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7 Best SSDs for Dell XPS 15 in 2023 [SATA/NVMe/External]

    Dell XPS 15 Laptops come in between the cheaper XPS 13 and expensive XPS 17 laptop range. These laptops are really powerful and are applicable for almost all kinds of work. Specifically, the XPS 15 range is focused more on performance seekers. The older XPS 15 series with 11th gen i7 and i9 processors. While the New XPS 15 laptops are equipped with 12th Generation i5, i7, and i9 CPUs.

    I know you are not here to read this irrelevant introduction.

    So, here are all the available models of Dell XPS 15 laptops.

    • XPS 15 7590
    • XPS 15 9500
    • XPS 15 9510
    • XPS 15 9520
    • XPS 15 9550
    • XPS 15 9560
    • XPS 15 9570
    • XPS 15 9575 2-in-1

    So, you might be having any of these ones. Before proceeding, you will have to check the user manual of your one so that you can confirm the supported storage specifications. You can simply do that by going to Dell’s official support page.

    Most probably your laptop will support at least one M.2 NVMe SSD of 2TB storage space. However, other models may support only 1TB of it. Also, you will get to see a slot for a SATA SSD or Hard Drive. So, before going to our list, I would strongly suggest you go through the user manual because there could be some specification differences depending on the models.

    If you want help with the installation, read this great article for Window Central. Alternatively, you can find YouTube videos to get help with the SSD installation. Now, without any further delays, let’s get started with our list of best SSDs for Dell XPS 15. Read my SSD Buying guide to know more about the SSD selection.

    Best M.2 NVMe SSDs for Dell XPS 15 Laptops

    M.2 NVMe SSDs are fast. Also, they are expensive. So, if you are looking for the best storage speed but are willing to spend a little extra, you should go for an NVMe SSD. Below are the three top NVMe SSDs you can buy for your Dell XPS 15 laptop.

    1. Samsung 970 EVO Plus

    The maximum read/write speed of Samsung 970 EVO Plus is 3500 and 3300 MB/s.

    This SSD uses the PCIe 3.0 interface and is a popular choice for laptop users. Because your Dell XPS 15 also support PCIe 3.0 interface, this SSD is a perfect choice for you.

    It is highly popular because it suits most of the users in different categories. Whether you are a gamer or a normal laptop user, you can always buy and use Samsung 970 EVO Plus for your system upgrade. It offers a perfect balance between those expensive high-speed PCIe 4.0 SSDs and the slower SATA drives.

    The Samsung 970 EVO Plus comes in the category of consumer NVMe. It uses the DRAM and SLC cache for faster random and sequential read-write speeds. Powered by Samsung TurboWrite technology, you get excellent write features that you may not see in any other SSD out there. The price is a little bit higher as compared to the other PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSDs but it completely justifies that amount with an amazing performance under all environments.

    If we talk about endurance, the 2TB variant has a 1,200 TBW rating. The 1TB variant has 600, 500GB has 300, and 250GB variant has 150 TBW rating.

    Samsung’s own TLC 3D V-NAND is used here with 96/92 layers. Samsung’s Phoenix controller is powering up this SSD. It has five cores and 8 channels. With all these balanced features, the Samsung 970 EVO Plus becomes one of the leading NVMe SSDs. This is the reason why I always suggest it to all the people who can afford it.

    2. Samsung 970 Pro

    The Samsung 970 Pro is the next great option for users who are looking for the best Dell XPS 15 SSD. This is again equipped with great features and yet at a reasonable price.

    Samsung 970 Pro comes with a 3500 MB/s data reading and 2700 MB/s data writing speed. It has the newer fourth-generation V-NAND technology with Phoenix controller and M.2 form factor which greatly increases the performance. Samsung 970 Pro also comes with 30% more efficiency than its predecessor due to its input voltage of only 2.5V.

    If we talk about the TBW limits, the 970 Pro has a lot to offer. The 1TB version has a massive 1,200 Terabytes write limit.

    Samsung 970 Pro will meet all your gaming and professional requirement. However, it’s still very expensive as compared to its competitors. So, if you’re not short on budget then you should probably go for it.

    3. Kingston A2000

    The maximum read/write speed of Kingston A2000 is 2200 and 2000 MB/s.

    Now, this one is suitable for average and even low-end users. If we talk about your laptop, you should not use it as your OS drive. In my opinion, the A2000 is a perfect pick if you are finding a fast storage drive for raw data storage on your XPS 15 laptop.

    The Kingston A2000 is an affordable option with enough read/write speed for office people, students, hobbyist gamers, etc. The A2000 lies in the budget NVMe category. So, it is going to be way cheaper than any other high-end NVMe out there.

    It has a DRAM cache along with a pseudo-SLC cache for handling write operations. It also supports S.M.A.R.T. and T.R.I.M. commands. Along with that, it offers a good performance for heavy data read/write operations as well. This is the reason why it also suits well for raw data storage tasks. With the help of Kingston SSD Manager software, you can handle firmware updates and all other important things.

