45 SSDs tested

For a long time, when purchasing a new computer, the main focus was on the amount of storage space, with the idea that more is always better. By now, both users and manufacturers have become convinced that the speed of your data storage is more important than the amount of storage. Two years ago you had to pay close attention to whether your new PC had an SSD, nowadays we only see a traditional, slower hard disk among the real price fighters. An SSD is indispensable in every new system, but also in every older configuration. The question is: which SSD do you choose?

The arrival of the SSD has had a huge impact on the speed of our home, garden and kitchen computers, far more than any other component. With an SSD, the PC starts much faster, responds much faster to everything you ask of it, and the chance of malfunctions is also smaller. You don't have to leave it behind for the price either, the price per gigabyte has roughly halved since mid-2018 and an SSD of a few tens is sufficient for most users.

Different types of SSDs

SSDs come in different shapes and sizes. You usually connect an SSD to a SATA or M.2 connection on your motherboard. Sata is the old connection with which we have been connecting our mechanical hard drives to the computer for years. So you can connect a SATA SSD to practically any still somewhat usable system. The younger m.2 connection is more attractive for SSDs: it sits directly on the motherboard of modern systems, making cables unnecessary. Most m.2 SSDs are also significantly faster, although that depends on the protocol used.

Which protocol?

If your system has an m.2 connection, you still have to pay attention to the communication protocol. Most m.2 connections support so-called NVMe SSDs, which are considerably faster than SATA SSDs. There are also m.2 connections to which you can only connect m.2 SATA SSDs; an NVMe SSD will not work on that. To make it even more complex: for a few months now, NVMe generation 4 SSDs have also been on the market. To get the most out of that, you need a motherboard with the AMD X570 or TRX40 chipset. Because of this very specific target audience, we will discuss these NVMe gen4 SSDs separately at the end of this article.

NVMe rules!

It is a fact that NVMe-m.2 drives are faster than SATA SSDs. The maximum read speed of a SATA SSD is around 560 MByte/s, something we achieve or approach most SSDs. Even the slowest NVMe drive in this comparison is more than three times faster. The fastest NVMe-gen4 SSDs are even around 5000 MByte/s; about ten times faster. Dizzying amounts of data. Which brings us to the question of whether such speeds are really relevant to you.

When using a simple PC, such as browsing, emailing, or even some light photo editing, you rarely need more than a few megabytes per second of data. If you delve into the technology of NVMe drives, you will see that they are also faster for lighter tasks. But with a really practical look you have to conclude that for simple use you won't notice the difference between a budget SSD and a luxury SSD. If you are only interested in getting your PC to start up quickly and to give it a slightly modern feel, then the simple (and cheaper!) SATA SSD will do just fine. NVMe SSDs only come into their own for demanding users with heavy creative workloads such as video editing, workstation use, or when transferring large amounts of data frequently. Many manufacturers also target gamers, but the number of scenarios where gamers really take advantage of these speeds is limited.

What capacity?

A well-known phenomenon is that SSDs with more storage space are faster than smaller variants. Especially the really small SSDs up to approximately 256 GB are clearly slower than their larger relatives. At least, in the benchmarks. Any SSD can boot smoothly. The larger capacity also brings better durability as they have more memory cells. They are also often a lot cheaper per gigabyte. It doesn't make sense to buy an excessive amount of storage if you don't need it, but it definitely pays not to be too frugal. Switching from a 256GB to a faster, more durable 512GB SSD for a tenner or two more and thus also getting plenty of extra capacity for the future is not a bad investment.

What do we pay attention to?

For consumer use, we look at three results. First the maximum speeds, relevant when transferring large amounts of photo or video. Then the performance with smaller 4K data blocks, in other words how the SSD handles a lot of small files. And finally the combined real-world benchmark, a combination of tests that are representative of varied computing.

And what about reliability?

