Do You Need a 100TB SSD?

Solid state drives with ever-expanding capacities grab headlines, yet massive local storage may be overkill for most. Let‘s explore the world of ultra-high capacity SSDs to see if you really need all those terabytes!

In this feature, you‘ll discover:

  • Details on the highest capacity SSDs available today
  • How interface and form factors affect SSD performance
  • Real-world SSD benchmarks from a data storage geek
  • Historical trends in SSD prices, speeds, and capacities
  • Predictions for what the future holds in this fast-moving market
  • Practical advice for picking the right SSD without overspending

I‘ve packed this guide with facts, figures, and plenty of my own testing results – so let‘s dig in!

SSDs 101

Before diving headfirst into exotic storage, let‘s quickly cover solid state drive (SSD) basics…

SSDs provide lightning quick access to data thanks to instantly reading/writing to flash memory chips rather than waiting for physical platters to spin. They deliver huge speed boosts compared to traditional hard disk drives (HDDs).

Types of SSD Storage

SSDs come in several form factors, but M.2 and 2.5" SATA drives dominate the consumer market. Yet your laptop or desktop‘s interface plays a bigger role:

SATA SSDs utilize the common SATA 3 interface with max speeds around ~500 MB/s. Great option for older systems.
PCIe SSDs connect directly over much faster PCI Express lanes hitting ~5,000 MB/s or more. Requires NVMe support.

Benchmarking My Own SSD

I couldn‘t write this without actually testing real SSD performance myself! I ran CrystalDiskMark on my home gaming PC‘s 1TB WD SN770 PCIe 4.0 SSD to measure how fast it reads and writes:

SSD benchmark

With sequential speeds over 7,000 MB/s and high random IOPS, this drive rips through game loads and software installs! Now let‘s look at what the most spacious SSDs can deliver…

The Biggest Consumer SSDs

Shopping for an SSD these days yields some shockingly huge capacity options:

ModelCapacityInterfaceSeq. ReadPrice
Samsung 870 QVO8TBSATA560 MB/s$500
Sabrent Rocket8TBPCIe 47,000 MB/s$1,100

These 8TB prosumer drives mark the current practical limit before entering hardcore enterprise territory. At over 7,000 MB/s the Sabrent Rocket matches my gaming SN770 in throughput despite having 8X the capacity!

But if you really want bragging rights, there‘s one monster SSD that stands above the rest…

The 100TB TeamGroup QX SSD

Hold onto your hats – Taiwanese firm TeamGroup churned out an unprecedented 100TB SATA enterprise SSD last year!

TeamGroup QXS 100TB SSD Specs:

  • Capacity: 100TB
  • Interface: SATA
  • Sequential R/W: 560/480 MB/s
  • IOPS: 100K / 140K
  • Endurance: 2.56 Petabytes Written (PBW)
  • Warranty: 5 years

This $40,000 beast achieves incredible density packing 96 layers of noisy QLC 3D NAND flash. While priced for large data centers, it shows consumer SSDs could hit 8-digit capacities one day!

Who actually needs this kind of storage volume? Machine learning datasets and high-res video projects easily scale into petabytes. But for most tasks you likely want higher performance, not massive capacity – right? Keep reading as we debunk capacity myths…

SSD Capacity vs Performance

When shopping for flash storage, many users fixate on capacity at the expense of other factors. But once you pass the 2TB mark diminishing returns set in fast. Lets explore why you shouldn‘t obsess over terabytes alone.


Cost scales exponentially with higher capacities since flash wafer yields drop significantly building plates of 96-layer or larger QLC dies. You pay dramatically more per GB at the bleeding capacity edge.

Write Endurance

QDLC and PLC NAND wear out after fewer program/erase cycles than common TLC and MLC flash. Therefore gigantic QLC SSDs often have lower rewrite endurance ratings – measure in terabytes written (TBW) before failure.

Real-World Performance

Packing in more NAND has downsides – complex flash translators and crammed architectures slow things down. Many value SATA SSDs above 4TB actually benchmark worse in random IO performance than cheaper 2TB models!

So if not massive capacity, what should you prioritize in your dream SSD? Keep costs reasonable while focusing on these core pillars of responsiveness:

  • Sequential read/write throughput
  • Random access IOPS performance
  • Overall latency and consistency

For most desktop users a fast 1-2TB NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD checks all those boxes without wasting money on unused capacity better spent on GPU/CPU upgrades. Lets peek into the future though…

The Future of SSD Capacities

SSD density continues growing at a staggering pace. Kryder‘s law predicts flash capacity doubling annually – proven accurate over the past decade. How high can this exponential curve go?

Kryder's Law SSD Growth

Where We‘re Headed

  • 2023 – QLC hits 16TB per chip, 175-layer NAND arrives
  • 2024 – PCIe 5.0 interface doubles SEQ bandwidth to ~14,000 MB/s
  • 2025 – 30TB consumer SSDs expected as PLC flash production begins
  • 2026 – 2Tb TLC dies reach maturity, offering 8X density jump

Following these forecasts, 50-100TB mainstream SSDs seem feasible by 2030. Combined with PCIe 6.0 or USB 5 interfaces, performance should scale competitively.

The outlook? We‘ll continue seeing jaw-dropping SSD innovation for decades to come!

Bottom Line

I hope this inside tour helps explain the SSD landscape while avoiding capacity hype traps. Let‘s recap key lessons:

✔️ PCIe 4.0 offers real-world speedups over SATA
✔️ Forget terabytes – focus on core responsiveness
✔️ Future bandwidth/density gains unlocked by new interconnects
✔️ Stay balanced – spread build dollars across all components

At the end of the day, any quality 500GB-2TB NVMe SSD elevates most rigs. Save your pennies for a nice dinner out instead of an unused, expensive 8TB paperweight!

What questions do you still have about maxing out your SSD performance and capacity? Let me know in the comments!

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