Best SATA SSD For Cache or Storage on a NAS or Server – Synology / TerraMaster / QNAP etc

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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

Notes:

  • 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.

Sale
WD Red 500 GB NAS SSD 2.5 Inch SATA
  • 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

Samsung 870 EVO 1TB SATA 2.5" Internal Solid State Drive...
  • 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.

Sale
Western Digital WDS500G2B0A WD Blue 3D NAND Internal SSD 2.5...
  • 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.

Lexar NS100 2.5” SATA III (6Gb/s) 480GB Solid-State Drive
  • 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

SSD500GB / 1TB Price Read/WriteTBW EnduranceWarranty
Kingston KC600£70/£120550MB/s read
520MB/s write
512GB — 300TB
1024GB — 600TB
5
Kingston A400£41 / £81500MB/s read
450MB/s write
480GB: 160TB
960GB: 300TB
3
Crucial MX500£47 / £75560MB/s read
510MB/s write
512GB — 180TB
1024GB — 360TB
5
Crucial BX500£38 / £65540MB/s read
500MB/s write
480GB — 120TB
1000GB — 360TB
3
Samsung SSD 870 EVO£63 / £97560MB/s read
530 MB/s
512GB — 300TB
1024GB — 600TB
5
Samsung 870 QVONA / £84560MB/s read
530 MB/s
1024GB — 360TB3
Western Digital WD Blue£47 / £83560MB/s read
530 MB/s
500GB — 200TB
1000GB — 400TB
5
WD Red SA500£62 / £135560MB/s read
530 MB/s
512GB — 350TB
1024GB — 600TB
5
Integral V Series 2£37 / £78520MB/s read
470 MB/s
480GB: 160TB
960GB: 300TB
1TB: 320TB
3
PNY CS900£48 / £72550MB/s read
500MB/s write
Not stated3
SanDisk SSD PLUS£56 / £86540MB/s read
450MB/s write
Not stated3
Lexar NS100£52 / £95 550MB/s read512GB — 240TB
1000GB — 480TB
3

Last update on 2022-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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