The Best SSDs For Gaming and General Use in 2021
SSDs offer significant advantages over HDDs for your PC or any other device. It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that SSDs are one of the biggest upgrades you can give a PC. This is especially true if you get the right one, the best SSDs can make a huge difference.
SSDs can significantly improve processing times and power, give more storage, and they’re much quieter than HDDs. On top of this, they won’t have that big of an impact on cooling or power consumption.
Quality SSDs for gaming can even make your games run a lot better, with a better FPS to give you that split-second advantage. This can even apply to consoles, with the best SSDs for PS being able to reduce your load times.
When you’re looking to get an SSD, you want to make the most out of the upgrade. They’re a bit expensive to constantly switch one in and out. So, you need to make sure you make the right choice.
Whether you’re looking for a budget SSD or paying for a powerhouse piece of equipment with all the trimmings, you need to know you’re getting something that will last. These are some of the best SSDs available at the moment, which one to suit everyone.
The Best 2.5-Inch SATA SSDS
SSDs come in a few different types. They’re more integrated to your PC than a USB flash drive so you have to get one to fit your PC’s specs. These are some of the best SATA SSDs available at the moment.
Samsung 860 EVO
The Best SATA SSD for Gaming
- SATA III
- Available in 250 GB, 500GB, 1 TB, 2TB, and 4TB Sizes
- 5 Year Warranty
The Samsung 860 can significantly boost your speeds. This SSD uses SATA III. This a newer type of interface which allows for much faster speeds than older units using SATA II or I.
What is really important for finding a good SSD is reliability. This should be a permanent upgrade to your PC, so you need it to last. This warranty covers 5 years and promises 1.5 million hours of reliability as a MTBF (Meantime before failure).
The only real downside of this SSD is its size. The larger sizes are more expensive. However, when paired with an external SSD for storage you can both run things faster and have extra space.
The speeds make this one of the best SSDs for gaming or anything else, it will really produce a better performance out of even an older PC.
- Speeds up to 550 MB/s
- Wide Compatibility
- Consistent Speeds
- Smaller Sizes
- Some Formatting Needed
The Best SSD for Security
- Available in 150GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB sizes.
- Uses Micro 3D NAND
- Power Loss Protection
The Crucial MX500 might be crucial to both your security and improving your PC’s performance. It can speed up your PC, significantly improve performance, give you protection against data or power loss, and encrypt files.
The MX500 is mainly built for use in processing and general computing rather than gaming. The data loss elements make it a great addition for work. It can significantly speed up working with high-quality photos or videos, with protection against power outages.
It is also one of the best cheap SSDs if you’re looking for raw power for everyday use or if security is a big concern.
- Speeds of up to 560MB/s
- Encryption and Power Loss Protection
- Encryption Not That Useful if You Want a Gaming PC
WD Blue 3D Nand SSD
The Best 1TB SSD
- Uses 3D NAND
- Available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB.
- 5 Year Warranty
3D NAND is a different way of building an SSD with some advantages. To get into why this WD Blue 3D NAND is one of the best 1TB SSDs though might get a bit technical.
SSDs built with 3D NAND are constructed with cells stacked vertically and in 3 dimensions. Previously, SSDs were stacked with 2D Planar NAND. The 3D orientation actually gives a significant speed boost and allows more to be stacked in without effecting size or cooling.
The 3D NAND gives this WD Blue SSD the ability to significantly increase its storage capacity without affecting speed, size, or having that big of an impact on price. This is great if you’re looking for a cheap SSD without sacrificing on quality.
On top of this, the WD Blue uses SATA III for faster speed, fits most PCs, and features a great warranty. It is also more user-friendly than most comparable models, coming with free software for you to easily back up or alter your drive.
This SSD also runs at an energy consumption of 25% lower than previous WD SSDs. Since these were running at industry-standard power consumption, this is quite the saving and makes it one of the best budget SSDs if you’re looking at lifetime power costs as well as initial purchase costs.
