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With so many timeclock solutions and features available today, you may have a difficult time determining which one to use. Whether you need to manage schedules, track remote employees through real-time data, or any other time-tracking features for your small business, here’s what to keep in mind when you start your search.

Bottom Line

You may want to know what the best employee timeclock app is, but there’s no one answer. Consider your company’s specific needs before selecting one.

What to consider when choosing a timeclock app

As with any business-related search, figure out your business’s needs before you start. If you only have a dozen employees at a single location, there’s no reason to splurge on a timeclock app designed for multinational enterprises. A little introspection saves time and money, and ensures that whatever option you choose will be the best fit. Think about the following questions:

How closely do you want to track your employees?

In the past, clocking in for work meant grabbing your timecard and punching in at a station. While that system worked for a long time, one major flaw existed: Unscrupulous employees used a tactic dubbed “buddy punching,” which entailed having their friends punch them in at the employee timeclock station when they weren’t at the office.

Timecard fraud remains a real problem, but options in today’s web-based timeclock apps can curtail that costly problem.

Some services allow your managers to track employees’ locations through their smartphones’ GPS. Since nearly every app works on both Android and iOS devices, geolocation functionality can pinpoint where the employee was when they clocked in and out.

In addition, geofencing uses GPS tracking to restrict where employees can clock in or out. You can require them to be at your business’s physical location in order to do so. A biometric timeclock may ask for a fingerprint scan or use facial recognition when employees clock in or out.

That may seem like a lot of employee data for managers to collect, but in the case of employee schedules and your company’s bottom line, time is literally money.

Do you need a timeclock app that has additional employee scheduling features?

While a timeclock app is important, it’s not the be-all and end-all in terms of employee scheduling. There is a range of additional functions that can make everyone’s lives easier.

Your managers may benefit from a timeclock wizard, time-off management capabilities or the ability to draw up reports detailing the impact of your employees’ schedules on the company’s bottom line. 

FYI

With enough data in hand, you can make sure your payroll is what it should be while complying with existing overtime laws.

How well does a timeclock app integrate with other programs?

Running a modern business is a lot like spinning plates. There’s a lot to consider at any one moment, and if you don’t have your attention on multiple things at once, something can go wrong. Various business programs can mitigate that issue. These days, top accounting software and Google Calendar are just as important as a cash register, so make sure your app is compatible with programs you’ve already implemented.

With the right app, you can automatically import employee schedules into a company calendar and send it to employees’ email inboxes or text it straight to their phones. Some integrations also allow your online timeclock data to go directly to payroll, further ensuring that you’re accurately compensating employees for their time on the job.

Is there a best timeclock app for Android or iOS?

Nearly every timeclock company strives to get their apps on both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Smartphones are among the most ubiquitous pieces of technology today, so these companies want to have their product on as many devices as possible.

If you come across a timeclock app that only supports one type of device or the other, you should probably skip it and find a service that covers both mobile operating systems. Unless you provide a business phone to your employees, you don’t want to hamstring your time-tracking capabilities by only supporting one over the other. If you do need to choose, however, be aware that, according to Statista, iOS has about 15% of the global smartphone market share, while Android has around 84%.

How much does a timeclock app cost?

Good timeclock apps, like most time and attendance programs, come with a price tag. How much that app (and the associated service) costs depends on multiple factors.

For example, if the software is hosted in the cloud, you may need to pay for additional online storage. Some companies charge extra based on the number of employees that will use the system or how many locations it will service. If you want to use a wall-mounted timeclock to give yourself additional protections against timecard fraud, that will likely come with an additional cost as well.

According to our research, businesses with 20 employees might see their time and attendance program costs end up anywhere from $20 to $300 per month. Some providers have a monthly minimum cost, especially if they charge on a per-employee basis. There may be additional setup and implementation fees.

Best timeclock apps

Here are some of our best picks for time and attendance software that offer mobile options.

