Choosing the right solid-state drive (SSD) makes all the difference for day-to-day tasks or gaming, even more so if it's the drive that contains the operating system. SATA SSDs took storage to the next level when seen against mechanical drives, but NVMe PCIe SSDs like the Samsung 980 user in a new dimension with fantastic read and write speeds at a reasonable price. As a result, it's the best SSD in terms of performance and value for your PC or Chromebook.
Best Value SSD
The 2021 addition to Samsung's SSD portfolio changes the dynamic around value. The Samsung 980 is an M.2 drive that costs less than the SATA variant, allowing it to stand out immediately. But, of course, you don't miss out on any of the advantages of an M.2 SSD either: the 980 goes up to 3,500MB/s and 3,000MB/s for reads and writes, has a five-year warranty, and a 600TBW (terabytes written) endurance.
Best SATA SSD
The 870 EVO is the latest addition to Samsung's best-selling solid-state drive (SSD) family, and rightfully so since you get so much for your money. There's a 5-year warranty on each 870 EVO, and new owners will be able to enjoy up to 560MB/s read and 530MB/s write speeds. That's not bad at all for a SATA interface.
Best for gaming
Most modern motherboards have an M.2 slot, which is required for this SSD, but if you manage to install this module, you'll be enjoying read and write speeds of 3500MB/s and 3300MB/s, respectively. It's insanely fast, and the included five-year warranty only adds to the list of factors that make you disbelieve the price. Like most SSDs available, the higher the capacity, the more you'll be paying out, but it's worth it.
Best Budget SSD
The QVO is an interesting offering from Samsung. You get the same 560MB/s, and 530MB/s read and writes you'd find in the 870 EVO, but this uses a different memory configuration, allowing Samsung to sell it on a budget. You'll also see just three years on the warranty versus five to the 870 EVO, but the endurance rating is identical, making it a solid overall choice on a budget.
Fast has a new name
The Samsung 980 Pro is one of the fastest SSDs you'll find today. The SSD is based on the latest PCIe Gen4 standard and delivers read speeds of an insane 7,000MB/s, and writes at up to 5,000MB/s. Like all Samsung SSDs, it is backed by a five-year warranty, and while the 600TBW endurance isn't as high as the 970 Pro, it is more than adequate for most users.
Best Portable SSD
The Samsung T7 is a portable SSD with a robust metal enclosure to protect it from potential shatter damage. Although it is a SATA SSD, the T7 has read and write speeds of 1,050MB/s and 1,000MB/s, and the portability allows you to take it with you anywhere you may go, making it particularly useful when you need to transfer some data fast.
These are the best Samsung SSDs right now
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You can easily switch out the SSD inside the best Chromebooks, so if you're looking to increase the storage or want a faster drive, you can go with any of the M.2 picks highlighted above. If we were to make a single outright recommendation, it would be the Samsung 980, offering immense value and high-performance levels, with a strong warranty to back it. So long as you have a spare M.2 slot, this SSD will deliver read and write speeds up to 3,500MB/s and 3,000MB/s. Of course, if you need the best M.2 SSD money can buy right now, you'll have to pick up the Samsung 980 Pro.
If you're in the market for portability, the Samsung T7 is a fantastic choice. You can connect the portable drive to the best Android phones and transfer data from your phone to the SSD. Although flagships like the Galaxy S21 come with 128GB of storage by default, it's good practice to back up the data on your phone to an external source and the T7 allows you to do that with ease.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.