How to find the best Black Friday SSD deals

SSD deals
(Image credit: WD/Samsung/Future)

Knowing how to find the best Black Friday SSD deals in the year 2022 is probably going to be as tough as it's ever been. 

As the PS5 SSD market booms and gets more affordable, and as we reach the pinnacle of Gen 4 NVMe SSDs before fully embracing Gen 5s, and as external drives continue to transition from HDDs over to SSDs, the market is as active and as flooded as ever. I say flooded like it's a bad thing, but it also means that our choice is just greater than ever too.

However, the knock-on effect of that is that the winter sales will be hard to maneuver as many excellent (and not-so-excellent) deals grace our stores and screens Knowing the difference between the two can help you win big this Black Friday, and we're showing you exactly how to find the right discounts in the heat of the moment.

Up until now, or the past year or so, SSDs have slowly been taking over from HDDs as the former's price comes down and becomes more accessible. HDDs still have their place, of course, as their value for money and gigabyte-to-currency ratio cannot be matched, but the performance and speeds of SSDs have become hard to ignore.  

And with the PS5 and Xbox Series X and S consoles also all adopting SSDs, 2021 has really concreted itself as the year where the SSD became the go-to storage tech of choice. The former of those two consoles will offer up some highly anticipated Black Friday PS5 SSD deals, while other shoppers will be looking to the rest of Black Friday SSD deals, and Black Friday external hard drive deals, which will include some banging portable SSD options.

In fact, we expect PS5 SSDs to be some of the best Black Friday PS5 deals, period. But if you're looking for a drive specifically for the inside of your PS5, you need to upgrade your PC or laptop storage, or you just want a top-performing portable drive, then you'll need to know how to find the best Black Friday SSD deals. And luckily, a host of the tactics we use overlap between these fields, so our tips below should be relevant no matter what you're looking for.

How to find the best Black Friday SSD deals

The SSD market will be flooded with deals this year so knowing how to find the best Black Friday SSD deal for you is key - and beyond getting lucky, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances. A fair few of these will come down to research and planning but it's always good to double-check your approach and your methods - getting any edge this time of year can be crucial to getting the best deals.

Know and manage your budget

Sounds obvious doesn't it, but it can be a bit more multi-faceted than you might think at first. The first thing is to try and be a bit flexible: while we might prefer to have a hard and certain ceiling on our budget, it actually pays dividends to, if you can, have a range in mind. Instead of looking at only items valued at less than $120 / £120, for example, have a budget that means you'd ideally like to spend that but could go to £150 / $150 for the right product or the right deal. 

This is also when value plays a big part. We regularly find that you can easily get something bigger or better for just a little more cash during larger sales events. If you can incorporate a bit of flexibility to your budget then you will definitely have a more successful time scouting out the best Black Friday SSD deals on the market.

Check and double-check the drive is the right model

Once you've got your budget in mind, then just pause once or twice to know that the models you're interested in are definitely the right ones. We only point this out as all the brand names, stylings, abbreviations, and model numbers can sometimes blur into one. Was it the WD BLACK SN750 or WD BLACK SN850 I was after? As many will tell you, there's a fair bit of difference between those two, and only one number - just one character - is different on the face of it. 

Buying the wrong SSD might just be the worst kind of deal folks could get this year...


(Image credit: WD)

We know many will be searching for Black Friday PS5 SSD deals this year, so here's a reminder of those exact specifications a drive needs to meet:

  • PCIe Gen4 interface
  • 250GB - 4TB capacity
  • 5,500MB/s read speed or faster
  • 22mm width (do not go for 25mm units)
  • Heatsink required (built-in or DIY)

Thoroughly research the model - and the model above

Of course, to make a thoroughly informed decision, knowing the ins and outs of the SSD you have your eyes on is a surefire way to help out when it comes to determining value. And while this is important, we would also recommend thoroughly researching the model pitched above the one you're aiming for, as well as the larger capacity drives too.

In terms of capacity, you'll almost certainly find at some point that a larger size - doubling the drive's capacity - will only require a small extra investment. An extra terabyte of storage on your external SSD for $30 / £30 more? That's definitely worth considering and means the drive you're looking at will offer far great value for money.

