The Best SSDs by Price (Dec 2018)

Adrian B Updated on Nov 03, 2018

When talking about HDD vs SDD the answer is easy: Solid State Drives are the way to go. These are the main advantages, to name a few:

  • x10 faster transfer speeds. And even more if compared to M.2 SSDs
  • SSDs are completely noiseless as they have no moving parts
  • for the same reason, the generated heat is lower
  • and again for the same reason, the power consumption is also lower

 

The only reason you want an HDD is that you maybe need a large storage capacity. In that case, you can combine an HDD for storage and an SSD for the operating system. Keep reading to know how to choose the best SSD, and if you want to know more about the HDD vs SSD pros and cons, read the following post:

If you see errors, misleading information, or you just don’t agree with me I would really appreciate your comments so we all can improve this post together. Try to be nice with each other and be collaborative.

How To Choose The Best SSDs

What Is An SSD?

Solid State Drives are nonvolatile storage devices that use solid-state flash memory, like an ordinary USB for instance, but of higher quality. There are different formats, being the most typical the 2.5″ size format.

The main difference between an HDD and an SSD is the transfer speeds. As I said in the introduction, the SSDs have no moving parts, which makes them a lot faster. Typically, the transfer speed of a 7200 rpm HDD is between 100 – 150 MB/s. On the other hand, a standard SSD can easily reach the 500MB/s. The latest and more expensive models (M.2 format with PCIe 3.0 connection) can reach the stunning speed of 1500MB/s.

The unit price will depend on its reliability, capacity, durability and transfer speeds.

Differences Between Different SSDs Capacities

The SSDs are still much more expensive than HDDs so you need to determine your ideal storage needs. You should note that the SSD will be used only to store the operating system. For personal data, music, photos, etc. the best option is to use an external HDD or an internal HDD as the secondary storage device.

120 GB

Recommended for just installing the operating system. Enough for a Windows installation. For Mac users, a 250 GB SSD is preferable.

250 GB

This is the most suitable capacity for almost all the situations. You can install the operating system and install any number of applications, even some other game.

500 GB or More

There is no point to invest your money on these capacities unless you want to play all your games at full speed, directly from your SSD. In this case, you won’t need any secondary HDD drive.

Understanding The New M.2 Specification

The M.2 specification describes different form factors and interfaces for the SSDs. The most common interface is the PCIe, which allows a higher transfer speed, compared to the regular SATA3 SSDs.

M.2 is supposed to be the successor of the mSATA format, although they are retro-compatible with the SATA3 in two of the four form factors.

Usage Recommendations

The most recommended storage configuration is to install the operating system on the SSD and all your personal data, downloads, games, etc. in the HDD. In the case we are concerned, when games are installed in an HDD, you will free up part of the SSD load, improving the overall system performance.

It is also recommended to not store important data on your SSD because they are not as durable nor stable as the HDDs and you could lose all that data.

Be sure that your motherboard or laptop supports SATA3 in order to take advantage of the 6 Gbps transfer rates, instead of the 3 Gbps that the SATA2 interface allows.

In order to keep the highest performance ratings and extend its durability, the SSD needs some free space, typically around the 10%. The easiest method to do that is to create an empty partition of the desired space and leave it there. You won’t need to care about this anymore.

While you’re here, make sure to check out the best Black Friday storage deals of 2018!

Buying Guide

2.5″ – From $60 to $90

ADATA SU800 3D-Nand 128GB

ADATA SU800 3D-Nand 128GBlaunch

chevron_rightSATA3
chevron_right80? TB
chevron_right560 MB/s
chevron_right520 MB/s
chevron_right90k IOPS
chevron_right80k IOPS
chevron_right0.06W / 2.2W
Market Price: $28.99
Available on:
Amazon USA

As I said earlier, this build features a 128GB SSD, the ADATA SU800 3D-Nand 128GB specifically.

