The 6 Best SSDs to Buy in 2017

Finding the right SSD for your computer needs is easy

There are plenty of reasons to invest in a new internal hard drive — too many to count here. Maybe you need to upgrade an old PC, or maybe you simply want to augment an existing infrastructure. Whatever it is, the market itself can be daunting to navigate. There are lots of specs, lots of capacities and a surprisingly wide price range. Here, we’ve compiled a brief list of the best internal solid state drives based on category.

Within the past few years, Samsung has soared into the SSD market to become one of the top brands in the space. With instant name recognition, the company has been able to sell a ton of these devices — and with good reason. They’re fast, reliable, efficient and packed with useful features. It’s not exactly the cheapest SSD on the market, but the Samsung 850 EVO does come with a lengthy five-year warranty and the fairly reliable backing of Samsung customer support. The 250 GB 850 EVO, which is perhaps the most popular, well-rounded size, is available for around $90. It has a read/write speed of up to 540MB/s and 520MB/s, respectively, and it comes with a free download of Samsung Data Migration and Magician software.

SanDisk is one of the oldest names in storage, and the Extreme PRO is a perfect example of how speed, reliability, performance and price can all reach an ideal middle ground. The 240 GB capacity can be found for a little over $100, and the 480 GB version can be had for a little less than $200. That’s a steal! The Extreme PRO also has some impressive specs: It’s got a sequential read speed of up to 550 MB/s, and a maximum write speed of 515 MB/s, both of which may compete with some of the top SSDs on the market. It’s also power-efficient, compact, durable and — perhaps best of all, depending on your preferences — it comes with an unprecedented 10-year warranty. It does not offer any self-encryption features, and it has a somewhat limited endurance, but it will still outlast the CPU you attach it to. This is the ideal option if you’re looking for a 250 - 500 GB SSD on a budget, because you really can’t beat it.

Keeping with what works, the Samsung 850 EVO is also the top choice if you’re looking for a capacity north of one terabyte. It features pretty much the same hardware specs as the 250 GB version, but with a slightly longer endurance. The 1TB 850 EVO can write at least 300 TB of data before it doesn't have anymore P/E cycles, but that pretty much ensures well over a human lifetime of use. Of course, for that kind of performance, reliability and endurance, you have to expect a fairly steep price. But if you’re in the market for that much space you probably work for a film or recording studio and have the benefit of a big budget behind you. But who knows? Maybe you just take a lot of Instagram photos.

The Transcend SSD370S is a solid option if you’re looking to upgrade an old PC. It delivers fast performance, some convenient features (including encryption), strong durability and endurance, and has an affordable price, to boot. It’s got a maximum read speed of 570 MB per second and maximum write speed of 470MB/s. This is a bit slower than the Samsung 850 EVO, but it’s still guaranteed to deliver top-notch performance. And beside, what it lacks in write speed it makes up for in price. The 256 GB SSD370S costs less than $80. With shock and vibration resistance and the DevSleep ultra low power mode, you can also rely on the Transcend to deliver a fast, seamless response while also saving on power and battery life (if you’re using it in a laptop). With these specs, there are few reasons to think twice about the SSD370S, especially if you’re looking to upgrade an old laptop PC.

With a 525GB capacity, the MX300 offers sequential read and write speeds of up to 530 and 510 MB/s, respectively, and random read and write speeds of up to 92K and 83K, respectively. Boosted by Micron 3D NAND flash technology, this ensures you can boot up quickly, decrease load times and accelerate demanding applications easily. It also comes in 275GB, 1TB and 2TB options.

Extreme Energy Efficiency technology reduces the amount of active power consumed by the MX300, using just .075W of power as opposed to the 6.8W used on a standard hard drive – over 90x more efficient. As an added feature, its RAIN technology protects your data by dispersing on multiple different storage components on the drive, so if one component fails, your data is still preserved elsewhere.

The MX300 comes with a three-year warranty, but Amazon reviewers say it’s the knowledgeable Crucial tech support that wins them over. Overall, the MX300 is a feature-rich option for folks who worry about data loss, corruption or damage.

The Plextor M5P Xtreme is a fairly straightforward SSD available at a highly affordable price. There isn’t a whole lot of extra features or enterprise-grade specs, but it gets straight to the point with fast performance, optimal endurance and reliable service. The 128 GB capacity is available for just over $100, and features read/write speeds of 500 MB/s and 300 MB/s, respectively. Those specs combined with roughly $1 per GB price point make it a steal by any measure. Add in the five-year warranty and high-endurance specs and you have probably the best replacement hard drive you can find for the money. The M5P Xtreme Series boasts an estimated 2.4 million hours of mean time between failure (MTBF), which is roughly double that of competing SSDs. This thing will last a long time, and it’s well-versed enough for pretty much any use case. A solid SSD all around.

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