Posts Tagged ‘SSDs’

Samsung 970 Pro review: Do yourself a favour and get the Evo instead

Samsung 970 Pro

For those after the very best that NVMe SSDs have to offer, Samsung’s Pro line has often been the go-to choice for workstation and power peeps alike. They’re usually faster than their more consumer and wallet-friendly Evo SSD siblings, and often come with higher endurance ratings for all that inevitable heavy-lifting they’ll be doing once you’ve popped them into your PC.

Today, I have Samsung’s latest, the 970 Pro. Big brother to the 970 Evo, this particular NVMe SSD comes in just two sizes this time round – 512GB and 1TB – and I’ve got one of the former. Let’s see if it’s worth the extra moolah.

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Best gaming SSD 2018: Top SATA and NVMe drives for your PC

Best SSDs 2018

Buying an SSD can be hellish when there are so many models to choose from that all quote exactly the same read and write speeds as everyone else, which is why we’re here to help you in your quest to find the best gaming SSD for you and your budget. Simply put, you need an SSD. Mechanical hard disks (HDDs) are fine for storing lots of games and photos, but let’s face it, they’re pretty slow. With an SSD, on the other hand, the jump in speed will make Windows load in seconds, programs open in a snap and cut game loading times to ribbons.

So if terms like SATA and NVMe this and M.2 and PCIe that make your head spin, you’re in the right place, as below you’ll find all of our current top picks for gaming, as well as in-depth buying advice on how to pick your next SSD. Now that I’ve had the WD Black 3D NVMe SSD in for review as well, I’ve updated this list to reflect what’s changed in our current rankings. Whether it’s for gaming, general performance or the fastest speeds money can buy, we’ve got you covered.

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WD Black 3D NVMe SSD review: Bringing the fight to the Samsung 970 Evo (sort of)

WD Black NVMe SSD header

When Western Digital announced their brand-new Black 3D NVMe SSD at the beginning of April, it looked like it might finally bring some much needed competition to the all-powerful Samsung 960 Evo and potentially cause a late-game upset in our Best gaming SSD rankings.

With superior claimed sequential write speeds, equal sequential read speeds, a more generous endurance rating on the 250GB model and so-close-you-can-feel-them-breathing-down-your-neck pricing, the WD Black NVMe SSD (2018) looked like a mighty fine prospect for anyone contemplating an upgrade to their SSD setup. And in some respects, it very much is a mighty fine prospect. Then Samsung went and gazumped them with the release of their 970 Evo and, well, completely tipped it down on WD’s parade.

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Samsung 970 Evo review: The best NVMe SSD around

Samsung 970 Evo

The Samsung 960 Evo and 960 Pro NVMe SSDs feel like they’ve been around for an absolute age, but when I heard they were getting replaced earlier in the week by a new 970 series as of May 7, it still came as something of a surprise. These new NVMe models are also split into Pro and Evo variants, and today I’ve got the 1TB version of the 970 Evo. Let’s see how it lives up to its Best SSD-crowned predecessor.  Read the rest of this entry »

Samsung adds 970 Evo and 970 Pro to their NVMe SSD family

Samsung 970 Evo and 970 Pro

Surprise! Just when you thought Samsung’s 960 Evo and 960 Pro NVMe SSDs were going to stick around for another year, today brings news of their shiny new replacements: the appropriately-named 970 Evo and 970 Pro. I’ll be reviewing them both very shortly, but for now here’s a quick run-down of each SSD’s specs and the kind of speeds we can expect to see from them when they eventually get released in the coming weeks. Read the rest of this entry »

Samsung T5 review: A fast external SSD that costs just a bit too much

Samsung T5

If you thought the WD My Passport SSD was a dinky external SSD, the Samsung T5 really takes the cake. Measuring just 74mm tall, 57mm wide and 10.5mm deep, the T5 is almost exactly the same size as a small box of matches. Weighing a featherweight 51g, it’s exceedingly light, too, its cool metal chassis putting bigger, bulkier external hard drives to shame.

This is external storage done right. The only problem is that you’ll have to pay through the roof for the privilege.
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WD My Passport SSD review: Good external storage that doesn’t cost the earth

WD My Passport SSD

Having a fast SSD inside your PC is all well and good, but they’re pretty useless if you want to transport large files to a different machine for a bit or back stuff up for safe keeping. In times like this, you need an external SSD, and today I’m taking a look at the WD My Passport SSD.

Portable storage devices have, of course, been around for donkey’s years, but while external hard drives (HDDs) are much cheaper than their SSD counterparts, they’re also a lot more liable to break when you chuck them in a bag due to the number of moving parts they have inside them. They’re also generally a lot bigger and bulkier to carry around.

