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Best SSDs 2019: From Budget SATA to Blazing NVMe

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A slow storage drive is a huge bottleneck, making your processor sit there twiddling its clock cycles, waiting for data to load. To speed up your reads and writes, you need a fast solid-state drive (SSD). That's why we thoroughly test more than 50 drives a year and highlight the top models on this page.

Quick Shopping Tips

When choosing an SSD, consider the following:

  • Pick a compatible interface (M.2 PCIe, SATA, Add-in Card): Look at your user manual or a database like the Crucial Memory Finder to determine what types of SSD your computer supports.
  • 256GB to 512GB: Don't bother getting an SSD smaller than 256GB. For most users, 512GB provides a good balance between price and capacity.But 1TB drives are getting significantly cheaper and 2TB drives are now affordable.
  • SATA is slowest: SATA isn't as fast as M.2 PCIe or a PCIe add-in card, but the majority of laptops and desktops can take 2.5-inch SATA drives and many doing typical mainstream tasks users won't notice the difference between a good recent SATA drive and a faster PCIe model anyway.

For even more information, check out our SSD Buyer's Guide. Or if you're looking for an external SSD, you can check out our Best External Hard Drives and SSD page, or learn how to (possibly) save some money by building your own external SSD. Below, you'll find our recommendations for drives with all three major interfaces, in capacities ranging from 256GB to 2TB.

Black Friday SSDs: What to Look For

With the holiday shopping season upon us, there are plenty of Black Friday tech deals on SSDs with more arriving every day. We have a complete article on how to find the best SSD deals, but in short, you should look for high-speed, 1TB drives under $130 and budget 1TB drives under $85. Any high-quality, 2TB drive that costs less than $175 is good bargain as well. 

Best Solid-State Drives 2019

Best Overall / Best M.2 SSD

Adata XPG SX8200 Pro (960GB)

Adata XPG SX8200 Pro (1TB)

Best Overall / Best M.2 SSD

Capacities: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB | Form Factor: M.2 2280 Double-sided | Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3 | Sequential Reads/Writes: 3,500 MBps / 3,000 MBps | Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / 640 TBW

Class-leading performance
Class-leading power efficiency
Black PCB w/ stylish DIY heat spreader
SSD Toolbox and cloning software included
Same endurance as the non-Pro model

Adata’s XPG SX8200 Pro is the best 1TB class SSD for the money. With high-performance that rivals Samsung’s 970 EVO Plus and PRO SSDs, it is a Pro class drive through and through. It boasts best-in-class power efficiency with very respectable endurance and has a price that won’t break the bank. Not only that, but Adata also includes a DIY black, metal heat spreader to make your XPG SX8200 Pro even “cooler” when you install it.

Read Review: Adata XPG SX8200 Pro

Best Performance / Best Add-in Card

Intel Optane SSD 905P (1TB)

Intel Optane SSD 905P (1TB)

Best Performance / Best Add-in Card

Capacities: 380GB, 480GB, 960TB, 1.5TB | Form Factor: Half-Height, Half Length / U.2 15mm / M.2 22110 | Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3 | Sequential Reads/Writes: 2,600 MBps / 2,200 MBps | Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / Up to 27.37 TBW

Leading random read performance
Exceptional mixed workload performance
Endurance up to 27.37 PBW
AES 256bit encryption support
LEDs to light up your PC
SSD Toolbox included
Won’t work in laptops
No GUI LED control
Extremely high cost per GB
Lower sequential performance than NAND based SSDs
High power consumption

When looking for the best SSD, and we mean the absolute best and money is no object, look no further than to Intel’s Optane SSD 905P.  This SSD features Intel’s latest 3D XPoint memory, it breaks free from many of the drawbacks of NAND and offers the best responsiveness out of any storage device we have tested to date. And, those needing a plethora of endurance will find the 905P to be a device sent from the gods. With its endurance rating of over 17 petabytes at the 960GB capacity, or over 27PBW at the 1.5TB capacity, you’ll be sure to upgrade it years before it ever exhausts. Need the best? Don’t look at the rest, get the Intel Optane SSD 905P.

