Sunday, January 24th, 2021

Best SSDs (Solid-State Drives) of 2021: It’s Upgrade Time!

Best SSDs : Internal SSDs come in different shapes and sizes.
Consumer-grade SSDs generally comes in 2.5-inch (SATA) and M.2 (NVMe) designs

Migrating your computer from a hard drive to a solid-state drive (SSD) is by far the most gratifying upgrade. So, getting the right drive is naturally an important task. This post includes the best SSDs I’ve reviewed.

Dong’s note: This is a frequently updated post.

Best SSDs of 2021: The lists

You’ll find here standard SATA and NVMe drives, divided into two lists in reviewed order with the latest on top.

NVMe and SATA are two different internal storage types — more about them in this post on SSD basics.

READ NOW:  SSD Explained: Everything You Need To Know about Solid-State Drives

Best NVMe SSDs of 2021: A must for a top performing computer

Newer and much faster NVMe SSDs require a host that has an M.2 slot. Most computers released in the past five years have this slot built-in, but you can upgrade to one on almost all desktop computers via a PCIe adapter.

7. SK hynix Gold P31: Arguably the PCIe 3.0 NVMe drive of the best value

SK hynix Gold P31

The Gold P31 is SK hynix’s first retail NVMe SSD and it proved that the out-going PCIe 3.0 standard still has a lot to offer. The new drive delivered a stellar performance in my testing and even edged out the PCIe 4.0-based drive below in certain tests.

That plus the higher endurance and much more affordable pricing mean this is an excellent NVMe deal, if not the best to date.

SK hynix Gold P31 PCIe NVMe Gen 3 M.2 SSD

$134.99
8.7

Performance

9.5/10

Features

7.5/10

Value

9.0/10

Pros

  • Stellar performance
  • High-endurance
  • Five-year warranty

Cons

  • Storage caps at 1TB
  • No user-accessible features
  • No hardware encryption
READ NOW:  SK hynix Gold P31 Review: An Excellent NVMe Deal

6. Samsung 980 PRO: First PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD

Samsung SSD 980 Pro 1
The Samsung 980 RO is the very first PCIe 4.0-based NVMe SSD.

Samsung 980 PRO NVMe SSD

9

Performance

9.5/10

Features

9.0/10

Value

8.5/10

Pros

  • PCIe 4.0 support, excellent performance
  • Reasonably priced
  • Backward compatible with PCIe Gen 3
  • Helpful Samsung Magician software with lots of useful settings and features
  • 5-year warranty

Cons

  • Half the endurance rating of the 970 PRO
  • No larger capacities than 2TB
READ NOW:  Samsung 980 PRO Review: A Game Changer in NVMe Performance

5. Seagate IronWolf 510: A NAS NVMe that works well as a super-fast PC SSD

Seagate IronWolf 510 NVMe SSD 3
Available in up to .92 TB of storage space, the Seagate IronWolf 510 comes with extreme endurance.

Seagate IronWolf 510 SSD

8.5

Performance

8.0/10

Features

8.5/10

Value

9.0/10

Pros

  • Extremely high endurance
  • Excellent real-world performance
  • High capacity
  • 2-year of data rescue services included
  • 5-year warranty

Cons

  • The write speeds could use some improvement
  • Comparatively expensive
  • No SATA versions
READ NOW:  Seagate IronWolf 510 SSD Review: An Excellent NVMe Drive For All

4. Silicon Power A80: A generic NVMe that rocks

SPA80 Hand Top
The A80 NVMe SSD from Silicon Power.

Silicon-Power P34A80 NVMe SSD

8

Performance

8.5/10

Features

7.0/10

Value

8.5/10

Pros

  • Fast performance for daily usage
  • Affordable, high-endurance
  • Generous five-year warranty

Cons

  • Performance reduction in extended operations
  • Generic feel, no user-accessible features
READ NOW:  Silicon-Power A80 Review: An Excellent Generic NVMe SSD

3. WD Blue SN550: A Fast and affordable NVMe SSD

WD Blue SN550 SSD Hand
The WD Blue SN550 is a nice upgrade to the previous SN500.

WD Blue SN550 NVMe Internal SSD

8.2

Performance

8.0/10

Features

8.0/10

Value

8.5/10

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Fast performance for general usage
  • Useful dashboard software
  • High endurance

Cons

  • Capacity caps at 1TB
  • Relatively low performance in demanding tasks
  • No hardware encryption
READ NOW:  WD Blue SN550 Review: A Fast and Affordable NVMe SSD

2. WD Blue SN500 SSD: The easy low-capacity, modest NVMe upgrade

The WD Blue SN500 NVMe is a typical M.2 solid-state drive.
The WD Blue SN500 NVMe is a typical M.2 solid-state drive.

WD Blue SN500 NVMe Solid-State Drive

8.2

Performance

8.0/10

Features

8.5/10

Value

8.0/10

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Fast performance and high endurance
  • Useful software and features

Cons

  • No encryption, two-lane MVNe specs
  • No higher capacities than 500GB
READ NOW:  WD Blue SN500 SSD Review: An Easy NVMe Upgrade

1. Samsung 970 EVO Plus: The ultimate PCIe 3.0 NVMe solid-state drive

Samsung 970 Evo Plus 3
The Samsung 970 EVO Plus is the ultimate NVMe choice for any home computer.

Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe solid-state drive

8.3

Performance

9.0/10

Features

8.0/10

Value

8.0/10

Pros

  • Fast performance at affordable pricing
  • High endurance
  • Easy to use with lots of features

Cons

  • Can't handle sustained sequential writes at high speed
READ NOW:  Samsung 970 EVO Plus Review: Totally Fast and a Bit More

Best SATA SSD of 2021: An easy upgrade

The SATA standard is much slower than the NVMe above but still significantly faster than any traditional hard drive.

A SATA SSD will fit in the place of any regular hard drive and therefore, will make an easy and satisfying upgrade in any computer that still runs on a hard drive.

6. Samsung SSD 870 EVO: Arguable the best SATA drive to date

Samsung 870 EVO SSD on Box
The Samsung 870 EVO SSD has an excellent combo of fast performance, rich feature set and friendly pricing.

Samsung SSD 870 QVO

8.2

Performance

8.0/10

Features

8.0/10

Value

8.5/10

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Excellent performance for daily task,
  • Useful software
  • Up to 8 TB of storage space

Cons

  • Sequential write speed is slow in extended tasks
  • Comparatively low endurance
  • Not available in M.2 design
READ NOW:  Samsung SSD 870 QVO Review: A Sizable and Excellent Upgrade

5. Samsung SSD 870 QVO: A sizable and excellent SATA upgrade for a budget computer

Samsung SSD 870 QVO 5
The latest Samsung SSD 870 QV0 is available in up to 8 TB of storage space.

Samsung SSD 870 QVO

8.2

Performance

8.0/10

Features

8.0/10

Value

8.5/10

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Excellent performance for daily task,
  • Useful software
  • Up to 8 TB of storage space

Cons

  • Sequential write speed is slow in extended tasks
  • Comparatively low endurance
  • Not available in M.2 design
READ NOW:  Samsung SSD 870 QVO Review: A Sizable and Excellent Upgrade

4. WD Red SA500: A versatile SATA NAS SSD that’s also great for PCs

WD Red SA500 Hand
The WD Red SA500 is available in both 2.5-inch and M.2 designs.

WD Red SA500 NAS SATA SSD

8.8

Performance

9.0/10

Features

8.5/10

Value

9.0/10

Pros

  • Affordable with long warranty
  • Excellent performance
  • 2.5-inch and M.2 form factors
  • High capacity

Cons

  • Relatively low endurance when compared to competing drive
  • No NVMe version, 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch mounting bracket not included
READ NOW:  WD Red SA500 NAS SSD Review: Excellent for PCs, Too!

3. SK hynix Gold S31: The nice new kid on the block

SK Hynix Gold S31 PORT
The SK Hynix Gold S31 is a standard SATA SSD.

SK Hynix Gold S31 SSD

8.2

Performance

8.5/10

Features

7.5/10

Value

8.5/10

Pros

  • Relatively affordable
  • Fast performance
  • Longevity

Cons

  • Storage caps at 1TB
  • No user-accessible features
READ NOW:  SK hynix Gold S31 Review: Excellent Replacement SSD

2. Seagate IronWolf 110: A standard SATA SSD with extreme endurance

Synology DS419slim SSD
The Seagate IronWolf 110 SSD is the best internal drive to use with the Synology DS419slim NAS server.

Seagate IronWolf 110 NAS SSD

8.3

Performance

8.5/10

Features

8.5/10

Value

8.0/10

Pros

  • Extremely high endurance
  • Fast performance
  • Long warranty and easy to use

Cons

  • A bit expensive
  • Runs hot
  • No M.2 or NVMe version
READ NOW:  Seagate IronWolf 110 SSD Review: Your NAS' Best Friend

1. Micron Crucial BX500: The low-cost replacement SSD for a budget computer

The new Crucial BX500 SSD from Micron.
The new Crucial BX500 SSD from Micron.

Crucial BX500 solid-state drive

8

Performance

7.5/10

Features

7.5/10

Value

9.0/10

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Good performance and endurance
  • Useful software and features

Cons

  • No encryption, bare-bone specs
  • Short 3-year warranty
  • No higher capacities than 960GB
READ NOW:  Micron Crucial BX500 Review: Totally a Great Deal

Best SSDs of 2021: SATA vs. NVMe performance

When reviewing solid-state drives, I generally only stack drives of the same type (SATA or MVMe) against one another. Since this list includes both types, however, you’ll find below performance charts of all drives. So, you’ll see here how SATA drives stack up against NVMe counterparts.

Sequential (copy) performance

This chart shows how fast solid-state drives perform when copying a large amount of data from one place to another. It applies general data transferring tasks, such as when you want to backup your data or, recovering data from a backup

Best SSD Copy Perf Charts

Random access performance

Random access performance shows how a solid-state drive affects the host computer’s overall performance. It represents tasks like launching an application or editing a large data file.

Best SSD IOPS Perf Charts

Now that you have found out which drive you should get. Check out how you can migrate a hard drive to an SSD or do an MVMe upgrade on your Windows 10 machine.

4 thoughts on “Best SSDs (Solid-State Drives) of 2021: It’s Upgrade Time!”

  1. Why no SanDisk SSD? Great budget SSD and good performance options. I have two 960GB Ultra IIs that are going strong 4-5 years now.

    Reply
    • They haven’t made new ones for a long time, WP. The one you mentioned I reviewed in my past life at CNET, not on this site.

      Reply

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