Best PCIe NVMe M.2 SSDs for your PC Builds

If you are building a PC you have probably taken advice from the internet to equip your system with an SSD. The obvious advantage is the huge performance gain you get. Comparing a hard drive to a solid state drive is like comparing a super fast sports car to a tractor. Yes, the performance gap is huge. Be it simply boot times or skimming through a video timeline in Adobe Premiere, a solid state drive does not break a sweat when it comes to read and write speeds. It is recommended that you get an SSD albeit in smaller capacity just for windows because once you’ve seen simply the jump in boot times, you’ll never want to go back to a simple mechanical hard drive. SSDs store everything on NAND chips on the circuit board, this is known as “Flash Storage”. Comparing that to the mechanical moving parts inside a hard drive, flash storage is much faster and even more efficient. SSDs just might last longer because they do not have any moving parts inside them. If we get technical hard drives are limited up to 100Mb/s transfer rate while SSDs can go above 500Mb/s including NVMe drives that can go beyond that limit.

1. Samsung 970 EVO SSD

Our Rating: 9.9/10

  • Lightning fast
  • Samsung’s Dynamic Thermal Guard
  • High read-rate
  • Slight throttling at high temperature
  • Comparatively lower endurance

2,083 Reviews

Read Speed: 3500 Mb/s | Write Speed: 2500 Mb/s | Endurance: 600 TBW

Samsung has made quite a name for itself in the world of SSDs. The Samsung EVO series has always provided great speeds at a more reasonable price than their PRO series counterparts. Same is the case with the 970 EVO M.2 SSD. It flies above the competition with its blazing fast speeds and competitive price.

Samsung is offering the 970 EVO at various capacities ranging from 250 gigabytes to 2 terabytes of storage. The 500GB seems to have the best value among these and is the most commonly bought variant. The read and write speeds are absolutely phenomenal with the read speed going high as 3500Mb/s and the write speeds can go up to 2500Mb/s (Of course, this speed varies with the capacity selected).

This M.2 drive has exceptional endurance at 1200TBW and comes with an official warranty from Samsung for 5 years which is quite impressive. Samsung also offers a free downloadable SSD manager software that works with all their drives to monitor your SSD status and an optimization and benchmark tool to really unlock its full potential. The only negative that can be found is that during intensive tasks, the drive seems to heat up a bit and throttle. Even then it still flies most of the time with insane blazing fast speeds. We’ve also covered the big brother of the 970 EVO, the 970 EVO plus here. If you are the one who wants to go all out in terms of storage, don’t forget to check it out.

2. WD BLACK NVMe M.2 SSD

Our Rating: 9.6/10

  • Low power efficiency
  • F.I.T. Lab certified
  • Quite an improvement over the previous generation
  • Reasonable price to performance
  • Uses TLC flash which has lower endurance

550 Reviews

Read Speed: 3400 Mb/s | Write Speed: 2800 Mb/s | Endurance: 600 TBW

Western Digital has been the go-to brand for the mainstream consumer market for decades when it comes to hard drives. Recently, they have been making a name for themselves in the SSD market as well. They dipped their toes into the M.2 SSD market and have been well received so far, only to be rivaled by Samsung.

The WD Black M.2 SSD comes in three capacities, 250GB, 500GB and 1TB of storage. It has a read speed of up to 3400Mb/s and write speeds close to 2800Mb/s. Just like Samsung’s offerings Western Digital gives you 5 years of warranty. It has an endurance of 600TBW and uses their 3D NAND technology which results in the blazing fast speeds.

Western Digital also offers a free downloadable application that helps you monitor and track the performance of your drives. Overall, this drive directly competes with Samsung’s 970 EVO but the only slight downgrade is that on the lower capacity models there is a noticeable decrease in speeds, which makes it just a tad bit slower and less efficient than the 970 EVO. In the end, its a tough choice between the two so check the price and pick up the cheaper one when you want to buy either of these.

3. Corsair Force MP500

Our Rating: 9.5/10

  • Works with Mac
  • Higher capacity version is very cheap
  • Extensive protection
  • Some motherboards are unable to detect the drive
  • Overheats a lot

187 Reviews

Read Speed: 3000 Mb/s | Write Speed: 2400 Mb/s | Endurance: N/A

Corsair has found their way on this list with their Force Series MP500. Corsair is a name not as popular in the storage devices market as they are in the peripherals area. Still, they have created an overall fast drive for PC folks and for Mac users as well as this has great compatibility across the board.

The MP500 comes in with a read speed of 3000Mb/s and a write speed of 2400Mb/s. It has great software integration with corsair’s drive manager app and has great thermals as well. The only thing this skimps out on a bit is the actual speed of the drive but it makes up for that with its relatively low cost as compared to the market.

Corsair’s SSD toolbox software gives the user access to health monitoring of the SSD and also gives secure wipe, disk cloning and firmware update options. Overall, this is Corsair’s direct answer to the higher end of the market as the MP500 comes in at a relatively low cost and gives the mainstream audience access to much faster storage.

4. SAMSUNG 970 PRO

Our Rating: 9.1/10

  • Fastest in the bunch
  • Very efficient
  • Top notch write performance
  • Uses MLC flash having great endurance
  • Not wallet-friendly in any shape or form

722 Reviews

Read Speed: 3500 Mb/s | Write Speed: 2700 Mb/s | Endurance: 600 TBW

It would be difficult to make a list of the best solid-state drives and not mention Samsung’s PRO series. You already know what the PRO represents. Quite simply this is the best of the best but of course with that concerning price tag to match.

With insanely scorching fast speeds of reading speed with 3500Mb/s and write speed of 2800Mb/s it is no surprise that this drive ends up in a lot of the enthusiast builds. This model barely throttles and really does live up to the advertised speed. It has the same 5-year warranty and 1200TBW lifespan of the 970 EVO. Basically, think of this as the jacked up bigger brother of the 970 EVO. This would top our list if it weren’t for that high price tag.

5. ADATA XPG XS8200

Our Rating: 9.5/10

  • Costs almost same as SATA SSDs
  • Good performance
  • Comes with a heat-sink
  • Unreliable performance

190 Reviews

Read Speed: 3200 Mb/s | Write Speed: 1700 Mb/s | Endurance: 600 TBW

ADATA offers a wallet-friendly way of entering into the world of NVMe M.2 SSDs. It uses the standard 3D Nand technology and this newer version of their M.2 SSD uses the standard PCIe Gen 3 x4 connection.

This drive has a nice heat spreader and thermals are pretty good for the most part. The speed is nothing groundbreaking but it gets the job done for a nice budget M.2 NVMe offering. The read/write speeds are decent enough at 3200/1700 Mb/s. All in all, this is a good entry level way of getting into fast flash storage.

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Bill Wilson


Bill is a certified Microsoft Professional providing assistance to over 500 remotely connected employees and managing Windows 2008 to 2016 servers.
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