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The Best Solid State Drives (SSDs) For Modern Computers and Laptops

  1. PNY CS900 240GB 3D NAND 2.5" SATA Solid State Drive (SSD)
  2. Crucial MX500 1TB 3D NAND SATA 2.5 Inch Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
  3. Kingston 480GB A400 SATA 3 2.5" Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
  4. Samsung Electronics 970 EVO Plus Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
  5. SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable Solid State Drive (SSD)
  6. Buyer's Guide

We’ve come a long way in the last 50 years in regards to technology. From machines that took up entire rooms of space to devices that are thousands of times as powerful while fitting in the palm of your hand, we’ve seen computers come and go at breakneck speed.

One technology that’s slowly phasing out is the hard disk drive. While it was heralded as a miracle in bulk data storage during its invention, it’s now being replaced by smaller, faster, and more reliable storage solutions: solid-state drives, or SSDs. The best SSDs will give you transfer speeds hundreds of times faster than your old hard disk that’s sitting in your computer right now.

And even among solid-state drives, there’s a hierarchy, with newer models and designs being even faster than the much older versions. We’re here to show you some of the best SSDs that you can buy online right now, so read on.

Our 5 Favorite SSDs This Year

PNY CS900 240GB 3D NAND 2.5" SATA Solid State Drive (SSD) - Best Overall

Solid-state drives have become cheaper over the years, but when it comes to raw price efficiency, hard disk drives are still worth more bang for your buck, netting you more GB per dollar. So, if you’re someone who simply wants a taste of the power provided by SSDs, then this line of SSDs should be a great way to make your computer run faster than it does right now. The cheapest option available for these SSDs is for 120GB. And while this may feel like too little storage in this day and age, it actually has more than enough space to install your OS system. By installing your OS on the SSD, your computer will run much faster than it did on a hard drive, and you’ll notice the performance increase the moment you turn on your PC. If you don’t think 120GB will be enough, there are multiple options ranging from 120GB to 960GB.

  • Cheap SSDs in a range of capacities
  • Much faster than HDDs
  • Requires a bit of troubleshooting to work best

Crucial MX500 1TB 3D NAND SATA 2.5 Inch Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - Runner Up

SSDs can give you a significant increase in speed, but since they cost more, most people can’t afford more than 1 or 2 TB of storage. If you have the money, however, an SSD with storage of up to 4 TB may be worth considering. Now, 4 TB is definitely a lot of space — much more than the 240 GB or 120 GB options we showcased in the previous SSD — so you’ll be able to fit plenty of apps and games all in one drive. This SSD also features reliable encryption to keep your data safe and Integrated Power Loss Immunity, which will keep all of your files saved if you lose power. It is worth noting, however, that this line of SSDs is connected through the SATA bus.

  • Up to 4 TB storage
  • 560MB/s speeds
  • Limited by SATA

Samsung Electronics 970 EVO Plus Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - Contender

SAMSUNG is another tech giant that has its fair share of storage solutions, and you may have seen a few USB flash drives or portable hard drives made under its name. It comes as no surprise, then, that SAMSUNG also sells a line of M.2 SSDs, with speeds of up to 3500 MB/s in reading and 3300 MB/s in writing. That’s more than 5 times faster than even the fastest of SATA-based SSDs. Of course, these speeds come at a price - the 2TB option sells for over $200, for example. But if you really care about the speed of your data, then this upgrade will definitely make a visible difference in performance, even when compared to SATA SSDs. 2TB is more than enough to hold dozens of apps and games, so you could make do with just this one SSD.

  • Reliable SAMSUNG-level quality
  • 3500 MB/s read speeds
  • Expensive

SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable Solid State Drive (SSD) - Also Consider

Finally, let’s take a look at an SSD that’s perfect for people who are on the move all the time. If you travel a lot, then you probably carry a lot of personal data with you. It can be difficult to carry your data around in a laptop, and in case your laptop gets misplaced or borrowed by someone, then you won’t have access to your files. With a portable external SSD, you can get your data at a moment’s notice, and with today’s SSD technology, you can transfer your files in a much faster manner than with portable hard drives. Portable SSDs take advantage of the speed boost offered by USB 3.2. You can get up to 1050 MB/s speeds with this SSD, which is almost twice as fast as the fastest SATA SSDs. This should also put into perspective how slow SATA is for hard drives. For people who want their data safely stored in a separate device, while also offering fast speeds for emergencies, SanDisk’s portable SSD has you covered.

