It’s that time of the year again where prices are expected to go down and people are expected to buy stuff. For us PC enthusiasts, system builders and PC gamers, it’s a great time to upgrade and buy new PC components and accessories. It’s also this time around (Q4) when new products are injected into the market for those who want to stay up to date and have the latest and fastest hardware around. For those who are planning to buy or upgrade their storage drive(s) into something faster, like an SSD or NVMe SSD, this is your chance since as we see it prices are starting to go down. Also we have updated this article since there are new, larger (capacities) and better SATA SSDs available; and for those who simply crave for the fastest around, M.2 NVMe SSDs are available to satisfy your demand for speed. During this special season, below are some of our recommended and best SSDs that you should definitely consider; starting from the budget friendly SSDs, to the high performance SSDs, and for the enthusiasts who simply want the best and fastest around.
Must Have SSDs this November 2017 (Black Friday and Cyber Monday)
Best Budget Friendly SATA SSD
Below are some of the budget friendly SSDs that we recommend. These SSDs may not be the fastest around, but they generally offer a decent speed that is significantly faster than a hard drive. These budget friendly SSDs can reduce boot up / loading / wake up and shut down times, compared to a hard drive. However, compared to the higher end SSDs (below), they may not be as feature rich, has shorter warranty or endurance rating; but they are cheaper and a good place to start for those who just want to make that shift to the fast lane. Note: actual read/write speed is usually or may be lower compared to the advertised speeds.
SanDisk SSD Plus
The SanDisk SSD Plus has been in the market for quite some time. But the company has updated this series and the newer version has the following product numbers: SDSSDA-120G-G27 for the 120GB, SDSSDA-240G-G26 for the 240GB, SDSSDA-480G-G26 for the 480GB, SDSSDA-960G-G26 for the 960GB. Be sure to check out the product number specially the last two digits to ensure that you are getting the latest version of the SanDisk SSD Plus. The SSD Plus features sequential read speeds of up to 535MB/s and up to 450MB/s of sequential write speed. Read/write speeds varies from capacities so be sure to check those numbers. It’s available in 120GB, 240GB, 480GB and 960GB capacities.
Crucial BX300 SSD
Next is also a new SSD released last late August and this time it’s from Crucial; it’s the new Crucial BX300 SSD. It features a 3D NAND MLC 16nm 256bit NAND chip from Micron and uses a newer Silicon Motion SM2258 for its controller. It features a sequential read speeds of up to 555MB/s and sequential write speeds of up to 510MB/s. It also has a write endurance from 55TB up to 160TB depending on the capacity. Speaking of capacity, the Crucial BX300 has only three capacities available: a 120GB, 240GB and 480GB. I think the capacity is only the limiting factor of this new series. But in term of performance and value, the BX300 really hits those spot. You can check out our review of the Crucial BX300 SSD here.
Best Solid to High Performance SATA SSD
Now let’s move to the solid performing and high performance SATA SSDs. These SSDs are (usually and slightly) faster compared to the entry level SSDs mentioned above. They are also built with more features and usually have a higher endurance rating. This means that under normal circumstances, not only that they should perform faster but they are expected to last longer as well. If you simply want the fastest SATA SSDs around without worrying too much on the cost, consider the following SSDs below. Note: again, actual read/write speed is usually or may be lower compared to the advertised speeds.
Crucial MX300 SSD
The Crucial MX300 SSD is the company’s latest high performance SATA SSD, and it’s also the 3rd generation of their MX series. The MX300 SSD is powered with a Marvell 88SS1074 4-channel controller and features Micron 3D NAND flash technology. It offers sequential read/write speeds of up to 530MB/s and 510MB/s respectively and is available in 5 different capacities: 275GB, 525GB, 750GB, 1TB and 2TB. It also features hardware encryption such as AES 256-bit encryption, TCG Opal 2.0-compliant, IEEE-1667-compliant, and Compatible with Microsoft eDrive. Crucial built the MX300 with Dynamic Write Acceleration, RAIN and other advanced features. You also get the Acronis True Image HD data transfer software with every MX300 SSD. It’s also noteworthy to mention that Crucial’s MX300 SSDs, though slightly slower vs the other SSDs in this category, they are cheaper compared to the higher performance SSDs below.
WD Blue SSD 3D
After Western Digital has acquired SanDisk, WD has released their first series of SSD, the WD Blue and WD Green. WD recently updated their WD Blue SSD series, now built with SanDisk 64-layer 3D TLC and features Marvell 88SS1074 controller. The WD Blue SSD 3D is a solid performing SSD offering sequential speeds of up to 560 MB/s read and 530 MB/s write. It’s also more power efficient compared to the previous generation and features an industry-leading 1.75M hours mean time to failure and up to 500TB written for enhanced reliability. It feature tiered caching technology and is optimized for multitasking to simultaneously run resource-heavy applications without system slow-down. It’s available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities; and available in both standard 2.5″ 7mm SATA and M.2 2280 SATA form factors.
SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD
WD also updated the SanDisk Ultra SSD, now equipped with 3D NAND technology and because of that we’ve included it on this list. Just like the WD Blue SSD 3D, the SanDisk Ultra 3D also features Marvell 88SS1074 controller and SanDisk 64-layer 3D TLC NAND. It’s also capable of speeds up to 560MB/s sequential read and 530MB/s sequential write; or up to 95,000 4KB random read IOPS and up to 84,000 4KB random write IOPS. It also has a write endurance of up to 500TB (2TB capacity) and a 3-year warranty. Both the SanDisk Ultra 3D and WD Blue SSD 3D are very much the same. I guess the only difference is the branding, and the SanDisk variant doesn’t offer an M.2 version. The prices could be slightly different so get whichever is cheaper between the two.
Samsung 850 EVO SSD
Next is the Samsung 850 EVO, yes this is not a new product as it has been in the market for (almost) a couple of years now. Nevertheless, the Samsung 850 EVO is still one of the best SSDs around. The 850 EVO is powered by Samsung’s MHX controller paired with 3D V-NAND flash technology. Note that Samsung has updated their 850 EVO and I think the newer ones are already built with the new revision/version of Samsung’s V-NAND flash. It offers sequential speeds of up to 540MB/s read and 520MB/s write and up to 98K and 90K IOPs 4K random read and write respectively. It’s also built with hardware based encryption and the 850 EVO is now available in capacities starting 250GB, up to 4TB. Samsung is also offering a 5 year limited warranty for the 850 EVO. If you have the budget, this is simply the next option if you think the 850 PRO is too expensive for you already.
Samsung 850 PRO SSD
Finally, the Samsung 850 PRO is still the best SATA based SSD you can get. Other companies tried to compete and dethrone the 850 PRO, but its performance and set of features is unbeatable. The only thing they can beat is its price. Like the 850 EVO, the 850 PRO has been in the market for quite some time. It’s basically the world’s first consumer SSD powered by Samsung V-NAND technology. It offers sequential read and write speeds of up to 550MB/s and 520MB/s respective and up to 100K IOPS 4K random read and 90K IOPS 4K random write. It features full hardware encryption, 10 year limited warranty and is now available in capacities from 128GB up to 2TB. If you want the best SATA SSD without budget constraint, then consider the 850 PRO.
Best M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD
SATA based SSD has already reached its maximum potential speed due to the SATA 6Gbps speed restriction. But that didn’t stopped SSDs from evolving into something faster. Now, for those who simply crave for the fastest SSD around (money no object), there’s what you call the NMVe SSDs. This type of SSDs is insanely fast! And guess who is also leading on the NVMe SSD market? See below…
NOTE: You must have a motherboard with an M.2 slot that supports PCIE NVMe SSDs, otherwise this will not work in your system. Another option is to use an add-in M.2 PCIe adapter and install it on the PCIe slot of the motherboard.
Toshiba OCZ RD400 M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD
First on our list is the Toshiba OCZ RD400 M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD. This is one of latest SSD offering from the company and they are also the first to offer a wider range of capacity for NVMe SSDs. Not to mention, Toshiba is not only offering the RD400 in M.2 form factor alone, but there is also the RD400A that includes a PCIe add-in adapter in case your motherboard doesn’t have an M.2 slot. The OCZ RD400 is powered by a Toshiba controller paired with MLC NAND flash technology. It is a very fast NVMe SSD offering sequential speeds of up to 2,600 MB/s read and 1,150MB/s write; and up to 210K 4KiB IOPS random read and 140K 4KiB IOPS random write. But still, not the fastest around based on our review. It is available in capacities of 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB and based on our current price check it is cheaper compared to Samsung’s offering. Toshiba is also offering 5 years advanced warranty program for the RD400.
Corsair MP500 NVMe SSD
Corsair released their first NVMe SSD late last year – the Corsair Force Series MP500 NVMe SSD. To date, it is one of the fastest NVMe SSD you can buy in market. It is equipped with a Phison PS5007-E7 NVMe controller and features a high-bandwidth PCIe Gen.3 x4 M.2 2280 interface. The MP500 could reach speeds of up to 3,000MB/s sequential read speeds and up to 2,400MB/s sequential write speeds or up to 210K IOPs random write and up to 250K IOPs random read. It also features proprietary SmartECC, SmartRefresh and SmartFlush technologies. These technologies safeguard data against corruption in case of unexpected power loss or unsafe shutdown, while static and dynamic wear-leveling enhance drive reliability. It comes with a limited 3-year warranty and it’s available in 120GB, 240GB, 480GB and 960GB.
Samsung 960 PRO and 960 EVO M.2 NVMe SSD
A couple of months ago, Samsung announced their latest and fastest NVMe SSDs – the Samsung 960 PRO and 960 EVO. These are basically the successor of the 850 PRO, offering faster speed and wider range of capacities. The Samsung 950 PRO/EVO M.2 NVMe SSDs are built with Samsung’s latest Polaris controller, paired with Samsung’s 48-layer MLC V-NAND flash technology. The 950 PRO offers sequential read/write speeds of up to 3,500 MB/s and 2,100 MB/s respectively; and is available in 512GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities. Meanwhile, the 960 EVO offers sequential read/write speeds of up to 3,200MB/s and 1,900MB/s respectively and is available in 250GB, 500GB and 1TB capacities. Both M.2 NVMe SSDs features Dynamic Thermal Guard technology and is compliant with all NVMe specifications. Aside from the speeds, the 960 PRO and EVO also differ in warranty. Samsung is offering a 5 year warranty for the 950 PRO, while only 3 years for the 960 EVO.