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Now that the best NVMe SSDs are getting shipped with the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, it’s surely time to make sure you’re on the same technological page. Wouldn’t want to get left behind by the consoles, now would we? Jokes aside, it’s great that we’ll soon all be rocking super speedy SSDs. Not only is that going to speed up most players’ experience significantly, but it also means developers are better able to take advantage of the speedy memory and not worry they’re leaving half their audience behind.

The best NVMe SSD already makes a huge difference on PC, and it’s only going to become an even more vital weapon in your gaming arsenal in time.

Cheaper alternatives

Samsung 870 QVO 1TB SSD front and back

(Image credit: Samsung)

Though NVMe SSD pricing has dropped, high capacity SATA drives can be a great place to store your ever-growing Steam library. The best SSD for your gaming PC may still be an affordable, high-capacity SATA drive right now.

high-end gaming PC build. 

Prices for NVMe drives have dropped considerably in recent years, too, which means you can now get a speedy 1TB drive for less than $150. There’s hardly even a price disparity between slower SATA drives and faster NVMe ones nowadays, so you should absolutely go for one if your motherboard has the compatible NVMe SSD slot, known as an M.2 slot, or space for a PCIe add-in board with M.2 slots onboard.

The latest AMD gaming motherboards offer even higher potential NVMe SSD performance as the X570, and B550 boards support the PCIe 4.0 interface (provided you’re running a Zen 2 or Zen 3 CPU). Compatible drives have far greater raw bandwidth available to them. Intel is set to have its first PCIe 4.0 platform soon, too, with Intel Rocket Lake coming into the game shortly.

We’ve picked our favorites, and each will come in a variety of capacities too. Though it’s worth remembering that performance generally goes up with the larger drives as more of the controller’s channels are used with high capacities.


WD Black SN850 1TB

(Image credit: Western Digital)

1. WD Black SN850 1TB

The fastest PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD today

Capacity: 1TB | Controller: WD Black_G2 | Flash: BiCS4 96-layer TLC | Interface: M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 | Seq. read: 7,000 MB/s | Seq. write: 5,300 MB/s

Western Digital WD SN850 review.

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Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1TB

(Image credit: Samsung)
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Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1TB

(Image credit: Samsung)

2. Samsung 970 Evo Plus

The best NVMe SSD for PCIe 3.0 speed

Capacity: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, or 2TB | Controller: Samsung Phoenix | Memory: Samsung 3-bit MLC | Interface: M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 | Seq. read: 3,400MB/s | Seq. write: 3,300MB/s

3. Sabrent Rocket Q 4TB

The best NVMe SSD if you need serious space

Capacity: 4TB | Controller: Phison PS5012-E12 | Memory: 3D QLC NAND | Interface : M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 | Seq. read: 3,400MB/s | Seq. write: 3,200MB/s

8TB option available for sale if you never want to think about storage ever again (or at least for a couple of years).

The Rocket Q was no slouch when we ran our synthetic benchmarks. While the Samsung 970 Evo Plus remains the king of the hill, the Rocket Q can hold its own pretty well. It’s the right choice if you’re looking for a ton of storage since some of our favorite NVMe SSDs don’t have any 4TB options.

Read the full Sabrent Rocket Q review.

(Image credit: Addlink)

The best-value NVMe SSD for gaming

Capacity: 512GB | Controller: Phison PS5012-E12 | Memory: Toshiba 3D TLC | Interface : M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 | Seq. read: 3,400MB/s | Seq. write: 3,000MB/s

5. Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 2TB

The best value second-gen PCIe 4.0 SSD you can buy

Capacity: 2TB | Controller: Phison PS5018-E18 | Flash: Micron B27 96-layer TLC | Interface: M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 | Seq. read: 7,100 MB/s | Seq. write: 6,600 MB/s

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus review.

Best gaming keyboard | Best gaming mouse | Best SSD for gaming
Best VR headset | Best graphics cards | Best CPU for gaming

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WD Black SN750 1TB

(Image credit: WD)
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(Image credit: WD)

6. WD Black SN750

A great NVMe SSD at an attractive price

Capacity : 1TB | Controller: Western Digital | Memory: SanDisk/Toshiba 3D TLC | Interface: M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 | Seq. read: 3,430MB/s | Seq. write: 3,000MB/s

Mushkin Pilot-E). 

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Crucial P1 500GB and 1TB SSDs

(Image credit: Future)
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(Image credit: Crucial)

7. Crucial P1

Solid performance, price, and capacity

Capacity: 1TB | Controller: Silicon Motion SM2263 | Memory : Micron 3D QLC | Interface: M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 | Seq. read: 2,000MB/s | Seq. write: 1,700MB/s

good SATA SSDs remain an excellent option, with prices now falling below 10 cents per GB.

NVMe drives are becoming increasingly commonplace, and prices continue to drop. In the past year, I’ve tested far more NVMe drives than SATA drives, mainly because SATA drives are all starting to look the same. Most hit the same ~550MB/s limit of the SATA interface for sequential IO, though random IO can still be a bit problematic on some models. With budget NVMe prices now matching SATA drives, most new builds should seriously consider whether the extra power and data cables of SATA are necessary.