Author Topic: SSD upgrade recommendations if youíre on a tight budget  (Read 1305 times)


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SSD upgrade recommendations if youíre on a tight budget
« on: August 22, 2018, 07:01:15 PM »
What should you do if you want to upgrade your computer but donít have much to spend? To effectively improve the performance of your computer, you need to first determine the reason why it is slow and what you need to use the computer for. Different needs will correspond to different bottlenecks in your system, and the cost of solving each bottleneck is different. This greatly limits the upgrade options for people on a limited budget.

In the past, when there were only HDDs, upgrading your hard disk involved looking at three requirements: capacity, read/write performance, and long-term operation stability. If you needed more storage space, you just add a HDD. If you needed stability over long periods of time, then a server-grade model was selected as an upgrade.

Performance could only be improved through higher RPM, larger cache sizes in hard disks, or a disk array. The price of a higher performance hard disk may cost 50% more than a regular hard disk, but it would only provide a slight improvement in performance. As for the use of a disk array for faster read/write speeds, hard disks in the same disk array cannot be used separately or the data will become ineffective, and a more significant improvement would only be felt when reading several large files consecutively. The system would still be slow when reading the smaller, fragmented files that are commonly used. Over the last decade, the only advancements seen in HDD technology have been in their storage capacity, there has been almost no difference in read/write performance, and it is unlikely there will be any significant improvements.

The read/write performance of SSDs is several times faster than HDDs, and over ten times faster when it comes to fragmented files. The cache size of SSDs is commonly 128MB -768MB (compared to the common cache sizes of only 8MB-64MB for HDDs). The difference is like changing from a cheap car to a supercar. Booting up your computer now only takes a matter of seconds, allowing you to immediately begin working, gaming, or running software with no lag. If you donít have high demands for your computer, you will only need a 128GB SSD (starts at a bit over 40 USD) for your computer to run incredibly smooth once the operating system, some common applications, and small games are installed on it. Even upgrading your CPU from dual core to six core wonít provide such a significant improvement. If you more often run work-related programs or large games, then a 256GB-512GB SSD is recommended (about 65 USD to 100 USD). Store any data that is not frequently used and large files in your HDD.

In most cases using an SSD will not improve gaming performance (frame rate). However, it will improve your gaming experience considerably. This is mainly because it greatly accelerates the time it takes to launch and load the game and also switch between maps and scenarios. A simple test using League of Legends and Battlefield is explained below.


The loading test of League of Legends (cold boot, the first time it is launched) shows that it takes an HDD about 1 minute to enter the map, but only 23 seconds for an SSD, which is a third of the time of the HDD.

The loading test of Battlefield 1 (cold boot, launching the game and map for the first time):

Launch game: HDD vs. SSD: 40 seconds vs. 25 seconds, 37.5% faster.

Load map: HDD vs. SSD: 90 seconds vs. 30 seconds, 66.6% faster.

For Battlefield 1, it took the HDD over 2 minutes from desktop to enter a battle, but took only about 1 minute for the SSD Ė a significant improvement.

We tested the Plextor M8V 256GB SSD, an entry-level to mid-range model that was recently introduced, with Toshiba 64 BiCS3 3D NAND flash memory.

Many people became worried about service life when they see a TLC SSD, but they really donít need to be. Even though TLC NAND flash memory has a shorter service life than MLC memory, it still has a very long service life under normal usage conditions (assuming 40GB of data is written every day). If service life is calculated based on erase count, then it isnít hard to have a longer service life than a HDD, and could easily last three to five years.

The development of SSDs will inevitably trend towards greater storage space and lower prices. They have moved from SLC to MLC and further to TLC, now we are even seeing QLC products (even shorter service life). SSDs are providing greater capacity at a lower price. This is why TLC has become the NAND flash memory used by mainstream SSD products.

The TLC memory of Plextor M8V is made from a 3D process that provides longer life expectancy and higher stability. Since it uses the Toshiba 64-layer BiCS3, the larger space between circuits considerably increases life expectancy and performance while providing larger storage space. Hence, even though it is a TLC product, it can reach up to 2,000 P/E cycles (most TLC SSD products in the market have 500-1,000 P/E cycles).

Among products of the same tier, quite a few brands have reduced their product support and technologies due to the low profit margins of entry-level and mid-range products. PLEXTOR not only offers controller technologies and features on its SSD, but also retained the same functions and technologies of high-end product lines for the M8V. These include PlexTurbo, PlexCompressor, PlexVault, and PlexNitro, etc. They use DRAM for acceleration and to increase its service life, automatically compress data to save space, set up private hard disk space to ensure important information is untraceable, and use the SLC model to optimize performance without using hard disk space. The M8V comes with a 3-year warranty, which was not shortened due to being a TLC.

You canít just look at the price and performance when choosing an SSD, warranty and product quality are also very important. The strict quality control of PLEXTOR enabled it to pass the endurance test of the worldís most advanced Flexstar tester, greatly reducing the chance of customers purchasing an unstable product. For just the price of an entry-level product, the PLEXTOR M8V provides exceptional value as it offers the quality, technologies and functionality of a high-end product. Hence, the PLEXTOR M8V is your best choice if youíre on a tight budget.