Written by Steven

How do you choose an internal SSD?

An internal SSD is many times faster than an internal hard drive. Sometimes even 50 times. It also lasts longer and it's more quiet and energy-efficient. But which SSD do you need exactly? We'll help you choose between a 2.5-inch and an M.2 SSD and we'll explain which storage capacity and speed is best for you.

Choosing SSD

2.5 inch ssd

There are different types of SSDs. If you choose the wrong one, it won't fit in your PC. So it's important that you choose the right one. That's why we ask you the following questions:

  • What type of SSD do you need?
  • What do you use the SSD for?
  • What storage capacity do you want?
  • What speed should the SSD have?
  • Do you want a sustainable SSD?

What type of SSD do you need?

The most common Solid State Drives are 2.5-inch SSDs and M.2 SSDs. mSATA is an outdated standard and a PCIe card is mainly used for specific purposes, like a server. We'll explain the difference between 2.5-inch and M.2:

2.5-inch vs. M.2 SSD

2 5-inch SSD in a laptop

2.5 inch SSD

2.5 inch is the standard SSD for laptops. This is because it's as compact as a 2.5-inch hard drive and it uses the same SATA connector. This means it fits in almost any laptop, but also in many desktops, NAS, or mini PC. Check this in the manual of your PC to be sure.

The 2.5-inch SSD has the advantage that it fits in many devices and it's relatively affordable, compared to an M.2.

M 2 SSD in motherboard


An M.2 SSD is a lot smaller, so you need a special M.2 connector in your laptop or desktop. Make sure the M.2 is the correct size, which is 22x42, 22x60, or 22x80 millimeters. Choose between 2 types of M.2 SSDs:

  • M.2 SATA is as fast as 2.5 inches and fits into any M.2 connector.
  • M.2 NVMe is up to 10x faster than SATA, but only fits in an M.2 connector with a B-key.

What do you use the SSD for?


Which SSD suits you best depends on your usage situation. If you want to make your laptop or desktop faster, you're best off with a 2.5-inch SSD like the Samsung 860, Seagate Barracuda, or WD Blue. For gaming, special SSDs have been developed with a higher speed, like the WD Black, the Seagate FireCuda, and the Kingston Savage. Do you want to place an SSD in a NAS? Choose a Seagate IronWolf SSD. They're made for 24/7 use.

What storage capacity do you want?

250GB SSD or 2TB SSD

While SSDs are faster than hard drives, they have less storage capacity. As a result, you usually don't buy an SSD to store files that you rarely use, but rather for frequently used programs. How much storage space you choose depends on the number of applications and games you want to store. Leave some space to install your computer's operating system on the SSD. This way, it boots many times faster. 1TB offers a nice middle ground between storage space and price.

What speed should the SSD have?

M.2 NVME fast SSD

Which SSD you choose will make the difference between a fast and a lightning-fast storage module. At best, SATA SSDs reach speeds of up to about 550 MB/s. NVMe SSDs are the fastest and reach speeds of up to 5000MB/s. The write speed is most important here, but there are different types of speeds:

Different types of speeds

Write speed Megabytes per second Determines how fast you store something on the SSD, for example when downloading a movie.
Read speed Megabytes per second Determines how fast something is transferred to another place, for example when uploading a movie.
Random write speed Inputs/outputs per second Determines how fast you write many small files to the SSD, for example during extraction.
Random read speed Inputs/outputs per second Determines how fast you can transfer many small files to another location, for example when backing up a folder with photos.

Do you want a sustainable SSD?

Energy-efficient SSD

If you want an SSD that lasts, you should pay attention to the TBW and the MTBF. For both, the higher the better. The TBW stands for Terabytes Written and it indicates how many terabytes of data you write to the SSD on average. 600TBW means that you store an average of 600 terabytes of data before the SSD shows a defect. The MTBF works slightly more difficult. The higher the number of hours of MTBF, the smaller the chance of a failure.

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