Best Overall

Samsung 850 EVO

Samsung 850 EVO

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The 850 EVO series (from $103.98) is Samsung's best-selling solid state drive (SSD) family, and rightfully so. While slightly more costly than competing offerings, Samsung's EVO series offers solid read and write speeds, advanced energy efficiency and reliability, and affordability when one considers what's on offer. There's a five-year warranty on each 850 EVO, and new owners will be able to enjoy up to 540MB/s read and 520MB/s write speeds.

Bottom line: This is the best SSD family when it comes to premium storage without breaking your budget.

One more thing: Samsung does not include mounting brackets for desktop PC installation.

Why the Samsung 850 EVO series is the best

We believe Samsung's 850 EVO series of SSDs is the best for consumers when it comes to picking up somewhat affordable storage.

Not everyone has $300 to invest in a new storage solution for their desktop PC or laptop, so that's where the Samsung 850 family comes into play. You can take full advantage of the company's advanced flash storage technology, all while saving some pennies. Prices start at $94.95 for the 250GB option and hit $1,761.88 if you're interested in installing a 4TB unit inside your PC.

Samsung's EVO line of SSDs offer owners up to 540MB/s read speeds and 520MB/s write speeds — all backed up by a five-year limited warranty. Should you be moving across from traditional storage solutions, any SSD will drastically improve the performance of Windows when compared to traditional spinning-platter hard drives.

Unfortunately, Samsung does not include any brackets for installation inside a desktop chassis, so those will need to be purchased separately. Other vendors offer such bundles, and we'd like to see Samsung follow suit with future revisions.

SSD Bundle

Kingston Digital UV400

Kingston UV400

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The UV400 family (from $73.34) of drives offers read and write speeds of up to 550MB/s and 490MB/s, respectively. Kingston has two variants of each drive within this product line. One is for the drive itself, and a secondary listing includes an upgrade bundle. This bundle comes with a SATA cable, USB cable, external container, MOLEX-to-SATA power converter, and a 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch bay bracket.

Bottom line: Kingston's Digital UV400 series not only performs well but looks great in a custom PC build.

One more thing: If you need one, full bundle kits are available for installation.

Premium SSD

Samsung 850 PRO

Samsung 850 PRO

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Samsung's PRO line (from $134.89) of its 850 series utilizes the company's V-NAND technology. This advanced storage platform allows Samsung to offer increased read and write performance, reliability and power management. Read and write speeds are rated at up to 550MB/s and 520MB/s, respectively. 3D V-NAND makes it so 32 cell layers can be stacked on top of one another to create higher density using a smaller footprint. Samsung claims that the 850 PRO line delivers up to twice the speed of conventional flash storage.

Bottom line: While it's more expensive, the PRO variants of the 850 series offer increased performance.

One more thing: There's a 10-year limited warranty with this family of SSDs.

Affordable SSD

SanDisk SSD Plus

Sandisk SSD Plus

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SanDisk's SSD Plus range (from $47.97) of solid state storage solutions offer improved reliability and increased transfer speeds over traditional hard drives, making them a great option for upgrades at an affordable price point. Each hard drive purchased from SanDisk also comes with a three-year warranty. Read and write speeds for the SSD Plus family are 535MB/s and 445MB/s, respectively.

Bottom line: If you need to save money but want to upgrade to SSD storage, SanDisk offers reliable solutions.

One more thing: They're not the most attractive units.

Ultimate SSD

Samsung 960 PRO M.2

Samsung 960 Pro

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Utilizing Samsung's V-NAND technology, much like the 850 PRO series of SSDs, the 960 PRO M.2 (from $299.99) offers up to 3,500MB/s and 2,100MB/s speeds for read and write, respectively. It's designed and built for those who desire components for intensive workloads. The 960 PRO is covered by a five-year warranty.

Bottom line: For ultimate performance, you'll need to look at either PCI or M.2 cards, and Samsung has you covered with the 960 PRO.

One more thing: The only downside to M.2 cards like this one is the price — they're not cheap. But boy are they fast.

Conclusion

There are many options when it comes to storage for your PC or laptop, but should you want to strike a solid balance between performance, capacity and affordability, the 850 series by Samsung are superb options. For a little more, M.2 cards are more expensive but offer superior performance.

Best overall

Samsung 850 EVO

Samsung 850 EVO

See at Amazon

The 850 EVO series (from $103.98) is Samsung's best-selling solid state drive (SSD) family, and rightfully so. While slightly more costly than competing offerings, Samsung's EVO series offers solid read and write speeds, advanced energy efficiency and reliability, and affordability when one considers what's on offer. There's a five-year warranty on each 850 EVO, and new owners will be able to enjoy up to 540MB/s read and 520MB/s write speeds.

Bottom line: This is the best SSD family when it comes to premium storage without breaking your budget.

One more thing: Samsung does not include mounting brackets for desktop PC installation.

Updated August 21, 2017: We extracted the Corsair Force LE as the Sandisk option is offers awesome value.