The hunt for the largest SSD and hard drive is an ongoing endeavor as manufacturers continue to push the limits of their manufacturing processes.
When considering the largest storage options available, it's important to note that we focus primarily on the best SSD and best hard drive options that are either internal or external. Our selection does not include the best NAS devices but does encompass Direct-Attached Storage (DAS). These products should be accessible for purchase online or directly from retailers.
Beyond sheer size, other factors such as the fastest hard drive and fastest SSD speed, as well as overall performance, play a critical role in our evaluation. Our guide also touches upon the best external hard drive and best portable SSD options available, ensuring that you find a balance between capacity, speed, and portability.
Moreover, in today's digital landscape, having reliable storage is crucial so we encourage you to explore the best cloud storage and best cloud backup services as well, since off-site storage is essential to any secure and reliable storage management solutions. These services also provide an additional layer of security and accessibility for your data, making it accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. If you're looking for more cost-effective solutions, the best free cloud storage services can be just as effective.
With that said, let's dive into our comprehensive guide on the largest SSD and hard drive options available today that meet your specific needs, whether for personal use or for business applications.
The largest SSD and hard drive in 2023
Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.
We've tested countless storage devices looking for the largest SSD and hard drive models, and we've brought together our top picks in every category below.
The largest SSD on the market
ExaDrive specializes in extra high capacity 3.5-inch solid state drives for the data center. The biggest model it currently has is the EDDCT100 which retails for a staggering $40,000 or $400 per TB, about 13x the price of the cheapest SSD on a per TB basis (This Leven JS600 drive costs $60 for 1.92TB on Amazon).
Available with a SATA or SAS interface, it offers an unlimited drive write per day for five years (the length of the warranty) thanks partly to the use of SLC technology (which explains the price as well). A cheaper version of the Exadrive, the EDNLT064, is also available and is the second largest solid state drive on the market with a capacity of 64TB but swaps TLC for QLC.
At $10,900 it offers a relatively more palatable price point and a per TB price of only $170. In comparison, 18TB hard drives have a per TB starting from as little as $15 but they are bigger, heavier, consume more power, statistically more likely to fail, noisier and slower.
Honorable mentions to
- The Seagate 60TB SSD that was launched in 2016. It was a prototype but we don't know whether it was sold. I approached Seagate in May 2023 to find out what happened to it.
- Smaller Nimbus Data Exadrive SSD available in 16TB, 32TB, 50TB and 64TB.
- Micron and its two 30.72TB SSDs: The 6500 ION and the 9400 Pro
- Solidigm and its two 30.72TB SSDs: The D5-P5430 (coming later this year) and the D5-P5316, as well as the 61TB D5-P5336
- Samsung added the PM1643, PM1653 and the PM1733
- Kioxia introduced the PM6, CD8P, PM7, CM7 and the CM6
- Memblaze has the PBlaze 6 6930
The largest HDD on the market
The two biggest hard disk drive vendors have released 22TB hard drives with Western Digital unveiling a 26TB model in 2022 (although you won't be able to buy it as it is a data center only product). Toshiba has a 20TB CMR Hard disk drive but no plans for a 22TB one yet.
As of August 2023, the Seagate Exos X22 is not listed on Seagate's website (although there's a product support page for it) but widely available (online retailer Wiredzone sells it for $4016). It is available with SATA or SAS interfaces and comes with 5-year warranty, 256MB cache and a 7200RPM rotational speed.
In April 2022, Seagate also unveiled a 22TB version of its Iron Wolf Pro HDD (ST22000NT001) for a mere $363 (at Amazon). It features 10 platters and uses CMR (conventional magnetic recording) rather than the controversial SMR to reach that capacity. It has a 256MB cache and a 7200RPM rotational speed, which means that it is likely to be one of the fastest HDD around.
Western Digital has seeded multiple 22TB models in the wider retail market: the data center version (HC570) ($449), the purple surveillance hard drive ($458.18), the NAS Red version ($509) and the enterprise model ($549) all have 512MB cache and target the prosumer up to enterprise level looking for the largest internal HDDs. Note that these drives tend to use CMR rather than the controversial SMR technology.