When I Work

When I Work is a great option for restaurants and retail businesses. It offers scheduling software and tracks when your employees are on the clock, comparing the hours completed to the original schedule. It also allows staff to swap shifts. When I Work offers web and mobile capabilities. Learn more in our full review of When I Work.

Clockify

Clockify is a top option for organizations that have employees who work in the office and at home. The cloud-hosted system is accessible through the web, and mobile apps. This platform offers both free and paid plans and includes an option for client billing. Learn more in our comprehensive review of Clockify.

QuickBooks Time

Accessible through a mobile app, computer or telephone, QuickBooks Time is a top solution for businesses with a remote workforce. It offers GPS features to track remote employees, flexibility for workers to clock in and out, and other handy options such as note-keeping capabilities. Learn more in our full review of QuickBooks Time

The bottom line on timeclock apps

Regardless of where your small business is in its evolution or how many employees you currently have on staff, a good timeclock app can help make sure you’re fairly and accurately compensating employees.

When looking for such an app, remember that the question may not necessarily be “which is the best?” but rather “which is the best for my business?”

Stella Morrison contributed to the writing and research in this article.

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Salesforce Vs. Other Crm Platforms: Which Is Right For Your Business?

Introduction

In today’s fast-paced business world, having a reliable customer relationship management (CRM) platform can be the key to success. With so many options available, it can be difficult to determine which one is right for your business. Two of the most popular choices are Salesforce and other CRM platforms. In this article, we will explore the differences between Salesforce and other CRM platforms to help you decide which is right for your business.

What is Salesforce?

Salesforce is a cloud-based CRM platform that allows businesses to manage their customer interactions and sales processes. Founded in 1999, it has become one of the most popular CRM platforms in the world, with over 150,000 customers. Salesforce offers a wide range of features, including sales automation, marketing automation, customer service, and analytics. It is also highly customizable, allowing businesses to tailor it to their specific needs.

What are Other CRM Platforms?

Other CRM platforms include Microsoft Dynamics 365, HubSpot, Zoho CRM, and SugarCRM, among others. These platforms offer similar features to Salesforce but may differ in terms of pricing, customization, and user interface. Some may be more suited to small businesses, while others may be more suited to large enterprises.

Salesforce vs. Other CRM Platforms: Key Differences Pricing

Pricing is often a major consideration for businesses when choosing a CRM platform. Salesforce is known for being one of the more expensive options, with plans ranging from $25 to $300 per user per month. Other CRM platforms, such as Zoho CRM, offer more affordable options, with plans starting at $12 per user per month.

Customization

Customization is another important factor to consider when choosing a CRM platform. Salesforce is highly customizable, with a wide range of features and integrations available. Other CRM platforms may be more limited in terms of customization options, but may still offer enough flexibility for most businesses.

User Interface

The user interface of a CRM platform can make a big difference in how easy it is to use. Salesforce has a relatively complex interface, with a steep learning curve for new users. Other CRM platforms, such as HubSpot, have a simpler, more intuitive interface that may be more appealing to some users.

Integration

Integration with other software is important for many businesses. Salesforce offers a wide range of integrations, including with popular software such as Microsoft Office and Google Apps. Other CRM platforms may offer fewer integrations, but may still have options that are important for specific businesses.

Customer Support

Customer support is an important consideration for any software platform. Salesforce offers extensive customer support, including phone, email, and chat support, as well as a knowledge base and online community. Other CRM platforms may offer less extensive support options, which may be a concern for some businesses.

Salesforce vs. Other CRM Platforms: Pros and Cons Salesforce Pros

Highly customizable.

Extensive feature set.

Strong integrations.

Robust customer support.

Large user community.

Salesforce Cons

Expensive.

Steep learning curve.

Complex interface.

Limited mobile app functionality.

Requires extensive training.

Other CRM Platforms Pros

More affordable pricing.

Simpler interface.

Easier to use for small businesses.

May offer features tailored to specific industries.

Some may offer free or low-cost plans.

Other CRM Platforms Cons

Limited customization options.

Fewer integrations.

