I've owned, and loved, my new RTX 3080 Ti-powered PC since it arrived six months ago, but for most of that time I've been biding my time, waiting for a top Black Friday SSD deal. Yes, I blew all of my budget on my new GPU, AMD 5900X, and posh Corsair cooler, and I only left myself 1TB of storage. Rookie error. Thankfully my new motherboard has space for a second NVMe drive, and the 2TB Samsung 970 Evo Plus, now $100 off at Best Buy, could be just the ticket to help me treble my miserly storage.
My second NVMe space is capped at PCIe Gen 3, so this is one of the best drives I can get to provide the finishing touches to my 2021 build. And considering the dollars-per-GB value proposition in this Black Friday SSD deal, it's an appealing offer at $229.99. In the not-too-distant past the 970 EVO was the fastest SSD around, and with sequential read speeds of 3,500MB/s and writes of 3,300MB/s it remains fourth in our list of the best SSDs for gaming. Still, that's since been eclipsed by newer fourth gen drives.
I suppose since the 970 EVO Plus will now technically be my big chonker of a drive on which I dump most stuff. Perhaps I could've gone down to something like the Kingston NV1—also discounted by $60 to $144.99, dirt cheap for an NVMe stick—but even though it'll still be a marked upgrade on a traditional SSD, I don't want to be held back when accessing the majority of my games library going forward.
I realise I'm dodging the dictionary definition of a first-world problem.
Samsung 970 Evo Plus | 2TB | PCIe 3.0 |
$329.99 $229.99 at Best Buy (save $100)
It wasn’t that long ago that this was the overall best SSD you could get your hands on. While we’ve had faster PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs recently, this is still a decent buy, especially at this price. 2TB of speedy NVMe storage will cover you for a good chunk of your steam library, and it’ll make Windows fly too.
Kingston NV1 | 2TB | PCIe 3.0 |
$199.99 $149.99 at Adorama (save $55)
This is absolutely a budget NVMe SSD, but one that rolls in at such a good price that it’s almost impossible to ignore. The performance won’t trouble other NVMe drives, but it’ll still leave any SATA drive eating dust. It’s DRAM-less and fairly barebones, but for the money, you can’t really complain.
Yes, I'm playing in the big SSD leagues now. And I can prove it: My current 1TB of existing storage comes in the form of the stupendous Samsung 980 Pro, currently down to $184.99 at Amazon. Going from booting Windows on my old PC from a 265GB Samsung 850 EVO to this has been a night-and-day difference, so much so that I actually struggle to be fast enough to hit the necessary key to get into my BIOS before my PC loads. Yes, it's expensive, but with it you'll feel the difference everytime you turn on your computer and load any program.
Samsung 980 Pro | 1TB | PCIe 4.0 |
$229.99 $184.99 at Amazon (save $45)
Samsung’s premium next-gen internal SSD may not top the charts, but it’s still a solid performer and has enjoyed some healthy price cuts since its launch. Strong 4K performance and solid real-world performance make for a quality option, particularly at this price.
Of course, if your priority is getting as many terabits as possible for your dollar, the gargantuan 8TB Samsung 870 QVO is spacious enough to pack away 32 copies of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. 32. Oh, and it's $150 off, making it a still-huge $699.99.
That said, if you're all about speed, like me, these are the best NVMe SSDs to look out for this Black Friday.