August 2016 Update: What’s new?

1. Samsung launched a 4TB version of their popular 850 EVO series of SSDs.
2. We added a 2TB version of the Mushkin Reactor SSD.
3. We no longer recommend the Sandisk Extreme Pro 240GB, because it’s too expensive compared to the Samsung 850 Pro 256GB.
3. 120/128GB SSDs are becoming less and less attractive. Their price per GB is too high and their prices are too close to the 240/250/256GB models. If you can, spend the extra 20-30$ to get twice the capacity and higher performance.

SSD FAQ: Why do I want a SSD?

Read a quick recap on what a SSD is and why you want one in our SSD FAQ.

What capacity should I pick for my SSD?

Are you asking yourself: How much storage capacity do I need for my computer?

Visit the ‘How to choose the right SSD storage capacity and pay less for your computer‘ article.

If you have the time to do research… but who does in this busy world?

I know that not everyone has the time to read detailed SSD reviews. This is why I write this guide: To help you save your money, time and sanity by letting you know what are the best SSDs based on what you need.

What are my recommendations based on?

Click on a category to jump to the recommendations.

This is an Worldwide Guide!

Do you live in the USA?

Use Amazon, B&H and Newegg for your purchase.

Do you live outside of the USA?

No problem. B&H offers worldwide shipping.

My recommendations are based on the prices found at Amazon, B&H and Newegg on August 9th.
Prices fluctuate every day, so I recommend that you click on the links and double-check the prices yourself to see if there’s a better deal available.

Best Value SSDs:

OCZ Trion 150

Entry-level SSDs, based on less expensive TLC flash, used to mean much lower performance, especially with sustained write performance.

The OCZ Trion 150 breaks that trend by offering great performance for a budget SSD, better than the average TLC-based SSD.

For a boot drive, media drive, or game library drive, the OCZ Trion 150 is a great SSD at an excellent price. For a workstation with a lot of random access, consider a better SSD.

Toshiba bought OCZ in 2014 and since then, OCZ SSDs reliability has greatly improved, to the point where I feel comfortable recommending their newer products. Simply put, OCZ is now the Toshiba consumer brand for their SSDs. The OCZ Trion 150 has a Toshiba TC58 controller and uses Toshiba’s 15-nm TLC flash memory.

OCZ’s ShieldPlus warranty program is a big pro when consider which SSD to purchase. Waiting for a fix and losing time communicating with the manufacturer can make returns frustrating, after having to deal with a failed product already. The ShieldPlus program gives you a peace of mind that this will not happen: just give them your SSD’s serial number and, if they find it indeed faulty, they will immediately send you a brand new drive at no cost.

This is a great program, it’s nice to see something like this offered by Toshiba/OCZ and I wish that this would be the standard procedure for any return. Do take note manufacturers: Good customer service is important if you want loyal customers!

Get the OCZ Trion 150:

120GB from Amazon or Newegg ($44.99)
240GB from Amazon or Newegg ($65.99)
480GB from Amazon or Newegg ($120.00)
960GB from Amazon or Newegg ($224.99)

Sandisk X400

The Sandisk X400 offers higher performance than the OCZ Trion 150, by being the fastest planar TLC drive.

It comes with a nice 5 years warranty, as well as TCG OPAL 2.0 support for encryption.

I currently recommend only the 512GB and 1TB models, not the 128GB and 256GB versions because they are too expensive compared to the competition.

Get the Sandisk X400:

128GB from Amazon, B&H ($59.00) or Newegg ($52.80)
256GB from Amazon, B&H ($86.53) or Newegg ($83.99)
512GB from Amazon, B&H ($149.00) or Newegg ($134.99)
1TB from Amazon, B&H ($259.00) or Newegg ($239.49)

Mushkin Reactor

The Mushkin Reactor is an entry-level MLC drive, so it offers better performance than the TLC based OCZ Trion 150 and the Sandisk X400.

That said, I currently only recommend the 1TB and 2TB models, because the other storage capacities are too expensive compared to the competition.

