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The best SSDs for 2020

Whether you want to upgrade your hard drive or need an external storage solution, an SSD, or Solid State Drive, will deliver fast and reliable storage. These storage devices use flash memory to store your data. An SSD is typically more resistant to shocks and wear-and-tear, and you will get faster access speed when retrieving your files.

There is a wide range of SSDs available on the market, including built-in storage products and external storage options. Whether you want to boost your computer’s performance for gaming or simply want to replace an outdated drive, these SSDs are worth considering.

Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB

Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB

For superior performance and reliability, Samsung’s 970 Evo Plus line is one of the best around. Our tests found that the SSD offers read and write speeds upwards of 2.5GB/s, with the ability to keep functioning with up to 600 terabytes written on the drive. It’s a great upgrade for anyone who needs extra professional storage or a big speed boost for their current computer.

It also comes with both PCI Express (PCIe) and NVMe technologies. PCI Express refers to the latest SSD standard that offers greatly improved speeds and versatility compared to older SSDs — it’s an important feature to watch for when buying solid-state drives for newer computers. NVMe is a similar new protocol that offers the most advanced ways to transfer storage data between the SSD and the computer. Together, PCIe and NVMe make the best combination for high-performance drives, and this Evo Plus is an excellent example.

Samsung 860 Pro 256GB

Samsung 860 Pro review
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

This 2.5-inch SSD is a broadly excellent upgrade choice for a variety of needs. The interface for this drive is SATA 6Gb/s, with a sequential read speed of 540 megabytes per second and a write speed of 520 MB/s. Our review found it to be one of the quickest SATA drives available.

Like most of the SSDs on our list, the 860 Pro comes in several different size options ranging from 256GB to 4TB of storage, with costs varying accordingly. We picked the 256GB version for a couple of reasons. It’s a good size for an all-purpose SSD designed for the general user, and it provides a widely-shared base storage number to help you compare it with other models.

The Samsung 860 Pro starts at $90 for the 256GB model, and goes up from there depending on the amount of storage you’re looking for. It’s not the cheapest SSD out there, but it offers the best balance of performance and price, and it comes with a five-year warranty. Chances are this thing will outlast most of the other components in your PC.

Crucial MX500 SATA 2TB

While SATA connections aren’t as fast as the newer PCIe interfaces, they can be significantly cheaper. If you need a lot of storage but don’t want to sacrifice SSD benefits, this Crucial drive offers an amazing 2TB of SSD SATA storage at an incredibly affordable price. Sequential read and writes are very good for a SATA model at 560 MB/s and 510 BM/s respectively, and the model includes protection against power loss problems as well as AES 256 bit encryption for security. You won’t get the best specs in the world with this drive, but it sure can hold a lot without breaking your budget!

Intel Optane SSD 905P 960GB

If you want speed, speed, speed, Intel’s Optane drives are right for you, and this nearly-1TB model showcases the best they have to offer. Equipped with the latest NVMe PCI 3.0 x4 connection, the drive is available in two different form factors, one with LED lights and one with a built-in heatsink. It’s very speedy, with sequential read speeds up to 2,600 MB/s and write speeds up to 2,200 BM/s, and includes all the tricks Intel can come up with to reduce latency and keep speeds stable even with high demand. It also has a 10DWPD score, which is the fancy way of saying that its endurance tests are off the charts.

All of this comes with a price, of course, and that puts this Optane model in a higher echelon primarily reserved for very serious computer builders who want the best — and maybe want to show off a little bit too.

Western Digital Black SN750 250GB NVMe Gaming SSD

Western Digital Black SN750 250GB NVMe Gaming SSD

With transfer speeds up to 3,100 MB/s and random read speeds of 412.5 MB/s, gamer-friendly features, and a very reasonable price tag, this SSD is a great upgrade for your gaming rig, no matter how humble it may be. In addition to excellent speeds, Western Digital has given this SSD the “Black Dashboard” for extra control: This allows you to manipulate settings and review performance. For example, you can enable the Gaming Mode setting to disable the system sleep mode and improve performance. The attached heatsink will also do its part to make sure your system stays cool even when going fast.

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