A few years ago, an SSD, also known as a Solid State Drive, was quite costly. However, the increasing number of SSD manufacturers means more competition and even better prices for SSDs.
Finding the best SSD that matches your storage needs is essential, especially if you are looking to improve the productivity of your PC and laptop. A slow storage drive makes be troublesome for heavy users, which forces your processor to slow down.
One of the best ways to increase the read and write speeds is to get a speed boost SSD. However, bigger SSDs, for example, the ones with above 4GB storage capacity, are still quite costly. If you're on a budget, the 250 GB, 500GB, and 1TB SSDs are still very effective.
There are a number of cheap SSDs available in the market these days that are good. Getting to choose one that matches your needs can be a challenging task. This is why we have a list of the best cheap SSD and the features to consider when buying one.
5 Best Cheap SSDs
1. Samsung 860 EVO Internal SSD- Best Overall
- Innovative V-Nand Technology: Powered by Samsung V NAND Technology, the 860 EVO SSD offers optimized performance for everyday computing as well as rendering large sized 4K videos and 3D data used by the latest applications
- Enhanced read write speeds: Sequential read and write performance levels of up to 550MB/s and 520MB/s, respectively
- Secure encryption: Protect data by selecting security options, including AES 256 bit hardware based encryption compliant with TCG Opal and IEEE 1668
- Warranty and compatibility: 5 year limited warranty; Windows 8/Windows 7/Windows Server 2003 (32 bit and 64 bit), Vista (SP1 and above), XP (SP2 and above), MAC OSX and Linux
- Included contents: 2.5 inches (7 millimeter) SATA 3 (6 Gb/s) SSD & user manual (All other cables, screws, brackets not included); Reliability (MTBF): 1.5 Million Hours Reliability (MTBF)
The Samsung company storage solutions are some of the best in the market. For this reason, we selected the Samsung 860 EVO internal SSD as the best overall option when it comes to cheap Solid State Drives.
It uses an interface SATA and includes a sequential read and write speed levels of up to 550MB/s and 520MB/s. The storage capacities available include 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB, with the 250GB one being our recommended choice.
It uses V-NAND, 2.5-inch hard drive form factor, SATA M.2 modules, and mSATA modules. In case you're worried about data safety and security, it supports 256-bit hardware-based AES encryption to keep your files safe.
If you're looking for the best SATA SSD deals that are budget-friendly and have an incredible drive space to upgrade different types of desktops, laptops, or embedded PCs, then you should consider this Samsung's SSD.
2. ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB Solid State Drive-Best For Speeds
- Ultra-Fast PCIe NVMe Gen3x4 Interface
- Sequential read/write speed up to 3500/3000 MB/s, Performance may vary based on system hardware & configuration
- Ideal for intense 3D animation, rendering, video and photo editing, and other intense applications
- 5 year PCIe M. 2 2280 is not compatible with SATA M. 2 2280, Please check your system spec before purchasing
- Interface: PCIe NVMe Gen3x4. Please check your motherboard manual and make sure your motherboard's M. 2 slot supports PCIe NVMe or M Key with NVMe. This SSD is not compatible with Mac. Additional parts may be required to use on Mac system.
The ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro boasts sequential write speeds of up to 3000MB/s and read speeds of up to 3,500 MB/s. It is a PCIe NVMe Gen 3 and an M.2 form factor SSD, which is much faster than the standard SATA SSD.
If you want to upgrade your laptop or desktop to have exceptional speeds, this ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro will help you achieve it. There are different storage capacities available, including 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB, with the 1TB being our favorite.
It features a heat sink that comes with the drive and 3D NAND and LDPC ECC, which ensures the drive is reliable and fast. Furthermore, this ADATA drive has an end to end data protection to make sure that your data is kept secure and safe.
The migration, cloning software, and toolbox help to easily manage your data and files. Due to its sleek design and exceptional performance, it is one of the best Solid State Drives you won't regret buying.
3. Western Digital 500GB WD Blue SN550 Internal SSD- Best For Gaming
- Boost your system's performance with next-gen NVMe SSDs
- Over 4 times faster than our SATA SSDs
- Western Digital designed controller and firmware for optimized performance
- Western Digital SSD dashboard constantly monitors the health of your SSD
- NVMe drive not compatible with SATA interface
The Western Digital WD Blue SN55O is internal solid-state storage with M.2 type 2280 form factor and an NVMe drive (Gen 3 x4 PCIe). The storage capacities available are 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB.
