The best SSD of 2023 will store your data, speed up your device and keep your computer or console in the best possible condition. There’s no reason your desktop, laptop, or video game console shouldn’t feature one of the best SSDs, as they offer faster speeds and bigger capacities at better prices than ever before.
SSDs come in various forms, ranging from M.2 NVMe SSDs to different size SATA units. Don’t worry though if you’re not up on the techy terminology, which can be a bit of a minefield to navigate – this buying guide and our SSD technology explainer will take you through everything you need to know.
Which SSD you choose will depend on how you intend to connect it to your device. Most come with external drivers that hook via USB, but you can also get internal models that come as cards or sticks. You’ll need to check your device and motherboard to know which SSDs can be supported.
Switching to a solid–state drive is the best upgrade you can make for your PC. These wondrous devices speed up boot times, improve the responsiveness of your programs and games, and generally make your computer feel fast. But not all solid-state drives are the same. You can spend big to achieve read and write speeds that reach a whole other level, or you can find top-notch SSDs that offer solid performance without breaking the bank.
A good and functional SSD is now a vital part of any PC setup. That’s because they’re much faster, more energy-efficient, and more robust than their traditional HDD counterparts. The best Ultrabooks and the best laptops already come with standard SSDs – not just because of the speed, but also due to their compact form factor. Better yet, these SSDs are no longer plagued by mechanical failures that older hard drives tend to suffer from
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Many SSDs come in a 2.5-inch form factor and connect to your PC via the same SATA port used by a traditional hard drive. But tiny NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) “gum stick” SSDs that fit in an M.2 connection on a modern motherboard is becoming increasingly common, along with blazing-fast PCIe 4.0 solid-state drives for compatible PCs, and you’ll even find SSDs that sit on a PCIe adapter and slot into your motherboard like a graphics card or sound card. Picking the perfect SSD isn’t as simple as it used to be, but excellent new drives like the SK Hynix Platinum P41 are trying to achieve no-brainer upgrade status.
That’s the purpose of this guide. We’ve tested numerous drives to find the best SSDs for any use case, and offer our top picks below. In addition to that we give you helpful information on what to look for in an SSD so you can be a more knowledgeable shopper. Quick note: This roundup only covers internal solid-state drives. Check out our guide to the best external drives if you’re looking for a portable storage solution, such as the Samsung T7 Shield—our newly crowned pick for the best high-performance portable SSD.
What to look for in an SSD?
Of course, capacity and price are essential, and an extended warranty can alleviate fears of premature data death. Most SSD manufacturers offer a three-year warranty, and some nicer models are guaranteed for five years. But unlike the olden days of SSDs, modern drives won’t wear out with normal consumer usage, as Tech Report tested and proved years ago with a grueling endurance test.
The biggest thing to watch out for is the technology used to connect the SSD to your PC. We go into deeper details and buying advice in our guide on which type of SSD you should buy.
This refers to both the connection type and the transfer protocol, which is used to connect most 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch hard drives and SSDs to your PC. SATA III speeds can hit roughly 600MBps, and most—but not all—modern drives max it out. (More on that in the next section.
This interface taps into four of your computer’s PCIe lanes to blow away SATA speeds, to the tune of nearly 4GBps over PCIe gen 3. Those sorts of face-melting speeds pair nicely with supercharged NVMe drives. Both the PCIe lanes in your motherboard and the M.2 slot in your motherboard can be wired to support the PCIe interface, and you can buy adapters that allow you to slot “gum stick” M.2 drives into a PCIe lane. PCIe 4.0 drives are significantly faster, but require an AMD Ryzen 3000-series or Intel Core 11th-gen (or newer) processor, along with a compatible PCIe 4.0 motherboard.
Non-Volatile Memory Express technology takes advantage of PCIe’s bountiful bandwidth to create blisteringly fast SSDs that blow SATA-based drives out.
This is where things get tricky. Many people assume M.2 drives all use NVMe technology and PCIe speeds, but that’s not true. M.2 is just a form factor. Sure, most M.2 SSDs use NVMe, but some still stick to SATA. Do your homework. Many modern Ultrabooks rely on M.2.
