Installing an SSD can be considered more than just an upgrade; it’s more akin to completely transforming your PC. Here is a look at some of the best consumer-class SSDs that you can get in 2016.
If you want to give your computer a new lease on life, then installing a brand new SSD is one of the most economical ways to do it. This SSD will read, write, and multi-task at blinding speeds. This makes starting up your computer, running applications, and the overall performance of your computer much faster.
One of the reasons that people are a little turned off by SSDs is their size. Right now it can cost up to ÷,500 for a 15TB SSD from Samsung, and that’s the biggest drive you can get unless you want to go all the way up to 32TB. One solution is to combine an SSD with an old fashioned magnetic drive to give yourself the best of both worlds; size, speed, and performance.
Even the smallest SSD is easily capable of holding a Windows installation. If there’s anything else you want, you can put it in the conventional hard disk. A recent survey also suggested that an SSD isn’t much more reliable than an HDD anyway, so it’s not like you’re compromising your data by not storing it in the SSD.
The problem that arises with this setup is applications. Applications enjoy storage performance too, especially if you’re someone who plays a lot of games. A good sized game library is really going to eat away at your hard drive. You could need up to 500GB at the least to keep your games on your computer.
You can find SSDs in many different forms, shapes, sizes and interfaces. So always take a look at the product specifications and read through the manual for the motherboard/product, so you know what you’re buying. If you can’t tell for sure that the SSD will be compatible with your motherboard, then you can always give the support center a call to find out.
This is where we’ll take a look at the best SSD at SATA, mSATA, M.2 SATA, PCIe and standard PCI models that you can find on the market. Remember that a PCIe drive will typically do a better job than an SATA drive, but they also have a higher price tag as a result.
We deliberately left “ultra-premium” SSDs out of our reviews. These SSDs are super expensive and, to us, the best SSDs offer an excellent balance between price and features along with high average customer satisfaction.
Best SATA SSD 2016:
1. Samsung 850 Evo 500GB
The Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SSD is one of the most impressive SSDs we’ve seen when it comes to leading technology and speed. We tested the drive and found that it can perform consistently better than the competition.
If you’re looking to invest in an SSD to upgrade your computer or replace your older generation SSD, then you’re looking at one of the best SSDs of 2016.
Average Sequential Benchmark (Based on 30,455 samples*):
Read : 490 MB/s
Write : 388 MB/s
2. Kingston KC400 SSDNow 512GB
This Kingston KC400 SSDNow availabe in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB capacity. This product is a great SSD you can trust to provide high-speed performance across some benchmarks. We can easily recommend that anyone looking to replace their old HDD or SSD should consider the Kingston KC400.
KC400 provides end-to-end data path protection, SmartECC to guard data along with SmartRefresh to protect against read errors. Data is automatically rebuilt if there’s an error. This drive is also able to recover from an unexpected power shutdown, thanks to its firmware-controlled power loss management. Kingston also has a reputation for excellent support!
Average Sequential Benchmark (Based on 91 samples*):
Read 504 MB/s
Write 472 MB/s
3. Samsung 850 PRO 512GB
We wanted to include the Samsung 850 PRO during our round up of the best SSDs of last year, but it just missed out. Even though it’s technically a year out of date, it’s still one of the best SSDs on the market and could reasonably be called the best SATA SSD in the world.
More new PCIe drives might outperform the 850 PRO, including the XP941 by Samsung, but if your PC is SATA-based and you want to give it the best storage that you can buy then the 850 PRO is the SSD storage solution for your computer.
Average Sequential Benchmark (Based on 5,049 samples)*:
Read 500 MB/s
Write 448 MB/s
4. Toshiba Q300 480GB (2016 Version)
The Toshiba Q300 480GB (2016 Version) SSD comes with a lower price tag than most of the competition, but it’s still able to give you excellent performance across the board. If you’re looking for a budget friendly SSD, then you can’t go wrong with the Toshiba Q300.
It’s one of the best SSDs when it comes to writing speeds designed for gamers and creative professionals, and it features an adaptive size SLC Write Cache technology. This technology gives the Q300 the power to enable SLC-like performance, which means that your computer goes faster while eating up less power.
