SSD Ranking: The Fastest Solid State Drives

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A fast SSD is one of the few hardware upgrades that can instantly improve how you experience your PC. This is especially true when upgrading from a mechanical hard drive, but moving between generations (e.g. from SATA to NVMe/PCIe) may also make a noticeable difference. 

This aim of this page is to provide a rough guide to the best and fastest solid state drives on the market. We base our rankings on an average of read/write speeds. However, for real-world performance and durability reasons, we give preference to DRAM-equipped, MLC-based drives.

We will dive into the details shortly, but first, these are the drives that we consider leaders in their respective form factors. They don’t necessarily represent the best value but are definitely some of the speediest storage devices that you can put in a consumer PC today. 

Product
Best 2.5" SATA SSD
Samsung 860 EVO PRO SSD 1TB - 2.5 Inch SATA 3 Internal Solid State Drive with V-NAND Technology (MZ-76P1T0BW)
Fastest M.2 PCIe Gen4
GIGABYTE AORUS NVMe Gen4 M.2 1TB PCI-Express 4.0 Interface High Performance Gaming, Full Body Copper Heat Spreader, Toshiba 3D NAND, DDR Cache Buffer, 5 Year Warranty SSD GP-ASM2NE6100TTTD
Best Add-In Card
Intel Optane SSD 905P Series (960GB) (AIC PCIe x 4 3D XPoint)
Image
Samsung 860 EVO PRO SSD 1TB - 2.5 Inch SATA 3 Internal Solid State Drive with V-NAND Technology (MZ-76P1T0BW)
GIGABYTE AORUS NVMe Gen4 M.2 1TB PCI-Express 4.0 Interface High Performance Gaming, Full Body Copper Heat Spreader, Toshiba 3D NAND, DDR Cache Buffer, 5 Year Warranty SSD GP-ASM2NE6100TTTD
Intel Optane SSD 905P Series (960GB) (AIC PCIe x 4 3D XPoint)
Sequential read (max., MB/s)
560 MB/s
5000
2600 MB/s
Sequential write (max., MB/s)
530 MB/s
4400
2200 MB/s
Random read IOPS (4K/QD32)
100,000 IOPS
750000
575,000 IOPS
Random write IOPS (4K/QD32)
90,000 IOPS
700000
550,000 IOPS
Average rating
User reviews
330 Reviews
11 Reviews
10 Reviews
Warranty
5 years
5 Years
5 Years
Endurance rating
1,200 TBW (512 GB)
1,800 TBW
17,520 TBW (960 GB)
Price
$274.66
$209.99
$1,284.81
Best 2.5" SATA SSD
Product
Samsung 860 EVO PRO SSD 1TB - 2.5 Inch SATA 3 Internal Solid State Drive with V-NAND Technology (MZ-76P1T0BW)
Image
Samsung 860 EVO PRO SSD 1TB - 2.5 Inch SATA 3 Internal Solid State Drive with V-NAND Technology (MZ-76P1T0BW)
Sequential read (max., MB/s)
560 MB/s
Sequential write (max., MB/s)
530 MB/s
Random read IOPS (4K/QD32)
100,000 IOPS
Random write IOPS (4K/QD32)
90,000 IOPS
Average rating
User reviews
330 Reviews
Warranty
5 years
Endurance rating
1,200 TBW (512 GB)
Price
$274.66
Store link
Fastest M.2 PCIe Gen4
Product
GIGABYTE AORUS NVMe Gen4 M.2 1TB PCI-Express 4.0 Interface High Performance Gaming, Full Body Copper Heat Spreader, Toshiba 3D NAND, DDR Cache Buffer, 5 Year Warranty SSD GP-ASM2NE6100TTTD
Image
GIGABYTE AORUS NVMe Gen4 M.2 1TB PCI-Express 4.0 Interface High Performance Gaming, Full Body Copper Heat Spreader, Toshiba 3D NAND, DDR Cache Buffer, 5 Year Warranty SSD GP-ASM2NE6100TTTD
Sequential read (max., MB/s)
5000
Sequential write (max., MB/s)
4400
Random read IOPS (4K/QD32)
750000
Random write IOPS (4K/QD32)
700000
Average rating
User reviews
11 Reviews
Warranty
5 Years
Endurance rating
1,800 TBW
Price
$209.99
Store link
Best Add-In Card
Product
Intel Optane SSD 905P Series (960GB) (AIC PCIe x 4 3D XPoint)
Image
Intel Optane SSD 905P Series (960GB) (AIC PCIe x 4 3D XPoint)
Sequential read (max., MB/s)
2600 MB/s
Sequential write (max., MB/s)
2200 MB/s
Random read IOPS (4K/QD32)
575,000 IOPS
Random write IOPS (4K/QD32)
550,000 IOPS
Average rating
User reviews
10 Reviews
Warranty
5 Years
Endurance rating
17,520 TBW (960 GB)
Price
$1,284.81
Store link

