Best SSD Under $100 Reviews 2018
Remember the days when computer hard drives took several minutes to boot up? Those were some dark days until the SSDs came around. If you’ve ever used an SSD, you’ll know what it’s like to press the power button on a computer and have it ready in a matter of seconds. For average users, a solid-state drive can make the user experience snappier and more responsive. For professionals, such as designers, architects, and engineers, a solid-state drive can help you beat deadlines Ninja Warrior-style. We’ve chosen five of the best brands with SSD under $100 in the market to help you transition to this technology.
(Updated October 23, 2017)
Watch Our SSD under $100 Review
How Do I Choose the Best SSD Under $100?
You’re an avid gamer; chances are that your idea of unwinding is putting on a gaming headset
and pulling an all-nighter while playing Battlefield 4 on your powerful gaming laptop
. However, of late, you’ve noticed that its performance dips when you try to play the latest edition of the game. Even installing it on an external hard drive
doesn’t seem to do the trick as screen glitches and stuttering movement of the characters persist. The most probable reason why you’re not getting optimal functioning is because both hard drives are SATA. In order to get better performance, you should consider upgrading your hard disk to the solid-state drive for less than $100.
For under $100, you can get yourself the latest SSD in the market. Its main advantage over the more-popular SATA drive is that it has no moving parts. Unlike a SATA drive that has a spinning disk where data reading and writing takes place, the SSD performs like a flash drive; this design makes it at least two times faster than a SATA drive. The SSD also requires less power to run, translating to a longer battery life for your laptop.
At the end of the day, speed, capacity, and efficiency are the main items to look for on a hard drive. By selecting our featured SSDs under $100, you will win on all these fronts.
If you’re an avid gamer or professional seeking to increase the performance of your computer, price should not be a deterrent as we have affordable SSDs in our selection. Under $100, actually! While a cheap solid-state drive will do the job, it will ultimately let you down with its limited storage capacity. It is for this reason that we recommend you go for the more premium-priced SSDs.
The price of our featured SSDs ranges from around $50 to $100, with the difference being accounted for by the read and write speeds as well as storage. For instance, an SSD with read and write speeds of 540 and 520 megabytes per second, respectively, will cost you more than one whose read and write speeds are 415 and 350 megabytes per second. Similarly, an SSD with a storage capacity of 4 terabytes is more expensive than one whose capacity is only 120 gigabytes.
If you’re looking to boost your computer’s performance with a solid-state drive, the following are some of the features you should keep in mind:
- Storage Capacity - How much data can the SSD hold?
- Read and Write Speed - These are the amounts of time it takes to open and save something to the drive.
- Data Protection - We need to safeguard our private files.
- Compatibility - Does it work well on different operating systems?
- Type of Drive - An SSD may be internal or external.
- Warranty - This is an indicator of quality as well as the manufacturer’s willingness to provide support.
Construction and Design
There’s a few main considerations when it comes to the construction and design of your SSD and these are storage capacity, read and write speeds and the type of drive that it is. Let’s delve into why these things are so important.
The first thing you should look for in a solid-state drive is its storage space. If you’re an avid gamer, a hard drive with a large storage capacity is a necessity as today’s games take up so much space. On the other hand, if you’re mainly interested in storing documents and photos, a small SSD will serve you well. With SSDs with storage capacities ranging from 120 gigabytes to 4 terabytes, we’re proud to say we’ve something for everyone.
Read and Write Speeds
The read and write speeds are what you look at to determine a hard drive’s performance. The higher the speeds, the better the performance. Our selected SSDs boast impressive figures, with the slowest one putting up 415 and 315 megabytes per second, which is way faster than what you find in SATA hard disks.
Type of Drive
Our featured SSDs are either external or internal. If you’re looking for portability, the PNY Elite or SanDisk Extreme 500 SSD is what you need. These external SSDs come in an ultra-compact form that makes it possible to carry them in your pocket.
