SSD Buying Guide: 2024

SSD Buying Guide: Everything you need to know before buying an SSD in 2024.

Today if someone is building a PC or upgrading their old PC, then generally main focus goes behind, a powerful CPU, a large amount of RAM, a solid Graphics card, a premium motherboard. We often left storage for the last. Again if someone is tight on budget, they often made their compromise on storage. But wait! don’t you think that we are neglecting one of the key component. Where are you going to store all data ? is it safe to neglect that? obviously no. So we must give our time on researching on the best storage option.

Now many of you probably knew that a SSD is generally faster than HDD. But it doesn’t mean that installing only, more amount of SSD will increase the performance alone. See, in a PC, every component plays their own role. So don’t overspend on a particular component.

Okay so in this article we discuss about every type of SSD, available in the market. So in this SSD buying guide, let’s find out which one is the best option for you.

Understanding SSD: What is a SSD?

SSD is a storage device, an upgraded version of HDD (Hard Disk drives). Unlike HDDs, SSD doesn’t rely on spinning platters to read and write. A SSD can access and transfer data much faster than a HDD. Which results a quick bootup, faster application loading. SSD are much safer than HDD, in terms of any physical damage or data corruption. SSDs are very power efficient, as it doesn’t have to spin continuously.

For example, if your regular PC has a bootup time(with HDD) of 15-20 sec then, using a SSD, will reduce the bootup time up to 4-5 sec. You’ll notice significant difference, when you’re copying some file, internally or externally. Even if you’re doing some productivity, like using Premiere Pro, you’ll have a much smoother experience.

If you’re a gamer then SSD is must, Even in modern Playstations, SSDs are used. Especially in Ray-tracing games, where more read and write speed matters.

Key Considerations When Buying an SSD

Now let’s discuss the key elements of an SSD.

Form Factor

The form factor of an SSD indicates the physical size, shape, and connector type of an SSD. It determines how an SSD fits in your PC and what kind of interface it uses, to communicate with the system. There are mainly 3 types of SSDs available in the market, in terms of form factor.

1. 2.5-Inch SSD

SATA SSDs generally have a form factor of 2.5-inch, it is used in relatively older PCs. It very much looks like an HDD. If you have a laptop or PC with a HDD, then you can easily replace the HDD with an SATA SSD. Generally, SATA SSDs are compatible with every computers.

SSD buying guide: 2.5-Inch SATA SSD
2. M.2 SSD
SSD buying guide: M.2 NVMe SSD

M.2 SSDs are much faster than SATA SSDs. They have a very small form factor. Well, this M.2 SSD is a relatively newer technology, it only work on those PC, where separate PCIe lanes are allocated over M.2 slots. You can easily find it in the motherboard configuration.

SSD buying guide: M.2 SSD slot

M.2 SSDs can use both the interfaces, between SATA and NVMe. NVMe has become the most common interface, due to it’s faster speeds.

3. U.2 SSD and Add-in Cards (AIC)

These types of SSDs are not very much common in market. Generally this type of SSDs are used for specialized high-performance scenarios.


It is a smaller version of SSD. Generally used in some laptops, notebook computers, and in steam-decks.

SSD buying guide: mSATA SSD


If I put it simply, Interface of an SSD is the mean of communication and a connector it uses to interact (data transfer) with your PC’s motherboard. It determines the speed at which data can be transferred between the SSD and your PC. Don’t get confused between Form factor and interface.

Form factor is the size of SSD and, Interface is mode of communication between SSD and your PC

Generally 3 type of interfaces are there.


This type of interfaces was designed for hard drives, now SSDs of 2.5-Inch form factor run on this. If you’ve seen a PC build, then probably you should’ve noticed that, 2 thick wire get connected with your HDD. Those two wire is connected to SATA ports. It generally has a read and write speed of about 300-500Mbps.

2. PCIe

Now PCIe is an interface, but it’s not solely used for SSD. Peripheral Component Interconnect Express or PCIe is a general-purpose high-speed interface used in motherboards to connect various components like graphics cards, network cards, and storage devices.

Now when we consider PCIe for SSD, it has 3 generation, Gen 3(2500-3500Mbps), Gen 4(5000-7000Mbps) and Gen5(10k-13kMbps).

For majority of the users Gen 4 and Gen 5 is an overkill. If you’re a student or working professional then, Gen 3 is more than enough. If you’re a content creator, VFX artist, or a professional gamer, then you can go with Gen 4.

SSD buying guide: Interfaces
3. Then What is NVMe ?

NVMe is similar to PCIe, but not the same. NVMe is a communication protocol, specially designed for SSDs, to work efficiently over PCIe lanes. Think it like a set of rules and instructions on how to utilize those fast PCIe lanes efficiently for data storage. Also you can imagine it as the bridge between the SSD and PCIe lane.

Now interestingly, some M.2 SSDs can function with PCIe-based NVMe support, and some only function with PCIe support, without any NVMe.


If you search on the market, you’ll find SSD of different capacity, from 128GB to 5TB. Now first ask yourself, what’s your need, why are you buying an SSD? Keeping majority of the users, I’m recommending different types of SSD.

