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

March 2017 Update: What’s new?

1. Added the Toshiba OCZ Trion 150 480GB
2. Added the Sandisk Ultra II 240GB and 480GB
3. Sandisk X400 2.5″ 256GB and 512GB are discontinued
4. Avoid WD Blue SSDs
5. Added the MyDigitalSSD BPX PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 240GB
6. Up to date prices

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.

SATA III SSDs: 2.5″, mSATA and M.2 SATA III SSDs: Lower price and performance

PCI-Express SSDs: Highest performance SSDs, higher price

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 March 7th 2017.
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 Low Cost SSDs:

Sandisk SSD Plus, Toshiba OCZ Trion 150 and Sandisk Ultra II

These are the three least expensive SSDs that I recommend.

Sandisk SSD Plus:
The Sandisk SSD Plus offers rock-bottom performance, for a SSD.

While it is still significantly faster than a hard drive, it is not designed for any kind of intensive workload.

It’s a fine choice if all you do is some web browsing, light Office work and the like.

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

It also has a very low power consumption, making it an excellent choice for a laptop.

Toshiba OCZ Trion 150:
This SSD offers significantly higher performance than the Sandisk SSD Plus and is the best choice if you want an high capacity 960GB SSD at a low cost.

The warranty is also a plus, with free return shipping and fast replacement.

Sandisk Ultra II:
While not as fast as the Toshiba OCZ Trion 150, it is still significantly faster than the Sandisk SSD Plus and is a good choice if you live outside the USA and want to shop from B&H who offer worldwide shipping.

Get the Sandisk Plus 2.5″ SATA III SSD:

120GB from Amazon, B&H ($49.49) or Newegg ($49.99)
240GB from Amazon, B&H ($79.00) or Newegg ($79.99)
480GB from Amazon or Newegg ($139.99)

Get the Toshiba OCZ Trion 150:

480GB from Amazon
960GB from Amazon

Get the Sandisk Ultra II 2.5″ SATA III:

240GB from Amazon or B&H ($89.84)
480GB from Amazon or B&H ($149.00)
960GB from Amazon or B&H ($269.99)

Best Mid-range SSDs:

Crucial MX300

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, Sandisk SSD Plus, Ultra II and other low-cost SSDs, as well as low power consumption.

On top of that, it also offers higher storage capacities at similar price points, such as 275GB vs 240GB, 525GB vs 480GB, 1050GB vs 960GB as well as a 2TB 2.5″ option.

The slightly higher cost compared to the low cost model is entirely worth it in my opinion, with the higher performance.

So, higher storage capacities, higher performance, low 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 ($94.99) and Newegg ($94.99)
525GB from Amazon, B&H ($149.99) and Newegg ($149.99)
1TB (1050GB) from Amazon, B&H ($279.99) and Newegg ($279.99)
2TB from Amazon, B&H ($549.00) and Newegg ($549.99)

Get the Crucial MX300 M.2 SATA III:

275GB from Amazon, B&H ($89.99) and Newegg ($94.99)
525GB from Amazon, B&H ($149.99) and Newegg ($149.99)
1TB (1050GB) from Amazon, B&H ($269.99) and Newegg ($279.99)

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 quite competitive with the Crucial MX300 these days and it offers higher read performance, a nice 5 years warranty, as well as TCG OPAL 2.0 support for encryption.

This is why I recommend the Sandisk X400 over the Crucial MX300 if you can find at a similar price.

The Sandisk X400 is availble as a 2.5″ drive, as well as a M.2 SATA III drive, although it would appear that the 256GB and 512GB X400 2.5″ drives are getting discontinued and replaced by the WD Blue, which I recommend avoiding, see the note below.

To avoid: WD Blue SSDs
WD (Western Digital) bought Sandisk some time ago. Their WD Blue SSDs are basically the same as the X400 hardware wise, but uses a different firmware with lower performance and comes with a shorter 3 years, which is I don’t recommend buying it. The Crucial MX300 offers better performance and slightly higher storage capacities points at similar prices.

Get the Sandisk X400 2.5″ SATA III:

1TB from Amazon, B&H ($279.00) or Newegg ($265.99)

Get the Sandisk X400 M.2 SATA III:

256GB from Amazon, B&H ($99.99) or Newegg ($107.92)
512GB from Amazon, B&H ($159.00) or Newegg ($147.99)
1TB from Amazon, B&H ($312.56) or Newegg ($327.99)

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.

That said, its power consumption is higher, so while it’s a fine choice for a desktop PC, it’s not ideal for a laptop where battery life may matter more to you.

