This is one of many articles on the best computers parts

Do you want to know what are currently the best CPUs, graphic cards and other components?
Check out the Best Computer Parts for Your Money page.

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

Holidays 2017 Update: What’s new?

1. Significant price cuts on the Samsung 850 EVO SATA III SSD 250GB-1TB.
2. New entry-level low cost SSD recommendation
3. New highest performance SSD recommendation
4. Up to date prices

SSD FAQ: What is a SSD and why do I want one?

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 November 29th 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 SSD:

Crucial BX300

This is the least expensive SSD that I recommend.

The Crucial BX300, while offering lower performance than higher-end models, offers better performance than other low-cost SSDs, such as the Sandisk SSD Plus.

While it is significantly faster than a hard drive, I don’t recommend it 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.

Get the Crucial BX300 2.5″ SATA III SSD:

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

Best Mid-range SSDs:

WD Blue V.S. Crucial MX300 V.S. Mushkin Reactor
My recommendations

128GB: Not available for the WD Blue and Crucial MX300. Go for the Crucial BX300 above.
250-275GB: WD Blue for lowest cost, MX300 for higher performance, lower power usage and 25GB more storage capacity.
500-525GB: WD Blue 500GB for the lowest cost, MX300 for slightly higher cost, performance and capacity as well as lower power usage.
1TB: Mushkin Reactor for highest performance. MX300 high performance with low power usage or M.2 drive.
2TB: Mushkin Reactor for highest performance. MX300 high performance with low power usage or M.2 drive

Compared to the Sandisk SSD Plus, the WD Blue offers better performance and slightly higher storage capacities points, at slightly higher prices.

For a laptop, a PC boot drive, media drive, or game library drive, the WD Blue is a good SSD at a great price.

The Crucial MX300 V.S. the WD Blue

The Crucial MX300, recommended, offers slightly better performance and slightly higher storage capacities points and is more power efficient, so if you find the WD Blue at the same or at an higher price than the Crucial MX300, buy the Crucial MX300.

The WD Blue is only worth it if it’s less expensive. Even then, if you value low power consumption or want slightly better performance and or storage capacity, it’s worth buying a bit more for the MX300.

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

The WD Blue is available as a 2.5″ drive, as well as a M.2 SATA III drive.

Get the WD Blue 2.5″ SATA III:

250GB: Not recommended, too expensive, get the Samsung 850 EVO instead AmazonB&H ($94.00) and Newegg ($89.99)
500GB from AmazonB&H ($139.99) and Newegg ($142.99)
1TB: Not recommended, too expensive, get the Samsung 850 EVO instead. 1TB from AmazonB&H ($279.99) and Newegg ($289.99)

Get the WD Blue M.2 SATA III:

250GB Not recommended, too expensive, get the Samsung 850 EVO instead. AmazonB&H ($89.99) and Newegg ($89.99) 
500GB from AmazonB&H ($149.99) and Newegg ($149.99) 
1TB: Not recommended, too expensive, get the Samsung 850 EVO instead. 1TB from AmazonB&H ($284.99) and Newegg ($299.99)

Crucial MX300

Compared to the WD Blue, the Crucial MX300 offers slightly better performance and slightly higher storage capacities points, at slightly higher prices. It’s basically the logical next step-up.

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 SU800, the Mushkin Triactor, Sandisk SSD Plus, Ultra II 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 240/250GB, 525GB vs 480/500GB, 1050GB vs 960/1000GB as well as a 2TB 2.5″ option.

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, such as the Samsung 850 EVO or Pro, or preferably a M.2 PCI-Express SSD.

