Finding the best SSD or solid-state drive for your needs is important if you want the best gaming PC or laptop, or you just want a snappy productivity machine. A slow storage drive makes for a big bottleneck, forcing your processor (even if it’s one of the best CPUs) to sit there twiddling its clock cycles, waiting for data.
To speed up your reads and writes, you need a fast SSD.
Picking the Best SSD for You
As drives like Adata’s Falcon M.2 and the Intel 665p undercut mainstream drives on the older, slower SATA interface, this could be the beginning of the end of our old friend, Serial ATA.
But companies are still doing new things with SATA, like Team Group’s cavernous 15.3 TB drive.
Blazing-fast PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSDs have become increasingly common, and will soon likely be more so, as Intel joins the PCIe 4.0 support party with Rocket Lake-S.
These drives indeed up sequential speeds dramatically (thanks to a doubling of the PCIe bus bandwidth), making them the best SSD options for those who need the fastest speed possible.
For example, the Samsung 980 PRO can read and write at 7,000 and 5,000 MBps respectively and drives based on Phison’s second-gen controller promise up to 7,400 / 7000 MBps.
But to make use of that extra speed today, you’ll need either an X570 motherboard or B550 boards to run one of these drives at their top speed on the Intel side.
On the Intel front, you can attain PCIe 4.0 support by pairing a Rocket Lake-S CPU with one of the new Z590 motherboards, or an older Z490 board that advertizes such support.
SSD Hard Disk: Quick Shopping Tips
Now, SSD Hard disk does typically costs a bit more than a hard drive, but that has slowly been changing.
These days you can get a pretty capacious SSD for pretty cheap if you know where to look.
And, because they don’t have moving parts, they’re less susceptible to damage, which means you won’t have to replace them nearly as often.
Plus, because of their small size, you’ll easily be able to fit them into whatever PC you need them in, from the best gaming PCs to a tiny Ultrabook.
You don’t need one of the best PCs to benefit from how speedy these drives are, though.
No matter if you need any additional drive or are upgrading your old hard drive, take a look at one of the best SSDs listed here to find the best one for you.
With so many options out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Whether you’re looking for the best gaming SSD Hard disk or the fastest M.2 SSDs, you’ll find something to fit your needs.
What Bus Type of SSD Hard Disk Should You Buy?
Let’s get into the issue of bus type in a little more depth. Oftentimes, you won’t have a choice of what bus variety you need.
But you need to know some background to figure out what you have and what you should buy.
SATA: The Old Standard
Serial ATA is both a bus type and a physical interface.
SATA was the first interface that consumer SSDs used to connect to motherboards, like the hard drives that preceded them.
It’s still the primary cable-based interface you’ll see for 2.5-inch solid-state drives.
The SATA interface is capable of sequentially reading and writing a theoretical maximum of 600MBps in an ideal scenario, minus a bit for overhead processes.
Most of our testing has shown that the average drive tops out at roughly 500MBps to 550MBps; in sequential tasks, the real-world difference between the best SATA drive and a merely average one is pretty small.
However, there’s also the matter of 4K random read and write performance to consider.
4K random read and write speeds reflect how quickly the drive performs in day-to-day tasks; think booting Windows 10, launching games, loading levels in those games, or working in applications like Adobe Photoshop.
For most gamers and general users, 4K random read/write speeds are going to determine how much you actually feel the “speed” of a drive and should be the most important spec to keep in mind if you plan on turning your next SATA-based SSD into a boot drive or backup storage for your trove of games or creative projects.
PCI Express: Where Speed is Going
The original implementation of the PCI Express interface for SSDs took the form of cards that occupied one of the PCIe slots on a desktop motherboard, and you can still find carrier cards that let you plug M.2 drives into a standard PCIe slot.
Nowadays, though, the most popular PCI Express SSDs mount into an M.2 slot, though as we said above, you should make sure that your M.2 slot (assuming you have one in the first place) supports PCIe drives before you make your purchase.
Some support only the SATA bus; some support PCIe only; and some support both.
A further wrinkle around the PCIe bus: Some drives and some slots support a newer transfer protocol known as NVMe (for Non-Volatile Memory Express).
NVMe is a standard designed with flash storage in mind (opposed to the older AHCI, which was created for platter-based hard drives).
In short, if you want the fastest consumer-ready SSD, get one with NVMe in the name. You’ll also want to be sure both drive and slot support NVMe.
Some early M.2 PCIe implementations supported PCIe but not NVMe.
PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSDs have been the standard for a number of years, but now with the launch of the third- and fourth-generation Ryzen processors from AMD (and PCIe 4.0 support for Intel rumored to be on the way, PCIe 4.0 is setting new peak-speed records for consumer storage.
On the market, you will find three iterations of PCI Express drives in production right now: PCIe 3.0 x2, PCIe 3.0 x4, and PCIe 4.0 x16 (the “x” in each of these naming schemes refers to how many lanes the drive has available to transfer data).