This model was released in 2016 and it has proved over and over to be one of the best SSD available, with +1000 5-star reviews on Amazon.

It is fast (520 Mb/s write speed) and pretty durable and the selling price is pretty much unbeatable for what it offers.

SanDisk Plus 120GB

SanDisk Plus 120GBlaunch

chevron_rightSATA3
chevron_right80? TB
chevron_right530 MB/s
chevron_right400 MB/s
chevron_right74k IOPS
chevron_right39k IOPS
chevron_right0.08W / 2.7W
Market Price: $29.00
Available on:
Amazon USA
PNY CS1311 120GB

PNY CS1311 120GBlaunch

chevron_rightSATA3
chevron_right-
chevron_right550 MB/s
chevron_right510 MB/s
chevron_right86k IOPS
chevron_right90k IOPS
chevron_right0.17W / 2.2W
Market Price: $62.99
Available on:
Amazon USA
DREVO X1 Series 120GB

DREVO X1 Series 120GBlaunch

chevron_rightSATA3
chevron_right-
chevron_right550 MB/s
chevron_right400 MB/s
chevron_right?
chevron_right?
chevron_right?
Market Price: $21.48
Available on:
Amazon USA
OCZ TL100 240 GB

OCZ TL100 240 GBlaunch

chevron_rightSATA3
chevron_right60 TB
chevron_right550 MB/s
chevron_right530 MB/s
chevron_right85k IOPS
chevron_right85k IOPS
chevron_right0.4W / 1.6W
Market Price: --
Available on:
Amazon USA
Crucial MX300 275GB - 2016

Crucial MX300 275GB - 2016launch

chevron_rightSATA3
chevron_right80 TB
chevron_right530 MB/s
chevron_right500 MB/s
chevron_right55k IOPS
chevron_right83k IOPS
chevron_right0.075W / 5.2W
Market Price: $154.49
Available on:
Amazon USA
SSD Crucial BX300 240GB

SSD Crucial BX300 240GBlaunch

chevron_rightSATA3
chevron_right55 TB
chevron_right555 MB/s
chevron_right510 MB/s
chevron_right45k IOPS
chevron_right90k IOPS
chevron_right0.075W / 5.2W
Market Price: $129.99
Available on:
Amazon USA

For builds over $800, I always recommend getting a 240GB SSD, and one of the best-selling models is the Crucial BX300 240GB.

As a best practice, you should prioritize newer models over older ones, as there are durability and reliability improvements year after year.

This model was released in 2017 and it has proved to be one of the best SSD available.

It is fast (555 Mb/s write speed) and pretty durable and the selling price is really competitive.

GIGABYTE GA-AB350-Gaming

GIGABYTE GA-AB350-Gaminglaunch

chevron_rightATX
chevron_rightSocket AM4
chevron_rightChipset AMD B Series
chevron_rightRAM DDR4 3200 (O.C.)
chevron_rightRealtek ALC887
chevron_right2x USB 3.1, 4x USB 3.0, 6x SATA3, 1x M.2
Market Price: $89.99
Available on:
Amazon USA
SanDisk Plus 240GB

SanDisk Plus 240GBlaunch

chevron_rightSATA3
chevron_right80? TB
chevron_right530 MB/s
chevron_right440 MB/s
chevron_right74k IOPS
chevron_right39k IOPS
chevron_right0.08W / 2.7W
Market Price: $42.98
Available on:
Amazon USA
Corsair Force LE 240GB

Corsair Force LE 240GBlaunch

chevron_rightSATA3
chevron_right60 TB
chevron_right560 MB/s
chevron_right530 MB/s
chevron_right83k IOPS
chevron_right40k IOPS
chevron_right0.08W / 2.7W
Market Price: --
Available on:
Amazon USA