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

Get the Crucial MX300 2.5″ SATA III:

275GB-1TB: Not recommended, too expensive, get the Samsung 850 EVO instead.
275GB from Amazon, B&H ($92.99) and Newegg ($92.99)
525GB from Amazon, B&H ($149.99) and Newegg ($149.99)
1TB (1050GB) from Amazon, B&H ($289.99) and Newegg ($289.99)
2TB from Amazon, B&H ($499.99) and Newegg ($499.99)

Get the Crucial MX300 M.2 SATA III:

275GB from Amazon, B&H ($92.99) and Newegg ($92.99)
525GB from Amazon, B&H ($149.99) and Newegg ($149.99)
1TB (1050GB) from Amazon, B&H ($289.99) and Newegg ($289.99)

Mushkin Reactor

The Mushkin Reactor is a MLC SSD drive, which offers better performance than the TLC based Crucial MX300 and the WD Blue.

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

On the downside, it consumes more power, so I wouldn’t recommend it for a laptop where battery life matters.

I recommend only the 1TB and 2TB model, the other models are too expensive to be competitive.

Get the Mushkin Reactor:

1TB from Amazon or Newegg ($269.99)
2TB from Amazon or Newegg ($539.99)

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 ($84.99) or Newegg ($89.99)
500GB from Amazon, B&H ($139.99) or Newegg ($139.99)
1TB from Amazon, B&H ($284.00) or Newegg ($284.99)
2TB from Amazon, B&H ($677.00) or Newegg ($681.25)
4TB from Amazon, B&H ($1,479.00) or Newegg ($1,453.99)

Get the Samsung 850 EVO M.2 SATA III:

250GB from Amazon, B&H ($104.99) or Newegg ($105.13)
500GB from Amazon, B&H ($168.00) or Newegg ($168.99)
1TB from Amazon, B&H ($352.99) or Newegg ($352.99)

Get the Samsung 850 EVO mSATA:

250GB from Amazon, B&H ($107.00) or Newegg ($107.00)
500GB from Amazon, B&H ($177.99) or Newegg ($170.32)
1TB from Amazon or B&H ($345.00) or Newegg ($345.00)

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 ($104.99) or Newegg ($109.99)
512GB from Amazon, B&H ($204.00) or Newegg ($219.99)
1TB from Amazon, B&H ($374.99) or Newegg ($399.99)
2TB from Amazon, B&H ($859.00) or Newegg ($899.99)

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.

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 better performance than the Intel 600p and the WD Black SSDs.

Its a good choice if you want higher performance while spending less. It’s the deal to beat, when it comes to PCIe M.2 SSDs!

You get a 5 years warranty from MyDigitalSSD.

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.

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 960 EVO is 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 ($127.99) or Newegg ($127.99)
500GB from Amazon, B&H ($247.99) or Newegg ($247.99)
1TB from Amazon, B&H ($449.99) or Newegg ($449.99)

Samsung 960 Pro PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2

Higher performance than pretty much any SSD.

While the Intel Optane now offers the highest performance in the vast majority of cases, the Samsung 960 Pro is no slouch. It will offer similar real-world performance in all but the most demanding workloads, at much lower prices.

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 ($289.99) or Newegg ($289.99)
1TB from Amazon, B&H ($619.00) or Newegg ($619.00)
2TB from Amazon, B&H ($1,213.85) or Newegg (1,215.00)

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 Optane SSD 900P PCI-Express 3.0 x4 SSD

I recommend the Intel Optane 900P for:
Ultimate performance. If you have extremely demanding workloads, this is the best of the best. It doesn’t make sense for consumer/prosumer workloads, but for a workstation where time is money, where you work with heavy files and cannot afford to wait, this is the SSD with the best performance. For consumers workloads, the Samsung 860 EVO/Pro make more sense from a price/performance perspective.

It beats almost all the performance records, outperforming the Samsung 960 Pro. There are cases where the Optane SSD simply crush the competition. The low queue depth random read performance of the Optane SSD is several times faster than any flash-based SSD has attained.

Get the Intel Optane SSD 900P:

280GB from Amazon or Newegg ($389.99)
480GB from Amazon or Newegg ($599.99)

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) article.

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