This is one of 3 articles dedicated to storage drives:

1. Best External Hard Drives, SSDs and USB Flash Drives
2. Best Internal SSDs (this article)
3. Best Internal 2.5″ and 3.5″ Hard Drives

December 2016 Update: What’s new?

1. The Crucial MX300 750GB is unavailable at B&H and Newegg, still available at Amazon. Possibly discontinued, so hurry up if you want one.
2. Price drop: The Crucial MX300 1TB and 2TB 2.5″ models are less expensive than last month.
3. Price drop: The Sandisk X400 256GB, 512GB and 1TB 2.5″ models are less expensive than last month.
4. Price drop: The PNY CS2211 960GB model is less expensive than last month.
5. Price hike: The Samsung 850 EVO 1TB and 2TB 2.5″ are more expensive than last month.
6. Price drop: The Samsung 850 EVO 4TB is less expensive than last month.
7. Price hike: The Samsung 850 EVO 500GB and 1TB M.2 are more expensive than last month.
8. Price drop: The Samsung 850 EVO 1TB mSATA is less expensive than last month.
9. Price drop: The Samsung 850 Pro 1TB and 2TB are less expensive than last month.
10. Price drop: The Sandisk Extreme Pro 960GB is less expensive than last month. has significantly dropped in price.
11. Avoid: WD Blue SSDs: Just a re-badged Sandisk X400 with lower performance and a shorter warranty.
12. No longer recommended: Drevo X1. The ADATA SP550 offers better performance and long-term reliability at similar prices.
13. No longer recommended: Intel 600p: Performance is too low, the MyDigitalSSD BPX offer better performance at similar prices.
14. New recommendation: Plextor M8Pe PCIe SSD: Offer better performance than the Intel 600p and MyDigitalSSD BPX at good prices.
15. New recommendation: ADATA SP550 as a low-cost 120GB SSD
16. New recommendation: SK Hynix SL308 as a low-cost 250 and 500GB SSD with decent 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.

2.5″, mSATA and M.2 SATA III SSDs:

M.2 PCI-Express SSDs: Highest performance SSDs:

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 December 2nd.
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:

ADATA SP550 and SK Hynix SL308

These are the least expensive SSDs that I recommend.

While the least expensive SSDs used to offer poor performance, the SK Hynix SL308 offers pretty decent performance.

When it comes to sequential read/write and random read/write performance, the SK Hynix SL308 offers good performance, better than most TLC drives.

It even gets close to the Samsung 850 EVO in some tests. That said, its mixed read/write performance isn’t as good, so for a mixed workload, it’s no where as fast as the Samsung 850 EVO.

Same goes for sustained write performance. Then again, it’s also available for a far lower price than the Samsung 850 EVO.

That said, it still offers far performance than any hard drive on the market, as well as many other entry-level SSDs.

On top of that, its power consumption is one of the lowest ever measured for a SSD, making it an excellent choice for a laptop.

As for the ADATA SP550, its performance isn’t as high as the SK Hynix SL308, but it still offers good performance for a budget SSD and it’s available at the 120GB storage capacity point.

I recommend these SSDs for anyone looking to upgrade their hard drive for higher performance at the lowest cost possible for a SSD.

Get the ADATA SP550 2.5″ SATA III:

120GB from Amazon, B&H ($49.00) ou Newegg ($39.99)

Get the SK Hynix SL308 2.5″ SATA III:

250GB from Amazon or Newegg ($59.99)
500GB from Amazon or Newegg ($114.99)

Crucial MX300

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

The Crucial MX300, offers great performance for a budget SSD, better than the average TLC-based SSD, such as the PNY CS1311, Drevo X1, OCZ TL100, Patriot Spark, OCZ Trion 150, ADATA Ultimate SU800, the Mushkin Triactor and other low-cost SSDs, as well as lower power consumption.

On top of that, it also offers higher storage capacities at similar price points, such as 275GB vs 240GB, 525GB vs 480GB, as well as an interesting 750GB capacity and a 2TB option.

The slightly higher cost compared to the rock-bottom models (PNY CS1311 and Drevo X1) is entirely worth it in my opinion, with the higher performance, even more so in a laptop where you want a longer battery life.

So, higher storage capacities, higher performance, lower power consumption and competitive prices makes it easy for me to recommend it as the best entry-level SSD.

For a laptop, a PC boot drive, media drive, or game library drive, the Crucial MX300 is a great SSD at an excellent price.

For a workstation, with requirements for higher sustained performance, a lot of writes and top-notch random access, consider a better SSD, preferably a M.2 PCI-Express SSD.

The Crucial MX300 is availble as a 2.5″ drive, as well as a M.2 SATA III drive.

