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3 of the best SSD options for PC & laptop upgrades during 2020

Hard drives are still the most popular data storage device for computers in 2020. However, the next few years of this decade should see Solid State Drives (SSDs) overtake Hard Disc Drives (HDDs) in terms of numbers for the first time. Although cost vs. storage capacity still favors hard drives, the disparity is definitely shrinking.

There are many advantages to SSDs as when compared to the conventional electromechanical hard drive that has been around for decades. The mere fact that SSDs do not rely on a spinning disk mechanism to read and write data already provides a huge boon when it comes to durability. This is because SSDs store data on semiconductor cells with no moving parts. Solid-state drives generally dominate the market for PC upgrades because they are faster and lighter than hard disk drives. SSDs also consume less power, create less noise when in operation, and are more shock resistant than traditional hard drives. 

Naturally, it is best to invest in an SSD that is both cost-effective and features a reasonable lifespan (SSD lifespan is now a factor to consider as generally, SSD’s may have a slightly shorter lifespan than HDD’s) so before you consider upgrading your old drive, let’s review some of the best 500GB SSD upgrade options available currently in 2020:

860 EVO SATA 2.5" SSD 500GB (550 Read / 520 Write @ $79.99)

The newest edition to the world’s best-selling SATA SSD series. The Samsung 860 EVO is specially designed for mainstream PCs and laptops. With the latest V-NAND and a robust algorithm-based controller, this fast and reliable SSD comes in a wide range of compatible form factors and capacities. Speeds are consistent with heavy workloads and multi-tasks and the 860 EVO performs sequential writes up to 520 MB/s (with Intelligent TurboWrite technology engaged), and sequential reads up to 550 MB/s. The TurboWrite buffer size is upgraded from 12 GB to 78 GB for faster file transfer. You can store and render large sized 4K videos and 3D data. The latest Samsung V-NAND technology provides up to 2,400 TBW, and is backed by a 5-year limited warranty. Samsung's latest engineering makes the 860 EVO now more widely compatible with various computing systems.

WD BLUE 3D NAND SATA SSD 500GB (560 Read / 530 Write @ $64.99)

For high-end computing applications like gaming, HD media playback, or creative software, look to WD Blue 3D NAND SATA SSDs. Capacities are available up to 4TB. Western Digital 3D NAND technology helps enable sequential read speeds up to 560 MB/s and sequential write speeds up to 530 MB/s for fast system boot-ups, quick application responses, and rapid transfer speeds. (A little faster than the Evo) An SSD is designed with no moving parts to help protect against data loss when accidentally bumped or dropped, so with 1.75M hours MTTF (mean time to failure), up to 600 TBW (terabytes written)(4TB model), and several error-correction technologies - the WD Blue 3D NAND SATA SSDs can help guard data for years to come. Includes a 5-year limited warranty.

Transcend SSD 370s 480GB (Read 550MB/s Write 450MB/s $62.99)

Generally, Transcend hardware products are known for their low price, reasonable quality, and acceptable lifespan. The Transcend SSD 370s appears to be following this tradition as well. Transcend's SATA III 6Gb/s SSD370S boasts good transfer speeds, MLC NAND flash memory, a compact and lightweight design, and shock and vibration resistance. Transcend's SSD370S delivers reasonable read / write speeds of up to 560MB/s and 460MB/s and offers Terabytes Written (TBW) values (up to 408 TB) indicating the total amount of data you can write into the drive over its lifetime. With capacities ranging from 32GB to 1TB, the Transcend is firmly aimed at the entry-level market meaning a Transcend SSD 370s can usually be found for most budgets and purposes. However, given its affordability - there are several caveats to consider. First, there is no 2 TB version of this SSD, which may put off some potential buyers. Secondly, Transcend only issues a warranty of 3 years. This might be viewed as a red flag for some SSD consumers (as the standard warranty for SSDs in the market at this range is 5 years) but might be viewed as a reasonable compromise given its price-point.

So - which SSD to buy?
The Samsung SSD 850 Evo, WD Black NVMe SN750 and Transcend SSD 370s certainly all have a lot going for them. With the range of cost, versatility, endurance, and capacity - a fair argument can be made for each one for being the “best buy”. Consider the observations presented above and make an informed choice. We think the WD BLUE 3D NAND SATA SSD offers a good compromise between speed and price. Transcend offers good value when on a budget and Samsung offers good quality with a name you can trust.  
What is the best way to wipe an SSD?
Regardless of which make and model SSD you choose, it important to invest in a reliable data destruction tool to clean your old drive. You must clean your old drive of all data before you re-purpose, sell or dispose of it. Installing new equipment is only part of the upgrade process and you must safely dispose of your old hardware too. Data erasure should be a hassle-free task, which is at the core of the Redkey mission statement for its business and product line.

For more news, reviews, tutorials, and other related articles with developing technologies, data protection, cyber-security, and similar topics in mind, visit the RedKey blog regularly!