SSD Comparison: Best Drive for 2020

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Fitting a modern, fast, brand new solid-state drive is often the most accessible and most affordable way to get a performance boost to just about any system. SSDs are not just for upgrading your old systems though, but they are also for much newer PC builds where they are must-have.

Super-Fast Storage

The advantage of SSDs becomes apparent when you use it as a boot drive for your operating system. Windows loads up almost immediately after you push the power button with an SSD. Other applications also see a definite speed boost over mechanical hard drives as they become more responsive to your controls, especially when you open or close them. Games saved on an SSD also get a benefit with faster loading times and in some cases, better frame rates.

SSDs have become more affordable over the years, and their capacities have greatly improved. In the past, you only got one as your boot drive, but nowadays, systems rely on these as their everyday storage.

Whether you are upgrading or building a brand new computer, getting an SSD is definitely going to be on the top of your list. There are a lot of drives to choose from, and you do not even need to get the fastest one to notice the difference between mechanical hard drives. You will surely find an SSD that is going to satisfy your storage needs and budget.

NVME SSDs

What You Need to Know About NVMe Drives

If you are shopping for a storage solution for your new PC, an NVMe SSD is one of the things that you should consider. This is the fastest type of SSD that you can get with read, write, and transfer speeds reaching up to 3 GB per second.

This is one of the reasons why the latest PCs seem a lot faster than their predecessors is because the storage they use has lightning-fast responsiveness. Storage performance, for quite some time, was the definitive bottleneck especially in high-end systems with premium components. This is not the case now.

NVMe is a relatively new technology, and not a lot of motherboards support it, so make sure yours can before you decide to get one. PCs purchased in the past couple of years should have no problem supporting an NVMe drive and take full advantage of the insane speeds.

NVME SSDsCapacityForm FactorInterfaceProtocolSequential
Reads
Sequential
Writes
Intel Optane
905P

CHECK PRICE
380 GB,
480 GB,
960 GB,
1.5 TB
U.2 15mm M.2PCIe 3.0 x 4NVMe 1.32,600 MBps2,200 MBps
Samsung 970
Evo Plus

CHECK PRICE
250 GB,
500 GB,
1 TB, 2 TB
M.2 2280
Single Sided
PCIe 3.0 x 4NVMe 1.33,300 MBps1,700 MBps
Samsung 970
Pro

CHECK PRICE
512 GB,
1 TB
M.2 2280
Single Sided
PCIe 3.1 x 4NVMe 1.33,500 MBps2,700 MBps
WD Black
SN750

CHECK PRICE
250 GB,
500 GB,
1 TB, 2 TB
M.2 2280
Single Sided
with
Heatsink
PCIe 3.0 x 4NVMe 1.33,500 MBps3,000 MBps
Intel 660P
CHECK PRICE
512 GB,
1 TB, 2 TB
M.2 2280
Single Sided
PCIe 3.0 x 4NVMe 1.31,800 MBps1,800 MBps
Crucial P1
CHECK PRICE
500 GB,
1 TB, 2TB
M.2 2280PCIe 3.0 x 4NVMe 1.32,000 MBps1,700 MBps
HP EX920
CHECK PRICE
256 GB,
512 GB,
1 TB
M.2 2280
Double Sided
PCIe 3.0 x 4NVMe 1.33,200 MBps1,800 MBps
Silicon Power
P34A80

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256 GB,
512 GB,
1 TB, 2 TB
M.2 2280
Double Sided
PCIe 3.1 x 4NVMe 1.33,400 MBps3,000 MBps
Adata XPG
SX8200 Pro

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256 GB,
512 GB,
1 TB, 2 TB
M.2 2280PCIe 3.0 x 4NVMe 1.33,500 MBps3,000 MBps
MyDigital SSD
BPX Pro

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240 GB,
480 GB,
960 GB,
1.92 TB
M.2 2280
Single Sided
& Double
Sided
PCIe 3.1 x 4NVMe 1.33,400 MBps2,100 MBps
WD Blue
SN500

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250 GB,
500 GB
M.2 2280
Single Sided
PCIe 3.1 x 4NVMe 1.31,700 MBps1,300 MBps
Gigabyte
Aorus RGB

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256 GB,
512 GB
M.2 2280
Double Sided
with Heatsink
PCIe 3.0 x 4NVMe 1.33,480 MBps2,000 MBps

SATA SSDs

What You Need to Know About SATA SSDs

Serial ATA or SATA has been the standard interface when it comes to storage solutions. From hard disk, optical, and lately solid-state drives have used this technology. Recently, the improvements on the SATA bus has maxed out with speeds of up to 6 Gbps, which translates to about 550 MBps read, write, and transfer rates. This is definitely a significant performance bump from mechanical hard drives which are only capable of about 200 MBps.

