Best Solid State Drives in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update January 18, 2021
It is impossible to imagine a modern gaming or multimedia PC without an SSD drive. The most important advantages of SSDs are high performance, minimum power consumption and a high rate of read/write. Here is the list of the most popular solid-state drives, which you can buy. ...Read more ...Read less
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BEST 2021
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Connection Interface
Capacity
Read/Write speed
NAND Flash
Extras
Warranty
 
PROS

With the V-NAND Flash implemented, Samsung has enhanced their SSD in durability and capacity departments: almost 50% more compared to the TLC 3D NAND Flash.

CONS

Some users find the software interface somewhat inconvenient.

OUR VERDICT

The Samsung 960 EVO is a new word in the world of SSDs when it comes to the read/write speeds and reliability, the former mostly thanks to the Samsung Intelligent TurboWrite technology used here.

detailed parameters
Connection Interface

2.5-inch, 7 mm

SATA 6 Gb/s (compatible with SATA 3 Gb/s and SATA 1.5 Gb/s)

Capacity

1 TB (250 GB, 500 GB, 2 TB and 4 TB also available)

Read/Write speed

Up to 550MB per sec / Up to 520MB per sec

NAND Flash

MLC V-NAND Flash

Extras

Self-Monitoring and Reporting Technology (SMART), TRIM support, AES 256-bit hardware-based encryption support, Magician Software for SSD management

Warranty

5 years or 600 TBW (whichever comes first)

PROS

A licensed migrating software package from SanDisk allows cloning an existing drive to the SSD and moving it to a new system with ease to match. Likewise, the package includes a scanning application that helps in keeping the SSD in a working state.

CONS

The actual writing speed is a bit slower than stated.

OUR VERDICT

Simple installation and easy migration are, perhaps, the main selling points of this SSD model. Moreover, it is fairly fast when it comes to the write/read speeds, which allows negating long loading times of resource-demanding software.

detailed parameters
Connection Interface

2.5-inch, 7 mm

SATA 6 Gb/s (compatible with SATA 3 Gb/s and SATA 1.5 Gb/s)

Capacity

1 TB (250 GB, 500 GB, 2 TB and 4 TB also available)

Read/Write speed

Up to 560MB per sec / Up to 530MB per sec

NAND Flash

TLC 3D NAND flash

Extras

Self-Monitoring and Reporting Technology (SMART), TRIM support, nCACHE™ 2.0 technology, SanDisk® Dashboard Software for SSD management

Warranty

5 years

PROS

The 2.5-inch SATA III interface paired with a 9.5-mm adapter makes this solid-state model compatible with virtually any modern PC and laptop out there.

CONS

Relatively short warranty period.

OUR VERDICT

If you're tired of an old laptop or want to build a new PC from scratch, this Crucial BX500 SSD will come in handy. Available in a multitude of different capacity options, it is small enough to fit most systems as long as they have a mounting bracket installed.

detailed parameters
Connection Interface

2.5-inch, 7mm (9.5 mm adapter included)

SATA 6 Gb/s (compatible with SATA 3 Gb/s and SATA 1.5 Gb/s)

Capacity

1 TB (120 GB, 240 Gb, 480 GB, 2 TB also available)

Read/Write speed

Up to 540MB per sec / Up to 500MB per sec

NAND Flash

TLC 3D NAND flash

Extras

Self-Monitoring and Reporting Technology (SMART), TRIM support, Crucial Storage Executive Software for SSD management

Warranty

3 years

PROS

The Integrated Power Loss Immunity makes it virtually impossible to lose data due to a power outage, which can save the day worth of work in some cases.

CONS

Heats up when the load is high.

OUR VERDICT

The Crucial MX500 SSD can boost your computer's performance in a way that is noticeable: copying data will take up far less time and the system, as well as apps, will launch in a blink.

detailed parameters
Connection Interface

2.5-inch, 7 mm (9.5 mm adapter included)

SATA 6 Gb/s (compatible with SATA 3 Gb/s and SATA 1.5 Gb/s)

Capacity

500 GB (250 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB also available)

Read/Write speed

Up to 560MB per sec / Up to 510MB per sec

NAND Flash

TLC 3D NAND flash

Extras

Self-Monitoring and Reporting Technology (SMART), TRIM support, Integrated Power Loss Immunity, Adaptive Thermal Protection, Crucial Storage Executive software for SSD management

Warranty

5 years

PROS

The MTTF of this model is 1.75M hours, one of the longest for current SSDs. The same goes for its TBW parameter. Your data will be safe and sound for the longest time.

