As we stand at the end of 2023, Solid State Drives (SSDs) continue to develop, offering users options tailored to diverse needs. Whether you’re revamping an old PC or building a high-end gaming rig, the choices can seem endless. But worry not, we’re here to guide you through the maze. From the reliable speed and affordability of the best SATA SSDs to the sleek and portable solutions from the best external SSDs, we’ve got you covered. For those looking at ultra-fast boot times and top-notch performance, the best M2 SSDs might just be your go-to. And for the avid gamer seeking the ultimate gaming experience without a shred of lag, we’ve compiled a list of the best gaming SSDs the year has to offer. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

1. Samsung 990 Pro Review

Samsung 990 Pro

Form Factor: Best M.2 SSD

Applications: Best SSDs for steam deck

Key Features

  • Capacities: 1TB, 2TB, 4TB (2023)
  • Form Factor: M.2 2280
  • Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 4.0 x4 / NVMe
  • Sequential Reads/Writes: Up to 7,450 MBps / 6,900 MBps
  • Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / Up to 2400 TBW
Pros Cons
  • The fastest drive we’ve tested to date
  • Samsung software and support
  • Heatsink and RGB options
  • Consistent, efficient, and cool-running
  • MRSP is too high

The SSD market has been quite competitive lately, especially with brands pushing for the title of the best internal SSDs. Samsung’s 990 Pro, part of the best NVMe SSDs lineup, is the company’s latest entry to contend for that title. It marks a significant upgrade from its predecessor, boasting unparalleled speeds and advancements. These specifications make it one of the best SSDs for gaming and potentially one of the best SSDs for PS5, given the console’s NVMe compatibility.

This update allows Samsung to assert its dominance in the M.2 SSD segment. The drive is consistent, power-efficient, and remains cool even during heavy tasks. Furthermore, Samsung’s software toolkit for this SSD is the best we’ve seen, offering users comprehensive control and monitoring of their drive.

The optional addition of a heatsink and RGB for a mere $20 more is an excellent deal for users who want to add a touch of aesthetics to their setup. On the pricing front, it’s worth noting that while the MRSP is on the higher side, Samsung is known to offer discounts, which can make this one of the best SATA SSDs available in terms of value.

2. Crucial T700

Crucial T700

Form Factor:  M.2 2280 Double-sided

Applications: Best NVME SSDs

Key Features

  • Capacities: 1, 2, 4TB
  • Form Factor: M.2 2280 Double-sided
  • Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 5.0 x4
  • Sequential Reads/Writes: 12,400 MBps / 11,800 MBps
  • Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / Up to 2,400 TBW
Pros Cons
  • High all-around performance, fastest to date
  • Effective passive heatsink, optionally DIY
  • DirectStorage-optimized firmware
    • Early adopter product with incoming competition
    • Much higher price relative to fast PCIe 4.0 SSDs
    • Only modest real-world performance gains
    • Optional heatsink only does “okay”

The world of SSDs is evolving rapidly, and the Crucial T700 is proof of this evolution. Being one of the best NVMe SSDs available, the T700 stands out with its groundbreaking speed, setting it apart as one of the best SSDs for gaming. Moreover, with DirectStorage-optimized firmware, it potentially positions itself as one of the best SSDs for PS5.

The T700’s use of the PCIe 5.0 x4 connection ensures it leads the pack in terms of speed, offering twice the throughput of PCIe 4.0 SSDs. With gaming and high-intensity tasks becoming more demanding, such speeds are becoming increasingly necessary. Crucial’s use of the Phison E26 SSD controller paired with Micron’s advanced 232-Layer 3D TLC flash ensures the drive’s sustained performance.

The heatsink design, which offers a passive cooling solution, is a welcomed feature. Many SSDs in the same category come with active cooling solutions. However, the T700 stands out by allowing users to choose between using the in-built heatsink or opting for third-party cooling solutions. This flexibility makes it one of the best external SSDs for users who want customization options.

In terms of endurance, the Crucial T700 is robust, ensuring that it can handle heavy-duty tasks such as video editing without compromising performance. The warranty is also quite decent, backing the product for five years.