External hard disk drives of similar capacities sell for a bit more, a far cry from a few years ago when they were selling for much less, which is paradoxical given that they cost more to build. The basic Elements/Easystore desktop HDD retails for $400 (easystore at best buy) while the souped up My Book costs $500; prices do fluctuate though so expect price drops around Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
This price difference, then, gave rise to a popular technique known as shucking. This is essentially disassembling the external HDD and reusing the hard drive inside either in an array or in a desktop computer.
The largest portable HDD on the market
Hard disk drives are cheap and offer plenty of capacity but they are bound to disappear in a not-so-distant future. Right now, the biggest portable hard disk drive has a capacity of 5TB; it uses a special drive that is slightly bigger than a standard laptop HDD which has a width of 2.5-inch and a height of 7mm.
This one is 12.5mm thick which makes it incompatible with laptops having a 2.5-inch spare bay. Both Seagate and Western Digital have multiple models of that capacity starting from under $100 (WD Elements Portable) during sales (but likely more than $100 if not).
Sadly, given the lack of new products, it seems that hard drive manufacturers have given up on portable and laptop hard disk drives altogether. Given that the sweet spot for external HDD capacity is 4TB and with no 6TB 2.5-inch HDDs planned, portable HDDs are likely to disappear rapidly when cheap large capacity external SSD hit this capacity point and come down in price later this decade.
The largest laptop HDD
The Teamgroup QX, a 15.36TB SSD with a SATA interface that makes it compatible with almost all desktops and laptops that have a free 2.5-inch bay, is the largest SSD that can be used in a notebook. It is, according to its manufacturer, the largest SATA SSD with a three year warranty and a 2.56PBW warranty. Despite its target audience, it remains expensive at just over $1699 or around $100 per TB.
Samsung’s 8TB 870 QVO remains the absolute sweet spot and the benchmark for large capacity SSD at less than half the price of the Teamgroup QX ($380 at Newegg). Just bear in mind that it is a SATA drive.
If you want to have a PCIe drive instead, expect to pay a significant premium although the difference in speed will be one magnitude higher thanks to the use of PCIe Gen 4 protocol. Other 8TB SSDs include
- Inland Performance Plus- $870
- TEAMGROUP MP44 - $799.99
- Corsair MP600 PRO XT - $1015
- Fantom Drives VENOM8 - $874.75
- VectoTech Rapid external SSD - $499
- Oyen Digital U32 Shadow external SSD - $549
- Oyen Digital Helix Dura external SSD - $839
- Glyph Production Technologies Atom Pro 2 - $1400
The largest removable storage on the market
SSDs tends to get the limelight when it comes to storage technology but the sobering reality is that a lot of data worldwide is archived and lives in cold storage, media that requires hours, if not days before it is accessible. Enter tape or more specifically LTO (Linear Tape-Open), a tape technology currently in its 9th iteration that offers up to 18TB capacity on a data cartridge. I chose the previous generation though, LTO-8, as it offers a much better cost-to-capacity ratio with 12TB selling for as little as $51.76 or just over $4 per TB. It offers native transfer speed rates of 360MBps and supports 256-bit AES encryption by default.
Tape though comes with a number of caveats; the price of the drives are exorbitant - in the thousands of dollars. It is a linear storage technology which means that it can take time to retrieve the data stored but it works great for backup and is popular with cloud storage providers. However if your data requirements are in the petabytes and you care more about archival than immediate access, then tape can be a pretty compelling alternative.
A quick back-of-the-napkin calculation shows that you are likely to break even at around 360TB. 30 tapes (about $1500) and a Thunderbolt 3 tape drive (about $4500) will cost you roughly the same as 20 external 18TB HDD (at $300 a piece).
Today's best deals
Backup large drives online with cloud storage
IDrive, the cloud backup veteran, delivers tons of storage online for an incredibly small outlay. 10TB for $3.98 for the first year is unmatched till now and so is the support for unlimited devices and the extensive file versioning system available. Even the biggest SSD or HDD need a cloud storage to secure data.
Are you a pro? Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up to the TechRadar Pro newsletter to get all the top news, opinion, features and guidance your business needs to succeed!
Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.
- John LoefflerComponents Editor