Ideally, we would give the most weight to reliability. This alone is almost impossible to test. Even entry-level SSDs can be racked up for years without shrinking, so by the time we get those results, those products will be long gone. If we base ourselves on the specifications of the manufacturers, then we also have to conclude that in practice you will never get to that. Not being able to distinguish properly is annoying for testers, but actually good news for consumers: the lifespan of all SSDs in this test is simply no longer a necessary consideration.

A longer warranty from the manufacturer does offer some value and is therefore worth a bonus point. However, in the past five years we have put many hundreds of SSDs into use here and only a few have broken down. Extra warranty is nice, but the chance that you will actually use it, even in five years, we estimate very small.

Have a backup!

SSDs are less vulnerable than mechanical drives, but anything can break! And where a mechanical disk often goes wrong before it stops working, an SSD goes from working without problems to completely unusable. So always make sure you have a good backup. Buying a more durable SSD does not guarantee problem-free functioning.

Migrate or clean install?

Most SSDs come with a migration tool to transfer your entire system. We think an SSD upgrade is a good time for a clean installation. Reinstalling Windows 10 is a snap, and that's how you really make a fresh start with your system. Make sure you have a good backup of your important files.

Flash memory quality

For a long time, the number of bits of data per cell was the best measure of quality and durability. SSDs that stored one bit per cell (SLC) were more durable than SSDs that stored two (MLC) or three (TLC) bits per cell. Less data per cell means less wear and tear. Today, consumer SLC SSDs no longer exist due to the high cost and practically every SSD is a TLC. Even 2bit MLC SSDs have become rare. True budget drives even store 4 bits of data per cell (QLC), with concessions in terms of speed and durability. Not a problem in itself, but only buy a QLC SSD if it is really much cheaper.


In the previous edition of our big SSD test, Samsung was the big winner. With its 860 EVO, the manufacturer had the best SATA SSD in its hands. No competing NVMe SSD really came close to the 970 EVO. Some time ago, Samsung launched the 970 EVO Plus SSD, the even faster EVO with almost no real competition. Both the 860 EVO, 970 EVO and the 970 EVO Plus are still among the best SSDs on the market, but the strong competitive position is now a thing of the past after some successful launches from competitors. At the same time, entry-level NVMe drives have become much cheaper. The once exceptional five-year warranty from Samsung has also become the standard. Both the 860 EVO and 970 EVO (Plus) definitely remain a top purchase, but Samsung has to make sure you don't pay too much extra for them. For a real pro user, the pricey Samsung 970 PRO remains the ultimate SSD on the market. As one of the few 2bit MLC SSDs, durability is a strong argument. Furthermore, the consistency tests show that this SSD is the best on the market. For consumers, however, they are simply (much) too expensive to recommend. At the other end of the spectrum we see the new Samsung 860 QVO, a 4bit QLC SSD. This one excels in the absolute lowest price per gigabyte, but it is also the slowest SSD on average in the test. As a secondary drive where every tenner counts, you can't go wrong with it.


One of the SSDs that gnaws at the chair legs of the Samsung 970 EVO Plus is the Patriot VPN100. It stands out first for its hefty black heatsink to keep it cool, then for its excellent high-end performance across the board. The VPN100 does have a rough side. For example, the PCB is a bit cheap-looking blue, the Patriot software is spartan and hardware encryption is missing. Also, the heatsink is not easy to remove; you risk damaging it if you try. That makes it unsuitable for laptops, for example. He does have a lower price. If the VPN100 can compete on price at the time of purchase, it is certainly a good option.


The Corsair MP510 is actually in the same division as the 970 EVO (Plus) and VPN100. This SSD can also be added to the list of 'the better NVMe SSDs'. Structurally excellent performance, no visible flaws and only in the smaller 4K blocks do we see the MP510 lagging slightly. As long as Corsair offers very competitive prices, that is not an argument. The following also applies to this disc: keep a close eye on it, if this offers a price advantage, this is a logical choice.


