It is important for any manufacture or laptop to find the best solid state drive or SSD for your needs. A slow storage drive is a major obstacle, causing your processor to spin its clock wheels, waiting for data. To speed up your reads and writing, you need a faster SSD. So we test dozens of drives a year and uncover the best SSDs available here.
ADATA’s latest Falcon M.2, Intel’s 660p and its successor Intel 665p will handle mainstream drives on an older, slower SATA interface, which could be the beginning of the end of our old Friends serial ATA. And existing SATA drives should continue to fall in price, at least to compete on price, as they cannot be expected to keep up with NVMe drives on display.
You heard about next generation PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSDs from Gigabyte, Corsair, Patriot and others. These drives actually dramatically increase serial speed (thanks to double the PCIe bus bandwidth), making it the best SSD option for those as fast as possible. To use that extra speed today, you need an X570 motherboard or one of the newer B550 boards to run one of these drives at your own pace.
Many new Intel Z490 boards technically support PCIe 4.0. But to take advantage of that feature, you have to wait for PCI Intel to give PCIe 4.0 speed boost to its next generation Rocket Lake CPUs. This cannot happen until 2021. Furthermore, in many ways, beyond the obvious upsurge in serial performance, consumers won’t see much in the way of real-world benefits from these drives.
Quick shopping tips
When choosing an SSD, consider the following:
Choose a convenient interface (M.2 PCIe, SATA, add-in card): Refer to your user manual or key memory finder database to find out what type of SSD your computer supports.
256GB to 512GB: Don’t bother getting SSDs smaller than 256GB. But 1TB drives are becoming quite cheap and 2TB drives are cheaper now.
SATA is slow: SATA M.2 is not as fast as a PCIe or PCIe add-in card, but most desktops and most laptops can carry 2.5-inch SATA drives and most recent mainstream work users won’t notice, although more recently Differences in SATA drives and faster PCI modes.
For more information, see our SSD Buyer’s Guide. Or if you are looking for an external SSD, you can check out our best external hard drive and SSD page or learn how to save some money by building your own external SSD. Below, you will find our recommendations for drives with three main interfaces in capacities ranging from 256GB to 2TB.
It is a Pro Class drive, with a high-performance rival to Samsung’s 970 EVO Plus and PRO SSDs. It has the best-in-class energy efficiency with respectable endurance and the price of not breaking the bank. Adata also comes with a DIY block and metal heat spreader to “cool” your XPG SX8200 Pro when you install it.
When looking for the best SSD, and we understand that the absolute best and not the best of money, look no further than Intel’s Opten SSD 905P. This SSD features Intel’s latest 3D XPoint memory, which frees many of the NAND errors and provides the best response to any storage device we have ever tested. And, people with many needs of patience will find the 905P as a device sent from the gods. With an endurance rating of over 17 Petabytes with 960GB capacity or more than 27PBW with 1.5TB capacity, you are guaranteed to upgrade it before running out. Want the best? Don’t look at the rest, get the Intel Upton SSD 905P.
These small, rectangular drives look like Ram’s sticks, only smaller. They are typically 80 mm long by 22 mm wide and described as sizes 2280, but some may be smaller or larger, so make sure you get one that fits your slot.
With some outstanding performance to the Fison E16, the Rocket NVMe 4.0 is definitely a rocket. The read / write Gbps series is capable of delivering up to 5.0 / 4.4 and can read / write about 600,000 / 550,000 IOPS, one of the fastest SSDs you can buy. It is very fast, surpassing Samsung’s 970 EVO Plus and 970 Pro in various real-world and application tests, but is very efficient.
TLC NAND based SSDs have filled the market and are better than before. But, even then, MLC Nanda’s performance is only one step up. Want the best performance with 1TB Class M.2 NVMe SSD with the best endurance on the market? Loaded with Samsung’s 64L MLC V-NAND, the 970 PRO is the perfect beast that can deliver read / write readings of up to 3.5 / 2.7GBps. However, it comes with a performance cost, which is usually more than double that of competing products.
Silicon Power’s P34A80 matches well with Toshiba’s BiCS3 64L TLC NAND Flash ‘and Fison’s E12 NVM3 controller. Its performance is not breaking any records, but it is still very fast. At just .11 0.11 for a coupled gigabyte (for the 1TB model we tested) with a 5-year warranty, it is easy to recommend the price of this TLC drive over similar QLC competition. Its rating does not exceed endurance competitive drive and is not pretty, but this drive screams value without compromising performance.
The Sabrent 8TB Rocket Q slots have the industry’s highest capacity M.2 NVMe SSDs. The pint-sized monster clearly fits on-the-fly data hoarders, but, at 500 1,500, it will tell you about a good gaming laptop. The drive is not just going to the maximum level we saw with a thin M.2 SSD; It impresses with great performance and efficiency, thanks to the new fission E12S controller and 96-layer.