CONS

The software from WD to clone old drive only works with a regular WD hard drive.

OUR VERDICT

WD Blue solid state drive has passed a WD F.I.T. Lab certification meaning it has proven the ability to offer its top performance in next to all systems. The reading and writing speeds will satisfy the most demanding users.

detailed parameters
Connection Interface

2.5-inch, 7 mm

SATA 6 Gb/s (compatible with SATA 3 Gb/s and SATA 1.5 Gb/s)

Capacity

500 GB (250 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB also available)

Read/Write speed

Up to 560MB per sec / Up to 530MB per sec

NAND Flash

TLC 3D NAND flash

Extras

Self-Monitoring and Reporting Technology (SMART), TRIM support, WD F.I.T. Lab certified, WD Dashboard software for SSD management

Warranty

5 years

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Samsung 860 EVO

NEW BEST-SELLING FAMILY MEMBER

The EVO series is the most popular SSD series not only among Samsung models but in general throughout the industry. That is the result of the company's work on constantly upgrading their product range as well as their flexible pricing policy: with innovations being released as often as at Samsung, the previous versions slightly decrease in price, thus becoming harder to compete with for other companies.

The Samsung 860 EVO is based on an MLC V-NAND Flash. MLC drives are the best option for general consumers today: if you are looking for the fastest solid state drive for your gaming computer, for example, you probably need an MLC SSD. While SLC models a faster still, they are not found among consumer-level options and are geared towards enterprises. Though MLCs are a bit on the expensive side, mostly, they are worthy of the price in the long run.

The drive is offered in several capacities: 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB, and 4 TB. All of them offer the reading speed of up to 550 MB/s and the writing speed of 520 MB/s. The speeds are higher than the previous models' thanks to the TurboWrite technology. This technology also provides a larger buffer that enhances the performance of the SSD. For example, the buffer size for a 1 TB drive is 42 GB.

Review of Samsung 860 EVO SATA 2.5-inch Internal SSD

THE MOST RELIABLE SSD

Another remarkable spec this model is carrying is its TBW, the terabytes written. It is 150 TB for every 250 GB of capacity and is only topped by the Samsung 860 Pro. 150 TBW for every 250 GB means that, if you choose a 1TB drive, you get 600 TBW, and with a 4 GB drive that number rises to no less than 2400 TBW. That's actually very impressive, no competitor comes close to these at the moment.

The 860 EVO is faster, more reliable than its predecessors, and it also consumes less energy: 2.5 Volts as compared to 3.3 Volts of a previous model. Furthermore, it is equipped with an MJX controller, which, in its turn, works nicely with a DDR4 memory that is also known to be a low-consumption one.

The drive comes with the Magician software for monitoring it and the access to a tool for migration. The Magician is rather difficult to manage but it does offer a couple of useful features if you are ready to spend some time mastering it.

Drawing a conclusion, we'd say that this model is an undeniable winner when it comes to constant heavy loads, like with professional gaming or some similar activity. Its main selling point is durability, after all. If you use your PC more moderately, the price difference between this and some other models might not be worth it. Consider your needs and maybe check out other suggestions in this review before you decide.

P.S. This internal SSD is compatible with some ancient systems, like Windows XP with service pack 2, for example, released almost 15 years ago, in August 2004. Rare as it is nowadays, some computers still have this OS version and not many solid-state drives are capable of working with something released this much earlier than they were.

Samsung 860 EVO SATA 2.5-inch Internal SSD in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price £107.91
Stock In stock
ASIN B078WST5RK

 

SanDisk Ultra 3D NAND

Excellent Speed Rates

The SanDisk Ultra 3D NAND is a SATA 2.5-inch internal SSD model and it is one of the few combination products that will work well with both desktop PCs and laptops that are used on a daily basis.

First of all, let’s talk speed. The read and write rates of this particular SSD are a bit higher than those of regular models, reaching 560 MB/s for reading and 530 MB/s for writing. That said, the actual values can slightly differ from the ones stated by the manufacturer but not too much, so it won’t be that huge of an issue in the long run. With the drive capable of operating at various reading and writing rates, you can speed up the loading of various applications like games and Ultra HD content as well as reducing the loading speed of your operating system quite a bit (in case you install the OS on the SSD).

