Best Solid State Drives review (SSD) of 2016

Is your computer booting up slow? Taking forever for your computer to search for that file in your hard drive? The wait time on the loading screen of video games way too long? To many, a Solid State Drive, or an SSD as we’ll call it, is the answer to their prayers. It’s not new technology, if you’ve used a newer laptop, odds are you’ve used an SSD. The old standard, Hard Disk Drives, or an HDD, is ancient in computer history, dating as far back as 1956, with drives that were as big as you and me. SSD technology has a much shorter history, and is quickly surpassing the HDD as the industry standard to have inside of current-day computers. A quick comparison of the two types of devices shows clearly the superiority of the SSD as the primary hard drive in your system. We will be talking about internal hard drives for these examples, and then move on to the top 5 Best Solid State Drive.

 

Speed: The SSDs time to shine. An SSD-equipped PC will boot in mere seconds. An HDD requires time to speed up to operating specs upon booting,  and will continue to be slower than an SSD throughout everyday use. It not only effects boot speed, but an app that’s on an SSD  launches and runs faster, and you can transfer files faster. Loading screens on video games are shorter. Those in the graphic arts or engineering fields, the speed of an SSD may be the difference between completing two proposals for your client, and completing ten. 

Durability:  An SSD has no moving parts, whereas an HDD has a read/write head that flies over the drive platter, finding the information that you requested. Because of this, an SSD is more likely to keep your data safe in any event that shakes your laptop or desktop, like dropping it, earthquakes, or rough handling in general. Not to mention, that with an HDD having moving parts inside of it, it has a higher likelihood of one of those parts breaking, making the hard drive obsolete.

Form Factors: Because HDDs rely on spinning platters, there is a limit to how small they can be made. SSDs, on the other hand, have no limitation, so they can continue to get smaller overtime. SSDs are available in 2.5-inch laptop drive-sized boxes, whereas the common HDD uses a 3.5-inch desktop drive-sized box. As laptops move from HDDs to SSDs, becoming slimmer and tablets take over as primary Web surfing platforms, you’ll start to see the adoption of SSDs skyrocket.

Noise: Even in the quietest of HDDs, you will hear a bit of noise when it is in use from the drive spinning or the read arm moving back and forth, particularly if it’s in a system that’s been banged about or if it’s been improperly installed in an all-metal system. Faster hard drives will make more noise than slower ones, such as 7200RPM or higher. SSDs make virtually no noise at all, since they use no parts, and rely simply on electricity to get the job done.

Price:Ok, let’s get this one out of the way. There is a downside to SSDs, and that’s the price-point of them. A 1TB internal HDD costs about $50, but an SSD of the same capacity can be anywhere from $220-$400. Woah! That’s quite a difference. But that’s because the technology of the HDD use older and more established technology, it is a lot cheaper to manufacture. SSDs, however, have dropped in price significantly over the years, and will continue to drop.

Storage Space: Alright, here’s another con to an SSD, but bear with me, this is the last one. An SSD can top out at 4tb, and more recently, the world’s biggest SSD has been unveiled by Samsung, the 16TB SSD. Not only are these high-end SSDs hard to find, their price is also way outside of budget. The typical SSD space the average computer owner will have is 500GB, sometimes opting for 256GB if it’s not quite in their budget. This causes problems with multimedia users, gamers, and businesses, where you can easily fill a drive with over a 1TB capacity. Because of this, an SSD cannot be your primary form of storage, and will need a second hard drive, likely an HDD, due to their price per gigabyte.

Overall: If it wasn’t for the price and capacity issues, SSDs would be the winner, hands down. Hard drives win on price, capacity, and availability, whereas SSDs take the lead in speed, durability, form factor, and noise. If you are a heavy multimedia user and heavy downloader, budget buyer, or general user, an HDD is the right choice for you, and can purchase one of these 5 great HDDs here (Coming soon!). If, however, you are a speed demon, a gamer, are in the graphics arts or engineering field, lover of cutting-edge technology, or just can’t sleep due to that loud whiny HDD, then one of the SSDs below will be right for you. Below you’ll find a general comparison guide of the top 5 current SSDs on the market, and a quick summary of each, and where to purchase them.

