Solid-state drives have their pros and cons. True, they may not have a lifespan as long as that of a hard drive, but their sheer speed more than makes up for that. As a matter of fact, once you have tried an SSD, every HDD will seem downright sluggish by comparison.

But as is the case with all other components, there is no single “best SSD”, be it for gaming or otherwise. As such, we have taken the time to form a narrowed-down list of internal SSDs which could be called “the best” according to the objective quality that they offer, and we also made sure to include enough diversity to satisfy everyone’s needs.

Comparison Table: The 5 Best SSDs For 2019

So here are the five best SSDs that you can buy today!

SSDStorage capacityRead SpeedWrite SpeedConnection 
Samsung 860 EVO250 GB – 4 TB540 MB/s520 MB/sSATA III
Samsung 960 PRO 512 GB – 2 TB3,500 MB/s2,100 MB/sM.2
WD Blue 3D NAND250 GB – 2 TB560 MB/s530 MB/sSATA III/M.2
Kingston A400120 GB – 480 GB500MB/s320-450 MB/sSATA III
Kingston UV400120 GB – 960 GB550 MB/s350-500 MB/sSATA III

Samsung 860 EVO

best ssd

About the SSD

Samsung may arguably be the most famous for their Galaxy phones today, but this Korean giant also manufactures some of the most popular SSDs, in addition to their wide selection of products. Today, we will be taking a quick look at the successor of the extremely popular Samsung 850 EVO – the Samsung 860 EVO.

This little SSD is pretty much what you would expect an SSD to look like – clean, minimal, with a thin 2.5-inch frame and a matte black finish. What is actually really extraordinary (and part of the reason for this SSD’s popularity) is the 5-year manufacturer warranty that comes with it.

Specifications

The 860 EVO comes with a total of five storage options: 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB, and 4 TB. It also has a 540/520 MB/s read/write speed, which is extremely fast when compared to hard drives but quite average for SSDs in this league. Finally, it interfaces via a SATA III connection which allows a maximum theoretical bandwidth of 6 Gbit/s (actually capped at around 600 MB/s) and is also standard for a lot of internal SSDs available today.

Conclusion

All in all, the 860 EVO is not the very fastest SSD around nor is it fit for professional workstation users, but a gamer can hardly do better. What’s more, it greatly improved in terms of endurance as opposed to the 850 EVO which preceded it. Combine that with the fact that it is decently priced and comes with a warranty that will keep you covered for 5 years, and you can see why this SSD, as well as its predecessor, are so popular.

What We Loved

  • Excellent performance
  • Decent price per gigabyte
  • Good life-span
  • 5-year manufacturer warranty

What We Didn’t Like

  • Cannot compete with more expensive SSDs in terms of performance

Samsung 960 PRO

best ssd 2018

About the SSD

Following after the EVO, we have a more serious solution from Samsung – the 960 PRO. Unlike the EVO 850 discussed above, this SSD takes the appearance of a small and discreet card that will blend seamlessly with most setups. It shares the same 5-year manufacturer warranty, although it is pricier and is roughly five times faster than the above model.

Specifications

The Samsung 960 PRO is limited to fewer models when it comes to storage capacity: 512 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB. It is extremely fast with a 3,500/2,100 MB/s read/write speed that leaves most other SSDs in the dust. These numbers are made possible due to the higher throughput enabled by an M.2 slot, as compared to a SATA port, as well as the latest NVMe technology.

Conclusion

So, with all that said, it is fair to say that the 960 PRO is a demanding user’s version of the 850 EVO. It comes with the same convenient 5-year warranty, albeit it’s mind-boggling performance and the hefty price per gigabyte (roughly double that of the 850 EVO) will only make it appealing for hardcore enthusiasts and for professionals.

What We Loved

  • Small form factor
  • Incredible performance

What We Didn’t Like

  • Very expensive
  • Limited to three storage options

WD Blue 3D NAND

best ssd for gaming

About the SSD

Western Digital is one of the top HDD manufacturers at the moment, but unlike its primary competitor in that field, Seagate, WD has managed to put out a viable SSD storage solution that succeeded in attaining relative popularity among gamers.

The WD Blue 3D NAND continues the WD tradition of color-coding their products, with “blue” denoting a mainstream, all-around accessible and affordable one.  It shares the 2.5-inch form factor with most other internal SSDs that rely on SATA III as a means of connection, but affordability remains its main selling point.

Specifications

The WD Blue 3D NAND comes with four storage capacity options: 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB. Its read/write speeds are only marginally better than those of the Samsung 850 EVO and are just as average for SSDs in this price range – 560/530 MB/s. And as mentioned before, it relies on a standard SATA III connection that is quite sufficient for the drive’s speed.

Conclusion

If you want an SSD and want a good combination of price and quality, then you will be pleased to know that the WD Blue 3D NAND lives up to the reputation that WD Blue products have always had. Not only are you getting a fast SSD with a low price per gigabyte, but you are also free to choose between a SATA and an M.2 variant of the same product based on which suits your needs better.

On the downside, it suffers from the same mediocre performance that usually comes with a WD Blue product. Regardless, it is still quite fast and while it will not leave any enthusiast in awe, it will suit a budget-conscious gamer’s needs more than well.

What We Loved

  • Very low price per gigabyte
  • Available in two form factors

What We Didn’t Like

  • Average performance when pushed hard

Kingston A400

best solid state drive

About the SSD

Of course, there is no way that we can talk about SSDs or RAM and leave out Kingston. The first SSD from Kingston that we will be taking a look at is the A400, a rather basic yet affordable solution. It is a 2.5-inch SATA SSD with a dark grey exterior, three storage capacity options, and average but mostly sufficient performance.

