If you are upgrading from an old HDD to a new SSD, getting a new laptop or simply looking to expand your storage, you might be wondering what would the best choice be for you: a 500GB SSD or a 1TB SSD.
In today’s article, we will share our opinion on the matter in order to help you make the best choice possible while taking into consideration all things that must be considered.
500GB vs 1TB SSD main differences
Truth be told, there aren’t a ton of things that you should consider when trying to pick the winner. We’re listing them below for an easy overview.
1. Storage space differences
The main difference between these two types of storage drives is, obviously, the amount of storage space each one offers.
While in many cases, more casual users (those who use their computer or laptop mainly for internet browsing and listening to music online), a 500GB SSD would offer just enough storage to be considered acceptable.
But a 1TB SSD offers twice as more storage and in this case, bigger is always better.
It won’t hurt you to have a 1TB SSD that’s just 55% full, but you can’t have a 500GB one that’s 105% full.
2. Speed differences
There is a myth going around, claiming that larger capacity SSDs are faster than lower capacity ones.
The truth is that, if you compare the same model from the same brand, you will get about the same in terms of writing and reading speeds.
There might be slight differences between the two, but we weren’t able to pick a clear winner or come to a clear conclusion. This means that the amount of storage offered does not directly influence performance.
SSDs are extremely fast drives, much faster that traditional HDDs and as long as we’re comparing apples to apples (same brand, different storage capacities), there is no noticeable difference preformance-wise.
3. Price differences
Another thing to consider is that larger SSDs are more expensive than lower capacity ones.
These drives aren’t cheap to start with, but prices kept going down over the years to the point where we can consider them pretty much affordable.
And while a 1TB SSD is indeed more expensive than a 500GB one, the price is usually not double, so you’re still getting more storage for your dollar.
We already published an article sharing our favorite SSD laptops – make sure to check it out if you haven’t done so already. There are some top deals there!
But back to the differences – the three mentioned above would be the most important ones. We could summarize it by saying this:
When deciding between a 500GB SSD and a 1TB SSD, know that the 1TB model offers more storage than the 500GB one, without noticeable speed improvements, but with higher costs. So the 1TB SSD is the better option than the 500GB model.
This is, of course, if the increased price isn’t a problem for you. But if you can afford it, always go with the higher capacity one. It’s better to have more space available than otherwise.
IMPORTANT: In order for a SSD to operate at maximum performance and offer maximum speed, it is recommended to have around 10% of its capacity in free space.
When do you really need a 1TB SSD over a 500GB one?
As I said, in most cases and for more casual users, a 500GB drive might be enough. But for more and more people out there, a 1TB SSD becomes the new normal, we would say.
If you like taking a lot of photos and videos and prefer to store them (or have a back-up) on your computer or laptop, then you will definitely be better off with a larger model, because those photos and movies will take a lot of space.
Also, if you like to play games regularly, 500GB will soon become too little. Have in mind that many AAA titles nowadays require more than 100GB each (Call of Duty Modern Warfare, for example, needs a whooping 231GB!)
If you have a lot of files to store – from older movies to music or all sorts of files that you have been piling up over the years, then you also need a 1TB SSD over a 500GB one.
The best thing is that SSDs are becoming more and more affordable, so you don’t have to pay double to get twice the storage compared with a 500GB mode.
For example, if you look at our top recommended 1TB SSD from Samsung (click here to check it out – affiliate link), you will see that it sells for a really good price.
Even though you could just make it work with a 500GB SSD, there is no real advantage to get this lower capacity model. Always choose a 1TB model if the extra cost is not a problem for you, as extra storage never hurts.