头头体育滚球官网 www.compressmachine.com In our series of Solid State Drive guides, here’s the latest update to our list of recommended SSDs. All numbers in the text are updated to reflect pricing at the time of writing.

Best SSDs: Q1 2019

A solid state drive is often the most important component for making a PC feel fast and responsive; any PC still using a mechanical hard drive as its primary storage is long overdue for an upgrade. After months of price drops, now is also a great time to upgrade an older SSD with a newer model offering higher capacity or a faster NVMe interface.

Last year saw massive SSD price drops across the entire market. Prices are still declining, but not as quickly as they were several months ago. Overall, the market has settled down quite a bit, but there are some important changes underway.

The first products using 96-layer 3D NAND started shipping last year, but with NAND prices (and margins) so low, manufacturers aren't eager to burn capital ramping up 96L production. The transition away from 64L will take most of the year, but that's not a problem: so far, the 96L products offer only minimal improvements to performance or power efficiency. Not much is changing with SSD controllers at the moment, either, and even in the high-end NVMe market segment we're seeing many new products re-using familiar old controllers. We don't expect any significant changes in the controller landscape until the Phison E16 brings PCIe 4.0 support to consumer SSDs in the second half of 2019.

February 2019 SSD Recommendations
Market Segment Recommendations
Mainstream 2.5" SATA WD Blue 3D NAND 1TB $125.99 (13¢/GB)
Entry-level NVMe Intel SSD 660p 2TB $244.99 (12¢/GB)
High-end NVMe HP EX920 1TB $159.99 (16¢/GB)
M.2 SATA WD Blue 3D NAND 1TB $125.99 (13¢/GB)

Above are some recommendations of good deals in each market segment. Some of these aren't the cheapest option in their segment and instead are quality products worth paying a little extra for.

The next table is a rough summary of what constitutes a good deal on a current model in today's market. Sales that don't beat these prices are only worth a second glance if the drive is nicer than average for its product segment.

February 2019 SSD Recommendations: Price to Beat, ¢/GB
Market Segment 128GB 256GB 512GB 1TB 2TB
Budget 2.5" SATA 19 ¢/GB 12 ¢/GB 10 ¢/GB 11 ¢/GB  
Mainstream 2.5" SATA   20 ¢/GB 14 ¢/GB 13 ¢/GB 14 ¢/GB
Entry-level NVMe 27 ¢/GB 20 ¢/GB 14 ¢/GB 13 ¢/GB 12 ¢/GB
High-end NVMe   23 ¢/GB 20 ¢/GB 20 ¢/GB 20 ¢/GB
M.2 SATA   20 ¢/GB 14 ¢/GB 13 ¢/GB 14 ¢/GB

As always, the prices shown are merely a snapshot at the time of writing. We make no attempt to predict when or where the best discounts will be. Instead, this guide should be treated as a baseline against which deals can be compared. All of the drives recommended here are models we have tested in at least one capacity or form factor, but in many cases we have not tested every capacity and form factor. For drives not mentioned in this guide, our SSD Bench database can provide performance information and comparisons.

Mainstream 2.5" SATA: WD Blue 3D NAND, Crucial MX500

Entry-level SATA SSDs with DRAMless controllers are the cheapest drives on the market, with 120GB models now around $20. However, for general-purpose consumer usage we recommend getting a mainstream SATA SSD with a DRAM cache and drive capacity of at least 240GB. The combination of better performance, higher write endurance and longer warranty is usually worth the upgrade. The entry-level drives from the most reputable large brands (eg. Crucial BX500) tend to be slightly more expensive and thus come too close to the pricing of the mainstream drives.

These days, the best options for a mainstream SATA drive are all at least 240GB. This is large enough for the operating system and all your everyday applications and data, but not necessarily enough for a large library of games, movies or photos. Drives in the 240–256GB range tend to be significantly slower than larger models, and the per-GB pricing is significantly higher than for 480GB and larger drives.

  240-256GB 480-525GB 1TB 2TB
Samsung 860 EVO $57.99 (23¢/GB) $79.99 (16¢/GB) $147.99 (15¢/GB) $297.99 (15¢/GB)
WD Blue 3D NAND $49.30 (20¢/GB) $67.99 (14¢/GB) $125.99 (13¢/GB) $289.99 (14¢/GB)
SanDisk Ultra 3D $49.99 (20¢/GB) $67.99 (14¢/GB) $129.99 (13¢/GB) $279.99 (14¢/GB)
Crucial MX500 $49.95 (20¢/GB) $67.95 (14¢/GB) $134.95 (13¢/GB) $289.95 (14¢/GB)
ADATA SU800 $42.99 (17¢/GB) $62.99 (12¢/GB) $118.99 (12¢/GB) $239.99 (12¢/GB)

Among current-generation mainstream SATA drives with 64-layer TLC NAND and a full-size DRAM cache, the differences in performance and power consumption are slight, so the best pick is usually whichever one is cheapest. The ADATA SU800 is an older generation drive with slower Micron 32-layer 3D TLC, but its 2TB model is significantly cheaper than the newer competitors.