Get the Mushkin Reactor:

1TB from Amazon or Newegg ($249.99)
2TB from Newegg ($499.99)

PNY CS2211

The PNY CS2211 is an another entry-level MLC drive, which offers better performance than the Mushkin Reactor and the TLC based OCZ Trion 150 and the Sandisk X400.

It’s a great choice if you want better performance than most entry-level SSDs, without spending much more on higher performance SSDs.

I currently recommend all storage capacities: 240GB, 480GB and 960GB, as their price is competitive considering their performance.

Get the PNY CS2211:

240GB from Amazon, B&H ($79.99) or Newegg ($81.99)
480GB from Amazon or Newegg ($144.99)
960GB from Amazon, B&H ($279.99) or Newegg ($289.99)

Transcend SSD 370:

The Transcend SSD370 offers similar performance to the Mushkin Reactor and the PNY CS2211, but it also uses more power than the average SSD. This means that it’s not the ideal SSD for laptop users who want a longer battery life, but it’s a great choice if you want to put on in a desktop PC and want good performance at a low price.

I currently only recommend the 128GB and 256GB models, as they are the only models with competitive prices.

Get the Transcend SSD370:

128GB from Amazon or B&H ($43.99)
256GB from Amazon or B&H ($77.99)

Good Value, Great Performance, Low Power and Encryption:

Samsung 850 EVO:

Want higher performance and lower power consumption than the PNY CS2211, Mushkin Reactor and Transcend SSD370 SSD? The Samsung 850 EVO offers that.

Ideal for laptops where you want a long battery life and great performance.

You get also hardware encryption support and a 5 years warranty with the Samsung 850 EVO.

You also get 3D V-NAND memory, with higher endurance ratings. The models with 120GB and 250GB capacities are rated at 75TB, which is fairly average, but the 500GB and 1TB models have their write endurance rated at 150TB, more than the average, same as the higher-end Samsung 850 Pro line-up.

If you intend to do a lot writes to your SSD and intend on using it for a decade or longer, this is an advantage for the Samsung 850 EVO.

Get the Samsung 850 EVO :

120GB from Amazon, B&H ($54.99) or Newegg ($78.75)
250GB from Amazon, B&H ($92.00) or Newegg ($97.75)
500GB from Amazon, B&H ($158.57) or Newegg ($158.21)
1TB from Amazon, B&H ($309.11 or Newegg ($304.69)
2TB from Amazon, B&H ($628.60) or Newegg ($628.60)
4TB from Amazon, B&H ($1,499.99) or Newegg ($1,499.99)

Highest SATA III Performance, Low Power Consumption, Encryption, 10 Years Warranty:

Samsung 850 Pro:

Want the highest performance 2.5″ SATA SSD available on the market?
Then you want the Samsung 850 Pro.

Ideal for workstations, high-end PCs, any demanding workload, any environment where reliability, sustained performance, endurance and/or a long warranty matters.

You also get low power consumption for a longer notebook battery life, AES 256-bit, TCG Opal 2.0 & IEEE-1667 encryption support and a 10 years warranty.

If your computer supports M.2 PCI-Express SSDs, get the Toshiba OCZ RD400 or the Samsung 950 Pro instead, as they offer significantly higher performance.

Get the Samsung 850 Pro:

128GB from Amazon, B&H ($90.58) or Newegg ($94.95)
256GB from Amazon, B&H ($124.99) or Newegg ($124.84)
512GB from Amazon, B&H ($224.00) or Newegg ($220.70)
1TB from Amazon, B&H ($425.99) or Newegg ($449.75)
2TB from Amazon, B&H ($849.01) or Newegg ($837.64)

2nd Highest SATA III Performance, Low Power Consumption, 10 Years Warranty:

Sandisk Extreme Pro:

The Sandisk Extreme Pro doesn’t quite match the Samsung 850 Pro in performance, but it definitely is less expensive and it is faster than the Samsung 850 EVO/Crucial BX100/Transcend SSD370. It’s pretty much only second to the Samsung 850 Pro when it comes to SATA III SSD performance.

