Selecting an SSD according to your needs

Drives like the Adata Falcon M.2 and Intel 665p are replacing the common SATA SSDs that were originally designed for hard drives. As a result, this interface may disappear from the scene in the not too distant future. In the meantime, manufacturers continue to release SATA-based drives, such as Team Group’s 15.3 TB SSD. Existing SATA drives will continue to get cheaper to buy if only for the sake of low cost. In terms of performance, they cannot compete with NVMe-based drives.

Very fast PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSDs are proliferating. Their popularity may be even higher after Intel joined PCIe 4.0 support in its Z590 chipset and 11th generation Rocket Lake processors. These drives dramatically increase sequential read and write speeds by doubling the bandwidth of the PCIe bus. This is the best choice for those who want to get the highest possible speed. For example, Samsung 980 Pro supports read and write speeds of 7000 Mb/s and 5000 Mb/s, respectively, and drives based on the second generation Phison controller promise to raise these values ​​to 7400/7000 Mb/s.

To use these speeds today, you need a motherboard based on Z590 chipsets for Intel processors or B550 and X570 for AMD processors.

The best solid state drives for gaming

If the user mainly plays, then the following models should be preferred.


Samsung 970 PRO Series MZ-V7P512BW

Rating 2021:5.0

  • capacity 512 GB
  • for laptop and desktop
  • form factor: 2280
  • PCI-E interface
  • M.2 connector

Average price: 12 005 rubles

This series is suitable not only for a PC, but also for a full-fledged workstation that works with maximum loads. This drive has the latest Phoenix controller, which has already become the hallmark of a well-known manufacturer. 970 PRO fully meets the requirements of avid gamers and IT professionals. The drive reads at 3500MB/s and writes at 2700MB/s. This is 30% higher than less than new drives.


ADATA XPG Gaming s11 960GB

Rating 2021:4.9

  • capacity 960 GB
  • for laptop and desktop
  • form factor: 2280
  • PCI-E interface
  • M.2 connector

Average price: 13,000 rubles

This is a fashion model that combines a relatively low price, performance, uninterrupted operation and reliability. Although users note that it was possible to install a more modern controller in the drive, and not SM2262G, this does not greatly affect the quality of the game disc. A decrease in the speed of work occurs only if the drive is subjected to extremely high loads.

These are the main storage drives that deserve attention. The undisputed leader is Samsung, but more budgetary and high-quality models, for example from Kingston, are on its heels.

Selection Tips

Choose compatible interface (M.2 PCIe, SATA, expansion card). Read user manuals or look in databases like the Crucial Memory Finder to find out what type of SSD your computer motherboard supports.

Volume from 512 GB to 1 TB. It makes no sense to buy an SSD with a capacity of less than 256 GB. 256 GB is a good compromise between price and capacity. Recently, 1 TB SSDs have noticeably fallen in price, 2 TB are now also cheaper than before.

SATA interface is the slowest. SATA cannot match the speed of M.2 PCIe and PCIe, but most desktops and many laptops use 2.5″ SATA drives. Many unpretentious users will not notice much difference between them and faster drives.

Which SSD drive is better to buy

All the best external SSD drives of 2021 presented in the ranking have both strengths and minor flaws. Thanks to real reviews, test results, the process of choosing what to buy for a laptop or personal computer has been greatly simplified. Based on the results of the comparative analysis, the following proposals were identified:

  • Best value for money — Gigabyte GP-GSTFS31240GNTD;
  • The fastest hard drive is the Corsair Force Series MP600 1TB;
  • Modern technologies, stable performance — Intel SSDPED1D280GAX1;
  • Best Budget Deal 2021 — Crucial CT480BX500SSD1;
  • People’s choice, the most sought-after brand is Kingston SUV500/240G.

In order not to make a mistake with the choice, they pay attention to the brand’s reputation, the key evaluation criteria described earlier, reviews of specialists and users, and a list of supported useful technologies. They are also selected taking into account their own goals, the features of the device to which the purchased product will be connected.

The best SSDs to buy right now

Best Overall/Best M.2 SSD: Samsung 980 Pro

Volume: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB | Form factor: M.2 2280 single-sided | Interface/transmission protocol: PCIe 4.0 x4/NVMe 1.3c | Sequential Read/Write: 7000 Mb/s / 5000 Mb/s | Warranty/Lifetime: 5 years/up to 1200 TBW


  • Unrivaled PCIe Gen4 performance.
  • AES 256 bit encryption.
  • Black printed circuit board.
  • Software.
  • Warranty 5 years.