M.2 – From $90 to $100

ADATA Premier SP550 M.2 240GB

ADATA Premier SP550 M.2 240GBlaunch

chevron_rightSATA3
chevron_right180 TB
chevron_right560 MB/s
chevron_right510 MB/s
chevron_right75k IOPS
chevron_right75k IOPS
chevron_right0.045W / 3.43W
Market Price: --
Available on:
Amazon USA
Samsung 850 EVO M.2 SATA III 250GB

Samsung 850 EVO M.2 SATA III 250GBlaunch

chevron_rightSATA3
chevron_right100 TB
chevron_right540 MB/s
chevron_right500 MB/s
chevron_right97k IOPS
chevron_right89k IOPS
chevron_right0.05W / 3.5W
Market Price: $149.99
Available on:
Amazon USA
SanDisk X400 M.2 SATA III 256GB

SanDisk X400 M.2 SATA III 256GBlaunch

chevron_rightSATA3
chevron_right80 TB
chevron_right540 MB/s
chevron_right500 MB/s
chevron_right93.5k IOPS
chevron_right60k IOPS
chevron_right0.045W / 3.43W
Market Price: $145.34
Available on:
Amazon USA

The Best

2.5″ – From $90 to $130

OCZ Vector 180 240GB

OCZ Vector 180 240GBlaunch

chevron_rightSATA3
chevron_right90 TB
chevron_right550 MB/s
chevron_right530 MB/s
chevron_right95k IOPS
chevron_right90k IOPS
chevron_right0.85W / 3.7W
Market Price: --
Available on:
Amazon USA
Samsung 860 PRO 256GB

Samsung 860 PRO 256GBlaunch

chevron_rightSATA3
chevron_right150 TB
chevron_right560 MB/s
chevron_right530 MB/s
chevron_right100k IOPS
chevron_right90k IOPS
chevron_right50 mW / 3.3 W
Market Price: $87.97
Available on:
Amazon USA
Corsair Neutron XTi 240GB

Corsair Neutron XTi 240GBlaunch

chevron_rightSATA3
chevron_right? TB
chevron_right560 MB/s
chevron_right540 MB/s
chevron_right100k IOPS
chevron_right90k IOPS
Market Price: --
Available on:
Amazon USA
SanDisk Extreme PRO 240GB

SanDisk Extreme PRO 240GBlaunch

chevron_rightSATA3
chevron_right80 TB
chevron_right550 MB/s
chevron_right520 MB/s
chevron_right100k IOPS
chevron_right90k IOPS
chevron_right0.082W / 2.7W
Market Price: $117.00
Available on:
Amazon USA

M.2 – From $180

Samsung 960 EVO M.2 PCIe 250GB

Samsung 960 EVO M.2 PCIe 250GBlaunch

chevron_rightPCIe 3.0
chevron_right100 TB
chevron_right3200 MB/s
chevron_right1500 MB/s
chevron_right330k IOPS
chevron_right300k IOPS
Market Price: $105.00
Available on:
Amazon USA

Changelog

Added Products

  • February 7, 2018: Samsung 860 EVO 250GB & Samsung 860 PRO 256GB
  • September 25, 2017: Crucial BX300 240GB, ADATA SU800 3D-Nand 128GB
  • June 20, 2017: DREVO X1 Series 120GB
  • June 9, 2017: SanDisk Plus 120GB, PNY CS1311 120GB
  • February 1, 2017: OCZ TL100 240 GB
  • December 23, 2016: Corsair Force MP500 M.2 PCIe 240GB, Samsung 960 EVO M.2 PCIe 250GB, Crucial MX300 275GB
  • September 9, 2016: Corsair Force LE 240GB, SanDisk Plus 240GB, ADATA Premier SP550 M.2 240GB

Removed Products

  • February 7, 2018: Samsung 850 EVO 250GB, Samsung 850 PRO 256GB
  • March 18, 2017: Crucial MX200 250GB, Samsung 950 PRO M.2 PCIe 256GB

How did you find this guide? What kind of storage are you using? Do you use any RAID configuration? Are you planning to buy a PCIe SSD anytime soon?

Comment Below!
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