The Best M.2 NVMe Solid-State Drives for 2022

As solid-state drives shrink, they are also getting faster. They use M.2 formats, which are gumstick-sized. Our M.2 SSD buying guide reveals all the essential details you need, along with detailed reviews of the top SSDs available today.

The Best 2.5-inch Solid-State Drives for 2022

NameWrite SpeedLifeGenerationRating
WD BLACK SN8505300DimPCIe® Gen4 4.5
Intel 900P and 905P Optane0PCIe® Gen4 4
Samsung 980 Pro0PCIe® Gen4 4.3
Sabrent Rocket 4PCIe® Gen4 4.3
Corsair Force MP600PCIe® Gen4 4.2
Gigabyte AorusPCIe® Gen4 4.5
Crucial P5 Plus5000PCIe® Gen4 4.1
Adata XPG SX8200 PRO3000PCIe® Gen4 4.1
Our handy list of best-rated M.2 SSDs available today

How should I choose my M.2 SSD?

We’ve reviewed the top M.2 solid-state drives in this list.

Our roundup of the highest-rated internal SSDs includes 2.5-inch models if you’re also interested in factoring larger drives into the equation. Check out our roundup of the best PCI Express NVMe drives if you’re looking only for PCI Express-based drives.

WD 850

Pro

  • Insane write speed
  • Gen 4 SSD
  • Good life cycle

Cons

  • A heatsinc would be required for longer operations

Crucial P5 Plus

Adata


However, SSDs did not need to be so large from an engineering standpoint. The container in which SSDs are enclosed has a lot of dead space within. The drive is designed to fit those existing bays because its dimensions and shape are 2.5 inches. As with time device designers looked at this issue while slimming down laptops and tablets, they came to the exact same conclusion: The 2.5-inch storage form factor had to go.

The approach was that an SSD is a chip with a circuit board that is assembled upon flash cell memory and chips. Why not eliminate the dead zone and design it in a way which won’t necessarily demand an enclosure.

What’s an M.2 SSD anyway?

There have been no significant changes to the aftermarket drives and expanded slots for desktops and laptops. The standard is 22mm wide for both desktops and laptops. Typically, we have seen lengths of 80mm and 60mm (“Type-2280” & “Type-2260”). Generally, M.2 drives can be single or double-sided making more room to stuff NAND chips. The length is not the measurement of storage.

Nowadays the majority of the M.2 drives support PCI Express generation 3.0×4 paired with NVMe technology to excel the performance further.

The further there is PCI Express 4.0, which is a newer version of PCI Express Bus and it is gaining popularity since the read and write speeds are rated at 7000 Mbps. These drives are truly the future, though PCI Express 4.0 is only supported on desktop systems with the latest chipset motherboards and mobile systems with the latest mobile platform.

M.2 Upgrade: What to look before you do

Physical size: need to check your motherboard if it has enough space available for the drive the most standard sizes are 60mm and 80mm. Anything equal or less than 80mm is a sweet spot but you may be having room for up to 110mm.

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