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  1. #1

    What is the difference between internal and external SSD?

    So while I'm sure it's simple for some people to install things in their computer. I don't know too much about it outside of changing RAM, fans, and I once changed a graphics card back in 2004. I've been interested in getting an SSD to load video games a little faster. Could someone tell me what the difference is between an internal and external SSD? I know the obvious difference, one is inside the PC and the other is connected through USB. Is there a huge speed difference between the two? Also, would an external SSD still be faster than my hard drive loading things?

  2. #2
    Moderator chazus's Avatar
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    I honestly hadn't heard of external SSD's until you mentioned it. Regardless, External SSD seems entirely silly. I don't see a benefit for using it.

    If you want stuff to load faster, you want an internal SSD, with your OS and games loaded on it.
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    Herald of the Titans Drsolders's Avatar
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    There will be a huge speed difference. One is plugged in through a SATA controller and another through a USB controller. SATA transfers data much faster than a USB. ALWAYS go through SATA. Hell even if you need to swap drives fast a lot of cases come with hotswap drive bays (Connections are held in place at the back of the drive rack so you can just slide drives in and out at a wim). For an SSD all you want is speed/reliability which you wont get through USB. External mass storage is fine through a USB because you aren't going for speed but rather transportation.


    TL;DR ALWAY internal for speed (which is what you are looking for in an SSD). Also an SSD would be magnitudes faster than your old HDD. Most SSDs allow you to boot in <10 seconds. Photoshop loading in 30 seconds on your old hard drive? Try its loaded by the time you finished clicking on it with SSD. It is worth every penny.
    Last edited by Drsolders; 2014-11-14 at 04:54 PM.
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  4. #4
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    An SSD is basically a USB flash drive with better quality chips and roms that is placed internally into the PC. Many companies have started to increase the quality of the chips inside a flash drive to give it near SSD speeds with the benefit of being able to use it as a normal USB stick.

    That is probably what is meant by an external SSD. Regardless they won't be as fast as internal ones for a long time. If you can fit it, stick to an internal.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Drsolders View Post
    There will be a huge speed difference. One is plugged in through a SATA controller and another through a USB controller. SATA transfers data much faster than a USB. ALWAYS go through SATA. Hell even if you need to swap drives fast a lot of cases come with hotswap drive bays (Connections are held in place at the back of the drive rack so you can just slide drives in and out at a wim). For an SSD all you want is speed/reliability which you wont get through USB. External mass storage is fine through a USB because you aren't going for speed but rather transportation.


    TL;DR ALWAY internal for speed (which is what you are looking for in an SSD). Also an SSD would be magnitudes faster than your old HDD. Most SSDs allow you to boot in <10 seconds. Photoshop loading in 30 seconds on your old hard drive? Try its loaded by the time you finished clicking on it with SSD. It is worth every penny.
    Could you recommend me an SSD? (One that is good for gaming and won't break the bank)

  6. #6
    You realize that:

    SATA III = 6.0 Gbit/s
    USB 3 = 5.0 Gbit/s

    Brand new SSDs are only now reaching the saturation point of ~500 MBytes/s.

  7. #7
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    Samsung EVO is a good choice... choose the size that fits your budget/needs. I'd recommend 240GB at least, unless your budget is tight. Don't go for PRO version unless you REALLY need the extra speed, the regular EVO is fine for most consumer needs.

    They run about $130 or so. If you get the 'kit' version, they give you an external drive adapter that lets you just image your old HDD to the new SSD, then you just swap them out.

    Examples for the 250GB EVO:

    Just the drive $129.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-248-_-Product

    with kit $154.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-253-_-Product

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nodrak View Post
    You realize that:

    SATA III = 6.0 Gbit/s
    USB 3 = 5.0 Gbit/s

    Brand new SSDs are only now reaching the saturation point of ~500 MBytes/s.
    Under ideal circumstances, even assuming an external USB 3.0 device will operate at full speed.
    If you're upgrading a computer thats even slightly old, you only have USB 2.0 ports.
    Last edited by Vermicious; 2014-11-14 at 05:18 PM.