Less extensive customer support.

Smaller user communities.

May not be as scalable for large enterprises.

Salesforce vs. Other CRM Platforms: Which is Right for Your Business?

Ultimately, the decision of which CRM platform to choose depends on the specific needs and budget of your business. Here are some scenarios where Salesforce or other CRM platforms may be more suitable −

Large Enterprises

Salesforce is often the go-to choice for large enterprises due to its scalability, extensive feature set, and robust customer support. While it may be more expensive than other CRM platforms, it can provide a significant return on investment for businesses with a large customer base.

Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

Other CRM platforms, such as Zoho CRM and HubSpot, may be more suitable for small and medium-sized businesses due to their affordability, simplicity, and ease of use. These platforms may offer enough customization and integrations for most businesses, without the need for the more extensive features offered by Salesforce.

Specific Industries

Some CRM platforms, such as SugarCRM, may be more tailored to specific industries, such as healthcare or finance. If your business operates in a niche industry, it may be worth considering a CRM platform that has been specifically designed for your industry.

Limited Budget

If your business has a limited budget, there are several free or low-cost CRM platforms available, such as Insightly and Bitrix24. While these platforms may have limitations in terms of features and integrations, they can still provide a basic CRM solution for businesses that are just starting out.

Mobile Functionality

If your business requires extensive mobile functionality, Salesforce may not be the best choice. While it does offer a mobile app, it may not be as fully featured as other CRM platforms, such as HubSpot or Zoho CRM, which have been designed with mobile users in mind.

Conclusion

In summary, choosing the right CRM platform for your business is a critical decision that can have a significant impact on your bottom line. Salesforce and other CRM platforms each have their pros and cons, and the decision of which one to choose ultimately depends on the specific needs and budget of your business.

By carefully considering the factors outlined in this article, you can make an informed decision and choose a CRM platform that will help your business thrive.

Which Solid State Drive Is Best For Gaming?

A gaming PC is generally much more powerful than a business PC, or even a graphics workstation, because games can stress every part of a system – CPU, graphics processor (GPU), memory and storage may all be taxed, depending on the type of game. To remove potential bottlenecks, gaming PCs are often equipped with the fastest solid state drive (SSD) available, or even with multiple SSDs in a RAID configuration to further enhance performance.

Games don’t simply use gigabytes of storage — loading new models, parts of a virtual map, or video that explain new challenges can require loading large amounts of data from storage into memory. The faster the storage available, the smoother and less intrusive loading these large amounts of data becomes.

Lower Cost, Higher Performance

Before SSDs became affordable, a gaming PC was often equipped with more than one hard drive, so that by spreading data across multiple drives in a RAID array, higher performance could be achieved. However, this resulted in higher costs, since three or four hard drives were required.

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A single SSD can achieve better performance than multiple hard drives, and at lower cost. Solid state drives have been improving at the same rate as CPUs, owing to Moore’s Law, which states that electronics double in power every 18 months, while mechanical hard drives improve only incrementally. The result is that not only do modern SSDs have capacities comparable to hard drives, but have performance in both transfer rates and access speeds that far outstrip hard drives. In fact, the latest SSDs can move data faster than the SATA bus that has been the standard for attaching hard drives to the motherboard for the last 20 years.

M.2 NVMe SSDs use a newer bus since their speeds are enough to easily overwhelm the 500-600 megabytes per second (MB/s) that the SATA bus will handle. The latest SSDs — like the Samsung 970 PRO — can reach speeds of 2,500 MB/s over the NVMe bus. For less demanding games, or cost-sensitive applications, SATA SSDs such as the Samsung 860 PRO or Samsung 860 EVO still provide 10 times the performance of hard disk drives, at a lower cost point than NVMe SSDs.

New motherboards, especially high performance gaming motherboards, usually have at least one and as many as four M.2 PCIe NMVe slots, allowing the use of NVMe SSDs without an add-on PCIe card (known as a sled), which uses a 16x PCIe slot to support one to four NVMe SSDs.