Read Review: Intel Optane SSD 905P

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M.2 PCIe NVMe Drives

These small, rectangular drives look like sticks of RAM, only smaller. They are usually 80mm long by 22mm wide, which is described as size 2280, but some may be shorter or longer so make sure you get one that matches your slot. You can get M.2 drives that support SATA, but most modern desktops and laptops with M.2 slots support the faster PCIe NVMe standard.

Best 1TB (or Larger) M.2 SSD

Samsung 970 PRO (1TB)

Samsung 970 PRO (1TB)

Best 1TB (or Larger) M.2 SSD

Capacities: 512GB, 1TB | Form Factor: M.2 2280 Single-sided | Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 3.1 x4 / NVMe 1.3 | Sequential Reads/Writes: 3,500 MBps / 2,700 MBps | Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / 1,200 TBW

Excellent endurance
Class-leading performance
SSD Toolbox and cloning software included
Full Disk Encryption
Expensive
Limited capacity range (512GB, 1TB)

TLC NAND based SSDs have flooded the market and have gotten even better than ever. But, even so, the performance of MLC NAND is just a step above. Want the best performing 1TB class M.2 NVMe SSD along with some of the best endurance in the market? Packed with Samsung’s 64L MLC V-NAND, the 970 PRO is an absolute beast that is capable of delivering consistent performance of up to 3.5/2.7GBps read/write. This performance does come at a cost, however, typically twice as much as competing products.

Read Review: Samsung 970 Pro SSD

Best 1TB (or Larger) Value M.2 SSD

Silicon Power P34A80 (1TB)

Best 1TB (or Larger) Value M.2 SSD

Capacities: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB | Form Factor: M.2 2280 Double-sided | Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 3.1 x4 / NVMe 1.3 | Sequential Reads/Writes: 3,400 MBps / 3,000 MBps | Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / 500 TBW

Speedy performance
Competitive prices
No software toolbox support at the time of writing
Lower endurance than the competition

Silicon Power’s P34A80 features a familiar pairing of Phison’s E12 NVMe controller with Toshiba’s BiCS3 64L TLC NAND flash. Its performance won’t break any records, but it’s still very fast. And at just $0.11 per gigabyte (for the 1TB model we tested), paired with a 5-year warranty, this TLC drive is easy to recommend over similarly priced QLC competition. Its rated endurance isn’t as high as competing drives, and it’s not pretty, but this drive screams value without compromising performance.

Read Review: Silicon Power P34A80 SSD

Best 512GB M.2 SSD

MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro (512GB)

MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro (512GB)

Best 512GB M.2 SSD

Capacities: 240GB, 480GB, 960GB, 1.92TB | Form Factor: M.2 2280 Single-sided (240GB/480GB) Double-sided (960GB/1.92TB) | Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 3.1 x4 / NVMe 1.3 | Sequential Reads/Writes: 3,400 MBps / 2,100 MBps | Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / 800 TBW

Competitive pricing
Great sequential performance
Class leading endurance ratings
Good power efficiency
AES-256, TCG Opal and Pyrite encryption support
Slightly lower than average application performance
No software included

Need high performance, but even more endurance than the average Joe? The MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro is the SSD to get in the 512GB class. With speeds of speeds of up to 3,400 MB/s read and 2,100 MB/s write and an endurance rating of up to 800 TBW, overall, MyDigitalSSD’s BPX Pro delivers an impressive performance to endurance ratio that content creators just can’t ignore.

Priced to sell and backed by a 5-year warranty, the BPX Pro is one of the best value SSDs we’ve tested yet and surely won’t disappoint.

Read Review: MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro NVMe SSD

Best 250GB M.2 SSD

WD Blue SN500 (500GB)

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

WD Blue SN500 (250GB)

Best 250GB M.2 SSD

Capacities: 250GB, 500GB | Form Factor: M.2 2280 Single-sided | Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 3.1 x4 / NVMe 1.3 | Sequential Reads/Writes: 1,700 MBps / 1,300 MBps | Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / 150 TBW

Solid Performance
Good bundled software
Power efficient under load
No software included
Poor background activity management
Low performance during heavy write workloads
Low endurance compared to MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro

If you are looking for a cheap, but large enough NVMe boot drive to hold all your apps, the WD Blue SN500 is  an excellent choice. Based on the WD's custom controller and 64L Micron 3D TLC NAND, it offers up some very snappy performance, delivering over 1.7 GBps sequential reads and 1.3 GBps sequential writes. 

