Best SSD 2018: T3's top picks from this year's top performing solid state drives

Boost your capacity and performance with these fast and dependable SSDs

TODO alt text

Who wants to put up with a flaky old traditional hard drive with its spinning disk, miserly storage capacity and slow performance? That’s right, nobody. What you need to enjoy stability, copious storage and speedy performance is a solid-state drive or SSD. And, trust us when we say this, there are plenty to choose from for your laptop computer. But what is the best SSD for you?

The following slimline beauties are T3's top picks from 2018's best SSD offerings, with a wide variety of capacity options and models to suit every kind of budget. You can choose from well-known brand names like Crucial or Samsung, or try one of the lesser-known and cheaper brands if you’re happy thinking outside the box.

One point to note is that while we’ve assembled drives that fit into a bay in your laptop, the M.2 SSD is an mSATA that fits into your motherboard. Some models come in both formats, like this WD model, so don’t forget to check compatibility before ordering. The M.2 SSD type can be useful where space is really at a premium.

Either way, they can be fitted easily enough but if you need a helping hand then we've got a cool guide to getting the job. We've also got a handy guide to installing a new SSD in a PS4, too, if you fancy speeding up loading times and increasing storage capacity. In way less than an hour you’ll be enjoying the benefits of an SSD, although be sure to make a back-up of all your data just to be on the safe side.

What you should look out for when buying an SSD

Aim for an SSD with as much storage capacity you can afford, which means you won’t need to upgrade again anytime soon. Be sure to check physical specifications and ensure your machine has room for the SSD and that the connections are compatible. Most are 2.5-inch but there are 3.5-inch variants. Keep an eye on the z-height, or thickness. Meanwhile, the M.2 standard is suitable for super-slim space restrictions. Check also that your laptop is able to run via a Serial ATA (SATA) interface and all this information should be readily available. If it isn’t then the drive is probably best avoided.

10 best SSDs 2018

Best SSD

1. Crucial MX500 2TB

Enjoy the sizeable storage supplied from this SSD

Reasons to buy
+Huge amount of storage+256-bit hardware-based encryption

Crucial’s whopping 2TB SSD delivers sequential read/write speeds up to 560/510 MB/s and random read/write performance up to 95k/90k on all file types. It gets an added boost from Micron 3D NAND technology while there’s also 256-bit hardware-based encryption for better security. Plus you get the benefit of a brand that has a proven track record.

Best SSD

2. Samsung 860 EVO 1TB

Samsung boosts its range of high performance SSDs

Reasons to buy
+A choice of size options+Beefy performance

Samsung has upped its game in the SSD stakes with some new editions. This, the 860 EVO 1TB unit is super efficient delivering sequential write speeds up to 520MB/s thanks to Intelligent TurboWrite technology, and sequential read speeds up to 550MB/s. The superior performance means that it is ideally suited for the huge files that are so commonplace today, such as 4K video content.

Best SSD

3. Axiom 960GB SSD

A beefy but keenly priced storage option

Reasons to buy
+Respectable read/write speeds+Compact and lightweight

This sizeable SSD from the Axiom camp comes with a slimline case that should fit the thinnest of laptops and features a temperature sensor for optimum performance. The other benefit of the latest SSDs is their light weight, with this example clocking in at just 63.5 grams. Data read/write speeds are 520 MB/s and 475 MB/s respectively.

Best SSD

4. Kingston A400 SSD

An effective SSD solution from a respected brand name

Reasons to buy
+Comes in three different storage sizes+Delivers fast and efficient performance

With a 120GB version that starts off at under 50 quid, the Kingston SSD A400 Solid State Drive model makes a good bet for the budget-conscious upgrade fan. Reassurance comes from the respected brand name and performance is pretty good too, with read and write speeds of up to 500MB/s and 450MB/s. Kingston boasts that this SSD is 10x faster than a traditional hard drive and, even if it isn’t, you’ll still get a sizeable performance boost for what amounts to peanuts.

Best SSD

5. HyperX Savage 240 GB SATA 3 SSD

Gamers will love the power and punch of this SSD

Reasons to buy
+120, 240, 480 and 960GB options available+Eye-catching looks match the performance

The HyperX Savage solid-state drive oozes performance and that’s not just from its vibrant colour scheme. The SSD boasts a quad-core, 8-channel Phison S10 controller that’ll provide you with 560 MB/s read and 530 MB/s write speeds. Input/output operations per second figures for read/write are similarly impressive at 100k/89k, while its svelte form factor makes it an easy fit for most notebooks and laptops.

Best SSD

6. WD 250GB SSD

This dependable SSD has found a home in many desktop and laptop

Reasons to buy
+Choice of 2.5-inch or M.2 SATA models+Another respected brand in the world of storage

While many of us want the ease and convenience of replacing a like-for-like 2.5-inch SSD it is also possible to get drive variants in the M.2 SATA format. These fit into your motherboard without fuss, but are slightly different as illustrated by this hugely popular WD example. This is a 250GB edition, but they also have 120, 240, 500 and 1TB models available too, all armed with superior performance.

Best SSD

7. Sandisk X600

This versatile all-rounder will please all types of laptop user

Reasons to buy
+Rapid-fire read/write speeds+A familiar name in storage circles

Sandisk is another one of those industry names that has been around for yonks and so their X600 unit should be a safe bet if you’re a gamer or creative type. Even if you’re not and just desire premium performance then its 3D NAND technology helps enable sequential read speeds up to 560MB/s and sequential write speeds up to 530MB/s. All that means fast system boot-ups, quick application responses and rapid transfer speeds.

Best SSD

8. Dogfish 240GB SSD

Why spend a fortune if you’re looking for straightforward storage

Reasons to buy
+A cheap and cheerful SSD+Four different capacity options

Granted, most of us are after the biggest and best storage solution we can lay our hands on, just as long as the budget holds up. However, if you just want a few extra gigs with the benefit of an SSD then the Dogfish range starts off at just 30GB. This 240GB variant is at the larger end of the spectrum, but it’s still keenly priced.

Best SSD

9. Samsung 860 EVO 4TB

A gargantuan SSD that’ll take care of all your data

Reasons to buy
+Vast amount of storage space+Super speedy read and write

If you find yourself munching your way through storage and constantly looking for more then the latest Samsung 860 EVO SSD offers a substantial 4TB to keep you going. It’s not going to be cheap, but it’ll give you fast read and write speeds while workflow tasks can be made more efficient thanks to included data migration and magician software. Add it all together and you’ve got a storage solution that is perfectly suited to professionals.

Best SSD

10. Corsair Neutron XTi 1920 GB

Expect bruising performance from the suitably named Neutron

Reasons to buy
+Suitable for gamers, professionals and 4K fans+Various capacity options

Corsair have a solid background in storage and this, the ominous sounding Neutron XTi 960 GB, offers up performance aplenty with 560MB/s sequential read and 540MB/s sequential write speeds. Its lower power usage means the speed is matched by efficient performance. And, if you need something smaller then there are 240 and 480GB editions, as well as a stonking great 1920GB model at the other end of the spectrum.