Computer hardware is always iterative, but sometimes an innovation comes along that represents a seismic jump forward in technology.
The Solid State Drive (SSD) is one of those technologies. With read speeds 10 times that of a traditional mechanical hard drive and double the difference in write speeds, SSDs have quickly become the standard for storage.
The market has expanded quickly, and it’s allowed for experienced manufacturers to prove themselves in a new sub-market and new upstarts to make a niche for themselves.
Today’s market for solid state drives is robust, but it’s easy to get taken advantage of — or just end up investing in the wrong thing — if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Below we will describe and discuss ten solid and popular SSD brands most worth paying attention to when shopping for an SSD storage device for your computer.
We believe that the following SSD brands are among the best in the market and by selecting a drive model from the manufacturers below you can be confident of getting a reliable and high-performance storage device.
Table of Contents
Recommended SSD Models
- Best Budget SSD: Kingston 1TB A2000 M.2 Nvme
- Best Value for Money: Samsung 870 EVO 1TB
- Best for Gaming: WD_BLACK 1TB NVMe Internal Gaming SSD
Samsung competes in the cell phone market with Apple, the TV market with giants like SONY and LG, in the wireless speaker market with Bose etc.
It’s not far-fetched to say that Samsung is one of the biggest players in the Electronic Gadgets market on earth.
So, while it may not be unusual to see Samsung making solid state drives, you might be a little surprised at how good they are. Actually, they are considered one of the most reliable SSD drive brands out there.
Samsung’s catalog for SSDs is stacked as well and offers good options at practically any price point.
The mid-range Evo series has long been the most popular, while the Pro series existed to suit gamers and professionals in need of serious performance.
But the latest SSDs rolling off the line bear the Evo Plus designation, and they promise performance outstripping Pro SSDs for less money.
Crucial is a name that’s practically synonymous with their owner company, Micron — and Micron happens to be one of the most established names in the memory manufacturing business.
From developing the world’s cheapest high-capacity SSD (the 5210 ION) to offering a drive that can deliver 6600 MB/s read speeds (the P5 Plus), Crucial is a brand that’s usually defining the boundaries for performance.
They’re particularly known for the reliability of their devices. Crucial offers a five year warranty on most of their solid state drives, and they boast that their drives can last an average of a decade.
They’re also diligent about offering regular firmware updates on their SSDs.
Some SSD brands focus their attention on being able to present the fastest and most powerful specs to their consumers.
Intel is more focused on the practicals. Their SSDs are rarely at the top of the lists for speed and performance, but they’re well regarded throughout the industry for the reliability of their devices.
The SSD 6 series promises dependable mid-range performance for the average PC user, while the Optane series represents their stab at the more serious gaming PC market.
Intel is best known for basically owning the computer processor market alongside competitor AMD. That’s not going to change anytime soon, but their SSDs are certainly respectable as well.
Western Digital has been making memory technology — first hard drive controllers and then physical hard drives themselves — since the 1970s.
And while we’re long past the days when they’re the undisputed industry leader, the brand has adapted well to the solid state revolution.
Reliability and pricing is generally solid across the board, and WD does a good job of color coding their extensive solid state drive catalog for their various consumers.
Green drives emphasize energy efficiency, while blue are all-purpose drives with an edge towards performance.
Those looking for serious read/write speeds for gaming or creative design can turn their attention to the black line, while red drives are for use with network-assisted storage systems.
Kingston is a brand that realized they were dealing with a crowded market and realized they could benefit from finding a niche.
In this instance, it’s storage on a budget. Kingston SSDs will never bring home any awards for raw specs, but they offer some of the best prices in the business and produce results that will rarely even be noticeably different to the average consumer.
Despite that, there are signs that Kingston has some interest in entering the high-end SSD market more fully.
Their recently announced KC3000 promises speeds of up to 7000 MB/s and utilizes the latest PCIe 4.0 NVMe technology. It could be a game changer for the budget manufacturer.
Taiwanese brand Adata doesn’t have a lot of name recognition in the west, but the quality of their RAM cards have earned them praise throughout the world.
Unfortunately, that’s somewhat overshadowed their potential as a storage manufacturer.
That’s a shame, as they actually offer a decent and varied catalog of solid state drives that have above average durability and great pricing at the expense of slightly below average speeds.
The actual value of their solid state drives can vary a little more than some of the most trusted brands, but a little bit of research can lead you to some of the best deals around.
Storage is Seagate’s raison d’etre, and they’ve helpfully segmented their SSD models into three lines for specialized markets.
The BarraCuda line represents their baseline drives, while FireCuda is specialized for gaming and performance, and IronWolf is built to be used as network-attached storage.
This brand has been an established player for years, and they offer particularly great deals on smaller capacity SSDs.
Seagate was also one of the first manufacturers to produce a hybrid drive combining the raw storage of an HDD with the performance of an SSD.
While these drives are becoming increasingly obsolete as pure SSDs become cheaper, it’s a sign of Seagate’s willingness to experiment with their products.
Corsair is a company founded on the desire to provide hardware and peripherals that meet the needs of modern gamers, and their selection of SSDs are understandably catered to that demographic.
The latest flagship of their line is the MP600 Pro XT. This beefy NVMe drive promises write speeds of 6800 MB/s and read speeds of 7100 MB/s, and it’s really breaking ground in terms of keeping its size compact without putting off excessive amounts of heat.
They also offer great value on SSDs that promise high capacity but aren’t at the top of the pack in terms of raw performance. If your PC building budget is stretched but you still want a decent SSD, Corsair can deliver.
Sabrent has long flown under the radar as a general purpose electronics manufacturer.
They produce everything from DC power chargers to microphones, so it might come as a surprise that they offer some SSDs that can punch above their weight class.
The Rocket line of internal drives regularly holds its own against the competition from Samsung, and they somehow manage to maintain that level of quality while still keeping their prices razor thin.
They really seem to have hit their stride with the latest NVMe 4.0 technology. Though the latest Rocket SSDs are on the pricier end, they actually promise pretty good value.
Plextor SSDs are some of the coolest looking pieces of hardware you can put inside your computer, but they fortunately also have the goods to match.
They manage to make the most of NVMe 4.0 technology while employing some cutting edge heat sinks for managing temperatures.
That — along with Plextor’s reputation for packing their SSDs with flashy RGB lighting — have transformed them into a pet favorite brand for serious gamers.
Despite all that swagger, Plextor also excels on the budget end of things. In terms of cost per gigabyte, they’re squeezing out the competition with their latest NVMe drives.
What SSD Technology is Fastest?
Solid state drives constitute a significant step up in performance from traditional hard drives, but not all solid state drives are built equally.
Serial ATA SSDs were first introduced in 2000. As the transition between HDD and SSD, they connected through existing ATA ports.
It’s a necessity that made upgrades less costly but hampered the potential for these devices to grow. SATA drives are far from obsolete, and the advent of new technology has made them very cheap options.
That said, NVMe protocol has been dominant since 2011, and it’s only going to increasingly be recognized as the standard moving forward.
If you want storage that will continue to be relevant years down the road, NVMe can deliver it.
NVMe connects to the computer through a Peripheral Component Interconnect Express port, also known as PCIe.
The latest iteration of this technology is PCIe 4.0 and it improves the potential ceiling for how fast connected SSDs can become.
Manufacturers have only recently begun creating SSDs that can really leverage these new specifications to their full potential.
Regardless, it’s already a huge step above from the last generation. Manufacturers are managing to get speeds as high as 7000 MB/s out of these newest solid state drives, effectively doubling the speed that was possible with PCIe 3.0 specs.
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