SSD - to what extent does speed matter?

Hoping someone here might be able to give some advice…

I have a laptop which currently has a 512GB SSD that I want to upgrade to 1TB.
The currently installed SSD has seq read/write speeds of approx. 3000 MB/s

I have a spare 1TB SSD which I bought a few years. According to its specs, it has seq read/write speeds of approx. 2000 MB/s (so a bit slower): Crucial P1 1TB 3D NAND NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD | CT1000P1SSD8 | Crucial UK

I notice the newest SSDs have seq read/write speeds of approx. 5,000-6,000 MB/s, for example: Crucial P5 Plus 1TB PCIe M.2 2280SS Gaming SSD | CT1000P5PSSD8 | Crucial UK

I’m wondering how meaningful these differences in speeds are. I suspect they’re important for certain specialist applications, but may not be particularly noticeable for mainstream computing tasks. In which case I’ll just install my spare 1TB SSD instead of buying a newer one.

Would appreciate it if anyone could give some insight.

The speed determines how fast your games install, how fast they load up how fast data is transferred and also how fast your downloads will go as the download needs to be moved to certain areas etc.

So I wouldn’t skimp out on a bad SSD but most cheap ones are pretty good nowadays.

The one you have should be fine as long.


If you’re not a gamer and are just using it for email, web browsing, Office, etc., I doubt you’ll really notice the difference.

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It’s so easy to clone drives and swap them over, I’d just give it a go and see! Worst case, you pop the old one back in while getting another

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If you’re dealing with large files, that’s when you’ll notice. So outside of gaming, if you’re a photographer processing images in Lightroom, for example.


Unless you have a specific need for really high speeds, that spare 1TB drive will be fine.

If you can, look at keeping the 512GB drive as your OS/Boot drive and then just add the 1TB drive as well.

If that’s not an option then just use the 1TB drive on it’s own.

Unless you are moving huge files back and forth between two SSDs, the bottleneck will be elsewhere anyway.

Even if you are a gamer, you’re only talking a few seconds worth of additional load time, and highly unlikely to affect performance once a game/level is loaded as the bottleneck will be from your RAM, GPU or CPU not the storage device.

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Thanks for responses.

I don’t do any PC gaming and don’t do frequent photo or video editing. Most of the time I’m doing fairly standard office-type stuff with files typically smaller than 200 mb.

I sometimes run script-based analysis of data in large numbers of files (processed one after the other) but the individual files are generally smallish files (typically less than 200 mb, and I don’t think ever larger than 1 GB). I’m assuming the sequential read speeds are not particularly important for this.

I also sometimes run virtual machines. I suppose these are the biggest files i use but i don’t use them regularly.

Only one drive slot in the laptop, so not an option unfortunately.

Whenever I change drives I’ve always started from scratch with a fresh OS install, so didn’t think of this. But will give it a go.

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