SSDs (solid state drives) have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their fast speeds and reliability compared to traditional hard disk drives. With SSD capacity steadily increasing, many are faced with the decision between a 1TB and 2TB SSD.
In most cases, a 2TB SSD is the better option if your budget allows, as you get double the storage capacity at a minimal price increase per gigabyte. The extra storage headroom will allow you to install more applications and games as well as store more media files and backups.
Below we’ll compare the differences between 1TB and 2TB SSDs in depth. The higher capacity 2TB model provides more value overall, but a 1TB drive still has advantages that may make it a better choice depending on your needs.
Comparing 2TB vs 1TB SSD Options
When deciding between 1TB and 2TB solid-state drives, it’s important to compare the available form factors, interface types, performance specs, and cost considerations. Evaluating these key factors will help find the best SSD capacity that suits your storage needs, budget, and PC building or upgrading requirements.
Both 1TB and 2TB SSD capacities are commonly available in standard 2.5” and M.2 2280 form factors to support various build needs. 2.5″ drives like the Samsung 870 EVO can plug into laptops or desktops via SATA ports, while compact M.2 sticks such as the Western Digital SN770 are ideal for directly mounting on a motherboard, especially in small form factor builds.
1TB and 2TB SSDs are available with either SATA III or PCIe NVMe interfaces. NVMe drives like the WD Black SN850 offer much faster potential speeds over SATA, with over 7,000MB/s sequential reads, making NVMe better suited for intensive tasks like 4K video editing, 3D modeling, or PC gaming. SATA III SSDs such as the Crucial MX500 provide around 560MB/s speeds, which is adequate for basic everyday productivity, web browsing, and office work.
Sequential Read/Write Speeds
While performance varies across specific models, high-end 2TB PCIe 3.0 and 4.0 NVMe SSDs can reach blazing-fast sequential read speeds of over 12,000MB/s and write around 11,500MB/s. This makes them ideal for production workstations needing to transfer large assets quickly.
Comparatively, 1TB SATA III SSDs max out around 560MB/s for sequential reads and 540 MB/s for sequential writes, still a big improvement over hard drives. But intensive creative projects may benefit from the extra bandwidth of 2TB NVMe drives.
Due to increased NAND flash production costs, 2TB SSDs carry around a 50-60% price premium over equivalent 1TB models of the same interface type. However, the cost per gigabyte is lower.
For example, the Samsung 870 EVO 1TB runs around $65, while the 2TB model is around $130. But the 2TB works out to around 9 cents per gigabyte versus 10 cents for the 1TB. So there are cost efficiencies with higher capacities.
When Should You Use a 1TB SSD?
A 1TB SSD is a great choice if you are building or upgrading a PC on a budget. At under $80, 1TB SSDs like the Crucial MX500 and Samsung 870 EVO deliver fast solid-state performance and ample storage capacity at an affordable price point.
Systems where the SSD functions primarily as a boot drive rather than mass storage also do fine with a 1TB drive. The SSDs’ faster speeds compared to a hard drive allow for quicker OS and application launches.
For basic home and office needs – email, web browsing, document editing, media playback – a 1TB SSD provides plenty of room. Even moderate gaming PCs can get by using a 1TB SSD as the main drive, though some occasional uninstalling of unplayed games may be needed to free up space over time.
Ultimately, if your computing workload doesn’t require transferring and storing very large volumes of data, a cost-effective 1TB SSD has everything you need. The combination of speed, capacity, and value makes it a great choice for budget-focused PC builds and upgrading systems where the SSD serves as the primary boot drive.
Benefits of Choosing a 2TB SSD Over 1TB SSD
For users who need substantial storage space while taking advantage of the speed of solid-state drives, a 2TB SSD offers compelling benefits.
With a 2TB of capacity, you can support far more apps, games, media files, and documents on fast SSD storage versus being limited to 1TB SSD. This makes 2 TB drives ideal for creative professionals with large asset libraries or serious gamers who have extensive game collections. Power users who work with high-resolution video editing software, 3D modeling, engineering CAD programs, and development tools also benefit from the huge storage pool.
Specifically, higher capacity 2TB M.2 NVMe SSDs like the Samsung 980 Pro are perfect for small form factor PC builds where you want fast access to lots of storage without sacrificing precious space.
Compared to traditional hard drives, 2TB SSDs deliver much quicker boot times when running your operating system. Moreover, due to SSDs’ reduced seek time, apps also launch faster. Altogether, you’ll experience much faster data transfer speeds when working with large files.
For a detailed comparison of SSDs vs HDDs vs NVMe drives, check out our guide on HDD vs SSD vs NVMe: Which is the Right Storage for You?.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: Is 1TB SSD overkill for regular use?
A: No, 1TB SSDs provide a good balance of speed, capacity, and value for most mainstream computing needs.
Q1: Does a 2TB SSD improve performance for heavy tasks?
A: Yes, the added bandwidth of 2TB NVMe SSDs helps accelerate large file transfers for video production, 3D modeling, etc.
Q2: What is the difference between SSD, NVMe, and M.2?
A: SSD is the storage technology, NVMe is a faster interface than SATA, M.2 is a form factor that can use either NVMe or SATA.
Q3: Is it bad to keep an SSD full?
A: Yes, SSDs need a spare area for wear leveling. Keep at least 10-20% free space.
Q4: How do I check my SSD health?
A: Use your SSD maker’s storage toolbox to view stats like total bytes written and remaining endurance. Also, you can use third-party apps like HD Sentinel.
Q5: How big of an SSD do I need?
A: It depends on your storage needs – 250GB-1TB for boot drive and regular to moderate use, 2TB+ for creative pros or hardcore gaming.