The WD My Passport SSD, by comparison, measures just 90mm long, 45mm wide and a mere 10mm deep, making it exceedingly easy to slip into a jeans or jacket pocket without much fuss. It also has 256-bit AES hardware encryption to keep it secure, and it’s shock-resistant up to 6.5ft (or just under 2m), too, giving it extra durability if you accidentally send it flying because it’s so damn diddly.
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WD’s Black 3D NVMe SSD is about to give Samsung’s 960 Evo a run for its money

Western Digital Black 3D NVMe SSD

Western Digital have a new NVMe SSD on the block. Dubbed the WD Black 3D NVMe SSD, this super-fast storage stick finally brings some much needed competition to Samsung’s 960 Evo and 960 Pro, as it will be going on sale later this month with prices starting from just $120 in the US. Read the rest of this entry »

WD Blue 3D NAND review: Better SSD for big workloads

WD Blue 3D NAND

When Western Digital first released its Blue line of SSDs, it’s probably fair to say that they didn’t really make much of an impact. Not in the face of the mighty Samsung 850 Evo, at least, which still tops several Best gaming SSD lists (including our own) even today. Now, thankfully, WD’s finally jumped on the 3D NAND bandwagon, making its latest Blue 3D NAND SSDs much more competitive. There’s still some way to go before they reach the same dizzying heights as Samsung’s new 860 Evo, but the key thing is that they’re much less expensive, potentially making them better buys for anyone looking to keep costs down.

It’s also one and the same as SanDisk’s Ultra 3D SSD, giving you even more buying options as prices continue to fluctuate. WD acquired SanDisk in mid 2016, but decided to keep both brands going for the sake of their respective markets, with WD always having been better on the businessy side and SanDisk being bezzie mates with the general public. With both SSDs readily available online, however, the only thing you need to worry about is how much they both cost.

Right now, that’s the WD Blue 3D NAND, and with claimed sequential read and write speeds of up to 550MB/s read and 525MB/s write, it could potentially be even better than the 860 Evo. Let’s find out how it fares in practice.

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Samsung 960 Pro review: Blistering fast SSD that costs an absolute bomb

Samsung 960 Pro

There are several things that make the Samsung 960 Pro a bit special. The first is its ridiculous speed. With a claimed sequential read speed of up to 3500MB/s and a sequential write speed up to 2100MB/s, this is essentially a Formula One car crammed inside a drive no bigger than your index finger. It was also the first NVMe SSD aimed at us normal, non-enterprise folk to come in a 2TB capacity, offering caverns of space in a pint-sized package.

For many, it’s one of the best gaming SSDs ever made. The other thing that makes it stand out, however, is that it costs an absolute fortune, with the smallest 512GB model starting at £260 / $300, going all the way up to over £1000 / $1249 for that oh-so-special 2TB version. You could buy yourself a new graphics card with that kind of money, or even an entire PC. Why, then, should you consider getting this over its significantly cheaper 960 Evo sibling? Let’s find out.
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Samsung 960 Evo review: Still the best value NVMe SSD money can buy

Samsung 960 Evo

When Samsung first launched their pair of flagship 960 SSDs at the tail-end of 2016, they were the fastest NVMe SSDs on the planet. Coming in 960 Evo and 960 Pro flavours, they were five times faster than your typical SATA3 SSD and offered almost as much speed as their PCIe-based interfaces could manage.

Today, little has changed, and both remain widely regarded as the best gaming SSDs around, NVMe or otherwise, with the 960 Evo in particular often being the favoured choice over its more expensive sibling. Available in 250GB, 500GB and 1TB size options, the 960 Evo is still a lot more expensive than SATA3 SSDs like the Crucial MX500 or even Samsung’s own 860 Evo, but with 250GB sticks starting from around £110 / $120, at least it doesn’t feel like you have to remortgage your house just to get your foot in the door.
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Samsung 860 Pro review: get the 860 Evo SSD instead

Samsung 860 Pro

Samsung’s Pro range of SSDs have always had a hard time in the face of their cheaper Evo counterparts. On the face of it, they’re meant to be faster and longer-lasting – the very best gaming SSD, so to speak – but when the Samsung 850 Evo and 960 Evo proved to be pretty much just as quick as their respective Pro siblings for a lot less cash, they’ve become increasingly hard to justify. Unless you regularly move hundreds of GBs of files around your PC on a daily basis, Samsung’s Evo SSDs are more than enough for your typical gamer.

The 860 Pro is no different. Speed-wise, Samsung claims it’s a fraction faster than both the outgoing 850 Pro and incoming 860 Evo with a sequential read speed of up to 560MB/s and a sequential write speed of up to 530MB/s, but in reality they’re all pretty much identical. Why, then, should you consider the 860 Pro? It’s all to do with endurance.

