We’ve put together the best deals on SSD storage drives for SATA, PCIe 3.0, and 4.0 interfaces so that you don’t have to scroll through endless pages of products and get caught up trying to decipher ambiguous specs. We’ll also briefly explain the key features of these drives and the differences so you can get exactly what you need for your games and applications.
Before we go any further about SDDs, let’s briefly talk about why we no longer recommend HDDs for gaming. Hard drives, or HDDs, have fallen to the wayside for gamers in recent years thanks to speedy new SSDs becoming more affordable. Aside from generating less heat, coming in smaller form factors, and offering the benefits of silent operation, basic SATA SSDs offer up to five times the read read/write speeds of HDDs. Fast forward to the latest iteration of the PCIe 4.0 interface, and those drives outpace SATA SSDs by nearly 12 times. For gaming, this means significantly faster theoretical loads times, however, there are a few catches.
Consoles caught up fast and will quickly change how games run
The main factor is that games need to be able to take advantage of these fast speeds in order for the new technology to make a difference. Unfortunately, HDD-based consoles have largely held back game developers from taking advantage of SSDs for years due to the extra work required to optimize load times and assets. PC simply wasn’t the mainstream market for gaming, so our fancy cutting edge tech didn’t get the attention it deserved for years. However, that all changed recently with the PS5 and Xbox Series X integrating PCIe 4.0 in the latest generation. As absurd as it is, the latest consoles leapfrogged several generations of storage technology and are now cutting edge as well. That means HDDs, SATA SSDs, and even PCIe 3.0 SSDs (to a lesser extent) will be obsolete for new games within the next few years, because developers will design games to load in assets based on the specs of mainstream consoles which reach average read speeds well in excess of 5,000MB/s.
With this in mind, we still recommend SATA SSDs since these make excellent storage solutions for random media files and older games that don’t take advantage of the PCIe bandwidth. A SATA SSD and may be your best upgrade option depending on what type of storage interfaces your motherboard supports. However, we highly recommend an NVME PCIe 4.0 SSD if you want to future proof for new games while also eliminating the cable clutter that comes with SATA SSDs. New motherboards from both Intel and AMD are now on the NVME PCIe 4.0 standard, but your motherboard may only be compatible with PCIe 3.0 if it’s several years old. Check your motherboard manual to be sure before ordering anything.
In the event your motherboard is restricted to PCIe 3.0, it’s still not a bad idea to get one now as long as you understand the potential limits over the next few years. There are still plenty of great use cases for PCIe 3.0 drives, as some of today’s latest games still run great on them. PCIe generations are also backwards compatible, so you can still use the PCIe 3.0 drive in a PCIe 4.0 slot in the future. You may choose to put your operating system and other core programs on it, or relegate the drive to storage in years to come. Motherboard makers are already making expansion slots for users to add up to five PCIe storage drives on a single system, so there will always be a place for older PCIe drives in your system. With all of these things about SSDs in mind, let’s get to the Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals.
The best SATA SSD deals
These are the best SATA SSD deals we found with respect to realistic capacity requirements for most gamers.
Team Group CX2 1 TB
Find it at Newegg for $70.99
If cheap is what you want, this is the entry-level SSD for you. It comes from a recognizable manufacturer, so you’ll know it won’t be dead in a few years. The Team Group CX2 1TB features up to 540MB/s read and 490MB/s write speeds along with an impressive endurance of 800 TB written. Perfect for those who don’t want to spend big on a SATA SSD in late 2021.
Crucial MX500 1 TB
Find it at Newegg for $84.99
The Crucial brand is a subsidiary of Micron, one of the largest memory manufactures in the world. These Crucial MX500 SSDs give top competitors a solid run for the money in performance, while also coming in at cheaper prices. This drive features up to 560MB/s read and 510MB/s write speeds along with an excellent cache that makes it nice and peppy. Just bear in mind that the endurance rating is limited to 360 TB, so you don’t want to go buck wild with downloading new games all the time on this drive.
Samsung 870 QVO 2 TB
Find it at Newegg for $173.98
If you prefer to go with the top brands on the market, Samsung is hard to beat when it comes to storage. The QVO line isn’t Samsung’s fastest SATA SSD, but it is a far more affordable option if you want to invest in a larger capacity drive. The QVO still reads up to 560MB/s and writes at an impressive 530MB/s, but it falls short of the leading EVO lineup from Samsung. However, if you want fast, you should be buying an NVME PCIe drive these days anyways…
The best NVME PCIe 3.0 SSD deals
Here are the best PCIe 3.o SSD deals we found for this year’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. We’ve noted that the values are best on capacities up to 1 TB this year.