Performance and Ease of Use
The performance of your SSD will depend upon the date protection it offers, its compatibility and any warranty the manufacturer may offer.
In the information age we live in today, data is king. From hackers to respected online companies, everyone appears to be interested in our personal information. It is, therefore, a big plus if your hard drive has a data encryption feature that keeps personal files safe. Fortunately, one of our selected products comes with secure access software that encodes files you wish to keep private.
Compatibility is also a crucial factor to consider when buying a hard drive. The perfect SSD is one that works well in all versions of Windows, Linux, and Mac.
Finally, one can always tell the quality of an SSD by looking at the warranty. If anything happens during the duration of the warranty, the manufacturer replaces or repairs the device without you having to fork out anything. The warranty period of our selected SSDs ranges from three to five years, which is very impressive considering lesser-known brands only offer a 12-month warranty.
What is the Best SSD Under $100?
The best SSD under $100 needs to go hard on the paint with regards to compatibility, performance, and longevity. Unlike SATA, SSD drives don’t have moving parts and rely on flash memory to function, which boosts their running speed. Let’s proceed to our top products, hopeful that you will see one that meets your needs.
Our Top Choice
The Sandisk Extreme 500 Portable SSD is a high speed external drive perfect for travel and work. The 120GB model is a great buy for less than $100, and if you have a little more to spend you can have up to 1TB of space. Looking for an affordable alternative without the hardened case? Check out the Sandisk SSD Plus
SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable Solid State Drive – Available in 5 Storage Sizes (120 GB - 1 TB)
SanDisk SSD SDSSDEXT-120G-G25 - 120 GB Space
Sandisk is one of the global leaders in portable and electronic storage. If your phone has a microSD card, it’s likely made by Sandisk. With experience as an innovator in mobile storage, it’s no surprise the extensive line of Sandisk solid state drives reflects a commitment to technological advance with a global, three-year warranty.
Sandisk markets the Extreme 500 Portable SSD as an external solution for high-res photos and videos, and the durable design makes it perfect for extensive travel use. The case is shock and temperature resistant, and because there are no moving parts, the drive is not prone to mechanical failure over time.
Available in 120GB, 240GB, 259GB, 480GB and 1TB models, the Extreme 500 boasts a read speed of 415MB/s and write speed of 340MB/s through its USB 3.0 interface - nearly 4x as fast as a traditional hard drive. It’s encrypted with 128-bit AES security, which makes this a safe and secure drive to take with you anywhere you go.
The Toshiba OCZ TL100 is extremely fast, generous storage at an unbelievable price. The 240GB TL100 is an affordable SSD, and they offer a 120GB version for even less! Looking for even faster performance and more features? The OCZ Vector 180
might be perfect for you!
Toshiba OCZ TL100 Series 2.5" SATA III – Available in 2 Storage Sizes
Toshiba SSD TL100-25SAT3-240G - 240 GB
Toshiba has over 100 years of engineering expertise, and is responsible for the technology we use every day in our automobiles, computers, and mobile phones. OCZ was one of the first innovators of solid state storage before being acquired and expanded by Toshiba, and now creates the high-performance professional gaming equipment Toshiba PC users count on.
The SATA III compatible OCZ TL100 is the entry level option from the high-performance line by Toshiba, and is plenty fast for all but the most extreme purposes. Whether you pick the 120 GB or 240 GB storage size option, the TLC NAND flash technology and Toshiba controller reduces wear - especially important with the 550MB/s read and 530MB/s write speed.
With up to 60TB of TBW (total bytes written), this drive is designed to last - it’s backed by an advanced replacement warranty for three years. Included is an SSD utility to manage the drive for optimum performance.
The Samsung 850 EVO is a revolutionary SSD with up unbeatable speed and storage options. The 250GB model is one of the best SSDs under $100. The other sizes cost more, but up to 4TB of storage is an incredible amount of space if you need it. 250 GB still more than you need? Take a look at the Samsung 750 EVO 120GB SSD
which costs even less.
