Solid-state drive (SSD) is a computer storage device that uses integrated circuit assemblies to permanently store data. They typically use flash NAND flash memory, and can function either as a primary or secondary storage device in your computer. Unlike ordinary mechanical hard drives, SSDs produce no noise, feature faster reading and writing speeds, and are more resistant to physical shock.
Nowadays, classical hard drives are only used to store data that is rarely accessed, while superfast and super-compact SSDs can be used for everything else. Solid state drives’ popularity can be attributed to the fact that their price is falling down each year, while at the same time their performance and reliability are going up.
Compared to mechanical hard drives, SSDs let you boot up your Windows, macOS or Linux machine in less than 10 seconds, and allow you to instantly open heavy-duty applications, such as Adobe Photoshop, Autodesk Maya, or web browsers like Safari and Chrome. They are also very good for gaming, as they are able to significantly decrease loading times, and increase overall system performance thanks to their super-fast data transfer speeds.
If you want to breathe a new life into your PC, then getting a fast SSD is the best way to go. Keep in mind, however, that SSDs usually cost more than mechanical hard drives per gigabyte of storage they offer. They also have limited number of writes, and get slower the more filled up they get.
How to Choose the Right SSD?
Before taking a look at our list of the best SSDs in 2023, here is a few things you should consider when choosing the right SSD for your PC or laptop computer:
- Interface – many SSDs use different data interfaces, such as M.2, SATA or PCI-E, in order to transfer data. Be sure to check which type of SSD your computer supports before making the final purchase.
- Capacity – purchasing an SSD with capacity smaller than 256GB is nowadays completely useless. For most users, 512GB should be enough. However, if you are a gamer, then getting a 1TB SSD is a must since many new games are now taking up well over 150GB of storage.
- Performance – SATA SSDs are the slowest, so if you want to get the fastest drive possible, then go with M.2 or PCI-E SSD. Drives that support PCIe 4.0 interface are even faster than PCIe 3.0 drives, and can reach read and write speeds of up to 5.000 MB/s and 4.500 MB/s respectively.
Best SATA SSD:
Best PCI-E SSD:
Best High-Capacity SSD:
Best Overall: Kingston KC3000
Capacity: Up to 4TB | Interface: M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 | Sequential Read: 7,000 MB/s | Sequential Write: 7,000 MB/s
- Extremely fast read and write speeds
- Supports PCIe 4.0 interface
- Cheaper than its competitors
- 5-year warranty
- Runs a bit too hot
If you want the best of the best, then Kingston KC3000 should be at the top of your list of options to consider. This SSD supports the 4th generation of PCIe interface, and can deliver sequential read and write speeds of up to 7,000 MB/s. The Kingston KC3000 is available in capacities ranging from 512GB up to 4TB.
Performance-wise, this SSD is on par with the likes of Samsung 980 PRO and WD Black SN850, and in some areas it even outperforms them. The best thing about the Kingston KC3000 is that it’s cheaper than its competitors. The only downside is that this SSD tends to run hot, so we strongly recommend buying an additional SSD heatsink to properly cool it.
Runner-up: Samsung 980 PRO
Capacity: Up to 2TB | Interface: M.2 PCIe 4.0 | Sequential Read: 7,000 MB/s | Sequential Write: 5,000 MB/s
- Excellent real-world performance
- Supports PCIe 4.0 interface
- Reliable technology
- 5-year warranty
- Average MTBF rating
Samsung is known for making high-quality SSDs, and 980 Pro is no exception in that sense. In fact, this refined variant of the original 980 is probably one of the best SSDs currently available on the market. Featuring Samsung’s highly advanced Elpis 8nm controller, this drive can deliver read and write speeds of up to 7/5 Gbps via PCIe 4.0 interface. As such, the Samsung 980 PRO is an amazing high-end SSD, perfectly suited both for mainstream users, as well as for professionals and content creators.
Best SATA SSD: Samsung 870 QVO
Capacity: Up to 8TB | Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s | Sequential Read: 560 MB/s | Sequential Write: 530 MB/s
- Consistently strong performance
- High SSD endurance
- Affordable price
- Limited by SATA3 interface
Although limited by the SATA3 interface, the Samsung 870 QVO is a fantastic consumer SSD that is able to deliver astonishing performance, and surpass its widely beloved predecessor – the 860 EVO. Featuring improved read and write speeds, as well as good endurance, the 870 QVO is the best budget high-end storage drive around. It is available in capacities of up to 8TB, and as such it is the perfect drive for storing video games, movies, photos, music, and all other data.
Best PCI-E SSD: WD Black AN1500
Capacity: Up to 4TB | Interface: PCIe 3.0 | Sequential Read: 6,500 MB/s | Sequential Write: 4,100 MB/s
- Top-tier random read performance
- Built-in RGB lighting
- Optimized for gaming
- Software suite
- High power consumption
- Not as fast as native Gen4 drives
Although there are SSDs out there with higher sequential read and write speeds, the WD Black AN1500 can boast built-in RGB lighting, great aesthetics, and top-notch gaming performance. Compared to other SSDs, this one doesn’t require any external power or cables, since it can be plugged into a free PCIe x8 slot as an add-in-card. The AN1550 is available in capacities up to 4TB, and is specifically optimized for gaming due to its improved sequential read performance. The drive also features LED pattern effects which can be integrated with other RGB lighting ecosystems, such as ASUS Aura Sync, or Gigabyte RGB Fusion 2.0. The only major downside of this high-end SSD it it’s high power consumption.
