Samsung 850 Pro 2TB
Bigger than any other SSD to date, but is it the best one around?
£750 Manufacturer Samsung, samsung.com
Warranty 10 years
Performance or capacity is the dichotomy that’s dominated data storage since mainstream SSDs appeared. This one combines the speed of flash with multi-terabyte mass storage that has been the preserve of conventional hard drives.
Its huge capacity is largely down to Samsung’s 3D V-NAND memory, which stacks memory cells atop one another, rather than arranging them in a flat, 2D array. Yet it’s a plain old SATA drive, so as a MacBook Pro upgrade it’s best suited to 2011 and 2012 models – the SATA-II interface in older ones will inhibit its transfer rates. We tested it in a sub-£20 USB 3.0 enclosure, since many recent Macs can boot from that interface, should you not want to perform serious surgery on your iMac or mini.
In our testing, the drive’s transfer rates were on par with other external SSDs we’ve seen – a few megabytes per second faster than most of them in most tests, and it outpaced even Angelbird’s SSD2go pocket by 39MB/sec when writing sequentially, reaching 424.4MB/sec. It’s certainly up there with the best SATA SSDs.
Viewed alongside newer storage connectors, this drive’s use of SATA means it is inherently unable to boost your Mac to match those with PCIe flash storage, but it’ll perform well enough in Macs that can take it, and over USB 3.0. Nicholas James
Serial-ATA SSDs can be fitted to older MacBooks – and even current desktop models if you’re brave enough. If you need the biggest and best SATA SSD for a MacBook upgrade, this one is the cream of the crop.
Huge capacity for an SSD
Mega 10-year warranty