Best Solid State Drives: March 2015

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Solid State Drives continue to dip in price as time goes forward.  SSD’s provide incredibly fast data transfer, and upgrading to one of these drives could breathe life into an aging system. This upgrade will make your computer boot quicker and feel faster overall. Installing an SSD will also make your laptop more power efficient, as the drive contains no moving parts.

Check out one of our previous articles if you need more convincing: 7 Benefits of Upgrading to an SSD.

Once you buy one of these blazing fast hard drives it’s difficult to go back– we wanted to provide a comprehensive list to show you just how cheap SSDs are becoming in hopes of speeding up your system. All of these SSD choices are 2.5 inch drives, and they all support SATA 3.0. We wanted to reach our Mac users, but you can upgrade your desktop computer or Windows PC with any of these SSDs.

Overall pick: Samsung 850 EVO series

The South Korean conglomerate is known for the sheer breadth of items they produce. Their SSDs are a solid (ha ha…) choice for upgrading your laptop or desktop computer.

Here are some specs:

solid staqte

(Credit: Amazon)

Sequential Read speed: 550 MB/s

Sequential Write speed: 520 MB/s

Capacity options: 120GB, 250 GB, 500GB, or 1TB

The 120GB version costs $69.99 and the 1TB version costs $389.99, with the other capacities falling between the two. Samsung’s EVO series drives offer reasonable pricing and great performance, making them one the the best values for your dollar.

Budget Pick: Kingston Digital Series

Kingston’s drives offer slightly less performance for a lower price than other offerings. Don’t let the “lower performance” push you away because these drives are still significantly faster than a conventional hard drive.

Specs:

kingston

(Credit: Amazon)

Sequential Read speed:450 MB/s

Sequential Write speed: 450 MB/s

Capacity options: 60GB, 120GB, 240GB, 480GB, 960GB

These drives, with the exception of the 960GB version, are cheaper than many others in the SSD market. Kingston also offers a 60GB version for only $45.99 whereas many other manufacturers only go as low as 120GB. Overall this series is cheaper than average allowing for budget-seeking buyers to get in on the upgrade action.

Performance Pick: SanDisk Extreme PRO Series

Some people are budget focused, and some people are enthusiasts. We recommend this series from SanDisk for the latter group. If you’re looking for serious long-term performance, then the SanDisk drive is perfect for your needs. Here are some specs:

Sequential Read speed:550 MB/ssandisk

Sequential Write speed: 520 MB/s

Capacity Options: 240GB, 480GB, 960GB

Sandisk really believes in this product. They boast that  drive has the newest 64-gigabit 19nm MLC NAND flash memory, and they claim it’s the highest performance memory they’ve ever made.

Furthermore, If you buy an SSD from this series you get a ten year warranty. That’s huge. Users searching for a long term upgrade need look no further.

 

Business Pick: Crucial MX200 Series

Solid State drives degrade over time as data is written and erased from the device. Crucial’s MX200 series is more costly, but that’s because they claim a drive endurance five times longer than other SSDs.

(Credit: Amazon)

(Credit: Amazon)

Sequential Read speed: 550 MB/s

Sequential Write speed: 470MB/s

Capacity options: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB

These hard drives are recommended for people who do a lot of video editing or data transfer. You’re paying a premium, but you’re getting a longer-lasting drive. Crucial also offers helpful software that extends the life of the drive.

Dual Drive Pick: WD Black 2 Dual Drive

Western Digital offers a unique product in their dual drive SSD/HDD. They’re attempting to offer a “best of both worlds” approach with this drive. Installing the WD Black 2 gives you individual access to both the SSD and HDD portions of the drive.

(Credit: Amazon)

(Credit: Amazon)

Capacity: SSD- 120GB, HDD- 1TB (This is the only choice)

Hard disk speed: 5400RPM

This drive is perfect for users who want the performance of an SSD with the storage capacity of a conventional hard drive. While the individual components might not be as high-quality, and the SSD size is relatively small, this is a great choice for people who don’t want to compromise.

Closing thoughts

Buying a solid state drive will be one of the best computer choices you make for a while. They offer huge performance and energy efficiency gains whether you use a laptop or desktop computer. Just be sure you’re backing up any data you don’t want to lose and make sure you dispose of your old hard drive properly.
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About the Author
Brian Galloway is an unabashed tech geek based in Nashville, Tennessee. When he's not obsessively searching for the next computer upgrade, he's probably curled up on the couch with a book and the day's third cup of coffee.
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