Simply put, if you want high-end SSD performance, but don’t want to pay the large premium price on the Samsung 850 Pro, get the Sandisk Extreme Pro. They offer the best bang for your buck for a high-end SATA III SSD.

It’s available in 240GB, 480GB and 960GB capacities. I currently only recommend the 480GB and the 960GB model, because the 240GB model is more expensive than the 256GB Samsung 850 Pro. If you can find the Samsung 850 Pro for the same price or less, you’re better off with the 850 Pro in that case, as you’ll get more storage capacity, higher performance and hardware encryption support.

You also get a 10 years warranty, but no hardware encryption support, so if that’s important to you, get the Samsung 850 Pro instead.

Ideal if you high performance and a long warranty but aren’t ready to pay the price for the Samsung 850 Pro.

Get the Sandisk Extreme Pro:

480GB from Amazon, B&H ($204.00) or Newegg ($187.75)
960GB from Amazon or B&H ($359.99)

Best mSATA SSDs:

Samsung 850 EVO mSATA

If you want a reliable SSD with great performance, low power consumption and a 5 years warranty in the mSATA form factor, the Samsung 850 EVO is the best choice in my opinion.

Great performance, reliable and available in capacities up to 1TB.

Get the Samsung 850 EVO mSATA:

120GB from Amazon, B&H ($77.99), or Newegg ($67.99)
250GB from Amazon, B&H ($97.99) or Newegg ($99.99)
500GB from Amazon, B&H ($174.99) or Newegg ($177.99)
1TB from Amazon or B&H ($347.99) or Newegg ($347.99)

Crucial MX200 mSATA

Are you looking for a less expensive mSATA SSD alternative to the Samsung 850 EVO? The Crucial MX200 is a great alternative. Its performance is a notch lower, but you’re unlikely to notice the difference. You still get good performance and low power consumption at a lower price than the Samsung 850 EVO. That said, the warranty is shorter, 3 years. Still a great alternative at a lower price.

Get the Crucial MX200 mSATA:

250GB from Amazon, B&H ($87.99) or Newegg ($87.99)
500GB from Amazon, or Newegg ($147.99)

Best M.2 SATA III SSD:

Sandisk X400 M.2 SATA III

For laptops or motherboards equipped with M.2 SATA III slot(s).

Are you looking for a less expensive M.2 SATA III SSD alternative to the Samsung 850 EVO?

The Sandisk X400 is a great alternative. Its performance is a notch lower, but you’re unlikely to notice the difference. You still get good performance and low power consumption at a lower price than the Samsung 850 EVO. You also still get a 5 years warranty and you get slightly larger storage capacities..

Good performance, reliable and available in capacities up to 1TB.

Get the Sandisk X400 M.2:

128GB from Amazon, B&H ($54.01) or Newegg ($59.99)
256GB from Amazon, B&H ($84.99) or Newegg ($85.00)
512GB from Amazon, B&H ($169.00) or Newegg ($129.99)
1TB from Amazon, B&H ($304.99) or Newegg ($268.99)

Samsung 850 EVO M.2 SATA III

For laptops or motherboards equipped with M.2 SATA III slot(s).

Want better performance for your computer equipped with a M.2 SATA III slot?
The Samsung 850 EVO offers better performance than the Sandisk X400, as well as being reliable, offering low power consumption and a 5 years warranty.

Great performance, reliable and available in capacities up to 1TB now.

Get the Samsung 850 EVO M.2:

120GB from Amazon or Newegg ($73.00)
250GB from Amazon, B&H ($97.99) or Newegg ($97.99)
500GB from Amazon, B&H ($169.99) or Newegg ($177.99)
1TB from Amazon, B&H ($347.99) or Newegg ($347.99)

Higher Performance than SATA III SSDs:
Ideal for Workstations:

Toshiba OCZ RD400 PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2

Highly recommended if your computer has a M.2 PCIe 3.0 x 4 slot.