  • Can withstand drops, dust, and water
  • 1050 MB/s speeds
  • Requires you to use a USB slot, which can be problematic if you don’t have many on your laptop or computer

Buyer's Guide

Solid-state drives have been viewed as the future of storage for years now, and they’re still being improved upon to this day. What makes it faster than the good old hard disk drive, and why should you care about read and write speeds? Learn all this and more by reading on.

What is a Solid-State Drive (SSD)?

A solid-state drive, or SSD for short, is a storage device that uses electrical components to read and write data for your computer. Compared to a hard disk drive, which is a literal spinning disk much like a CD or DVD, a solid-state drive has no moving parts, meaning that it’s faster and more reliable in the long run.

Why Should You Use An SSD?

Faster than a hard drive

This has been mentioned plenty of times now, but it’s worth saying again to really drive the point home — SSDs are much faster than hard disk drives (we’ll call them HDDs from now on for brevity’s sake). SSDs are completely digital, meaning that data is stored much faster than a hard disk. While HDDs are limited by the speed at which the disk moves, SSDs have much, much higher limitations, and in fact, SSDs are so fast that often the main thing that limits their speed is their connection to the computer and not the device itself. That’s just how powerful SSDs are compared to HDDs.

Makes your computer run faster

So, you already understand that SSDs are faster than HDDs, but how does that impact performance? Sure, you can transfer files faster than normal, but is there any other merit to owning them? Well, there is— it makes pretty much everything in your computer run faster, and by a significant margin. Here’s how.

Imagine that your PC is a room. Let’s say that your desk is the computer’s Desktop and that you have two shelves. One is called "HDD" and is an old cabinet with tons of drawers inside drawers, and the cabinet is on the other side of the room. Then, you have another cabinet called "SSD," and it’s right beside your desk with all the files laid bare and easily grabbable at arm's length.

Suppose you want to open a file. To get one from "HDD," you’d have to walk to the other side of the room, open the drawers to open the drawers inside them, grab the file, and walk all the way back before you can actually open it. To open the file from "SSD," you just have to pull out the file right beside you, and you’re good to go.

Apps function similarly with computers. HDDs are much slower, meaning that it takes longer for your computer to run them. Meanwhile, SSDs can easily access files thanks to their speed, so you’ll find that apps and games will load up much faster thanks to SSDs.

Types of SSD Connections

SSDs can be categorized based on how they’re connected to the motherboard. These are the two main connection types:


SATA is a connection type that’s used for HDDs and, consequently, SSDs. SATA is designed primarily for HDDs, making them relatively slow. The fastest you can go with SATA connections is 600MB/s, which may be fast for some, but not as good if you’re using demanding apps or games.


PCIe is a connection type that’s much faster as it connects more directly to the CPU, which is the brain of your computer. Thanks to its more direct connection, you can expect speeds of gigabytes per second or more, many times faster than even the fastest of SATA SSDs. If you want raw speed, then you’ll want to use PCIe SSDs instead of SATA SSDs.

Types of SSD Protocols

SSD protocols, in a nutshell, are the ways your computer handles the data of your SSD. There are two types of protocols used for SSDs:


Advanced Host Controller Interface, or AHCI for short, is a protocol that was designed primarily for HDDs, and not SSDs. The AHCI interface was made to support the slow, high latency performance of HDDs, which bottlenecks the performance of SSDs that use this protocol. SATA buses run on AHCI protocols, which is one reason why it’s so slow.


NVMe is a protocol designed for low-latency, high-speed storage devices such as SSDs. This makes it so that your SSDs stay fast, and most PCIe-based SSDs use this protocol.

Solid-State Drive (SSD) FAQ

Q: Are SATA SSDs worth it?

A: If you currently use a hard disk drive, SATA SSDs will offer significant performance upgrades even if they aren’t as fast as their NVME counterparts.

Q: Are NVMe SSDs faster than SATA SSDs?

A: In general, yes. As NVMe SSDs usually run on PCIe connections, they aren’t bottlenecked in the same way that SATA SSDs are.

Q: What is an M.2 SSD?

A: M.2 isn’t a type of interface or protocol, but rather a form factor of SSDs. M.2 SSDs connect to the M.2 slot of your motherboard, hence the name.

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