Best Solid State Drive (SSD) for Laptop and Desktop PCs Windows Central 2020
SSDs vary greatly when it comes to price and performance, but some prove better than the rest for most users. The Samsung 970 EVO Plus is genuinely pushing the boundaries of performance for your buck right now for consumer SSDs, and it’s impossible not to recommend.
Best Overall: Samsung 970 EVO Plus
Read and write speeds are 3500 MB/s and 3300 MB/s, respectively. It’s super fast.
Samsung 970 EVO Plus offers rapid, yet affordable SSD performance.
Numerous 970 EVO Plus features match other Samsung NVMe SSDs, including the 5-year warranty and overall endurance of the drive. Where this little black stick differs is in its performance, if you’re chasing the fastest write speeds possible, this is the one for you.
The only downside to the 970 EVO Plus is the requirement of an M.2 slot, which not everyone may have available. Modern motherboards will usually come with one to spare — the same with a notebook — but you’ll need to double-check you have a slot ready for this speedy SSD.
- Amazing performance
- Good value
- Solid endurance
- 5-year warranty
- No 2TB option until April
Insane performance at an affordable price
Samsung has long been at the forefront of the SSD market, and its latest is undoubtedly the greatest with incredible performance.
Runner-up: Samsung 860 EVO
That’s not too bad for a SATA SSD. Capacities include 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and 4TB. While Samsung’s SSDs may be slightly pricier than competitor’s alternatives, you’ve got to remember the company states you’ll be able to use these drives for far beyond five years. And that’s backed with the extended warranty from the factory for each drive.
- Great performance
- Solid endurance
- Five-year warranty
Performance you need at a great price
The 860 EVO series is Samsung’s best-selling solid-state drive (SSD) family, and rightfully so with fantastic value.
Budget SSD: SanDisk SSD Plus
You don’t lose too much because of this, racking up speeds of 530MB/s and 440MB/s for read and write, respectively. It’s not quite as fast as drives from other manufacturers, like the Samsung EVO series, for example. But for the price, you’re getting a solid SSD from a reputable brand — SanDisk also makes some great SD cards.
To top all this off, you can enjoy a three-year limited warranty. Just don’t expect to be able to buy a model greater than 1TB, as this capacity is as high as you can go.
- Reliable with a good warranty
- Well priced
- Decent performance
- Shock resistant
- Slower than other SSDs
- Tops out at 1TB
- Three-year warranty
A budget-friendly SSD upgrade
SanDisk SSD Plus is the go-to choice for anyone upgrading from a mechanical drive on a tighter budget.
Best Value: Western Digital Blue
Against other SSDs with similar technology, you’ll not notice much improvement, if any. Compared to older SSDs, there is a noticeable improvement in loading times for software and games, and against an HDD is a no-brainer result. Should you have an SSD or few already with similar speeds, you’ll likely not get much out of picking up the WD Blue.
However, should you currently be using an HDD for games or an older-generation SSD, the WD Blue series is worth considering. Pricing also isn’t out of this world, allowing you to pick up a 500GB and 1TB version at better price points than competitor drives. You can even go up to 4TB if you need the extra flash storage capacity.
- Great value
- Up to 4TB
- Choice of SATA or M.2
- Speedy performance
- Three-year warranty
Great performance and value
WD took full advantage of 3D NAND technology and came up with the latest iteration of Blue SSDs.
Best NAS SSD: Seagate IronWolf 110
This range from Seagate will deliver sustained data rates up to 560MB/s (far beyond what NAS HDDs can achieve) and come rocking some of the same technologies like DuraWrite and AgileArray firmware technologies for enhanced reliability and endurance for 24/7 operation and multi-user environments.
There’s also a five-year limited warranty and two-year data recovery cover to further sweeten the deal. These are great little storage devices.
- Ideal for NAS/server
- Enhanced reliability
- Solid SATA performance
- Designed for 24/7 use
- Not really for desktop
Best NAS SSD
Reliable and fast server storage
Seagate’s IronWolf NAS SSD is what you’d expect from flash storage in a server environment.
Next-gen SSD: Sabrent Rocket
You simply cannot reach those speeds otherwise, making PCIe 4.0 exciting to see just how far we can push flash storage. Sabrent also packed in some neat features into this SSD, aside from the data transfer speeds. You get advanced wear-leveling, bad block management, error correction, as well as over-provision protection to enhance reliability and endurance, not to mention upgradeable firmware.
The only drawback to PCIe 4.0 modules like this is the price. It’s new tech, so be prepared to pay out some serious cash.
- Ridiculous data speeds
- Up to 2TB
- Reliable SSD
- Need PCIe 4.0
Should current PCIe 3.0 NVMe speeds simply not be fast enough, PCIe 4.0 came along and bumped the speeds up considerably.
Depending on the available budget, we’d recommend the Samsung 970 EVO Plus because it’s lightning-fast. You get not only great read and write speeds, but also a 5-year warranty, high endurance and reliability, and a choice of capacities.
If you can’t justify paying out the rather hefty price required, our alternative picks are worth considering. When you want to go all out with the latest technologies and enjoy the fastest read and write speeds around, Sabrent has you covered with the blindingly-fast Sabrent Rocket.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Rich Edmonds is a staff reviewer at Windows Central, which means he tests out more software and hardware than he cares to remember. Joining Mobile Nations in 2010, you can usually find him inside a PC case tinkering around when not at a screen fighting with Grammarly to use British words. Hit him up on Twitter: @RichEdmonds.
Richard Devine is a Reviews Editor at Windows Central. You’ll usually find him deep in hardware, gaming, both or drinking root beer for which he openly has a mild addiction.
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