Kingston is betting on two NVMe SSDs. On the one hand with the KC series where the company wants to compete purely on performance, and on the other with the cheaper A series. In practice, the differences between the two are minimal. The cheaper A-series perform well and are not significantly inferior in terms of durability or warranty. The KC2000 is excellent, but paying a lot more than an A-series or other NVMe competitor is hard to defend. The A2000 has just been released and is currently difficult to deliver, but if it will soon become one of the cheapest NVMe drives on the market, like the previous A1000, it will take over as the affordable NVMe drive. As far as SATA SSDs are concerned, Kingston is also in on it. The UV500 is especially interesting if you want a small and cheap SSD. Think of a real budget-friendly upgrade of a simple system. The KC600 is one of the better SATA SSDs, but also costs a little more. It's a good choice if you can find a good offer, like any ssd, although you can sometimes buy a faster A1000 or A2000 for the same money.


Speaking of SATA drives, that's what makes Crucial doing well in the Netherlands. The real budget model BX500 is often the cheapest (decent) SATA SSD on the market, and fine for most simple tasks. The mainstream MX500 also delivers practically top-end performance for a slightly higher price. Skimping a few euros on your storage is not our preference, which makes the MX500 our recommendation for practically any system. Pay attention to the prices of entry-level NVMe drives, which are putting the prices of SATA SSDs under considerable pressure at the moment.


A challenger to the two Crucials is the Transcend SSD230S, an SSD that could use a slightly hipper or, above all, different name. The SSD230S delivers fairly unobtrusive midrange performance for a SATA drive; better than entry-level models like the BX500, but not quite as good as the MX500 or 860 EVO. The sustainability figures are above average, and many cheaper alternatives do not offer a five-year warranty. In addition, it is in some ways one of the cheapest options available. Paying a little more for this Transcend if you're also considering a BX500 or 860 QVO is well worth it, but it should be cheaper than the top SATA or entry-level NVMe drives.

Team Group

Team Group is throwing it over the rgb bow. The Delta RGB performs well for a SATA SSD, but there was no shortage of well-performing SSDs on the market. By giving it a striking shape and adding a lot of LEDs, Team Group hopes to convince gamers in particular. The end result is easy to summarize: if you want to pay a little more for some nice lights, you should consider these.

WD and SanDisk

WD and SanDisk are the same company today. The SanDisk Ultra 3D and WD Blue are barely distinguishable from each other. Both are substantive mid-range SATA SSDs, where it mainly comes down to price. WD still scores points with the WD Blue m.2-sata, because there are not many m.2-sata SSDs. After a false start with their first-generation NVMe SSDs in 2017, WD has made a nice catch up. The youngest WD Black NVMe, the SN750, is now participating nicely at the top of the playing field. Good performance, five-year warranty and competitive prices. We just don't understand why WD doesn't want to build in hardware encryption. You guessed it: this purchase also stands or falls with the right price. At the time of writing, that is unfortunately not the case and paying more for an SN750 over the excellent alternatives does not make sense.


Like WD, Seagate is also a hard drive manufacturer that has entered the SSD market. And not without merit, because both the Barracuda 510 and the Firecuda 510 show excellent performance for NVMe drives. We do not see a significant difference between the two series. SSDs up to 500 GB are called Barracuda and from 1 TB that is Firecuda. Seagate is in the lead in terms of warranty and durability is way above average (at least on paper). Overall, the performance is very good. Seagate is currently asking a bit too much for these SSDs. Paying more than for the average just better 970 EVO Plus is difficult to explain. Seagate only needs to lower the price of the SSD slightly to become an excellent choice.


Gigabyte focuses on the entire Gigabyte PC. You can buy cases, motherboards, video cards, coolers, power supplies, memory, monitors and peripherals from the brand, and now also SSDs. Unlike Samsung, Crucial and Kingston, Gigabyte doesn't make flash memory itself, so it can't compete with rock bottom prices. Relying on brand affinity is therefore a logical choice. None of their SSDs is really exceptional in terms of content. The Gigabyte SSD and UD Pro are nice entry-level SATA SSDs as long as the current price is favorable. Only the Aorus RGB NVMe SSD manages to stand out with its beautiful metal heatsink and RGB lighting. Keep in mind that you can only adjust the lighting to your own liking with a small number of Gigabyte motherboards.

