Solid-state drives have their pros and cons. True, they may not have a lifespan as long as that of a hard drive and they may be more expensive, 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.

Now, 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.

The 6 Best SSDs For 2019

SSDCapacityRead SpeedWrite SpeedType 
250 GB
500 GB
1 TB
2 TB
4 TB
550 MB/s520 MB/sNAND
1 TB
2 TB
4 TB
550 MB/s520 MB/sNAND
250 GB
500 GB
1 TB
2 TB
3500 MB/s3300 MB/sNVMe
512 GB
1 TB
2 TB
1500 MB/s1000 MB/sNVMe
250 GB
500 GB
1 TB
2 TB
560 MB/s530 MB/sNAND
120 GB
240 GB
480 GB
960 GB
500MB/s450 MB/sNAND

Samsung 860 EVO

About the SSD

Samsung may arguably be most famous for their Galaxy phones today, but this Korean giant also manufactures some of the most popular SSDs out there, in addition to their wide selection of other products. First, we will be taking a quick look at an immensely popular SSD of theirs, and one of the most popular SSDs in general – the Samsung 860 EVO.

This SSD is pretty much what you would expect an average NAND SSD to look like – clean, minimal, with a thin 2.5-inch frame and a matte black finish.

Storage and Performance

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 an SSDs in this league. Finally, it interfaces via a SATA III connector which is the 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 it is more than adequate for gaming. The 5-year warranty that Samsung offers for this model is quite encouraging, too, though at  the moment, there are newer SSDs available that can actually offer customers better value for their money than the aging 860 EVO.

What We Loved

  • Good performance
  • Five capacity options
  • 5-year manufacturer warranty

What We Didn’t Like

  • Not the best value in 2019

Samsung 860 QVO

About the SSD

Following the Samsung 860 EVO, we have another newer yet very similar SSD, and it’s the Samsung 860 QVO.

Unsurprisingly, the QVO looks very similar to the EVO, although it trades the matte black exterior for a simple-looking gray one. Performance-wise, it lags behind the 860 EVO a bit, but what makes it stand out is its storage capacity. Namely, this SSD really pushes the envelope when it comes to the kind of storage capacity that we can expect from mainstream SSDs.

Storage and Performance

The 860 QVO comes in three storage variants: 1 TB, 2 TB, and 4 TB. As for the performance, it offers sequential read and write speeds of 550 and 520 MB/s respectively, which is more or less the norm with NAND SSDs that interface using SATA III.

Our Thoughts

As stated above, what makes the Samsung 860 QVO stand out is its capacity and pricing. Considering that SSDs as small as 240 GB or even 120 GB were the norm a few years ago, seeing Samsung offer an SSD that starts at 1 TB and costs just over $100 is quite something. However, it isn’t as fast as the older 860 EVO in practice, despite the on-paper specs being identical, though this difference is negligible at best when it comes to gaming.

Our only real issue with this SSD is the relatively short warranty period. Usually, Samsung offers a warranty of 5 years on their SSDs, but the 860 QVO gets only 3. Needless to say, if you had your eye on a higher-capacity model that you wanted to last in the long-term, this limited warranty period is hardly encouraging.

What We Loved

  • Solid performance
  • Decent price-per-gigabyte
  • Abundant storage space

What We Didn’t Like

  • Relatively short warranty period

Samsung 970 EVO Plus

About the SSD

Following the 860 QVO, we have another SSD from Samsung, although this one is a more serious performance oriented solution – the Samsung 970 EVO Plus, a lightning-fast M.2 NVMe SSD. Unlike the 860 QVO, it comes with a full 5-year limited warranty, which is a great plus on top of the monstrous performance alone.

Being an M.2 SSD, the 970 EVO Plus is highly compact, with a black PCB that helps it remain inconspicuous and blend in well with most motherboards.

Storage and Performance

Just like the 860 QVO, the 970 EVO Plus comes in three storage options, albeit its capacity is much more limited: 250 GB, 500 GB, and 1 TB. The speed is where it gets real, though. Since it is an M.2 NVMe SSD, the 970 EVO Plus can reach read/write speeds as high as 3500/3300 MB/s, which is much faster than what a SATA III connection can manage.

Our Thoughts

With the storage, the performance, and the pricing in mind, it’s easy to see that the 970 EVO Plus will be appealing to those who need this kind of performance and are willing to pay for it, even if it also comes at the cost of storage capacity.

That said, it won’t be a very attractive solution for the average gamer, though if you’re thinking about investing in a long-term high-performance SSD for a workstation/gaming PC, this is hands-down one of the best SSDs that you can get.

