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The best SSD picks: Top internal and external SSDs of 2022

Everything you need to know while SSD shopping.
By
April 4, 2022
Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD 2 on table upright

Solid state drives, better known as SSDs, are the best storage choice when it comes to speed. While hard drives are great for mass storage, they have very limited speeds and lower reliability due to moving parts. SSDs eliminate those concerns.

With SSDs getting cheaper, and more options entering the market, picking the best SSD can be a bit of a task. To help you with the decision, we’ve rounded up the best SSD picks on the market, internal and external.

See also: Top internal and external HDDs to buy

Buying the best SSD for your needs

Samsung SSD
Samsung

Buying the best SSD is not something that will take too much thought, but there are a few things to consider. Just like hard drives, SSDs are also available in internal and external models. However, with internal SSDs, there are a couple of ways to go.

  • Purpose — An internal SSD is great if you want permanent storage and have a PC with open expansion ports. An external SSD is the way to go if you want to move a lot of data around quickly.
  • Capacity — SSDs have come to match the capacities of hard drives, but the pricing is still quite a bit higher. You may want to pair your SSD with an HDD if you need a lot of storage with infrequent transfers.
  • Interface — SATA and PCIe. If you’re looking to replace the hard disk in an old system, a SATA SSD would be the way to go. For most other purposes including a new system, a PCIe SSD will be better.
  • Reliability — Check the mean time before failure (MTBF) and the terabytes written (TBW) figures, which is an endurance rating for the SSD.
  • Pricing — Pricing is proportional to performance, which means SATA SSDs will cost the least, PCIe 3.0 will cost more, and the PCIe 4.0 SSDs, which are the newest and the fastest, will cost the most.

For external SSDs, you can make your pick based on your use cases. There isn’t too much to set them apart, other than the varying speeds and some added features like biometric security, but there are plenty of options for you to pick from.

The best SSDs (internal and external)

Best internal SSDs

  • The Samsung 980 Pro is the best SSD for most people, providing amazing speeds with PCIe 4.0 and great reliability.
  • The WD Black SN850 is the top SSD pick for gaming systems, offering top-notch performance with PCIe 4.0.
  • The Adata XPG Gammix S50 Lite is the ideal value SSD, giving solid PCIe 4.0 speeds on a budget.
  • The Samsung 870 Evo is a SATA SSD, offering great performance aimed at systems with the aging SATA interface.
Specs/ModelSamsung 980 ProWD Black SN850Adata XPG Gammix S50 LiteSamsung 870 Evo
Specs/Model
Interface
Samsung 980 Pro
PCIe 4.0 NVMe
WD Black SN850
PCIe 4.0 NVMe
Adata XPG Gammix S50 Lite
PCIe 4.0 NVMe
Samsung 870 Evo
SATA
Specs/Model
Capacity
Samsung 980 Pro
250GB/500GB/1TB/2TB
WD Black SN850
500GB/1TB/2TB
Adata XPG Gammix S50 Lite
512GB/1TB/2TB
Samsung 870 Evo
250GB/500GB/1TB/2TB/4TB
Specs/Model
Read speed (MB/s)
Samsung 980 Pro
7,000
WD Black SN850
7,000
Adata XPG Gammix S50 Lite
3,900
Samsung 870 Evo
560
Specs/Model
Write speed (MB/s)
Samsung 980 Pro
5,000
WD Black SN850
4,100/5,300/5,100
Adata XPG Gammix S50 Lite
3,200
Samsung 870 Evo
530
Specs/Model
Dimensions/Weight
Samsung 980 Pro
3.15" x 0.94" x 0.87", 1.92 oz.
WD Black SN850
3.15" x 0.87" x 0.09", 0.26 oz.
Adata XPG Gammix S50 Lite
3.15" x 0.87" x 0.12-0.17", 0.24-0.35 oz
Samsung 870 Evo
3.94" x 2.75" x 0.28", 1.69 oz.
Specs/Model
Endurance
Samsung 980 Pro
1.5M hours MTBF, 1200 TBW
WD Black SN850
1.75M hours MTBF, 300/600/1,200 TBW
Adata XPG Gammix S50 Lite
2M hours MTBF, 1,480 TBW
Samsung 870 Evo
1.5M hours MTBF, 2,400 TBW
Specs/Model
Price
Samsung 980 Pro
$79.99-$429..99
WD Black SN850
$129.99-$449.99
Adata XPG Gammix S50 Lite
$89.99-$329.99
Samsung 870 Evo
$59.99-$499.99

