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

July 2018 Update: What’s new?

1. Major price cuts on the Crucial MX500 SATA III SSDs, all capacities.
2. Significant price cuts on the Samsung 860 EVO SATA III 2.5″ 500GB to 4TB SSDs
3. Price cuts on the Samsung 860 Pro SATA III 2.5″ 512GB to 2TB SSDs
4. Added the Intel 905p.
5. 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 July 6th 2018.

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:

Mushkin Source

This is the least expensive SSD that I recommend.

The Mushkin Source, while offering lower performance than higher-end models, holds it own against other low-cost SSDs.

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

While it is significantly faster than a hard drive, I don’t recommend it for any kind of intensive workstation type of workloads.

It’s a fine choice if all you do is gaming, web browsing, light Office work, for a POS, etc.

Get the Mushkin Source 2.5″ SATA III SSD:

120GB:  Amazon and Newegg ($38.26)
250GB: Amazon and Newegg ($55.99)
500GB: Amazon and Newegg ($104.99)

Best Mid-range SSDs:

Crucial MX500

The Crucial MX500 offers great performance for a SATA III SSD, not far behind the Samsung 860 EVO and it’s one of the least expensive SSD on the market, making it easy to recommend.

On top of that, you get a 5 years warranty.

For a laptop, a PC boot drive, media drive, or game library drive, the Crucial MX500 is a good SSD at a great price.

The Crucial MX500 V.S. the Crucial MX300 and the WD Blue

The Crucial MX500, recommended, offers significantly better performance than the Crucial MX300 and WD Blue, often at lower prices on top of that!

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 Crucial MX500 is available as a 2.5″ and M.2 SATA III drive.

Get the Crucial MX500 2.5″ SATA III:

250GB from Amazon, B&H ($69.99) and Newegg ($69.99)
500GB from Amazon, B&H ($109.99) and Newegg ($109.99)
1TB from Amazon, B&H ($199.99) and Newegg ($199.99)
2TB from Amazon, B&H ($449.00) and Newegg ($449.99)

Get the Crucial MX500 M.2 SATA III:

250GB from Amazon, B&H ($69.99) and Newegg ($69.99)
500GB from Amazon, B&H ($109.99) and Newegg ($109.99)
1TB from Amazon, B&H ($199.99) and Newegg ($199.99)

Great Performance, Low Power and Encryption:

Samsung 860 EVO:

Want higher performance than all SATA III SSDs other than the much more expensive Samsung 860 Pro? The Samsung 860 EVO offers that.

It also offers lower power consumption than the Crucial MX500, 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 860 EVO.

In other words, the Samsung 860 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 860 EVO is available as a 2.5″ drive, a M.2 SATA III drive and a mSATA drive.

Get the Samsung 860 EVO 2.5″ SATA III:

250GB from Amazon, B&H ($79.99) or Newegg ($78.46)
500GB from Amazon, B&H ($119.99) or Newegg ($111.99)
1TB from Amazon, B&H ($239.99) or Newegg ($237.99)
2TB from Amazon, B&H ($499.99) or Newegg ($499.99)
4TB from Amazon, B&H ($1,051.00) or Newegg ($1,189.99)

Get the Samsung 860 EVO M.2 SATA III:

250GB from Amazon, B&H ($83.99) or Newegg ($84.99)
500GB from Amazon, B&H ($133.99) or Newegg ($134.99)
1TB from Amazon, B&H ($239.99) or Newegg ($237.99)
2TB from Amazon, B&H ($549.99) or Newegg ($549.99)

Get the Samsung 860 EVO mSATA:

250GB from Amazon, B&H ($83.99) or Newegg ($84.99)
500GB from Amazon, B&H ($133.99) or Newegg ($134.99)
1TB from Amazon or B&H ($264.00) or Newegg ($269.99)

Highest SATA III Performance, Low Power, Encryption, 5 Years Warranty:

Samsung 860 Pro:

Want the highest performance 2.5″ SATA III SSD available on the market?
Then you want the Samsung 860 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 and buying the Samsung 860 Pro makes no sense.

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 5 years warranty.

Get the Samsung 860 Pro:

256GB from Amazon, B&H ($119.65) or Newegg ($117.84)
512GB from Amazon, B&H ($209.98) or Newegg ($208.97)
1TB from Amazon, B&H ($379.99) or Newegg ($379.99)
2TB from Amazon, B&H ($829.00) or Newegg ($809.99)
4TB from Amazon, B&H ($1697.99) or Newegg ($1697.99)

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!