Specifications

The Kingston A400 comes in 120 GB, 240 GB, and 480 GB variants. While this may seem a bit discouraging, keep in mind that SSDs with a capacity of 1 TB or higher are rather expensive, and as such, are not quite popular anyway. However, some might actually find its performance lacking. All three variants have a read speed of 500 MB/s, but the write speed differs: 320, 350, and 450 MB/s for each model respectively.

Conclusion

With all of the above said, the Kingston A400 may not seem particularly appealing, given the slower write speeds as compared to the Samsung and WD Blue SSDs. However, this is a go-to SSD if you are not looking for high capacity – they are highly reliable, resistant to external shock, and most of all, the lower-capacity variants come at a very affordable price.

And while it is not the cheapest one, we are tempted to say that this is the best budget SSD you can buy, assuming that you are still willing to pay a little bit extra for the build quality that Kingston offers.

What We Loved

  • Low price per gigabyte for lower-capacity models
  • Reliable with shock and vibration resistance

What We Didn’t Like

  • Underwhelming performance

Kingston UV400

best ssd for the money

About the SSD

Following suit, we have the Kingston UV400, an improved and more gamer-oriented SSD from Kingston. At first glance, it and the A400 can be easily mistaken, seeing as they have the identical 2.5-inch form factor and the signature Kingston logo on top. As a matter of fact, the only thing different about the UV400 in this regard is its light grey exterior as opposed to the dark grey one of the A400.

Specifications

The Kingston UV400 shares the storage capacity scheme of its cheaper counterpart, although it adds an additional more expansive variant. This makes for a total of four storage options: 120 GB, 240 GB, 480 GB, and 960 GB. And much like the A400, the read speed remains constant but the write speed changes based on the drive’s capacity, leading to write speeds of 350 and 490 MB/s for the first two versions, while the latter two share a 500 MB/s write speed.

Conclusion

Ultimately, the UV400 shares some of the A400’s weakness, but it doesn’t fail to improve in other areas. It is faster and more responsive, all the while keeping the relatively low price per gigabyte for the low-capacity models, as well as the shock and vibration resistance which laptop users will find quite handy.

Unfortunately, it is not as affordable as the A400, and we simply cannot recommend the higher-capacity UV400 models when Samsung is offering the exact same deal, only with better performance and a warranty that is two years longer.

What We Loved

  • Includes an additional high-capacity model
  • Reliable with shock and vibration resistance

What We Didn’t Like

  • Not as good value as the Samsung 850 EVO

How to Find the Best SSD For You

Storage Capacity

best ssd drive

With mainstream hard drives reaching storage capacities of 4 TB and higher, it is easy for an SSD to appear downright diminutive in comparison. But the primary strength of a solid-state drive is not in its ability to store vast volumes of data, but rather, the sheer speed with which it can read and write information.

It is crucial to keep that in mind when buying an SSD – it is not made for storage. It is a good idea to do what most people do – get a smaller SSD to use as a system drive and an HDD to use for storage. This approach is proven to be extremely efficient and cost-effective.

So, what size SSD should you pick?

While SSDs start as low as 120 GB, we do not recommend getting one that small, especially if you’re a gamer. For the most part, 250 GB and 500 GB drives are the sweet spots, and which you pick will depend entirely on your needs and, potentially, your budget.

If you don’t have many games installed at any given time, 250 GB will be a better and cheaper option. On the other hand, if you’re a sucker for huge AAA games that take up a ton of space, 500 GB is the way to go. Anything higher than that (1 TB and above) is both excessive and extremely expensive.

Speed

ssd vs hdd

As you can see, all solid-state drives are exponentially faster than hard-disk drives. Yet still, read/write speeds can differ either slightly or greatly between different SSD models.

But ultimately, we feel that you shouldn’t overly concern yourself with those numbers. After all, if you’re upgrading from an HDD, any SSD will appear incredibly fast. On top of that, unless you’re a professional user, you will hardly notice a difference between a 350 MB/s and a 500 MB/s write speed.

Meanwhile, the more expensive Samsung 960 PRO and its ilk may seem very appealing with their 4-digit data transfer speeds, but again, such speeds are not that relevant for a gamer. They are much more useful for workstations and servers that need to read and write extreme amounts of data on a regular basis.

SATA vs M.2

solid state drive

Currently, internal SSDs connect to your motherboard via one of the two abovementioned means: Serial ATA III or M.2. But which is better?

It is true that M.2 has a much higher theoretical throughput, but SATA will be more than enough for a non-pro grade SSDs. A more important question is the form factor and the aesthetic appeal of the SSD itself.

SATA SSDs look just like regular 2.5-inch hard drives, whereas M.2 SSDs are much smaller and, as such, can fit inside compact PC cases, laptops, and notebooks more easily.

But in the end, as long as speed is not an issue, we recommend going with whichever you’re more comfortable with and whichever your computer supports, as there is virtually no practical difference between the two unless you’re planning on getting a high-performance SSD, as we mentioned above.

Best Gaming SSD of 2019 – Samsung 860 EVO

best budget ssd

Perhaps you saw this coming since you read the first entry, but the 860 EVO simply beats all of the competition on the general-purpose SSD scene.

It looks good, has great performance, a plethora of storage capacity options, and a generous 5-year warranty from the manufacturer. But hopefully, you will not even need that warranty, seeing as Samsung-made SSDs have proven to be among the most reliable SSDs around. But of course, no product is perfect and the Samsung 860 EVO is not exactly the fastest SSD, although it still performs well in its class and is more than fast enough for gaming.

But this is merely our take on the matter – if you want a cheaper SSD or a high-performance one, you can rest assured that any of the listed SSDs will suit your needs well!

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