Connection-wise, the drive can be placed into any SATA 2.5-inch holder (7-mm data port), which makes it compatible with Windows, Linux, and macOS-based systems. The model at hand is capped at 1 TB, however, 2 TB, 4 TB, 250 GB, as well as 500 GB options are available too, so you can definitely find the one that suits you and your system.

Review of SanDisk Ultra 3D NAND SATA 2.5-inch Internal SSD

Grreat for Old and New Systems

Capacity and speed aside, the advanced 3D NAND technology implemented in this solid-state drive significantly enhances its durability as well as reduces the power usage. Owing to this, the SSD will be a good option for upgrading a laptop since it can prolong the battery life quite a bit.

Furthermore, the drive supports the newest SanDisk SSD Dashboard software that enables checking the status of its performance in real-time. The application also features cloning software that makes it easier to set up a new drive. Likewise, you are getting access to disk analysis tools that will give you more insight into how the drive works under loads. Contrary to other popular models, this drive from SanDisk operates in almost complete silence and doesn’t make the noise that bulky HDDs do. Moreover, it doesn’t feature any moving parts in its build, so it is highly unlikely to break down under shock or vibration, which ensures that your data will remain safe.

Wrapping things up, the SanDisk Ultra 3D NAND will be a good pick for users that seek to expand the existing capacity of their computer or to give a lease of service life to other systems like older laptops. The great capacity paired with low-power capabilities ultimately makes this SSD model a go-to pick for all computers regardless of size.

SanDisk Ultra 3D NAND SATA 2.5-inch Internal SSD in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £94.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B071KGRXRG

 

Crucial BX500

Compatible With Any Computer

Crucial BX500 is yet another SATA 2.5-inch SSD model that is designed for internal installation within your system. However, which features make it worthy of your attention in the first place? To answer this question, we must first take a look at its core features. 

First off, the drive offers a significant boost in performance compared to regular drives. With the data transfer rate that can reach 6 GB/s, you will be able to boot your operating system in under 10 seconds. Moreover, the sequential read and write rates can speed up all the way to 540 and 500 MB/s respectively, which enables working with various data types with lightning-fast speed.

In contrast with external SSD models, BX500 is not that well-protected by design when it comes to its housing. Fortunately, the drive itself doesn’t feature any moving parts, which protects it from vibrations and shock. Likewise, the increased energy efficiency of the solid-state design allows saving up on power and allocating it to the more demanding elements of your PC build as well as prolonging the battery life of laptops.

With a total capacity of 1 TB, the drive provides more than enough room for all the important data, favourite applications, or a couple of operational systems at the same time. However, if you want a bigger or a smaller drive, 120 GB, 240 GB, 480 GB, and 2 TB capacity variants are optionally available.

Review of Crucial BX500 SATA 2.5-inch 3D NAND Internal SSD

Small and Convenient

Another aspect that separates the Crucial BX500 from the majority of similar products is its exceptionally low profile that enables installing the drive on pretty much any PC or laptop as long as there is a 2.5-inch SATA port for it.

As a neat bonus, the kit comes equipped with a 9.5-mm adapter that enables connecting it to older systems with relative ease. The only thing we didn’t like about the packaging is the fact that the SDD comes without any installation brackets, so if you are installing the drive onto a brand new system, we recommend getting one beforehand. For an easier mounting process, this model is supported by additional cloning software and fairly simple instructions that are supplied by the manufacturer.

Finally, if you were looking for a decent affordable SSD that can compete with pricier products in terms of speed, then this model from Crucial will be right up your alley. It is light, small, and exceptionally simple in installation, and we think these features alone make it a worthy pick for the role of a budget-friendly solid-state drive.

Crucial BX500 SATA 2.5-inch 3D NAND Internal SSD in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £95.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B07YD579WM

 

Crucial MX500

UNEXPECTED BREAKTHROUGH

For the first time in a while, the Crucial brand is closing on the industry leaders, the Samsung SSD, not overcoming them yet but after the years of producing drives for lower tiers, their MX500 solid-state drive wins in the price department against EVO 850, for example, so much that the differences in performance can be overlooked as not too substantial.