Creating the Ideal Gaming PC

In addition to the blistering speed of SSDs, other factors make them ideal for a gaming PC. Gaming PCs with multiple graphics cards and a heavy-duty CPU can generate a lot of heat, requiring optimized airflow or even liquid cooling systems. Since SSDs use less power and generate less heat than a hard drive, they can lighten the burden on the cooling system and the power supply more than a hard drive or multiple hard drives would.

Given the size of some games today (as high as 60-100GB), some go to the lengths of specifying two types of storage – extremely fast for whatever is currently being played, and a slower, but higher capacity drive for other data that doesn’t need to be accessed as quickly. This combination might be a SATA SSD and a hard drive, or an NVMe SSD and a SATA SSD. This optimizes performance while keeping costs lower.

In either case most games will show great improvements in initial load times, smoothness ,and latency during game play, if the gaming PC comes equipped with SSDs.

Find out more about the total cost of ownership of SSDs not just for gaming, but data storage for corporate use with this white paper.

Social Media: What Is The Right Platform For Your Business?

While choosing a social media that’s right for your business can be overwhelming, you can easily pick the network that’s right for you if you know your goals, audience, and capabilities.

Define Your Goals

Before deciding what social network to use, you have to decide on what you want to achieve first. You have to define your social media marketing goals, and make sure that it is specific, actionable, and reasonable. From here, you can choose which social network can deliver most of your needs, as well as help you meet your goals.

Know Your Traffic Handling Capabilities

It’s also important that you can determine how you can handle the traffic that social media may deliver to your business—most especially on your website. That’s because a website that can’t handle too much traffic can be shut down. In addition, more traffic could tantamount to more incoming messages that need your response. So, choose the social media website that can bring the traffic that you can handle.

Determine Your Audience’s Online Habits

Your audience’s online habit is also important in choosing which social media platform to use. That’s because it will determine where most of your traffic will come from. Since a user’s online habit will depend on his or her interests, it will also influence the type of content that they’ll read or sharing. Thus, pick the social network that majority of your audience use, and where you can deliver your content to garner the most traffic.

Find Your Resources

Finding your resources is actually the difficult part of social media marketing. Since the platform you’re trying to use requires interaction, you need to create and find the right resources that you can share online. That way, they will be compelled to read it, which could boost your website’s traffic.

Establish Time of Interaction

As mentioned earlier, social media can bring much traffic to your business. With a lot of people possibly reaching out to you for inquiries other reason, it can be daunting for you to respond to each of them. That’s why you need to establish a time wherein you won’t do anything but interact with your fans or followers, as well as draft press releases or official statement regarding a frequently discussed topic.

What Is Sms For Business?

SMS messaging can be used as part of a text message marketing campaign to reach customers directly on their mobile device.

What is SMS?

SMS stands for Short Message Service. It’s a text message which has only text, restricted to 160 characters. SMS doesn’t include video or pictures. SMS is one of the earliest texting technologies, since it was designed from the 1980s. It’s also among the most frequently used, even though there are lots of newer and different techniques to communicate with other individuals.

SMS vs. text messages

SMS is just like text messaging. Both terms refer to sending text messages using a 160-character limitation. But a lot of men and women refer to”texting” or”text messages” like any kind of message between text, such as MMS and messages delivered on other programs.

SMS vs. MMS

SMS includes a 160-character limitation, whilst multimedia messaging support (MMS) enables a lot more personalities (it’s restricted solely by the service supplier ). MMS allows you to send movies, pictures, sound, and links using all the text message. MMS also lets you add a subject line for your own message, whereas SMS doesn’t.

SMS vs. RCS

Rich Communications Services (RCS) is a next-generation SMS protocol, and is proprietary to Android apparatus in Google Messages. It’s an update on text messaging, but it’s not been widely embraced. RCS supports numerous rich features, such as read receipts, higher quality images, big videos (without the requirement to compress websites ), and implied activities.

