Best PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD Drives for Fast IO Storage On Gaming PCs

Are you looking for the best PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD Drives? If yes, then check out our collated list of the very best. But before we explore them, let us find out what they really are.

What is an NVMe M.2 SSD?

NVMe is an open standardized specification of a storage interface using the PCI Express serial bus. The devices are designed to provide low latency & parallel processing of flash-based NAND storage devices. The NVM Express standard allows the host hardware and software to completely utilize the levels of parallelism achievable in modern SSDs.

The M.2 SSD can either use the PCIe Express bus or the SATA bus. The SATA based M.2 drives are slower with a theoretical peak speed of up to 6Gbps. So, the SATA based drives use the same bus as traditional SATA drives it’s no quicker than a standard 2.5-inch SSD. Its main advantage, however, is the smaller M.2 card form-factor, which is of advantage in NUCs or Mini-ITX PCs, or in thin and light laptops.

Solid State Drives (SSDs) are shrinking thanks to the new “gum stick” M.2 format and getting a lot faster. SSDs are changing from the slab-like shapes of familiar hard drives into little sticks of memory that offer much the same capacities.

Nowadays, PCIe and M.2 based SSD drives are getting popular primarily for the PC gamers. These SSD-Drives are compact and in most of the cases faster than the conventional SSDs. In this post, we have picked up a few of the best PCIe based NVMe M.2 solid-state Drives suitable for Gaming PC’s.

SSDs are a costlier than the hard drives, but they are worth it. One main benefit of having an SSD is faster data transfer rates. Users had reported smaller boot times and application load times when they shifted to the SSDs. If you are a hardcore gamer, you must switch to the PCIe based NVMe M.2  Solid State Drives. We have added a few of the best options starting with the affordable 120 GB SSD to the 1 TB Solid State Drive for the pro gamers. So let’s jump on to the list without wasting much of your time.

Best PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD Drives for Gaming PCs

In this list, we have only picked up the ones which use the faster PCI Express 3.0 interface for the ultimate performance. Some of these NAND’s uses the latest 3D NAND tech. On a 3D NAND based flash drive, the memory or cells are heaped in three dimensions and allows parallel processing of connections between them than a 2D planar combination. One of its significant advantages is achieving higher densities for a single storage chip. Excited? So let’s jump right into the list.

1. Corsair Force Series MP500 120GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD

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Starting the list with the most affordable SSDs without compromising the speed and durability, Corsair Force MP500 120 GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD.  This drive delivers high performance, fast system boot ups, blazing fast data transfer speeds and high dependability in a compact M.2 form factor.

Corsair 120 GB SSD load files and launch games with speeds up to 4 times faster than the SATA 3.0 drives. Plus, the Corsair SSD toolbox application will help you in monitoring the health status of the drive with support for over-provisioning, secure wipe, disk cloning, FW update and many more advanced features. It is made up of 30um gold finger thickness that improves contact to the motherboard and provides vibration resistance.

Specifications:

Price Check Final Pricing and Availability on Marketplace
Capacity 120 GB
Form factor / Connector type M.2 2280 form factor with card connector
Storage Interface PCI Express 3.0 x4(NVMe)
Internal Data Rate 3000 Mbps on reading

2400 Mbps on write

Endurance  175TBW
4KB Random Read/Write 150,000 IOPS on reading

90,000 IOPS on write

Dimension 3.15 x 0.12 x 0.86 inches
Other Features Static & dynamic wear leveling

Corsair SSD toolbox application

Toughened contact surface material

Enhanced error correction

2. WD Black 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD

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Moving on the 250 GB storage segment, we have WD’s 256 GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD that cost a little more than $100. The thin and single-sided  M.2design is ideal for desktops and small form factor PCs. WD provides downloadable WD SSD Dashboard for monitoring your drive’s health.