The market for consumer NVMe SSDs has broadened enough to be split into entry-level and high-end segments. There are now several low-cost NVMe SSD controllers that feature only four NAND channels instead of eight, and most of these controllers also have just two PCIe lanes instead of the four used by high-end drives. The entry-level NVMe segment is also where four bit per cell (QLC) NAND has had the most impact so far.

Almost all consumer NVMe SSDs use the M.2 2280 form factor, but a handful are PCIe add-in cards. The heatsinks on many of the add-in cards tend to increase the price while making no meaningful difference to real-world performance, so our recommendation for NVMe SSDs are all M.2 form factor SSDs.

High-end NVMe: HP EX920

Most brands have introduced new high-end NVMe models for 2019, but in many cases they change very little compared to last year's products. The new WD Black SN750 adds the 2TB option (not yet in stock) that was missing from the last generation, but otherwise it is just a minor firmware update. Silicon Motion's SM2262EN controller replaces the SM2262 and makes more significant firmware changes, but for most use cases the improvements are slight and in some cases it's a serious step backward. Samsung has at least provided a real hardware upgrade with the 970 EVO Plus by switching to 96L TLC, but the lack of an accompanying controller update means it is functionally almost identical to the original 970 EVO.

Overall, these product refreshes seem to primarily be an excuse to bump prices back up to MSRP for a short while until the novelty wears off. That means that last year's high-end NVMe drives are the better deal until supplies dry up. The HP EX920 is still readily available for much lower prices than most of its competition, so it sticks around as our top recommendation in this segment.

  240-280GB 480-512GB 960GB-1TB 2TB
ADATA XPG SX8200 $59.99 (25¢/GB) $141.69 (30¢/GB) $189.99 (20¢/GB)  
ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro $69.99 (27¢/GB) $99.99
$179.99 (18¢/GB)  
HP EX920 $57.99 (23¢/GB) $78.99
$159.99 (16¢/GB)  
HP EX950   $109.99 (21¢/GB) $209.99 (21¢/GB) $399.99
Mushkin Pilot $53.99 (22¢/GB) $94.99
$184.99 (18¢/GB) $389.99
MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro $54.99 (23¢/GB) $99.99
Corsair Force MP510 $74.19 (31¢/GB) $113.99 (24¢/GB) $219.99 (23¢/GB) $437.39
WD Black (2018) $69.99 (28¢/GB) $104.99 (21¢/GB) $229.99 (23¢/GB)  
WD Black SN750 $79.99 (32¢/GB) $129.99 (26¢/GB) $269.99 (27¢/GB)  
Samsung 970 EVO $77.99 (31¢/GB) $119.99 (24¢/GB) $249.99 (25¢/GB) $549.99
Samsung 970 EVO Plus $89.99 (36¢/GB) $129.99 (26¢/GB) $249.99 (25¢/GB)  
Samsung 970 PRO   $167.99 (33¢/GB) $347.77 (34¢/GB)  
Intel Optane SSD 900P/905P $269.99 (96¢/GB) $513.86 (107¢/GB) $1259.00 (131¢/GB) $2132.99 (142¢/GB)


Entry-level NVMe: Intel SSD 660p

Low-end NVMe SSDs have always struggled to carve out a niche between mainstream SATA and high-end NVMe pricing. Drives that use TLC NAND with cheaper entry-level NVMe controllers (some of them DRAMless) are still too close in price to the most affordable high-end NVMe SSDs. The Intel 660p obtains further cost savings by using QLC NAND instead of TLC, enabling it to be the first NVMe SSD to truly match the pricing of mainstream SATA SSDs. The downside of using QLC NAND is that decent performance requires using a lot of NAND, so the 660p only makes sense in the 1TB and 2TB capacities.