The speeds of these drives vary greatly depending on the storage capacities, with the bigger one having a sequential read speed of up to 2,600 MB/s and a write speed of up to 1,800 MB/s.
If you opt for the smaller storage capacity, you may get speeds of 2,400/950 MB/s, which is okay for a number of average users. The 500GB model is our favorite because it strikes an outstanding balance between the price, speeds, and performance.
It is an affordable way to upgrade the work and gaming PC. It lacks DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory).
4. SAMSUNG 870 EVO 500GB Internal SSD- Best For Performance
- THE SSD ALL-STAR: The latest 870 EVO has indisputable performance, reliability and compatibility built upon Samsung's pioneering technology
- EXCELLENCE IN PERFORMANCE: Enjoy professional level SSD performance with 870 EVO, which maximizes the SATA interface limit to 560 530 MB s sequential speeds, accelerates write speeds and maintains long term high performance with a larger variable buffer
- MORE COMPATIBLE THAN EVER: 870 EVO has been compatibility tested for major host systems and applications, including chipsets, motherboards, NAS, and video recording devices
- UPGRADE WITH EASE: Simply plug 870 EVO into the standard 2.5 inch SATA form factor on your desktop PC or laptop and let the renewed migration software takes care of the rest
- SAMSUNG MAGICIAN SOFTWARE: Make your drive work smoothly with enhanced Samsung Magician 6 software that helps you easily manage your drive, keep up with the latest updates, monitor the drive's health and status, or even enhance its performance
Samsung 870 EVO Internal SSD boasts incredible speeds in 4K random read and write speeds and a Serial ATA SSD performance. It uses a SATA SSD and has a form factor of 2.5-inch. It comes with five different storage capacities that include 250GB, 500GB, 1 TB, 2TB, and 4TB.
This SSD has a V-NAND 3-bit Triple Layer Cell(TLC) that uses Samsung's in-house controller. It has sequential read and write speeds of 560/530 MB/s. This is a high-quality and efficient drive that won't require a lot of effort from the user.
It is compatible with significant applications and host systems, like the chipsets, NAS, motherboards, and video recording devices. It has an enhanced Samsung Magician 6 software is the gold standard that helps enhance the machine performance, manage your drive easily, monitor the health of your drive, or keep up with the latest updates. Installation is easy since you'll just need to plug in the drive to the SATA slot.
5. Samsung 970 EVO SSD 500GB - M.2 NVMe- Best Budget SSD
- Innovative V-Nand Technology: Powered by Samsung V NAND Technology, the 970 EVO SSD’s NVMe interface (PCIe M.2 2280) offers enhanced bandwidth, low latency, and power efficiency ideal for tech enthusiasts, high end gamers, and 4K & 3D content designers
- Breakthrough read write speeds: Sequential read and write performance levels of up to 3,500MB/s and 2,500MB/s, respectively; Random Read (4KB, QD32): Up to 500,000 IOPS Random Read
- Performance optimization and data security: Seamless cloning and file transfers with Samsung Magician Software, the ideal SSD management solution for performance optimization and data security with automatic firmware updates
- Superior heat dissipation: Samsung’s dynamic thermal guard automatically monitors and maintains optimal operating temperatures to minimize performance drops. Secure Encryption
- 5-year limited warranty: 5-year limited warranty or 600 TBW (Terabytes Written)
Samsung is slowly becoming the leading manufacturer of technology products by producing items like Samsung 970 EVO SSD. Although this drive has been around for quite a while, it still remains to be an excellent pick for a cheap SSD.
It has sequential read speeds of up to 3,500 and write speeds of up to 2,500 MB/s. It features PCIe Gen 3.0 x4, NVMe 1.3 SSD, and an M.2_2280 form factor drive that has excellent heat dissipation, with the Dynamic Thermal Guard that helps it to maintain the right temperature.
It is available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB storage capacities, with the 500GB one being our recommended one. This Samsung drive has outstanding and reliable performance due to the V-NAND technology, 256-bit encryption, and TRIM support.
For someone looking for a cheap M.2 SSD that can be trusted, then the Samsung 970 EVO SSD offers a good value.
Features to Consider Before Buying a Cheap Solid State Drive
1. Storage Capacity
There are different storage capacity found in SSDs;
- 128GB- Have a slower performance due to reduced memory modules. Not recommended, unless you are on a very strict budget.
- 250GB- Best for people who don't need a lot of storage space
- 500GB- Better storage space for average users
- 1TB-Great storage space
- 2TB- If you need much bigger storage space, this should be enough.
