Choosing the right 1TB NVMe SSD

In order to have the best gaming PC or laptop, looking for the best SSD or solid-state drive is important in order for your machine to be snappy. Bottlenecks can occur when you have a slow storage drive that forces your processor to wait for data. This is why we have begun testing M.2 NVMes to see which has the best read and write speeds at a great performance ratio.

One of the recent updates is the blazing-fast PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSDs from Gigabyte, Corsair, Patriot, Seagate and others. Thanks to the doubling of the PCIe bus bandwidth, sequential speeds have been boosted dramatically making them great options when necessary. 

Consideration when choosing an SSD

  • Interface Compatibility

Checking for a compatible interface like an M.2 PCIe, SATA Add-in Card to determine which is best supported by your computer. Normally, this information is on the brand website of your desired product.

  • 256GB to 512 GB

Our recommended capacity would be a minimum of 256GB. A 512GB SSD will allow a balance between price and capacity. Though higher capacities have become more affordable and game sizes are getting larger, these could be done at a later for upgrades.

  • Choose NVMe

Majority of desktops and laptops utilize a 2.5-inch SATA drive and those who only do mainstream tasks would not notice the difference between a SATA drive and a PCIe model. If you are a gamer or do video production and animation, then the render time or boot-up time will definitely be felt.

Choosing between SATA or PCIe interface

Doing regular tasks like web browsing and office applications, most NVMe SSDs aren’t going to be noticeably faster compared to less expensive SATA models. If your tasks consist heavier workload, like huge file transfers, videos or photo-editing, transcoding, and compression then the right choice is to get an NVMe SSD. This will provide more bandwidth compared to SATA models boosting performance when utilizing heavy applications such as rendering or compression.

Recommended Capacity

  • 128 GB: Low capacity would result in slower performance due to minimal memory modules and a faster fill. Regularly, just Windows 10 and a couple of video files and games would already fill up your space.
  • 250 GB: At this capacity, it becomes more affordable but still comes quite cramped and is normally paired with an additional hard drive or HDD for storage. If the plan is to hold a large media library or house a number of PC games, then stepping up to a 500GB drive is advisable.
  • 500 GB: For PC builders, this is normally the sweet spot that sits between price and extra storage and makes 1TB drives a bit more appealing.
  • 1 TB:  A 1-terabyte storage solves the issue when it comes to having a lack of space when it comes to large game libraries and media files. This gives access to more applications without the need to uninstall and reinstall when necessary.
  • 2 TB: If the budget fits, then paying a high premium might be worth it for hardcore gamers and editors that require larger storage than most.

Being a desktop PC user or having a gaming laptop with multiple drives and require larger capacities, pairing smaller SSDs will help save compared still giving approximately the same amount of space required.

Performance Test

AS SSD Benchmark

AS SSD Benchmark is a free software designed solely for solid-state drives. Performing an array of sequential read and write tests, along with sequential access times over portions of the drive.

AS SSD 1TB NVMe Comparison
AS SSD 1TB NVMe Comparison

Using the AS SSD Benchmark, we see the Kingston A2000 500GB produce a read score of 147.75 MB/s on Sequential Writes and Seagate Firecuda 510 1TB, 55.4MB/s on Sequential Reads. Giving us an overview that these NVMe really performs at different levels despite their price ranges.

PCMark 8 Storage Test

The PCMark 8 Storage tests performance of drives recording from Adobe Creative Suite, Office and a selection of games. It gives an idea of how storage devices would perform. Unlike synthetic storage tests, this gives real-world performance differences between drives.

PCMark 8 Storage 1TB NVMe Comparison

Crystal Disk Mark 7 

This is a decent benchmark used to measure theoretical performance levels of a hard drive or SSD.

Crystal Disk Mark 7 Peak Performance 1TB NVMe Comparison

Crystal Disk Mark 7 Real World Performance 1TB NVMe Comparison

Based on these Peak and Real World performances, we see Samsung leading overall in Peak performances for both reads and writes. While in the real world performances, they came out ahead at Read speeds but get beaten by the ADATA SX8200 Pro 1TB.

ATTO Disk Benchmark

The ATTO Disk Benchmark measures storage system performances with various transfer sizes and test lengths for Reads and Writes.

ATTO Disk Benchmark 1TB NVMe Comparison

Anvil’s Storage Utilities

Anvil’s Storage Utilities is a powerful tool that helps monitor the response time of your storage as well as view the system information collected using Windows Management Instrumentation

Anvil’s Storage Utilities 1TB NVMe Comparison

Pricing and Availability

Based on the price to performance ratio, we would have to say that aside from the Kingston A2000 which we do not have a 1TB version of, the ADATA SX8200 Pro has one of the best prices in the market and would definitely be a good buy.

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Final Thoughts and Conclusion

We have seen different speeds and performance of 5 different NVMe SSDs in currently available in the market and these are some of the top-performing ones that we have tested. We would have to say that Samsung has always been a crowd favourite for content creators, while ADATA has the price-to-performance ration in the bag. If you’re really tight on the budget, a Kingston A2000 would be sufficient for your needs without breaking the bank.