For the longest time, if you wanted to expand the storage space of your PC, you were at all the speeds that the best hard drives of the time could offer – with their spinning discs and endless boredom. However, we are now in the future and in 2018 the best SSDs or solid-state drives are fast enough to free you from the world of slow file transfers and extremely long start times of the mechanical hard drive.
Even if you do not rock the best PCs, you can still benefit from the best SSDs. The best Ultrabooks are practically made to benefit from the best SSDs, due to their unmatched durability and speed.
But what if you do not have a computer at all? Even if you are a console game, you can use the best SSDs to virtually eliminate load times. As a bonus, the best SSDs are getting bigger, faster and more affordable – just look at the Adata XPG SX8200 as proof.
As soon as you bring out Amazon or Newegg, you will be bombarded with SSDs because there are so many available for any price you can imagine, which is great if you have a limited budget. However, this versatility can make it difficult to find the best SSD for your needs. That's why we took the time to put together a list of the best SSDs you can buy today. And you can be confident that every SSD on this list is worth your time and money – we've looked at them all ourselves.
Best SSD: Samsung 970 Evo
Capacity: 250 GB / 500 GB / 1TB / 2TB | Interface: PCIe Gen 3 x4 M.2 Guarantee: 5 years
Lightning fast speeds
Shorter file transfer rates than its predecessor
Low capacities are pricey
Samsung's Evo series SSDs keeps getting better and the Samsung 970 Evo is no exception. Building on the already impressive performance of the 960 Evo and even better than the powerful 960 Pro, this drive will make short work of any file transfer. And now that it is available with a maximum of 2 TB of storage space, you never have to worry about insufficient space.
Read the full review: Samsung 970 Evo
Best game SSD: WD Black NVMe SSD
Say goodbye to loading screens
Capacity: 250 GB / 500 GB / 1 TB Interface: PCIe Gen 3 x4 M.2 Guarantee: 5 years
Fastest sequential writing speed
Disappointing random writing speed
When you play the best PC games, there is nothing worse than the action stops in front of a loading screen (we are looking at you, Half-Life 2). Fortunately, with the WD Black NVMe SSD you can basically say goodbye to screens with a long loading time, because this disk absolutely blows the pants off of every other SSD in its price range. With just under $ 300 you will not find a faster drive that lasts as long as the WD Black NVMe SSD. We can say without a doubt that this is the best SSD for gaming. Trust us here.
Read the full review: WD Black NVMe SSD
Best NVMe SSD: Samsung 970 Pro
Capacity: 512 GB / 1 TB Interface: PCIe Gen 3 x4 M.2 Guarantee: 5 years
Fastest SSD on the market
Samsung has been making the fastest drives on the market for several years and although other manufacturers such as Western Digital catch up, the Samsung 970 Pro is still the fastest SSD you can buy today. And while the read speeds of the 970 Pro have not increased compared to the 960 Pro, the write speeds have a significant bump – up to 2,700 MB / s – and thus maintain the fastest SSD crown. If you are looking for the best NVMe SSD without compromise, you can not go wrong with the Samsung 970 Pro.
Read the full review: Samsung 970 Pro
Best PCIe SSD: Toshiba OCZ RD400
The most flexible SSD installation
Capacity: 128 GB / 256 GB / 512 GB / 1 TB Interface: PCIe Gen 3 x4 M.2 Guarantee: 3 years
Fast reading / writing
Not all sizes available in all form factors
If you are looking for numerous options, the drive of the Toshiba OCZ RD400 series is available in four formats and three different form factors: M.2, M.2 2280 and expansion card (AIC). Not all sizes are in all form factors, so if you are looking for a fast 1TB drive, make sure you have room in your computer case.
Best M.2 SSD: Adata XPG SX8200 SSD
Capacity: 240 GB / 480 GB / 960 GB | Interface: PCIe Gen 3 x4 M.2 Guarantee: 5 years
Write speeds fall behind
If you have been waiting to jump on the M.2 train for an SSD that is both fast and affordable, we have good news for you. The Adata XPG SX8200 is not one of the best SSDs because it is the fastest drive on the market, but because there is not a single drive that can match the raw price / performance ratio that the XPG SX8200 offers. Of course you can get one of the much faster, much more expensive SSDs on the market, but this is the drive we can recommend to everyone.