Best external SSDs

Specs/ModelSamsung T7 TouchWD Black P50SanDisk Professional G-Drive SSDSanDisk Extreme Portable SSD V2
Specs/Model
Interface
Samsung T7 Touch
USB 3.2 Gen2
WD Black P50
USB 3.2 Gen2
SanDisk Professional G-Drive SSD
USB 3.1 Gen 2
SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD V2
USB 3.2 Gen2
Specs/Model
Capacity
Samsung T7 Touch
500GB/1TB/2TB
WD Black P50
500GB/1TB/2TB/4TB
SanDisk Professional G-Drive SSD
500GB/1TB/2TB/4TB
SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD V2
500GB/1TB/2TB/4TB
Specs/Model
Read speed (MB/s)
Samsung T7 Touch
1,050
WD Black P50
2,000
SanDisk Professional G-Drive SSD
1,050
SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD V2
1,050
Specs/Model
Write speed (MB/s)
Samsung T7 Touch
1,000
WD Black P50
2,000
SanDisk Professional G-Drive SSD
1,000
SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD V2
1,000
Specs/Model
Dimensions/Weight
Samsung T7 Touch
3.4" x 2.2" x 0.3", 2.0 oz.
WD Black P50
4.65" x 2.44" x 0.55", 4.06 oz.
SanDisk Professional G-Drive SSD
3.74" x 1.97" x 0.59", 3.03 oz.
SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD V2
3.96" x 2.06" x 0.35", 2.22 oz.
Specs/Model
Price
Samsung T7 Touch
$104.99-$289.99
WD Black P50
$139.99-$599.99
SanDisk Professional G-Drive SSD
$149.99-$679.99
SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD V2
$104.99-$459.99

Best internal SSDs

Internal SSDs are a solid way of boosting up an old system. Internal SSDs are the go-to boot devices now and can help cut the boot-up times of your system dramatically. An internal SSD will also load programs much faster. While not the most economical for mass storage, if you have the budget, you could use an internal SSD to store your media as well. Here is our roundup of the best internal SSD options on the market.

Samsung 980 Pro: The best SSD for most people

Samsung 980 Pro SSD on white background
Amazon

Samsung has led the charge in the solid state drive space with its NAND innovations. The Samsung 980 Pro is a PCIe 4.0 NVMe drive that promises to double the speed of PCIe 3.0 drives and is the absolute best SSD choice for most people. It promises sequential read speeds of up to 7,000MB/s and sequential write speeds of 5,100MB/s.

You can get the Samsung 980 Pro in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB capacity options. Cache goes up to 2GB depending upon the capacity, and it’s all backed by Samsung’s Elpis controller. You also have encryption, with support for AES 256-bit, TCG/Opal, and IEEE1667. Samsung rates the 980 Pro for 1.5 million hours MTBF, up to 1200 TBW, and offers a five-year warranty.

WD Black SN850: The best SSD for gaming systems

WD Black SN850 SSD on a white background
Western Digital

Western Digital’s WD Black brand is its lineup of gaming-focused solutions. The WD Black SN850 matches the performance of the fastest SSDs you can buy right now, and it carries a cool black aesthetic. It hits up to 7,000MB/s sequential read speed and up to 5,300MB/s sequential write speed, making it worthy of being your PCIe 4.0 gaming drive.

The WD Black SN850 comes with a heatsink for desktop setups, with separate SKUs. Additionally, you also get RGB support. In terms of capacity, you get three options: 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB. For endurance, WD gives up to a 1,200 TBW figure. MTBF figures are not on the product page, but other WD Black solid state drive offerings have 1.75M hours MTBF, so you can expect the same from the SN850. The NVMe SSD comes with a five-year limited warranty.

Adata XPG Gammix S50 Lite: The best value-for-money SSD

Adata XPG Gammix S50 Lite SSD on white background
Adata

Adata is known for making some amazing value-for-money hardware, and the XPG GAMMIX S50 Lite is no different. This is a PCIe 4.0 SSD as well. It offers lower speeds than the top PCIe 4.0 SSDs, with sequential read speeds up to 3,900MB/s and sequential read speeds up to 3,200MB/s. Make no mistake, these are still great speeds, and the XPG GAMMIX S50 Lite offers them at a considerably lower price than most other Gen 4 NVMe SSDs, making for a solid boot drive on the cheap.

