As SSDs are faster and come in a better price range than a few years back, so general users are shifting towards SSDs more than HDDs for storage. But SSDs have also different variants on their own, external SSDs, which you can carry with you and use like a high-speed storage dive, and internal SSDs which are mostly used for installing inside computers.
Now, it is also possible to use an external SSD as an internal drive in a PC, or in some cases, an internal SSD (SATA specifically) can also be used as an external one. Then what are their differences exactly, and finally which one is better? Let’s discuss it in this post:
External SSD Vs Internal SSD: Although external SSDs are portable and faster, but they can’t beat the internal SSDs in terms of speed. Most of the SATA internal SSDs give better reading and writing speeds than the external ones and so is the NVMe SSDs. However, between external NVMe SSDs and internal SATA SSDs, external one wins.
That’s why unless you are not comparing external and internal SSDs with different capabilities, more likely, internal SSD wins. Now, for your convenience I have divided this comparison into different aspects so that you can get it easily, let’s look at it:
Speed And Overall Performance:
In terms of overall performance, internal SSD wins almost always. Note that, in this post, I am gonna be comparing them on the basis of same-range, because obviously a $15 internal SSD can’t stand in front of a $50 SSD, no matter whether it is internal or external.
That’s why I have included the average reading and writing speed of different types of SSDs in the table below:
|External SSD||Speed||Internal SATA SSD||Speed||Internal NVMe SSD||Speed|
|Samsung T5 SSD||540 Mb/s||Samsung 870 EVO||560Mb/s||Samsung 980 Pro||7,000Mb/s|
|Seagate Fast SSD||540Mb/s||Crucial MX500||560Mb/s||WD Black SN850||7,000 b/s|
|Adata SE730H||500Mb/s||Team T-Force Delta Max||540-560MB/s||Adata XPG Gammix S50 Lite||3,900Mb/s|
|SanDisk Extreme PRO (NVMe)||2000Mb/s||Samsung 970 Evo Plus||3400Mb/s|
Note that, I have written the maximum speed (claimed by their manufacturer companies) in the table, however, you can’t see much speed difference, especially in the case of NVMe SSDs.
Also, if you are thinking, why most of the SSD’s speed is the same, it is because most of the latest SSDs support the same USB 3.1 gen. Those external drives that support USB 3.2 gen 2 can give a much higher speed (Sandisk one) but also cost more.
Also note that I have mentioned some of the best external and internal SSDs in the table.
That’s why their output also kind of the same theoretically. But, this is not the case always. You can see performance differences between all kinds of SSDs depending on their build quality.
Overall, as I have only compared the best in the table, seeing that we can claim the external USB 3.1 and NVMe SSDs can’t beat internal SATA and NVMe SSDs respectively.
You might also think about external USB 3.1 SSD and internal SATA SSDs, both of their speed limits are almost the same. This is true, if you compare good quality external SSD that supports USB 3.1 with an average SATA internal SSD then the external one wins in this case.
Still, as internal SATA SSDs are directly connected to motherboards through SATA ports, so if we compare the same kind of SATA SSDs, the internal ones can give better speed.
Now, what about the lifespan, which one lasts more?
Do you know, the lifespan of external SSDs shorten significantly only because of one single reason, i.e. they are portable. Now, this is also one of the biggest advantages. That’s why I call portability a double-edged sword.
Basically, in terms of lifespan also internal SSDs can easily beat external SSDs. On average, internal SSDs can last from 7-8 years and sometimes more than 10 years if the user takes good care of maintaining a good temperature.
On the other hand, external SSDs mostly run 3-4 years according to my own personal experience. (I am talking about good quality external SSDs here, some cheap ones can also stop working under a year)
For the price, I would say, it’s a tie, both external and internal SSDs cost almost the same. However, there is one thing to know.
Till now most of the external SSDs do come with USB 3.1 gen only, and these are almost the same as internet SATA SSDs price-wise. You can both internal and external SSDs sizes 500GB under $50 and 1TB for around $100.
However, as there are not many SSDs based on NVMe that also support USB 3.2 (till now external SSDs that support it cost much higher), that’s why we can’t compare their price as such.
Although, there are 1-2 decent NVMe external SSD, still, they are very high in price than internal NVMe SSDs.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Is An External SSD As Fast As Internal?
In general, external SSDs are not as fast as internal SSDs. As internal SSDs directly connect with the motherboard, so they usually give more reading and writing speed. However, the quality of the drive affects the speed of both internal and external SSDs pretty much.
Is external SSD better than internal SSD?
External SSDs are better for carrying a large storage drive with you which also gives a decent reading and writing speed. They are highly portable and can easily fit in pockets, small bags.
Otherwise, as they can’t give the best speed, it is not a good idea for using external SSDs internally. You can check out this to know more about it: Using External SSD as Internal Drive: Is it possible?
So, external SSDs do have their own advantages and also downsides, it depends on the user, either it can be very helpful or waste of a few dollars.
I hope after reading this post, you can decide which is perfect for you between external or internal SSD. Still, if you have anything further in mind, you can contact me. See you in the next one, be techy:)
I am the co-founder of untoldtech, it’s all about knowing and adapting to the new technology and using them in our favor.