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Best M.2 Nvme SSDs for Gaming in 2021 – Buying Guide

Updated on August 25, 2021

The Best M.2 Solid-State Drives for 2021 Best M.2 NVMe SSDs For Gaming

In this post you will know everthing about Best SSDs For Gaming 2021, Fastest M.2 NVMe SSDs and much more

SSDs are now more and more accessible and have become essential in our computers. Today it is very rare to find a computer that does not have at least one SSD for the operating system. With the development of this technology, there are many references on the market and it is easy to get lost.

The future of M.2 SSDs is just as good for your new gaming machine as it is for a sluggish old computer. Discover our selection of the best models on the market to give your computer a boost.

While SSDs were originally confined to a 2.5-inch format, the market is now turning a lot to the M.2 format, which is more compact and easier to install. In the form of a small card that slides onto the motherboard, M.2 SSDs typically enjoy higher performance than their 2.5-inch counterparts and do not require any power cables or cables. Since everything is provided by the M.2 connection.

After a steady decline for years, SSDs have recently seen their prices rise sharply. Once again, this is the fault of Chia cryptocurrency, which use storage for their calculations…

You will find in this buying guide, different references for all budgets and depending on your use. And if you have any questions about SSDs, you’ll certainly find an answer in this article.

Solid State Drive (SSD) Overview

You are certainly familiar with hard disks, which have been used in our computers for several decades now. If the latter are now proven and offer ever-larger storage capacities, they, unfortunately, remain limited in terms of performance. As a reminder, the latter operates in a “mechanical” manner with high-speed rotating plates traversed by read/write heads.

NAND technology SSDs are a type of flash memory that offers superior performance while generally being more compact than our conventional hard drives. SSDs and the best m.2 SSD for gaming are actually large USB drives since they use the same type of memory as the latter.

In comparison, hard disks offer, at the same price, more storage space than SSDs and are more suitable than the latter for long-term data storage. Conversely, SSDs are less durable, but much more efficient than a hard drive to accommodate your operating system and your games, for example.

We, therefore, recommend in general to use an SSD for the operating system and the most demanding games and to add a hard drive, with more space to store your documents, media and other data that do not have a need to be accessible very quickly.

Can an SSD Improve Gaming Performance?

Solid State Drives typically offer read and write speeds 10-30 times faster than 7,200 revolutions per minute (rpm) hard drive. 

However, if you want to buy an SSD thinking that this way you will have an improvement in the graphic performance of your games, particularly an increase in the number of frames per second ( frames per second, fps).

To have a graphical improvement in your games, the option is to update your graphics card and, possibly, your processor and RAM memory.

Difference Between Nvme and M 2 SSD

The newest and most desirable form factor for solid-state drives is called m.2 solid state drive. These drives are about the size of a stick of gum and can hold just as much data as their 2.5″ SSD counterparts. M.2 drives plug directly into the motherboard without the need for any extra cables, which makes them ideal for PC builds concerned with cable management or overall size. 

While all M.2 drives plug directly into the motherboard, there is a significant difference between sockets that determine the speed at which M.2 devices can function. 

On the other hand, NVMe (Non-volatile Memory Express) is a new technology utilized by some M.2 drives. This blazing-fast new bus type uses the PCIe data transfer lanes on the motherboard, similar to modern graphics cards. By using the PCIe connection, M.2 drives can reach speeds of over 4,000MB/s read and write.

It is important to remember that the best NVMe SSD for gaming itself is not a connection type but rather a protocol that utilizes a pre-existing PCIe connection. For the sake of abbreviation and simplicity, you may often hear NVMe protocols referred to as connections. 

The small size and fast speed of NVMe drives have been a massive leap in storage technology, rapidly becoming a standard on modern devices. 

With each new generation of the best NVMe SSD for gaming, storage size is increasing along with transfer speeds. Newer motherboards even support multiple NVMe devices, almost eliminating cable clutter entirely.

Which M.2 SSD Is Best to Buy for Gaming?

With the advantages and disadvantages of SSD drives explained, we move on to the important thing. Which one is the best for me? Well, as in other situations, it will depend largely on the use we want to give it and, above all, the budget we want to invest.

Previously, SSD solid-state drives had a bad reputation in the global market because they presented data loss on many occasions, which generated a lot of insecurity in various users. This data loss used to occur when the computer was suddenly turned off, however currently, various models have been designed to tolerate this type of problem.

Finally, we cannot finish this part without talking about the most popular combination of hard drives among many users: SSD + HDD. Or what is the same, an SSD drive where the operating system, programs, and all our work are; and an external HDD for backup.

NVMe Models

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As we have already said above, as long as our motherboard allows it and we want maximum performance, we recommend using the 4th generation M.2 NVMe model since the speeds are much higher than the traditional SATA3.