Average Sequential Bench (based on PCAdvisor):
Read 563.2 MB/s
Write 531.1 MB/s
5. SanDisk Extreme PRO 480GB
The best consumer SSD from SanDisk comes with a generous 10-year guarantee, and it gives you excellent performance at a reasonable price. It works out at around 36pence per gigabyte which is great value for an SSD and one of the reasons that we believe this is one of the best SSDs on the market today despite the fact it’s a year old.
Our favorite feature is the automatic monitoring of device temperature. It alerts the drive to throttle down as needed in order to preserve the integrity of your data.
Average Sequential Benchmark (Based on 858 samples*):
Read 479 MB/s
Write 442 MB/s
Best PCIe SSDs 2016:
1. Samsung 950 Pro Series 512GB
The Samsung 950 Pro is an ideal SSD for anyone looking for something capable of running high demand applications. It makes your PC faster, more efficient, and improves battery life. The 950 PRO comes with V-NAND technology and an NVMe interface, which means that it can handle even the most intense workloads without compromising efficiency.
The 950 PRO SSD features 3D vertical NAND (V-NAND) technology that stacks cell layers on top of one another to increase density, performance, and efficiency while creating a smaller footprint. It offers incredible read and write speeds and a generous storage capacity of 256GB and 512GB.
Average Sequential Benchmark (Based on 7,570 samples*):
Read 1,924 MB/s
Write 1,248 MB/s
2. Patriot Hellfire 480GB
The Patriot Hellfire is the first M.2 2280 design made with the Phison PS5007-E7 SSD controller. This drive runs using premium Toshiba 15nm MLC flash, which means that it isn’t able to 600p regarding price, but it can deliver a higher performance and offers better endurance at every turn.
Much like the 600p this SSD might only be considered one of the best for a short time as more mainstream and entry-level SSDs are being released shortly.
Sequential Benchmark (Based on Tomshardware):
Read 1353 MB/s
Write 1549 M/s
3. Kingston HyperX Predator 480GB
The Kingston HyperX Predator comes with a PCIe Gen 2.0 x4 interface to deliver you high performance along with an M.2 form factor to make it compatible with the next generation of desktop computers featuring an M.2 PCIe slot.
You can also purchase an HHHL (Half-Height, Half-Length) adapter that makes the SSD compatible with many motherboards that have at least a PCI x4 slot. To make the HHHL adapter compatible with slim profile desktop builds it comes with both standard and low-profile brackets.
Average Sequential Benchmark (Based on 236 samples*):
Read 1,089 MB/s
Write 900 MB/s
4. Intel SSD 600p 512GB
The Intel 600p 512GB SSD belongs on this list by default. It has quite the price lead over current NVMe products, but this is going to change over the coming months as more are released. Intel recently increased the 600p 512GB endurance rating up to 288TBW, which puts it in a competitive position compared to similar products.
Smart shoppers should think about the low sequential write performance. This comes from the lack of a direct-to-die write algorithm. The testing we performed showed that this drive is faster than other premium SATA-based products when it comes to use in the real world.
Average Sequential Bench (Based on 124 samples*):
Read 173 MB/s
Write 179 MB/s
5. Toshiba OCZ RD400 512GB
The Toshiba series of OCZ RD400 SSDs are designed to push the boundaries of high-end computing even further. The next generation NVMe interface of the OCZ RD400 provides users with a more responsive PC while also delivering shorter storage latency than one would get from a traditional hard drive and SATA SSD.
As well as providing a high performance, this SSD is designed to work great with mobiles, desktops, and workstations.
Average Sequential Bench (Based on 1 sample*):
Read 1,849 MB/s
Write 1,168 MB/s
The Best mSATA SSD 2016:
1. Samsung 850 EVO mSATA SSD 500GB
The Samsung 850 EVO mSATA SSD comes with Samsung V-NAND technology and protection from a Dynamic Thermal Guard. As such, the 850 EVO ensures that your data will be kept in one piece no matter how heavy the workload you put on the SSD.