  • Average durability rating.
  • Price.

If you’re looking for the best SSD possible, this is the Samsung 980 PRO. Samsung is using its Elpis 8nm PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe SSD controller with its fastest V-NAND memory to get the fastest possible speed yet.

The Samsung 980 Pro delivers up to 7/5Gb/s throughput and supports up to 1M random block reads and writes, making it the most responsive SSD we’ve tested. It has all the functionality of the flagship NVMe SSD, so it’s the best option for the most demanding users.

Prices for Yandex.Market

Samsung 980 Pro

Best Alternative M.2 SSD: WD Black SN850

Volume: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB | Form factor: M.2 2280 single-sided | Interface/transmission protocol: PCIe 4.0 x4/NVMe 1.4 | Sequential Read/Write: 7000 Mb/s / 5300 Mb/s | Warranty/Lifetime: 5 years/up to 1200 TBW


  • Competitive performance.
  • Large dynamic SLC cache.
  • Black printed circuit board.
  • Software.
  • Warranty 5 years.


  • Gets hot under heavy load.
  • High idle power consumption.
  • Does not support AES 256 bit encryption algorithm.

The Samsung 980 Pro is an excellent choice for a PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe drive due to its high random block speed, stable write rate, and high efficiency, but the WD Black SN850 model is also quite good. Depending on the price in the store, any of these SSDs would be a great buy for a gaming PC or workstation.

SSD rating

Almost every company presented in the review offers a large selection of SSD drives. To determine the best nominees, the experts studied numerous user reviews, opinions of experts and masters of computer technology. The comparative analysis was also based on the following criteria, how to choose an SSD drive for a laptop or PC:

  • Type — SLC single-level, TLC three-level, MLC multi-level;
  • Volume — storage capacity;
  • Form factor — dimensions in inches;
  • Speed ​​- write, read, random write operations per second;
  • Connection method — SATA3 (6 Gb / s) or others;
  • Resource — the largest number of rewriting cycles;
  • Service life — depends on the amount of unused space.

Reviews helped to identify the advantages, disadvantages and other important information about each product. Several dozen devices with the highest level of demand were under consideration. As a result, the 2021 rating collected 12 best offers for a laptop, for a personal computer with a harmonious price-quality ratio.

The best CPU coolers

The best CPU coolers

M.2 PCIe NVMe drives

These small rectangular drives are similar to sticks of RAM, only smaller. Usually they have a length of 80 mm, a width of 22 mm. The size is described as 2280. Some may be shorter or longer, you need to pay attention to this when buying. You can find similar drives with SATA interface support, but most modern computers and laptops with M.2 slots support the faster PCIe NVMe standard.

Best Value PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD: Adata XPG Gammix S50 Lite

Volume: 1TB, 2TB | Form factor: M.2 2280 double-sided | Interface/transmission protocol: PCIe 4.0 x4/NVMe 1.4 | Sequential Read/Write: 3900 Mbps / 3200 Mbps | Warranty/Lifetime: 5 years/up to 1480 TBW


  • competitive performance.
  • Attractive appearance.
  • Affordable prices.
  • Large dynamic write cache.
  • Full disk encryption with AES 256-bit algorithm.
  • Warranty 5 years.


  • Slow write speed outside of cache.

The Adata XPG SX8200 Pro has been the best SSD in its price range for some time now, but it has been overtaken by the Adata XPG Gammix S50. The speed here is slightly slower than some competitors on PCIe Gen4, but surpasses PCIe Gen3 SSDs, as well as more extensive functionality. At the same time, you get a stylish look with a brushed aluminum heatsink and more durability compared to the Samsung 980 Pro.

Prices for Yandex.Market

Adata XPG Gammix S50 Lite

Best M.2 SSD for laptops: SK Hynix Gold P31

Volume: 500 GB, 1 TB | Form factor: M.2 2280 single-sided | Interface/transmission protocol: PCIe 3.0 x4/NVMe 1.3 | Sequential Read/Write: 3500 Mbps / 3200 Mbps | Warranty/Lifetime: 5 years/up to 750 TBW


  • Top notch performance.
  • AES 256 bit encryption.


  • The maximum capacity is 1 TB.

SK hynix Gold P31 boasts of being the first retail SSD based on 128L NAND flash. It has reached the maximum storage density at the moment, and the low price makes this drive even more interesting.