Gamers who don't need to install many titles will appreciate the SN500. The affordable drive loaded a Final Fantasy XIV scene in just 20.76 seconds, which is noticeably faster than most of its competitors  and 44 percent ahead of a hard drive. 

When it comes to power consumption, the WD Blue SN500 is highly efficient, besting all of its competitors for MBps per watt. However, it draws a bit more power than some others when idle. 

Read Review: WD Blue SN500

Best RGB M.2 SSD

Gigabyte Aorus RGB

Gigabyte Aorus RGB

Best RGB M.2 SSD

Capacities: 256GB, 512GB | Form Factor: M.2 2280 Double-sided w/heatsink | Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3 | Sequential Reads/Writes: 3,480 MBps / 2,000 MBps | Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / 800 TBW

Stylish heatsink with RGB lighting effects &amp
black PCB
Solid performance
High endurance
AES-256, TCG Opal and Pyrite encryption support
RGB Fusion has limited compatibility
Limited capacities

Even if your data isn't enlightening, the device which holds them can be. The Gigabyte Aorus RGB packs a slew of style into its tiny M.2 form factor. Its shiny aluminum heat sink is adorned with Aorus's sleek falcon logo, which provides a gorgeous, customizable light show.

Aesthetics aside, the Aorus RGB also got enough performance and endurance for any task. Powered by Phison’s latest E12 NVMe controller, it can deliver speeds of up to nearly 3.5/2GB/s read/write and can withstand up to 800TB of writes. Its only drawback is that it must be paired with an Aorus motherboard for full RGB Fusion compatibility. Overall, it’s a great buy for enthusiasts and casual users alike.

Read Review: Gigabyte Aorus RGB M.2 NVMe SSD

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MORE: How To Choose A Motherboard

SATA Drives

You can get a SATA drive in the M.2 form factor, but most SATA drives are 2.5-inch models, which makes allows them to drop into the same bays that hold laptop hard drives. SATA drives are the cheapest and still the most popular.

Best Consumer SATA SSD

Samsung 860 EVO (250GB)

Best Consumer SATA SSD

Capacities: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB | Form Factor: 2.5” 7mm / M.2 2280 Double-sided | Transfer Interface/Protocol: SATA 3 / AHCI | Sequential Reads/Writes: Up to 550 MBps / 520 MBps | Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / Up to 2,400 TBW

Strong Performance
SSD Toolbox and cloning software included
Class-Leading Endurance
TCG Opal, eDrive encryption support
At the SATA performance ceiling
Write performance after TurboWrite exhausts

When it comes to SATA, Samsung’s got the best drives going. Their 860 EVO drives take the win in almost every benchmark we have thrown at them and pricing is usually very competitive. The 860 EVOs don’t offer as much endurance as the PRO models, but they come in capacities up to 4TB just the same. If you are looking for a new SATA SSD to hold your games library or just about anything, you can’t go wrong with this mainstream leader.

Read Review: Samsung 860 EVO SSD

Best Consumer SATA SSD Alternative

Crucial MX500 (2TB)

Crucial MX500 (2TB)

Best Consumer SATA SSD Alternative

Capacities: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB | Form Factor: 2.5” 7mm | Transfer Interface/Protocol: SATA 3 / AHCI | Sequential Reads/Writes: Up to 560 MBps / 510 MBps | Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / Up to 700 TBW

Mainstream performance
Competitive pricing
SSD Toolbox and cloning software included
Host power failure protection• Hardware AES-256 Encryption
TCG Opal 2.0 SED Support
Smaller capacities slightly slower than larger
The design could use a makeover

If you don’t want to dish out big bucks on something in the NVMe flavor, but still want strong performance from SATA, the MX500 is a great choice. As an alternative to the Samsung 860 EVO, it offers similar performance and has a strong history of reliability. Usually priced to sell, the MX500 is a top value at any capacity you need. 

Read Review: Crucial MX500 SSD

Best Prosumer SATA SSD

Samsung 860 PRO (1TB)

Samsung 860 PRO (1TB)

Best Prosumer SATA SSD

Capacities: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB | Form Factor: 2.5” 7mm | Transfer Interface/Protocol: SATA 3 / AHCI | Sequential Reads/Writes: 560 MBps / 530 MBps | Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / Up to 4,800 TBW

Highest SATA performance for sustained workloads
High endurance
Consistent performance
SSD Toolbox and cloning software included TCG Opal, eDrive encryption support
Extremely high cost

Restrained by the SATA interface, but still need the absolute highest endurance and performance you can get? As the pinnacle of SATA performance inside and out, Samsung’s 860 PRO is the SSD to buy.