If you are upgrading from an older mechanical drive to a SATA SSD, you will definitely feel the speed boost as they are usually 3 to 4 times faster.

SATA SSDsCapacityForm FactorInterfaceProtocolSequential
Reads
Sequential
Writes
Samsung 860
EVO

CHECK PRICE
250 GB,
500 GB,
1 TB, 2 TB,
4TB
2.5-inch 7mmSATA 3AHCIUp to 550
MBps
Up to 520
MBps
Crucial
MX500

CHECK PRICE
256 GB,
500 GB,
1 TB, 2 TB
2.5-inch
7mm
SATA 3AHCIUp to 560
MBps
Up to 510
MBps
Samsung 860
PRO

CHECK PRICE
256 GB,
512 GB,
1 TB, 2 TB,
4TB
2.5-inch
7mm
SATA 3AHCIUp to 560
MBps
Up to 530
MBps
Adata
Ultimate
SU800

CHECK PRICE
256 GB,
512 GB,
1 TB, 2 TB
2.5-inch
7mm
SATA 3AHCIUp to 560
MBps
Up to 520
MBps
Silicon Power
A55

CHECK PRICE
256 GB,
512 GB,
1 TB, 2 TB
2.5-inch
7mm
SATA 3AHCIUp to 560
MBps
Up to 530
MBps
WD Blue 3D
NAND

CHECK PRICE
250 GB,
500 GB,
1 TB, 2 TB,
4TB
2.5-inch
7mm
SATA 3AHCIUp to 560
MBps
Up to 530
MBps
Kingston
UV500

CHECK PRICE
240 GB,
480 GB,
960 GB,
1.92 TB
2.5-inch
7mm
SATA 3AHCIUp to 520
MBps
Up to 500
MBps
HP S700 Pro
CHECK PRICE
256 GB,
512 GB,
1 TB
2.5-inch
7mm
SATA 3AHCIUp to 560
MBps
Up to 520
MBps
Gigabyte UD
Pro SSD

CHECK PRICE
256 GB,
512 GB
2.5-inch
7mm
SATA 3AHCIUp to 500
MBps
Up to 500
MBps
Sandisk Ultra
3D

CHECK PRICE
250 GB,
500 GB,
1 TB, 2 TB,
4TB
2.5-inch
7mm
SATA 3AHCIUp to 560
MBps
Up to 525
MBps

NVMe vs SATA SSDs

Sustained Throughput (Higher is Better)

Speed (MBps)
SATA Hard Drive200 MBps
SATA SSD550 MBps
NVMe SSD3,000+ MBps

Seek Time (Lower is Better)

Time (ms)
SATA Hard Drive2-5 ms
SATA SSD0.2 ms
NVMe SSD0.02 ms

The Best Solid-State Drive for 2020

Best Overall SSD: ADATA XPG SX8200 PRO

$219
ADATA XPG SX8200 PRO 1 TB SSD
✔ Best speeds in its class
✔ Robust and handles demanding workloads easily
✔ Excellent overall performance
✔ Outstanding power efficiency
✔ An affordable high-speed SSD choice
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If you are looking to jump onto the M.2 SSD bandwagon, and you are looking for an excellent bargain, the Adata XPG SX8200 is the drive for you. You can consider it as an entry-level NVMe drive as it can offer you blazing fast speeds at an affordable price. It is not the fastest one, but at speeds of up to 3,500 MBps, it can match the best ones on the market.

The XPG SX8200 definitely wins in terms of price to performance as no other pro class SSD can match it without pumping up their prices. As a pro drive, it comes with outstanding power efficiency allowing it to perform at optimum levels without getting it too hot. The SSD also offers respectable endurance thanks to its included metal heat spreader keeping the operating temperatures low.

This NVMe SSD is definitely one of the best overall drives in the market as it is fast and can handle different types of workloads, from gaming to productivity or just all-around file transfer.

