If you've been looking to pick up a speedy new solid-state drive during the past year but have held off due to the upward trending prices, I have good news. That's not to say we've reached similar lows as before, but for NVMe drives at least we are seeing lower prices than last month, and additional new models should push prices down even more over the coming months.
Solid-state storage has changed the way we use our computers, with faster boot times and the ability to multitask better than ever.
These typically include one or more M.2 slots, and potentially a U.2 connector on some models.
We've picked the best overall choice, a budget-friendly option, and the highest performance drive to satisfy your NVMe dreams.
Samsung was first on the scene with M.2 NVMe drives, and it still dominates the market.
Combine NVMHCI with a fast PCIe interface and you have NVMe, Non-Volatile Memory Express.
It’s a much improved interface developed around the needs of flash memory rather than spinning disks. There are plenty of consumer M.2 NVMe SSDs now, but performance should be a major consideration for anyone looking at these drives, and capacity is also something to think about.
The 960 Evo uses Samsung's new Polaris controller, which has five ARM cores compared to the three ARM cores in the 950's UBX controller.
One of the cores is used for communicating with the host system in both controllers, meaning Polaris can dedicate far more resources to accessing data.
If you're in the market for higher capacities and higher performance, Samsung's 960 Pro is even faster and available with up to 2TB.
The difference in performance won't be noticed in most situations, unless you pepper the drive with sustained random writes, but the 960 Pro also has a higher endurance rating and a 5-year warranty, compared to 3-years on the 960 Evo.
If you're running a PC without some form of SSD for your OS drive, stop now and upgrade—it's the single biggest upgrade you can make to an older PC.
What if you already have an SSD but you still want faster storage?
You'll need BIOS support for NVMe if you want to boot from the drive, however.