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The best SSDs you can buy

Whether you're building your first PC or looking to upgrade, the best SSDs can give your computer a boost of speed as well as more storage capacity.
Written by Taylor Clemons, Staff Writer
Reviewed by Allison Murray

A solid-state drive (SSD) can be an excellent upgrade to your laptop, desktop, or gaming console. By using flash memory rather than physical platters and reading arms like traditional hard-disk drives, SSDs provide faster boot times for PCs as well as quicker file retrieval and loading times for video games. And while you won't be able to find any double-digit terabyte storage in either an internal or external SSD, you can still get up to 8TB in a consumer-grade model. 

Also: The best external hard drives

My choice for the best SSD is the Crucial MX500 for its wide range of storage capacities, compatibility with both Windows and macOS computers, and budget-friendly price at all capacities. You can keep reading below to find out more about the Crucial MX500 and our other top picks for the best SSDs.

The best SSDs of 2023

Pros & Cons
  • Windows and Mac compatible
  • Up to 4TB capacity
  • Decent read and write speeds
  • No encryption or password protection
  • Not great for gaming
More Details

Crucial MX500 tech specs: Capacity: 500GB - 4TB | Read speed: 560MB/s | Write speed: 510MB/s | Encryption: N/A | Compatibility: PC, Mac, iOS | Platform: Internal 2.5-inch (PC, laptop)   

The Crucial MX500 is an excellent choice for a solid-state drive, whether you're looking for a secondary storage drive or an upgrade. It's available in capacities as little as 500GB to an impressive 4TB, allowing you to choose the model that best suits your needs. It's compatible with Windows and macOS devices, which means that you can drop it into either your MacBook Pro or Asus 2-in-1 without any issues.  

With read and write speeds of 560 and 510 MB/s, respectively, you'll get faster access to your most-used files as well as faster boot times for your computer over a standard HDD. The 2.5-inch SATA form-factor also means that you can use the Crucial MX500 in either a desktop tower or laptop. 

Pros & Cons
  • Up to 8TB capacity
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Magician 6 dekstop app
  • Windows, Mac, and Linux support
  • Pricey
  • Not great read/write speeds for gaming
More Details

Samsung 870 QVO tech specs: Capacity: 8TB | Read speed: 560MB/s | Write speed: 510MB/s | Encryption: 256-bit AES | Compatibility: PC, Mac, Linux | Platform: Internal (PC, laptop)  

The Samsung 870 QVO is one of the largest SSDs you can buy with a staggering 8TB capacity. This makes it perfect for content creators who deal with large photo and video files, digital artists, gamers, and anyone else who needs truly vast storage. It's compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux devices and offers 256-bit AES encryption to protect your data and personal information from unauthorized access. 

Samsung also equipped the 870 QVO with intelligent turbowrite technology, which they claim helps optimize buffering as well as disk space for better performance over time. And with the Magician 6 desktop app, you get full access to diagnostic information like operating temperatures, benchmark data, and real-time drive health. This helps you catch issues before they can corrupt your data.

Pros & Cons
  • Under $100
  • Decent storage capacity
  • Decent read and write speeds
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Somewhat slow read/write speeds for gaming
More Details

Samsung 870 EVO 250GB tech specs: Capacity: 250GB | Read speed: 560MB/s | Write speed: 530MB/s | Encryption: 256-bit AES | Compatibility: PC, Mac, Linux | Platform: External (PC, laptop, console)   

If you're working with a limited budget and looking to upgrade your computer or build a cheap desktop, the 250GB Samsung 870 EVO is the best option. This SSD retails for about $50, making it one of the most affordable on the market. And just because it's cheap, that doesn't mean you miss out on important features.  

The 870 EVO is compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux systems for better performance across different operating systems. It also provides read and write speeds up to 560 and 530 MB/s, respectively for faster file retrieval and PC boot times. It also provides 256-bit AES encryption for data and file protection against unauthorized access. You can also get real-time diagnostic data with the Samsung Magician desktop app so you can catch issues before they can corrupt your data or ruin your new storage drive. 