Get the Crucial MX300 2.5″ SATA III:

275GB from Amazon, B&H ($77.99) and Newegg ($77.95)
525GB from Amazon, B&H ($119.99) and Newegg ($129.99)
750GB from Amazon, B&H ($169.99) and Newegg ($169.99)
1TB (1050GB) from Amazon, B&H ($233.73) and Newegg ($239.99)
2TB from Amazon, B&H ($480.00) and Newegg ($498.00)

Get the Crucial MX300 M.2 SATA III:

275GB from Amazon, B&H ($77.99) and Newegg ($72.99)
525GB from Amazon, B&H ($124.99) and Newegg ($124.99)
1TB (1050GB) from Amazon, B&H ($249.99) and Newegg ($259.99)

Sandisk X400

The Sandisk X400 and the Crucial MX300 trade blows when it comes to performance. The Crucial MX300 offer better write performance, while the Sandisk X400 offer better read performance.

Considering that the majority of the time your computer will be reading from your SSD, you’re better off with a SSD that offers higher read performance, hence why I recommend the Sandisk X400 if you want better everyday performance compared to the Crucial MX300.

Price wise, the Sandisk X400 is more expensive, which pays for higher read performance, a nice 5 years warranty, as well as TCG OPAL 2.0 support for encryption. That said, the Sandisk X400 1TB is currently being sold at an excellent price!

The Sandisk X400 is availble as a 2.5″ drive, as well as a M.2 SATA III drive.

Get the Sandisk X400 2.5″ SATA III:

256GB from Amazon, B&H ($85.99) or Newegg ($89.00)
512GB from Amazon, B&H ($149.00) or Newegg ($139.99)
1TB from Amazon, B&H ($274.99) or Newegg ($249.99)

Get the Sandisk X400 M.2 SATA III:

256GB from Amazon, B&H ($89.45) or Newegg ($88.00)
512GB from Amazon, B&H ($169.00) or Newegg ($143.00)
1TB from Amazon, B&H ($289.95) or Newegg ($299.99 )

Mushkin Reactor

The Mushkin Reactor is an entry-level MLC SSD drive, which offers better performance than the TLC based Crucial MX300 and the Sandisk X400.

It’s a great choice if you want better performance than an entry-level TLC SSD, without spending that much more.

I recommend only the 1TB model, the other models are too expensive to be competitive.

Get the Mushkin Reactor:

1TB from Amazon or Newegg ($249.99)

PNY CS2211

The PNY CS2211 is a good MLC SSD drive, which offers better performance than the entry-level MLC Mushkin Reactor, as well the TLC based Crucial MX300 and the Sandisk X400.

It’s a great choice if you want better performance than an entry-level TLC SSD, without spending that much more.

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 ($89.99)
480GB from Amazon or Newegg ($139.99)
960GB from Amazon, B&H ($274.99)

Good Value, Great Performance, Low Power and Encryption:

Samsung 850 EVO:

Want higher performance than all the the entry-level SSDs? The Samsung 850 EVO offers that.

It also offers low power consumption, 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 model with a 250GB capacity is 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.

The Samsung 850 EVO is available as a 2.5″ drive, a M.2 SATA III drive and a mSATA drive..

Get the Samsung 850 EVO 2.5″ SATA III:

250GB from Amazon, B&H ($99.00) or Newegg ($102.15)
500GB from Amazon, B&H ($164.99) or Newegg ($164.41)
1TB from Amazon, B&H ($325.00) or Newegg ($329.99)
2TB from Amazon, B&H ($624.99) or Newegg ($699.99)
4TB from Amazon, B&H ($1,374.99) or Newegg ($1,374.99)

Get the Samsung 850 EVO M.2 SATA III:

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 ($329.00) or Newegg ($346.99)

Get the Samsung 850 EVO mSATA:

250GB from Amazon, B&H ($94.10) or Newegg ($93.19)
500GB from Amazon, B&H ($163.99) or Newegg ($177.99)
1TB from Amazon or B&H ($334.99) or Newegg ($309.00)

Highest SATA III Performance, Low Power, 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.

If your computer supports M.2 PCI-Express SSDs, get a PCI-Express SSD instead, as they offer significantly higher performance than SATA III SSDs.

If your PC doesn’t support M.2 PCI-Express SSDs and you don’t have space nor desire to have an add-on card PCI-Express SSD, this is the highest performance SSD available with a SATA III connection.

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.