M.2 NVMe Solid State Drives (SSDs) Buying Guide 2021

Here is a table showing all the products that we will review and discuss, plus a couple of their most important specifications. There is a good mix of M.2 SSDs in this chart, so we’re sure one of them will be perfect for you.

Now that you’ve taken a quick look at our top recommendations, let’s take a closer look at each of them individually. We will look for the strengths and weaknesses of each model and we will highlight the type of person that best suits each model. With that said, let’s start with the Transcend MTS800.

Pny CS2130 4TB M.2 NVMe Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

the best m.2 solid-state drives for 2021This PNY CS2130 internal SSD offers transfer speeds of 3500MB / s read and 3000MB / s write. It is also compatible with PCs equipped with an M.2 2280 bay running Linux, Apple macOS X, Ubuntu 14, Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / 7/8/10 operating systems.

This PNY CS2130 internal SSD also benefits from an advanced design based on NAND flash technology. Because of this, it consumes less energy and can operate at a lower temperature.

In addition, it is extremely quiet and operating noises are, moreover, almost inaudible. Finally, your computer benefits from faster startup and shutdown as well as increased responsiveness when launching even the heaviest programs.

  • Premium performance 
  • Ultra-low power consumption 
  • Ideal for demanding applications and high-end games

Startech.com M.2 NVMe SSD Enclosure for PCIe SSDs

best ssd for gaming – the top ssds in 2021Its durability, despite the use of these QLC memories, is set at 100TBW for the 512GB model, something that amounts to 400 TBW, ensuring that at no time during the 5-year warranty on this unit we will have No problem related to the wear and tear of the unit, especially considering that it is a unit intended for the domestic market.

Sequential speeds of 1800MB / s both reading and writing, as well as the performance with high IOPS random transactions in both reading and writing, leave us with a versatile unit that can be found in a variety of sizes enough to get a great versatility when purchasing any of the models in the range.

  • Robust security features
  • Double layer of protection against power loss
  • Very high read and write speeds
  • Long-term guarantee

Kanguru Ultralock USB-C M.2 NVMe SSD

fastest m.2 nvme ssds 2021Kanguru, a unit capable of reaching the figure of up to 675MB/s Sequential Read speed and 575 MB/s Sequential Write, it’s one of the fastest external USB drives on the market. With 1700MB / s of sequential writing and that with a performance in random reading and in random writing will allow us quick access to whatever data we enter inside it. Now more than ever, SSD drives are reaching prices that allow us to use them in applications other than simply installing the operating system and some programs on a small drive, And even having a dedicated SSD for gaming is doable.

  • Robust security features
  • Double layer of protection against power loss
  • Built-in Power Loss Immunity preserves all your work on file if power is unexpectedly cut off
  • AES 256-bit hardware-based encryption keeps data safe from hackers and thieves

HighPoint 4 Bay M.2 NVMe RAID Enclosure

M.2 and NVMe SSDs for gamingLast but not least, we found what would be the model with the best value for money in this category, and that is the HighPoint, which came out of its parent company IQVIA, has recently passed through our laboratory for its review, and has come out with an award from our editor as to the aforementioned value for money of this SSD.

Among its characteristics, we find capacities of 250 and 500GB, with the second one at a reasonable price, as well as speeds of 1700MB / s reading and 1600MB / s writing in sequential mode and random transaction speeds up to 10Gbps which is near twice the capability of traditional M 2 SATA enclosures reliable unit for its price.

Faster startup; load files faster; improve overall system responsiveness

  • 300% faster than a normal hard drive
  • Improves battery life because it is 45 times more energy-efficient than a conventional hard drive
  • Robust security features
  • Long-term guarantee

VisionTek 2TB PRO XPN M.2 NVMe SSD Internal

best m.2 ssd solid state drive for gamingThe VisionTek PRO XPN Series M.2 NVMe SSD is designed to bring ultra-fast, reliable storage to PC users. With the shift from the hard disk drive to the solid state drive the VisionTek PRO XPN Series M.2’s provide a drop-in replacement option for the hard disk drive (HDD) for M.2 NVMe compatible systems. It delivers superior reliability, durability, performance and power efficiency – keeping your system working reliably in the toughest of conditions.

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Conforming to the industry standard NVMe connector specification, these SSDs integrate easily into compatible infrastructures. The VisionTek PRO XPN Series M.2’s provide high bandwidth and IOPS while efficiently managing write amplification. Employing M.2 NVMe SSDs in a compatible system enables faster boot times, quicker application load times, lower power consumption, and enhanced reliability.

  • Double layer of protection against power loss
  • Very high read and write speeds
  • Supports a comprehensive security suite
  • Available in a wide range of capacities

MyDigitalSSD SBX M.2 NVMe SSD

best nvme m.2 ssd for gaming pc 2021The SBX M.2 SSD from MyDigitalSSD is an exceptionally inexpensive product, which is even more attractive considering its high data rates.

