It’s that time of the year again when prices are expected to go down and people are expected to buy stuff. For us PC enthusiasts, system builders and PC gamers, it’s a great time to upgrade and buy new PC components and accessories. For those who are planning to buy or upgrade their storage drive(s) into something faster, like an SSD or NVMe SSD, this is a good time since prices are usually marked down or discounted thanks to Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. We have updated this article since there are new, larger (capacities) and better SATA SSDs available; and for those who simply crave for the fastest around, M.2 NVMe SSDs are available to satisfy your demand for speed. Below are some of our recommended and best SSDs that you should definitely consider; starting from the budget friendly SSDs, to the high performance SSDs, and for the enthusiasts who simply want the best and fastest around.
Must Have SSDs this November 2020 (Black Friday and Cyber Monday)
Best Budget Friendly SATA SSD
Below are some of the budget friendly SSDs that we recommend. These SSDs may not be the fastest around, but they generally offer a decent speed that is significantly faster than a hard drive. These budget friendly SSDs can reduce boot up / loading / wake up and shut down times, compared to a hard drive. However, compared to the higher end SSDs (below), they may not be as feature rich, has shorter warranty or endurance rating; but they are cheaper and a good place to start for those who just want to make that shift to the fast lane. Note: actual read/write speed is usually or may be lower compared to the advertised speeds.
Crucial BX500 SSD
The Crucial BX500 is currently the company’s latest and budget friendly SSD. This SSD is cheap because Crucial has opted for a DRAM-less approach. This means that while the BX500 may offer a cheaper cost/capacity ratio, it is also not the fastest in this list. Theoretically, the sequential read and sequential write speeds of a BX500 could reach up to 540MB/s and 500MB/s. However, actual performance is lesser and would suffer if the files being transferred are (significantly) large. Nevertheless, it is still a good SSD if you are in a tight budget and you want something faster than an HDD.
Crucial BX500 SSD is available on Amazon.com here.
SanDisk SSD Plus
The SanDisk SSD Plus has been in the market for quite some time. But the company has updated this series and the newer version has the following product numbers: SDSSDA-120G-G27 for the 120GB, SDSSDA-240G-G26 for the 240GB, SDSSDA-480G-G26 for the 480GB, SDSSDA-960G-G26 for the 960GB. Be sure to check out the product number specially the last two digits to ensure that you are getting the latest version of the SanDisk SSD Plus. The SSD Plus features sequential read speeds of up to 535MB/s and up to 450MB/s of sequential write speed. Read/write speeds varies from capacities so be sure to check those numbers. It’s available in 120GB, 240GB, 480GB and 960GB capacities.
The SanDisk SSD Plus is available on Amazon.com here.
SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD
Next is also from SanDisk, the SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD; and from its name alone, this SSD features 3D NAND technology. It offers sequential read speeds of up to 560MB/s and sequential write speeds of up to 530MB/s. It also features NCache 2.0 technology for faster burst speeds. Unlike the SSD Plus, the Ultra 3D offers capacity starting from 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB. That 1TB or 2TB capacity is great for a game drive; making games load faster compared to when installed on a mechanical disk drive. It comes with a 5-year limited warranty. This is a bit faster compared to the SSD Plus, but at the same time slightly priced higher as well.
The SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD is available on Amazon.com here.
Samsung 860 QVO SSD
The Samsung 860 QVO is one of the newer SSDs from the company and it’s also their entry-level / budget friendly SATA SSD. It is using Samsung’s V-NAND 4bit MLC (QLC) paired with Samsung MJX Controller, offering a decent performance and capacity of up to 4TB. You can check out our review of the 860 QVO here. However, being a budget SSD comes with some compromises; and one of those is sustained write speeds. While it offers up to 520MB/s of write speed, it will drop to 80MB/s-160MB/s once TurboWrite has been exhausted. It’s nice for small files, but for transferring and handling large file sizes, you might want to check out the next following SSDs.
The Samsung 860 QVO SSD is available on Amazon.com here.
Best Solid to High Performance SATA SSD
Now let’s move to the solid performing and high performance SATA SSDs. These SSDs are (usually and slightly) faster compared to the entry level SSDs mentioned above. They are also built with more features and usually have a higher endurance rating. This means that under normal circumstances, not only that they should perform faster but they are expected to last longer as well. If you simply want the fastest SATA SSDs around without worrying too much on the cost, consider the following SSDs below. Note: again, actual read/write speed is usually or may be lower compared to the advertised speeds.