  1. 128GB: First of all, if you’re building a new PC, don’t go for 128GB at all. Your windows will alone eat space around 80GB. Now even for a very basic user, if you install software, like chrome, some anti-virus, then also you’ll end up filling your storage. 128GB is only recommended, if you’ve an HDD, and only your Windows(OS) is going to be installed in SSD, to speed up your bootup time.
  2. 256GB: For budget buyers, at-least 256GB is recommended. if you’re going to do light weight tasks, like basic multitasking, multimedia consumption, MS word, Power-point or Excel related work then 256GB is sufficient.
  3. 512GB: Now this is what I called, a sweet spot. If you’re comfortable with little budget extension then 512GB is an ideal choice for most of the users. You can easily install your OS, along with 1-2 heavy games(70GB+), some software like, Premiere pro, VS code etc. Your PC will work just fine.
  4. 1TB-2TB: Now this range is not recommended unless you’re a professional user. If you’re a pro gamer, and need to keep multiple heavy games around 100GB or more, or maybe you edit 4K videos with multiple assets, then only 1TB or higher is recommended.


There are only 2 types of speed available in SSD. Read and Write speed.

1. Read speed

It is the speed at which, your PC can pull information from SSD. Imagine it like, picking a specific folder from your directory. Faster read speed results a fast computer boot up, programs opening, and games loading.

2. Write speed

This is how fast your PC can put information into your SSD. Imagine it like, putting a new folder in a specific directory. Faster write speed results a fast file saving, data transfer, and installing programs.

Read and write Speed speed of SSD

On my PC I have an NVMe M.2 512GB SSD, I got around 3.6GBps read speed and 3.2GBps write speed. This is more than enough for the majority of the users.

Endurance (TBW)

Endurance stands for Terabytes written and indicates the total amount of data you can write to an SSD before it reaches, it’s end-of-life. SSD has flash memory cells, which have a limited life-span, which that means each time you save a file, download a game, or install software, you’re “writing” data to the SSD.

Although, that is very much negligible, compare to our daily usage. If a typical user is writing around 50GB of data per day, then also it’ll take many years, to reach it’s endurance limit.

Here also SSD has a huge life-span compared to a HDD.

DRAM Cache:

An SSD that has its dedicated onboard memory, is called a DRAM SSD. So why does an SSD need DRAM?

See an SSD needs to move its data, at every moment. Suppose, you made a command to open an app or software or any file. So DRAM plays a big role in opening the file from its particular location. Every single piece of information about Storage, like wherever a file is saved inside an SSD, is noted on the DRAM, you can also call it the directory of SSD.

SSD Buying guide: Samsung DRAM

Suppose you go to a library, and it’s huge, you want to read fiction novels, so instead of searching the whole library, you go through a small list,(where the position of every book is mentioned) and you find the information about the location of that fiction book. DRAM is just like the list in the library. The library is the SSD.

So clearly DRAM SSDs work faster in comparison to normal SSDs. Although the difference is very negligible in daily usage, unless you are editing a 4k video with numerous effects and things like this, this DRAM does not have that much effect in performance.


Without making it more complex, let me put it simply. SATA SSDs are compatible to every devices, especially if you already have an HDD, then a SATA SSD will be your optimum and safe choice.

If you’re planning to buy an M.2 NVMe SSD, make sure to check your motherboard. It should at least have an PCIe 3.0 or PCIe 4.0 slot available. Also make sure to match the SSD’s compatible PCIe generation with your motherboard for best performance. In case of laptop, check your laptop’s specification page, and try to see if any, SSD upgradability option has been mentioned or not. Otherwise you can manually open laptop’s back panel, and check the area below the RAM. You’ll see if a SSD slot has been given or not.

First of all let me tell you, Don’t do cost cutting here. Your SSD storage will store your crucial data for man years. Don’t compromise your SSD for 1k or 2k.

If you want to go with 256GB M.2 NVMe SSD then you can go with WD Blue, GIGABYTE.

  1. GIGABYTE 256GB M.2 NVM2 PCIe 3.0 SSD – check on amazon.
  2. WD Blue M.2 NVMe 250GB PCIe 3.0 SSD – check on amazon.

For 512GB SSD, only prefer M.2 NVMe SSD. Here you’ll find options like, Crucial, ADATA, GIGABYTE, WD Blue, and Samsung. Samsung is considered the king in this segment, so Samsung is highly recommended, but you may also have to pay, 1k-2k more.

For 1TB SSD, you can prefer WD Black, Crucial, Samsung.

  1. Crucial P3 1TB PCIe 3.0 NVMe M.2 SSD – check on amazon.
  2. WD Black 1TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD – check on amazon.
  3. Samsung 980 PRO 1TB (up to 7 GB/s) PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD – check on amazon.


So in this article, We have discussed about complete SSD buying guide. I’ve addressed every key elements you need to know, before buying an SSD. I’m sure if you’ve read the complete article, then you’ve got all knowledge required to buy the perfect SSD for your PC. If you’ve any query related to my article, then feel free to ask me in the comment section, I’ll try to answer you, as soon I can.

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