Fourth Generation PCI Express SSDs

In the summer of 2019, AMD launched the third-generation AMD Ryzen processors and the new X570 chipset. These X570 motherboards are the first to support PCI-Express 4.0. This gives you more bandwidth for faster video cards and SSDs. Video cards that really benefit from this do not yet exist, but NVMe SSDs already ran into limits. As a result, we quickly saw the first SSDs of the fourth generation, which promise even higher speeds.

Three Gen4 SSDs for those specific motherboards are in our test: the Corsair Force MP600, the Gigabyte Aorus Gen4 and the Patriot Viper VP4100. It is difficult to compare them one-to-one, given the different specifications.

Are they the same?

The SSDs have the necessary similarities. For example, all Gen4 SSDs have a nice heatsink. You also pay quite a bit more for all three than for the gen3-NVMe alternatives. All three gen4 SSDs use the same Phison controller, currently the only gen4 controller on the market. This raises some objections. Although the gen4 SSDs deliver unprecedentedly high speeds in pure writing and reading performance, we see disappointing results in other tests. Both in the 4K benchmarks and the combined real-world benchmarks, they lag behind non-gen4 drives. And it is precisely that performance that really counts for the end user. It seems that Phison wanted to get the new controller to market very quickly, and most manufacturers have gone along with that Gen4 hype to quickly release a finished product without thinking about whether it really makes sense. Gen4 definitely has potential as a technology, but right now we don't see any of these three Gen4 SSDs as a reasonable purchase.


Seagates Ironwolf 110 is an odd one out in this test. It is in fact the first and currently only SSD that focuses purely on NAS use. If we look at the relevant performance for consumers, the Ironwolf 110 seems fairly dull and above all very expensive. But the Ironwolf 110 has the best credentials by far when it comes to durability, and it performs very well in a long-term consistency test. If you want an SSD for a spicy storage scenario, this is a logical choice. Only for 10 gigabit network scenarios you will want to look at NVMe solutions, if your NAS or server can handle them.


In the previous test, we saw Samsung as a clear winner for both SATA and NVMe SSDs, but we already indicated that a favorable price per gigabyte should be leading for most users. In the meantime, price is really decisive, because we don't see a single SSD that really leaves the competition behind. There are some great NVMe SSDs that are so close together that a tenner can make the difference between a good or a mediocre choice. SATA SSDs have also not escaped the price war, because although the market in itself has come to a standstill, we see that NVMe SSDs have become so cheap that they are almost as expensive as the better SATA drives, but that they are a lot faster. and thus compete with it. In short: making the right choice is more difficult than ever, although you can broadly maintain the following: if you are mainly looking for a basic SSD for upgrading an old system, then pick up a SATA SSD with more than sufficient capacity and the best price. per gigabyte ratio. Think of a Samsung 860 QVO or Crucial BX500, or an SSD that is currently on sale.

If you are looking for a decent SATA SSD, then we tend to the Crucial MX500: top performance and almost always a competitive price. The Samsung 860 EVO is slightly better, but often too expensive to defend.Here too counts: keep an eye on all competitors, such as from Transcend, Kingston and WD/SanDisk, because a nice offer makes the difference here too, in the absence of real practical impact.

If you can get rid of an m.2-NVMe drive, then every m.2-NVMe drive from the test with the best price per gigabyte is interesting. The Kingston A1000 and A2000 and Corsair MP510 are particularly popular at the moment, but with the caveat that prices fluctuate.

Want the best consumer m.2 NVMe drive? The Samsung 970 EVO Plus is objectively very, very close to the benchmark and a logical choice. There are plenty of excellent NVMe alternatives huffing and puffing, such as the Seagate Firecuda 510, WD Black SN750, Kingston A2000/KC2000 or Patriot Viper VPN100.

So it's all about the price, but don't forget to consider your own preferences with regard to encryption and warranty. Also consider the SSDs with a small target group, such as the Ironwolf 110 as a logical choice for NAS / file server or the SSDs with lights for the RGB enthusiast.

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