Crucial MX500 SSD
The Crucial MX500 SSD series is the company’s latest “flagship” or top of the line SSD. It’s fast, but not as fast as Samsung’s flagship SATA SSDs (below). You may want to check out our Crucial MX500 SSD review here. It’s also based on 3D NAND technology and offers sequential read speeds of up to 560MB/s or sequential write speeds of up to 510MB/s. Like the SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD, it’s also available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities. But it comes with features that are not available on budget friendly SSDs. Features like hardware-based encryption, integrated power loss immunity, redundant array of independent NAND and exclusive data defense. The MX500 not only comes in 2.5” SATA SSD form factor, but it’s also available in M.2 form factor. Crucial is offering a 5-year limited warranty for their MX500.
The Crucial MX500 SSD Series is available on Amazon.com here.
WD Blue SSD 3D
After Western Digital has acquired SanDisk, WD has released their first series of SSD, the WD Blue and WD Green. WD recently updated their WD Blue SSD series, now built with SanDisk 64-layer 3D TLC and features Marvell 88SS1074 controller. The WD Blue SSD 3D is a solid performing SSD offering sequential speeds of up to 560 MB/s read and 530 MB/s write. It’s also more power efficient compared to the previous generation and features an industry-leading 1.75M hours mean time to failure and up to 500TB written for enhanced reliability. It features tiered caching technology and is optimized for multitasking to simultaneously run resource-heavy applications without system slow-down. It’s available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities; and available in both standard 2.5″ 7mm SATA and M.2 2280 SATA form factors.
The WD Blue 3D NAND SSD is available on Amazon.com here.
Samsung 860 EVO SSD
The Samsung 860 EVO SSD is perhaps the most popular and must have mainstream SSD currently available in the market. The 860 SSD series is also the company’s latest top of the line SSD series released this year. It’s the world’s first line of consumer SSDs with V-NAND 3bit MLC technology that is paired with Samsung’s MJX controller. It offers sequential read speeds of up to 550MB/s and sequential write speeds of up to 520MB/s; and it’s available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and 4TB capacity. You can store a lot of data on that 4TB drive. The Samsung 860 EVO also has AES 256-bit full disk encryption, TCG/Opal V2.0, Encrypted Drive (IEEE1667) and features TRIM, Garbage Collection and SMART. One thing that makes Samsung’s SSD better compared to the competition (aside from raw performance) are the proprietary software. Samsung’s Migration software makes it very easy to migrate your files to Samsung’s SSD.
Grab a Samsung EVO SSD Series (or two) on Amazon.com here, while it’s hot.
Samsung 860 PRO SSD
Aside from the 860 EVO series, Samsung is also offering an 860 PRO SSD series. The PRO series usually comes with better set of features; like (slightly) faster read/write speeds or longer sustained write speeds, better data protection, longer warranty and more. The Samsung 860 PRO uses Samsung’s V-NAND 2bit MLC NAND flash paired with Samsung’s MJX controller. Its sequential read speeds can go up to 560MB/s and sequential write speeds can go up to 530MB/s. It’s available in 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB and 4TB capacity and that 4 TB capacity has a Total Bytes Written rating of 4,800TB. It also features AES 256-bit Full Disk Encryption, TCG/Opal V2.0, and Encrypted Drive (IEEE1667). The difference between the PRO and EVO is that the PRO has better endurance compared to the EVO; it’s twice the endurance to be exact. Read/write performance is also better compared to the EVO. However, in real world scenario, you won’t actually feel or see the difference in speed. It’s up to you then if you require the endurance, durability and speed of the PRO has to offer, or go with the cheaper (but also really good) Samsung 860 EVO.
Grab a Samsung 860 PRO SSD on Amazon.com here.
Again, if you want to know the difference between the Samsung 860 Pro vs 860 EVO and 860 QVO, check out our review here.
