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Best SSD 2022: Top rated solid-state drives

One of the most crucial components of a PC is the SSD, as it can improve everything from boot-up times to how long it takes for a loading screen to pass on a game. To ensure that you get the right storage solution, we’ve tested all the best SSD options we can get our hands on.

As with everything we review here, we ensure to benchmark and test all of the SSDs we have so we can give you an overall view of their performance. Every device is tested by one of our experts and used in real-world applications as well.

It’s important to note that we haven’t been able to test out any PCIe 5.0 SSDs just yet, which will be the next generation of the storage component, providing even faster read and write speeds. However, that should change very soon, so make sure you check back in soon to find out how we fare with PCle 5.0 SSDs and how they rank in this list.

And if you can’t find anything on this list that seems like a good fit for you right now, bookmark this page and come back soon, as we endeavour to update this page every time another impressive SSD comes through our doors.

Finally, if you want to upgrade more components in your PC, feel free to check out our other best lists, as we have articles on the best gaming CPUs, best graphics cards and more.

Best SSDs at a glance

How we test

Learn more about how we test SSDs

When testing an SSD, we use both synthetic benchmark tests, while also determining file transfers via both Steam and Windows explorer. We also factor in the likes of price, design and temperature when reaching a final score.

PNY XLR8 CS3140 1TB

Best overall SSD
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Pros

  • Excellent sequential read performance
  • Consistent transfer rates
  • Leading durability

Cons

  • Write speeds are capped on lower capacities
  • Gen 5.0 is pretty much here

The PNY XLR8 CS3140 is currently the best SSD we have reviewed. We thought that it is one of the fastest and most consistent Gen 4.0 SSDs on the market right now, and since it comes in 1TB, 2TB and 4TB variations, there should be a model that’s perfect for almost anyone.

During our testing, we were able to get read and write scores of up to 7500MB/s and 5650MB/s, respectively. While the latter scores are a little lower, we found that this SSD could load up files from Windows Explorer in seconds, so you should have no trouble downloading files or moving larger games or data onto another drive.

Despite the fact that Gen 5.0 SSDs are on the way, we don’t think that investing in the PNY XLR8 CS3140 is a bad move, as it has more than enough power to run today’s games, and we don’t see it becoming obsolete anytime soon. For the price point and the incredibly fast speeds, this is a superb SSD to pick if you’re looking to run games with instant loading times.

Reviewer: Aleksha McLoughlin
Full review: PNY XLR8 CS3140 review

WD Black SN850 1TB

Best value SSD
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Pros

  • Great sequential performance
  • Frequently discounted in 2022
  • Well built

Cons

  • Usurped by the WD Black SN850X
  • It gets really hot

The WD Black SN850 may not be one of the most affordable SSDs on this list, but we nevertheless think it represents superb value due to its excellent performance. It’s also frequently discounted, with the 1TB variation dropping as low as £118.99.

This SSD is compatible with PCs as well as the PS5 console, and it managed to get read and write scores of up to 7,000MB/s and 5,300MB/s, respectively. File transfer speeds were very impressive, with the 110GB Mortal Kombat 11 transferring over from another Gen 4 SSD at just 1.65GB/s.

There is a drawback to the heatsink model though, as the drive can get very hot during extended use. However, since the average person won’t be testing their SSD in this manner, we can’t see this being a huge issue for most people, even if it is something to be aware of.

Overall, if you’re looking to upgrade your setup but don’t want to break the bank, the WD Black SN850 is one of the best options on the market, and since it can be found in 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and 4TB variations, you should be able to find a configuration and price that works best for you.

Reviewer: Aleksha McLoughlin
Full review: WD Black SN850 review

SK Hynix Platinum P41

Best high performance SSD
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Pros

  • Pushes the limits of Gen 4.0
  • Strong random performance
  • High write endurance and durability

Cons

  • Less than a month until Gen 5.0 launches
  • Premium price tag
  • Availability is limited right now

This SSD is a powerhouse and really pushes the limits of what a Gen 4.0 SSD is capable of. One of the biggest downsides of the SK Hynix Platinum P41 is the premium price, which is a little hard to swallow since the new PCle Gen 5.0 generation is almost on its way, but it might just be worth it if you’re after the best performance.