- Speeds up to 560 MB/s
- 1.75 Million Hours MTTF
- Long Warranty
- Larger Sizes Are More Expensive
- Requires Some Formatting on Most PCs
SanDisk Ultra 3D NAND SSD
The Best SSD for Speed
- Uses 3D NAND SSD
- Available in 150GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB
- 6 GB/s Hardware Interface with SATA III
This SanDisk Ultra SSD is available in some big sizes, widely compatible, and even features some impressive speeds.
It can go a fair amount faster than your standard HDD. This extra speed makes all the difference and with this even smaller capacities are useful. This can be one of the best 500GB SSDs, or a great 4TB SSD.
That advantage in speed can consistently improve performance. It is a big step up even if it is only a slight increase in data copied or read per second. Those seconds add up.
- Fast Speeds
- 5-Year Warranty
- Widely Compatible
- Only available in 2.5” 7mm SATA Drives Without Extra Cables
Kingston A400 SSD
The Best SSD Drive for Performance
- Available in Both SATA III and M.2 2280
- Available in 120GB, 240GB, 960GB, and 1.92TB Sizes
- Increases Performance for Games or Applications
The Kingston A400 SSD drive is built to be an internal component to boost performance rather than storage space. This isn’t going to give the space for files that you’d find in a gaming hard drive, but it will give you significantly better performance.
This is a great SSD drive to install to improve the performance of your computer. This makes it one of the best SSDs for gaming. Boosting performance doesn’t require too much storage space when speeds for reading and writing are this high.
If you need storage as well, large external hard drives or even external SSDs are great to pair with a device like this. If you’re looking for better performance, even the smaller sizes of this will fit the bill.
- Great at Speeding up PC
- Adds Some Extra Storage
- Sturdily Constructed and Durable
- Not Great for Storing Large Files
The Best M.2 SSDs
An M.2 SSD is the other major format for SSDs, and they can have just as big of an impact on your device. This is also the size you’ll need if you’re looking for the best SSD for PlayStation. These are some of the best M.2 SSDs Available at the moment.
Seagate Firecuda 520 PCle Gen4 SSD
The Best SSD For PS4 and PS4 Pro
- Available in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB Sizes
- 64 MB
- Comes with Testing Software
This M.2 SSD can fit into quite a wide range of PCs, but also some other devices. These other devices actually include PS4s. You’re not limited to the performance that the included HDD can provide, fitting an SSD actually has a big impact.
This SSD can improve load times, storage, and even performance in the PS4. While things like frame rate and other aspects are throttled by the software, you can improve those long load times with an SSD. It isn’t as dramatic of an improvement as using the best M.2 SSD in a PC, it is significantly better than an off the shelf PS4.
By installing this SSD drive, you’ll be able to improve your performance on a lot of different devices. It is definitely one of the best M.2 SSDs for gaming.
- Can Speed Up Laptops, PC, and PS4s
- Comes with SeaTools for Testing
- 1.8m hours MTBF
- Not Great for Adding Storage
- Not Compatible with All Devices
Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD
The Best 1TB SSD in M.2
- Available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB Sizes
- Uses V-NAND Technology
- Heat Protected
This Samsung SSD is an impressive device, but it can be a bit tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. This SSD is built to be fitted into a PC, but it lacks the sturdy casing and protections of others on this list.
This makes this SSD great for experienced users who know what to do to handle cooling. Getting rid of unnecessary thrills will save you money if you can deal without them.
Otherwise, this is a great SSD for boosting performance. It uses V-NAND and is specifically built to withstand heats and boost 3k or 4k video or gaming performance.
- Cooling Technology for Protection
- Increase Performance up to 3,500 MB/s and 3,300 MB/s
- 5-Year Warranty
- Harder to Install Than Others on This List
WD Black SN750
The Best M.2 SSD for Gaming
- Uses 64-Later 3D NAND Technology
- Available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB sizes.
- 5-Year Warranty
The WD_Black SSD is a device made just for gaming. It is part of a line by WD built specifically for gaming, but this one is entirely for internal use and performance.
This device is available in pretty big sizes to boost your PC’s performance and memory space. However, it also has other cool features to help things.
