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How To Buy the Right SSD For Your PC In 2023

Tech4Gamer brings you a complete guide going over everything related to the SSD buying process. We cover factors including budget, performance, and form factor to help you find the perfect SSD for your PC.

Over the years, SSDs have become the go-to storage devices for most PC enthusiasts. Being an improvement to traditional HDDs, they come equipped with an arsenal of perks that place them leagues above hard drives. However, the wide range of options has made purchasing the right SSD nothing short of a challenge.

Thankfully, we at Tech4Gamers have created a comprehensive guide covering every aspect related to the process. From budget considerations to specifications, our detailed guide on How To Buy The Right SSD For Your PC will inform you about everything you need to know.

Key Takeaways

  1. Begin with setting a budget that will determine the specifications of your SSD.
  2. Understand what kind of workloads you are dealing with.
  3. Go over various SSD types and select the kind that caters to your workloads.
  4. Ascertain the amount of storage you might require to store your applications
  5. Lastly, you can go over a few recommendations to get a better idea of the market.

Budget Consideration

Generally speaking, an SSD costs about twice as much as an HDD with the same storage capacity. Faster versions of SSDs such as NVMe might even cost up to thrice as much as usual. Taking AICs into account, the price point jumps drastically, drawing away from the budget of the average user.

Of course, that is not the only factor contributing to an increase in price. Going for a higher-capacity driver is going to cost more. For instance, a 512GB SSD is bound to cost twice as much as the 256GB variant of the same model.

Similarly, moving between PCIe 3.0 and 4.0 gen NVMes will also result in a considerable price increase. That is expected, given the substantial increase in performance that comes with PCIe 4.0 NVMe drives.

On paper, PCIe 4.0 is twice as fast as PCIe 3.0; however, whether that translates to real-world performance depends on your workload. Nonetheless, PCIe 4.0 SSDs are going to provide faster speeds compared to their older counterparts.

Kingston Fury Renegade 2TB NVMe SSD - Top View
Kingston Fury Renegade 2TB NVMe SSD (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Following this trend, PCIe Gen 5.0 SSDs were also launched with a price bump; however, given the incredible price hike and the scarcity of PCIe Gen 5.0 motherboards, they might not be completely worth it at the time of writing this article, 

Use Case Scenario: Gaming, Content Creation, Office Work

Spearheading a new era, SSDs utilize flash memory to provide much higher performances than customary hard drives. Gamers particularly have all the more reason to equip their builds with SSDs, owing to them yielding three times faster loading times and a smoother overall experience.

That said, SSDs do not have a direct impact on the game’s performance. Since the graphics card will be doing most of the heavy lifting, SSDs will only contribute to reducing overall load times. This, in turn, results in a much smoother experience due to faster texture load times.

So if you are looking for an SSD to boost your game’s performance, that is not going to necessarily be the case here.

weight of SSD
SSD. (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Another area that demands a rising need for SSDs is content creation, with software like Premiere and Photoshop greatly benefiting from enhanced data transfer speeds, allowing them to render content much more effectively.

As far as client PCs are concerned, SSDs allow for efficient data handling in offices as well, as long as the main server and backups are stored in hard drives. Similarly, U.2 SSDs, which are specifically designed to cater to office and server workloads, have also seen a rise in popularity. 

Type of SSDs

As with most accessories, SSDs come in various forms designed to accommodate a wide variety of users.


SATA, short for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment SSDs, are generally the slowest and oldest form of SSD technology available on the market.

With a data transfer rate maxing out at 600 MB/s, its performance is unsurprisingly poor when compared to its successors, albeit it is still much faster than conventional hard drives. Being the more affordable option, SATA SDDs are widely available throughout the consumer market, in commercial offices as well as for domestic use.

M.2 SSDs

M.2 SATA SSDs came out as the replacement for traditional SATA SSDs, bringing with them a surge of technological breakthroughs, drastically amping the data transfer rate up to 6 GBps. Due to their smaller stature, they were the go-to mode of storage for laptops until recent years.

PCIe Gen 4.Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 1TB NVMe SSD - Top View0 NVMe SSD
PCIe Gen 4.0 NVMe SSD – (Image By Tech4Gamers)

NVMe M.2 SSDs further replaced the older SATA standard, boasting higher speeds, with a data transfer rate of 958 MB/s. Topping off at around 32 GBps, NVMe SSDs are used in most everyday laptops and prebuilt desktop systems.


AIC, or Add-In Card SSDs, are strikingly similar to the aforementioned NVMe M.2 SSDs. The only vital difference between the two is that the AIC does not need an additional M.2 connector to connect to a motherboard. Instead, it uses a PCIe slot, allowing it to connect to older generations of computers as well. Aside from being cooler than traditional M.2 SSDs, AICs are tremendously more expensive than their M.2 counterparts.