SMS vs. Verified SMS

Verified SMS is a improved variant of SMS and can be proprietary to Android apparatus in Google Messages. It provides another degree of empowerment for texts delivered by companies. Verified SMS enables companies to exhibit their emblem to encourage the branded experience. Additionally, it enables clients to opt in to receive SMS from a company, which ought to help to decrease spam.

SMS vs. OTT

Over-the-top (OTT) programs, for example WhatsApp, iMessage, WeChat, and Facebook Messenger, utilize the world wide web as opposed to a mobile network to send messages.

To see these messages, recipients need to download the program to their smartphone or cellular device. Each OTT program has its own protocols for receiving and sending messages, utilizes different programs, and contains distinct network requirements. It’s also free to send and receive messages via OTT applications.

Types of SMS messages

There are different types of SMS messages that you can send.

P2P SMS

Person-to-Person (P2P) SMS calls for text messaging from human-to-human communications. The equilibrium of messages delivered versus obtained ought to be approximately one to one. P2P SMS shouldn’t exceed 1 message per second (MPS).

A2P SMS

Application-to-Person (A2P) SMS calls for text messaging via an application to someone. Additionally, this is a sort of company messaging. A2P SMS enables sending of automatic texts, therefore it may transcend one MPS. Additionally, it requires specific quantities, for example short codes, toll-free and 10DLC

Short code

Short codes are fiveto six-digit amounts used for sending high-volume, high-throughput A2P text messages. They can’t be utilized for two-way communications or to make voice calls. However, recipients may use certain key words (e.g.,”YES” to affirm,”STOP” to determine ) as answers to these sorts of messages.

Toll-free SMS

Toll-free SMS supports sending high-volume, high-throughput text messages utilizing toll-free telephone numbers (e.g., 800, 888). Most toll-free amounts can encourage SMS messages. Toll-free SMS supports two-way communications; recipients may respond to such messages because they would for ordinary text messages, and also may call the amount if it’s voice enabled.

10DLC

Also read: Top 6 Tips to Stay Focused on Your Financial Goals

Benefits of using SMS for business

There Are Lots of benefits to using SMS for Company, Especially related to text message marketing campaigns:

SMS is compatible on all hardware and software platforms. Messages can be sent and received on any modern mobile device.

SMS messages are small and transmitted via a cellular network, so they can be delivered and received very quickly.

Since SMS messages use a lower bandwidth, they can be sent in areas where voice is not available and can even be sent and received by email when there is no mobile service.

SMS messages are very reliable. They will get delivered either right away or as soon as the recipient’s phone is turned on and connects to a network.

SMS adds more versatility to a business’s communications and marketing strategies, as it is widely accepted and used.

SMS messages get read right away. They have a 98% open rate, which makes them much more effective than other mass marketing methods.

SMS messages cost less to send than MMS messages. They are also more cost effective than having people make and monitor phone calls.

How do businesses use SMS messaging?

Businesses can use SMS messaging in many ways.

Marketing Sending alerts, notifications, and reminders

When a client places an order, they could obtain an automatic SMS message if their purchase was processed, in addition to if the item is out for shipping. When a client schedule an appointment, then they may be sent a reminder the day before the appointment, in addition to an automatic text when there’s a change in the time or date. As a result of this large open rate of SMS messages, most companies know that clients will get and read their own SMS message punctually.

Sending coupons and special offers

Firms can send hyperlinks to electronic coupon codes, discounts, and special offers via SMS messaging. This permits clients to benefit from this deal without needing to remember to bring anything together, since the connection will be on their mobile phone. This has the benefit of making it easier for consumer to buy services and products out of your company, which can increase participation and earnings.

Providing customer support

Firms can incorporate SMS to their customer care system. This permits them to create more efficient utilization of the individual resources, as customer service representatives will have the ability to deal with many requests at exactly the exact same moment. Additionally, it enables customers to ask voice calls whenever they should deal with a problem through direct communications. Firms can increase the efficacy of the contact centres without needing to employ extra employees.

