 530 ZP1000GM30023 once again confirms this fact).

    Keywords: Acer Silicon Power

    Will SATA 3 SSD work on SATA 1?

    Hello friends. This note will answer the question of whether a SATA 3 SSD will work on SATA 1. This situation usually affects older motherboards.

    Will a SATA 3 SSD work on SATA 1?

    Short answer: SSD SATA 3 will work fine on a motherboard with SATA 1, just at the speed of the first revision of SATA.

    In simple words: yes, full support is present, just SATA 1 has a much lower speed, namely 150 Mb/s. But don’t get upset. This is linear speed. It does not particularly affect the performance of the file system, for example, as the speed of random access – and it, even if it is 10 MB / s, is already very fast. Therefore, by installing a SATA 3 SSD on the motherboard, where there is only SATA 1, you will get a 100% performance increase. Anyway.

    Often even modern motherboards contain a SATA connector of the second revision and the third:


    It doesn’t matter which drive to connect to – it will work 100%. The difference will be only in speed. But if we mean SSD, then even connecting to the first revision of SATA 1, the computer will noticeably speed up.

    Look, the speed of modern hard drives reaches 200 Mb/s. And modern SSDs – up to 550 MB / s. However, in fact, SSD is not 2 or 3 times faster than a hard one. And more. Although the speed figures show that it is about 2-3 times faster. But this is linear speed. Here, the random access speed of an SSD is not 2-3 times higher than that of a hard drive, but about 10 times higher. It is the speed of random access that determines the speed of the file system. It is enough that it be at least 10-20 Mb / s, and SATA 1 quite allows you to get such a speed.

    Random access speed and linear – what is it?

    • Line speed – continuous speed, such as copying one large file, when the process is not interrupted to search / copy the next file. This is a constant speed for modern hard drives, especially top models – it can be about 200 MB / s. Only the speed of a PC with such a disk does not even come close to SSD.
    • Random access speed – the speed with which the drive finds the file, as well as its parts. The file is often recorded not as one part, but as several, this is called the process of fragmentation (a common occurrence). In order for the files to be written in one part, you need to defragment regularly. An SSD searches for files and parts of it very quickly, which is why the PC works much faster with it (and therefore there is no need to defragment). Finding a file is the weakest point of any hard drive.


    Found out:

    • SATA 3 SSD will work fine on SATA 1.