Given their much larger size, you also lose the portability that comes with the slim design of regular M.2 SSDs. It is worth noting that you will need to have a free PCIe slot in order to accommodate these SSDs.

What kind of SSD does your PC support?

Leading the charge, traditional SATA SSDs are compatible with every motherboard out there. Since all motherboards have a SATA port regardless of age, you can equip your build with SATA SSDs without any hassle.

Installing an SSD – (Image By Tech4Gamers)

M.2 SSDs, on the other hand, are a bit of trouble. Requiring an M.2 connector to function, this type of SSD will not work unless your motherboard has an M.2 port, whether M.2 SATA or NVMe. Fortunately, most modern motherboards incorporate this feature.

Speaking of M.2 SSDs, it is important to make sure that your selected M.2 SSD is compatible with the expansion slots present in your motherboard. That said, most PCIe Gen 4.0 SSDs are backward compatible with Gen 3.0 slots.

Shifting towards AICs, these SSDs support your motherboard as long as you have a PCIe slot, which is found in most motherboards nowadays. Even if your desktop has seen a decade of age, chances are, it still has a PCIe slot to spare.

How Much Storage Capacity Do You Need?

To run a system for domestic use with Windows operating system, a few applications, and a decent amount of storage, 256GB of storage capacity is more than adequate. However, add anything to that, and you’ll find the need to crank it up to 512GB.

If you intend to store modern games on your SSD, then going for a 1TB SSD becomes a must, especially considering the astronomical increase in video game sizes. With video game sizes continuing to increase, you might need to increase that up to 2TB future-proofing.

WD Black SN850 500GB NVMe SSD
WD Black SN850 500GB NVMe SSD (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Of course, all that boils down to how many games or applications you intend to store at a particular time.

Some Expert Tips: For gamers looking to enhance their gaming experience with an SSD, Hamid Imtiaz, CTO at Remo Software, suggests taking these factors into account

  • Ensure there’s at least a 40%+ free space on the SSD. This allows game caches to expand seamlessly while you’re playing larger games.
  • Check the thermal dissipation of the SSD. A cooler-running SSD should ideally have better heat sinks attached.
  • Pay attention to the measured speeds in MB/s or Gb/s. Speed is crucial for gamers seeking optimal performance.
  • Know the interface type to ensure compatibility with your existing computer and check for support.
  • These are considered among the fastest SSDs, capable of reaching speeds around 7500 Mb/Sec.
  • It’s often a safe bet to opt for reputable brands such as WD, Samsung, SK Hynix, Crucial, Sabrent, XPG, and others.
  • Gamers should also keep certain Windows settings enabled to optimize their gaming experience.

Specifications To Consider:

SSD Interface

Before anything, it is first important to consider the interface of an SSD. Not only will the interface affect your SSD’s performance, but it also impacts the price and compatibility with your system.

SATA SSDs are by far the most common type of SSDs available on the market. They are the oldest and hence the slowest form of SSD technology. These SSDs can be utilized interchangeably with SATA-based hard drives.

Generally, SATA connections are divided into two generations, SATA II and SATA III. Naturally, SATA III performs considerably better than SATA II, almost doubling the maximum bandwidth.

Moving on, M.2 SSDs use the PCIe connections available on your motherboard. In a similar way to SATA, PCIe interfaces also receive constant upgrades, doubling the bandwidth with each new iteration. PCIe 5.0 is the latest advancement in PCIe interfaces, offering incredible leaps in performance

Read Speed

Sequential read speeds are an accurate representation of how fast an SSD is able to read memory locations in sequential order. Faster read speeds are a direct indication of lower load times and quicker file transfers.

SSDs based on the SATA interface can reach read speeds of up to 560 Mbps, more than twice as fast as conventional HDDs. SSDs based on the NVme interface attain read speeds of around 5000 to 7000 MBps.

Write Speed

Similarly, write speeds measures the speed at which data can be written onto the drive. This is mostly seen when copying large files.

When talking about write speeds, the SATA interface promises a generous 530 Mbps, about four times as fast as previous-generation hard drives. On the contrary, the NVMe interface cranks up the write speed to around 6000 MBps, providing next-generation performance to users worldwide.

Endurance Rating TBW – Overall Lifespan

While SSDs are often assumed to have a higher lifespan than traditional HDDs, their life span can vary depending on the type of SSD you end up choosing. Measured in TBW (Terabytes Written), the endurance rating is an accurate representation of how much data can be written onto your SSD before it dies.

On average, a SATA SSD yields about 60 to 150 Terabytes written in its lifetime. Not meant for server usage, SATA SSDs are best suited for light domestic use over a sustainable time period. Consequently, NVMe SSDs acquire TBW ratings of around 800 to 2800 Terabytes written on average throughout their lives.