WD Black PCIe Gen3 x4 NVMe-based 256 GB SSD unlocks a new level of performance for graphics-intensive heavy gaming PC users with the sequential read speeds up to 2050MB/s. Moreover, its comprehensive thermal throttling and power management algorithms prevent the drive from overheating and maintains optimum performance. WD gives five years limited warranty and is certified by the WD F.I.T Lab which means it is compatible with a wide range of high-performance PCs.

Specifications:

Price Check Final Pricing and Availability on Marketplace
Capacity 256 GB
Form factor / Connector type M.2 2280 form factor with card connector
Storage Interface PCI Express 3.0 x4(NVMe)
Internal Data Rate 2050 Mbps on reading

800 Mbps on write

MTTF  1.75M hours
4KB Random Read/Write 170000 IOPS on reading

130000 IOPS on write

Dimension 3.15 x 0.87 x 0.09 inches
Other Features TRIM support

Self-monitoring, analysis and reporting technology OR S.M.A.R.T

Command line online update tool

3. Samsung 960 EVO Series 250GB PCIe NVMe SSD

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Samsung may not be popular in drives department, but it has earned enough reputation to called the leader of the SSD market mainly because of the company has manufactured one after the another increasingly impressive SSDs in the market. Samsung has launched the two variants in each storage segment, the Evo, and the Pro series. Pro series is a bit costlier and gives better performance and speed.

Samsung 960 Evo series NVMe M.2 SSDs are high-performance and highly reliable. The ‘Non-Volatile’ Memory Express (NVMe) with a new Polaris controller outperforms the SATA SSDs that are used earlier with exceptionally fast sequential read/write speeds up to 3,200 MB/s and 1,500 MB/s respectively. 3-years limited warranty backs Samsung Evo Series SSDs. Plus, the  Dynamic Thermal Guard prevents overheating and protects your data ensuring the optimal performance.

Specifications:

Price Check Final Pricing and Availability on Marketplace
Capacity 500 GB
Form factor / Connector type M.2 2280 with M.2 Card connector
Storage Interface PCI Express 3.0 x4(NVMe)
Internal Data Rate 3200 Mbps on reading

1500 Mbps on write

MTBF 1500000 million hours
4KB Random Read/Write 330000 IOPS on reading

300000 IOPS on write

Dimension 3.1 x 0.9 x 0.1 inches
Other Features Auto garbage collection

TRIM support

Turbo write technology

V-NAND technology

E-Drive, Sleep mode

4. Plextor M8Pe 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD

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The next M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD is PlextorM8Pe 256 GB drive. If you don’t like the Samsung Evo 256 GB SSD, then it is the best alternative for you at this price. It stands neck to neck in competition with the former Samsung SSD. It delivers faster sequential read and writes speeds up to 2500 MB/s and 1400MB/s.

Enjoy the blazing fast game loading speeds and boot times with the M8Pe 256 GB SSD at an affordable price. The M8Pe series SSDs support the high-speed interface of the new generation PCIe Gen3 x4, powered by the latest NVMe protocol. Even for the heavy graphics intensive games that require massive read/write operations and powerful graphics processing, this drive delivers the smoothest gaming experience. It comes with three years labor and parts warranty.

Specifications:

Price Check Final Pricing and Availability on Marketplace
Capacity 512 GB
Form factor / Connector type M.2 2280 with M.2 card connector

 

Storage Interface PCI Express 3.0 x4(NVMe)
Internal Data Rate 2500 Mbps on reading

1400 Mbps on write

MTBF 2400000 million hours
4KB Random Read/Write 280000 IOPS on reading

240000 IOPS on write

Dimension 3.15 x 0.19 x 0.9 inches
Other Features LDPC error correction

Low-power DDR3 SDRAM cache

TRIM support

Toggle NAND technology

True protect & True speed

Upgradable firmware

5. Toshiba OCZ RD400 Series Solid State Drive PCIe NVMe M.2 256GB

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Toshiba OCZ RD400 Series Solid State Drive, designed to propel high-end computing experience with compact design. It delivers blazing fast read and writes speeds up to 2600 MB/s and 1600 MB/s respectively. The OCZ RD400’s next generation NVMe interface implements a more responsive PC experience and shorter storage latency than today’s traditional hard disk drives and SATA SSDs.