    If we look at the endurance ratings, its 1TB variant has 600 TBW which is surely a low endurance as compared to the top players. The 500 GB variant has 350 TBW and the 150 TB variant has 150 TBW. I know these numbers are not very respectable but at this price point, you can’t expect anything better than this.

    Micron’s TLC 3D NAND is utilized here for storage purposes. It has 64 and 96 layers of NAND depending on different variants. SMI SM2263 controller is utilized here which has two cores and four channels. I would suggest buying this SSD for your laptop if you have a limited budget. A2000 is a fully reliable SSD with great performance.

    Best SATA SSDs for Dell XPS 15 Laptops

    SATA SSDs are good to use for storing raw data rather than installing OS, software, and games. They are good when you need more storage space but you want more speed than the hard drives and lesser than the NVMes.

    1. Crucial MX500

    Crucial MX500 has a read/write speed of 560 and 510 MB/s.

    Crucial MX500 is another one of the best SATA SSDs out there. This SSD comes with an impressive performance which will be there even under heavy workloads. MX500 actually comes in the performance SATA category but has an affordable price tag. For your Dell XPS, it is a good option to have a lot of storage working at a considerable speed.

    Crucial MX500 has Micron’s TLC 3D NAND with 64 layers and 96 layers in some variants. Also, it comes with a fast DRAM cache. It also supports S.M.A.R.T. and T.R.I.M. commands. Along with that, you get to see the AES 256-bit encryption for security purposes.

    If we talk about endurance, the 4TB variant has 1000 TBW whereas the 2TB variant has 700 TBW. The 1TB variant surely has a small endurance rating i.e. 360 TBW. Then, the 500 GB variant has 180 TBW and the 250 GB has 100 TBW. So, the smaller variants are having a lesser endurance rating.

    Crucial has used the SMI SM2258 controller which has a single core and 4 channels. I would suggest you this SSD for any kind of usage. it is a well-reputed SSD with a cheap price and this is what makes it great.

    2. Samsung 860 EVO

    The maximum sequential read speed of the Samsung 860 EVO is 550 MB/s and the write speed is 520 MB/s

    Samsung 860 Evo (2.5” SATA & M.2) is available in five different sizes as 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB.

    Samsung 860 Evo’s unmatched performance credit goes to the V-NAND technology which is used for stacking memory cells vertically. As per Samsung, 64-layer 3D V-NAND in the 860 Evo is 30% more power-efficient than its previous 48-layer V-NAND technology. Samsung 860 Evo comes with a new MJX controller which has support for DDR4 cache memory, the new MJX controller keeps the SSD cool even on heavy operations and consumes low power.

    Samsung 860 Evo’s cache memory varies from 512MB to 4GB depending upon your SSD storage. I recommend Samsung 860 Evo to everyone who wants a reliable SATA SSD for their Dell XPS 15 laptop. However, it is expensive as compared to the MX500.

    Best External SSDs for Dell XPS 15 Laptops

    Obviously, there is no specific external SSD for the Dell XPS 15. The external SSDs are universal because they can work with any kind of laptop and desktop regardless of their brands and models. Still, I would like to suggest some of the best external SSD to you.

    1. WD My Passport

    WD My Passport is a portable drive like Seagate Backup Plus and WD My Passport also fits in your hand or pocket, so you can easily carry them around. WD My Passport also comes in four different sizes which are 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, and 5TB. So, it is a perfect pick to have some extra external space along with the internal drive of your XPS 15.

    WD My Passport’s read and writes speed is around 80-100 MB/s which is fairly good for normal day-to-day usage. It also supports PC, Mac, PS4, and other gaming consoles like Seagate Backup Plus. The Hardware interface supports USB 2.0, 3.0, and 3.2 connections, which is really good. WD My passport also supports 256-bit AES hardware encryption which helps in keeping your content secure.

    WD My Passport is good if you don’t have enough money for the Seagate Backup Plus. WD has similar specifications to Seagate but it lacks in speed and is less durable than Seagate Backup Plus. Still, it’s great for keeping your content backup or a copy safe and secure.

    2. Samsung T7 Touch

    Samsung T7 External SSD

    Samsung T7 Touch is one of the most reliable and durable external SSD, preferred by the majority of buyers. One of the best features of the portable SSD is that it includes a fingerprint reader. Protect your data from unknowns.

    To set up the encryption and fingerprint recognition, you have to rely on Samsung’s Portable SSD Plus Software. You will find the software for Windows and Mac within the SSD Drive whereas, for Android, you can download it from Google Play Store.

    The company hasn’t stated the actual read/write speeds of its different variants. However, the maximum read speed on the official website is 1050MB/s and the write speed is 1000MB/s. Thanks to its NVMe Support.

    In order to achieve the highest speeds, I would suggest you connect it with the USB Type-C (10 Gbps) port.

