Solid-state drives (SSD) are like hard drives, but as the name suggests they have no moving parts. So not only are they more rugged than hard drives, they’re much, much faster.

This isn’t about go-faster bragging rights though.  Yes, you can copy enormous files to an SSD in record time, but it’s the massive boost that the drive will give you your computer’s responsiveness that will shock you most: applications launch almost instantly, web pages load faster, and Windows simply feels a lot faster.

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1. Samsung 860 Evo 1TB

Capacity: 1TB | Interface: SATA 6Gb/p/s | Sequential IO: 550/520MB/s read/write | Random IO: 98K/90K IOPS read/write | Endurance: 300 TBW

• As fast as SATA gets
• Proven Samsung reliability
• A choice of size options
• Beefy performance

• SATA bottlenecks
• Sometimes higher prices

Samsung has upped its game in the SSD stakes with some new editions. This, the 860 Evo  1TB unit is super efficient delivering sequential write speeds up to 520MB/s thanks to Intelligent TurboWrite technology, and sequential read speeds up to 550MB/s. That superior performance means that it is ideally suited for the huge files that are so commonplace today, such as 4K video content, and it’s easily one of the best SSD drives for 2019, even if it is using the older SATA technology to connect up to your system.

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2. WD Black SN750

Capacity: 250GB | Interface: PCIe 8Gb/s | Sequential IO: 3,470/3,000MB/s read/write | Random IO: 515/560K IOPS read/write | Endurance: 600 TBW

• Breakneck performance
• Robust monitoring software
• Affordable
• Insane performance

• Heatsink doesn’t come standard
• Same hardware as predecessor

With the WD Black SN750, the company is specifically focusing on PC gamers. While mobile and console gaming is widely popular, the PC gamer is able to tune their systems to get the biggest bang and that is where devices like the SN750 come into play. Leveraging 64-Layer 3D NAND, WD was able to push the capacity up to 2TB that helps store the modern games that can be over 100GB. The above-quoted speeds will lead to faster install times, which is beneficial when one loads the games they play to the SSD and leaves those less used on an HDD. The speeds also lead to faster load times, which, honestly, we all would enjoy more. Soon the SN750 will ship with a heatsink allowing for higher performance for longer, for the gamers that go all night.

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3. Samsung 970 PRO (1TB)

Capacities: 512GB, 1TB | Form Factor: M.2 2280 Single-sided | Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 3.1 x4 / NVMe 1.3 | Sequential Reads/Writes: 3,500 MBps / 2,700 MBps | Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / 1,200 TBW

• Excellent endurance
• Class-leading performance
• SSD Toolbox and cloning software included
• Full Disk Encryption

• Expensive
• Limited capacity range (512GB, 1TB)

TLC NAND based SSDs have flooded the market and have gotten even better than ever. But, even so, the performance of MLC NAND is just a step above. Want the best performing 1TB class M.2 NVMe SSD along with some of the best endurance in the market? Packed with Samsung’s 64L MLC V-NAND, the 970 PRO is an absolute beast that is capable of delivering consistent performance of up to 3.5/2.7GBps read/write. This performance does come at a cost, however, typically twice as much as competing products.

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4. MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro (512GB)

Capacities: 240GB, 480GB, 960GB, 1.92TB | Form Factor: M.2 2280 Single-sided (240GB/480GB) Double-sided (960GB/1.92TB) | Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 3.1 x4 / NVMe 1.3 | Sequential Reads/Writes: 3,400 MBps / 2,100 MBps | Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / 800 TBW

• Competitive pricing
• Great sequential performance
• Class leading endurance ratings
• Good power efficiency
• AES-256, TCG Opal and Pyrite encryption support

• Slightly lower than average application performance
• No software included

The MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro is the SSD to get in the 512GB class. With speeds of speeds of up to 3,400 MB/s read and 2,100 MB/s write and an endurance rating of up to 800 TBW, overall, MyDigitalSSD’s BPX Pro delivers an impressive performance to endurance ratio that content creators just can’t ignore.

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5. Adata XPG SX8200 SSD

Capacities: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB | Form Factor: M.2 2280 Double-sided | Transfer Interface/Protocol: PCIe 3.0 x4 / NVMe 1.3 | Sequential Reads/Writes: 3,500 MBps / 3,000 MBps | Warranty/Endurance: 5 Years / 640 TBW

• Class-leading performance
• Class-leading power efficiency
• Black PCB w/ stylish DIY heat spreader
• SSD Toolbox and cloning software included
• Designed for demanding use
• Some of the best speeds on the market
• Stellar performance

• Same endurance as the non-Pro model
• Write speeds fall behind

If you need a top-level SSD for gaming, video editing and all-round PC enthusiast use, by all means, give the XPG SX8200 Pro a look while you’re shopping: the PCIe connection brings with it blazing fast read and write speeds of 3,500MB/s and 3,000MB/s respectively.

That means you’re getting some of the best speeds on the market at the moment right out of the box thanks to NVMe and M.2. The drive comes with an integrated heatsink for keeping temperatures down, as well as Adata’s useful drive monitoring software.