However, it's also important to look at better models or the series above. For example, if you're looking to buy an NVMe for your PC, it might be tempting to just stick with a PCIe 3.0 model for now - they are solid drives, after all. However, it'll definitely be worth your time looking at the PCIe 4.0 models and keeping an eye on their price tags. It could be that the gap between the two models becomes wafer-thin during the sales, so stepping it up might not actually take much of a budget stretch.

And even if the one above is still comfortably more expensive than your initially preferred drive, you might find the premium one's price has come all the way down to what the regular one usually costs - thus offering loads of value for money.

Compare like for like models

Something that tech-savvy folks will be already doing is comparing competitors' drives like for like, head to head. This will be very helpful, particularly if price tags are similar to begin with - or even similar after price cuts. 

Take the WD BLACK SN850 vs Samsung 980 PRO matchup, for example. These are two evenly matched SSDs when it comes to just price tag, especially when they come with a heatsink. But you might look closer and prefer the SN850's tiny extra bit of write speed, meaning - technically - you'd be getting a faster drive. Or, you might prefer Samsung's build quality and drive reputation.

With price cuts happening left, right, and centre, and all throughout the SSD market, it'll pay to know which models are the competitors for the one you are initially drawn to as you may find more value on the other side. 

Samsung T5 SSD

(Image credit: Samsung)

Check prices using a price tracker

This is crucial as it can offer you instant price history information. We use price trackers all the time - the likes of CamelCamelCamel for Amazon, for example. It's how we find out an item's price history, and whether a deal is actually good value or not - or worth avoiding altogether.

If there's enough information available - the really new SSDs might not have their prices tracked yet due to lack of data - then you can really get a sense for if a price is a record low, the same as it was two months ago, or one that's worth jumping on now because of its popularity. These trackers are incredibly useful tools and are often free to use.

See if the price is guaranteed over Black Friday

This is important if you're slightly concerned with a product's price, or want to ensure you get the best possible Black Friday SSD deal this year. Generally, going all in on a deal over Black Friday - and particularly the days preceding it - brings with it a fear of missing out, with the chance the offers may improve later in the sales season. Traditionally, this was just the risk you take - it's always a roll of the dice.

However, some retailers are guaranteeing a price and refunding you the difference should it go lower over the sales season now, to encourage folks to pull the trigger earlier. This is very handy if you can get it as it'll give you peace of mind over not being beaten for price, and you'll also be able to beat the rush. Best Buy and Newegg both offered this kind of price guarantee last year for example so it's worth seeing if they, and others, are doing it this year.

However, you'll need to make sure that you and your item qualify in some instances: the price guarantee is only available on certain products (and sometimes certain variants of products) and you might need to be a particular member to get this guarantee. It's well worth doing, though, if you're looking for the best Black Friday SSD deals.

Best early Black Friday SSD deals available now

If you want to get your eye in right now for the latest prices and deals, just so you know the lay of the land, then the below internal NVMe SSDs should provide a solid reference point. These should offer a solid perspective for those looking for either a PS5 SSD or PC SSD.

However, if you're after an external SSD instead, then we've rounded up a bunch of those latest prices for you too. These will fare well as general-use external, portable drives, but also great as gaming hard drives, offering great amounts of storage space as well as the ability to take your game libraries on the go.

Check out out our PS5 SSD and best PS5 external hard drive guides for more PS5 storage solutions, and our Xbox Series X external hard drive page for that side of the console divide. 

I'm the Commissioning Editor for Hardware at GamesRadar+ and have been here since its inception in late 2018. I'm also a writer on games and have had work published over the last five years or so at the likes of Eurogamer, RPS, PCGN, and more. Day to day, I take care of a whole host of gaming tech reviews, buying guides, and news and deals content that pops up across GamesRadar+. I'm also a qualified landscape and garden designer, so I do that in my spare time. I'm also an expert on the virtual landscapes and environments of games and love to write about them too, including in an upcoming book on the topic!