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One the biggest perks of building a gaming PC is getting to choose just how fast you want it to run. SSDs deliver the fastest speeds, and in addition to moving files and performing tasks, they also load games and stream open worlds at a much faster rate than disk-based hard drives. This results in quick loading times and stutter-free open-world gameplay, something that’s harder for your PC to handle with an HDD.
However, you should take some time to familiarize yourself with the market before you buy one. There are a few different types of SSDs that you should know about before you pick the right one. SATA SSDs are the most common and require you to connect them to your power supply and motherboard’s SATA ports. M.2 SSDs are a faster option and require you to plug them into the M.2 slots on your motherboard–you’ll want to make sure your motherboard has M.2 slots prior to your purchase.
M.2 SSDs also come in a number of different configurations. M.2 SATA is the slowest, as it uses the same standard that hard drives have used for years. M.2 PCIe, on the other hand, is much faster. Most M.2 PCIe SSDs make use of the NVMe memory standard, which lets the SSDs read and write at their full speed potential. Both M.2 SATA and M.2 PCIe can be inserted into the same slots on your motherboard, but you’ll likely benefit more from an M.2 PCIe SSD because of that extra speed. M.2 PCIe NVMe SSDs typically cost more, but you can often find NVMe SSDs at a lower price than their regular, thanks to sales.
There are a lot of great SSDs out there, though they’re not always in stock. That’s why we’ve collected a number of the best ones you can buy right now.
Best SATA SSDs in stock right now
SSDs don’t last forever, so you want to go with a quality brand. Western Digital, Samsung, and Crucial all make great SSDs, and if you’re looking for SATA-based drives, then you can’t go wrong with any of them.
Best M.2 SATA SSDs in stock right now
M.2 SATA SSDs aren’t as fast as M.2 PCIe NVMe SSDs, but they’re also much cheaper. If you’re looking to save some money, then an M.2 SATA is the way to go. Samsung’s M.2 SSD sticks are among the fastest, which is why they’re also the most expensive.
Best M.2 NVMe SSDs in stock right now
If you want the fastest possible SSD you can get, go with an M.2 NVMe SSD. The Samsung 970 EVO Plus is the best one you can get right now, but Crucial and Sabrent’s options are both great as well–I personally have two Crucial M.2 NVMe SSDs plugged into my system.