The SSD comes with an ultrathin mSATA form factor that makes it perfect for an Ultrabook or laptop. It’s also able to handle even the most intensive tasks including video gaming, editing, and data analysis thanks to the blinding read/write speeds and TurboWrite technology.
Average Sequential Benchmark (Based on 350 samples*):
Read 491 MB/s
Write 389 MB/s
2. Crucial MX200 500GB
The MX100 set a new standard for SSDs when it was released, and now the legacy is continued with the Crucial MX200 SSD. The MX200 features Dynamic Write Acceleration technology and offers some of the best specs in the game to bring you a wide range of innovation features to instantly boost the performance of your system.
MX200 features RAIN technology to protect your data at the component level, similar to how RAID is used with multiple hard drives. RAIN increases the security and protection of the data to a level that’s rarely seen in consumer-class SSDs.
Average Sequential Benchmark (Based on 117 samples*):
Read 496 MB/s
Write 373 MB/s
3. Kingston SSDNow mS200 120GB
The Kingston SSDNow mS200 SATA SSD delivers you an effective performance boost at a reasonable price, along with a dual-drive option to give you the ability to attach an HDD for extra storage space. This SSD is ideal for people who build their systems, OEMs, and enthusiasts.
The minuscule form factor of the mS200 does more than just look cool; it’s also eight times smaller than your traditional 2.5″ hard drive, which means that it works perfectly with notebooks, tablets, and ultrabooks.
Average Sequential Benchmark (Based on 264 samples*):
Read 468 MB/s
Write 171 MB/s
4. MyDigitalSSD BP4e 480GB
The BP4e is the best-selling SSD MyDigitalSSD currently sells. It features a Phison 10 controller to deliver even better performance to users. The BP4e V2 SSD has almost too many features and includes improved Random Read/Write Performance and IOPS, better performance endurance. That means that it should never slow down no matter how much data you store, an extended drive life, reliability, low power usage, and the kind of unbeatable price to performance ratio you’d expect from the MyDigitalSSD Bullet Proof SSDs.
Average Sequential Benchmark (Based on 3 samples*):
Read 487 MB/s
Write 418 MB/s
5. Transcend MSA370 256GB
The MSA370 SATA III 6Gb/s mSATA SSD from Transcend delivers a combination of incredible transfer speeds, an ultra-compact size, light-weight, resistance to both shock and vibration, and DevSleep support to ensure that your notebook is as fast, light, reliable, and long-lasting as possible.
The MSA370 supports the use of Intel Smart Response Technology (ISRT) which means that you can configure your computer to use the SSD as cache memory between the system memory and the HDD.
Average Sequential Benchmark (Based on 25 samples*):
Read 492 MB/s
Write 291 MB/s
SSDs Buying Advice
Solid-State-Drive has been the standard-issue storage option for tablets and smartphones. It works so well on mobile devices because of the small but sturdy nature of the SSD. The same benefits can be enjoyed with desktop PCs and laptops, but the main advantage of the SSD for computers will always be that they are so much faster and responsive than a traditional HDD.
Rather than using a fragile magnetic disk that spins around at 90 or 120 times a second, an SSD uses shock-resistant silicon chips to store binary data. While people often confuse the words “memory” and “storage” the lines do get somewhat blurred with NAND flash technology, which is basically non-volatile memory. To put it simply it is RAM that works just as well when there’s no power.
As well as being physically resilient, silent, smaller, and lighter than an HDD another of the main reasons to switch to flash is the data-hurtling performance. With electronic flash memory, the bits of data can be read and written hundreds of thousands of times faster than with a conventional HDD.
All this speed is about much more than just bragging about how much faster things are. While desktop PC users may still enjoy having the fastest processor and the best graphics card, SSD performance is about improving the overall user experience; applications load instantly, web pages open up faster, and files can be moved in a fraction of the amount of time it takes with an SDD.
To put it simply it doesn’t matter if your processor has “Intel” or “AMD” on it, or anything in between; what is important is that an SSD makes it much faster and responsive. The only problem that there is with SSDs is how much it can cost to get yourself a proper high-end model.
*) Real user benchmark taken from UserBenchmark.