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Samsung 860 Evo review: Improved endurance, but just as fast as the 850 Evo

Samsung 860 Evo

For the past three years, Samsung’s 850 Evo has been consistently the best gaming SSD money can buy. It’s often been more expensive than the competition, but its speed, endurance rating and generous five-year guarantee have all helped it secure its place as one of the mainstays of any PC gaming build. Finally, however, it looks like the 850 Evo’s time at the top is about to end, as Samsung’s just replaced it with the brand-new 860 Evo.

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Samsung 850 Evo review: Still a great SSD for those in the UK

Samsung 850 Evo

The Samsung 850 Evo is one of the most popular SSDs around, and with good reason. Thanks to its blistering speeds, five-year guarantee and best-in-class endurance rating, it’s sat near the top of most best gaming SSD lists ever since it first came out at the end of 2014. If your PC’s been feeling a bit sluggish lately, then the Samsung 850 Evo will almost certainly give it a much-needed boost.

Having said that, Samsung’s just replaced the 850 Evo with the newer 860 Evo. There’s not actually a huge amount of difference between them speed-wise, but the 860 Evo doubles down on the 850 Evo’s already excellent endurance levels and takes it to the next level. That’s not to say you shouldn’t still consider a Samsung 850 Evo, though, as those in the UK will find it a much better buy than its newer sibling. In the US, it’s a different story, as 850 Evo stock has pretty much already dried up, making the 860 Evo the obvious choice. Still, if you’re looking for a new SSD and live in the UK, then read on, as the 850 Evo is still a pretty tough act to beat while it’s still available.

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Crucial MX500 review: Better value than Samsung’s 850 Pro SSD

Crucial MX500

The MX500 is Crucial’s first SSD with flashy new 64-layer 3D NAND memory. This means that the data storage cells inside are stacked on top of one another, 64 deep. In comparison to 2D NAND, which only has a single layer of cells, 3D NAND has much higher storage density. This opens the door to potentially huge storage capacities, as well as making the NAND itself cheaper to produce for a certain capacity.

But why, you may ask, am I reviewing Crucial’s latest SSD tech in an old-school 2.5in SSD? Wouldn’t an NVMe drive’s faster interface give the NAND more of a chance to shine? In short, yes, it would. But not everyone has a motherboard with the requisite NVMe-compatible M.2 slot. After all, motherboards with M.2 slots only started appearing less than three years ago, and as long as my nearly-six-year-old gaming PC can still play The Witcher 3 at 60fps, it ain’t going anywhere. So let’s see what the new Crucial MX500 is capable of, and whether it can upset our previously established Best gaming SSD rankings.

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Samsung 850 Pro review: SSD overkill

Samsung 850 Pro

If you’re in the market for an SSD upgrade (and if you’re still using a hard disk, you really should be) you’re spoiled for choice. Any modern SSD, such as the Samsung 850 Evo, Crucial BX300 or WD Blue 3D, will transform your PC, but there are some of you who need the ultimate in performance. Enter Samsung’s 850 Pro range.

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Crucial BX300 review: Inexpensive and fast enough

Crucial BX300

If you’re still running your programs and games off a hard disk, do yourself a favour and get an SSD. They’re (still) not cheap, but they’re the best way to make your PC feel fast and responsive. They’re silent, too, and take up less room in your case. We’ve extolled the virtues of SSDs in our Best gaming SSD article, but Crucial has sent me a potential bargain for review: the BX300.

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Black Friday 2017: Best SSD deals

Black Friday is a great time for upgrading your PC, whether it’s buying a new graphics card, or getting a more up-to-date monitor to make the most of it. It also happens to fall right in the middle of video game Christmas, where all this year’s biggest releases also have the biggest install sizes. As such, why not grab yourself an SSD deal and upgrade your storage as well while you’re at it?

Below, we’ve rounded up all the best SSD deals we can currently find, but you can also find more deals for other types of components over in our central Black Friday 2017 hub. Of course, if you see a deal that isn’t listed below, let us know in the comments and we’ll get it added to the list.

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CES 2016: OLED PC Screens Are Coming

It's $5K. It's 4K. It's Dell's OLED display.

Didn’t I tell you 2016 was going to be great for PC gamers? Well, it’s started. The greatness, that is. And 2016, too. In fact it’s all so fantastic even the orgasm of capitalism, technological futility and conspicuous consumption that is the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas could not resist and duly served up an uncharacteristically compelling collection of intriguing new PC stuff. Stuff like OLED displays, silly-fast SSDs, graphics boxes for laptops, VR all over the shop and, well, other things that want your money.

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Why 2016 Will Be A Great Year For PC Gaming Hardware

2016 is going to be great for PC gaming hardware. Of that I am virtually certain. Last time around, I explained why the next 12 months in graphics chips will be cause for much rejoicing. That alone is big news when you consider graphics is arguably the single most important hardware item when it comes to progressing PC gaming. This week, I’ll tell you why the festivities will also apply to almost every other part of the PC, including CPUs, solid-state drives, screens and more. Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a SATA cable in my eye, 2016 is looking up.
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