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Justifying my next purchase

  • Hardware: 500GB SSD
    Install on: Laptop
    Reason: Fast and large storage.

 

SDD’s are known for one thing. Speed! That feeling you get when you first switch on a computer with an SSD as a boot drive. Wow! All the PC’s I uses now have SSD boot drives and I find that I cannot go back to a regular HDD to boot from. It is just far far far too slow.

My Samsung 960 Pro 500GB NVME SSD on the left. My Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SATA SSD with RAM cache in the middle. My Seagate green 3TB HDD on the right.

When SSD first appeared on the market, they were expensive and for the voodoo speeds they provide, it made sense. However, with technology comes a rule. Wait a few years and it will come down for the consumer. Lo and behold it slowly did. They are still expensive when it comes to capacity but there are plenty of reasons as to why.

Currently, the only scenarios that an average user would benefit from using an SSD are:

  • Fast OS boot and response times
  • Steam library

If I was rich I would have clever uses for SSD’s (such as virtual machines) but as it stands, I am sadly not rich but currently, the way I incorporate an SSD into a build is as follows:

  • 256GB SSD for the operating system (OS)
  • 500GB HDD for storing data such as music/pictures etc.

Now comes the problem I face. Laptops. Currently, your average consumer laptop has only one hard drive bay. If you bought an old laptop, like I did, you would find that it has an HDD. My laptop had come with a 500GB HDD. I find that it is more than enough for a laptop. In fact, I actually don’t like having data on the laptop to fill the 500GB because backing it up at the time would be problematic. I then decided to upgrade the laptop to have a 256GB SSD. This was ideal for speed after discovering that I could use the laptop for editing videos. Then came the dreaded problem I knew would come to say hello… storage space for data.

What I have discovered is that the offline files that I need for editing, depending on the project I am working on, can exceed a total of 200GB. That is a huge amount of data that I need access to when I am out and about and not connected to my home network. The plan is that when I work on a project and save it, I should be able to pick up the laptop and continue where I left off from. This does mean that all the source files that the project needs access to needs to be cached on the laptop for offline access. It would be ideal to have two drive bays with one SSD as boot and an HDD for data. The machine I am using could be hardware modified for that. However, it is just inconvenient as the machine is old and not worth modifying to that level.

So is it worth upgrading again to a 500GB SSD? In my case, it is the speed and storage space that I am after in order to work on the projects I want to do. There are cheaper 500GB SSD’s on the market so why choose the Samsung 860 EVO? Well, there is one additional benefit that should not ever be overlooked. For the work that I am planning to do, I would need an SSD that will be able to write and rewrite without having to worry so much about data failure. Though I have not had an SSD die on me yet, the amount of data I have written to an SSD is scary… 20TB in under a year. I actually have two 500GB Evo SSD’s. One used in my PS4 and the other used in my Intel i7 machine that I edit from. The drive supports 150 TB Written before failure. If I do purchase this SSD for the laptop, it would be constantly syncing data from the NAS, removing and adding files every day. The 500GB Samsung 860 EVO supports an amazing 300 TB written for 500 GB model.

And despite that big paragraph and me not being rich, 150TBW before failure is good enough for the price currently. The Samsung 860 EVO 500GB SSD at the time of writing this came out at £154.98. I ended up purchasing the Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SSD at £116.99. Reason being… Buying something that has just been launched will always drop in price eventually. And I should know I bought this drive before. Twice! And I did make this mistake with the 10TB Seagate 10TB IronWolf.  (My wallet hurts)

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