Last update on 2019-12-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Note that our choice of M.2 drive currently requires an X570 motherboard and a Ryzen 3000 CPU to run at full speed over the PCI Express 4.0 interface. If you run any other system, we recommend the excellent Samsung 970 PRO instead.

For our more complete list of SSDs, we’ll start with 2.5″ SATA drives. Today’s high-end SATA SSDs are all bandwidth-limited compared to more modern interfaces/protocols such as PCI-express/NVMe (M.2 or add-in card form factors). So if your computer has an available PCIe M.2 slot, this is the form factor you should be looking at first.

Quick links
Top 10 SATA SSDs
Top 10 M.2 PCIe/NVMe SSDs
Top 10 PCI-Express (add-in card) SSDs

Consumer Drives (2.5-inch SATA, 6 Gbps)

860-pro1. Samsung 860 Pro

Available Capacities: 256GB – 4TB
Interface: SATA III 6Gbps
560MB/s read (256GB)
550MB/s write (256GB)

This list has been maintained for many years now and Samsung has been on top since late 2012, starting with the somewhat legendary 840 Pro. Today you need to move on from the aging SATA interface to get noticeably better performance, but Samsung hasn’t stopped improving on its flagship SATA product.

The result as of 2019 is the impressive 860 Pro, which not only performs exceptionally well but has an endurance rating that is at least double that of its predecessor. And if previous Samsungs are an indication, the 300 TBW (terabytes written) rating for the 256 GB model up to 4,800 TBW for the 4 TB model (all use MLC NAND), might be conservative estimates. This, coupled with a 5-year warranty and great overall performance, makes the 860 Pro look very attractive indeed. If SATA is your only option, that is.

Check prices: Amazon, Newegg, Amazon UK

Reviews: AnandTech, NotebookCheck, Tom’s Hardware


Sandisk SSD2. SanDisk Extreme Pro

Available Capacities: 240GB – 960GB
Interface: SATA 3 6Gbps
550MB/s read
520MB/s write

SanDisk’s Extreme Pro has been around for several years but is still one of the best options in the SATA space. It’s a direct successor to the Extreme II and is slightly ahead of its predecessor in most areas. Sequential read speed is 550 MB/s and write speed 520 MB/s (4K random read/write 100K/90K IOPS).

More importantly, though, SanDisk is confident enough to offer a 10-year warranty with the Extreme Pro – a unique offer in the consumer (or prosumer) segment. The 19nm MLC NAND is allegedly good for writing 22 GB of data per day for 10 years. Consequently, when this drive finally wears out in the average system built today, the SATA interface will be long since obsolete. Although the Extreme Pro is not particularly recent, it is still widely available and should definitely be on your shortlist when evaluating high-end SATA 6 Gbps drives.

Check prices: Amazon, Newegg, Amazon UK

Reviews: AnandTech, TweakTown


3. Crucial MX500

Available Capacities: 250GB – 2TB
Interface: SATA 3 6Gbps
560MB/s read
510MB/s write

Crucial’s MX500 uses TLC NAND and is a more direct competitor to the Samsung 860 EVO than the 860 Pro. That said, it offers great performance at a very attractive price point and is available in capacities up to 2 TB. Like the 860 EVO it is also backed by a 5-year warranty, but its endurance rating is lower than both the 860 Pro and EVO. It starts at 100 TB for the 250 GB model and ranges up to 700 TB for the 2 TB model, which is still more than sufficient for the average user.

The MX500 can compete with the 860 series in many areas, but rarely (if ever) surpass it. However, the price/performance ratio is excellent so this drive is a good choice for most SATA-limited systems.

