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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > SSDs; What to Avoid, What's Worth Spending a Little More?

SSDs; What to Avoid, What's Worth Spending a Little More?
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ghporter
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Feb 24, 2024, 04:46 PM
 
Are there any SSD brands to avoid, or brands to shell out a bit more money for? Crucial and WD have 2TB SSDs for $130 or less on Amazon, whereas Samsung's 870 EVO is $148, but Verbatim's 2TB is $108. Several other brands offer sub $100 2TB SSDs, but I'm not sure I want to spend money for a brand like "Team Group" or "Kingspec". Unless they're worth it.

I don't trust Amazon reviews for a lot of tech, and other places that should be trustworthy, like CNET and PC Magazine often have conflicting reviews. Then there are other places where the reviewer pans a perfectly serviceable product because it lacks enough gee wiz for their tastes. Not "data center-centric" or "too small for me to take seriously" (obligatory "that's what she said" goes here ).

So friends and colleagues, if you were recommending brands to someone, and didn't want that someone disappointed, what brands would you go with, and what brands would you run away from?

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
reader50
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Feb 24, 2024, 06:11 PM
 
I avoid QLC like the plague. TLC or MLC (if the price isn't too high). Beware some marketing scumbags put "MLC" on 3-bit and 4-bit devices. Something to look for is the write capacity, usually in Terabytes Written. Divide by the drive capacity, and you know how many times you can overwrite the drive.

I tried a couple Silicon Power SSDs (SATA), as they're apparently TLC and were on sale. Unknown write capacity - Newegg doesn't list the spec.

They worked, but have small write cache. In sustained writes, they become subject to pauses & slowdowns. Mostly an issue during OS installs. Once you're past that, they work well enough. No failures yet. And $60 for 2TB was hard to pass up. I since bought an M.2 Silicon Power 2TB, which doesn't exhibit the pauses under heavy write. No issues with the SP M.2 at all.

I've also avoided the weird unknown brands. And I avoid WD since their marketing people took over. Hard drives should list their RPMs, not show a range, or eventually nonsense like "RPM = intellipower".

My preference is TLC from:

Mushkin Source - up to 1250 TB written (625x erase cycles) - avoid their "Element" SSDs, tiny write cache and overwrite as low as 20x.
Crucial (Micron) MX500 - 360 TB written (180x erase cycles)

The best choice is:

Samsung EVO - 1200 TB written (600x erase cycles)
OWC - 340x erase cycles (Electra 6G) or 750x erase cycles (Extreme Pro 6G)

Gold standard would be Samsung Pro (MLC) - 2400 TB written (1200x overwrite). But they doubled in price shortly after the pandemic started, and haven't fallen back. Even though other SSD prices have fallen.
     
ghporter  (op)
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Feb 24, 2024, 07:43 PM
 
Thanks! You’re right, those specific stats aren’t easy to find.

I wound up ordering a 1TB Samsung 870 EVO 2.5” unit from Amazon. The price was right (on sale!) and it was eligible for not just free shipping, but free overnight shipping, so it’ll be here tomorrow morning.

One reason I asked about “other brands” was some horror stories I’d read - and seen pictures of. Inside the case is a bunch of SD cards, or other shenanigans. Since I have several 128GB micro-SD cards, I can just imagine the shifty/creative tricks available to scammers.

I was surprised by the whole QLC versus TLC issue, since when I’ve read about QLC it has just sounded like something similar to higher density on HDD platters. But a second look makes me uncomfortable with it, since losing one cell loses twice as much capacity as losing a TLC cell would. I’m sure there are a ton of other factors that cascade from that as well.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
ghporter  (op)
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Feb 29, 2024, 05:54 PM
 
The Samsung SSD was eligible for "overnight" delivery, with an expected delivery "between 4 am and 8 am." But they didn't do that. They delivered it that evening. Wow.

The packaging was neat; the drive was supported in a molded fiber/paper tray, inside a box that reminded me of a box for large playing cards. Kudos to both Samsung and Amazon on this.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
OreoCookie
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Mar 8, 2024, 04:10 AM
 
Good purchasing decision, Glenn.

Having used several Samsung SSDs in the past and owning one now, they are at least very good, sometimes best-in-class.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
ghporter  (op)
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Mar 11, 2024, 07:34 PM
 
I’m happy with my purchase. The drive “just works”, and I have confidence that it will keep on doing so.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
CharlesS
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Mar 24, 2024, 01:59 PM
 
Crucial and WD have 2TB SSDs for $130 or less on Amazon, whereas Samsung's 870 EVO is $148, but Verbatim's 2TB is $108.
Meanwhile, the cost to upgrade a MBP's internal storage from 512 GB to 2 GB is $600. Oy. I miss being able to swap in my own storage...

Ticking sound coming from a .pkg package? Don't let the .bom go off! Inspect it first with Pacifist. Macworld - five mice!
     
   
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