Now that the prices of SSDs are starting to fall again, the competition is starting to take off again. Especially the new models from Crucial and Samsung bring some life back to the business, which was badly needed in this market. Last year there were few exciting SSD launches, but in the past few months we were able to write about new models almost weekly.
SATA SSDs remain the best choice for the majority of the users.SATA SSDs remain the best choice for most users for the time being. The added value of a fast PCIe SSD for the average computer is limited, including for gamers. Only with specific workloads that can handle more storage bandwidth is a faster SSD really worth the extra cost.
If you are really sure that a 120GB SSD will suffice, we would recommend the Intenso High Performance drive, which wins the Great Value award. 250 GB is in our opinion a better minimum. Not only because otherwise you will quickly run into problems due to a shortage of capacity, but also because larger SSDs are considerably faster because they can write parallel to more memory chips. In that segment, the Samsung 860 Evo 250GB is the best choice; all-round very fast and the price difference with the MX500 is smaller than with the larger capacities. We award an Excellent Choice award.
The sweet spot
The ‘sweet spot’ is occupied by Crucial, with their sharp MX500.The sweet spot segment is dominated by Crucial, which has put its MX500 on the market with a keen sense of focus. In our opinion, it delivers the most attractive 500GB SSD. Also if we look at the 1TB models, the Crucial MX500 is our favourite. This subsidiary brand of memory manufacturer Micron may therefore go home with two Excellent Choice awards.
Cheap NVMe SSD?
A fairly new category in SSD world is that of the 'entry-level' NVMe SSD. Toshiba OCZ currently has the most convincing product in that segment, although with the RC100 you do make considerable concessions when it comes to steady-state performance. As long as you don't put a lot of strain on it and don't fill it completely with data, it is a very economical drive that comes close to 'real' NVMe SSDs in terms of real-world performance. With this in mind, it deserves a Great Value award.
The absolute fastest SSDs
Can you take it a step further?
Samsung Samsung remains one of the most attractive options in the high-end segment, but has received competition from WD.
Samsung remains one of the most attractive options in the high-end segment, but has received competition from WD, which with its Black 2018 rivals Samsung's 970 Evo in terms of both performance and price. Both SSDs are very fast and receive an Excellent Choice award, but our advice is to go for at least the 500GB variant: the 250GB versions are slower, while you buy a NVMe SSD precisely for the speed.
Then there are two special products that are absolutely not worth the extra cost for a consumer with a sense of price, but do show extreme performance. The Kingston DCP1000 proves unbeatable in tests where crude throughput is important, while the Intel Optane 900p excels in smaller jobs and long, heavy loads. Both products give us a glimpse of what we can expect in the future and are worth an Ultimate Product award.