Ultimate speed

Samsung 970 EVO Plus

Mass storage

Sandisk SSD Plus

This is the absolute best SSD you can buy right now assuming your PC can utilize it. It's perfect for running your Windows install and most of your software, and it's so fast you'll never hit any form of slowdowns.

$130 at Amazon (500GB)

Pros

  • Fastest consumer SSD
  • Proven reliability
  • Great warranty
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Not all PCs have m.2 slots
  • Not all PCs support NVMe SSDs

Most desktop PCs and some laptops can take a 2.5-inch SSD, making this choice very versatile. SATA drives like this are a lot slower than NVMe drives, but they're a whole lot better than mechanical hard drives for use as mass storage.

$60 at Amazon (480GB)

Pros

  • Reliable with a good warranty
  • Well priced
  • Decent performance
  • Shock resistant

Cons

  • 2.5-inch drives are larger
  • Slower than NVMe
  • Tops out at 960GB capacity

Both of these are great solid-state drives (SSD), but they're also very different products. Which one you should get ultimately depends on what you need it for, and whether you have the technology to use an NVMe drive like the Samsung.

Different drives for different purposes

There is no performance comparison between these two SSDs. The 970 EVO Plus with its top line of 3,500 MB/s read and 3,300 MB/s write speeds is around seven times faster than the SSD Plus.

That's just down to the technology inside. NVMe SSDs are capable of those kinds of speeds, while SATA drives like the SSD Plus are not. Usually, you'll pay more for an NVMe drive like the 970 EVO Plus, too, but the difference isn't quite as massive as it used to be.

To use the Samsung 970 EVO Plus you'll need both an m.2 SSD slot free as well as PCIe 3.0 capabilities for it. If you don't have the latter, you won't unlock the full performance, and without the former, you simply can't connect the drive to your PC.

NVMe SSDs like the 970 EVO Plus will always connect directly to the motherboard. In a desktop PC, check your available drive bays, as you'll be housing a 2.5-inch drive here. This makes drives like the SSD Plus perfect for mass storage, as even a SATA SSD is magnitudes faster than a mechanical HDD.

Which should you choose?

Samsung 970 EVO Plus

If your PC fits the criteria above for using the 970 EVO Plus, and you're planning to use it as the main drive to boot Windows from as well as store your most used software, games and files on, then it's the one to go for. The performance is exceptional, it's reliable, backed up by a good warranty, and while more expensive than the SSD Plus, it's still a very good price for what you get.

If, however, you can't use the 970 EVO in your PC or if you're looking for a mass storage option, the SSD Plus is a solid shout. Desktop PC cases will always have space for multiple 2.5-inch SSDs which makes them perfect for mass storage drives, and many older or larger laptops may also run a 2.5-inch drive inside them.

Sandisk's warranty may only be three years compared to Samsung's five, but the SSD Plus is also shock resistant for a little added piece of mind. This is particularly useful if you're going to stick it in a laptop, since it stands more chance of being dropped.

Our pick

Samsung 970 EVO Plus

The very best you can get

If you need a super fast SSD and your PC can accept this drive, then it's the very best you can currently buy.

Mass storage

Sandisk SSD Plus

A superb drive for mass storage and laptops

If you're using a PC that doesn't support NVMe or you need great mass storage for a desktop or laptop, then the SSD Plus is a good choice.

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