Best Solid State Drives in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update November 13, 2018
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
BEST 2018
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

500 Gb (250 Gb, 1 TB, 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 300 TBW (whichever comes first)

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 rigid housing of this model has a physical damage protection rating of 2.17G Peak (Operating mode) and 20G Peak (Non-Operating mode) - a crucial aspect if you need to install an SSD on a laptop or ultrabook since it excludes the risk of losing all your data in case of powerful vibrations.

CONS

The writing speed may drop while transferring a larger number of files.

OUR VERDICT

The 240Gb model from Kingston is one of the best bargains in its price range: you will be able to modernise an existing or a new computer without paying an arm and a leg. On top of that, a fairly quick booting speed of the SSD will definitely not leave you disappointed.

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

240 Gb (120 Gb, 480 Gb, 960 Gb also available)

Read/Write speed

Up to 500MB per sec / Up to 350MB per sec

NAND Flash

TLC 3D NAND flash

Extras

Self-Monitoring and Reporting Technology (SMART), TRIM support

Warranty

3 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

PROS
You can use the Sandisk SSD Dashboard utility with your SSD to gain better control and receive updates on the current state of the drive.
CONS
The proprietary Sandisk SSD Dashboard software is compatible with Windows OS only.
OUR VERDICT
A decent SSD drive that meets all the basic requirements. Its use will be beneficial both for a home PC and an office computer in terms of overall performance improvement and system response time reduction.
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

120 Gb (240 Gb, 480 Gb, 960 Gb, 1 TB also available)

Read/Write speed

Up to 530MB per sec / Up to 310MB per sec

NAND Flash

TLC 3D NAND flash

Extras

Self-Monitoring and Reporting Technology (SMART), TRIM support, SanDisk Dashboard software for SSD management

Warranty
3 years

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 V-NAND Solid State Drive (2.5 inch, SATA III)

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 V-NAND Solid State Drive (2.5 inch, SATA III) in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Crucial MX500 SATA III

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 SATA III

SAFE AS THEY COME

The MX500 solid state drive offers top-notch data protection in a 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 SATA III in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Kingston A400

Fast and Affordable

The SSD from one of the most popular and recognised brands, the Kingston comes strong with one of its latest models - A400. Rigid, fast, and reliable - the A400 will not let you down.

In terms of specifications, the A400 model comes with a fairly fast (by today’s standards) read and write speed of 500MB and 350MB per second, respectively. The speeds will allow for a quick data transfer no matter how big are the files. Since things like video editing and online gaming require a lot of resources from your machine, this SSD will more than suffice your needs (better than any top-of-the-line hard drive, at the very least). And if you intend to use the SSD as a boot drive for your system, you will notice a significant increase in booting speed, which is also quite nice considering the modest price of this device.

Some users may find the read/write speed rates somewhat low. As the manufacturer states in the supplementary documentation, the main reason behind this is old drivers. Thus, it is recommended to update all of your firmware with newer versions of the drivers in order to achieve a minimum response time and the fastest speed from the SSD.

The 2.5-inch device is compatible with all modern SATA connection interfaces from SATA 1.5 Gb/s up to the SATA 6 Gb/s, which will be a neat thing to consider if you plan to upgrade your current system with that much-needed data transfer speed. The A400 SSD will be a good addition to any new system, an old computer, or a laptop as both an additional drive and as a replacement for soon-to-be-obsolete HDD drives. The only thing that may concern some users is the fact that this model comes without a SATA cable but it's not really a dealbreaker.

Review of Kingston A400 Solid State Drive (2.5 Inch, SATA III)

Not Much More You Could Ask For

Speed and interfaces aside, the model comes in four different flavours: 120Gb, 240Gb, 480Gb, and 960Gb. But we have decided to go with the 240Gb model as the most solid middle-ground solution out of the four.

Moving on, the Kingston A400 is resistant to shock and various vibrations, which will come in handy for those owners of laptops that tend to carry their gadget with them on a daily basis. The reliability of the SSDs cannot be underestimated, and Kingston beats almost every other brand in this aspect. If you'd like your data to be firmly secured, look no further - the A400 SSD is the right pick for you.

The Kingston A400 solid state drive is perhaps one of the best budget models available on the market today. It isn't perfect but you won’t be able to find a better deal for a 240Gb SSD with read/write speeds comparable to premium models.

Kingston A400 Solid State Drive (2.5 Inch, SATA III) in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

WD Blue SATA III

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 WD Blue SATA III

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, a 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.