What We Loved

  • Superb performance
  • Good price for an NVMe SSD
  • 5-year warranty period

What We Didn’t Like

  • Pricey
  • Limited appeal when it comes to gaming

Intel 660p

About the SSD

NVMe SSDs are usually quite pricey, there’s no denying that, but the Intel 660p SSD is an exception to this rule. Granted, it is not as affordable as some NAND SSDs nor is it as fast as the more advanced NVMe models such as the Samsung 970 EVO Plus, but it does manage to find a solid middle ground that makes it a very interesting product.

Storage and Performance

The 660p comes in three storage variants: 500 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB. It has a read/write speed of 1500/1000 MB/s which, as mentioned above, can’t compete with the SSDs that are as fast or even faster than the 970 EVO, but it still makes the 660p significantly faster than most SATA SSDs.

Our Thoughts

With the above in mind, it’s quite clear that the Intel 660p is your typical best-of-both-worlds solution that will appeal to anyone looking to get the most out of their investment. It may not be much to look at, but this is definitely one of the best SSDs available at the moment, as far as value is concerned.

Still, as we all know, the jack of all trades is usually a master of none, so when it comes to intensive tasks and large file transfers, the 660p isn’t as good of a workstation SSD as some other, pricier models are.

What We Loved

  • Great performance
  • Fairly low price-per-gigabyte
  • Excellent overall value

What We Didn’t Like

  • Limited performance and endurance compared to most NVMe SSDs

WD Blue

About the SSD

Moving on, we have a familiar company and a familiar product: WD Blue. This moniker has followed Western Digital’s HDDs for a while, and now it extends to SSDs as well. And much like the WD Blue HDDs, the WD Blue SSDs focus on balancing storage capacity, performance, and pricing, all the while you can get it in two form factors, based on which you prefer.

Storage and Performance

The WD Blue SSDs come in 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB capacity options. They are a bit faster than the Samsung 860 QVO, with a sequential read/write speed of 560/530 MB/s, but it’s not a very noticeable difference.

But as mentioned above, what’s interesting about the WD Blue SSD is that it is available both in a 2.5-inch and an M.2 form factor, thus allowing you to choose whether the SSD will be interfacing with the PC via your motherboard’s M.2 slot or one of its SATA III connectors. Of course, despite the different form factor, these SSDs are still regular NAND SSDs and their performance remains identical regardless of which variant you choose.

Our Thoughts

All in all, the WD Blue SSDs have no major standout features compared to most other SSDs available in 2019. The pricing is more or less the same as that of the Samsung 860 QVO, and so is the performance. That said, the two primary advantages of the WD Blue SSDs are the ability to choose between two different form factors and the fact that it comes with a 5-year warranty which, as mentioned before, is definitely something to keep in mind.

Now, it is by no means a perfect product, though we have no real qualms with the WD Blue SSD. If we had to be nitpicky, we’d say that the design of both the SATA and the M.2 variants is a bit uninspired and may clash with some gaming setups, but this is hardly a significant issue.

What We Loved

  • Solid performance
  • Affordable pricing
  • Two form factors to choose from
  • 5-year warranty

What We Didn’t Like

  • Unremarkable design

Kingston A400

About the SSD

Of course, there is no way that we can talk about memory and leave out Kingston. The 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 and, like the WD Blue SSD, it is available in the M.2 form factor as well.

Storage and Performance

The Kingston A400 comes in 120 GB, 240 GB, 480 GB, and 960 GB variants. Moreover, the performance actually varies based on the capacity – the read speed remains a solid 500 MB/s but the write speed for the 120 GB and the 240 GB variants are 320 and 350 MB/s respectively, while the 480 and 960 GB ones both boast a write speed of 450 MB/s.

Conclusion

With all of the above said, the Kingston A400 may not seem that great, considering just how slow it is compared to the newer SSDs listed here, but if you’re on a tight budget and are looking for the absolute cheapest SSD that you can get, it’s unlikely that you’ll find a better price. The high-capacity versions hardly present good value in 2019, but the 120 GB and the 240 GB ones can go as low as 20-30 dollars today.

That said, the A400 will appeal primarily to those who are on a very tight budget and are willing to settle for the cheapest SSD that they can get. Overall, it is a rather reliable SSD, but considering just how dated and slow it is compared to the newer SSDs, it will hardly be anyone’s top pick for 2019.

What We Loved

  • Very low price-per-gigabyte
  • One of the cheapest SSDs available

What We Didn’t Like

  • 3-year warranty
  • Underwhelming performance for 2019

How to Find the Best SSD For Your Needs

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 its ability to store vast volumes of data, but rather, the sheer speed with which it can read and write said data.

