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SSD Experiment: AliExpress vs Samsung 850 PRO

by Behrad
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In the world of tech tinkering and DIY enthusiasts, you often end up “playing” around with your tech to test how good (or bad) something is, or just to see what you can do with it.

So in January 2023 I decided to get a proper storage for my Raspberry Pi 4B, which houses around 20 something dockers. At that moment I was using a Samsung EVO+ 128GB Micro SD card and I knew that is going to fail at some point. Even though I had a Samsung SSD 850 PRO 256GB lying in my tech closet, I decided to experiment with a SSD from AliExpress. So far I had heard mixed stories so it was time to give it a spin on my own set-up!

After ordering a 128GB SSD from AliExpress on 23rd of January 2023, the SSD was quickly delivered so I started bench marking it and truth to be told, I was impressed. I went from a write speed of 15.5MB/s with the SD card to 203 MB/s on the brand new SSD. The read speed was 291MB/s compared with 46MB/s! It was truly a very cheap way to boost the performance of my Raspberry Pi and my Home Assistant docker in specific! However, as time passed, I started to see a decline in its speed and reliability in the last couple of months.

In the end, during my vacation and time off around Christmas, things become so slow that I had to turn off a lot of dockers, just so that I could get Home Assistant working. At first I assumed that it was due to some of my new dockers but after doing some troubleshooting I found out that my beloved SSD from AliExpress had a write speed of 5MB/s!! 😱🤯 No wonder things were not running!

So it was time to clone that cheap SSD to Samsung SSD 850 PRO 256GB which took a few hours, It was time to boot up my RPi4B again… And… Yeaaah! It was running as smooth as butter!

Storage TypeRead SpeedWrite Speed
Samsung EVO+ 128GB Micro SD Card46,6 MB/s15.5 MB/s
AliExpress SSD 120GB [When it arrived]291 MB/s203 MB/s
AliExpress SSD 120GB [December 2023] 36,3 MB/s5 MB/s
Samsung SSD 850 PRO – 256GB360 MB/s340 MB/s

Conclusion:
Although this was just an experiment and the AliExpress SSD worked well for almost 12 months, this journey shows the valuable lesson about the importance of quality and reliability in tech components, especially when it comes to the storage!

While the allure of a budget option may be very appealing, investing money in a reliable brand, proved to be the smarter choice for the long-term performance and peace of mind!

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