A mainstream choice is a PCIe 3.0 x4 drive; you’ll only want to consider a 4.0 model if you have a very new AMD Ryzen-based desktop based on the X570, B550, or TRX40 chipsets.
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Best SSD Hard disk at a Glance
1. Samsung 970 Evo Plus
Samsung is no stranger to creating some of the best SSDs, so when it launched the Samsung 970 Evo Plus with higher speeds and new silicon, even we were surprised.
The Samsung 970 Evo Plus is simply one of the fastest drives on the market, but the fact that Samsung is selling it at such a bargain price is just the icing on the cake.
Because of how affordable this drive is, it’s not hard to recommend it as the best SSD for anyone.
2. WD Black SN850
With ever-so-much faster random performance, a more consistent write profile, and higher efficiency, Samsung’s 980 PRO earned the title as our top pick for a next-gen PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe, but WD’s Black SN850 makes for a top-tier runner-up.
Depending on the price, you can’t go wrong with either one for your high-end gaming or workstation build.
WD’s Black SN850 paired with the company’s new 16nm WD Black G2 PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe 1.4 SSD controller marks a substantial improvement in the company’s SSD architecture.
WDs Black SN850 can sustain speeds of up to 7/5.3 GBps and deliver very responsive random performance enabling the SSD to go toe-to-toe with our top pick.
Although, that is at the cost of high idle power consumption on our desktop test bench. Also, unlike the Samsung 980 Pro, the WD Black SN850 lacks AES 256-bit encryption.
3. Intel Optane SSD 905P
When looking for the best SSD Hard disk, and we mean the absolute best and money is no object, look no further than Intel’s Optane SSD 905P.
Because this SSD features Intel’s latest 3D XPoint memory, it breaks free from many of NAND’s drawbacks and offers the best responsiveness out of any storage device we have tested to date.
And, those needing a plethora of endurance will find the 905P to be a device sent from the gods.
With its endurance rating of over 17 petabytes at the 960GB capacity or over 27PBW at the 1.5TB capacity, you’ll be sure to upgrade it years before it ever wears out.
Need the best? Don’t look at the rest; get the Intel Optane SSD 905P.
4. Samsung 860 PRO
Restrained by the SATA interface, but still, need the absolute highest endurance and performance you can get? As the pinnacle of SATA performance inside and out, Samsung’s 860 PRO is the SSD to buy.
Like the Samsung 970 PRO, the 860 PRO uses Samsung’s 64L MLC V-NAND, which helps propel it to the top of the charts in our rounds of benchmarking and makes for some incredible endurance figures.
You can get capacities up to 4TB, and endurance figures can be as high as 4,800 TBW.
But with prices that are triple that of your typical mainstream SATA SSD, the 860 PRO is mainly for businesses with deep pockets.
5. Team Group T-Force Cardea Zero Z340
Team Group’s T-Force Cardea Zero Z340 SSD isn’t much more expensive than most entry-level M.2 SSDs.
Still, with the latest mainstream hardware under the hood, it’s a good choice for gamers looking to stretch their budget a bit for something more consistent and reliable.
The drive offers a good bang-for-your-buck upgrade or a good option for those planning their next PC.
It’s a responsive SSD Hard disk that not only offers up multi-gigabyte performance; it’s rated for killer write endurance over its five-year warranty period.
Plus, it comes with a slick graphene and copper label to handle heavy workloads without overheating, even without airflow in our test system.
If you want to use a heatsink with your M.2, the label won’t prevent it like the heatsinks on some SSDs, like Patriot’s Viper series.
In our testing, we found that the combination of the Phison E12S controller and Micron 96L flash performed fairly well.
Notably, the drive delivers faster performance than the older hardware powering the Seagate FireCuda 510 and is more efficient, too. But it isn’t the best of the best.
Frequently Asked Questions
QUES: Is SSD better than HDD?
ANS: The difference between hard drives and solid-state drives is in the technology used to store and retrieve data. HDDs are cheaper and you can get more storage space.
SSDs, however, are faster, lighter, more durable, and use less energy. Your needs will dictate which storage drive will work best for you.
QUES: What is SSD in hard disk?
ANS: A hard disk drive (HDD) is a traditional storage device that uses mechanical platters and a moving read/write head to access data.
A solid-state drive (SSD) is a newer, faster type of device that stores data on instantly-accessible memory chips. This article contains: … What’s the lifespan of an SSD.
QUES: Which SSD type is fastest?
NVMe based SSD is the fastest type you can buy now. If you get a RamDisk, then, that uncomparable. RamDisk writes and reads speed can go all the way up to 10GB/s as the fastest SSD now can do like 5GB/s (Intel P3608) or Raid 0 Dual 2TB Samsung 980Pro for even faster speed.