This drive is well suited for laptop storage expansion. It increases not only disk space, but also increases autonomy. The Adata SX8200 Pro looks good against the background of the Gold P31 in benchmarks, but the latter’s energy efficiency is much better. Adata is suitable for desktops and SK hynix for laptops. The Gold P31’s faster write speed and power efficiency make it suitable for any type of device.


Top manufacturer makes really cool stuff. SSD drives of this brand have always been of high quality. And it cannot be otherwise when a company creates drives based on modern developments.

KINGSTON SSD drive SKC1000/240G

What is good Kingston products:

  1. Most models work on TLC type memory, due to which they are distinguished by high speeds when reading and writing information.
  2. The warranty period from the manufacturer is 5 years, and this is with the established limits for the total amount of recorded data up to 1 PB.
  3. Price, quality and performance are perfectly balanced. The level of technical capability of the drive is higher than the needs of most ordinary users, which means that the owner has a margin: when upgrading a computer, it will not be necessary to change the drive.


  • The lineup does not stand out for its ultra-modern design, and this is a minus for lovers of computer aesthetics, peeping at the components through the window of the case. But this had a positive effect on the cost of solid state.
  • The power consumption of most devices is higher than that of competitors.

SATA drives

You can buy a SATA drive in the M.2 form factor, but most of them are 2.5-inch. This allows drives to be placed in the same bay as hard drives. SATA drives are cheaper and therefore remain the most popular today.

Best SATA SSD for Consumers: Samsung 870 EVO

Volume: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB | Form factor: 2.5″ 7mm | Interface/Transmission Protocol: SATA 6Gb/s / AHCI | Sequential Read/Write: up to 560 Mbps / 530 Mbps | Warranty/Lifetime: 5 years/up to 2400 TBW


  • Reliable and responsive architecture.
  • Attractive appearance.
  • AES 256 bit encryption.
  • Volume up to 4 TB.
  • Warranty 5 years.
  • Software.


Samsung still makes the best SATA SSDs out there. This drive is not inferior to its predecessors in terms of performance, energy efficiency and functionality. Durability is not comparable to the Pro models, but for most users, this is enough. Whether you’re a gamer or not, the capacity of up to 4 TB will come in handy for any computer owner. It is unlikely that you will find a SATA drive better than this.

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Samsung 870 EVO

Best Alternative SATA SSD: Crucial MX500

Volume: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB | Form factor: 2.5 inch 7mm | Interface/Transmission Protocol: SATA 3/AHCI | Sequential Read/Write: up to 560 Mbps / 510 Mbps | Warranty/Lifetime: 5 years/up to 700 TBW


  • Sufficiently high performance.
  • Price.
  • Installation tools and cloning software.
  • Power failure protection.
  • AES-256 hardware encryption.
  • TCG Opal 2.0 SED support.


  • The speed of smaller drives is slightly lower.
  • The design could be better.

If you don’t want to spend big bucks but want decent performance from a SATA interface, the MX500 is a good option. As an alternative to the Samsung 860 EVO, it offers similar performance and proven reliability. MX500 of any size will be an excellent choice for the price.

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Crucial MX500

Best SATA SSD for Demanding Users: Samsung 860 Pro

Volume: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB | Form factor: 2.5 inch 7 mm | Interface/Transmission Protocol: SATA 3/AHCI | Sequential Read/Write: 560 Mbps / 530 Mbps | Warranty/Lifetime: 5 years/up to 4800 TBW


Not without reason, the manufacturer is considered the market leader in solid state drives. The 960 EVO and 960 Pro models, which were sensational at the time, were proof of this. But it didn’t end there either: the company again pleasantly surprised consumers. This time, the surprise was the improved lineup of NVMe drives. Popular models were replaced by 970 PRO and 970 EVO.

Why the brand was included in the rating:

  • The new SSDs are based on MLC 3D V-NAND and TLC 3D V-NAND memory, which are characterized by the use of multi-level cells. TLC is a subspecies of MLC. A classic MLC cell stores 2 bits of information, and in the case of a subspecies, 3 bits. It is worth noting that the first option is faster and lasts longer by 20-30 percent, as well as a slightly more energy efficient subspecies, but more expensive. The company made sure that everyone could choose a model according to their needs and financial capabilities.

Note: You can find TLC not only in Samsung models, but also in the drive from ApACER.

SAMSUNG 970 PRO and 970 EVO Solid State Drives

  • A feature of the new devices is the replacement of the flash memory version with a 64-layer one. But this is not the only icing on the cake.
  • The new base controller is Phoenix (the chip is used in the new generation Evo and Pro versions), which, in fact, is an improved Polaris with an increased core frequency. This made it possible to significantly improve performance.
  • The number of hours between failures, as well as the warranty period of Samsung, increases every year, which adds to the attractiveness of the drives.