U.2 and mSATA: You may also stumble across mSATA and U.2 SSDs, but both motherboard support and product availability are rare for those formats. Some older Ultrabooks included mSATA before M.2 became popular, and drives are still available if you need them.
Speed matters, of course, but as we said most modern SSDs saturate the SATA III interface. Not all of them, though.
SSDs vs. Hard Drives
Do you need an SSD? “Need” is a strong word, but we recommend that everyone upgrade to an SSD. Solid-state drive speeds blow even the fastest mechanical hard drives out of the water. Simply swapping out the hard drive in your old laptop or desktop for an SSD can make it feel like a whole new system—and a blazing-fast one at that. Buying an SSD is easily the best upgrade you can make for a computer.
SSDs cost more per gigabyte than mechanical hard drives, though, and thus aren’t often available in ultra-high capacities. If you want speed and storage space, you can buy an SSD with limited space and use it as your boot drive, then set up a traditional hard drive as secondary storage in your PC. Place your programs on your boot drive, stash your media and other files on the hard drive, and you’re ready to have your cake and eat it too.
These are just a few of the many benefits that SSDs have compared to spinning-disk hard drives. Among other things, SSDs can greatly enhance the performance of your system with a simple upgrade. Here are five benefits that upgrading your computer to an SSD can provide.
Durability and reliability of an SSD:-
Heat is a major cause of failures in hard drives, and enough heat is generated by the continual motion of an HDD’s moving parts to cause it to break down over time. Since an SSD doesn’t have such parts, it can maintain a lower temperature with much higher performance. An SSD is also better able to handle drops, shakes, shocks, and everyday wear and tear, making it less apt to experience data loss.
SSDs are faster than hard drives:-
These are up to a hundred times faster than HDDs. SSDs offer shorter boot times for your computer, more immediate data transfer, and higher bandwidth. Faster speeds mean SSDs can handle data at the ultra-high speeds necessary in today’s business world, especially when running programs that access large amounts of data such as an operating system. Also, SSDs are very stable, which ensures that stored data is secure.
Power and energy efficiency:-
Since an SSD has no moving parts, it needs less power to operate than an HDD with a magnetic spinning disk. Energy efficiency is a big benefit in using an SSD when it comes to PC and mobile devices where battery longevity is a highly marketable and requested feature
Less weight and no noise:-
Their smaller size allows SSDs to weigh less than larger HDDs with their magnetic heads and metallic disks. Their compact design makes SSDs perfect for laptops, tablets, and other small electronic devices. The absence of moving parts also makes SSDs infinitely quieter than HDDs, whose noise and vibrations can be very distracting.
More practical sizes/form factors:-
Since their release, HDDs have been limited by their larger sizes. SSDs, on the other hand, are available in a variety of sizes, with the smallest being the size of a stick of gum, up to 2.5” form factor.
These are the most common SSD form factors:–
- 2.5” form factor is the most common; it offers the best value per GB; enclosed design.
- mSATA has a very small form factor; different connection types; bare circuit board; excellent where space is of concern.
- M.2 is a bare circuit board; available in both SATA and PCIe NVMe; small form factor; the size of a stick of gum.
Let’s have look at some of the best SSDs in the market in 2023.
1. Samsung 870 EVO – Best SATA SSD
- Excellent performance, especially with small file operations.
- Unlike the QVO, long writes don’t slow down.
- A little expensive.
The 870 EVO proved the fastest overall SATA SSD we’ve tested so far, largely due to its superior performance with small files. We’re not talking about the same kind of difference you’ll see with far faster NVMe technology—6Gbps SATA itself is the limiting technology. Numbers are very similar for all top-tier SATA drives. That said, the 870 EVO will cut a second or two of many tasks, and over the long run, that will add up.
If you’re looking to add some storage via a traditional 2.5-inch SATA drive rather than a tiny M.2 “gum stick,” Samsung’s spectacular 870 EVO is your best bet. It’s the fastest SATA SSD we’ve tested, it’s available in up to 4TB of capacity, and it’s exceedingly affordable given its speed. Enough said, really—though Samsung’s killer Magician SSD management software and extended warranty period also deserve a shout-out. The EVO series is a legend among SSDs for a reason.