  120-128GB 240-256GB 480-512GB 1TB 2TB
Kingston A1000   $49.99 (21¢/GB) $85.99 (18¢/GB) $164.99 (17¢/GB)  
MyDigitalSSD SBX   $49.99 (20¢/GB) $94.99 (19¢/GB) $219.99 (21¢/GB)  
HP EX900 $32.49 (27¢/GB) $46.99 (19¢/GB) $79.95 (16¢/GB)    
Crucial P1     $79.99 (16¢/GB) $154.99 (15¢/GB)  
Intel 660p     $79.99 (16¢/GB) $134.99 (13¢/GB) $244.99 (12¢/GB)


M.2 SATA: Crucial MX500 and WD Blue 3D

Consumers looking to remove cable clutter from their desktops should generally prefer M.2 NVMe drives over M.2 SATA drives now that there are several very affordable options offering a significant performance boost over SATA. Notebook users who have no choice of form factor can rejoice that M.2 SATA SSDs now usually carry little or no premium over their 2.5" counterparts, which was not often the case when mSATA was the dominant small form factor for SSDs. These M.2 SATA SSDs will also generally still offer better battery life than M.2 NVMe SSDs, though a few NVMe SSDs are starting to match SATA drives for power efficiency.

  250GB 500GB 1TB 2TB
Samsung 860 EVO M.2 $67.99 (27¢/GB) $95.74 (19¢/GB) $167.99 (17¢/GB) $347.99 (17¢/GB)
Crucial MX500 M.2 $49.95 (20¢/GB) $67.95 (14¢/GB) $134.95 (13¢/GB)  
WD Blue 3D M.2 $49.99 (20¢/GB) $67.99 (14¢/GB) $125.99 (13¢/GB) $289.99 (14¢/GB)

Now that the holiday sales season is over, the Samsung 860 EVO M.2 is not competing as strongly, leaving the Crucial MX500 and WD Blue 3D NAND as the best choices in this segment. The WD Blue is currently a bit cheaper at 1TB and it offers the 2TB M.2 option that that the Crucial MX500 lacks.



View All Comments

  • Oyster - Thursday, February 21, 2019 - link

    Can you also include warranty and MTBF numbers in these tables in the future? Thanks! Reply
  • Billy Tallis - Thursday, February 21, 2019 - link

    MTBF numbers are useless. Everything here has a 5-year warranty except the Mushkin Pilot, ADATA SU800 and HP EX900, which all have a 3-year warranty period. Reply
  • vanilla_gorilla - Thursday, February 21, 2019 - link

    Are you saying MTBF numbers are useless because they have warranties? If not, why is MTBF useless? And if so, why is MTBF useless because they have a warranty? I would like to know what kind of workloads I can use drives for and know whether or not it is going to fail in 6 months causing interruptions and forcing me to recover data from backups. Reply
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, February 21, 2019 - link

    "I would like to know whether or not it is going to fail in 6 months"

    Billy is referring to MTBF being useless to answer this question. Even if a drive has 10 Mio h MTBF, any particular one could always fail after 6 months. It's only a statistical guideline. If I had to choose between otherwise identical drives, one with MTBF 1000h and one with 1 Mh, my choice would be clear, though. However, I suspect all of these drives are going to have very high MTBF ratings, making them meaningless at small sample sizes. You're not looking to buy 1000's of them, are you?

    BTW: the warrenty can differ by country.
  • vanilla_gorilla - Friday, February 22, 2019 - link

    >You're not looking to buy 1000's of them, are you?

    No, I'm going to compare them based on all their characteristics. Like you said, if one has a clearly higher endurance at the same price, all else being equal, that's the drive I would buy.
  • Billy Tallis - Friday, February 22, 2019 - link

    MTBF does not tell you anything about write endurance. Reply
  • pilgrimshoes - Thursday, April 04, 2019 - link

    The manufacturers think there are significant differences in the write endurance. Hence significantly different TBW stats and warranties.

    Presumably all the people who went on about MTBF would have been kind enough to mention that, if they actually had a clue.
  • bolkhov - Thursday, February 21, 2019 - link

    Billy Tallis, do you compare/sort SSDs by price per GB only?
    Not taking the speed, reliability etc. into account?
  • vanilla_gorilla - Friday, February 22, 2019 - link

    I think it's reasonable to say that for consumer drives of the same class (the groupings he created) the performance differences are marginal and it really comes down to price. He's not comparing mainstream SATA SSD and NVMe SSD solely on price, for example. I think for giving general purchasing guidance it is reasonable. Reply
  • Oyster - Friday, February 22, 2019 - link

    I [hesitantly] agree with you on the MTBF claim. Regardless, including warranty info (and MTBF) here would exactly address the breakdown you were forced to provide (the three drives that are different) in comments. Merely a pedantic constructive suggestion, so no need to balk at users (sorry if I misread since you began with "MTBF numbers are useless." Reply

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