Best M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD
SATA based SSD has already reached its maximum potential speed due to the SATA 6Gbps speed restriction. But that didn’t stopped SSDs from evolving into something faster. Now, for those who simply crave for the fastest SSD around (money no object), there’s what you call the NMVe SSDs. This type of SSDs is insanely fast! And guess who is also leading on the NVMe SSD market? See below…
NOTE: You must have a motherboard with an M.2 slot that supports PCIE NVMe SSDs, otherwise this will not work in your system. Another option is to use an add-in M.2 PCIe adapter and install it on the PCIe slot of the motherboard.
Crucial P1 M.2 NVMe SSD – The Budget Option
The Crucial P1 M.2 NVMe SSD is the company’s budget / entry-level NVMe SSD, similar to their BX500 lineup. It is definitely not the fastest NVMe SSD, but it is still faster than any SATA-based SSD. It features Microns 3D QLC NAND flash and offers sequential read speeds of up to 2,000MB/s, and sequential write speeds of up to 1,700MB/s with the 1TB capacity. Speaking of capacity, the P1 is currently only available in 500GB and 1TB capacity. So, there is not a lot of capacity options to choose from. Crucial is offering a 5-year limited warranty though. If you want to learn more about this NVMe SSD, you can check out our 1TB and 500GB Crucial P1 review here.
The Crucial P1 M.2 NVMe SSD is available on Amazon.com here.
Sabrent Rocket M.2 NVMe SSD
The Sabrent Rocket M.2 NVMe might be the “new kid from the block” in this list. However, the Sabrent Rocket is quite popular thanks to its lower price and multiple capacity options. It uses 3D TLC NAND flash memory and offers performance up to 3,400 MB/s sequential read and up to 3,000 MB/s sequential write. It’s available in capacities starting from 256GB up to 4TB; the 1TB and the 4TB offers the highest write speeds by the way. The company is also offering up to 5 year of limited warranty with registration.
Check out the latest pricing and availability of the Sabrent Rocker NVMe SSD on Amazon.com here.
WD Black SN750 NVME SSD
We’re replacing the older WD Black 3D, with the new WD Black SN750 NVME SSD. The WD Black SN750 is the company’s 2nd generation high performance M.2 NVMe SSD, offering capacities from 250GB up to 2TB. It features the company’s own 3D NAND technology, firmware and controller; offering sequential speeds of up to 3,470 MB/s read and up to 3,000 MB/s of sequential write performance. It also offers up to 515,000 of random-read and up to 560,000 random-write IOPs that allows the SN750 to manage multi-threaded applications and data-intensive environments. You can check out our WD Black SN750 review here. Basically, this is an improvement / refinement of its predecessor; offering a slightly better performance overall.
The WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD is available on Amazon.com here. Note that there is also an SN750 with heatsink that looks really cool. They are basically the same, except for the heatsink that makes it possible to run cooler.
Samsung 970 PRO, 970 EVO Plus and 970 EVO M.2 NVMe SSD
Last but definitely out top most recommended M.2 NVMe SSD are the Samsung 970 PRO, 970 EVO Plus and 970 EVO. They are still the best PCIe Gen3 based NVMe SSD in the market. The 970 PRO and EVO series features Samsung’s Phoenix Controller and Samsung’s V-NAND 2bit MLC for the 970 PRO, and 3bit MLC for the 970 EVO. In terms of speed, the 970 PRO is slightly faster with a sequential read speed of up to 3,500 MB/s and a sequential write speed of up to 2,700 MB/s; while the 970 EVO features up to 3,500 MB/s read and up to 2,500 MB/s write respectively.
Meanwhile, the Samsung 970 EVO Plus is the newest in the series. It’s basically an improved or refined version of the 970 EVO, and Samsung’s answer to WD’s Black NVMe SSD. It also offers speeds of up to 3500 MB/s sequential read and up to 3300MB/s sequential write.
The Samsung 970 PRO is simply the fastest around but it’s also the most expensive one. Most users will definitely opt for the cheaper Samsung 970 EVO or EVO Plus. The difference is that the 970 PRO has twice the endurance rating or Total Bytes Written compared to the 970 EVO and EVO Plus. When it comes to capacity options, the 970 PRO is also available in 512GB and 1TB capacities only, while the 970 EVO and EVO Plus are available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities. Both features AES 256-bit full disk encryption and similar data security.
So, go for the PRO is you need the endurance and longevity. However, for most of us casual users and gamers, the EVO Plus and EVO is more than enough as well. Not to mention, their cheaper than the PRO too.