This MX500 is equipped with a 64-layer TLC 3D NAND which has elevated the performance a healthy 30% compared to the 32-layer 3D NAND; the contrast with the planar NAND is even more stark. This drive is faster and more durable, with 360 TB endurance for a 1 TB drive and 700 TB for a 2 TB one. While EVO 860 has 600 TB for the 1 TB drive, winning hands down, the EVO 850 only offers 150 TB there. That's something to consider if you are looking for an SSD to use under some load but aren't willing to cough up more than £100 for 1 TB.

The Crucial SSD offers 560 MB/s sequential reading and 510 MB/s writing speed. Both numbers are more or less average for the class. At the same time, the model shows a top performance in random reading, which is a good thing.

Crucial sells their MX500 solid-state drive in four capacities: 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB. The model is not the cheapest on the SATA market but is cheaper than models from more famous brands that offer near-similar performance.

Review of Crucial MX500 3D NAND SATA 2.5-inch Internal SSD

SAFE AS THEY COME

The MX500 solid-state drive offers top-notch data protection in the case of a power loss. The feature was present in the MX series before but now it has been slightly adjusted to enhance the protection quality by reducing power requirements to maintain the signal.

Here's more. While most TCL drives use SLC buffers, the one designed by Crucial here is dynamic instead of fixed. This means its capacity is flexible: it depends on how much data there is on the flash. When the SSD is in its idle period, the technology frees some capacity that will be used when the speed-up time comes. This way, your drive writes data faster and better.

Included with the drive is the Storage Executive software. This is a collection of tools to manage your MX500. In addition to the standard set of tools, there is a tool to up the overprovisioning, i.e. allocate some more space for the controller's background operation. This will result once more in the performance boost of the drive, in general.

We've stated this at the beginning of this review but it won't hurt to repeat: the Crucial's MX500 is not the very best among the drives on today's market but its performance exceeds expectations for the devices of its price so the deal is more than nice in the end.

Crucial MX500 3D NAND SATA 2.5-inch Internal SSD in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price £53.11
Stock In stock
ASIN B0786QNS9B

 

Western Digital Blue 3D NAND

WD'S BREAKTHROUGH MODEL

The WD Blue is one of the most reliable SSD devices, with its Mean Time To Failure (MTTF) bordering on 1.75 million hours. That's almost 200 years of operation, can you imagine that? Of course, the actual lifespan depends more on the drive use and, therefore, such parameters as TBW (Terabytes Written) and DWPD (Drive Writes Per Day) but the sheer number of 200 years is still impressive.

As of 2016, Western Digital (shortened to WD) is a parent company of SanDisk, which means they have similar, if not the same, technologies used in their products. Particularly in this solid state drive, WD has implemented the 3D NAND TLC flash created for them by SanDisk. The drive has 200 TBW and approximately 0.22 DWPD for 500 GB of capacity, which is not something we'd consider too over-the-top but is really good for the price and the 5-year warranty. The price is, by the way, exceptionally moderate, low even, all things considered.

Basically, at a price below £90 for a 500 GB SSD, you get the near-top reading and writing speed SATA interface can offer: 560 MB/s and 530 MB/s respectively. Some testers claim the drive even exceeds them, if only slightly to the point of being unnoticeable during the actual use.

Review of Western Digital Blue 3D NAND SATA 2.5-inch Internal SSD

TOP AVERAGE USER BARGAIN

This solid-state drive for your desktop computer is a real energy saviour: compared to its predecessor, the traditional non-3D WD Blue, this one consumes 25% less energy while performing way better.

The WD Blue 3D NAND internal SSD has been subjected to extensive testing by the company's labs to ensure that it works with basically any system without so much as a glitch. It also comes with the access to download the WD Dashboard, free monitoring software with all the necessary tools for the drive management, including the Acronis True Image WD Edition that allows cloning the system. There is a catch here, though, and it is that this cloning tool, in particular, seems to only cooperate faultlessly when your regular hard drive is also the model from Western Digital; however, there seems to be no problem with all other tools and the general monitoring of the WD Blue drive.

This is the drive primarily for those wishing to upgrade to better manage their everyday computer-related tasks. It is not a gaming or video editing model, at least not for anything hardcore, but it does offer high quality, endurance, and better-than-nice speeds for just about anything else at a somewhat ridiculous price.