SSD expansion cards

There are drives that are installed in a computer like a video card or sound card. They need a PCIe 3.0 x4, x8, x16 slot. Since they are larger than other form factors, they fit more chips and better cooling, due to which the speed is also maximum.

Best Add-on Card Performance: Intel Optane SSD 905P

Volume: 380GB, 480GB, 960GB, 1.5TB | Form factor: half height, half length/U.2 15 mm/M.2 22110 | Interface/transmission protocol: PCIe 3.0 x4/NVMe 1.3 | Sequential Read/Write: 2600 Mbps / 2200 Mbps | Warranty/Lifetime: 5 years/up to 27.37 TBW


  • Better read speed of random blocks of data.
  • Better performance under mixed loads.
  • Average durability up to 27.37 PBW.
  • Support for AES 256 bit encryption.
  • LEDs.
  • Drive installation tools.


  • Doesn’t work on laptops.
  • No backlight control.
  • High cost per gigabyte.
  • Sequential performance is lower compared to NAND SSD.
  • High power consumption.

If you’re looking for the best SSD without looking at the price, take the Intel Optane SSD 905P. Because it uses the latest generation of Intel 3D XPoint memory, this drive eliminates many of the disadvantages of NAND and offers the best responsiveness of any storage device. If you need high durability, this drive is also suitable.

The average runtime on a 960 GB drive is over 17 petabytes, on the 1.5 TB model it is over 27 petabytes. It will take many years before the resource of such a drive is exhausted. Unfortunately, Intel has stopped development of Optane drives for personal computers, so there will be no new models. This means that you need to hurry with the purchase of existing copies.

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Best RGB Expansion Card SSD: WD Black AN1500

Volume: 1TB, 2TB, 4TB | Form factor: half height, half length | Interface/transmission protocol: PCIe 3.0 x8/NVMe 1.3 | Sequential Read/Write: 6400 Mbps / 4100 Mbps | Warranty/Lifetime: 5 years / unknown


  • Attractive appearance.
  • competitive performance.
  • Warranty 5 years.
  • Software.


  • The speed is slower than true Gen4 drives.
  • For full performance, you need to take 8 PCIe lanes.
  • Energy consumption.
  • Heat.
  • Price.

Which brand SSD drive is better to choose

The first criterion by which you can choose a purchase is the reputation, reliability of the manufacturer. The production of such drives is a complex process, and there are actually not many companies involved in this. Along with high quality, gradually decreasing prices and a growing assortment offer:

  • Transcend is a Taiwanese company incorporated in 1988. Today, 14 of its offices are located in different countries of the world. In the assortment you can see solid state drives, RAM modules, hard drives, digital format players and much more.
  • Samsung is a South Korean brand known all over the world. Founded in 1938. It supplies the world market with high-tech components, household and digital appliances, integrated circuits, telecommunications equipment, audio-video devices, and gadgets.
  • ADATA is a Taiwanese company founded in 2001. Conducts narrow-profile activities, offering customers drives and memory modules for personal computers, laptops. Competitiveness is ensured by innovation, high professionalism, and a growing rating in the world market.
  • Kingston is a private international corporation founded in America in 1987. The most demanded products from the range are flash memory and other related components. Now the company controls approximately 50% of this market segment.
  • smartbuy is a Russian company that has been providing more than 3,000 items of goods since 2000. These are wiring accessories, LEDs, computer, mobile accessories, SSD, HDD. In Russia and neighboring countries, it is a recognized leader in its segment.
  • Gigabyte Technology is a Taiwanese company founded in 1986. Engaged in the development, sales of computer equipment, in particular, motherboards, video cards. Achieves success through the use of the latest technologies, strict certification standards.
  • Plextor is a Taiwanese brand founded in 1985. Recognized leader in digital storage devices, high quality solid state drives. Most of the products are aimed at corporate clients, professionals, and goods are also sold to ordinary users.
  • Intel is an American brand dealing with electronic systems, computer components, system logic sets since 1968. Production is a standard of quality, reliability. Almost all countries of the world are familiar with this name.
  • Patriot Memory is an American company that has been manufacturing mobile accessories and computer components since 1985. It is a division of PDP Systems. Computer enthusiasts will be able to maximize the possibilities by using overclocker memory from such a manufacturer.
  • Corsair Components Inc. — American manufacturer of computer peripherals, gaming equipment since 1994. The products have been awarded in various competitions. The modern portfolio offers several thousand items of goods, the list is constantly expanding.
  • western digital is an American company founded in 1970. It became popular thanks to its external, internal hard drives for PCs. Production facilities, divisions are located in many countries of the world.
  • Crucial is an American company that is a subsidiary of Micron. Founded in 1978. Today it is the largest supplier of new technologies, the leader in the number of patents. Solid-state devices, integrated memory drives SSD, DRAM and Flash brought great success to the company.


