Which internal SATA SSD is best for laptop?

When choosing an internal solid-state drive (SSD) for your laptop, there are a few key factors to consider: capacity, speed, form factor, and price. The best balance of these features will depend on your specific needs and budget.

Quick Answer

For most laptop users looking for a quality internal SATA SSD upgrade, the Samsung 870 EVO is an excellent choice. With fast read/write speeds up to 560/530 MB/s, various storage options from 250GB to 4TB, a compact 2.5″ form factor, and a reasonable price, the 870 EVO hits the sweet spot for performance, capacity, and value.

What is an internal SSD and why should you upgrade?

An internal SSD (solid-state drive) is a storage device that uses flash memory instead of a spinning hard disk platter. Unlike traditional HDDs (hard disk drives), SSDs have no moving parts, making them more durable, power-efficient, and shock-resistant.

Upgrading to an internal SSD provides several benefits for laptops:

  • Faster boot and loading times – SSDs can load apps and files much quicker than HDDs.
  • Better overall system performance – The speed boost from an SSD improves general system responsiveness.
  • Increased durability – SSDs are less prone to damage from drops or bumps.
  • Lower power consumption – SSDs use less energy than HDDs, improving laptop battery life.
  • Quieter operation – With no moving parts, SSDs run silently.

For these reasons, installing an internal SSD can make a laptop feel much faster and more responsive overall. The performance gains are most noticeable when booting the system, launching programs, opening files, and during general multitasking. An SSD upgrade truly makes an old laptop feel like new again.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Internal SSD

SSD Capacity

SSD capacity determines how much data you can store on the drive. Laptop internal SSDs are available in capacities ranging from 128GB to 4TB. Consider your needs in terms of storage space for operating system files, programs, documents, media, and other data. A higher capacity SSD allows you to store more locally before needing external storage.

SSD Form Factor

Most laptops use the compact 2.5-inch SSD form factor. Some ultra-slim laptops may require more specialized form factors like M.2. Check your laptop manual or specifications to determine which physical size drive will fit.

SSD Interface

The SATA III interface is the most common internal SSD interface found in laptops. SATA III SSDs provide maximum sequential read/write speeds of around 550/520 MB/s. M.2 SSDs can use the faster NVMe interface for even faster potential speeds.

SSD Speed

SSD sequential read and write speeds indicate how quickly data can be accessed from the drive. Faster SSDs provide better overall performance. For SATA III SSDs, look for sequential reads above 500 MB/s and writes above 400 MB/s for a good balance of speed.

Brand and Model

Reputable brands like Samsung, Crucial, and Western Digital offer reliable, high-performing internal SSD models tested for compatibility and endurance.


Internal SSD prices continue to become more affordable. Expect to pay around $80-100 for a 1TB SATA III SSD from a leading brand. Higher capacities and faster NVMe drives cost more. Consider capacity needs and speed requirements when budgeting.

Top 5 Best Internal SATA SSDs for Laptops

Based on the key buying considerations above, these are top recommended internal SATA III SSD upgrades for laptops:

SSD Capacity Max Sequential Read Max Sequential Write Price
Samsung 870 EVO 250GB – 4TB 560 MB/s 530 MB/s $50 – $500
Crucial MX500 250GB – 2TB 560 MB/s 510 MB/s $45 – $240
SK hynix Gold S31 250GB – 1TB 560 MB/s 525 MB/s $45 – $125
ADATA SU800 128GB – 2TB 560 MB/s 520 MB/s $25 – $220
Western Digital Blue 3D NAND 250GB – 2TB 560 MB/s 530 MB/s $50 – $260

1. Samsung 870 EVO

The Samsung 870 EVO is one of the best overall values for a SATA III laptop SSD upgrade. With maximum sequential reads/writes around 560/530 MB/s and Samsung’s latest V-NAND flash memory technology, the 870 EVO provides fast, responsive everyday performance. It’s available in capacities from 250GB up to 4TB.

Samsung SSDs are known for reliability and compatibility across devices. The 870 EVO has a compact 2.5″ form factor and low power consumption. It includes Samsung Magician software for monitoring drive health. Overall, the 870 EVO hits the sweet spot on speed, endurance, and affordability.

2. Crucial MX500

The Crucial MX500 is a cost-effective, high-quality internal SSD option. With sequential read/write speeds up to 560/510 MB/s, the MX500 keeps up with pricier models. The drive uses 3D NAND flash memory for endurance and Micron advanced error-correcting code for integrity.

Available in capacities from 250GB to 2TB, the MX500 works with both laptops and desktops. Crucial provides the Storage Executive tool to monitor usage and updates firmware. Backed by a 5-year warranty, the MX500 delivers reliable, affordable performance.