Western Digital Blue 3D NAND SATA 2.5-inch Internal SSD in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £41.84
Stock In stock
ASIN B073SBZ8YH

 

What Is a Solid State Drive?

If you want to get a new computer or a laptop, you should take into account such individual components as the processor speed, RAM size, Wi-Fi availability and of course, memory capacity of a hard disk. The latter parameter shows how much data you can store on your computer.

However, because today recording and/or storing information on a hard disk drive (HDD) often entail challenges, more and more users switch to more recent advancement in storage technology - a solid-state drive. Solid-state, or SSD as they are also called, is a non-mechanical storage device based on memory chips. SSD is designed to replace the hard disk drives. The SSD is less energy-consuming and more resistant to mechanical impacts, which makes it an optimal solution for both newer systems and older ones, especially if you want to lease their service life a bit more.

That said, you will still need to keep an external hard drive handy because when you run out of space, which inevitably will happen earlier or later, SSD won't help a lot. For situations like these, hard drives are much more useful, providing plenty of space for storing media content while not affecting PC performance. 

In addition, if you're looking for a great way to type, take a look at our review of mechanical keyboards.

What Features to Compare

For many people, the choice of an SSD drive is quite difficult. How to choose a suitable SSD? What parameters of a solid-state disk should you take into account? In this review, we will try to give answers to many questions related to the choice of an SSD drive so you can pick the one that suits your and your system’s needs.

Capacity

First of all, you need to decide what capacity of the SSD drive will satisfy your needs. Maybe, you would like to use this device as the main memory in the computer? As an additional one? Or just for the installation of OS? Standard capacity of a solid-state disk varies from 60 to 500 GB (some models can have 1, 2 or 4 TB onboard). However, as practice shows, it is extremely convenient to use an SSD just as operating system storage and for applications that you will use often. Hence, it is better to store all other data like movies, music, and similar on a hard disk as long as you have this opportunity. If you think it is a suitable option for you, the disc capacity ranging from 120 to 250 GB is surely more than enough for most used software and apps.

Form Factor

SSDs can have different form factors. This feature depends on the size of an SSD as well as on its data transfer rates. Nowadays, most of the solid-state disks have a 2.5-inch form-factor (7.5 mm). This size is great because you can install your SSD on almost any laptop or PC. Several models have a smaller form factor, but it shouldn't be a problem at all. Alternatively, some SSD models can come equipped with optional attachments like mounting brackets, screws or a 9.5-mm adapter for non-standard SATA connectors.

Connection Interface

Depending on a form factor, SSD drives can be connected to a PC or a laptop with the help of a connection interface - PCIe or SATA (II or III). You should know that the data transfer rate of an SSD drive directly depends on the connection interface. If you are connecting an SSD solid via SATA interface, it is better to connect it via SATA III (up to 6 GBs). You will see, the speed of an SSD drive will be much faster than via SATA II (up to 3 GB/s). So, our suggestion - it is better to choose the drive with the SATA III interface.

Read and Write Speed

Also, you surely need to pay attention to the read and write speed rates. Usually fluctuating somewhere in the range of 480-520 MB/s, the higher these figures are, the faster driver's work will be. However, you should notice that manufacturers indicate the highest possible speed characteristic. In reality, the drive probably will not work as fast as stated in the specifications (but still multiple times faster than your run-of-the-mill HDD).

In addition, you have to pay attention to the cycle index of re-recording. Nowadays, we can pick up two main types: MLC (Multi Level Cell) up to 10,000 cycles and SLC (Single Level Cell) up to 100,000 cycles. All models in our SSD review are made according to the MLC technology. Finally, we would like to mention that this type is the most acceptable in a quality-price relation. Also, don't forget about the warranty! The longer, the better!

Sources:

1. Joel Lee 5 Things You Should Consider When Buying An SSD, MakeUseOf. August 7, 2015.

2. Adam Dachis The Complete Guide to Solid-State Drives, Lifehacker. July 02, 2014.

3. Melanie Pinola How to Upgrade Your Laptop’s Hard Drive to an SSD, Laptop Part of Tom’s Guide. June 8, 2016.

4. Nathan Edwards How To Choose an SSD for Your Next PC Build, Tested. December 20, 2012.

5. Jason Hidalgo How to Choose a SSD, Hybrid or Hard Disk Drive, Lifewire. October 19, 2016.

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