Samsung 850 EVO 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD – Choice of 5 Storage Sizes, Mount Bundle and Installation Available
Samsung SSD MZ-75E4T0B/AM – 4TB, SSD Only
Samsung is one of the largest companies worldwide, with patents and innovations that revolutionized everything from semiconductor technology to advanced pharmaceutical medicines and aerospace engineering. Samsung Electronics created the first phone with MP3 playback, the first smartwatch with phone capability, the first rounded screen on a smartphone, and the first LTE phone worldwide.
The Samsung 850 EVO offers uncompromised performance, with read speeds of 540MB/s and a write speed of 520MB/s. But here’s the kicker: enter into RAPID mode and the drive will recruit unused memory cache for 2x faster data processing speeds. Designed for SATA III, mSATA, and SATA-based m.2 connectivity, the smallest drive is 250GB, but models are available up to a record shattering 4TB. The thermal guard and 256-bit AES encrypted file system is protected with a stunning, five-year limited warranty.
The PNY Elite Portable SSD packs high-speed storage in a USB drive smaller than a credit card. While the 240 GB model is the only size under $100, the slightly more expensive 480 GB model comes with the same great pocket-sized portability feature. Need a SATA III model for your PC? You want the PNY CS1311 240GB SSD
PNY Elite USB 3.0 Portable Solid State Drive (SSD) – Available in 2 Storage Sizes
PNY SSD PSD1CS1050-240-FFS - 240 GB
PNY has been working diligently behind the scenes to power technological innovation for high performance gaming and mobile electronics. Specializing in NVIDIA chipsets and portable flash storage, it’s winning patents in flash technology have led to some of the best value SSDs on the market. It’s unbelievable to find an SSD drive that takes up so little space, offers so much storage, and has such high speeds.
The PNY Elite Portable SSD has 240GB of storage, with a 480GB model available as well. For those with a Mac or a laptop case they can’t open, the USB 3.0 interface will give you access to SSD storage speeds at 400MB/s writing and 430MB/s reading - 4x faster than a traditional HDD. PNY backs up their 30 years of quality with a 3 Year Warranty and 24/7 US-based customer support.
The SSDNow V300 Drive is an affordable option for someone needing a SATA compatible SSD. The 120GB and 240GB models are two of the best SSDs under $100, and the 480GB model is still a great value for the price. Need something bigger? Check out the Kingston Digital 240GB UV400
Kingston Digital SSDNow V300 SATA 3 2.5 Solid State Drive – Choice of 3 Storgage Sizes, Optional Bundles Available
Kingston SSD SV300S37A/120G – 120GB Drive Only
Kingston is a global innovator and manufacturer of electronic storage, wireless routers, and high quality chipsets for consumers. Its legacy began with improvements to random access memory (RAM) and continues to this day with six separate classes of solid state drives and a multinational presence, with offices in six countries. The V300 series is a balanced option that offers great performance and a three-year warranty.
The SSDNow V300 has an LSI® SandForce® controller designed for notebook and desktop (not server rack) implementations. The desktop and notebook bundle options include mounting hardware and cables, and an adapter is included to make the drive thicker for longer, 9.5mm mounting screws. The read/write speed of 450MB/s makes this an economic choice for an extra (or first) SSD. The 120GB space is ample storage for media and even an entire operating system, and the Kingston SSD Manager is a unique app that calculates the life of your device.
Get the Best SSD Under $100 of 2018!
We hope that this review has helped you find a great solid-state drive for your PC or laptop. We’ve covered quite a few options and compared them across the board. If it turns out that none of the products we’ve included meets your storage needs, feel free to explore other items produced by the featured brands.
Our Top Choice
SanDisk Extreme 500 Portable SSD
Samsung 850 EVO Internal SSD
Kingston SSDNow V300 Drive