With both AMD and Intel now releasing their next-gen processor, PCIe 5.0 SSDs are set to hit the market starting in 2023, so we expect a lot of shake up in this list in the next few months, but for now, PCIe 4.0 still reigns supreme. Even with the move to PCIe 5.0, many of the best PCIe 4.0 SSDs are still going to be more than enough for the vast majority of people, even for most of the best PC games out there.
- John Loeffler, Computing Editor
Upgrade your PC's storage with the best SSD you can afford and you'll rarely regret it. As one of the four key components inside your computer, a better SSD is one of the most significant upgrades you can make to improve your PCs performance.
Other than having one of the best processors or the best graphics card, having one of the best SSDs in your PC can significantly speed up loading times for video games and resource-heavy programs, which is why even a cheap SSD is prefered by gamers and creative professionals alike over even the very best hard drives as their primary storage.
And because of their solid-state nature, SSDs are for more reliable than HDDs, which include moving parts in them that can fail much sooner and unexpectedly than a failure in an SSD. This makes them essential for businesses and organizations that are storing sensitive data to be able to access it for longer and more quickly.
Which SSDs are the best ones for your needs and budget though? Between the SATA SSDs and M.2 NVMe SSDs, there are plenty of options out there for you to choose from, and it can be hard to tell where to spend your money. Fortunately, we've put the best SSDs on the market to the test in order to help you find the right one for your needs and budget, whether you're looking for the best gaming SSD or just the best cheap SSD to give your system a bit of a boost for a modest investment.
Best SSDs 2022 - Chosen by our experts
If you can afford to spare no expense in getting a storage drive, then the Samsung 980 Pro may just be the best SSD for you. This is the fastest SSD we've ever tested, making it ideal for future-proofing your rig – especially when you get the 1TB capacity. And, while it's not the cheapest SSD on the market, it delivers that speed without substantially raising the price over its rivals. Just remember that in order to take full advantage of its speed, a Gen4 SSD is vital.
Read the full Samsung 980 Pro review
Samsung is no stranger to creating some of the best SSDs, so when it launched the Samsung 970 Evo Plus with higher speeds and new silicon, even we were surprised. The Samsung 970 Evo Plus is simply one of the fastest drives on the market, but the fact that Samsung is selling it at such a bargain price is just the icing on the cake. Because of how affordable this drive is, it’s not hard to recommend it as the best SSD for anyone.
Read the full Samsung 970 Evo Plus review
The Corsair MP400 is a gem. With low prices even for SATA SSDs, the Corsair MP400 is offering a ton of storage so you get the most for your money. But, it’s not a SATA SSD. It’s a PCIe NVMe SSD and not a slow one at that. It’s competitive in speeds with many other PCIe 3.0 SSDs and undercuts them in price. It’s lower endurance is about the only drawback, but it’s not going to be a major concern for typical users who aren’t writing tons of data.
Read the full Corsair MP400 review
The SK Hynix Gold P31 is a fantastic drive, especially at its recently reduced price. It offers incredible speeds on the PCIe 3.0 interface, even coming close to some of the PCIe 4.0-based drives we’ve tested. But therein lies the only major drawback, much faster drives are now hitting the market. There are many cases where the P31 will be a great pick, but where there’s an empty PCIe 4.0 slot, it’ll make more sense to go with a faster drive.
Read the full SK Hynix Gold P31 review
Though only a PCIe 3.0 model and a far cry from Samsung’s 980 Pro, the Samsung 980 is a strong and highly-capable drive that gives you a pretty good price, especially for 1TB of storage. It delivers read and write speeds of up to 3,500 MB/s and up to 3,000 MB/s, and keeps things stealthy and classy with its all-black look. If you’re looking to fill a PCIe 4.0 slot, then you might want to look elsewhere. Otherwise, you’re getting good value in this drive.
Read the full Samsung 980 review
The Silicon Power US70 brings the price of PCIe 4.0 SSDs down to a more easy-to-stomach level. It’s pleasantly fast for a value-oriented drive, and has serious endurance, but it has some competition that can undercut it in price while jumping ahead in speed. It doesn’t help that it’s also on a strange, blue PCB that won’t blend well with many motherboards.
Read the full Silicon Power US70 review
People might not be going crazy about SATA 3 anymore, but the Samsung 860 Pro proves that there’s still plenty of life in the aging interface after all. With storage up to 4TB and transfer speeds that approach the theoretical maximum of the SATA 3 interface – not to mention top-of the-line reliability and security – the Samsung 860 Pro is among the best SSDs for anyone still clinging to SATA 3.
Read the full Samsung 860 Pro review
The Corsair MP600 Pro LPX blazes out of the gate with some of the fastest performance we’ve seen from a consumer SSD. In sequential benchmarks, it blows out the Samsung 980 Pro and WD Black SN850. It’s not leading the crowd for random operations, but it’s not lagging far behind. The fact that this drive is delivering so much performance while maintaining a reasonable 16-cents-per-gigabyte value and even includes its own low-profile cooler that’s ready for PS5 just makes this drive that much harder to beat. The real kicker is that Corsair offers variants with bigger heatsinks that cost just a little bit less.
Read the full Corsair MP600 Pro LPX review
How to choose the best SSD for you
It’s important to check if your setup is properly equipped to handle an SSD. Otherwise you might not be able to use it to its full potential. If you only have a SATA III port available, it’s capable of running a solid state drive, but it’s at a bit of a disadvantage to you. Running an SSD through a SATA III port actually creates a bottleneck effect and holds the drive back from its full performance.
You’ll want to check if you have a free PCIe connection that slots into the motherboard, letting the solid state drive reach its full performance power. If you have those slots occupied by graphics cards or sound cards, though, you may not want to free up space for an SSD.
Some motherboards now also come with additional M.2 ports for SSDs, but if yours doesn’t, you might want to consider one of the best hard drives to get extra storage.
What’s the difference between an SSD and a hard drive?
When it comes to the debate of SSD vs HDD it’s important to know they both have the same function - storage for files on your computer or laptop. SSDs have shown us the future of storage technology because, unlike a traditional hard drive, solid state drives run on NAND (Negative-AND) flash memory and can still have similar storage capacities compared to HDDs.
One prime difference between SSDs and HDDs is the price, as you can find hard drives that have more storage capacity for a lower price. However, if you’re looking for a storage drive with lightning fast speeds, getting an SSD is the way to go, as their tech and performance can’t really compare with traditional hard drives. There’s a time and place for both hard drives and solid state drives, but if you really want to upgrade your PC’s performance, an SSD is the best option.