Check prices: Amazon, Newegg, Amazon UK

Reviews: AnandTech, Guru3D


Samsung SSD4. Samsung 850 Pro

Available Capacities: 128GB – 1TB
Interface: SATA III 6Gbps
550MB/s read (256GB)
520MB/s write (256GB)

The 860 Pro’s predecessor is still an excellent drive, but due to pricing and availability it is probably no longer the best option, but still good if you can find it at the right price. The 850 Pro series uses its own MEX controller in combination with 3D NAND (V-NAND) like its successor, which increases density without compromising performance. And it’s still ahead of today’s competition in many areas.

Check prices: Amazon, Newegg, Amazon UK


atata su9005. ADATA Ultimate SU900

Available Capacities: 256GB – 2TB
Interface: SATA 3 6Gbps
560MB/s read
525MB/s write

Taiwanese manufacturer ADATA may have a smaller marketing budget compared to tech giants such as Samsung and SanDisk, but it’s a company known for putting out well-performing, reliable products. The SU900 is not entirely on par with the speediest SATA drives but should be quick enough for most use cases. Neither should endurance be an issue, since it uses MLC (3D) NAND and ships with a 5-year warranty.

Check prices: Amazon, Newegg, Amazon UK

Reviews: Storagereview


860 EVO6. Samsung 860 EVO

Available Capacities: 250GB – 4TB
550MB/s read
520MB/s write

The 860 EVO is Samsung’s follow-up of its incredibly successful 850 EVO. Now the difference between these two will be very slim due to the aforementioned interface constraints, but that matters little – the 860 EVO still replaces its predecessor in this price range. And it will still be a great choice given Samsung’s track record.

It performs very well considering it’s a TLC-based SSD. Moreover it offers excellent endurance numbers at precisely half those of the 860 Pro at equivalent capacities (which is still much better than most competitors), as well as a 5-year warranty.

Check prices: Amazon, Newegg, Amazon UK

Reviews: Tom’s Hardware


ocz vector7. OCZ Vector 180

Available Capacities: 120GB – 960GB
550MB/s read
530MB/s write

As you may have noticed, there are plenty of older products in this list of SATA drives. The reason is something of a shortage of new SATA SSDs in the high-end (as in MLC) segment. So even though the Toshiba OCZ Vector 180 was released in 2015, it’s still a viable option in 2019.

The Vector 180 uses 19nm Toshiba MLC NAND in combination with an OCZ Barefoot controller (formerly Indilinx). It is not quite on par with Samsung’s top drives in terms of performance, but it’s close enough. Also, the warranty is a very attractive five years or 50GB of writes per day.

Check prices: Amazon, Amazon UK

Reviews: Bit-tech


transcend-ssd3708. Transcend SSD370

Available Capacities: 120GB – 480GB
Interface: SATA 3 6GBps
560MB/s read (256GB and up)
460MB/s write (512GB and up)

The SSD370 uses a Transcend TS6500 controller (a rebranded Silicon Motion SM2246EN controller) with Micron 128Gbit 20nm MLC NAND. The random 4KB read reaches 75K IOPS and the random 4KB write goes up to 75K IOPS as well. Its incompressible sequential read performance is excellent, while write performance is not as great overall. However, the drive has other advantages than pure speed.

Transcend bundles it with a custom firmware which enables encryption. While DevSleep is supported, slumber power modes, particularly HIPM and DIPM, are not. The drive comes with a 3.5″ desktop adapter for older machines, as well the cloning utility SSD Scope. It also features “StaticDataRefresh”, which is similar to what other drives do to correct data errors due to cell degradation.

Check prices: Amazon, Newegg, Amazon UK

Reviews: PCWorld, TomsHardware.com


sandisk-extreme II9. SanDisk Extreme II

Available Capacities: 120GB – 480GB
Interface: SATA 3 6Gbps
550MB/s read
510MB/s write

The Extreme II from Flash storage-giant SanDisk delivers excellent performance at a reasonable price point. It’s a predecessor to the Extreme Pro (see above), and likewise pretty old but still going strong as of 2016. Its sequential read speeds of 550 MB/s and write speeds of 510 MB/s are complemented by very good random read/write figures as well (95K/78K IOPS).

SanDisk uses a controller from Marvell in this particular line of SSDs – a chip with the fanciful designation 88SS9187 (also known as Monet) – with SanDisk’s own firmware and 19nm eX2 ABL MLC NAND (also from SanDisk), which makes for a particularly long-lasting combination according to several reports.

