How to Buy the Right SSD: A Guide for 2021

Getting one of the best SSDs for your system is key because the easiest way to slow down a PC with one of the best CPUs is to pair it with slow storage. Your processor can handle billions of cycles a second, but it often spends a lot of time waiting for your drive to feed it data. Hard drives are particularly sluggish because they have platters that have to spin up and a read / right arm that has to find its way physically to the data sectors you’re currently seeking. To get optimal performance, you need a good solid-state drive (SSD).

You can check out our feature for much more on the differences between hard drives and SSDs. While SSDs are almost always faster, there are still instances (like bulk storage) where hard drives are definitely worth considering. Because 10TB hard drives can be had for under $200 and a 4TB SSD will set you back over $400.

If you already know about drive types and want specific recommendations, check out our Best SSDs page. And if you’re after an external drive or SSD for portable storage or back up, be sure to check our Best External Drives page. But if you don’t have a PhD in SSD, here are a few things you need to consider when shopping.


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