For this page, I will be comparing SSDs at the 500gb range. You can always go with a higher or lower capacity.

 NameSizePriceRead/Write Avg. Rating
#1

Samsung 850 Evo


850 Evo
500GB$154.85Read/Write Performance : Up to 540MB/s and 520MB/s Respectively, and Random Read/Write IOPS Performance : Up to 98K and 90K respectively4.8 out of 5 stars
#2

Crucial MX200


mx200
500GB$118.28Sequential reads/writes up to 555 / 500 MB/s on all file types
Random reads/writes up to 100k / 87k IOPS on all file types
4.7 out of 5 stars
#3

PNY CS1311


PNY
480GB$113.99Exceptional performance offering up to 550 MB/s seq. read and 520 MB/s seq. write speeds.
90,000 IOPS Random Read / up to 90,000 IOPS Random Write
4.7 out of 5 stars
#4

SanDisk SSD Plus


SanDisk
480GB$181.64Read/write speeds of up to: 535MB/s/445MBs4.7 out of 5 stars
#5

Samsung 850 PRO


850 Pro
512GB$222.99Ultimate Sequential Read/Write Performance : Up to 550MB/s and 520MB/s Respectively, and Random Read/Write IOPS Performance : Up to 100K and 90K Respectively4.8 out of 5 stars

1: Samsung 850 EVO

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Price: $154.99

Samsung has been the industry standard for SSDs, giving us the latest and greatest in the SSD market. the 850 EVO is no different. It’s currently the 2nd best SSD in the market, 2nd only to another Samsung product, the Samsung 850 PRO, which I talk about down below. The Samsung EVO 850 comes with software that helps you test your drive, keeps track of its age, and automatically changes settings in Windows to get the most out of the SSD.

2: Crucial MX200

Price: $179.99 ($139.00 last checked on 7/14/16 12:38PM)

Endurance wise the MX200 is one of the top drives on the market. Whether the extra endurance is needed is another question, though, because the 320TB rating in the 1TB model would translate to 175GB of writes per day for five years, which is far more than what most power users write to a drive on a daily basis, let alone the average user. The Crucial MX200 includes helpful enterprise-class features rarely available in consumer-grade SSDs. It should last a long time, and it delivers fast performance. It has top-notch encryption technology included with it, AES 256-bit encryption – the same grade used by banks and hospitals.

3: PNY CS1311

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Price: $113.99

The CS2211 is aimed at gamers and enthusiasts, and uses Toshiba 15nm MLC flash memory. The CS1311’s strongest feature is its price. PNY is very aggressive here, achieving close to 25 cents per gigabyte for three of its four capacities. At those levels, TLC-based SSDs become more attractive to folks who might have previously eschewed them. The PNY has none of the software that was provide with the Samsung Evo, but most general users would really miss it. It also doesn’t come with any cables or brackets, but it does include a spacer for those that may need one. For the price, you can’t beat the PNY 1311.

4: SanDisk SSD Plus

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Price: $149.99

The SanDisk SSD Plus comes with simple step-by-step instructions and cloning software to help you easily set up your new drive. You can also monitor the status of your favorite media applications using the SanDisk SSD Dashboard that provides tools for monitoring and optimizing system performance. This drive does not, however, come with a drive-bay converter that would help it fit in places where 3.5-inch desktop drives are used.

5: Samsung 850 PRO

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Price: $222.99 

The Samsung 850 PRO is the next installment after the EVO series, my number 1 choice. Why do I have ranked lower than the EVO? Because the PRO has slightly better performance and lower power consumption than the EVO, however, you probably won’t notice the difference unless you are doing head-to-head performance testing. The biggest downfall of this SSD, and the main reason I have it ranked lower, is the price tag. However, along with the high price, the PRO version achieves its storage size through the use of MLC NAND technology, which lasts longer than the EVOs TLC NAND technology. However, by the time either drives wear out, you’ll have likely upgraded your drives. However,  the Samsung 850 PRO SSD redefines storage with the world’s first drive based on 3D VNAND flash, offering exceptional read/write performance, reliability and power management efficiency. The next leading SSD for performance, endurance and energy efficiency. It’s cutting-edge, and if you want the best in the market, than the 850 PRO is right for you.