Best Performing NVMe SSD: SAMSUNG 970 PRO

$349
SAMSUNG 970 PRO 1 TB SSD
✔ One of the fastest SSDs on the market
✔ Reliable hardware with excellent endurance
✔ Top-notch all-around performance
✔ Cloning software included
✔ Full disk encryption
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If you are looking for an SSD with one of the best in terms of raw performance, then the Samsung 970 Pro is your drive of choice. Samsung has been the brains behind some of the best SSDs in the market, and this drive is proof.

The 970 Pro is one of the best performing high-capacity M.2 NVMe SSDs. Couple that with its lasting endurance, you have a drive that can take on just about anything. One of the highlights of this drive is that it is an absolute beast delivering consistent read and write performance of up to 3,500 and 2,700 MBps, respectively.

This performance comes at a cost, and it is certainly not one of the most affordable SSDs in the market. However, if you are looking for fast, consistent, and lasting performance, the Samsung 970 Pro is the drive to get.

Best Gaming SSD: WD BLACK SN750

$149
WD BLACK SN750 500 GB with Heatsink
✔ Blazing fast read speeds
✔ Excellent value the performance it offers
✔ Comes with software for storage optimization
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Western Digital is a trusted brand when it comes to storage solutions, and their WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD is a dependable drive that is a favorite of many users. It is a premium drive that maximizes gaming performance with read speeds of up to 3,500 MBps.

An advantage that it has over other pro-level models is that it is one of the more affordable NVMe storage solutions in the market, which makes it a perfect pick for gamers who are on a budget. The performance is comparable to other SSDs in its class, so you can enjoy blazing-fast speeds without compromising to get the most value.

The WD Black SN750 is a reliable SSD that will eliminate the wait for your favorite to load. It is also a dependable drive for just about any task that you will put it through, making it a staple on both desktop and laptop systems.

Best SATA 3 SSD: SAMSUNG 860 PRO

$149
SAMSUNG 860 PRO 512 GB SATA 3 SSD
✔ One of the best SATA SSD for sustained loads
✔ Excellent endurance
✔ Dependable performance for any task
✔ Has a high-capacity 4 TB option
✔ Comes with software bells and whistles
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SATA 3 solid-state storage is definitely not dead. One advantage that this interface offers is its increased capacity and the Samsung 860 Pro is a drive that you should consider if you are looking at a device that is capable of storing up to 4 TB worth of data. Transfer speeds of up to 550 MBps are nothing to laugh about. It is still significantly faster than the hard disk drives of yesteryear.

The 860 Pro is still one of the best SATA 3 drives out there. Couple it with its top-notch reliability and security, it is still a choice of professionals as their system’s secondary drives. SSDs like the 860 Pro will allow you to access different media files as you edit it without waiting for long transfers.

Although the Samsung 860 Pro will not match newer NVMe options in terms of raw performance, its unique high-capacity capabilities still make it an essential part of any creative professional or content creator’s system. There is always room for SATA 3 drives, and if you want the best one, this is the SSD you are going to get.

Best Endurance SSD: HP S700 PRO

$69
HP S700 PRO 500 GB SATA 3 SSD
✔ Endurance champion will last through anything
✔ Sturdy and will handle any workload
✔ Comes with a variety of capacities
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If you are looking for a reliable storage workhorse for your PC that will last for years, the HP S700 Pro is definitely one to check out. HP, its manufacturer, boasts that it will last for over 2 million hours of use and up to 650 TB of data written. This is one of the best SSDs you can get if you are after reliability. It helps that it uses the SATA interface slowing things down and keeping the drive’s components cool.

It is not the fastest drives out there, but since it is available in a lot of capacity options, as long as this is not your boot drive, you should be fine. This is perfect for an affordable media storage drive that will store all your music, movies, photos, and a lot of other files that you feel like needs to be on a storage device on your computer.

The HP S700 Pro is a drive that is going to last you a long time, and there is a good chance that you are still going to use this on your future computers. This is a testament to how sturdy and reliable this SSD is so you can be confident in storing memories.

Best Consumer SSD: CRUCIAL MX500

$115
CRUCIAL MX500 1 TB SATA 3 SSD
✔ Consistent mainstream performance
✔ Extremely competitive pricing
✔ Fast and reliable
✔ Packed with cloning and encryption tools
CHECK PRICE

The perfect SSD is one that can mix performance, reliability, and cost, and Crucial’s MX500 is a device that strikes that balance. This is one of the top-performing SATA SSDs that you can get without burning a hole in your pocket. It offers exceptionally great value for a lot of workloads including gaming, editing scratch disks, and content creation.