WD Blue SATA III in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

SanDisk SSD-Plus

Meets All Demands

This SSD model by the famous SanDisk brand, which is known as a manufacturer of a wide range of digital devices is capable of meeting the requirements for both home and office or enterprise environment. Needless to say that replacing the HDD in your desktop PC or a notebook with the SanDisk SSD-Plus will result in a palpable performance boost. It is notable that this solid state drive enables your system to perform some tasks up to 20 faster than when using an HDD drive, which makes the SSD-Plus an obvious choice for those who value comfort and speed of PC operation. Capacity-wise there are four options available: 120GB, 240GB, 480GB and 960GB. When choosing a storage device one should also keep in mind that the SSD drives by Sandisk are designed not only for the system performance increase but also for securing personal data providing a much better shock and vibration protection than conventional HDDs. The case of this one of the best SSDs by SanDisk is sturdy enough and combined with the absence of any moving part inside the drive ensures the integrity of your data. Another piece of information, which will please those users who consider using this solid state drive as a notebook storage is the drive’s low power consumption. This design adds to the mobility of notebooks, in which this SanDisk is to be used in and can prolong their standalone operation.

Review of SanDisk SSD-Plus SSD Drive

A Convenient Software Utility

The SanDisk manufacturer offers a free SanDisk SSD Dashboard software utility for all the SSD users to obtain control over the SSD, monitor the condition of memory cells and other crucial parameters. However, be advised that the utility runs on Windows OS series starting from the Windows 7. Another important aspect of installing, configuring and using this software is that the utility requires the user to install it as an administrator. In general, the SanDisk SSD Dashboard software was developed to provide you with the means of controlling numerous operational parameters of this SSD. With the utility installed you will be able to obtain the data concerning the free space available on the drive as well as to get updates on the current state of the drive.

For getting familiar with the SanDisk SSD Dashboard software guide, we suggest you follow this link.

What we can say for sure is that this solid state drive model is one of the best solid state drives in its class effectively covering the needs of private and enterprise users. With that compact and energy efficient SSD you get a peace of mind in storing your favourite movies, music files and home photo galleries as well as other personal and business data.

SanDisk SSD-Plus SSD Drive in the use

More Products to Consider

If you decided to use an SSD drive as a desktop PC storage and the PC case offers no 2.5-inch drive mounts you can easily solve the problem by buying a suitable SSD mounting adapter.

Detailed review of SanDisk SSD-Plus SSD Drive

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


VIDEO
SanDisk SSD Plus Unboxing & Review
 

What Is a Solid State Drive?

If you want to buy 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. This parameter shows how much information you can save on your computer. Nowadays, if you want to record or store information on a hard disk drive (HDD), you can face some drawbacks. That's why we would like you to pay some of your attention to the newish technology - a solid state drive. Solid state or SSD 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 resistant to mechanical effects.

You still need to keep an external hard drive, because when we face up to the problem of lack of storage space, SSD can't help a lot. Hard drives can help us store plenty of media content and not affect PC's performance. In addition, if you're looking for a classy 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.

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 the additional one? Or just for the installation of OS? Standard capacity of a solid state disk varies from 60 to 500 Gb. As practice shows, it is extremely convenient to use an SSD just as an operating system storage. It is better to store all other data like movies, music, etc. on a hard disk. If you think it is a suitable option for you, the disc capacity from 60 to 250 Gb is surely enough.

SSDs can have a different Form Factor. This feature depends on the size of an SSD. Nowadays, most of solid state disks have 2.5-inch form factor. 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. You can simply buy an adaptor.

Depending on a form factor, SSD drives can be connected to a PC or a laptop with the help of 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 6Gb/s). You will see, the speed of an SSD drive will be much faster than via SATA II (up to 3Gb/s). So, our suggestion - it is better to choose the drive with SATA III interface.

Also, you surely need to pay attention to such feature as Read and Write Speed. 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 (but still much faster than 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 drive review are made on MLC technology. We would like to mention, that this type is the most acceptable in a quality-price relation. And 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. Dong Ngo Upgrade to an SSD: The best way to make your computer feel like new, CNET. July 15, 2016.

6. Chris Ramseyer Best SATA SSDs, Tom's Hardware. November 22, 2016.

7. Christopher Harper Buying an SSD: What to Look Out for, Make Tech Easier. August 29, 2015.

8. Paul Monckton How to choose an SSD for your PC or laptop, PC Advisor. December 31, 2012.

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

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