SSDs have become increasingly cheaper recently. In early 2018, a 500GB Crucial MX500 cost close to € 160 and now costs € 76. We have seen huge drops in prices for fast NVMe drives, making them a better value for money. Before moving on to the drives we recommend, let’s talk about the basics: why are SSDs worth their price per gigabyte?
There are good reasons for this, but most of them are related to speed. Using an SSD as a bootable disk will make your computer faster and installing programs on an SSD means they open faster and have a better response. The most demanding tasks show the biggest improvements and in games this is even more true. Switching from a mechanical drive to an SSD will reduce loadings and there are even more gains when switching to an NVMe SSD.
We found that switching to an SSD can reduce loadings by up to 60%.
In tests on 5 different disks, we found that upgrading to an SSD, even a cheap model, reduces loading times by up to 60 percent when compared to more modern HDDs. The more expensive NVMe SSDs further reduce loadings. For games that frequently load new areas, like Skyrim or Fallout 4, not to mention games with a long initial load, like GTA 5, using an SSD saves a lot of time and prevents the game from being interrupted. If you also notice some hiccups when entering a new location, this can also be resolved with an SSD.
Of course, there are other advantages. SSDs operate almost silently and are more resistant to damage, such as falls, thanks to the lack of moving components. SSDs are extremely compact and fit well on the motherboard, removing the need for running data and placing cables. With all these advantages, it is easy to see why they have become the preference of players and even those who use a computer for general uses.
Now for the recommendations, starting with price-focused choices and moving on to the fastest in the market. You can also jump directly to each one, using the links below:
Best SSD for gaming
Best value for money on an NVMe SSD
Best NVMe SSD for different functions
Best value for money on a PCIe 4.0 SSD
Fastest consumer SSD
BestRGB NVMe SSD
Best portable SSD
Best SSD for console or PC gaming: Crucial MX500
Type: 2.5-inch or M.2 SATA SSD | Capacities: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB | Sequential Speeds: read up to 560MB / s, write up to 510MB / s
This Crucial drive is one of the best options on the market, offering excellent performance for a SATA drive at a reasonable price. Although the BX500 series is cheaper, the MX500 features better random readings and writings and a longer duration rating, which justifies the extra investment. It can also be purchased in two formats, M.2 without cable or in the standard 2.5 inches.
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The 2.5 inch Crucial MX500 is also ideal for speeding up readings on PS4 and Xbox One, On PS4 and PS4 Pro you should replace the original disc with MX500, while on Xbox One you can connect it externally with a USB 3.0 SATA box.
Best NVMe SSD for quality and price: Adata XPG SX8200 Pro
This NMVe offers a performance similar to the Samsung 970 Evo Plus, but it is much cheaper. In our tests, the SX8200 Pro registered one of the best performances in its style and also strong sequential results. The loadings were also impressive and got some of the best results seen on a disc other than the much more expensive Intel Optane 905P. The drive is energy efficient, making it a good candidate for notebooks. It’s the best NVMe you can buy.
Alternative: Sabrent Rocket NVMe 3.0
Sabrent Rocket 3.0 is another strong option and is often cheaper than the XPG SX8200 Pro. In our tests, sequential speeds were slightly higher on the Sabrent disk, while random I / O (including game loading) was a little faster in XPG. Either way, you will have an NVMe drive with good performance at a reasonable price. The Rocket is also available with 4TB of space in the United States, but it does not appear to be available in Europe.
Best NVMe SSD SSD for different types of work: Samsung 970 Evo Plus
Type: M.2 NVMe SSD | Capacities: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB | Sequential Speeds: read up to 3500MB / s, write up to 2500MB / s
You want excellent performance without the cost of a top NVMe, so Samsung’s 970 Evo Plus is an easy choice. Offering about 90% of the performance of the top-of-the-range 970 Pro, one of the fastest discs on the market, at 75% of the price. The Evo Plus is cheaper and faster than the 970 Evo, but you may have trouble finding it. Like the 970 Evo Plus, it can be purchased in different capacities.