Check prices: Amazon, Newegg, Amazon UK

Reviews: HotHardware, AnandTech


su80010. ADATA SU800

Available Capacities: 128GB – 2TB
Interface: SATA 3 6Gbps
560 MB/s read
520 MB/s write

The SU800 is ADATA’s top-end TLC-based SSDs. It uses a Silicon Motion SM2258 controller and features SLC-mode caching as well as a DRAM write buffer. For a drive based on low-cost NAND, the endurance ratings are more than acceptable, at 400 TBW for the 512 GB capacity. Speaking of which, you can get the SU800 in a wide range of capacities starting from 128GB up to 2TB. The drive’s random read/write figures are up to 90K/80K IOPS.

Check prices: Amazon, Newegg, Amazon UK


M.2 Drives (2280/2260)

Update: Check out our new, up-to-date listing of the best M.2 SSDs here.

1. Gigabyte Aorus Gen4

Interface: PCIe Gen4 x4 NVMe
Available Capacities: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
5,000 MB/s read
2,500 MB/s write

If you own an X570 motherboard and AMD Ryzen 3rd-gen combo, you can reap the benefits of the PCI Express 4.0 interface. We will likely see more SSDs that take advantage of the increased Gen4 bandwidth soon. But for now, all M.2 PCIe Gen4 devices are based on the same combination of a Phison E16 controller and 96-layer TLC NAND from Toshiba. This includes the Aorus Gen4, Sabrent Rocket 4 and the Corsair MP600. 

Since these drives all use essentially the same hardware, performance is similar as well – but no less impressive. Sequential read bandwidth approaches a full 5 GB/s. Peak write speeds are lower, but nevertheless exceed any PCIe 3.0 SSD by a fair margin. As usual, the smallest capacity is slightly slower. 

Again, take note that you need a PCIe 4.0-capable setup to reach the advertised speeds. Otherwise, the SSD will still work but be capped by the Gen3 interface. 

Check prices: Amazon, Newegg, Amazon UK

Reviews: MMORPG


Corsair MP6002. Corsair Force MP600 Gen4 

Interface: PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2
Available Capacities: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
4,950 MB/s read (512GB)
2,500 MB/s write (512GB)

Another option similar – in more ways than one – to the above Gigabyte Aorus is the Force MP600 from Corsair. It’s not a coincidence that the official performance specs are similar to the Aorus. Both of them (and a few other drives) use the same controller/NAND combo. In other words, this PCIe 4.0 SSD also uses 96-layer Toshiba NAND and a Phison E16 controller. 

The firmware and implementation may be slightly different, but the hardware is essentially the same. Like its competitor, Corsair’s model also comes with a heatsink as Gen4 drives tend to run hot. 

Check prices: Amazon, Newegg, Amazon UK


970-pro3. Samsung 970 Pro

Interface: PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe
Available Capacities: 512GB, 1,024GB
3500MB/s read
2300MB/s write

If you want top performance and are willing to pay a bit more for it, then the Samsung 970 Pro is about as good as it gets in this form factor. Although in terms of everyday user experience, you would probably never be able to tell the difference between this an any of the other top contenders in this segment.

But an SSD is the sum of its parts, nothing more and nothing less. What sets the 970 Pro apart from many of its competitors (including the 970 EVO) is that it uses higher-quality MLC NAND, and will, therefore, last longer than its more affordable TLC counterparts. The endurance rating is 600 TBW (twice that of the comparable EVO) or five years (same as the EVO)

It will also perform better and more consistently thanks to the better NAND. This is particularly noticeable in the random write area, with 500,000 IOPS (4K, QD32) in both available capacities.

Check prices: Amazon, Newegg, Amazon UK

Reviews: StorageReview, TweakTown


970 EVO Plus4. Samsung 970 EVO Plus

Interface: PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe
Available Capacities: 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB
3500MB/s read
3300MB/s write

Instead of launching an entirely new model, Samsung updated its popular 970 EVO lineup (which is still available) with the 970 EVO in 2019. As the name implies, it is basically an improved version of the same SSD, using the same controller but denser, 96-layer TLC NAND and some additional tweaks. The improvements are particularly noticeable in term of write performance. Sequential transfer rates are up from 2,500 MB/s to 3,300 MB/s, meaning that it outperforms the 970 PRO in some cases.

