[SOLVED] How to tell a fast SSD from slow SSD?

ManOfArc

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Jul 8, 2017
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I'm looking at getting a NVMe SSD, but can't seem to understand how two different SSDs with seemingly identical specs can be so different in cost. Here is an example: The HP EX900 M.2 500GB PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe 3D TLC NAND for $67 and the Western Digital WD BLACK SN750 NVMe M.2 2280 500GB for $120. Both are PCIe x4 and both are 500GB. What is the distinguishing featuere(s) that makes the WD almost twice as expensive?

Those are just a couple I happened to notice, not necessarily the ones I would choose from. (Those are in and slightly above my price range) But it shows the difficulty of telling a fast SSD from a slow one to someone as ignorant of the details as I am. Is there some spec I should look for, or do I need to read thru pages of benchmark comparisons.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Unless you have a specific use (database, etc) you won't see any significant real-world differences in performance. Some of the costs are the included software. The HP is probably a bare disk in a static bag. No software, no nothing.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
NVMe drives will be faster than SATA SSDs in benchmarks. The real-world difference is in a second or two for most things. Tom's did a review of the EX900. You can see that is middle of the pack. It is also a year old review, so the WD may have changed.
The EX900 gets very good feedback and is a bargain.

What do I mean by "bare drive"? No fancy packaging. Probably no software. Just the disk drive in a anti-static bag, wrapped in bubble wrap.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
The specs the OP quoted above show both drives in question to be PCI-e x4/M.2 NVME drives, I'm not sure why we are debating NVME vs. SATA....as those differences are not relevant here....(in this instance)
It is relevant to point out that any NVMe will benchmark faster than any SATA SSD. So if the OP has an HDD or SATA SSD, either will benchmark lower than an NVMe SSD. The real world differences between a good SATA SSD and an NVMe SSD will be minimal for most users.
 
Yeah, for most uses, the added performance of the fastest SSDs is arguably not worth the money at this time, at least not for anyone on a budget. A high-end NVME drive costing twice as much as a decent SATA drive might only reduce game load times by a second or two, for example, since much of those load times involve the game processing data, rather than just loading it. If a system is seeing frequent large file writes and copies, the added performance could be worthwhile, but most people are not doing that, and would typically benefit more from getting more capacity for the money instead.
 

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