It comes with a 176-layer NAND flash memory which allows for some of the highest write endurance of any M.2 NVMe form factor drive we’ve tested. The SK Hynix Platinum P41 can achieve up to 7,000MB/s write scores and 6,500MB/s read scores, positioning this drive as one of the strongest performers to date.

And if you’re looking for something to game with, this SSD had near non-existent loading times with titles specifically optimised for Gen 4.0 speeds, with Halo Infinite loading up seriously quickly.

If you’re trying to save money we would recommend you look at the WD Black SN850 or the Solidigm P41 Plus. But if money is no object, this is one of the fastest SSDs currently available, coming in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB variations.

Reviewer: Aleksha McLoughlin
Full review: SK Hynix Platinum P41 review

Solidigm P41 Plus

Best budget M.2 SSD
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Pros

  • Competitively priced
  • Decent sequential performance
  • Solid construction

Cons

  • Gen 4.0 about to become outdated
  • No hardware encryption

The Solidigm P41 Plus is very affordable, and the cheapest M.2 SSD on this list. This is not an SSD to consider if you are looking for the best speeds on the market, but for the price, we thought that it was able to hold its own where it matters most, in game.

As you may notice, the read and write speeds here are not as impressive as some of the other entries on this list. Testing the 1TB model, the write speeds came out at 4,125MB/s with the read speeds reaching 2,950MB/s. We thought that loading times were light, even in demanding titles, and almost non-existent for older games like Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator.

For a Gen 4.0 device, this a bargain buy and should pack enough power for a lot of gamers out there. However, it is limited in terms of power and since it’s already overshadowed by its current generation, Gen 5.0 SSDs will definitely blow it out of the water.

If a lower price point is more important to you than performance, this is one of the best SSD options we’ve reviewed, but we would recommend checking out slightly more expensive drives for better long-term value.

Reviewer: Aleksha McLoughlin
Full review: SK Hynix Platinum P41 review

Samsung 860 Evo

Best SATA SSD
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Pros

  • Huge choice of capacity
  • Well priced
  • Good all-round performance
  • Excellent endurance

Cons

  • Not that much faster than previous drive

The Samsung 860 Evo is capable of squeezing every last drop of performance from its old SATA interface. It’s important to note that anyone with a modern NVMe-compatible computer can benefit from the newer M.2 SSD standard, like the PNY XLR8 CS3140. However, Samsung’s solution is still perfectly serviceable and will be compatible with older setups that don’t support NVMe drives.

With the older SATA standard limited to 600MB/s speeds, the Samsung 860 Evo sees low read and write scores coming in at 550MB/s and 520MB/s, respectively. This means it’s not a great option for gamers, or anyone who wants speedy boot-up times and quick data transfer speeds.

But it will provide serviceable loading and transfer times for anyone who just wants a PC for basic productivity tasks. It’s also a great affordable pick for those who want plenty of storage space at an affordable price, with a fantastic range of configurations including 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB and 4TB. With so many options you should be able to find a price point and storage option that’s right for you.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full review: Samsung 860 Evo review

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FAQs

What is a SATA?

This is the cheapest type of SSD. It connects through your motherboard’s SATA ports and is the slowest form of SSD, topping out at about 500-600MB/s. The current version of SATA is SATA III.

What is an M.2?

This is a specific physical SSD format. Confusingly it can use both the SATA or PCIe lanes on your motherboard, but either way it fits into a smaller M.2 slot. M.2 SATA drives are most commonly found on ultra-thin laptops to save space (M.2 is very small) and cost (sometimes only using SATA-speed storage). If you’re buying an M.2 SSD for your desktop, make sure it’s an NVMe drive.

What is an NAND Flash?

Negative AND Logic gates. They’re similar to the chips used in RAM, but they can store data even when there’s no power flowing through them. They form the basis of all SSDs.

Trusted Reviews test data

CrystalDiskMark Read speed
CrystalMarkDisk Write Speed
Atto read speed

Comparison specs

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