    Well, I don’t own the Dell XPS 15 laptop. But, below is an amazing video from The Everyday Dad YouTube channel upgrading a Dell XPS 15 9500. You can use the same tutorial to upgrade any Dell XPS 15.

    Different modes of Dell XPS 15 can have a different kind of internal arrangement. But, you can pretty easily follow the same procedure to install your SSD (NVMe or SATA). You can follow this installation guide as well. This installation guide is written for Dell XPS 15 5570.

    1. Have a data backup

    Although this installation process is completely safe to do, there is always a chance of data loss during these tasks. So, in order to stay on the safer side, it will be good to backup your data and prevent it from being lost. You can make use of any free data backup software for the same.

    2. Arrange tools and prepare your workbench

    Make sure to put your laptop on a table. It will be good to use an insulation pad or a plastic piece to protect it from scratches. Now, the next step is to arrange the screwdriver to open the base cover. The Phillips #0 #1 and #00 will be good to have to do everything seamlessly.

    After doing that, disconnect all wires from your laptop including the power cord, LAN wire, and USB. Once done, you are ready to open the laptop.

    3. Remove the Optical Drive First of all

    removing the optical drive

    Open the Optical drive retention screw as shown in the image below. Once it’s opened, take your optical drive out before doing anything else.

    4. Open all other screws

    Now, when the optical drive is released, it’s time to open all the remaining screws to free the base cover from the laptop body.

    all screws on the base of dell inspiron 15 5570

    Once all these screws are opened, start detaching the base panel from the body by opening its locks. It will be good to use a prying tool.

    detaching the base panel using a prying tool
    Source: YouTube

    You can also lift the base cover off the palm rest and keyboard assembly. See the image below for more.

    lifting the base panel

    5. Disconnect the battery

    disconnecting the battery from the motherboard

    The next step will be to disconnect the battery from the motherboard. After that, you will have to press and hold the power button for about 5 seconds so that all the residual power in the components gets purged.

    6. SSD Installation Process

    SATA 2.5″ SSD Installation Process

    If you want to install the SATA 2.5″ SSD by removing the hard drive permanently, this is the process for you. However, you can make use of a hard drive caddy and install it at the place of your optical drive. The process for creating this HDD and SSD combo is discussed here.

    Step 1: In order to remove your hard drive, open the four (M2x3) screws which are used to retain the hard drive in its place.

    opening the four hard drive screws

    Step 2: Remove the hard drive bracket by opening the four other (M3x3) screws on the sides.

    removing the hard drive bracket

    Step 3: Now, just take your SATA 2.5″ SSD and mount the same bracket on it.

    installing the hard drive bracket on sata ssd

    Step 4: You can now install your SSD just the way your hard drive was installed. Do not forget to tighten the four screws you have opened firstly.

    Note: The process of OS Migration from this old hard drive to the new SSD will be discussed below. If you want to install new Windows, the same information will be found there.

    M.2 SSD Installation Process

    Step 1: Locate the M.2 Slot on the motherboard

    locating the M.2 slot

    2. Insert your M.2 SSD inside this port at an angle of 30 degrees. After that, tight the M.2 retention screw. (If your laptop comes with an M.2 cover, make sure to tight it over the SSD using the same screw). The screw used for holding the M.2 drive will be M2x2.2.

    tightening the M.2 screw

    7. Connect the battery cable and put the base cover On

    Now, once the installation is done, make sure to reconnect the battery cable or any other cable connection you had removed. After that, take the base cover and attach it back on its place. Now, insert your DVD drive and tight all the screws which you had opened earlier.

    That was it for the SSD installation process in Dell Inspiron 15 5570.

    What if I am not confident opening my laptop?

    Please don’t open your laptop if you are not confident. In that case, it is better to get in touch with an expert. You can also contact Dell customer support for help.

    What are the tools required to open and upgrade SSD in the Dell XPS 15 laptop?

    You will need to have these tools.
    1. Phillips screwdriver #0
    2. Phillips screwdriver #1
    3. Torx #5 (T5) screwdriver
    4. Plastic scribe (Prying tool)

    What if I am not sure which SSD to install: NVMe or SATA?

    Well, firstly, you should check which one is supported by your laptop and of what size. Then, if you want higher data to read/write speed, go for NVMe. Otherwise, if you are finding a cheap yet average speed option, SATA SSD is good for you.

    What if I do something wrong with my laptop during the SSD installation?

    You may void the warranty if it’s available. If you damage any internal component, the only solution is to get in touch with Dell support services. But, this happens rarely because installation of SSD is pretty easy and anybody can do it without hassles. You better watch some YouTube videos before going further.

    How to move the OS to the new SSD?

    Well, you might probably be having the OS already in an NVMe. But, if you want to move the OS to the new one, you can use the free software Macrium Reflect. You can follow this guide to know more.

    Thanks for reading!

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