2. Crucial BX500 – Best Budget SATA SSD
- Good everyday performance.
- Low price per gigabyte.
- Slows drastically when the secondary cache runs out.
Normally you’ll see 250GB and 500GB drives sold in product lines that feature 1TB and 2TB models, or conversely, 980GB and 1920GB with 240GB and 480GB drives. This is due to the percentage of NAND used for over-provisioning (allotting spare cells as replacements). Crucial feels that the lower-capacity BX500s require more, which might have something to do with intelligent caching.
The BX500 employs a Silicon Motion SM2259XT controller:-
The four NAND chips inside our 2TB test model bore the OBY22NX894 marking. I found no reference to those NAND part numbers online, however, there were four chips on the rather small PC board inside the unit. The large drop in performance after running out of secondary cache during our extended 450GB write test strongly suggests that it’s QLC or quad-level cell/4-bit (16 voltage levels).
You won’t necessarily find the same-density NAND chips in the lower capacities. All are rated for the same 540MBps reading and 500MBps writing, so the type of NAND and controller likely remain the same. Crucial does not promise that this product will use the same components throughout its life cycle, however—which could mean your drive won’t perform the same as the one we tested.
Note that the write speed estimate is for a virgin drive with enough NAND available to be treated as SLC cache—there’s no DRAM on board. When the drive runs out of cache, as mentioned, write performance will drop significantly.
The Samsung 870 EVO offers an intoxicating blend of performance and affordable pricing, but if you want as much capacity as possible for as cheaply as possible, consider the Crucial BX500.
“We recommend this QLC drive in the larger capacities for those who want good everyday performance for a budget price,” we said in our review. “The smaller capacities will likely run into more slowdowns during heavy writes.
The BX500 is subjectively as fast as anything out there until it runs out of cache. That’s likely to be a rare occurrence for the average user. Power users should skip it, but for everyone else, it’s a good deal. We do, however, recommend overbuying capacity-wise by at least 50 percent.
3. Crucial P3 – Best PCIe 3.0 SSD
- Excellent everyday PCIe 3 performance.
- Fantastically low price per GB.
- Very low TBW rating.
- Non-cached QLC writes are extremely slow.
Sure, PCIe 4.0 SSDs scream during big file transfers, but if you’re still using an older system with PCIe 3.0, upgrading to an NVMe SSD still provides substantial benefits to your PC’s speed and overall responsiveness. Better yet, you don’t need to break the bank to take advantage.
The Crucial P3 is a very good daily performer, but it’s available for a bargain rate of just Rs.2,990 for a 500GB model or Rs.6,513 for a 1TB model. Though it doesn’t have top-tier PCIe 4 performance and the TBW rating is pretty low, the P3 does have excellent real-world write times and unless you stress the drive you shouldn’t notice much of a difference anyhow.
All told, this drive is an outstanding choice for anyone looking to snag a solid everyday SSD at a great price.
4. WD Black SN850X – Best PCIe 4.0 SSD
- Excellent performance.
- Decently affordable given its speed.
- Available up to 4TB.
- Optional heatsink for 1/2TB models.
- Pricey per gigabyte.
- Somewhat parsimonious TBW ratings.
WD Black SN850X: Price and design:-
As you might guess given our glowing report on performance, you won’t be seeing the WD Black SN850X in the bargain bin. Indeed, while it’s less expensive than the FireCuda 530 at the moment, it’s still not cheap, with an MSRP of Rs.11,279 for the 1TB model, and Rs.24,259 for the 2TB.
If you want a heatsink (most modern motherboards provide their own) for the 1TB/2TB capacities. The 1TB and 2TB (tested) versions are single-sided, and I’m guessing the 4TB is double-sided, hence the lack of a heatsink option.
The SSDs themselves sport the usual 2280 (22x80mm) M.2 form factor and are PCIe 4 x4 NVMe types. The NAND is 112-layer TLC (Triple-Level Cell/3-bit) with what the company claims are a Western Digital-designed controller.
