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Choosing the Best Solid State Hard Drive (SSD) for a Trading Computer.

Author: Blue Aura Computers

March 24, 2022

Which SSD drive is best for a new trading computer? There are a vast number of choices when it comes to selecting a hard drive your operating system will reside on. At Blue Aura Computers, we only offer the best and fastest drives available for our customers. Not only do the drives need to be fast, but they also need to have the highest degree of reliability possible.

This is one of the easier articles we’ve written lately as the brand is very obvious, there is really only one choice. If you are planning on buying a new trading computer this year you shouldn’t settle for anything but a Samsung M.2 PCI-E SSD as your primary boot operating system drive.

There are 3 Samsung SSD models we are currently using in our trading computers. 2 of them are the fastest M.2 PCI-E SSD drives, these are recommended for your operating system drive. We also offer a SATA Samsung SSD model in several different sizes, these work well to select as an additional backup or secondary drive. Keep in mind that all modern motherboards now have at least 2 (or more) M.2 SSD slots on the board so you could configure your system with multiple M.2 drives and just skip adding a SATA drive altogether. The last drive we offer in our systems is a traditional mechanical hard drive to be used as a secondary backup drive if needed.

Samsung 970 EVO Plus

The Samsung 970 EVO Plus has been out for quite a while now, we’ve been using them in our trading systems for well over a year. They are slightly less expensive than the newer 980 Pro model we also offer. The Samsung 970 EVO Plus operates up to 3,500 MB/s sequential read speed and 3,300 MB/s sequential write speed. Interestingly the write speed on the 970 EVO Plus is 300 MB/s faster than the Samsung 980 model (non-pro model), so because of that and a variety of other performance reasons we’ve opted to stick with the 970 EVO Plus instead of the standard 980 model. Now the 980 Pro is another story, that is the drive we talk about next.

Samsung 980 Pro

The new gold standard for M.2 PCI-E drives. This is currently the fastest M.2 PCI-E drive we offer and it is by far one of the best drives on the market. The sizes we offer are 500GB, 1TB and 2TB. The performance is almost 50% better than the 970 EVO Plus at a price point not much higher. The 980 Pro boasts sequential read speeds up to 7,000 MB/s and sequential write speeds up to 5,100 MB/s. Remember that with all performance testing the stated speeds can vary from actual tested speeds depending on the SSD firmware, motherboard chipset and firmware and the general system hardware configuration. That said, this drive is significantly faster than the 970 EVO Plus and is definitely worth the upgrade cost. The 980 Pro is a Gen 4 PCI-E drive vs the Gen 3 on the 970 EVO Plus.

Samsung 870 Series

The Samsung 870 EVO SSD drives are a traditional 2.5″ SATA drive that we’ve all been used to using since the early days of SSD drives. They connect to the motherboard via a SATA cable. Up until recently, there was a noticeable cost savings when choosing a SATA SSD drive, in particular if you needed a 1TB or 2TB sized drive the cost saving could be quite large. Recently though, the pricing gap has closed entirely and M.2 PCI-E drives are at nearly the same price points as traditional SATA SSD drives. If you factor in the performance, an M.2 PCI-E drive is a much better investment. The 870 EVO has a sequential read speed of up to 560 MB/s and a sequential write speed of up to 530 MB/s. As you can see, the speeds are not even comparable to the 970 EVO Plus or the 980 Pro.

So why would a customer even want a SATA SSD at this point? Portability – if you need a drive that can be easily removed and plugged into another system via a SATA cable. Capacity – we offer an 870 EVO model that is 4TB in size, the 970 EVO Plus and 980 Pro only go up to 2TB. These SATA drives are really only used as a 2nd or 3rd additional drive in the system, we don’t even list them to be used as the primary operating system drive, that drive is much better suited to a faster M.2 PCI-E drive.

The days are probably numbered for these drives being listed on our system configuration form, but for now we still include them because of the 4TB variant and a slight cost savings if you opt to go with a smaller 500GB secondary drive. We’ve reliably used earlier models for many years such as the 860 series and others from Samsung and we are very confident in these 870 drives if someone still needs a SATA solid state drive.

Western Digital Black – SATA 3.5″ Mechanical Drive

To be honest, we really sell very few of these mechanical drives any longer. There are still some very good reasons though why someone might still want one of these drives.

The number one reason is price per GB/TB. You can get a storage drive for such a low cost with a huge capacity. We offer the 4TB and 6TB versions currently to select as a backup/storage drive, we don’t offer them as a primary boot operating system drive. If you have a specific reason for needing something larger then 6TB please reach out to us and we can work with you to set up a configuration with an even larger drive such as 8TB or 10TB if needed.

There are a lot of mechanical hard drive manufacturers and at some point over nearly 2 decades we’ve tried them all. Western Digital drives have always seemed to have the best reliability in the mechanical hard drive realm, and in particular the Black version is a lot faster then 5400RPM cheaper models. Of course these drives are not in the same league when it comes to the performance of a modern Samsung M.2 PCI-E solid state drive.

Samsung Magician Software

One of the many reasons we exclusively use Samsung as our SSD of choice is their fantastic Samsung magician software. All the information you’ll ever need about your Samsung drive is right at your fingertips. We really love being able to easily check the firmware version at a glance. Samsung gives you access to a full suite of advanced optimization tools and ways to monitor your drive and maximize the performance.

For more info on Samsung Magician or to download it, click here.

Conclusion

There are a myriad of different hard drive types, brand and sizes available. At Blue Aura Computers, we always work hard researching the best, most compatible and highest performing drives for our advanced professional trading computers. Samsung drives are a huge jump above the competition in many ways. All serious traders should have a Samsung SSD in their system to maximize their productivity. We take pride in only selling high-end systems with no corners cut, every part we select from the hard drives, power supplies, motherboards and more are highly scrutinized for performance, compatibility and longevity.