Best overall

Samsung 860 EVO

The 860 EVO series (from $76.70) 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, reliability, and affordability. There's a five-year warranty on each 860 EVO, and new owners will be able to enjoy up to 550MB/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 (available as optional extras).

See at Amazon

Why the Samsung 860 EVO series is the best

We believe Samsung's 860 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 $79.99 for the 250GB option and hit $1,095 if you're interested in installing a 4TB unit inside your PC.

Samsung's EVO line of SSDs offer owners up to 550MB/s read speeds and 520MB/s write speeds — all backed up by a five-year limited warranty. Samsung offers brackets for installation inside a desktop chassis, but these need to be purchased separately or as a bundle.

Best SSD bundle

Kingston Digital UV400

The UV400 family (from around $42) of drives offers read and write speeds of up to 550MB/s and 350MB/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 inside a custom PC build.

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

See at Amazon

Best premium SSD

Samsung 860 PRO

Samsung's PRO line (from $117) of its 860 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 560MB/s and 530MB/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 860 PRO line delivers up to twice the speed of conventional flash storage.

Bottom line: While it's more expensive, the PRO variants of the 860 series offer increased performance.

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

See at Amazon

Best affordable SSD

SanDisk SSD Plus

SanDisk's SSD Plus range (from $35.99) of solid-state storage solutions offers 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 530MB/s and 440MB/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 but they get the job done.

See at Amazon

Best ultimate SSD

Samsung 970 PRO M.2

Utilizing Samsung's V-NAND technology, much like the 860 PRO series of SSDs, the 970 PRO M.2 (from $229.99) offers up to 3,500MB/s and 2,700MB/s speeds for read and write, respectively. It's designed and built for those who desire components for intensive workloads. The 970 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 970 PRO M.2.

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.

See at Amazon

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 860 Evo and Pro series by Samsung are superb options. For a little more, M.2 cards are more expensive but offer superior performance.

Best overall

Samsung 860 EVO

The 860 EVO series (from $76.70) 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, reliability, and affordability. There's a five-year warranty on each 860 EVO, and new owners will be able to enjoy up to 550MB/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 (available as optional extras).

See at Amazon

Updated July 17, 2018: We updated this guide to make sure it includes only the best SSDs for Windows 10. And it does.