Get the Samsung 850 Pro:

256GB from Amazon, B&H ($119.99) or Newegg ($119.99)
512GB from Amazon, B&H ($229.00) or Newegg ($213.62)
1TB from Amazon, B&H ($413.45) or Newegg ($469.90)
2TB from Amazon, B&H ($849.98) or Newegg ($816.04)

Alternative:
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’s less expensive and it is faster than other SATA III based SSDs. It’s pretty much only second to the Samsung 850 Pro when it comes to SATA III SSD performance.

It’s available in 240GB, 480GB and 960GB capacities. I currently only recommend the 960GB model, because the 240 and 480GB models are priced too closely to 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.

Get the Sandisk Extreme Pro:

960GB from Amazon or B&H ($373.00)

Best M.2 PCI-Express SSDs:

The SATA III protocol limit SATA III SSDs to less than 600MB/s transfer rates. PCI-Express SSDs don’t have that limitation and can reach more than 4 times that speed, up to 2500MB/s!

In other, M.2 PCI-Express SSDs offer higher performance than any SATA III based SSD.

Just make sure that your computer is equipped with a M.2 PCIe slot. Otherwise, you might want to consider a PCI-Express expansion card, or a M.2 PCI-E SSD with a M.2 PCIe to PCIe 3.0 x4 Adapter card.

MyDigitalSSD BPX PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2

The MyDigitalSSD company isn’t well known, but this product of theirs should change that:
It offers solid performance, higher than any SATA III SSD and with reasonable prices for a PCIe SSD. Great bang for the buck.

In other words, this is a wonderful entry-level PCI-Express M.2 SSD, which outperforms any SATA III based SSD, at prices much lower than what we’ve been used to for PCI-Express M.2 SSDs.

Get the MyDigitalSSD BPX PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2:

120GB from Amazon
240GB from Amazon
480GB from Amazon

Plextor M8Pe PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2

Nice step up in performance compared to the MyDigitalSSD BPX, while being more affordable than the higher performance Samsung PCIe SSDs.

Also available in a 1TB capacity.

128GB from Amazon or Newegg ($79.20)
256GB from Amazon or Newegg ($139.99)
512GB from Amazon or Newegg ($249.99)
1TB from Amazon or Newegg ($512.56)

Samsung 950 Pro PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2

If you need a high performance M.2 PCI-Express SSD today, the Samsung 950 Pro is the best choice.

However, it’s going to be replaced by the newer and higher performance Samsung 960 Pro later this month, so if you can wait a couple of weeks, get the higher performance Samsung 960 Pro instead.

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 ($184.99) or Newegg ($183.99)
512GB from Amazon, B&H ($315.62) or Newegg ($315.62)

Samsung 960 EVO PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2

Higher performance than most SSDs

If you want higher performance than most SSDs, but without paying the premium for the Samsung 960 Pro, the Samsung 960 EVO is an excellent alternaticve.

Just like the Samsung 850 EVO is the SATA III drive to beat when it comes to the best performance/price ratio, the Samsung 960 EVO offers outstanding performance for its price.

There’s a reason why the Samsung 850 EVO is the best selling SATA III SSD and I expect the Samsung 960 EVO to be the best selling M.2 PCI-Express SSD for the same reason: It offers top-tier performance, high reliability, low power consumption, all of that at a reasonable price, with a solid warranty.

It should be available between December 8th and the end of December.

Get the Samsung 960 EVO PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2:

250GB from Amazon, B&H ($129.99) or Newegg ($129.99)
500GB from Amazon, B&H ($249.99) or Newegg ($249.99)
1TB from Amazon, B&H ($479.99) or Newegg ($479.99)

Samsung 960 Pro PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2

Higher performance than pretty much any SSD.

If you want the SSD that offers THE highest performance, then the Samsung 960 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.

Should be available between December 8th and January 1st 2017.

Get the Samsung 960 Pro PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2:

512GB from Amazon, B&H ($329.00) or Newegg ($329.99)
1TB from Amazon, B&H ($629.99) or Newegg ($629.99)
2TB from Amazon, B&H ($1,299.99) or Newegg (1,299.99)

PCI-Express expansion card SSD:

Convert your M.2 SSD into a PCI-Express expansion card SSD:
All M.2 PCI-Express SSDs can be used in a PCI-Express slot, with a M.2 PCIe to PCIe 3.0 x4 Adapter card.

Intel 750 NVMe PCI-Express 3.0 x4 SSD

I recommend the Intel 750 for:
1. Highly demanding workstation workloads, with many tasks running at the same time
2. Servers serving many clients simultaneously.
3. Power loss protection requirement
4. Top-notch reliability

Get the Intel 750:

400GB from Amazon or Newegg ($409.99)
800GB from Amazon or Newegg ($529.99)
1.2TB from Amazon or Newegg ($745.99)

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, feedback or suggestion, I invite you to leave a comment below this article.