3. WD Black SN850X

WD Black SN850X

Form Factor: Best M.2 SSDs

Application: Best SSDs for PS5, Best Gaming SSDs

Key Features

  • Capacities: 1TB, 2TB, 4TB
  • Form Factor: M.2 2280
  • Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 4.0 x4 / NVMe
  • Sequential Reads/Writes: Up to 7,300 MBps / 6,600 MBps
  • Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / Up to 2400 TBW
Pros Cons
  • Top-tier performance
  • Large, consistent SLC cache
  • Strong warranty and software toolbox
  • Optional heatsink and RGB
  • The SN850, but better
  • Pricing

The WD Black SN850X is a testament to WD’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of storage technology. It’s apparent that when it comes to the best M.2 SSDs, this device stands tall. Built with the high-speed world of gaming in mind, the Black SN850X targets gamers, particularly those with a Sony PlayStation 5. Why? Because its optimized features and performance metrics align seamlessly with the demands of the next-generation console.

What’s more, it builds on the legacy of the SN850 by introducing further refinements. The boost in sequential read and write speeds means faster load times, quicker game transitions, and an overall smoother gaming experience. Add to that the consistent SLC cache, which ensures that the device can handle prolonged periods of intense data transfer without choking up.

An added advantage for those considering a PC setup or an upgrade is the strong warranty and the supportive software toolbox. This means that not only do you get a high-performance SSD, but you also get the tools and the peace of mind to maintain it. While its pricing could be a point of contention for some, it’s essential to juxtapose that cost against the value it offers.

4. Crucial P5 Plus

Crucial P5 Plus

Form Factor: Best Value PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD

Application: Best Gaming SSDs

Key Features

  • Capacities: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
  • Form Factor: M.2 2280 Single-sided
  • Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 4.0 x4 / NVMe 1.4
  • Sequential Reads/Writes: Up to 6,600 MBps / 5,000 MBps
  • Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / Up to 1,200 TBW
Pros Cons
  • Competitive pricing
  • Hardware-based AES 256-bit encryption
  • Blacked-out aesthetics
  • 5-year warranty
  • Software suite
  • Unimpressive sustained write performance
  • High idle power consumption
  • Less-than-average efficiency under load

The Crucial P5 Plus can be described as the quintessential balance between value and performance. As an evolution of its predecessor, the P5, it seeks to bridge the gaps where the original might have fallen short, making it one of the best buy SSDs available. Gamers and creative professionals are often in a tug-of-war between speed and budget. The P5 Plus aims to end that struggle.

Its competitive pricing does not mean that performance is compromised. With read and write speeds that can compete with some of the more premium SSDs in the market, it promises faster load times and a more responsive user experience. Security is another critical aspect of any storage device, and the P5 Plus excels here with its hardware-based AES 256-bit encryption. This level of encryption ensures that your data, be it games or professional projects, remains secure from potential breaches.

While its sustained write performance might not be its most significant strength, it’s essential to note that for the average user, this SSD more than delivers on its promise. Aesthetic enthusiasts will appreciate the blacked-out look which will easily blend into most PC builds, ensuring coherence in design.

5. Patriot Viper VPR400

Patriot Viper VPR400

Form Factor: Best M.2 SSDs

Application: Best Gaming SSDs, Best SSDs for Steam Deck

Key Features

  • Capacities: 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
  • Form Factor: M.2 2280
  • Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 4.0 x4 / NVMe
  • Sequential Reads/Writes: Up to 4,600 MBps / 4,400 MBps
  • Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / Up to 1,600 TBW (estimated)
Pros Cons
  • RGB customization
  • Sync compatibility with major motherboards
  • Attractive heatsink
  • Solid performance
  • Good warranty
  • Expensive

The Patriot Viper VPR400 can be viewed as the epitome of performance meeting aesthetics. Stepping into the sizable shoes of its predecessor, the VPR100, it’s clear that Patriot aims to maintain the legacy while introducing new and improved features.

One cannot discuss the VPR400 without mentioning its eye-catching RGB features. For gamers and PC enthusiasts who prioritize aesthetics as much as performance, the RGB, which syncs seamlessly with major motherboard brands, provides a touch of personalization that can be the difference between a good setup and a great one.

Performance-wise, the InnoGrit’s IG5220 controller combined with Micron’s 176-layer TLC flash ensures that the SSD performs at optimal levels for most users. The 5-year, 800TBW-per-TB warranty further ensures longevity and durability, aspects that are critical for gamers and professionals alike. It might not be the best budget SSDs, but it is definitely a good pick if you have money.

However, this blend of performance, aesthetics, and durability does come at a price. It’s positioned as a luxury product in the SSD market. But for those who value design as much as speed and are willing to pay a premium for it, the Viper VPR400 is an ideal choice.