According to Samsung, random write performance with the 970 EVO Plus has been improved by as much as 57% compared to the previous EVO.

Check prices: Amazon, Newegg, Amazon UK


sn7505. WD Black SN750

Interface: PCIe Gen2 x4 M.2
Available Capacities: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB
3470MB/s read (500GB)
3000MB/s write (500GB)

Western Digital has been a giant in the storage industry for decades, but only recently started catching up in the SSD market following the company’s acquisition of SanDisk.

This drive, which is a slight update of the WD Black 2018, uses SanDisk’s 96-layer TLC flash, which brings some performance improvements over its predecessor. Its sequential transfer rates are high but differ quite a bit between capacities. This is particularly true for the drive’s listed write speed, where the 250 GB drive (1,600 MB/s) is considerably slower than the 1TB variation (3,000 MB/s). The random figures are also more impressive in the larger capacities.

WD offers a 5-year warranty with these drives and the TBW rating is up to 600 TBW. All capacities except the 250 GB model are available with an optional heatsink that might help the drive perform consistently during extended high loads.

Check prices: Amazon, Newegg, Amazon UK

Reviews: AnandTech, TweakTown


960-pro6. Samsung 960 Pro

Interface: PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe
Available Capacities: 512 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB
3500MB/s read
2100MB/s write

While the 970 Pro was an improvement, Samsung’s 960 pro is still a blazing-fast SSD. Like its successor, this m.2 drive supports 4 lanes of PCIe and uses NVMe for maximum bandwidth utilization and increased throughput. It uses Samsung’s own Polaris controller in combination with Samsung MLC V-NAND.

The 960 Pro supports TGC Opal and AES 256-bit data encryption. In the random read/write area, it delivers up to 440K IOPS for 4KB (QD32) random read and 330K IOPS for random writes (also 4KB/QD32). Reduce the queue depth to 1 and it still reaches an impressive 14K IOPS/50K IOPS read/write. These numbers, by the way, apply to the higher-capacity drives, while the 512 GB model is slightly slower.

Samsung offers a 5-year warranty with the 960 Pro as well as impressive endurance ratings of 1200 TB for the 2 TB model, 800 TB for the 1 TB drive and 400 TB for the 512 GB version – higher numbers than the 970 EVO but lower than the Pro.

Check prices: Amazon, Newegg, Amazon UK

Reviews: AnandTech, ArsTechnica, Guru3D


evo ssd7. Samsung 970 EVO

Interface: PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe
Available Capacities: 512 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB
3400MB/s read
2300MB/s write

As usual, Samsung’s EVO series offers a feature set that is almost on par with its more expensive Pro counterpart but uses cheaper TLC NAND in combination with the same Phoenix controller. For most of us, the price/performance equation is more important than pure performance, and that makes the 970 EVO a solid option. Again, the difference between the top drives in the NVMe PCI-express segment will not be noticeable for most users.

The 970 EVO is actually, on paper, slightly faster than the 960 Pro in some areas, but it’s slower in a few others due to the TLC NAND.

Check prices: Amazon, Newegg, Amazon UK

Reviews: StorageReivew, TweakTown


adata sx82008. ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro

Interface: PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe
Available Capacities: 256GB to 1TB
3200MB/s read (480GB)
1700MB/s write (480GB)

Unlike Samsung’s lineup, ADATA’s ‘Pro’ designation does not imply that it’s an MLC drive. It instead uses now-common 64-layer 3D TLC NAND, meaning that – like many similar drives – the listed sequential read and write speeds do not paint the whole picture. These drives normally use an SLC cache keep transfer speeds up, but only until the cache is full.

That doesn’t mean that the SX8200 Pro is not a fast drive, because it is. It surpasses the Samsung 970 EVO in certain areas, with the help of a Silicon Motion SM2262 controller and a DRAM buffer. The warranty is five years and the TBW ratings start at 160 TBW for the 256GB model, which doubles in line with the capacities.

Check prices: Amazon, Newegg, Amazon UK

Reviews: TweakTown


960-evo9. Samsung 960 Evo

Interface: PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe
Available Capacities: 250 GB, 500 TB, 1 TB
3200MB/s read
1900MB/s write (1 TB)

One of the strongest competitors to the other TLC-based m.2 SSD – including the 970 EVO – is Samsung’s 960 Evo, which is still available. It is not quite as fast as the new model, although the difference should be small enough not to be noticeable in everyday usage scenarios.