With the MX500, the only way to get a significant speed boost is by moving to an NVMe drive. This is an excellent alternative to the Samsung 860 EVO, which says a lot to the performance of the MX500. This definitely offers a lot more value compared to other SSDs in its class.

If you are looking for an SSD that offers the most value, the Crucial MX500 is the perfect pick. It is fast, reliable, and, most of all, affordable. This is an excellent storage solution if you are looking for a high-speed drive to store large files including games and video projects. If you already have a boot drive and looking to expand your storage, this is something to consider definitely.

What to Look For in an SSD

Finding the best SSD for your needs is essential, and you want to make sure that what you get is supported by your system. There are different types of SSDs, and some may not be compatible with your system. Some drives even look alike but have a totally different interface from each other, so it is crucial to know the storage solution that you need and the type of system that you have.

Compatible Interface

CRUCIAL MX500 1 TB SATA 3 SSD

When shopping for an SSD, the first thing that you have to look at is the interface. This is how the drive “talks” to your PC so you can save files to it. Some are faster than others, so you need to know what you can slap on to your PC without any problem.

SATA

SATA is both a type of connection and a data transfer protocol and is widely used to connect most 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch hard disk drives to your PC. SSDs also take advantage of both the SATA connection and protocol which allow it to hit read and write speeds of up to 600 MBps. Still a significant speed bump from typical hard disk drives of 80 to 160 MBps.

PCI-e

The PCI-e interface is a lot faster than SATA 3. This is why the latest NVMe SSDs use this to blow away older drives by up to six times. With a limit of up to 4,000 MBps on PCI-e 3.0, a drive that leverages this interface is significantly faster than other types. The latest motherboards come with a PCI-e SSD interface so you will not need to use up a slot. However, if you are using a much older system, you will need to know if your board supports an NVMe drive.

NVMe

NVMe or non-volatile memory express, for short, is a technology that takes full advantage of your computer’s PCI-e lanes. These are high-speed data transfer interfaces that can move large files in seconds.

M.2

This is where it gets confusing since M.2 is simply a form factor and not an interface or data transfer protocol. An M.2 drive is the one that looks like a stick of gum. However, they can be either SATA or NVMe. The advantage of using an M.2 form factor SSD is that it comes in a smaller package and is perfect for laptops, ultrabooks, and small form factor PCs.

Size Matters

HP S700 PRO 500 GB SATA 3 SSD

The interface determines the speed, the next thing that you need to take into account its capacity. When it comes to storage solutions, especially SSDs, size matters. You want to make sure that all the files that your PC needs to boot can fit on a solid-state drive. You also want that a couple of your most used programs and games are installed on a high-speed drive to maximize your computers speed.

If you are getting an SSD, make sure to get one that is at least 256 GB or higher. If you can get a drive that is at least 512 GB, grab it since most users should be okay with it as it strikes the perfect balance between cost and capacity. Also, make sure to check drives that are 1 TB or higher as they are getting more affordable and they might fit your budget.

Do You Really Need an SSD?

Solid-state drives speeds blow any hard disk drive out of the water. If your current system does not have an SSD, then upgrading to one will make you feel like you are using a brand new computer. Getting one is easily one of the best upgrade decisions you can make.

There are a few things to take into consideration, though. For one, SSDs, even the cheapest one, can cost more than its mechanical hard drive counterpart. So, a 512 GB SSD is often significantly more expensive than a similarly sized hard drive. However, you do get that speed boost, which is enough for some to make that upgrade.

One way to work around this is to get a smaller capacity SSD, like a 256 GB, and install your OS and a couple of your favorite apps there, then still keep your old mechanical hard drive. This setup allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds where you get blazing fast speeds without spending a lot.

Final Thoughts

Solid-state drives have evolved from nice-to-have to something more of a necessity. With more apps requiring substantial storage needs, especially if you are working with those designed for content creation, getting an SSD is more of a requirement.

The great news is that prices have dramatically gone down where users can quickly switch to getting one without spending a lot. You also have a lot of choices between high-speed premium brands and those that offer excellent value. At these insanely high speeds, the difference is often negligible, so you do not necessarily need to get the most expensive one out there.

There is definitely an SSD that is right for your system’s needs, whether you are upgrading or building a new one.