Two-factor authentication

Also read: The Top 10 In-Demand Tech Skills you need to have in 2023

Supporting group messaging

It’s possible to use SMS messaging allowing groups of three or more participants to send and receive messages. Some devices will encourage group messages up to 30 individuals. This allows your organization to communicate with multiple parties simultaneously. This may be valuable if time is a variable, like if a household is buying a house.

Which Ssd Is The Best In 2023?

Which solid-state drive (SSD) is the best used to be a much simpler decision. Now you must consider things like endurance, PCIe generations, DRAM or DRAM-less, SATA or NVMe. The goal of this list is to help you decide which is the best SSD for you.

Good to know: this guide can help you choose the right NVMe or SATA SSD for your system, depending on your use case and budget.

1. Best Gaming SSD: Western Digital BLACK SN850X

Price: $84.99 for 1TB

Image source: Newegg

WD’s impressive dashboard software adds to the specs to make it a near-perfect Gen4 gaming SSD. With DirectStorage on Windows 11 soon to be implemented by more game developers, the SN850X sets you up nicely to enjoy next-gen loading times. The base variant now comes with a capacity of 1TB, which is plenty for any dedicated game drive. You can also choose an optional heatsink for a $5 premium, not that you’d really need it on this drive.

Pros

Large SLC cache for fast, more sustained write speeds

Heatsink option with subtle RGB

Capacities up to 4TB

Cons

Game Mode needs firmware upgrades

No hardware encryption

Also helpful: building a gaming PC? You want to get the most value-for-money PC parts.

2. Best Budget Gaming SSD: Western Digital BLACK SN770

Price: $50.99 for 1TB

Western Digital also wins the budget gaming SSD category with the WD_BLACK SN770, a DRAM-less drive that stands out in a crowded market due to its seriously impressive performance. The SN770 is Western Digital’s more affordable option for gamers looking for a high-speed Gen4 drive and not wanting to spend more for the SN850X. Its DRAM-less configuration and lower-rated speeds may look like significant cons, but its impact on gaming performance is relatively low.

Image source: Newegg

The SN770’s four-channel controller still achieves read speeds of up to 5150 MB/s. You also get the option for 500GB and 250GB models, although they’re not necessarily a good value compared to the 1TB and 2TB models. The 1TB SN770 offers more than impressive real-world performance, and you won’t be able to tell the difference compared to faster offerings.

The operating temperatures may be a tad too high, especially with the lack of a heatsink. You also get Western Digital’s great dashboard software.

Pros

Premium gaming performance at an affordable price

Lower-capacity options to cover all use cases

Cons

No 4TB option

No heatsink option

No hardware encryption

3. Best Workstation SSD: Seagate Firecuda 530

Price: $209.99 for 2TB

Top-notch components and custom Seagate firmware make the Firecuda 530 blazingly fast, extremely long-lasting, and surprisingly cool. For a Gen4 drive, the Firecuda 530 almost touches the interface’s limits with its 7,300 MB/s and 6,900 MB/s read and write speeds, respectively. As it comes with an included heatsink, thermals aren’t a concern.

The Firecuda 530 is not just an excellent productivity drive. It’s also perfectly equipped as a dual-use drive to enjoy superior gaming performance. Seagate offers three years of data recovery services to further sweeten the deal.

Image source: Amazon

Pros

One of the fastest Gen4 drives available

Extremely fast SLC cache

Great aesthetics

Runs cool

Cons

A bit expensive

No hardware encryption

Tip: once you determine how much hard drive space you need, you can select the best capacity SSD for your build.

4. Best Budget Workstation SSD: Inland Performance Plus

Price: $134.99 for 2TB

You may not have heard of Inland drives, but the Inland Performance Plus has an enticing value proposition, thanks to the same Phison E18 controller and Micron 176-layer TLC flash in more premium drives. Even with a heatsink, the 2TB option of the Inland Performance Plus costs almost 35 percent less than the 2TB Firecuda 530.

