I was looking online to buy a M.2 SSD for my PC so I can have a faster system for my work, and I notice that, a lot of article about M.2 SSD tell only some parts of the story and not all the data I need to know. For example, in some articles, you don’t find the speed of write/read, and in some, you find products from only 2-3 vendors.
After making a long research online, I manage to put together a list whit the best SSD on the market. You can find this model in all big shops that sell computer components.
I consider the best SSD the one that are in a format M.2 whit the NVM features that allow fast speeds in write and reads whit a low latency. This is way I put here a little info about the thinks that we need to look when we want to buy one of this SSD.
NVMe Features on the best ssd
The first and most important features on a the M.2 formats SSDs is the NVMe type of connection. This offer :
- Lower latency due to improve drivers and increased queues (and queue sizes)
- Lower CPU used to handler larger number of I/Os (more CPU available for useful work)
- Higher I/O activity rates (IOPs) to boost productivity unlock value of fast flash and NVM
- Bandwidth improvements leveraging various fast PCIe interface and available lanes
- Dual-pathing of devices like what is available with dual-path SAS devices
- Unlock the value of more cores per processor socket and software threads (productivity)
- Various packaging options, deployment scenarios and configuration options
- Appears as a standard storage device on most operating systems
- Plug-play with in-box drivers on many popular operating systems and hypervisors
Keep in mind that I was looking for the best of the best from all vendors and I will like to make a list here whit what is the best M.2 at this moment.
This new models have a gen 3, 3.1 or 4 connection that can use up to 4 lanes from PC-express and can rich top speeds up to 5000/5000 MB/s in reads and writes.
The 1 problem is the compatibility whit the PC motherboards. If you install some of this new SSD models, on a older motherboard it will not work at 100%. Some models of motherboard can see the models but can’t use them at full speeds.
The new models of M.2 SSD, whit gen 4 interface, work at 100% only on the new motherboards like the ones whit the chipset 570 and 570x from AMD. In 2020 will be out a lot of new motherboards that will support the gen 4 interface, so we can say that buying today a SSD whit gen 4 interface is an investment for the future.
Tips of memories in M.2 SSD :
There are 4 tips of NAND memories storage use it in the new SSDs, and this are not only different in format factor (1 ore multi level cell), but are different even in storage capacity and speeds read and writes.
Overall, the NAN flesh memories are named as follows:
- SLC (1 bit per cell) – fastest, highest cost
- MLC (2 bits per cell)
- TLC (3 bits per cell)
- QLC (4 bits per cell) – slowest, least cost.
From this 4 categories of NAND memory, the SLC and MLC, are the fastest in speeds and the longest in TBW (terabytes written) but the most expensive, when it come to costs/MB, to buy it.
Steel, keep in mind that the controllers and the tech used in the last model of SSDs nvm, made possible that the memories like TLC and OLC, can live up to more then 5 years of life and have 5 years of warranty from the manufacturer.
An important function on the SSD is the controller that are used. There are some versions of controllers made by different vendors.
There are some variety of controller in the new SSD M.2 nvm, but the newst are:
- Phoenix in samsung PRO
The interface decide the compatibility whit different connectors on motherboards and adapters from. The interfaces that we can find in all the M.2 SSDs are :
- gen 3 x2 lanes
- gen 3 x4 lanes
- gen 3.1 x4 lanes (the most compatible and more versatile)
- gen 4 x4 lanes (the newest right now)
The gen 4 x4 lanes, is compatible only whit the new motherboards from AMD that has the chipset 570.
The overall aim is to buy a multipurpose M.2 SSD and use it as a main storage device. This tip of SSD work good if they are loaded whit less then 50% of there capacity. This is why, this year, I am recommending you, to buy a M.2 SSD whit a 500-512 GB of capacity.
This size will allow you to install an OS (30GB), some software to use (more then 20Gb in general), some games ( STEAM is taking a lot of space+the games), and will remain space to install and use some video editing program in order to make some editing when is needed.
ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro PCIe Gen3x4
ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro at 512 GB is the best buy ssd from all ssd out there at the moment that I write this article.
The ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro have a speed of read/write of 3500/3000 MB, NVMe 1.3, an Interface PCIe Gen3x4, a form factor of M.2 2280 and a warranty of 5 years.
The new 3D TLC (3D NAND Flash) is the only bad think in this model because this are the less writable memory from all the flash memory out there. But, steel, whit the technology implemented in this model and the controller, this will steel live at lest 5 years in day to day usage.
Price for 512 GB : $75 | ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro
Western Digital BLACK SN750
The best model from Western Digital, is the BLACK SN750, that offer the second place as price/performance.
The WD BLACK SN750 is a PCIe Gen 3, in a format factor M.2 2280, whit speeds of read and write of 3430/2600MB/s , 3D NAND TLC memory and the good part of this SSD is that you can find models whit up to 2TB of internal storage at a good price.
Price for 500 GB : $90 | Western Digital BLACK SN750
MyDigital SSD BPX Pro
MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro is a good combination of low price, speed and endurance.
It has speeds read/write of 3,400/2,100 MB/s, an interface PCIe 3.1 x4 / NVMe 1.3 in a format factor M.2 2280 whit good power efficiency and support AES-256, TCG Opal and Pyrite encryption.
The big PRO, for this model, is the big TBW (write and an endurance rating) of 800 (terabytes written), that making this M.2 SSD the cheapest model for a video editing PC.
The BAD think about this model is that don’t have a software support and you may never be capable of use it at 100% for now.
Price for 480 GB : $90 | MyDigital SSD BPX Pro
Samsung 970 PRO
Samsung 970 PRO – is the most popular model of M.2 SSD, and even if is a 2018 mode, it steel put the standard for M.2 SSDs in this days.
Samsung 970 PRO has a sequential read/write speeds of up to 3,500/2,700 MB/s, use the Phoenix controller, an exceptional endurance with up to 1,200 TBW , MLC NAND flesh memory and a 5-year warranty in a M.2 2280 form factor.
Because it use a MLC NAND flesh memory this model is the most desired it you want to have a SSD whit a long time life and fast speeds.
Price for 512 GB : $160 | Samsung 970 PRO
P600 is the top line in M.2 SSD that has to offer Corsair. This is a model has a big custom heat sink mounted on.
Corsair P600 whit 500 GB has a read/write speeds of up to 4,950/2,500MB/s, M.2 2280 format, 3D TLC NAND Technology, PCIe Gen4x4 interface whit 5 years of warranty. This speeds can be achieved only on a AMD motherboard whit 570 or 570x chipset.
The only down side of this model is that it use a 3D TLC NAND Technology, like ADSTA XPG SX8200 PRO, but is cost a little more.
Price for 500 GB : $125 | Corsair P600
AORUS NVMe Gen4
AORUS NVMe Gen4 is the best M.2 SSD that you can buy this days from all shops. This is the top of the line SSD at this moment.
AORUS NVMe Gen4 has the last interface PCI-Express 4.0×4, NVMe 1.3 in a M.2 2280 format factor, whit read and writes up to 5000/2500 MB/s and a External DDR Cache of 512MB DDR4.
This all factors are driving the 3D TLC BiCS4 memory from Toshiba whit an Endurance rating of 850 TBW (terabytes written). AORUS offer a limited 5-years warranty at this model even if it has a huge TBW.
I can’t say nothing bad about this model, but, I don’t like the colors of the Fully Body Copper Heat Spreader that come whit it.
Price of 500GB : $130 | AORUS NVMe Gen4 500GB
Let just say that if you want a usable M.2 SSD, the best solution, is to buy ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro. This model will do all the normal jobs you need to do whit your pc or laptops at a little price, and, it is compatible whit all motherboards out there.
If you need to make a video editing station and use it to edit videos, then, it will be better for you, to invest more money in a model like Corsair MP600 or AORUS that have a lot more TBW (terabytes written) and is most suitable for this tip of thinks.
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