It is crucial to keep that in mind when buying an SSD – they are not optimal for storing large amounts of data for long periods of time. High-capacity SSDs were very expensive up until recently, so people usually used a smaller SSD as a system drive while keeping an HDD for storage, which was the most cost-effective solution at the time.

In 2019, the prices have dropped and SSDs as large as 1 TB seem more accessible than ever, but do you even need an SSD that large?

As you can see, SSDs can start as low as 120 GB, but we wouldn’t suggest getting one that small unless you’re on a really tight budget. The same could be said for 240 GB SSDs – they are more affordable than ever right now, but they are bound to get cramped quickly, even if you use them only as system drives.

For the most part, we find 500 GB to be quite a sweet spot when it comes to SSDs – they provide ample storage, are relatively affordable right now, and will allow you to have a number of games installed at once while potentially leaving more than enough room for multimedia libraries that you may want to access quickly.

And finally, as mentioned above, 1 TB SSDs and even larger ones are more affordable today than they were only a few years ago, but chances are you probably won’t need that much SSD storage unless you also use some professional software such as Adobe Premiere Pro and need to your PC to read/write large volumes of data regularly.

If all you need extra storage for is for multimedia and other miscellaneous files that you don’t need to access quickly on a regular basis, an HDD will be a more cost-efficient solution.

Speed

 

SSD Vs HDD

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, as your regular NAND SSDs are nowhere near as fast as the pricier M.2 NVMe SSDs.

However, while the 3500/3300 MB/s read/write speeds seen in the likes of the Samsung 970 EVO Plus may seem like they would offer performance significantly better than that of, say, the 560/530 MB/s WD Blue SSD, that’s simply not the case. When it comes solely to gaming, you will hardly notice the difference – if you notice it at all, that is.

After all, the primary advantage that an SSD offers in regard to gaming is the faster load times, and an NVMe SSD is usually only marginally faster than a NAND SSD in that respect, so investing extra in a faster SSD just so you could spend a few seconds less looking at a loading screen can hardly be called a worthwhile investment.

But we’re not saying that NVMe SSDs and their quadruple-digit read/write speeds serve no purpose – far from it. They can make a world of difference for workstations where the SSD regularly needs to read and write a lot of data, but for a PC that is going to be used strictly for gaming and casual things like multimedia or web browsing, they are simply overkill.

SATA III vs M.2

solid state drive

As you can see from the tab above, an SSD can connect to your motherboard via one of two ways: a SATA III connector or an M.2 slot. The differences here can be purely aesthetic, but performance plays a big role, too.

Namely, the M.2 slot has a much higher theoretical throughput than SATA, which is why all NVMe SSDs use M.2 – but not all M.2 SSDs are NVMe SSDs. For example, as you can see in the article, the WD Blue SSD is available in both a SATA and an M.2 variant, but the performance remains identical.

Now, we’ve already discussed the differences in performance between NAND SSDs and NVMe SSDs, so if we set that aside, is there any point to getting an M.2 NAND SSD over a regular NAND SSD that uses a SATA connector?

Well, the differences are almost entirely aesthetic and, perhaps, logistical. Maybe you just like the idea of the SSD sitting inconspicuously in the motherboard’s M.2 slot or maybe you don’t want to bother with extra cable management or have the SSD taking up space in your HDD rack.

But in the end, as long as performance is not an issue, we recommend going with whichever you’re more comfortable with and whichever fits your PC best, as there is virtually no practical difference between the two unless you’re planning on putting extra money towards an NVMe SSD.

Conclusion – The Best SSD of 2019

As is usually the case with any hardware component, there can be no single best one, but here are our takes on which of these SSDs you’ll likely find the most appealing.

The Best Budget SSD – WD Blue

Best SSD

While it’s not the most affordable SSD on this list (that honor goes to the Kingston A400), we feel that the WD Blue SSD would be the best pick for anyone on a budget. Not only does it offer performance that is more than adequate for gaming, but it also comes at an approachable price, complete with a 5-year warranty, and the added choice between the SATA and the M.2 variant is always a plus.

The Best Value SSD – Intel 660p

Best Solid State Drive

There’s hardly any need to point out why we find the Intel 660p to offer the best value for your money at the moment, seeing as we have already established that it is an excellent balance between performance and affordability.

The Premium Pick – Samsung 970 EVO Plus

Top SSD 2019

And finally, for the premium pick, we have the Samsung 970 EVO Plus. As already established, it is the fastest SSD on this list, and though it can’t quite compete with the likes of the Samsung 970 Pro when it comes to heavy workloads, the lower price will definitely make it more appealing for gamers.

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