These wonderful The most beneficial update you can make for your PC is the switch to an SSD. gadgets reduce boot times, enhance software and gaming responsiveness, and make your computer seem speedy overall. Solid-state SSDs, however, vary widely. You have two options: pay a lot of money to get read and write speeds that are unheard of, or acquire high-quality SSDs that deliver reliable performance at a reasonable price.
Many SSDs have a 2.5-inch size factor, and they attach to your computer using the same SATA connector as a conventional hard drive. However, tiny NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) “gum stick” SSDs that fit in a modern motherboard’s M.2 connection are becoming more and more popular, along with lightning-fast PCIe 4.0 solid-state drives for compatible PCs. You can even find SSDs that sit on a PCIe adapter and slot into your motherboards like a graphics card or sound card. The process of choosing the ideal SSD is more difficult than it ever was, despite the fact that outstanding new drives like the SK Hynix Platinum P41 are making an effort to become upgrades that are obvious to make.
This manual aims to accomplish that. Our top selections for SSDs are provided below after extensive testing to identify the finest models for every use case. Additionally, in order for you to shop with more knowledge, we provide you with helpful advice on what to look for in an SSD. Briefly stated, this compilation exclusively addresses internal solid-state drives. If you’re searching for a portable storage option, such as the Samsung T7 Shield—our freshly crowned choice for the best high-performance portable SSD—check out PCWorld’s guide to the best external drives.
The top SATA SSD is Samsung’s 870 EVO.
Samsung’s amazing 870 EVO is the best option if you like to expand storage using a conventional 2.5-inch SATA drive to a small M.2 “gum stick.” Given its performance, it is by far the cheapest SATA SSD we have ever evaluated. It is also available in capacities of up to 4TB. Enough said, however Samsung’s excellent Magician SSD management tool and longer warranty duration both merit a mention. For good reason, the EVO series of SSDs is legendary.
Nevertheless, the SK Hynix Gold S31 is a viable alternative. The 1TB variant costs $12 less than the 870 EVO and is only slightly slower in benchmarks. Nowadays, the SK drive is only offered in a 1TB flavor, but the 870 EVO comes in a variety of sizes, starting at a 250GB unit for $60 and going all the way up to a huge 4TB goliath for $450. The 1TB model from Samsung SSD costs $110.
Best affordable SATA SSD, the Crucial BX500
If you want the most capacity for the least amount of money, the Crucial BX500 is a viable alternative to the Samsung 870 EVO’s seductive combination of performance and affordability. Its 1TB variant costs $80, which is a stunning $30 cheaper than the same EVO device, while a 480GB model only costs $45. Additionally offered are 240GB and 2TB variants.
In our assessment, we stated that this QLC drive in the bigger capacities was “recommended for individuals who desire solid everyday performance for a budget price.” “Slowdowns during heavy writes will probably be more prevalent on the lesser capacity.”
The best PCIe 3.0 SSD is the Crucial P3.
Sure, PCIe 4.0 SSDs scream during large file transfers, but upgrading to an NVMe SSD still significantly improves your PC’s speed and responsiveness if you’re still running an older system with PCIe 3.0. Even better, you don’t have to spend a fortune to benefit. The Crucial P3 is an excellent everyday performance, and it costs only $44 for a 500GB unit and $84 for a 1TB one. The P3 has outstanding real-world write timings and a low TBW rating despite its lack of top-tier PCIe 4 performance, so unless you put a lot of strain on the drive, you shouldn’t notice much of a difference.
All things considered, this drive is a superb option for anybody seeking to purchase a reliable daily SSD at a fantastic price.
The best PCIe 4.0 SSD is the WD Black SN850X.
The WD Black SN850X rates right up there at the top, right close to the FireCuda 530, as one of the quickest drives we have ever tested. The WD Black SN850X receives our top ranking for PCIe 4.0 because it provides the same fantastic speed for a somewhat cheaper price, resulting in greater value for your money.
Additionally, the SN850X offers superb real-world transfer speeds and first-rate random write performance in terms of overall performance. One of the greatest SSDs available, it maintains its position at the top despite fierce competition from a large field of rivals.