Following on from my recent TerraMaster upgrade posts, I have been looking at the best SSDs to use in a NAS.
Due to the configuration of the TerraMaster F4-422, I was specifically looking for a 2.5-inch SATA SSD to be used on the 5th bay as a cache drive, and that is what I will focus on with this post.
However, if you have built a NAS / server with off the shelf component or have a higher spec NAS from the likes of Synology, you may have the choice to use an NVMe drive for even better performance. I will do another post for those drives later.
When it comes to servers and storage, the overall read/write throughput is not necessarily the most important, but the drive endurance and warranty.
To keep things simple, I have looked at the price of drives with a capacity of 500GB and 1TB (thereabouts) and their endurance ratings.
Best SATA SSDs for Cache & Storage
- Pricing is taken from Amazon mid-February 2022
- Some drives have a smaller capacity, such as 480GB instead of 512GB.
- Most drives have the very similar IOPs, so I removed them from the list
- Read/Write speeds may not be 100% accurate as they change depending on capacity
What about data centre drives? Consider the Samsung PM893
Used data centre drives are frequently recommended on Reddit, and it is a good choice. For example, 1TB WD Gold doesn’t even use TBW, they just up to Petabytes Written with this one handling 1.4PBW or 1400TBW, but it costs over £250 new.
The Samsung PM893 is one semi-affordable option worth considering, it has a 3-year warranty with a 1.3 DWPD giving it a 683TBW which you can pick up for around £100 from Scan. The more expensive PM897 has a 2628 TBW but costs £150.
Highlights – The best consumer SSDs for cache
Basically, you get what you pay for.
Probably the best choice overall is the 500GB WD Red SA500 with 350TBW endurance at a surprisingly attractive £62. The 1TB model is more than twice the price so much less appealing than the are the Kingston KC600 and Samsung 870 EVO.
- Access Big Files Fast: WD Red SA500 NAS SATA SSD...
- Give it Your Tough Workloads: WD Red SSD’s...
- Work More Efficiently: Purpose-built for NAS with...
- Use it for Your Demanding Applications: The drive...
At the time of writing, the Samsung 870 EVO drives are more attractively priced vs Kingston. As always, Amazon prices vary a lot, and the Kingston drives have been cheaper.
The Samsung 870 EVO is, therefore, the best 1TB with its 600TBW and priced under £100
- Sequential Read/Write speeds up to 560/530 MB/s...
- Interface : SATA 6Gb/s, compatible with SATA 3Gb/s...
- Cache Memory: Samsung 1 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- 5 Years Limited Warranty or 600 TBW Limited...
If those are too expensive, the WD Blue SSD is perhaps the stand out option for the affordable drives. You get 200TB/400TB TBW endurance and a 5-year warranty. Under £50 for 500GB is a bit of a bargain with that spec.
- WD BLUE 3D NAND SATA SSD are available in...
- The SSDs are shockproof and their compatibility...
- Up to 25% lower active power consumption compared...
- Speeds of up to 560 MB/s for sequential reading...
The dark horse is the Lexar NS100, it costs a touch more than the WB, and the warranty is less, but the TBW endurance is 20% higher.
- Upgrade your laptop or desktop computer for faster...
- Impressive sequential read speeds of up to 550MB/s...
- Features SSD Dash software management
- Shock and vibration resistant with no moving parts
Options to avoid are the PNY and SanDisk. These do not state a TBW and only have a 3-year warranty. They will be perfectly suitable for normal SSD drives and light usage but best avoided for things like a cache which will have high read/writes.
SATA SSDs Comparison Table
|SSD||500GB / 1TB Price||Read/Write||TBW Endurance||Warranty|
|Kingston KC600||£70/£120||550MB/s read|
|512GB — 300TB|
1024GB — 600TB
|Kingston A400||£41 / £81||500MB/s read|
|Crucial MX500||£47 / £75||560MB/s read|
|512GB — 180TB|
1024GB — 360TB
|Crucial BX500||£38 / £65||540MB/s read|
|480GB — 120TB|
1000GB — 360TB
|Samsung SSD 870 EVO||£63 / £97||560MB/s read|
|512GB — 300TB|
1024GB — 600TB
|Samsung 870 QVO||NA / £84||560MB/s read|
|1024GB — 360TB||3|
|Western Digital WD Blue||£47 / £83||560MB/s read|
|500GB — 200TB|
1000GB — 400TB
|WD Red SA500||£62 / £135||560MB/s read|
|512GB — 350TB|
1024GB — 600TB
|Integral V Series 2||£37 / £78||520MB/s read|
|PNY CS900||£48 / £72||550MB/s read|
|SanDisk SSD PLUS||£56 / £86||540MB/s read|
|Lexar NS100||£52 / £95||550MB/s read||512GB — 240TB|
1000GB — 480TB
Last update on 2022-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API