WD’s solid-state expertise comes courtesy of SanDisk, a company it purchased a while back, and that’s the name on the controller.
WD provides a generous five-year warranty, but the TBW (terabytes that may be written) ratings, while about average for cheaper drives are a bit parsimonious for a top-shelf drive. 600TBW for every 1TB of capacity—less than half of what Seagate provides for the FireCuda 530.
The WD Black SN850X is one of the fastest drives we have ever tested and ranks right up at the top next to the FireCuda 530 in terms of speed. The reason that the WD Black SN850X takes our top spot for PCIe 4.0 is that it offers the same great rate for a slightly lower price, meaning better value for your money.
Also, in terms of overall performance, the SN850X is not only fast, but it provides outstanding real-world transfer rates and top-notch random write performance. This is one of the best SSDs on the market and holds its own at the top despite stiff competition from a crowded field of competitors.
5. Crucial P3 Plus – Best budget PCIe 4.0 SSD
- Super affordable.
- Good PCIe 4 performance.
- Excellent PCIe 3 performance.
- Second-tier performance overall.
- Extremely low TBW ratings.
Crucial P3 Plus: Design and features:-
The P3 Plus is a DRAM-less design that takes advantage of NVMe’s HMB (Host Memory Buffer) feature to utilize a small portion of your computer’s memory for caching. That effectively caps performance, but as I said, even a slower NVMe SSD is extremely fast.
I already talked about the big-dog 4TB drive for Rs.49,458, but the P3 Plus is also available for 500GB/Rs.4,199, 1TB/Rs.8,990, and 2TB/Rs.27,711 flavors. All use Micron’s 176-layer, QLC (Quad-Level Cel/4-bit) NAND, and a Phison E21T controller. (Note Price may be changed.)
Cutting-edge PCIe 4.0 SSDs aren’t quite as cheap as SATA or PCIe 3.0 NVMe drives, but now that the technology is becoming more established, we’re starting to see several models available at compelling prices. The best of the affordable bunch? The Crucial P3 Plus. Its pricing can’t be beaten, at just $100 for a 1TB model, and it delivers solid overall performance. The P3 Plus isn’t a barn burner among the PCIe 4.0 crowd, sure, but it has decent real-world transfer rates and it is still NVMe so it might be slower, but it’s not slow. If you are looking for a ton of NVMe storage for not a lot of money, then the Crucial P3 Plus is your best bet.
6. Adata Elite SE880 SSD – The Most Portable SSD
- Very fast, over-20Gbps USB connection.
- Extremely small form factor.
- 5-year warranty.
- Slows considerably during long contiguous writes.
- Somewhat low TBW rating.
Adata Elite SE880: Design, specs, and price
Available in 512GB and 1TB capacities (Rs.11,538 and Rs.19,279, respectively), the titanium gray and black SE880 measures a mere 2.55 inches long, 1.38 inches wide, and just 0.48 inches thick. It weighs only 1.1 ounces and virtually disappears in your pocket. Adata ships the drive with both a Type-C to Type-C and a Type-A to Type-C cable to cover both USB-connection scenarios.
The SE880 uses TLC NAND memory and has a SuperSpeed 20Gbps interface, aka a USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 drive. That means it’s capable of around 2GBps transfers when attached to the appropriate 20Gbps port. 3.2 2×2 ports aren’t common, but USB4/Thunderbolt also supports 20Gbps if you happen to have one those. This should be welcome news to Apple silicon users (who have T4/USB4 ports), as they can get Thunderbolt-like performance at a significantly lower price point.
Adata warrants the Elite SE880 for five years, or 300 terabytes written (TBW) per 500GB of capacity. That’s not an amazing TBW rating, but few users will ever even write that much data. If you expect to, you’ll either need to spend more for a different drive or take your chances.
Except for our 450GB write test, the SE880 proved an exceptional performer, outpacing the excellent WD Black P50 gaming SSD shown in the charts below. The SE880 managed well over 2GBps reading and nearly 1.9GBps writing on CrystalDiskMark 8. Note that the WD is a 2TB drive with more cache to play with.