In other words, PCI-Express SSDs enable much higher performance than 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 SBX PCIe 3.0 x2 M.2

Offering better performance than SATA III drives at a much lower prices than other PCIe NVMe SSDs, the MyDigitalSSD SBX is our recommended entry-level PCIe M.2 SSD drive.

That said, the MyDigitalSSD SBX is a low-end drive, within the NVMe market, so there are some trade offs compared to most NVMe SSDs. The SBX is optimized for peak performance on common client/consumer workloads. When subjected to workstation type of workloads or the being nearly full, the performance of the SBX drops quite a lot. That said, it maintains its performance at or above the level of mainstream SATA SSDs even in harder conditions.

Despite its low price, it’s backed by a 5 years warranty.

Get the MyDigitalSSD SBX PCIe 3.0 x2 M.2:

128GB from Amazon or Newegg ($52.99)
256GB from Amazon or Newegg ($84.99)

512GB from Amazon or Newegg ($157.99)
1TB from  Amazon or Newegg ($309.99)

Intel 760p PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2

Succeeding the Intel 600p, the Intel 760p offers much better performance than its predecessor. It’s capable of outperforming SATA SSDs in light and heavy workloads and doesn’t slow down much when filled up.

Basically Intel fixed the shortcomings of the Intel 600p SSD.

You get a 5 years warranty from Intel, as well as top-notch reliability.

That said, the Samsung 970 EVO offers significantly higher performance, so it’s worth looking at the current prices and get the Samsung 970 EVO if the price is lower, or if the difference in price isn’t much and you want as much performance as possible.

In other words, this is a wonderful entry-level PCI-Express M.2 SSD, which outperforms any SATA III based SSD, at great prices.

Get the Intel 760p PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2:

128GB from Amazon, B&H ($84.00) or Newegg ($50.99)
256GB from AmazonB&H ($116.64) or Newegg ($112.99) 

512GB from Amazon, B&H ($218.00) or Newegg ($229.00)
The 256GB and 512GB drives are not recommended at the moment, the Samsung 970 EVO offers better performance at a lower price.

Samsung 970 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 970 Pro, the Samsung 970 EVO is an excellent choice.

Replacing the Samsung 960 EVO, the Samsung 970 EVO brings even higher performance, at similar or even lower prices!

Offering top-tier performance, high reliability, all of that at a reasonable price, with a solid warranty.

Samsung 970 EVO V.S. WD Black new generation
The Samsung 970 EVO and the new generation of WD Black SSD trade blows when it comes to performance, although the Samsung 970 EVO comes on top overall, while being available at lower prices, hence why I recommend the Smasung 970 EVO over the new generation of the WD Black SSDs.

Get the Samsung 970 EVO PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2:

250GB from Amazon, B&H ($107.99) or Newegg ($106.99)
500GB from Amazon, B&H ($197.99) or Newegg ($197.49)
1TB from Amazon, B&H ($397.99) or Newegg ($397.99)
2TB from Amazon, B&H ($797.99) or Newegg ($794.99)

Samsung 970 Pro PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2

Higher performance than pretty much any SSD, except the vastly more expensive Intel Optane 900P.

While the Intel Optane 900P now offers the highest performance in the vast majority of cases, the Samsung 970 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 970 Pro PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2:

512GB from Amazon, B&H ($229.99) or Newegg ($228.99)
1TB from  Amazon, B&H ($497.99) or Newegg ($499.99)

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 Optane SSD 900P and 905P PCI-Express 3.0 x4 SSD

I recommend the Intel Optane 900P and 905P for:
Ultimate high 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, it is completely overkill.

The Intel 905p is basically an updated version of the Intel 900p, offering slightly better performance, as well as a 960GB capacity option.

So I recommend the Intel 900p if you need 280GB or 480GB of storage capacity and the Intel 905p if you need 960GB of storage capacity.

It beats almost all the performance records, outperforming the Samsung 970 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, B&H ($369.99) or Newegg ($389.99)
480GB from Amazon, B&H ($567.11) or Newegg ($599.99)

Get the Intel Optane SSD 905P:

960GB from Amazon, B&H ($1299.00) or Newegg ($1299.00)

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) article.

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