Moving from the mechanical world of hard drives to the silicon world of SSDs brought rapid improvements in performance, technology, capacities, and reliability.
SSDs had no difficulty saturating the various SATA connections.
Samsung was first on the scene with M.2 NVMe drives, and it still dominates the market.
Its 950 Pro and SM951 NVMe deliver great performance, but the Samsung 960 Pro and 960 Evo up the ante.
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.
Early M.2 drives were limited to 512GB, but some of the latest models pack up to 2TB on a single 'gumstick' form factor.
And the reality is that you can get very close to the same level of performance, especially for lighter workloads like gaming, but going with Samsung's much more affordable 960 Evo.
The type of NAND and controller are also important, with TLC NAND often putting the brakes on overall performance.
We've picked the best overall choice, a budget-friendly option, and the highest performance drive to satisfy your NVMe dreams.
What if you already have an SSD but you still want faster storage?
If that's what you're after, look no further than the latest NVMe offerings, which come in a variety of formats.