No SSD we’ve seen can match Adata’s Elite SE880 for portability. Indeed, measuring in at only 2.55 inches long, 1.38 inches wide, and 0.48 inches thick, it reminds you more of a USB thumb drive than a standard SSD. It weighs a mere 1.1 ounces to boot, virtually disappearing when placed in your pocket.
The Elite SE880 is also very fast at everyday tasks. In real-world 48GB transfer tests, the drive displayed outstanding marks. However, it did lose significant ground in the longer contiguous write tests meaning photo and video pros with large files might want to look at other options. Considering the respectable transfer rates and the small form factor, the Elite SE880 is a great pick for those looking to take their SSD on the go.
The Adata Elite SE880 is a heck of a bargain for the average user, and, for a fact, it won’t weigh you down or unduly burden your wallet. Pros writing large amounts of data continuously, however, should look for something with better-sustained write performance.
7. Kingston XS200 USB SSD – Best high-capacity portable SSD
- Super svelte.
- Good 20Gbps performance.
- Available in up to 4TB in capacity.
- Slower than much of the competition.
- Not much of a looker.
Kingston XS2000: Price and specs:-
The XS2000 is available in 500GB/Rs.9,689, 1TB/Rs.13,500, and 2TB/Rs.29,970 (tested) flavors from Kingston. It’s also available from other sources at a decent discount. It features a Type-C connector and rubberized sock (packaged separately) for additional shock protection.
The drive is USB 3.2 2×2, aka SuperSpeed USB 20Gbps, or as we like to say: 20Gbps USB. Kingston includes a Type-C to Type-C cable.
Kingston was mum on the exact type of NAND inside but did admit that it’s 3D TLC (Triple-Level Cell, 3-bit). We’d guess lots of layers, seeing as it’s available in 2TB and 4TB flavors. The internals is NVMe, as SATA would not be able to deliver anywhere near the performance that the XS2000 reaches.
The Kingston XS2000 sits in the Goldilocks zone of SSDs—it might not be the smallest, fastest, or largest capacity drive, but it scores above average in most of these categories. It is small enough to fit in your pocket and with up to 4TB in capacity, it comes with considerably more storage than any other ultra-portable drive out there right now.
The Kingston XS2000 also has data transfer rates of up to 20Gbps, which isn’t lightning quick, but it beats the 10Gbps competitor portable drives. Overall, this super small, affordable, and fast enough SSD is a solid product, especially if you have a lot of data you need to carry around with you.
The Kingston XS2000 isn’t going to win any beauty contests or a bare-knuckle performance fight. But it is super small, affordable, and fast enough. It’s also available in the 2TB and 4TB capacities that many super-portable SSDs are not. A solid product that can be found at attractive discounts.
8. Corsair MP600 Pro XT – Best PCIe 4.0 SSD w/ water-cooling option
- Fantastic performance.
- A hefty heat sink (removable).
- Liquid-cooling option.
- Affordable for PCIe 4.
- Much pricier than PCIe 3 drives.
The Corsair MP600 Pro XT is available in two flavors: one with a large (removable) heatsink and the Hydro version with a liquid-cooling jacket.
Beyond the unique cooling option, the MP600 Pro XT’s design is parred for the course. It’s a PCIe 4 x4, NVMe SSD using the common 2280 (22 mm wide, 80 mm long) form factor. The controller is a Phison PS5018-E18 and NAND is a Micron 176-layer 3D TLC (Triple Level Cel/3-bit). There’s 1GB of DRAM cache for every 1TB of capacity, and a dynamic secondary cache is employed.
Dynamic means that the amount of NAND written as SLC (Single Level Cell/1-bit) varies with the workload. Writing a single bit, off/on voltage is far faster than writing three bits due to the error checking required with multiple voltage levels.
Note that the less free space you have, the less NAND is available for secondary caching. And a shoutout to Corsair for providing the specs without making me jump through hoops or tear off the heat sink as many vendors do these days.
The MP600 Pro XT is warranted for five years. The 1TB and 2TB capacities are rated for 700TBW (TeraBytes Written over the life of the drive) per 1TB of capacity, while the 4TB capacity is rated for 3000TBW.