Toshiba SSD is future proof too, if you want to harness the potential of NVMe now but don’t want to update your motherboard yet; the OCZ RD400 is available with an M.2 PCIe adaptor, as an add-in card. Thus good things come in a small package at a reasonable price. The SSD management software was designed to help your OCZ drive to thrive and lets you control and monitor your SSD and more.

Specifications:

Price Check Final Pricing and Availability on Marketplace
Capacity 256 GB
Form factor / Connector type M.2 2280 form factor with card connector
Storage Interface PCI Express 3.0 x4(NVMe)
Internal Data Rate 2600 Mbps on reading

1150 Mbps on write

MTBF 1500000 million hours
4KB Random Read/Write 210,000 IOPS on reading

140000 IOPS on write

Dimension 80 x 22 x 2.23 mm
Other Features TRIM support

Self-monitoring, analysis and reporting technology OR S.M.A.R.T

Command line online update tool

6. WD Black 512 GB SSD

 

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Western Digital (WD) delivers read speeds up to 2050 MB/s that is approximately three times faster than a SATA SSD. The efficient thermal and power management algorithms help prevent the drive from overheating and maintain high performance. It is ideal for gaming for desktops and small form factor PCs.

WD SSDs comes with five years of limited warranty and are F.I.T Lab certified; it means that this drive is compatible with wide range of high-performance PCs. Acronis Software and WD SSD dashboard help users to monitor their drive’s health easily. This is our most affordable 512 GB SSD.

Specifications:

Price Check Final Pricing and Availability on Marketplace
Capacity 512 GB
Form factor / Connector type M.2 2280 form factor with card connector
Storage Interface PCI Express 3.0 x4(NVMe)
Internal Data Rate 2050 Mbps on reading

800 Mbps on write

MTTF 1.75 M Hours
4KB Random Read/Write 170000 IOPS on reading

134000 IOPS on write

Dimension 3.15 x 0.87 x 0.09 inches
Other Features TRIM support

Self-monitoring, analysis and reporting technology OR S.M.A.R.T

Command line online update tool

7. Intel 600p 512GB

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Another cheap 512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD is the Intel 600p. It is not the fastest 512 GB SSD, but considering its price, it is worth to be on this list of best PCIe based NVMe M.2 Drives for gaming PCs. It is Intel’s first consumer SSD with 3D NAND, and it is by far most affordable NVMe SSD. Intel 600p uses a third-party controller unlike the Intel SSD 750. It delivers sequential read and writes speeds up to 1775 MB/s and 560 MB/s respectively.

With Intel 600p, you can tune the performance of your PC you need. It delivers three times faster performance as compared to the SATA SSD. It accelerates your office work and gaming both. Plus, it offers low power consumption extends the battery life. The slim and light M.2 2280 form factor makes the 600p SSD comfortably fits into a wide range of PCs. It is compatible with most of the motherboards in the market nowadays. Intel offers 24/7 customer support and five years warranty on this drive.

8. Samsung 960 Pro 512GB

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Samsung 960 Pro NVMe M.2, 512 GB SSD, is the best option in the 500 GB segment. It is the fast, power efficient and reliable. It delivers sequential read and writes speeds up to 3500 MB/s and 2100 MB/s respectively. After installing 960 Pro SSD, you will experience incredible performance designed for heavy workloads and demanding applications.

Samsung 960 Pro SSD uses a 48-layer Samsung V-NAND-based architecture that ensures high performance and reliability packed in a compact M.2 form factor. Above that, the Samsung’s Magician software solution helps in managing and controlling the drive performance. 5-year limited warranty backs it. Samsung has implemented dynamic thermal guard that prevents the drive from overheating and protects your data while ensuring optimal performance.