IOPs or Input/Output Per Seconds play an important role in determining an SSD’s performance. As suggested by the name, IOPS provides the rate at which an SSD is able to read and write random packets of data. 

While that might sound a lot similar to the previously mentioned read and write speeds, IOPS is actually completely different from sequential speeds.

Compared with HDDs’ modest IOPS of 400, SATA SSDs offer 32,000 read IOPS as well as 97,000 write IOPS, minimizing latency and maximizing performance.

Being the successor to SATA SSDs, NVMe SSDs are capable of both read and write IOPS of around 2,000,000, massively boosting the drive’s speed and efficiency.

Some Recommendations

Here are a few SSD recommendations based on price, value, and performance.

Kingston FURY Renegade 2TB PCIe Gen 4.0 NVMe M.2

Best High-End PCIe 4.0 SSD

Kingston FURY Renegade 2TB PCIe Gen 4.0 NVMe M.2
Kingston FURY Renegade 2TB PCIe Gen 4.0 NVMe M.2 (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Kingston has set a name for itself as one of the best SSD manufacturers, and their Fury Renegade 2TB PCIe Gen 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD is a testament to that. Instilled with blistering fast read and write speeds, the Kingston Fury Renegade 2TB PCIe Gen 4.0 NVMe M.2 is one of the best-performing SSDs you can currently purchase.

Make sure you check out our full review of the Kingston Fury Renegade 2TB PCIe Gen 4.0 for more information.

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 1TB

Best Mainstream PCIe 4.0 SSD

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 1TB
Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 1TB – (Image by Tech4Gamers)

If the previously-featured high-end SSD was a bit too much for your budget, then the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 1 TB might make for a more reasonable option. It offers decent transfer speeds and remarkable performance without breaking the bank, making it the Best Mainstream PCIe Gen 4.0 SSD.

For more information, read our complete review of the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 1TB.

Samsung 970 EVO Plus 2TB

Best High-End PCIe 3.0 SSD

Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 2TB NVMe M.2 SSD
Samsung SSD 970 EVO Plus 2TB NVMe M.2 SSD

If you are not willing to spend more for a PCIe 4.0 SSD, a Gen 3.0 SSD is going to be the next best thing. Among numerous PCIe 3.0 SSDs, the Samsung 970 EVO Plus 2TB reigns supreme with its outstanding performance. With speeds up to 3.5GB/s, the Samsung 960 EVO Plus 2TB makes for an extremely compelling option.

Crucial P3 1TB

Best Mainstream PCIe 3.0 SSD

Crucial P3 1TB
Crucial P3 1TB

Taking up the spot of the Best Mainstream PCIe 3.0 SSD is the Crucial P3 1TB. Despite being a relatively budget-friendly option, the Crucial P3 1TB manages to hold up fairly well against the competition., both in terms of performance and value.


Best High-End Sata SSD


Despite the introduction of newer and faster M.2 technology, traditional SATA-based SSDs seem to have in maintaining a strong presence within the market. The Samsung 870 EVO 2TB is one of the better-performing SATA SSDs one can get their hands on. With read speeds maxing out at 560 MB/s, you are bound to be impressed by its value.

Western Digital 1TB WD Blue SA510

Best Mainstream Sata SSD

Western Digital 1TB WD Blue SA510 SATA SSD
Western Digital 1TB WD Blue SA510

When it comes to entry-level drives, Western Digital’s 1TB WD BLUE SA510 has become the go-to option for most enthusiasts. Barring its degraded performance compared to the higher-end NVMe models, it serves as a budget-friendly alternative to its much more expensive cousins. 

Also Read: WD Black SN850 NVMe SSD Review

Final Thoughts

SSDs are almost always the better choice when collated with hard drives. They are faster, more efficient, and proffer a much higher degree of performance. All of that makes it important to actually opt for one that allows you to get the most out of your build. Fortunately, following the mentioned steps in the guide will allow you to narrow down your options and ultimately pick the SSD best suited for your PC.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I determine which SSD is compatible with my computer?

Start by looking at the different types of SSDs available. SATA will almost certainly will compatible with every system out there. PCIe SSDs, on the other hand, will only be compatible with motherboards that support them. 

How much storage capacity do I need for my SSD?

The storage capacity you need depends on how much data you actually intend on storing. Generally, a 256GB SSD will do just fine for general applications, whereas a 1TB SSD is recommended for storing games. 

What are the benefits of using an SSD over a traditional hard drive?

SSDs are always faster than HDDs, that too by a significant margin. Their substantially better performance, smaller form factor, and better durability make them a better choice over traditional hard drives.

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Hayyan Serwer
Hayyan Serwer
Hayyan Serwer is a tech enthusiast, with a love for PC building and article writing. Hayyan specializes in writing about CPU coolers and RAM kits. Hayyan has been familiar with the tech industry for over half a decade now, and has now stepped into providing quality reviews for the latest and greatest tech.


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