Since you use a PCIe 3.0 x2 socket, it is much faster than a SATA III-based model, capable of reading up to 1.6GB and writing 1.3GB of actual data every second. These speeds are not possible with a traditional SSD: the hypothetical limit is the frequency with which SATA III products are advertised which is 6 GBps, which would depend on a laboratory environment where everything worked perfectly, while this model regularly reaches advertised speeds.

For less than $ 100, you can have an SSD that will not be outdone for years to come.

  • Robust security features
  • Double layer of protection against power loss
  • Very high read and write speeds
  • Long-term guarantee

WD Blue (WDS500G1B0B) – M.2 Internal SSD Solid State Drive

Best PCI Express NVMe Solid State DrivesThe WD Blue is a mid-budget M.2 SSD, based on SATA III, with a majestic-looking blue PCB. It has an absolutely minimal footprint, making it perfect for use in a system where space is limited.

Like the two models we have seen above, it measures 8 x 2.21 centimeters but is only 1.27mm thick. That’s 58% thinner than the SBX and 64% thinner than the MTS800! It’s also a bit lighter, at 5 grams, but to be honest, you won’t see much of a difference since all of these SSDs are very light.

WD has tested this particular model to make sure it works with the widest possible range of devices, which is great news if you are unsure of your own hardware; As long as you have an M.2 socket, you can install it.

  • Read and write speeds are about the same
  • Very long service life
  • Super slim and small design

Samsung 960 Evo Series 250GB Pcie Nvme M 2 Internal SSD

Best NVMe SSD for gamingThe Samsung 960 EVO Series 250GB is a mid-budget PCIe-based M.2 SSD that offers blazing-fast data transfer, outperforming its rivals by a wide margin. Even better, it uses cutting-edge NVMe technology to streamline data operations and reduce access times.

It has less capacity than similarly priced M.2 SSDs, but it makes up for it by looking for quality over quantity. Samsung’s drive management software is really useful and easy to use, its lifespan is respectable and its price is reasonable – if you prefer high speed to high capacity, this is the SSD for you.

  • Lightning-fast read and write speeds 
  • SSD hard drive management software is helpful and easy to use
  • Perfect for use as a boot drive

Crucial Mx300 1TB 3D Nand SATA M.2 (2280) SSD

Best external SSDs for gaming

The Crucial MX300 is a high-capacity M.2 SSD that comes with various speed-enhancing features to improve its performance compared to other SATA-based SSDs.

It can read up to 530MBps and write 510MBps of data, which makes it quite similar to the WD Blue in terms of data access, however, it has a capacity much higher than 1TB. 

As such, it is priced higher, but since the best m.2 SSD for gaming are relatively new, this is to be expected as they are one of the fastest and largest SATA-based SSDs on the market.

This model is very energy efficient – it is actually up to 90% more efficient than a traditional HDD, using only 0.075W of power compared to an average consumption of 6.8W. This helps keep energy costs low and could help you justify the cost of the SSD itself.

Storage Executive also allows you to update drive firmware, which is always recommended for optimal performance.

  • Built-in thermal protection
  • High capacity drive
  • Faster than most SATA-based M.2 SSDs

SAMSUNG 980 PRO PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD 1TB Memory & Storage

do you need nvme ssd for gamingThe Korean giant has been the undisputed leader in the high-end SSD market for several years. However, the brand had taken its time to switch to PCIe 4.0; it is now done with this 980 Pro. Available in capacities ranging from 250 GB to 2 TB it is built around TLC memory.

First observation: the speeds pulverize all the other general public disks, with nearly 7.1 Gb / s in reading and 5.2 Gb / s in writing. If the performances are good at the rendezvous, however, consumption is high and the disc heats up quickly. We therefore strongly recommend that you install it under a heatsink, whether it is supplied with your motherboard or sold separately.

These exceptional performances also come at a high price, so we hope that Samsung will quickly release a more affordable EVO version.

  • Read and write speeds are about the same
  • TLC memory
  • Simply the fastest on the market

Conclusions

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The last word always belongs to the user, and a team will always benefit if the fastest and most powerful units are assembled. Anyway, we are not always going to get a real advantage by mounting the best SSD on the market in our system when we can save a good amount and still have a very similar performance.

For example, although a fast drive is recommended for the operating system and the programs that we use most often. It is also true that a good part of the programs and games that we access not so often, or that they would simply take up too much space in a small unit, can be transferred either to a hard disk, or to a lower-cost SATA SSD unit, especially with programs and games. 

It happens that some data is read repeatedly over and over again, but remains unchanged in the time except for occasional alterations such as updates.

In these cases, even a cheaper SSD unit with lower durability can also serve us, since if in itself all the SSD units that we can find in the market will be able to withstand the daily use of a home computer, the particular workload with the one that is going to find an SSD destined to store games and applications almost exclusively makes this data less important.

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