Higher performance than any SATA based and AHCI PCI-Express SSD, thanks to the adaption of the NVMe standard, far superior to AHCI.

Compared to the Samsung 950 Pro, the Toshiba OCZ RD400 is a notch slower, but considering that the Samsung 950 Pro is the fastest SSD available, that makes the Toshiba OCZ RD400 the second fastest available SSD, while being more affordable.

OCZ’s ShieldPlus warranty program is a big pro when consider which SSD to purchase. Waiting for a fix and losing time communicating with the manufacturer can make returns frustrating, after having to deal with a failed product already. The ShieldPlus program gives you a peace of mind that this will not happen: just give them your SSD’s serial number and, if they find it indeed faulty, they will immediately send you a brand new drive at no cost. This is a great program, it’s nice to see something like this offered by Toshiba/OCZ and I wish that this would be the standard procedure for any return. Do take note manufacturers: Good customer service is important if you want loyal customers!

Get the Toshiba OCZ RD400 PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2:

128GB from Amazon or Newegg ($119.99)
256GB from Amazon or Newegg ($174.99)
512GB from Amazon or Newegg ($309.99)
1TB from Amazon or Newegg ($769.99)

Samsung 950 Pro PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2

Highly recommended if your computer has a M.2 PCIe 3.0 x 4 slot.

Higher performance than any SATA based and AHCI PCI-Express SSD, thanks to the adaption of the NVMe standard, far superior to AHCI.

Higher performance than pretty much any SSD.

If you want higher performance than the Toshiba OCZ RD400 can offer, then the Samsung 950 Pro is the way to go.

Ideal for workstations, high-end PCs, any demanding workload, any environment where reliability, sustained performance, endurance and/or a long warranty matters.

Get the Samsung 950 Pro PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2:

256GB from Amazon, B&H ($187.95) or Newegg ($187.95)
512GB from Amazon, B&H ($317.99) or Newegg ($339.99)

Highest Performance PCI-Express expansion card SSD:

Toshiba OCZ RD400 NVMe PCI-Express 3.0 x4 SSD

Performance wise, the Toshiba OCZ RD400 is more interesting and it’s definitely less expensive than the Intel 750.

That said, I recommend the Intel 750 for either highly demanding workstation workloads, with many tasks running at the same time or for servers serving many clients simultaneously.

Either that or if you need power loss protection.

Get the Toshiba OCZ RD400:

128GB from Amazon or Newegg ($139.99)
256GB from Amazon or Newegg ($194.99)
512GB from Amazon or Newegg ($329.99)
1TB from Amazon or Newegg ($789.99)

Intel 750 NVMe PCI-Express 3.0 x4 SSD

Get the Intel 750:

400GB from Amazon or Newegg ($349.99)
800GB from Amazon or Newegg ($709.99)
1.2TB from Amazon or Newegg ($1,123.99)

Updating the SSD firmware

Recommended to get the latest bug fixes and the best performance possible out of your SSD.

When you start using your SSD
I strongly urge you to double-check for an update to the SSD’s firmware, in order to get the latest bug fixes and the best performance. Make sure to read the instructions available on each update page, in order to understand how to properly update the firmware.

Some SSDs have newer firmware available than the one that they are shipped with, so make sure to double-check your SSD’s firmware version and to update it if’s not the latest.

If you update your SSD’s firmware after starting to use it, make sure to backup your data beforehand, just in case something goes wrong during the update process, in which case you could lose the data on the SSD.

If you have questions regarding firmware updates, contact the manufacturer or visit their support forums.

To find the latest firmware for your SSD, simply visit the manufacturer’s website, find your SSD and look for the latest firmware. Instructions on how to update the firmware should be found on the same page, or in a link to a .pdf file.

Conclusion

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this latest edition of The Best SSDs (Solid State Drives) For Your Money article.

If you have a question, I invite you to leave a comment below this article.