  8. #8
    Scarab Lord Djinni's Avatar
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    Actually...
    Potentially the only difference is if one is inside or outside the case.

    You can quite happily use eSATA to connect the SSD so then it just becomes a question of powering it, which you could do through a USB to SATA Power adapter.

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    Herald of the Titans Drsolders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Djinni View Post
    Actually...
    Potentially the only difference is if one is inside or outside the case.

    You can quite happily use eSATA to connect the SSD so then it just becomes a question of powering it, which you could do through a USB to SATA Power adapter.
    The main issue is that OP seems to have an older PC. I highly doubt his pc has either eSATA or USB 3.0.
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    Scarab Lord Djinni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drsolders View Post
    The main issue is that OP seems to have an older PC. I highly doubt his pc has either eSATA or USB 3.0.
    Many machines had eSATA long before USB3 was even available.
    So it would be much more likely there would be an eSATA port than a USB3 port, as very frequently the eSATA port also doubles as a USB port.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by chazus View Post
    Regardless, External SSD seems entirely silly. I don't see a benefit for using it.
    They're not entirely silly - they have their uses. For example, built in 256 GB SSD is too small for in my MacBook Pro, so I ordered a 512 GB USB 3.0 external SSD to add to a total of ~750 GB.

    Of course, with desktops PCs, it makes little sense.
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  12. #12
    The primary difference between internal and external drives are that external drives communicate through USB, or similar cable protocol, whereas internal connects through some form of SATA. SATA 6 is 6 gb/s. Let me know which external has the same transfer rates. That's the only difference, the external has a slightly lower cap(currently) on transfer rates.

    Quote Originally Posted by chazus View Post
    I honestly hadn't heard of external SSD's until you mentioned it. Regardless, External SSD seems entirely silly. I don't see a benefit for using it.
    I'll have to remember that and get rid of my flash drives. They're essentially SSD's that don't require a cable to connect them. Oh wait, that's right. Those external drives allow me to move information between various machines without having to worry about using the cloud, or needing hotswap bays.

  13. #13
    The Insane Masark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drsolders View Post
    There will be a huge speed difference. One is plugged in through a SATA controller and another through a USB controller.
    eSATA does exist.

    Warning : Above post may contain snark and/or sarcasm. Try reparsing with the /s argument before replying.
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Drsolders View Post
    The main issue is that OP seems to have an older PC. I highly doubt his pc has either eSATA or USB 3.0.
    How do I find out what I have?

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianCC100 View Post
    How do I find out what I have?
    USB3.0 ports are typically blue, whereas 2.0 are typically black. Otherwise you could probably check system information, Components -> USB. It might not be super detailed.
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    The Insane Masark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianCC100 View Post
    How do I find out what I have?
    Look for a blue USB port or a port that looks like this.


    Warning : Above post may contain snark and/or sarcasm. Try reparsing with the /s argument before replying.
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    Herald of the Titans Drsolders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Masark View Post
    eSATA does exist.
    True but he said he replaced his GPU in 2004. (PC prob even older than that) and eSATA came out in mid 2004. So chances are he doesn't have it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunius View Post
    They're not entirely silly - they have their uses. For example, built in 256 GB SSD is too small for in my MacBook Pro, so I ordered a 512 GB USB 3.0 external SSD to add to a total of ~750 GB.

    Of course, with desktops PCs, it makes little sense.
    LOL... you do know that the physical size of an SSD is the same whether you have 120GB or 512GB?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by g01851 View Post
    LOL... you do know that the physical size of an SSD is the same whether you have 120GB or 512GB?
    I think he means storage size, not the physical size.

  20. #20

    It's 2018 already

    Quote Originally Posted by chazus View Post
    I honestly hadn't heard of external SSD's until you mentioned it. Regardless, External SSD seems entirely silly. I don't see a benefit for using it.

    If you want stuff to load faster, you want an internal SSD, with your OS and games loaded on it.

    In the stone age, yes, but it's already 2018/2019. The future is now!

    [Infracted]
    Last edited by Cilraaz; 2018-12-31 at 02:53 AM.

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