The drive gets a heatsink bundle as well. You get three capacity options: 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB. The MTBF rating stands at 2 million hours, and the drive has a 1480 TBW rating. Adata offers a five-year limited warranty.

Samsung 870 Evo: Best SATA SSD

Samsung 870 Evo SSD on white background
Amazon

While NVMe solid state drives are faster, not all systems have the M.2 PCIe slot. SATA SSDs are the only way to add fast internal storage for older systems, and the Samsung 870 Evo excels in this category. It hits the maximum SATA interface limit of 560MB/s sequential reads and 530MB/s sequential write speeds. These speeds seem slow compared to the PCIe 4.0 drives on this list, but this SSD is plenty fast to be a hard disk replacement. While these speeds are not as high as the NVMe options, these are still the best speeds you can hit with a SATA drive, making this the best SATA SSD around.

You get capacity options of 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB, with cache going up to 4GB. The Samsung MKX controller runs the show here. The MTBF is 1.5 million hours, and a 2,400 TBW rating is also present. Samsung backs it with a five-year warranty, which is great for a budget SSD.

Best external SSDs

For external storage purposes, external drives make more sense than external HDDs do. First of all, external SSDs don’t carry the same heft as external HDDs do, so you can get better portability even on the most affordable ones. Secondly, the speeds are also considerably higher, which is an obvious upside for storing data that may need to be moved around. Here are our best external SSD picks.

Samsung T7 Touch: High-performance external SSD with biometric security

Samsung T7 Touch SSD on white background
Amazon

Samsung leads the way in the external SSD space as well. The Samsung T7 Touch is one, with USB 3.2 Gen2 support. You get an embedded PCIe NVMe drive with speeds that go up to 1,050MB/s for sequential reads and up to 1,000MB/s for sequential write speeds. The biggest selling point is that the T7 Touch comes with biometric security with a fingerprint reader, and AES-256 encryption.

It’s a very portable external drive too. Weighing only 58 grams, it’s roughly the size of a credit card and only 8mm of thickness. That, in addition to the low-key design, makes it quite a stylish choice. You get capacity options of 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB. Samsung backs it with a three-year limited warranty.

WD Black P50: Best external SSD for PC and console game storage

WD Black P50 SSD on white background
Amazon

WD Black P50 is an SSD fit to be your external game drive. It’s from Western Digital’s gaming brand and carries the edgy gamer aesthetic that we love about the series. It comes with a USB 3.2 Gen 2 connection and has a rugged enclosure that doesn’t take away from the compactness. WD promises speeds up to 2,000MB/s, which is solid read/write performance.

WD Black lives up to the WD reputation, and you can expect the P50 to be a fine external drive. You get capacity options of 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB. You get a 5-year limited warranty.

SanDisk Professional G-Drive SSD: External SSD solution for professionals

SanDisk Professional G Drive SSD
Western Digital

WD markets the SanDisk Professional brand, previously known as G-Technology, to professionals and content creators. The G-Drive SSD is the perfect external drive for that demographic. If you’re a professional content creator or YouTuber that requires high-performance external storage, this is the drive for you. It comes with IP67 water and dust resistance, 3-meter drop protection, and a 1000lb crushproof rating.

This G-Drive Mobile lineup comes with USB 3.1 Gen 2 support and hits top speeds of 1,000MB/s for read speeds and 1,050MB/s for write speeds. You get capacity options of 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB. The G-Drive lineup comes with a 5-year warranty.

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD V2: The best value for money external SSD

The SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD is a bit of a classic offering. It has been around for a while and has established itself as one of the most recognizable external drives around. It comes in an easy-to-carry compact form factor. The V1 and V2 models both offer a solid value for money, but the V2 is the one to get, offering nearly twice as fast speeds, with promised read speeds of 1,050MB/s and writes of 1,000MB/s.

Capacities range from 500GB to up to 4TB. You also get up to two meters of drop resistance and an IP55 rating that offers water and dust resistance. SanDisk also has 256-bit AES hardware encryption, so you can secure your data if you wish. A five-year warranty rounds up this value offering, giving you that extra room in case of any issues.

Picking the best PC hardware and peripherals

Now that you know the best HDDs to pick, you might want to take at some of the other PC components and peripherals. Here are some more of our PC-related best lists and explainers.