It uses 64-layer 3D NAND technology, which gives it pretty impressive speeds compared to others. It comes with SD Dashboard software; a unique bit of equipment that helps you regulate how it is used.
The only drawback to this device is that it is more specialist than other WD_Black drives. However, if you’re experienced then this is one of the best SSDs for gaming or work available.
- Great for Boosting Performance While gaming
- Comes with WD_Black Dashboard
- Great Speeds
- Harder to Install Than Others
- Not Compatible with SATA Interface
Silicon Power NVme M.2 Pcle Gen3x4 SSD
The Best NVME SSD
- Available in 256GB, 512GB, 1TB and 2TB Sizes
- Read Speeds up to 3,400 MB/S
- Write Speeds up to 3,000 MB/S
The Silicon Power NVMe is built to speed up your PC. NVMe is a specific type of storage that is actually four times faster than SATA SSDs. These things have really impressive read and write speeds, it can go up to 1,400 MB/s and 3,000MB/s.
This should significantly increase the power of your PC. Good NVMe SSDs are future-proofed since they’re the next going to be the next big thing. These speeds even come without major hits to your power consumption.
This is one of the best SSDs if you’re looking to speed up your PC, and one of the fastest out there.
- Fast Speeds
- Fits Even Smaller Devices
- Doesn’t Increase Power Consumption by Much
- Some Issues with Cooling
- Some Compatibility Issues
WD Blue SN550
The Best M.2 SSD For High-Performance Work
- Comes with WD SSD Dashboard
- Available in 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB Sizes
- Uses NVMe
WD’s SSDs can fit two categories, work and play. The WD_Black is a fantastic SSD for gaming, and it’s a great SSD for work. It sounds boring, but it is an impressive device.
This SSD can significantly speed up your PC and add storage space when you’re running demanding programs like editing high-quality video or photos, or rendering. Like their other products, it comes with access to WD Dashboard software, which gives you a great level of control over your PC’s performance.
This is one of the best SSDs if you’re a power user of a PC who really needs the extra capacity and speed to get things done.
- Great Read and Write Speeds
- Comes with Software
- Built for Everyday Computing Use
- Not Compatible with SATA Interface
How to Choose an SSD
Installing an SSD can significantly improve your PC’s performance, but it can be difficult if you’re not sure which is for you. This buying guide covers everything you need to know about choosing an SSD and which is right for you. Boosting your performance shouldn’t be limited to only those who enjoy physically building PCs.
What You Need to Know Before Buying
If some of those terms in this article have left you confused, you might need to know some things before deciding. If you fully understand the qualities, you can make an informed choice of the best SSD for you.
- SSDs are for More Than Storage – PCs use internal storage for more than just storing files, it is vital for performance and your PC running at an optimal speed. Typically, when a PC slows down, it doesn’t need replacing, but its internal drive probably does. An SSD is significantly faster than your standard HDD.
- NVME – This is a new type of SSD that offers an even higher boost to speeds and performance. These are likely to become more prominent in the next few years.
- You Need a Specific Size – If you want to install the SSD it needs to be the right physical size for your PC. You can check this by looking up your exact brand of PC.
- Interface – Different SSDs use different interfaces. The majority of consumer PCs need SATA or M.2, so you need to find which one is right for your PC.
What You Need to Consider Before Purchasing an SSD
Once you’ve decided you need to get an SSD and learned all of the terms and details involved, you need to find which one is completely right for you. This is going to come down to a few things. When you’re looking through the best SSDs, you need to make some comparisons and compare that to your needs to find the one that is exactly right for you.
- Do You Need Extra Storage? – An SSD can do a great job of boosting performance in your PC and giving extra storage. Although, they’re mainly for performance. You should consider pairing an external or internal HDD and internal SSD if you’re after storage too.
- What Size and Format? – While you can buy extra components to help an SSD fit your PC, you’ll largely need to get the right size to match your PC. Check the size you’ll require first.
- Power Consumption – If you’re concerned about extra power consumption, go for an SSD with power-saving features.
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