Pros & Cons
  • Data recovery services available
  • Up to 4TB capacity
  • Ultra-fast read/write speeds
  • Windows, Linux, and PS5 support
  • No encryption
  • Heatsink model may not fit in all laptops or PS5 consoles
More Details

Seagate FireCuda 530 tech specsCapacity: 500GB - 4TB | Read speed: 7300MB/s | Write speed: 6900MB/s | Encryption: N/A | Compatibility: PC, Playstation 5, Linux | Platform: Internal M.2 NVMe (Laptop, desktop, PS5)   

The Seagate FireCuda 530 is one of my top picks for the best gaming SSDs, and for great reasons. With capacities up to 4TB, you can choose a size that best fits your current game library as well as future downloads. It also supports both Windows and Linux PC systems as well as PlayStation 5 consoles, making upgrading quick and easy.  

You'll also get incredibly fast read and write speeds up to 7300 and 6900 MB/s, respectively. This means you'll get blazing fast boot and loading times as well as much quicker file retrieval. And with Seagate's data recovery service, you can retrieve lost or corrupted data for peace of mind.

Pros & Cons
  • Encryption and password protection
  • Very rugged outer case
  • Great read/write speeds
  • Lots of capacity options
  • Expensive at higher capacities
  • No data recovery plan included
More Details

SanDisk Extreme Portable tech specs: Capacity: 500GB - 4TB | Read speed: 1050MB/s | Write speed: 1000MB/s | Encryption: 256-bit AES | Compatibility: PC, Mac, Linux | Platform: External (PC, laptop, console) 

For speed and reliability on the go, the SanDisk Extreme portable SSD is a great option. The external case is designed with mobile professionals in mind, providing IP55 dust and water resistance as well as resistance to falls, drops, shocks, and even airport X-rays. The case also has a built-in carabiner loop for attaching a lanyard to keep the drive close at-hand when you need it. 

You can choose capacities from as little as 500GB for everyday home and office use to an impressive 4TB for handling raw photo and video files as well as finished projects. You'll also get read and write speeds of 1050 and 1000MB/s, respectively for faster access to your files, documents, and programs. And if you're worried about prying eyes getting at your personal information or work documents when you aren't looking, the SanDisk Extreme lets you set up both password protection and 256-bit AES encryption.

What is the best SSD?

My choice for the best SSD is the Crucial MX500. It's available in capacities ranging from as little as 500GB to an impressive 4TB. And each capacity is offered at a more budget-friendly price than competitors with similar storage. It offers read and write speeds of 560 and 510MB/s, respectively, which is great for typical office work, home use, and students. Though gamers may want to pick up a different drive for more intense titles. 

Best SSD



Read/write speed

Crucial MX500


Up to 4TB

560/510 MB/s

Samsung 870 QVO



560/530 MB/s

Samsung 870 EVO 250GB


Up to 4TB

560/530 MB/s  

Seagate FireCuda 530


Up to 4TB  

7300/6900 MB/s

SanDisk Extreme portable SSD


Up to 4TB  

1050/1000 MB/s

*MSRP at time of writing. Please note actual retail price may vary depending on seller as well as available promotions and sales.

Which SSD is right for you?

It all depends on what you want the solid state drive to do. If you want to upgrade your boot drive, you'll want to invest in a reliable SSD with decent read and write speeds as well as a reasonable price tag. For gamers, you'll want something with a large storage capacity as well as faster read and write speeds to handle large game downloads and launching apps and programs. For home use, a budget-friendly, low-capacity SSD is perfectly fine for handling documents, photos, web browsing, and more.

Buy this best SSD...

If you need...

Crucial MX500

A well-rounded solid-state drive. The Crucial MX500 is available in capacities up to 4TB while still offering a budget-friendly price.

Samsung 870 QVO

A high-capacity solid-state drive. The Samsung 870 QVO is available in capacities up to 8TB, making it perfect for content creators.

Samsung 870 EVO 250GB

A budget-friendly SSD. The Samsung 870 EVO 250GB SSD retails for about $50, making it one of the most affordable SSDs on the market.

Seagate FireCuda 530

An SSD for PC or console gaming. The FireCuda 530 is available in up to 4TB capacities, and is compatible with desktops, laptops, and PS5 consoles.

SanDisk Extreme portable SSD

A rugged SSD. The SanDisk Extreme offers IP55 water and dust resistance as well as protection against drops, shocks, and bumps.

How did we choose these SSDs?