Considering the Corsair MP600 Pro XT’s tantalizing combination of price, performance, and features an Editor’s Choice award was a no-brainer,” we said in our review. “Highly recommended.” This “absolute barn-burner” of an SSD hangs with and sometimes bests the fastest drives we’ve ever tested, for a considerably lower price than its fellow hot-rod rivals. It comes with a five-year warranty that guarantees hundreds of written terabytes before failure. And if you want to get fancy, there’s even a version designed to plug into the liquid-cooling setup of exotic PCs, for a minimal markup.
We can’t find much to complain about. You’ll need a modern PC (from the last two or three years) with PCIe 4.0 support to unlock those face-melting speeds, however, and this sort of cutting-edge performance doesn’t come cheap.
As far as alternatives go, the Kingston KC3000 and Seagate FireCuda 530 both deliver face-melting performance on par with Corsair’s drive. That said, Seagate’s drive costs quite a bit more, while the KC3000 is only officially available through Kingston’s website. The MP600 Pro XT’s wider availability helps it earn our top recommendation.
The MP600 Pro XT is a very pleasant surprise from Corsair. It’s the first SSD we’ve seen that’s beaten the mighty Seagate FireCuda 530 at anything, and it holds its own in the tests it didn’t win outright. Gamers or others with intensive workloads will benefit from the heavy-duty heat sink or the liquid-cooling option.
Considering the Corsair MP600 Pro XT’s tantalizing combination of price, performance, and features, an Editor’s Choice award was a no-brainer. Highly recommended.
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FREQUENT ASKED QUESTIONS
SSDs store data permanently inside an integrated circuit, typically using flash memory. The flash memory inside an SSD means data is written, transferred, and erased electronically and silently — SSDs don’t have the moving parts found inside mechanical hard disk drives (HDDs).
Disadvantages of (SSD) Solid State Drives. Lifespan. The top disadvantage of SSD over HDDs is how long they last. Cost. If you were measuring the cost per GB of space, the SSD is a lot more expensive than HDD. Storage. The current marketplace has SSDs with limited storage space.
SSDs Have a Long Lifespan.
Since SSDs don’t have moving parts, they’re very reliable. Most SSDs can last over five years, while the most durable units exceed ten years. However, how long your SSD will last depends on how often you write data into it, and you could use that to estimate the lifespan.
There are two types of SSDs: Serial Advanced Technology Attachment SSDs (SATA) and Peripheral Component Interconnect Express SSDs or Non-Volatile Memory express SSDs (PCIe/NVMe/PCIe-NVMe).
In short, yes, SSDs do fail – all drives do. However, the problems associated with HDDs and SSDs are different. Generally, SSDs can be described as more durable than HDDs, because they contain no moving parts. HDDs are mechanical devices, with fast-moving components like platters and spindle motors.
NVMe SSD. NVMe is a protocol that allows you to reach even higher speeds than with a SATA SSD. This means that an NVMe SSD can reach a 2600MB/s read speed. That’s almost 5 times faster than a SATA drive.
Solid State Drives (SSDs) are susceptible to becoming overheated and potentially shutting down if the drive enclosure in which they are situated is not fully populated with drives.
Best SSDs You Can Buy Today – Samsung 990 Pro. Best Overall / Best M.2 SSD, Kingston KC3000. Fastest SSD, WD Black SN850X. Best M.2 SSD Alternative, Crucial P3. Best Budget Drive.
Solid-state drive (SSD) capacity is the maximum amount of data that can be stored on a solid-state drive. Capacity can refer to an individual drive, all-flash array (AFA), or all-flash storage systems, such as a hyper-converged infrastructure appliance or cluster of rackmount storage nodes.
Between 200MB/s to 550MB/s
SSDs aren’t typically used for long-term backups, so they’re built for both but are typically used in speed-driven applications. A standard HDD will read and write at typically 80MB/s to 160MB/s, but an SSD reads and writes at between 200MB/s to 550MB/s.
SSDs consume significantly less power than HDDs, which can point to longer battery life in laptops. SATA SSDs (larger ones that have a similar shape to HDDs) usually draw under 5W at most, and M.