The world-famous brand has repeatedly presented cool SSDs, but the company is growing and developing, and therefore does not stop pleasantly surprising. Which earned it a place in the top selection. One of the nice innovations is the NVMe architecture, which provides a noticeable increase in speed performance. This is used in the 110S NVMe drive.

M2 form factor — allows you to expand the possibilities of using the device, because such a drive is quite suitable for ultra-thin laptops, and there will be no problems with installation in most «fresh» motherboards in desktop solutions. The cost of NVMe “scared away” many who wanted to purchase such devices, but, fortunately, the situation has changed for the better.

Key features of most TRANSCEND drives
memory chip Micron 64-layer 256-Gbps TLC 3D NAND
Controller SMI SM2263XT
Information reading speed 1600 mb/s
File write speed 400 mb/s
Engine MTBF about half a million hours
Guarantee period 5 years

On the subject: 9 main criteria for choosing a good SSD


It would be impolite to leave such monsters as AMD unattended, especially after they provided the consumer with a mega-class solid state drive at an affordable price, given its characteristics.

The AMD Radeon R3 SSD is a line of drives that has already been called one of the most popular. Various volume options are available — up to 960 GB. Disks of this brand can be the best solution for optimizing the performance of a computer or laptop. That’s why the manufacturer is in the top selection.

Line features
Type of NAND memory TLC manufactured by SK Hynix
Interface SATA Revision 3.1 with a maximum throughput of 6 Gb/s
Controller Silicon Motion
File reading speed up to 520 mb/s
Recording speed up to 470 mb/s
Supported protocols LBA48, SMART, NCQ, TRIM, DEVSLP

Note: support by disks of the above protocols allows you to correctly spend resources, control the state of a solid-state device and maintain maximum performance throughout the entire period of operation.

Healthy: How to Check SSD Drive Status in Windows and Mac — 10 Monitoring Software

All manufacturers included in this rating produce cool solid state drives. Their SSDs are undeniably fast, reliable, and last a long time. Each company can find an option even for a full-fledged system unit, even for a thin laptop. And the user will have to determine the best brand from the top, because here you need to take into account what the PC configuration requires, and personal preferences will also play a role.

SSD and power consumption: how important is it?

You’ve probably heard more than once that SSDs are less power hungry because they don’t have moving parts like traditional platter hard drives. At the same time, desktop PC owners who want to achieve maximum performance are unlikely to put the power consumption parameter in the rank of significant moments.

This characteristic is really important for owners of ultrabooks, as it directly affects the final autonomy of a compact computer. Some SSDs can consume more than 1 watt of power in idle mode, while more efficient ones can consume only milliwatts. In addition, in addition to information about average power consumption, such a characteristic as performance per watt is important, which allows you to evaluate the “gluttony” of a drive under load. If battery life is a key consideration when buying a drive, be sure to check out the power consumption tests of your chosen device so you know what to expect and make the right decision.


M.2 format NVMe drives, presented by the manufacturer in a fresh line called 760p, may well claim the title of «folk». Versatility, compactness, a wide choice of available volumes and more than adequate price tags will not let the consumer pass by. For this, Intel got into the ranking of the best companies producing solid-state drives.

The company’s SSD drives, even with a small amount of space — 128 GB, have a TBW of 72 TB. The maximum speed at which drives read information can be 3230 MB / s, and during the same time they can write 1635 megabits.

If we talk about options for mass use, then we could stop here, it would not be fair to keep silent about the new Intel Optane 920P series. This is a real «workhorse», which is simply made for serious workloads.

solid state drive INTEL SSDSCKW480H6X1 948580

Yes, this model cannot be called compact, which significantly narrows the scope. But performance indicators, stable operation and a 5-year warranty period, which speaks of the reliability of the product, justifies this shortcoming. For desktop solutions when performing professional tasks, such an NVMe SSD drive is almost ideal. It reads and writes data quickly (2500 and 2000 Mb/s respectively) and has a MTBF of over 1.5 million hours. If such a monster is not needed, you should look at simpler options like SSDSCKKW480H6X1 948580.