Like the Samsung 970 PRO, the 860 PRO utilizes Samsung’s 64L MLC V-NAND, which helps to propel it to the top of the charts in our rounds of benchmarking and makes for some incredible endurance figures. You can get capacities up to 4TB and endurance figures can be as high as 4,800 TBW. But with prices that are triple that of your typical mainstream SATA SSD, the 860 PRO is mainly for businesses with deep pockets.

Read Review: Samsung 860 Pro SSD

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Add-in Card SSDs

These drives are add-on cards, just like graphics cards or sound cards, so they only work with desktops that have a spare PCIe 3.0 x4, x8 or x16 slot. However, because they are larger than other form factors, they have room for more chips and better cooling, which usually makes them the fastest drives around.

Best Low-Capacity Add-in-Card SSD

Intel Optane SSD 900P (280GB)

Intel Optane SSD 900P (280GB)

Best Low-Capacity Add-in-Card SSD

Capacities: 280GB, 480GB | Form Factor: Half-Height, Half Length / U.2 15mm | Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3 | Sequential Reads/Writes: 2,500 MBps / 2,000 MBps | Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / Up to 8.76 PBW

Leading random read performance
Exceptional mixed workload performance
Endurance up to 8.76 PBW
AES 256bit encryption support
SSD Toolbox included
Extremely high cost per GB
Lower sequential performance than NAND based SSDs
Limited capacities options
High power consumption

There aren’t many options for AICs in the consumer market as the M.2 form factor has become so popular. At a capacity of 480GB and a nearly absurd price of about $1/GB, the Intel Optane SSD 900P is your top performing option. Powered by a custom Intel NVMe controller and their 3D XPoint memory, the 900P is the one of the fastest performing SSDs out. Unlike the 905P, it comes in an AIC form factor at the 480GB capacity, not just U.2. But while its random performance is better than anything else, we’ve seen before, its sequential performance is rather underwhelming when compared to some of the fastest NAND based SSDs. As well, its power consumption is much higher than any competitor.

Read Review: Intel Optane SSD 900P

MORE: How We Test HDDs And SSDs 

MORE: Best External Hard Drives and SSDs

MORE: All SSD Content

  • abryant
    Archived comments are found here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-3711120/ssds.html
    Reply
  • LordConrad
    About the MX500... "but the 500GB looks really good at just $139.99"

    You might want to double check prices when cutting and pasting.
    Reply
  • Peter Martin
    i can get an mx500 500GB for 90 bucks on amazon, they are fantastic ssd, the larger the better, get all that you can afford
    Reply
  • dannyboy3210
    SX8200 480GB looks unbelievably expensive in the states. It goes for $150 CAD up here: https://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=179_1229_1296&item_id=123218
    Reply
  • Peter Martin
    I can get that drive for 124 at Amazon
    Reply
  • WildCard999
    I would think the Samsung 860 EVO 500gb would have grabbed the spot for best SATA as you can get it for $99 (500gb) and it's quite fast. I doubt the pro is fast enough to justify the cost over the EVO version.

    http://ssd.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Samsung-860-Evo-1TB-vs-Samsung-860-Pro-1TB/m423831vsm434505
    Reply
  • Jsimenhoff
    Thanks for bringing this to our attention. It looks like the wires got crossed on our pricing widget. We're implementing a fix. Stand by.
    Reply
  • rapidwolve
    Dannyboy3210 Actually that SX8200 is now only $130CDN @ Canada Computers
    https://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=179_1229_1296&item_id=123218
    Reply
  • Onus
    I recently ordered a 1TB 2.5" WD Blue SSD for ~$139 on a Shellshocker. Hopefully it arrives soon!
    Reply
  • WildCard999
    21394321 said:
    I recently ordered a 1TB 2.5" WD Blue SSD for ~$139 on a Shellshocker. Hopefully it arrives soon!

    Was that the M.2 or the SATA version?
    Reply