The Performance Plus Gen4 NVMe SSD makes no compromises when it comes to performance. If you’re looking for a workstation drive, you may want to buy the 4TB or 8TB model because of the higher endurance (TBW) and random read speeds of the higher-capacity variants.

The Inland Performance Plus even provides heatsink options that are in contrast to some other high-performance drives from Samsung and Western Digital. In terms of warranty, you get six years of peace of mind, again more than that of many competing brands.

Pros

Solid thermals in the heatsink options

Cons

No hardware encryption

No SSD software

5. Best PS5 SSD: ADATA XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade

Price: $85 for 1TB

The PlayStation 5 has been out for almost three years, but finding a compatible solid-state drive is nearly impossible under the $100 mark. The ADATA XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade is a godsend for buyers on a budget who want to top up their PS5 storage with an SSD worthy of the console’s performance standards. Clocking in at 7400 MB/s and 6100 MB/s of read and write speeds, respectively, the S70 Blade even outperforms PS5’s stock storage in some real-world scenarios.

Image source: Amazon

The S70 Blade easily exceeds the minimum speed Sony recommends for the PS5 and has a Sony-recommended low-profile heatsink to easily fit inside the PS5. While the S70 Blade isn’t breaking any build quality standards, it provides PS5 users with peak performance, competitive TBW limits, and a great price.

Pros

Superior Gen4 performance for the PS5

Included heatsink for efficient cooling

More affordable than other PS5-compatible SSDs

256-bit AES hardware encryption

ADATA’s SSD Toolbox software

Cons

Not the best build quality

Good to know: you can transfer game data from a PS4 to a PS5 after you upgrade the SSD.

6. Best Steam Deck SSD: Sabrent Rocket 2230

Price: $109.95 for 1TB

The Steam Deck and, more recently, the ROG Ally ushered in a golden age for gaming handhelds. Unfortunately, the Steam Deck ships with a drive that offers a theoretical maximum transfer speed of 500 MB/s. Therefore, for those who want to swap their default Steam Deck SSD for something that packs more power, the Sabrent Rocket 2230 provides a great option.

With M.2 2230 form factor SSDs being rare in the retail market, the Rocket 2230 enjoys little competition. The Gen4x4 configuration can amp up your Steam Deck storage speeds with read/write speeds of up to 5,000 MB/s and 4,300 MB/s.

Sabrent has equipped the Rocket 2230 with the Phison E21T controller and Micron’s 176-layer TLC flash under the hood, making the drive excel in performance and energy efficiency. This makes it ideal for the Steam Deck and other such battery-dependent devices. If you wish to, you can install the 2TB variant, as that’s the maximum supported by the Steam Deck.

Pros

Good performance and energy efficiency

Cons

Full warranty requires registration

Slightly pricey

7. Best SATA SSD: Samsung 870 EVO

Price: $109.99 for 2TB

Fast SATA SSDs still have a gap to fill when you need economical but fast secondary storage. The Samsung 870 EVO is the fastest SSD on the SATA 2.5-inch form factor, with 560 MB/s and 530 MB/s read and write speeds, respectively.

Image source: Newegg

Maybe you need a reliable secondary drive for your media files. Or maybe you’ve run out of M.2 slots on your motherboard and only have SATA drives. Regardless, the 870EVO provides everything you need in a SATA SSD.

Samsung’s still-solid Magician software further complements the impressive offering of the 870 EVO. You can find cheaper SATA drives, but the 870 EVO’s capacity per price is too delicious to resist.

Pros

Consistent performance even with small file operations

More reliable and power efficient than other SATA drives

Multiple capacities from 250GB to 4TB

Cons

A little pricey

Also helpful: did you know there are also hybrid solid-state drives? Learn more about SSD vs. SSHD drives to determine which will best meet your needs.