Best High-Capacity SSD: Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus
Capacity: Up to 8TB | Interface: M.2 PCIe 4.0 | Sequential Read: 7,000 MB/s | Sequential Write: 5,500 MB/s
- 8TB of storage capacity
- High performance
- Custom copper heatsink
- 5-year warranty
- Very expensive
If you are a serious content creator or workstation professional, and you need a spacey and fast SSD to store all of your data, then Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus is a perfect match for you. This 8TB drive is industry’s highest-capacity M.2 NVMe SSD, and for a price of around $1,500 it is able to offer impressive performance. The drive features a Phison E18 controller and BGA 132 NAND flash memory. It also features an external DDR4 cache, and fully supports SMART and TRIM commands. Although it has somewhat lower endurance compared to other high-end SSDs, it is still by far the best high-capacity SSD available out there.
Best M.2 SSD for Gaming: WD Black SN850
Capacity: Up to 4TB | Interface: M.2 PCIe 4.0 | Sequential Read: 7,000 MB/s | Sequential Write: 5,300 MB/s
- Excellent sequential read performance
- Faster than Samsung 980 PRO
- Great for gaming
- Competitive pricing
- Runs hot under full load
- Above average power consumption
It took a long time for WD to enter the SSD market, but it was worth the wait. The WD Black SN850 is an excellent Gen4 gaming SSD whose performance is on par with the Samsung’s 980 PRO. Featuring Phison’s controller, as well as Kioxia’s top-tier 3D NAND flash memory, the SN850 is able to deliver very high sequential read speeds, which is perfect for gaming. Even when it comes to sequential writing performance, the WD SN850 is faster than Samsung 980 PRO. However, this SSD does come with a few downsides. First, it can get very hot under heavy loads, and second, it consumes more power in idle than its counterparts.
Budget SATA SSD for Gaming: Crucial MX500 1TB
Capacity: 1 TB | Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s | Sequential Read: 560 MB/s | Sequential Write: 510 MB/s
- One of the best SATA SSD drives
- Useful dedicated software
- Great price per gigabyte of storage
- Slower than most M.2 SSDs
If you don’t have a motherboard featuring M.2 SSD slot, or just want a simple and reliable SATA3 SSD for gaming, then Crucial MX500 is your best bet. Despite the fact that this drive features a far slower data transfer technology, it is still worth buying as a secondary storage drive for your games library. The Crucial MX500 is one of the best SATA3 SSD drives, as it’s able to deliver read speeds of up to 560 MB/s, which are just below SATA3’s maximum theoretical bandwidth limit. This drive also comes with a very useful SSD toolbox and cloning software, so it also works great for performing Windows OS and data migrations.
Best RGB SSD: Patriot Viper VPR100
Capacity: Up to 1TB | Interface: M.2 PCIe 3.0 | Sequential Read: 3,300 MB/s | Sequential Write: 2,900 MB/s
- Very good performance
- Class-leading endurance
- Attractive design
- Some lighting effects may affect performance
- May interfere with GPU on some motherboards due to heatsink thickness
Patriot Viper VPR100 is a perfect SSD for gamers who like to show-off with their custom-built gaming rigs. Not only its integrated heatspreader adds a unique aesthetic touch to its visual design, but it also keeps it cool under any workload. The LEDs featured on its casing don’t add any significant heat output, which is great given the fact that this is a high-performance SSD that tends to run hot. According to its manufacturer, some lighting settings might affect drive’s performance, but in reality, this performance impact is either negligible or non-existing. Overall, the Viper VPR100 is a fine SSD drive that is going to be the most appealing to the lovers of RGB-lit gaming rigs.
Best Budget M.2 SSD: WD Blue SN550
Capacity: Up to 2TB | Interface: M.2 PCIe 3.0 | Sequential Read: 2.600 MB/s | Sequential Write: 1,800 MB/s
- Excellent price
- Outstanding endurance
- Low power consumption
- 5-year warranty
- Small SLC cache
- Slower than some other M.2 SSDs
The WD Blue SN550 is one of the cheapest, yet most reliable solid-state drives currently available on the market. Available in capacities of up to 2 TB, this slim and compact drive is able to offer decent performance, alongside with low power consumption. Great thing about this drive is that it comes with 5-year warranty, and it features great endurance. However, its low price comes with certain costs. The SN550 features rather small SLC cache, and is slower compared to some other SSDs from the same price segment. Overall, if you need a reliable and affordable SSD, the WD Blue SN550 is one of the best around.
Best Budget SATA SSD: Kingston A400 480GB
Capacity: 480GB | Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s | Sequential Read: 500 MB/s | Sequential Write: 450 MB/s
- Extremely cheap
- Available in capacities of up to 1.92 TB
- Great as a replacement drive
- Mediocre performance
- Endurance could be better
Kingston A400 480GB solid-state drive is not the fastest SATA3 SSD out there, nor is the most endurable one, but by far it is the cheapest. Although it’s available in capacities of up to 1.92TB, we particularly like this 480GB model, as it costs less than $50. Despite its low price, the A400 is able to offer very fast data transfer speeds, and can serve as a secondary drive for applications, or as a replacement hard drive. Overall, the Kingston A400 is significantly better than any other mechanical hard drive. It’s not the best, but it gets the job done.
Solid-state drives come in different shapes and sizes. Some of them are better for gaming and productivity, while some of them can be used either for storing applications or performing data migration procedures. If you plan to use your SSD as a primary storage device, then go with high-end M.2 drives. If, however, all you need is something to store apps or movies, than SATA3 drives will suffice. We hope our buying guide helped you in search of the information you were looking for. If you still feel confused, and need advice about buying, feel free to post comment below. We will try to help you.