Alternative: WD Black SN750
The WD Black SN750 uses faster firmware than the previous one, allowing for better sequential performance and good energy efficiency, despite falling short in reading and writing speed. The SN750 is an extremely fast NVMe and is worth the price, being a good choice for mixed tasks, but the Samsung 970 Evo has better performance and is the best choice if they are at similar prices. You can also get the model with heat dissipation for a little more money.
Best PCIe 4.0 SSD SSD in terms of price: Sabrent Rocket NVMe 4.0
Type: M.2 NVMe SSD | Capacities: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB | Sequential Speeds: read up to 3400MB / s, write up to 3000MB / s
The Rocket is one of the cheapest PCIe 4.0 drives on the market, the 1TB model costs less than competitors, such as the Corsair MP600 and Gigabyte Aorus PCIe 4.0. Despite being cheaper and from a lesser known brand, the Rocket offers the same performance, thanks to the use of the same 96-layer Phison and TLC NAND controller present in the other PCIe 4.0 options. Note that game loadings are not much better with PCIe 4.0, but you will perform better on heavier creation tasks. If your motherboard doesn’t include NVMe heatsinks, you can choose the slightly more expensive Rocket that includes it.
Fast SSD available to consumers: Samsung 970 Pro
Type: M.2 NVMe SSD | Capacities: 500GB, 1TB | Sequential Speeds: read up to 3500MB / s, write up to 2700MB / s
If you want the fastest disk available to consumers, the Samsung 970 Pro is what you want. This disc offers the best sequential read and write speeds on the market, its random speeds are also impressive. Optane 900P and 905P disks from Intel are the performance champions, but they cost more than double per gigabyte and do not achieve the same performance, especially in video games, where we saw a 6% difference in the average loadings between the Intel 905P and a disk WD NVMe slower. Therefore, the Samsung 970 Pro is the choice.
Best NVMe RGB SSD: XPG Spectrix S40G
Type: M.2 NVMe SSD | Capacities: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB | Sequential Speeds: read up to 3500MB / s write up to 3000MB / s
RGB has become a trend in PC components and peripherals, SSDs are no exception. The first RGB SSD tended to overheat, but this problem has been improved in newer models. The fastest one we tested was the Spectrix S40G from XPG, whose sequential speeds are close to those of the SX8200 Pro NVMe recommended above. However, it shows some temperature problems during prolonged loads, suggesting that those looking for the best performance should pass by the RGB. If you choose an RGB SSD, we suggest mounting it in a position that benefits the air flow from the fans to avoid the heat coming from the printers.
Best Portable SSD: Crucial X8
Type: USB 3.2 Gen 2 NVMe SSD | Capacities: 500GB, 1TB | Sequential Speeds: read up to 1000MB / s, write up to 900MB / s
The X8 SSD is the best portable option we’ve tested, thanks to its compact form factor and extremely high speeds. It is basically an NVMe disc inserted in a custom box. The X8 recorded sequential readings of 933MB / s and sequential writes of 878MB / s in the 1TB model; the random I / O performance is also strong. This makes it convenient for transporting and ensures that games load quickly.
The small cable in the box is compatible with USB-C and USB-A ports, ensuring that you connect to the fastest USB ports (ideally a 3.2 Gen 2 USB-C port) to unlock its full potential. In addition to working with Macs, it can also be used with a PS4 or Xbox One.
A good alternative to the Crucial X8 is the Samsung Touch T7. This disc is 20% smaller and looks more professional. Its sequential and random readers are extremely similar, maximizing 910MB / s in sequential readings, despite performance dropping after prolonged use. The unique functionality of the T7 is its fingerprint reader, which can be used as an extra layer of security. It is currently more expensive than the X8, but it is still a viable alternative if the price drops.
Fastest SSD: Intel Optane 905P
Type: U.2 / M.2 or PCIe NVMe SSD | Capacities: 500GB, 1TB, 1.5TB | Sequential Speeds: up to 2600MB / s reading, up to 2200MB / s writing
If you want the fastest loadings and money is not a concern, the Intel Optane 905P is the best you can have. We recorded the fastest loadings with this drive, thanks to its unbeatable speeds. However, copying files and other sequential tasks can be achieved more quickly with the Samsung 970 Pro. Still, if you want to build the best gaming PC or simply need professional performance, the Optane 905P is the best.