Choosing the right SSD for your Media PC

Choosing the right SSD for your custom Media PC, and more specifically an M.2 NVMe SSD, comes down to one simple compromise: speed or price.

All SSDs offer great speed compared to an old spinning hard drive which will max out at around 125MB/s. In fact the most affordable option, the Samsung 860 Evo offers 550MB/s which is more than four times the speed of a hard drive. If however you start to throw more coin at the problem, you can get read speeds that will make that seem slow too!

The benefits of an SSD over an old spinning hard drive are many. For starters, your Media PC will start up far more quickly than off a hard drive, and startup of applications is quicker too. Most important however, is the speed with which you can access your files, particularly important for those of us dealing with large image or video files.

We only offer Media PCs with SSD drives as startup drives, it is nearly 2020 after all. While we do offer hard drives for other available slots in our custom PCs for bulk storage or backup use, SSDs if within budget are the only way to go. So which SSD to choose? Entirely up to you, choose the performance v price compromise you can live with and we will build it. Even the slowest SSD remember will be four times faster than a hard drive.

If you are editing 4K video for example, a very fast SSD will certainly help in smooth timeline playback, particularly with simultaneous multiple file access. If you are intending to use two SSDs in your custom Media PC and are looking at one fast SSD, make it the files SSD. Startup SSD will be fine at the slower speed.

What to look for when choosing the right SSD

There are a few key specifications you need to be aware of. Firstly, the read and write speeds. This specification is measure din MB per second, the bigger the number the faster the SSD, but do be aware that read and write speed are not one in the same. Most SSDs read faster than they write.

Secondly, the reliability of the SSD which is offered in either MTBF (Mean time between faults) or TBW (Terrabytes written), and sometimes both. Once again, the more you pay, the higher the reliability.

Thirdly, there is IOPS (input/output per second) which is non real world indication of how many requests per second the device can handle. The higher the better of course, but the real world performance may not always live up to expectations.

Below is a run down on the SSDs we offer for our custom Media PC builds, to help you determine the right choice for your build. 

Choosing the right SSD

Samsung 860 Evo​ SSD

The Samsung 860 EVO SSD provides read speeds of 550MB/s, write speed of 520MB/s, 97,000 IOPS Read/42,000 IOPS Write with an MTBF of 1.5 Million Hours and comes with a 5 year warranty or 2,400 TBW.

Choosing the right SSD

Samsung 970 Evo Plus SSD

The Samsung 970 Evo Plus SSD provides read speeds of 3,500MB/s, write speed of 3,300MB/s, 620,000 IPOS Read/560,000 IOPS Write with an MTBF of 1.5 Million Hours and comes with a 5 year warranty or 1,200 TBW.

Choosing the right SSD

Samsung 970 Pro SSD

The Samsung 970 Evo Plus SSD provides read speeds of 3,500MB/s, write speed of 2,700MB/s, 500,000 IOPS Read/Write with an MTBF of 1.5 Million Hours and comes with a 5 year warranty or 1,200 TBW.

Choosing the right SSD

Seagate FireCuda 510 SSD

The Seagate FireCuda 510 SSD provides read speeds of 3,450MB/s, write speed of 3,200MB/s, 485,000 (2TB)/620,000 (1TB) IOPS Read/600,000 IOPS Write with an MTBF of 1.8 Million Hours and comes with a 5 year warranty.

Choosing the right SSD

Gigabyte SSD

The Gigabyte SSD provides read speeds of 2,500MB/s, write speed of 2,100MB/s, 295,000 IOPS Read/430,000 IOPS Write with an MTBF of 1.5 Million Hours and comes with a 5 year warranty or 1,600 TBW.

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