budget pick

WD Blue

best ssd for gaming
  • Solid performance
  • Two form factors
  • Fairly affordable
best value

Intel 660p

Best Solid State Drive 2019
  • Balanced performance
  • Great price-per-gigabyte
best value

Samsung 970 EVO Plus

Best SSD 2019
  • Excellent performance
  • Good price for an NVMe SSD

Solid-state drives have their pros and cons. True, they might not have the lifespan of a hard drive, and they might be more expensive, but their sheer speed makes up for that. 

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 create a narrowed-down list of internal SSDs. 

These could be considered “the best” according to the quality they offer. We also made sure to include enough diversity to satisfy all needs.

Table of ContentsShow

Top 6 SSDs For 2020

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

best ssd

About the SSD

Samsung may arguably be most famous for its Galaxy phones today. Still, this Korean giant also produces some of the best popular SSDs out there, in addition to its wide selection of products.

First, we will be taking a quick look at an enormously 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 SSDs in this league.

Finally, it interfaces via a SATA III connector, which is the standard for a lot of internal SSDs available right now.

Conclusion

All in all, the 860 EVO is not the 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 encouraging, too. However, at the moment, there are newer SSDs available that can provide customers with better value for their money than the aging 860 EVO.

The Pros:

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

The Cons:

  • Not the best value in 2020

Samsung 860 QVO

Best Gaming Ssd 2019

About the SSD

Following the Samsung 860 EVO, we have a newer, yet very similar SSD. It’s the Samsung 860 QVO.

Unsurprisingly, the QVO looks like the EVO, although it substitutes 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 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. This 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 was 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, in practice, it isn’t as fast as the older 860 EVO, despite the on-paper specs being identical. However, 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.

The Pros:

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

The Cons:

  • Relatively short warranty period

Samsung 970 EVO Plus

Best SSD 2019

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 advantage 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 the SSD 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 rates 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 desirable solution for the average gamer. Yet, if you’re thinking about investing in a long-term high-performance SSD for a workstation/gaming PC, this is one of the best SSDs you can get.

The Pros:

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

The Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Limited appeal when it comes to gaming

Intel 660p

Best Solid State Drive 2019

About the SSD

NVMe SSDs are usually quite pricey. There’s no denying that. Still, the Intel 660p SSD is an exception to this rule.

Granted, it is not as affordable as some NAND SSDs – nor as fast as the more advanced NVMe models such as the Samsung 970 EVO Plus – but it does succeed in finding a solid middle ground that makes it an 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. However, 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 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 more expensive models.

The Pros:

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

The Cons:

  • Limited performance and endurance compared to most NVMe SSDs

WD Blue

best ssd for gaming

About the SSD

Moving on, we have a well-known 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.

Much like the WD Blue HDDs, the WD Blue SSDs focus on balancing storage capacity, performance, and pricing. Plus, you can get it in two form factors, based on your preference.

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. Yet, this is not a very noticeable difference.

But, as mentioned above, the interesting thing about the WD Blue SSD is that it is available both in a 2.5-inch and an M.2 form factor, 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 factors, these SSDs are still regular NAND SSDs, and their performance remains identical regardless of which variant form you decide to purchase.

Our Thoughts

All in all, the WD Blue SSDs have no major standout features compared to most other SSDs available in 2020. 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 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 matter for most of us.

The Pros:

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

The Cons:

  • Unremarkable design

Kingston A400

best solid state drive

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 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. The 480 and 960 GB ones, instead, 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. 

Still, 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 2020, 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 somewhat reliable SSD, but considering just how dated and slow it is compared to the newer SSDs, it will hardly be anyone’s top pick in 2020.

The Pros:

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

The Cons:

  • 3-year warranty
  • Underwhelming performance for 2020

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 tiny 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 that allows it to read and write data.

It is crucial to keep that in mind when buying an SSD since they are not optimal for storing large amounts of data for long periods. 

High-capacity SSDs were costly 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 2020, 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 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 several games installed at once while potentially leaving 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 that you probably won’t need that much SSD storage unless you also use some professional software such as Adobe Premiere Pro and need 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 and regularly, 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, read/write speeds can differ slightly or significantly 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 see the Samsung 970 EVO Plus offering significantly better performance compared to something like 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 upside that an SSD offers in contrast to gaming is the faster load times. An NVMe SSD is usually only marginally faster than a NAND SSD in that respect, so investing extra in a faster SSD so that 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. 

Still, for a PC that is going to be used strictly for gaming and casual things like multimedia or web browsing, they are simply overkilled.

SATA III vs M.2

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 merely aesthetic, but performance plays a significant 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 in getting an M.2 NAND SSD over a regular NAND SSD that uses a SATA connector?

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 perhaps 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. 

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 2020

As with any other hardware component, there can be no single best solution. However, here are is our take on which of these SSDs you’ll find 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 make it more appealing for gamers.

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