Specifications:

Price Check Final Pricing and Availability on Marketplace
Capacity 500 GB
Form factor / Connector type M.2 2280 with M.2 Card connector
Storage Interface PCI Express 3.0 x4(NVMe)
Internal Data Rate 3500 Mbps on reading

2100 Mbps on write

MTBF 1500000 Million Hours
4KB Random Read/Write 330,000 IOPS on reading

14,000 IOPS on write – 1 Thread

330,000 IOPS – 4 Threads

Dimension 3.15″ x 0.87″ x 0.09″
Other Features Auto garbage collection

TRIM support

Turbo write technology

V-NAND technology

E-Drive, Sleep mode

9. Toshiba OCZ RD400 Series 1 TB SSD

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The OCZ RD400 PCIe Gen3 x4 exceeds SATA SSDs by over 4.5 times in sequential read and write speeds. It delivers sequential read and writes speeds up to 2600 MB/s and 1600 Mb/s respectively so your system won’t be deprived of the storage bandwidth your data-intensive workload requires.

It redefines high-performance storage for enthusiasts and hardcore gamers. The OCZ RD400 will be your succeeding high-end system with over 200,000 IOPS @4KB of random reads performance at your beck and call. It is power efficient too and requires less energy when the drive is in standby mode. It comes with advanced warranty program that mitigates the hassle surrounding support and warranty claims consumers often have to deal with, so you will get the replacement with no return shipping costs.

Specifications:

Price Check Final Pricing and Availability on Marketplace
Capacity 1 TB
Form factor / Connector type M.2 2280 form factor with card connector
Storage Interface PCI Express 3.0 x4(NVMe)
Internal Data Rate 2600 Mbps on reading

1550 Mbps on write

MTBF 1500000 million hours
4KB Random Read/Write 210,000 IOPS on reading

130000 IOPS on write

Dimension 80 x 22 x 2.23 mm
Other Features TRIM support

Self-monitoring, analysis and reporting technology OR S.M.A.R.T

Command line online update tool

10. Samsung 960 Pro 1TB

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As we have already stated that Samsung has earned an excellent reputation in the SSD market, 960 Pro series 1 TB SSD is proof of that. This Solid State Drive is popular among the hardcore gamers. This drive is a bit expensive than other 1 TB SSDs but considering its speed, and power efficiency it is best of all the 1TB PCIe based NVMe M.2 Drives for Gaming PCs.

If you want to spare some extra money, you can opt for the Evo series 1 TB that is a little slower as compared to the Pro series SSD. It has blazing fast sequential read and writes speeds up t 3500 MB/s and 2100 MB/s, thanks to cutting-edge 48-layer Samsung V-NAND-based architecture that delivers next-generation performance in a compact M.2 form factor. Except for the more storage capacity, everything is same as the Samsung Pro Series 512 GB SSD. So we are not going into detail again. Overall, this is the best PCIe based NVMe M.2 1TB SSD for the gaming PCs.

Specifications:

Price Check Final Pricing and Availability on Marketplace
Capacity 500 GB
Form factor / Connector type M.2 2280 with M.2 Card connector
Storage Interface PCI Express 3.0 x4(NVMe)
Internal Data Rate 3200 Mbps on reading

1500 Mbps on write

MTBF 1500000 million hours
4KB Random Read/Write 330000 IOPS on reading

300000 IOPS on write

Dimension 3.1 x 0.9 x 0.1 inches
Other Features Auto garbage collection

TRIM support

Turbo write technology

V-NAND technology

E-Drive, Sleep mode

Conclusion

We hope you like our list of the best PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD Drives available on the market. We expect this market to grow bigger and catch up with its mechanical hard driver counterparts, in terms of storage capacity. It surely is possible, given the smaller 10 nanometers or lesser nodes, which will enable manufacturers to achieve greater density.

Questions and suggestions are welcome in the comment section below.

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