Below is a list of the top 5 SSD drives currently. This list is updated once a year to stay current and to ensure any new drives on the market have a fair chance for user review before being added to the top 5.
What is an SSD?
An SSD is a Solid State Drive. This is because SSD’s don’t have any moving parts like their predecessor the HDD or Hard Disk Drive. SATA SSD’s run on the same interface as HDDs but are significantly faster and come with a price tag. For certain applications their speed improvements are worth the extra money for less capacity compared to the top HDD. For example they make incredible start up disks and can give any computer a new lease of life.
How to check if your computer is compatible with an SSD.
SSDs are compatible with almost all desktop and laptop computers with the exception of new slimbooks that tend to use M.2 NVME drives. But basically, if your computer motherboard uses SATA it can use an SSD.
Top 5 tips for a successful installation.
SSDs are relatively easy to install and will vary from PC to PC, rather than compile a guide we have listed our top 5 tips to make sure things go smoothly. If you are replacing an HDD it is as simple as removing the HDD and putting the SSD in its place, depending on the size of your HDD you may need an adapter for an SSD which are typically sized at 2.5″. Most computer manufacturers off a guide for upgrading components like drives.
- Power off. Seems obvious but it’s an easy mistake to make. Turn the power off on your computer and leave it a minimum of 30 mins before you dive in to let any capacitance charge dissipate.
- Ground yourself. Make sure you don’t have a static charge by touching a metal object to ground yourself. A static shock to a hard drive can destroy it before you have even begun.
- Youtube is your friend. As you can see by the reviews, thousands upon thousands of people own these drives and have done this before you. Some of these people make very good youtube channels explaining exactly how they did it. Look for them!
- Read the manual. That’s right, go back to the trash can and pull it back out and have a read, there is nothing worse than installing something and discovering you have a spare screw and you don’t know where it should have gone.
- Use the manufacturer’s software. Most of these drives come with some sort of cloning software so that once they are installed you can migrate your operating system to them seamlessly.
Top 5 SSDs for under $100
This list has been compiled by recommendations from friends and colleagues and also average customer reviews and feedback. Here are the main factors I have taken into consideration.
Size. Most SSDs are 2.5″ formfactor with a SATA connection so that is what I have concentrated on.
Speed. Any SSD you want to use to replace an HDD is going to be alot faster, the bottleneck here is the SATA connection.
Price. I have tried to keep the selection under $100 as that seems like a reasonable price for what you get out of these drives.
Capacity. I have chosen 1TB drives where possible as this seems to be the best payoff to keep the price under $100, but they do vary and they come with options so you can take the spec and apply it to your desired capacity but note that the price will increase or decrease accordingly.
Reviews. I haven’t recommended anything with less than 87% 5* reviews. When you are in unchartered waters it is the best way to look for reliability and any niggles that might crop up for you.
1. SAMSUNG 870 QVO 1TB
These drive just tip over the $100 mark but the smallest option is 1TB and they are the latest gen of the Samsung lineup with improved speeds.
- Up to 560MB/s read and 530MB/s writes speeds.
- SATA iii 2.5″.
- Samsung’s Magician Software to enhance performance.
- 3-year limited warranty or 360 TBW (Terabytes Written).
2. Crucial BX500 1TB
I have used Crucial SSDs quite a few times and have found them to be grat value for money. Infact I have just brought this drive for my moms computer. They don’t have much pazaz but they work well and are trusted.
- Up to 540MB/s read and 500MB/s write
- SATA 3D NAND
- 45x more energy efficient than HDD.
- 3-year manufacturer’s limited warranty
3. Western Digital 1TB WD Blue
The WD – Blue range is designed to outperform the WD – Green range which comes at the cost of a little more power consumption but the speeds are what make this drive worth the extra price tag.
- Up to 560MB/s read and 530MB/s write
- SATA III 3D NAND
- 5 – year manufacturers limited warranty or up to 600tbw (Terabytes Written)
- Over 22,000 5* reviews
4. TEAMGROUP GX2 1TB
Hitting the list as a bit of an unknown brand. Team Group Inc. is a Taiwanese company specializing in memory products since 1997. The price is lower and they offer a lifetime warranty… you’ll lose a bit of speed at this price point but I’ll let the reviews speak for themselves.
- Up to 530MB/s read and 480MB/s write
- SATA III
- Ultralow power consumption
- Lifetime warranty
5. SanDisk SSD PLUS 1TB
SanDisk is likely a name you have seen on a thumb drive somewhere and they know a thing or two about memory. This drive is advertised as shockproof and temperature resistant and comes in at a good price point for a flagship SSD.
- Up to 535MB/s read and 450MB/s write
- SATA III
- Shock-resistant up to 1500g and temperature resistant from 0 – 79 degrees C.
- 3-year limited warranty
BONUS RECOMMENDATION -Seagate FireCuda 120 SSD 500GB
I mean, who doesn’t love a bonus. The FireCuda drives are known for getting the absolute most out of a SATA III interface. They are rapid and come at a price tag, but if you drop the capacity you can get one for under $100.
- Up to 560MB/s read and 540MB/s write
- SSD III 3dNAND
- 5-year limited warranty
- 3-year rescue service!