8. Best Portable SSD: SanDisk Extreme PRO V2

Price: $119.99 for 1TB

Portable SSDs are ideal for professionals and users who frequently need to take their data with them. The SanDisk Extreme PRO V2 is an upgrade to SanDisk’s Extreme PRO. It supports read speeds of up to 2,000 MB/s on the USB 3.2 (Gen2x2) interface. While you may not be impressed by those numbers, USB SSDs are more about durability, reliability, and data security, and the Extreme PRO V2 doesn’t disappoint.

Image source: Amazon

SanDisk has updated the hardware encryption on the Extreme PRO V2 to 256-bit AES. If you’re concerned about the durability of the drive, the IP55 water and dust resistance should ease your fears. The drive is also rated for two-meter drop protection, making it ideal for regular trips. SanDisk’s excellent security management software distinguishes the Extreme PRO V2 from other portable drives.

Pros

USB 3.2 (Gen2x2) support

Lightweight and small

Robust 256-bit hardware encryption

SanDisk’s reliable warranty

Cons

Can feel costly at larger capacities

Limited speed without USB 3.2 (Gen2x2) ports

9. Best PCIe 5.0 SSD: Gigabyte AORUS Gen5 10000

Price: $289.99 for 2TB

PCIe 5.0 drives have begun surfacing in the retail space, and the Gigabyte AORUS Gen5 10000 is one of the first. The big number in the drive’s name points to its record-breaking sequential read and write speeds – around 10,000 MB/s. This is faster than any other Gen4 SSD and represents the fastest NVMe SSD a user with a compatible system can get their hands on.

Image source: Newegg

To accommodate the blistering speeds of the AORUS Gen5 10000, Gigabyte has graciously provided a beefy heatsink with the drive. This thing makes its presence felt and may interfere with your GPU and CPU cooler, so make sure to check your clearances.

Gigabyte uses the Phison E26 controller and 232-layer TLC Flash on the AORUS Gen5 10000 to power its next-gen performance. While the demanding hardware requirements and steep price may keep it out of reach of many users, the AORUS Gen5 10000 throws some light on the future of NVMe SSDs.

Image source:

Newegg

Pros

One of the fastest SSDs available

Robust heatsink for extreme cooling

Cons

Heatsink may be tough to install in some systems

Tip: double-check that you know how to upgrade to a solid-state drive.

10. Best RGB SSD: Patriot Viper VPR400

Price: $74.99 for 1TB

For gamers (or non-gamers, we don’t judge) who wish to adorn their M.2 slot with a bit of tasteful RGB, the Patriot Viper VPR400 is a good-looking and high-performance drive. Patriot decided to distinguish the Viper VPR400 by giving it an RGB aesthetic.

Being a Gen4 drive, the Patriot Viper VPR400 boasts 4600 MB/s and 4400 MB/s read and write speeds, respectively. While it may perform worse than some lower-priced non-RGB drives, you may not feel the difference in real-world scenarios. Although you’re paying a slight premium for its RGB, you get a bundled heatsink and a decent warranty from Patriot.

The Patriot Viper VPR400 makes sense for those who can’t do without RGB around their M.2 slot, but there are other options with better performance at better prices.

Pros

Decent Gen4 performance for gamers

Aesthetic RGB design

Reliable warranty

Cons

Pricier than faster alternatives

Frequently Asked Questions Which brand’s SSD is the best?

There’s no single brand that can be termed the best for SSDs. Some brands – like Samsung, WD, ADATA, Sabrent, Seagate, SanDisk, and Intel – are known for producing leading SSDs. If you want the assurance of a brand that offers reliable performance at reasonable prices, these are the brands you should consider.

Does NVMe last longer than SATA SSD?

Despite the differences in form factor and connectors, NVMe and SATA SSDs do not differ significantly in their lifespans. Both have lifespans that depend on usage and maintenance.

Image credit: Unsplash

Tanveer Singh

Tanveer hunts far and wide for PC Hardware, Windows, and Gaming ideas to write about. An MBA in Marketing and the owner of a PC building business, he has written extensively on Technology, Gaming, and Marketing. When not scouring the web, he can be found binging on The Office, running for his life in GTFO, or wrecking karts in Smash Karts.

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