3. SK hynix Gold S31

From 250GB to 1TB capacities, the SK hynix Gold S31 offers fast SATA III speeds up to 560/525 MB/s read/write. Advanced 3D NAND flash enables strong performance consistency over time. SK hynix SSDs undergo rigorous testing for quality and reliability.

The 2.5″ drive has low power draw and runs quietly. With competitive pricing, the Gold S31 gives you speed comparable to premium models for less. The 5-year warranty provides peace of mind on this SSD built for laptop upgrades.

4. ADATA SU800

The ADATA SU800 combines value pricing with solid performance up to 560/520 MB/s sequential read/write over the SATA III interface. Available from 128GB to 2TB, the SU800 uses 3D NAND technology to deliver snappy speeds across capacities.

ADATA engineered the compact 2.5″ SU800 for efficiency and stability in laptops. The drive has integrated data protection features and adaptive thermal control to maintain speed. Overall, the SU800 delivers great bang for the buck if you want an inexpensive storage upgrade.

5. Western Digital Blue 3D NAND

Western Digital’s 3D NAND SATA SSD line provides a proven mix of speed, reliability, and affordability. The WD Blue 3D NAND SATA SSD reaches up to 560/530 MB/s sequential read/write speeds to satisfy daily computing demands.

Available from 250GB to 2TB, these 2.5″ drives are designed for easy HDD upgrades in compatible laptops. WD F.I.T. Lab certification tests for compatibility with various systems. With a 5-year limited warranty, the WD Blue 3D NAND is a solid choice.

How to Choose the Right Capacity

When selecting an internal SSD for your laptop, consider these tips on choosing the right drive capacity:

  • 256GB or larger for basic usage – For web browsing, office work, streaming media, and moderate photo/video storage, a 256GB SSD provides adequate space.
  • 512GB for power users – If you install lots of programs, play games, edit media files, or have a large photo/music/video collection, go with a 512GB or larger SSD.
  • 1TB for max storage – A 1TB SSD allows you to store hundreds of apps, games, and media files locally without needing external storage.
  • Match HDD capacity when upgrading – If replacing a 500GB HDD, get a 500GB or larger SSD to maintain equivalent storage space.
  • Consider cloud storage use – If you store many files in the cloud, you may be able to get by with a smaller SSD capacity.
  • Plan for future growth – Get a larger SSD than you need today to accommodate new programs and data down the road.

How to Install an Internal SSD in a Laptop

Here are general steps for replacing a laptop’s hard drive with a new solid-state drive:

  1. Back up important data from the current drive. Copy files to an external drive or cloud storage.
  2. Power off and unplug the laptop. Remove any removable batteries.
  3. Carefully open the laptop case to access internal components.
  4. Locate the hard drive bay and remove any screws securing the drive in place.
  5. Disconnect the SATA data and power cables from the old hard drive.
  6. Slide the old drive out from the drive bay and set aside.
  7. Slide the new SSD into the drive bay and secure with any screws.
  8. Connect the SATA data and power cables to the SSD.
  9. Replace the laptop cover and any batteries. Power on the laptop.
  10. Install the operating system and programs on the new SSD.
  11. Restore your data from the backup you created.

Consult your laptop’s hardware manual for detailed disassembly instructions. An experienced computer technician can also handle the installation if you’re uncomfortable doing it yourself.

SSD vs HDD: Comparison

Although HDDs are cheaper per gigabyte, SSDs provide major performance and reliability advantages:

Speed Much faster read/write speeds Slower due to moving parts
Durability No moving parts, can withstand drops/shocks Disk failures more likely due to moving parts
Noise Silent operation Audible spinning and whirring
Power Efficiency Use less energy and extend laptop battery life More power hungry, drain laptop battery faster
Heat Output Cool, no heat-generating spinning parts Moving parts generate more device heat

For laptop use, SSDs clearly outperform HDDs for speed, longevity, and efficiency. The extra upfront cost of an SSD quickly pays off through the performance boost it provides.


Upgrading to an internal solid-state drive is one of the best ways to make your laptop faster and more responsive. When choosing the best SSD for your needs and budget, the Samsung 870 EVO is a top pick for its excellent balance of speed, reliability, capacity, and affordability. With maximum sequential reads/writes around 560/530 MB/s and models from 250GB up to 4TB, it has the performance to handle everyday tasks quickly.

Other excellent options like the Crucial MX500, SK hynix Gold S31, ADATA SU800, and Western Digital Blue 3D NAND all utilize fast SATA III connectivity and 3D NAND flash memory to deliver a significantly faster laptop experience over traditional hard disk drives. Consider storage needs when choosing the right capacity SSD.

Installing an internal SSD in place of your laptop’s HDD takes some technical skill but provides huge gains in speed, longevity, and efficiency. Follow best practices like cloning your old drive, cleaning the system, and doing fresh OS and software installs. With the right SSD upgrade, you can make an old laptop feel young again.