While researching each SSD on this list, I kept these criteria in mind: 

  • Price: While solid-state drives are still more expensive than their HDD counterparts, it's still easy to find budget-friendly models. I've done my best to include SSDs at varying price points to suit different budgets. 
  • Storage capacity: It's easier than ever to find an SSD with a higher storage capacity. Gone are the days where you needed multiple drives to cover all of your storage needs. Every SSD on this list was chosen for its variety of storage capacities, often ranging from 250GB to 2TB. 
  • Read and write speed: The best advantage an SSD has is its speed. A solid-state drive uses flash memory to store and retrieve data, which allows it to be much faster than a traditional hard-disk drive with its mechanical parts and physical media. Each SSD on this list has been ensured to have a base read and write speed of at least 500 MB/s. 
  • Durability: Whether you're looking for a portable SSD or an internal upgrade for your computer, you want it to last. Portable SSDs featured on this list have been ensured to conform to IPX water, dust, and shock resistance while internal SSDs have been vetted for their lifetime data load to ensure durability and years of use. 

How many years will an SSD last?

Since a solid state drive doesn't have any moving parts, they can last quite a bit longer than a traditional HDD. A well-built SSD will last at least five years with moderate use, and high-quality SSDs can give you up to 10 years of use. You'll want to re-assess your storage needs every few years or so as well as regularly run diagnostics on your storage and boot drives to keep an eye on things as well as catch any issues before they have the chance to wipe or corrupt your data.

How many gigabytes should my SSD be?

PYou don't have to buy a high-capacity SSD to get the best value. If you're wanting an SSD as your boot drive (where your operating system is stored), something around 250 to 500GB will be plenty of space. However, if you're wanting an SSD as a secondary storage drive or even your main, you'll want to err on the side of caution and get at least a 1TB capacity. This way, you know you'll have plenty of space for photos, videos, apps, game files, and documents. If you're an avid gamer, you'll want at least 1TB of storage on your SSD to make sure there's enough space for large download files and update patch information, but 2TB is what I recommend as game files only get larger with each new title that's released.

Which is faster: SSD or HDD?

If you're building your first PC or planning upgrades to your current build, deciding which kind of hard drive to use can be tricky. If you want to prioritize speed, whether it's boot times or accessing files and loading programs, a solid state drive is the way to go. Solid state drives can get incredibly fast read/write speeds because they use flash memory, similar to what is used in USB drives and your RAM, to store and access files and programs. This means that there are no moving parts to wait for or that risk damaging your data. 

A traditional hard disk drive operates similarly to a vinyl record turntable: you have the disc, an aperture arm, and a needle. The needle "reads" the information on the discs to access files and programs or boot your computer. And while HDDs are significantly less expensive than their solid state counterparts, they also come with a high risk of mechanical failure as well as slower read and write speeds. But if you want to prioritize cost and storage capacity, an HDD is the better choice since they're less expensive and come in capacities up to 20TB.

Why are SSDs so much more expensive than HDDs?

It's all about what's inside your hard drive. A solid-state drive uses flash memory to store documents, programs, and files. This means that it uses a chipset similar to a RAM stick to store and retrieve photos, video, and more. It also means that loading, launching, and retrieval is much faster than a traditional HDD. 

A traditional hard drive uses a series of platters and a reading arm, similar to how a vinyl turntable works. The arm "reads" the platter, looking for the file or program you want to access, which is much slower than the flash memory of SSDs. It also means that you'll be at risk of losing your data to mechanical failure. Hard-disk drives are a much older, more established technology, so they're a lot cheaper to produce than SSDs. But as solid-state drives become more popular and cheaper to produce, consumers will see prices steadily fall as the years go by.

Are there alternative SSDs worth considering?

As the technology becomes cheaper to produce, prices of even high-capacity solid state drives have come down considerably since SSDs were first introduced. This means that you can find tons of great, affordable options for reliable storage in your laptop or PC. Here's a short list of alternative choices that I thought were great:

A PNY CS900 SSD on a grey background

Best budget alternative

PNY CS900 500GB

This ultra budget-friendly SSD gives you 500GB of storage as well as read and write speeds up to 550MB/s. It's also compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux.

View at Best Buy
A WD Black SN850X SSD on a grey background

Best gaming alternative

WD Black SN850X

The WD Black SN850X is a great SSD choice for PC and console gamers looking for enhanced storage and faster loading times. It's available in capacities from 1 to 4TB with read and write speeds up to 7300 and 6350MB/s, respectively. 

View at Best Buy
A Samsung T9 portable SSD on a grey background

Best rugged alternative

Samsung T9 portable SSD

The Samsung T9 portable SSD is built with a rugged chassis to protect against drops, dust, and moisture. It also features 256-bit AES encryption to protect your data and personal information from unauthorized access.

View at Best Buy
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