Welcome to the Digital Foundry collection of the best SSD deals available for Black Friday 2019! If you're looking for more storage - and faster storage! - for your computer or games console, you're in the right place. Upgrading to a new SSD can make a huge difference to how it feels to use your computer, especially if you're a gamer or your work involves working with large files - like editing 4K video footage, for example.
We'll keep this page up to date with the latest deals as we find them, so buckle up and see what we've found so far. It may still be weeks before Black Friday proper, but that hasn't stopped retailers in both the US and UK from discounting some very attractive storage options!
We've tested many of the storage options on this list ourselves, in our continuing attempts to identify the best SSDs for gaming and content creation. For those that we haven't tested personally, we're relying on a mixture of critic and user reviews, drive specifications and our long history evaluating products in this space. Rest assured, if a drive has made it onto this page, it comes with our recommendation.
- Black Friday UK 2019 SSD and HDD deals
- Black Friday USA 2019 SSD and HDD deals
- Black Friday 2019 SSD buyer's guide
- Black Friday 2019 SSD Frequently Asked Questions
Looking for more than just storage? See all of our Black Friday 2019 tech deals, including TVs, monitors, PC hardware and peripherals.
Black Friday UK 2019 SSD and HDD deals
The best 3TB HDD deal: Toshiba P300 internal hard drive
OK, it's not the biggest reduction in the world, but this is the best price we've found on a 3TB HDD. Toshiba make some of the best drives in the business, with a fast 7200RPM speed and a reasonable 64MB cache, but their two-year warranty is outclassed by more expensive drives.
More deals coming soon!
Black Friday USA 2019 SSD and HDD deals
Up to $100 off the best NVMe SSD: Samsung 970 Evo
The Samsung 970 Evo is the gold standard when it comes to NVMe SSDs. Its sequential and random performance is stellar in its price class, falling behind only the considerably more expensive Samsung 970 Pro, while being offered in capacities up to 2TB. Samsung is one of the most popular choices for PC enthusiasts, and now's a good chance to get one of the company's most popular drives at a best-ever price.
$170 off a popular SATA SSD: Samsung 860 Evo
If you'd prefer a 2.5-inch SATA SSD, the older 860 Evo is a great shout. This popular drive basically maxes out the SATA 3 specification, resulting in tip-top performance for this class. The drive has seen considerable reductions since it first debuted, thanks to the introduction of faster NVMe drives, and recent Black Friday price drops makes the 2TB model an affordable proposition for the first time.
Up to $105 off the best value NVMe SSD: XPG SX8100
This has got to be one of the best deals we've seen for a while. XPG is well known for their high performance, low cost NVMe SSDs, and their new SX8100 takes that value to a new level. While performance isn't better than the earlier SX8200 Pro, this drive is comparable in both random and sequential performance, yet significantly cheaper. That makes it a great choice for both gaming and content creation workloads.
The drive is offered on discount in 512GB and 1TB varieties, which should be large enough for a Windows install, a few games and whatever productivity software you'd like to use. If you've got a desktop PC or laptop that can handle NVMe speeds, this would be a kick-ass upgrade.
Black Friday 2019 SSD and HDD buyer's guide
When buying an SSD, it's important to look at reviews to make sure that you're buying the sort of drive that you want. Internal drives come in three main flavours:
- 2.5-inch SATA SSDs are much faster than traditional spinning disk hard drives and fit in desktop PCs, laptops and some games consoles. However, the SATA interface is limited to sequential speeds of around 550MB/s.
- SATA M.2 drives have the same speed limits as 2.5-inch drives, but come in a much smaller size, which is why it's common to see M.2 drive slots on laptops and on some desktop motherboards.
- NVMe M.2 drives offer better performance at a higher price, with sequential speeds that are usually at least twice as fast as a SATA SSD. However, the high-speed NVMe standard isn't supported by all desktops and laptops, so check your PC motherboard or laptop's specs first!
For more information on other types of SSDs, check out our guide to the best SSDs for gaming!
Hard drives are a little more straightforward. The vast majority of HDDs use the classic 3.5-inch size and are easily mounted inside most desktop PCs using a SATA connection. Hard drives tend to offer a lot of storage for not much money, with capacities commonly listed in terabytes (TBs), but they are slower to use than SSDs. Therefore, we recommend using SSDs for installing your operating system (eg Windows), apps and games, and using HDDs as secondary drives for media storage and backups.