Its durability rating is unsurprisingly lower than the Pro variant, down from 400 TB to 200 TB for the popular 500 GB capacity. The warranty is also reduced from 5 to 3 years. This won’t be a problem for the vast majority of the intended users, but worth keeping in mind.

In terms of raw performance, the 960 Evo is rated at up to 380K/360K IOPS random read/writes (compared to 440K/360K for the Pro) in the largest capacities (QD32).

In short: This is a good choice as the price/performance ratio is very attractive at this point – and if you don’t plan to write copious amounts of data to it too often.

Check prices: Amazon, Newegg, Amazon UK

Reviews: StorageReview, HotHardware, AnandTech


optane 800p10. Intel Optane SSD 800P

Interface: PCIe Gen3 x2 NVMe
Available Capacities: 58GB, 118TB
1450MB/s read
640MB/s write (1 TB)

This drive is very difficult to categorize as it differs considerably from all of its competitors in more ways than one. While the sequential transfer rates may seem modest, the Optane 800P outperforms Samsungs Pro-series drives in many areas. This might compensate for the comparatively tiny capacities and the high cost, at least in specific use cases.

The reason why it’s so different is that the Optane doesn’t even use NAND Flash. Instead, it’s equipped with Intel’s own 3D X-Point memory, which has other characteristics, making it partly more similar to DRAM.

But at the end of the day, the average PC builder will have to compare NAND and 3D X-Point in terms of price/performance/capacity, and then the 800P may be a tough sell. An exception might be workstation users who put their drives through a heavy load on a daily basis, because no competitor offers the same endurance: 1.7 to 3.4 full drive writes per day for the duration of the 5-year warranty period.

Check prices: Amazon, Newegg, Amazon UK

Reviews: StorageReview, AnandTech


Top 10 PCI Express Card SSDs (Bootable)

optane 905p1. Intel Optane SSD 905P

Interface: PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4
Form Factor: Add-in Card, HHHL (CEM 3.0)
Available Capacities: 480GB, 960 and 1.5TB
Up to 2600MB/s read
Up to 2200MB/s write
Random 4K Write: Up to 550K IOPS

Considering the overall performance scores that this drive racks up across various reviews, this may well be the fastest SSD in the world at this time. And it also has an endurance rating in a league of its own compared to other drives aimed at not-necessarily-professional users.

However, for the average user – including most professionals – this drive is probably overkill. But if you really want the best-performing drive, you’ll be happy to learn that Intel has introduced a new endurance metric for it known as PBW, or petabytes written.

The 960 GB capacity has a PBW rating of 17.52, meaning you can write about 17.5 million GB to it before it wears down. Intel’s 3D Xpoint memory, which appears to be practically invincible, is the reason why this drive is difficult to compare to regular NAND-based SSDs.

Check prices: Amazon, Amazon UK, Newegg

Reviews: TweakTown


900p ssd2. Intel Optane SSD 900P Series

Interface: PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4
Form Factor: Add-in Card, HHHL (CEM 3.0)
Available Capacities: 280GB and 480GB
Up to 2500MB/s read
Up to 2000MB/s write
Random 4K Write: Up to 500K IOPS

Only slightly behind its successor is the 950p’s predecessor in Intel’s Optane 900p-series. These drives also use 3D Xpoint memory, and while it may not show in the drives’ raw sequential transfer performance, it’s a very impressive SSD.

As is the endurance rating, which is 10 full drive writes per day for 5 years. Such characteristics mean that it’s well suited not only for enthusiast builds but also for heavy-duty workstations.

Check prices: Amazon, Amazon UK, Newegg

Reviews: HotHardware


nx5003. Corsair Neutron NX500

Interface: PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4
Form Factor: Add-in Card, HHHL
Available Capacities: 400GB, 800GB and 1600GB
Up to 3000MB/s read
Up to 2500MB/s write
Random 4K Write: Up to 270K IOPS

In spite of its higher theoretical maximum transfer rates (measured with ATTO, according to Corsair), we will rank the Neutron NX500 from Corsair below the Optane 900p because real-world performance is consistently below according to the reviews we’ve seen (links below). It’s apparently tough to compete with 3D Xpoint, but that doesn’t mean that the NX500 is a low-end product. Among the small number of consumer-oriented PCIe drives currently available in the add-in card form factor, it’s an attractive option given that the price point is reasonable compared to the Optane.

