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The cheapest SSD right now per unit storage is shockingly an M.2 PCIe model

A Timetec M.2 SSD
(Image credit: Timetec)

2021 will be remembered as a watershed year for storage technology as M.2 SSD takes over from SATA units, sending them into oblivion. Now, one such SSD has taken the crown of the cheapest solid state drive per unit storage. 

Timetec may not be a household brand but is in fact a Liteon OEM - the latter being a Kioxia brand, formerly known as Toshiba Memory. So far from being a no-name entity, it is actually far more reputable and reliable than many of the lesser-known brands.

Data compiled by e-commerce monitoring platform Dealavo shows that Timetec has the cheapest Terabyte price at $82.28 ($78.99 for the 960GB model), followed by Teamgroup and Asenno.

M.2 are physically very different from older SSDs which inherited their form factors from 2.5-inch hard disk drives - with this model just 110mm long.

Timetec 960GB M.2 SSD,

Timetec 960GB M.2 SSD, only $78.99 at Amazon

Timetec is not a household name but it has managed to deliver a very good product at a bargain price. This is a PCIe 3.0 Gen 4 part which means that it will be far faster than anything you will get in this price range.

Endurance

The drive is a 960GB M.2 2280 SSD that uses the Marvell controller, 3D NAND TLC components and is backed by a three-year warranty. 

What that means is that the endurance of this SSD is probably better than any QLC-based parts. Timetec quotes a staggering 1367TBW (Terabyte Written) which means that the drive can in theory be entirely rewritten more than 1,400 times.

Other notable features include a three-year warranty, Static and Dynamic Wear leveling, Bad Block and low power management as well as TRIM support. Timetec quotes a sequential read speed of up to 1700MB/s and a sequential write speed of up to 750MB/S with random read/writes hitting 460,000 IOPS and 60,000 IOPS respectively

As always, we recommend that you get a cloud storage solution to backup your files as well as a hard drive protection plan and a data recovery service for external hard drives. These may add up to the price of the drives but like insurance, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Desire Athow

Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Then followed a weekly tech column in a local business magazine in Mauritius, a late night tech radio programme called Clicplus and a freelancing gig at the now-defunct, Theinquirer, with the legendary Mike Magee as mentor. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global techfests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. He has an affinity for anything hardware and staunchly refuses to stop writing reviews of obscure products or cover niche B2B software-as-a-service providers.