Crucial P5 1 TB
Find it at Best Buy for $89.99
The Crucial P5 is on sale for one of the best prices we’ve seen for a PCIe 3.0 SSD. With read speeds up to 3,400MB/s and write speeds up to 3,000MB/s, this is a very solid performer in its class. If you’re trying to make due with an older motherboard that only supports the PCIe 3.0 standard, this is the best value for performance deal you can get this year. The Crucial P5 also sports a decent endurance rating of 600 TB written.
Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500 GB
Find it at Best Buy for $64.99
If your budget is tight or you just don’t need much additional storage, this is a great SSD to add to your system. The Samsung brand carries the premium price, but it also offers best in class read/write speeds up to 3,500MB/s. The endurance rating is just 300 TBs written, but that comes with the smaller capacity. However, this could be the perfect stopgap solution if you plan to do a more comprehensive system upgrade in the next several years on a newer platform.
The best NVME PCIe 4.0 SSD deals
Here are the best PCIe 4.o SSD deals we found for this year’s Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. Due to the long-term viability of these drives and the more recent price cuts, we recommend higher capacities if you have the extra cash to spend.
Samsung 980 Pro 2 TB
Find it at Newegg for $320 ($280 with Black Friday code)
This is one of the fastest drives on the market right now, and the pricing is incredible for what you’ll get. The Samsung 980 Pro offers read speeds up to an incredible 7,000MB/s and write speeds up to 5,100MB/s. The endurance rating is decent for this model, boasting 1,200 TBs written. With these speeds, you’re sure to experience unhindered performance in new games for years, making this drive more than practical for years to come. Just consider using a heatsink of some kind if you want to get the most out of sustained workloads. Many high-end motherboards come with included heatsinks these days.
MSI Spatium Series 2 TB
Find it at Newegg for $260
This SSD isn’t the fastest out of those available on the PCIe 4.0 platform, but it’ll dominate anything from the PCIe 3.0 generation with its 5,000MB/s read speeds and 4,400MB/s write speeds. It’s cheaper though, and it will get the job done in gaming. With an endurance rating of 3,300 TB written, you’ll get plenty of life out of this drive if you’re the type that likes to constantly download new games. Just keep in mind that you might want something a little faster for future games.
Gigabyte Aorus Gen4 1 TB
Get it at Newegg for $129.99
This was one of the first NVME PCIe 4.0 SSDs to launch, and so it’s not the fastest. It supports read speeds up to 5,000MB/s and write speeds of 4,400MB/s. Fortunately, the high endurance rating of 1,800 TBs written more than makes up for the limited speeds. For this reason, we can easily recommend this Gigabyte Aorus SSD for anyone that moves a lot of data around or decides to change up their games library on the regular. Just keep in mind that you might want something a little faster for future games.
Corsair Force MP600 1 TB (with attached heatsink)
Get it at Newegg for $117.00
If you want the speeds that come with PCIe 4.0 drives but are worried about thermal throttling slowing things down to less than what’s advertised, you might like the Corsair MP600 that comes with a full heatsink. The included heatsink makes it a nice package for the price and helps it deliver the advertised 4,950MB/s read speeds and 4,250MB/s write speeds. It’ll also look extra snazzy compared to anything else on this list.
WD_Black SN850 Gaming 1 TB
Find it at Best Buy for $159.99
If you want an alternative to the Samsung 980 Pro and don’t need a full 2 TB SSD, the WD-Black SN850 is another top-tier solution. You can expect read and write speeds up to 7,000MB/s with this drive. When it comes to endurance, the SN850 offers a comparable 600 TBs written. So for the time being, you do have to make some compromises for raw speed. This drive will excel in all gaming scenarios for years to come though. As a note, you may want to look into using some type of heatsink if you want those maximum speeds for sustained workloads. Your motherboard may already have you covered if you have a high-end model.
Seagate FireCuda 520 1 TB
Find it at Best Buy for 159.99
The Seagate FireCuda series is known for being one of the best performers in intense workloads and is an overall great brand we can recommend to all types of users. It’s a little more pricey, and not the fastest on our list of PCIe 4.0 SSDs, but it may be worth the extra cash if you’re concerned that cheaper drives won’t stack up to the same performance. The FireCuda 520 offers read speeds up to 5,000MB/s and write speeds up to 4,400MB/s with an impressive endurance rating of 1,800 TBs written. You’ll be able to rely on this one for gaming for years, but you may find yourself yearning for something a little faster eventually.
Of course there are plenty more Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals out there if you’re looking for higher capacities or different brands, but these are the best SSD prices we were able to track down from top brands. If you’re looking to do more for your PC while also upgrading the storage, perhaps consider investing in a modular power supply this year. The deals are exceptional, and you may need more power based on what we’re hearing about next-gen graphics cards.
We do not receive a commission for these links. Please note that all prices are in USD.