Check prices: Amazon, Amazon UK, Newegg

Reviews: AnandTech, Tom’s Hardware


4. Plextor M8Pe

Interface: PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4
Form Factor: Add-in Card, HHHL
Available Capacities: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB
Up to 2000MB/s read
Up to 1400MB/s write
Random 4K Write: Up to 240K IOPS

Thanks to the now-ubiquitous M.2 slot, large PCIe add-in cards, or AIC, have become increasingly rare outside of the enterprise segment. Another one of a mere handful of manufacturers who still make drives for the form factor is Plextor.

The drive series with the less-than-inspiring name M8Pe uses 15nm Toshiba MLC NAND and is available in both M.2 and AIC form factors. There is also a newer version of the drive known as M8Se that uses less durable TLC NAND.

In terms of performance, the M8Pe should have no problems competing with mainstream M.2 drives, making it a potentially cost-effective solution if an AIC is what you need.

Check prices: Amazon, Amazon UK, Newegg


5. OCZ RevoDrive 350

Interface: PCI Express 2.0 x 8
Available Capacities: 240GB – 960GB
1800MB/s read
1700MB/s write
Random 4K Writes: Up to 140K IOPS

The original RevoDrive was released well before the M.2 form factor took off, and was considered exceptionally fast at the time. However, now that it’s not just competing with SATA drives, the RevoDrive will only appeal to a much smaller market.

There have been several SSDs in the series, but the RevoDrive 350 is the only one that’s more widely available (and it’s not particularly new).


Summary and Explanations

We’ve tried our best to compile the most comprehensive list of SSDs available and used this to create the lists you see above. Since there are new drives launched each month, we will update our list and ratings regularly. Also, if you think we’ve omitted something or need correction, don’t hesitate to leave a comment!

Lots of abbreviations and technical terms are used on product pages and SSD discussions. If you are new to them they will, needless to say, be totally incomprehensible. We will attempt to explain some of them here. 

What is SLC, MLC, TLC, and QLC?

An SSDs performance, as well as its life span, are to a large extent determined by the quality of the memory cells. Higher-quality memory not only performs better but can also be erased and written to a larger number of times before it wears out.

SLC (single-level cell) NAND Flash memory is more durable than MLC (multi-level cell, two bits per cell), which in turn is more durable than TLC (triple-level cell) NAND. Since recently, QLC (quad-level cell) drives such as the Samsung QVO are also available. Additional bits per cell affect performance negatively because it makes the cells considerably more error-prone. There are clever technologies that compensate for this, but in the end, there’s no substitute for higher-quality NAND.

Unsurprisingly, high-end memory is also much more expensive to produce. There are zero SSDs today in the consumer space based on SLC memory, but some use MLC (like the Samsung PRO lineup).

Most consumer SSDs in 2019 use comparatively affordable TLC memory, but QLC is increasingly common.

SSD endurance: What’s MTBF and TBW – Should I Care?

MTBF is short for “mean time before failure” and is more relevant for conventional hard drives than SSDs, which have no mechanical parts that are prone to failure over time. TBW (terabytes written or total bytes written) is a much more interesting number. This will give you is an indication of how much data can be written to the drive before it wears out. It’s affected by the drive’s capacity, spare capacity (so-called overprovisioning) and the quality of the NAND. 

For a drive with a 300 TBW rating, 300 TB is the amount of data that the manufacturer guarantees can be written to it (usually in a mutually exclusive number of years). This is not to say that an SSD will necessarily fail after this amount of TB written. It’s part of the warranty terms and an indication of its relative endurance. 

Production Processes

Unlike other parts such as a CPU/GPU, a smaller production process as measured in nanometers (nm), is not a strong selling point, as this results in lower durability, all other things being equal. However, for the average home or office user, durability is rarely an issue, since any SSD will most likely outlive the rest of the computer by a wide margin. Just don’t rely on low-cost drives with cheap NAND in a server or other environment with a high continuous workload

2 Comments
  1. Interesting that you did not list Samsung 1725a or b drives 3500/3000Mbps at 800,000 Iops or the PM983.

    • A valid point. Actually we did list enterprise/datacenter products originally. But since these can barely be obtained or used by the average mortal due to the cost and interface constraints, we decided to lessen the scope to just consumer drives.

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