Best SSDs 2019: The top NVMe and SATA drives around
Speed, reliability and value - it’s all here
Storage is an often-overlooked part of computing. The speed of your hard drive can make a big difference to how fast your computer feels, particularly when it comes to booting up and opening apps. SSDs have played a huge part in making devices feel snappy and responsive to use, while older spinning-platter hard drives have an advantage in terms of capacity, they're markedly slower in data transfer speeds, and can result in your device feeling more sluggish in day-to-day operations.
For this reason, it's important to make sure you're using a good-quality drive, but raw speed isn't the only factor you should consider, particularly within the context of business devices. An SSD's reliability should also be taken into account. Drives are generally guaranteed by the manufacturer to have a certain lifespan, meaning a specific quantity of data that can be written to the device before it starts to break down. Enterprise drives generally feature more generous guarantees, on the basis that they're likely to be used more intensively and more often.
For any business that deals in large volumes of local data, such as media files, 3D models, large databases and so on, making sure the drives in your machines have long lifespans is crucial to prevent hardware failures and costly replacements. Security may also be an important factor. Some drives feature built-in encryption, which is useful for ensuring an added layer of security for those working on sensitive or confidential information.
Below, we've listed some of our favourite SSDs. Whether you're building a custom system from scratch or upgrading an existing machine, these drives are well worth considering.
Adata XPG SX8200 Pro
Representing outstanding value, this NVMe drive from Adata is an excellent choice for those on a budget. It keeps up a good pace, with tests above 1GB/sec in our large file transfer test for both read and write operations. You'll struggle to find any capacities larger than 1TB, but the price per GB is pleasingly low across the full range of capacities, and the durability is impressive too.
|Cost per GB||16.5p|
Price when reviewed: 145 exc VAT
Read our full Adata XPG SX8200 Pro review here
Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB
While most of its rivals are toiling away using 64-layer V-NAND memory technology, Samsung has changed the game by building this SSD using 96-layer V-NAND. Combined with TLC bit storage technology, it offers a huge boost to write speeds, with a staggering performance of 3.2GB/sec in our tests. It's a business drive too, which means great longevity guarantees and a generous warranty.
|Cost per GB||19.6p|
Price when reviewed: 98 exc VAT
Read our full Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB review here
WD Blue SN500
Another drive that offers outstanding performance for the price, the WD Blue SN500 is keenly-priced at less than 60 before tax for the 500GB option. Using both M.2 and NVMe technology, the SN500 manages to be both relatively speedy and still highly affordable. Speeds are nowhere near the scorching figures achieved by more expensive rivals, but if you can live with that, the SN500 is a great-value option.
|Cost per GB||14p|
Price when reviewed: 58 exc VAT
Read our full WD Blue SN500 review here
Samsung 860 Evo
While NVMe drives have by now surpassed their SATA equivalents in terms of both speed and value, the fact remains that many machines still only support the older standard. For these devices, Samsung's 860 Evo is the best SATA SSD around, offering great speeds (for a SATA drive, at least) as well as a high durability rating and a good-value price.
|Cost per GB||32.8p|
Price when reviewed: 68 exc VAT
Read our full Samsung 860 Evo review here
Samsung Portable SSD X5
The downside to modern laptops is that it's not always possible for anyone but authorised repair outlets to upgrade or replace the internal components. In these cases, portable drives like Samsung's X5 can come in very handy. With a maximum read speed of 2.3GB/sec, its performance is up to scratch - although you'll need a Thunderbolt-enabled port in order to use it.
|Cost per GB||52p|
Price when reviewed: 525 exc VAT
Read our full Samsung Portable SSD X5 review here