- 4TB Class (and above): There are quite expensive and are recommended for people who need so much space.
If you're looking for a lot of capacity but are having a small budget, it's better off to buy a pair of smaller SSDs, which will offer you the same speed and storage space, especially for desktops and gaming laptops. Choose a storage capacity depending on your storage needs and budget.
2. SSD Interfaces
There are different types of interfaces used by SSDs, which include;
This, particularly SATA 3.0, is the most used interface in consumer-grade SSD. SATA SSD, also known as Serial Advanced Technology Attachment, automatically checks the transmission instructions and corrects if there is an error.
The SATA 3.0 offers transfer speeds of 6Gbps, which is double that of SATA 2.0. However, the speeds tend to be lower due to specific hardware limitations unless the interface and the drive both support high-speed transfers and are compatible.
M.2 is widely used by manufacturers on PCs, laptops, and notebooks. It was developed by Intel to act as a replacement for mSATA(Mini SATA).
It gives a combination of more volume and faster speeds. This interface allows you to have faster speeds on a relatively small footprint. This is why it is a preferred interface for laptops and notebooks. Furthermore, it allows multiple interfaces on the motherboard, which comes in handy for those people who need to have multiple SSDs running in a RAID configuration.
The PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) interface is also one of the preferred SSD due to high transfer speeds. It is a standard connection type used in various internal devices. PCIe 3.0 is the latest interface that is in use.
Some of the advantages of the PCIe interface include better performance, advanced error reporting and detection, and hot-swapping. It features NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express), which helps in its better performance. However, this interface tends to be more expensive compared to the other two.
3. Read/Write Speeds
The read and write speeds are something that shouldn't be ignored because they show how fast the drive can read and write information. It is measured in MB/s.
While doing your research, you will find information for sequential read/write speeds and random read/write speeds. A PCIe drive tends to have faster speeds compared to SATA drives.
4. Form Factor
The form factor will describe the physical features of a hardware component like the dimensions, weight, etc. An SSD has four form factors that include;
The 2.5-inch form factor, also referred to as Small Form Factor(SFF), shows the measurement of the drive. It is used on machines that have a drive bay and connects over the SATA interface. This is one of the most preferred form factors for SSDs.
M.2, also known as the New Generation Form Factor, looks similar to a RAM stick and replaces the mSATA. Motherboard manufacturers are increasingly adopting it for internal SSDs. This form factor comes in different sizes and has NAND chips present on either both or one side. It is commonly used with either PCIe or SATA interface.
U.2 SSDs are more prominent compared to M.2 SSDs, which means they offer larger capacity and heat dissipation. It looks similar to the SATA HDDs and uses a PCIe interface to establish a connection with the motherboard. Furthermore, it supports hot-swapping, which means you can replace it while the machine is still running.
iv. Add-in card (AIC)
An Add-in Card (AIC) boasts compatibility and flexibility features due to its ability to insert an SSD into any machine like an extension. It makes it easier to upgrade an older machine with faster storage components. It uses a PCIe expansion slot for connection. However, if you have a graphics card on your machine, adding an AIC SSD is impossible since they use the same slot. Enthusiasts, not average users, prefer these SSDs.
5. Power Consumption
The efficiency of a drive is more important than the speed, especially if you're looking to get longer battery life. Choosing an efficient drive over a faster and power-consuming NVMe drive can gain you more battery life.
High-capacity SSDs draw more power than lower capacity drives because of the increased NAND packages on the bigger drives. If the battery life of your machine is vital, check the product description or the reviews for the power consumption details.
6. Flash Memory
When finding an SSD, you really don't have to pay attention to the type of flash memory used, but if you're curious about them, here are the different types;
i. Single-Level Cell (SLC) flash memory
It was the first and the primary flash storage for a number of years. It lasts for longer and is extremely fast since it stores only a single bit of data per cell. However, it is quite expensive because it can't store much data, and for this reason, it has been replaced with denser types.
ii. Multi-Layer Cell (MLC)
This was the second after SLC and the best storage type for years for its lower price and ability to store, despite it being slower.
iii. Triple-Level Cell (TLC)
This has the ability to store more than MLC, which means it is slower. Most TLC drives use a caching tech since, on its own, it is not faster than a hard drive.
iv. Quad-Level Cell (QLC)
It is less expensive and gives more storage space, but it has slower speeds as well as a lower endurance rating.