If you don’t mind the lack of hardware encryption and the slightly higher power consumption, it’s a solid deal for such great performance at such a low price.

It appears like it’s running low on stock/backordered, with the 480GB no longer available (or at least not at a good price). So if you want one, now is the time.

I currently recommend the 240GB and 960GB models, as their price is competitive considering their performance.

Get the PNY CS2211:

240GB from B&H ($89.99)
960GB from B&H ($289.99)

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.

In other words, the Samsung 850 EVO is a great all around SSD, offering pretty much everything that you could want from a SATA III SSD, without costing that much more.

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 ($97.99) or Newegg ($122.50)
500GB from Amazon, B&H (xv $177.92) or Newegg ($179.99)
1TB from Amazon, B&H ($324.99) or Newegg ($324.99)
2TB from Amazon, B&H ($689.00) or Newegg ($689.99)
4TB from Amazon, B&H ($1,493.99) or Newegg ($1,493.99)

Get the Samsung 850 EVO M.2 SATA III:

250GB from Amazon, B&H ($97.99) or Newegg ($99.99)
500GB from Amazon, B&H ($167.99) or Newegg ($177.99)
1TB from Amazon, B&H ($347.99) or Newegg ($349.99)

Get the Samsung 850 EVO mSATA:

250GB from Amazon, B&H ($97.99) or Newegg ($97.99)
500GB from Amazon, B&H ($167.99) or Newegg ($167.99)
1TB from Amazon or B&H ($333.99) or Newegg ($333.99)

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

Samsung 850 Pro:

Want the highest performance 2.5″ SATA III 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 ($137.99) or Newegg ($137.99)
512GB from Amazon, B&H ($238.99) or Newegg ($238.99)
1TB from Amazon, B&H ($477.99) or Newegg ($485.50)
2TB from Amazon, B&H ($869.00) or Newegg ($859.33)

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 B&H ($389.00)

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 far higher rates, up to 3500MB/s for the Samsung 960 Pro!

In other words, any 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’ll want a PCI-Express expansion card. You can also but a M.2 PCI-e SSD with a M.2 PCIe to PCIe 3.0 x4 Adapter card, meaning that you’ll plug the M.2 SSD into the PCIe adapter card, which you’ll then plug into a PCI-Express slot on your motherboard.

Compatibility note: AHCI vs NVMe SSDs

Older motherboards and older laptops may not support the newer NVMe protocol, which was designed to improve SSD performance.

So if your laptop or motherboard is older than two years, it would wise to double-check whether it does support NVMe or only the older AHCI protocol.

In some cases, an update is all you need to gain NVMe support but in other cases, AHCI support is all you get. If that is the case, you can still get a PCIe SSD, but you’ll need an AHCI PCIe SSD. See my recommendation just below.

AHCI M.2 PCIe SSDs

Kingston HyperX Predator PCIe 2.0 x4 M.2 or PCI Express 4x card

The Kingston HyperX Predator SSD is an older model, so it’s not as fast as newer models, but it’s still far faster than a SATA III SSD.

The only reason that I recommend it is that it runs on the AHCI protocol, meaning that it’s compatible with older laptops and motherboards that don’t support NVMe drives.

So if you’ve got an older laptop or older motherboard without NVMe support and want a SSD that offers higher performance than SATA III SSDs, this is the best option for you.

If your motherboard doesn’t have a M.2 slot, just get the version that includes a PCI Express 4x expansion card.

However, if your motherboard or laptop support the newer NVMe protocol, make sure to get one of the SSDs below, which offer higher performance at better prices.

Get the Kingston HyperX Predator PCIe 2.0 x4 M.2 AHCI:

240GB from Amazon or B&H ($179.00)
480GB from Amazon or B&H ($329.00)
960GB from Amazon or B&H ($489.00)

NVMe M.2 PCIe SSDs

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 lower prices than what we’ve been used to for PCI-Express M.2 SSDs.

I only recommend the 120GB, 240GB and 480GB models.

Get the MyDigitalSSD BPX PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2:

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

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 choice.

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.

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 ($477.99) 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 in the vast majority of cases, 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.

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

512GB from Amazon, B&H ($327.99) or Newegg ($329.99)
1TB from Amazon, B&H ($629.95) or Newegg ($629.99)
2TB from Amazon, B&H ($1,297.99) 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:
While the Samsung 960 Pro offers better peak performance and thus is better suited for most consumers, the Intel 750 is unmatched when it comes to non-stop sustained performance, when it under constant load.

It also offers power loss protection.

It’s ideal 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 ($324.99)
800GB from Amazon or Newegg ($769.99)
1.2TB from Amazon or Newegg ($959.00)

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.