As well as internal drives, it's also possible to find SSDs and HDDs that function as external drives. Basically, these are normal drives that have been wrapped in a USB enclosure, allowing them to be plugged into computers or games consoles that don't have easily accessible or expandable internal storage. Most often external drives are spinning disk hard drives, so they have a high capacity but low speed, but it is also possible to find portable SSDs. USB 3.0 is the standard connection method here, but newer (and sometimes faster) USB-C portable drives are also available.
Frequently asked questions
Which type of SSD is best for me - NVMe or SATA?
To answer this question, you need to identify what you'll be using the drive for - either playing games and normal day-to-day tasks like web browsing, or more intensive operations like editing 4K video or crunching through large scientific or engineering datasets.
For computers that are primarily used for playing games, our research suggests that you'll only see minimal improvements to game load times by swapping a standard SATA-connected SSD for a more expensive NVMe drive, even if it boasts significantly higher read and write speeds. Unless the rest of your system is already top notch, you will probably notice a bigger performance difference from upgrading to one of the best graphics cards rather than shelling out for a super-fast NVMe drive that sits at the top of the benchmark charts.
Therefore, we recommend you take a look at our recommendations for the best value-for-money SSDs on the market, including drives from some lesser-known brands. These drives largely use SATA connections, preventing their performance from surpassing a certain threshold, but they do offer the biggest capacities for the lowest prices. All modern motherboards support SATA too, so you won't have to worry about compatibility.
Of course, there's also an argument to be made for going for faster NVMe drives. Specifically, gamers that don't want to upgrade their storage for a long time or creative professionals that require utmost performance may want to spend more to really maximise their performance. Just remember that not all motherboards support these fast NVMe drives out of the box; you'll either need an M.2 slot that supports NVMe, or a free PCIe slot.
What size SSD do I need?
Thanks to recent drops in flash memory prices, solid state drives have become increasingly affordable - even though they're still far pricier per gigabyte than mechanical hard disk drives. As with most things, there is a tradeoff when deciding how big of a drive to choose. The smaller the drive, the more careful you'll have to be with the space that you've got - such as by uninstalling games you're not playing and moving media and downloads to a mechanical HDD. This kind of curation can be a pain, so saving up for a bigger drive makes sense. Larger drives are also slightly faster, particularly in terms of write speeds, than their smaller-capacity counterparts. Finally, choosing a larger drive will mean that it will last you a longer time. As games include higher-resolution textures and videos, they will continue to balloon in size, so having some breathing room will let you put off a drive upgrade for at least a few years.
So what about specific capacities? At the time of writing, a 500GB drive is probably a good starting point for most people, giving you enough room to install Windows and a few large games with space to spare for Windows updates, HD downloads and so on. If you like to keep more than a dozen games installed at once or you have a media collection that you don't want to keep on a second drive, then choosing a 1TB drive makes more sense. Right now these 1TB drives are in the price-per-gig sweet spot, so spring for them if you can. Finally, 2TB drives are about the largest SSD you can get before prices start getting really silly, so if you want one drive that will last you for a long time, then a 2TB SSD is just the ticket.
What about PCIe 4.0 SSDs?
Fourth-generation PCI express, or PCIe 4.0 as it's more commonly known, is an evolution of the previous PCIe 3.0 standard which doubles the amount of bandwidth available in each PCIe lane. That means PCIe 4.0 solid state drives can reach much higher speeds than their PCIe 3.0 equivalents. At present, PCIe 4.0 is only available on AMD's X570 and TRX40 platforms, which are typically used with third-gen Ryzen and third-gen Threadripper processors, respectively. While you won't see a noticeable improvement in gaming from choosing a high-spec PCIe 4.0 drive, content creation workloads can benefit from all of the bandwidth you can muster, so PCIe 4.0 could be a good choice if you're using an X570 or TRX40 motherboard.
Can I install an SSD into my PS4 or Xbox One to improve its loading speeds?
Yes! On the PS4 and PS4 Pro, you can replace the system's internal drive with an SSD, while the Xbox One can have an external SSD connected over USB 3.0. You can see our investigations into game load time improvements with the PS4, PS4 Pro and Xbox One here. For the PS4 and PS4 Pro, we recommend a budget 2.5-inch SSD, such as the Crucial MX500 we highlighted above, while for the Xbox One and Xbox One X, you'll also need a USB 3.0 SATA enclosure. The installation process can be tricky - particularly on the PS4 - so it's worth finding and following instructions to install your new drive.
That's all we have on HDDs and SSDs for now! Remember to check out our other Black Friday 2019 tech deals and stay tuned for the latest deals as they drop!