Read the full review: Adata XPG SX8200
Best SATA 3 SSD: Samsung 860 Pro
Capacity: 250 GB / 512 GB / 1TB / 2TB / 4TB | Interface: SATA 3 | Guarantee: 5 years
Available 4TB model
SATA 3 limits performance
SATA 3 may not be the most popular SSD technology in the world, but with the Samsung 860 Pro, Samsung shows that there is life in the old-fashioned form factor. With a storage capacity of up to 4TB and transfer rates approaching the theoretical maximum of the SATA 3 connection and the best reliability and security – the Samsung 860 Pro is the best SSD for anyone who still holds on to SATA 3.
Read the full review: Samsung 860 Pro
Best U.2 SSD: Intel 750 series
Capacity: 400 GB / 800 GB / 1.2 TB Interface: PCIe Gen 3 x4 U.2 | Guarantee: 5 years
Great warranty period
Not as fast as some other PCI stations
The U.2 standard enables larger SSD capabilities and uses the PCIe x4 slot of your computer to send all that data back and forth. The Intel 750 series includes a cable, so you can attach the drive in the space provided and still connect to the PCIe slot on your motherboard.
Best budget SSD: Samsung 860 Evo
Amazing speeds for a fantastic price
Capacity: 250 GB / 500 GB / 1TB / 2TB / 4TB | Interface: 2.5 inches, mSATA, M.2 | Guarantee: 5 years
Noticeable speed improvement
SATA3 limits the potential
Samsung had a hard-to-follow performance – the Samsung 850 Evo was popular when it was released in 2018, thanks to its amazing performance and affordability. And the Samsung 860 Evo is absolutely successful. Although the Samsung 860 Evo is limited by the SATA3 interface, it delivers performance that resembles its predecessor, with improved read / write speeds and a range of form factors, while the budget price is still maintained. The 860 Evo is the best SSD for anyone looking for an entry-level SSD without breaking open his piggy banks.
Read the full review: Samsung 860 Evo
Best endurance SSD: HP S700 Pro
Difficult for everything you throw into it
Capacity: 128 GB / 256 GB / 512 GB / 1 TB Interface: SATA 3 | Guarantee: 3 years
If you need an SSD that goes with multiple computers, the HP S700 Pro is exactly what you're looking for. The lifetime will far exceed the warranty and offers up to 2 million hours of use and up to 650 terabytes of paperwork. This is one of the best SSDs you can buy if you need something that lasts a long time, but the SATA interface can slow things down in the reading / writing department, which makes it even longer lasting technically.
- This product is only available in the US and the UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: view a good alternative in the Samsung 860 Evo
Best SSD startup disk: Intel 760p Series SSD
Great performance at an even better price
Capacity: 128 GB / 256 GB / 512 GB | Interface: PCIe Gen 3 x4 M.2 Guarantee: 5 years
Superb fast reading speeds
Slightly slow writing speeds
For years, NVME SSDs were far too expensive. With their 760p SSDs, Intel is trying to change the world of SSDs. The 760p offers top performances that lag behind on the Samsung 960 Evo and reaches speeds of 3,056 MB / s and 1,606 MB / s. But what makes the Intel 760p one of the best SSDs you can buy is the fantastic price / performance ratio for this drive. Of course, there are faster NVM drives, but you pay a premium that, frankly, is not worth it. This drive makes us excited for the future of the best SSDs.
Read the full review: Intel 760p Series SSD
Best external SSD: Samsung Portable SSD T5
Worth the premium for USB-C fanatics
Capacity: 250 GB / 500 GB / 1TB / 2TB | Interface: USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 2 | Guarantee: 3 years
Look, sometimes you just have to do some work on the road, and the Samsung portable SSD T5 is perfect for that. With read / write speeds up to 540 / 515MBps respectively, the Samsung Portable SSD T5 can track some of the more modest PCIe players, resulting in one of the best SSDs you can buy today – as long as your laptop really supports Thunderbolt 3.
Read the full review: Samsung portable SSD T5
Bill Thomas and Gabe Carey also contributed to this article