Gaming is an incredible activity that relaxes your mind while playing casually and improves your cognitive abilities when being competitive. While gaming, we all have faced long loading times and frequent frame halting. It means that a slow storage device is bottlenecking your PC performance. Modern PCs with minimum configuration require the best SSD for gaming. SSD and HDD have a massive difference in read/write speeds. A typical HDD reads/writes at an average speed of 150MB/s, which is very slow for any modern PC. If you want your gaming times to reduce, it’s better to go for a drive with 3500MB/s speed. The faster transfer protocol of the best PCIe 4.0 SSD makes it ideal among all the fast interfaces.

If you are looking to buy an external drive, then among the solid-state storage devices top performing is the best NVMe SSD in the market. NVMe is installed on the motherboard in the M.2 slot, so you would sometimes find it being called the best M.2 SSD for gaming. A PCIe-based SSD with NVMe support can provide five times more data transfer speeds than a SATA-based M.2 drive. Now USB ports have become extremely fast, and with a USB3.2 Gen2x2 TypeC port, you can reach up to 20 Gbps data transfer rate with two lanes making the best external SSD for gaming ideal for portability. Most users combine SSD with HDD. They store files in the HDD which are not frequently used, and place frequently accessed files in the SSD. In this way, you can obtain the best yet most economical solution.

Our top picks

01

best ssd for gaming

WD Black SN850

WD Black SN850

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02

best PCIe 3.0 SSDs

WD Black SN750

WD Black SN750

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03

A speedy PCIe 4.0 SSD that will last and last

Seagate Firecuda 530

Seagate Firecuda 530

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Quick Shopping Tips:

Before purchasing, first, have a look at some shopping tips:

Interfaces: There are multiple interfaces available in SSDs, and you need to pick the most suitable one. Older SSDs were connected to the SATA port but were limited due to the slow speed of the SATA interface. After the PCIe-based interface, the speed of SSD increased drastically, but the fastest interface for SSD is the NVMe PCIe interface.

Heat Sink: Drives can get hot while operating, and some even require a heat sink for sustainable operation. The thermal throttling phenomenon is often observed in high-performance NVMe-based SSDs. Motherboard often comes with a heat sink in the box, but if you don’t have one, it’s better to buy an M.2 SSD heatsink for better performance.

Storage Capacity: Storage capacity does not affect the speed of an SSD compared to an HDD. A drive having a larger capacity will be expensive, and everybody knows that they will not access all the data daily. So it’s always better to combine HDD with an SSD. A large capacity HDD and a medium-capacity SSD.

Read/Write Speed: The speed is measured and benchmarked in MB/s. Every SSD is different and performs differently under load. So users must evaluate them through benchmark results. Some produce a lot of heat while some remain cool. Currently, the highest speed SSD has achieved is 3372MB/s. One must opt for a speedy device.

The Best SSD for Gaming: First look

WD Black SN850

WD Black SN850

best ssd for gaming

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WD Black SN750

WD Black SN750

best PCIe 3.0 SSDs

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Seagate Firecuda 530

Seagate Firecuda 530

A speedy PCIe 4.0 SSD that will last and last

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Samsung 970 EVO Plus

Samsung 970 EVO Plus

Samsung most affordable PCIe 3.0 SSD

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Crucial MX500

Crucial MX500

best SATA SSD for secondary storage

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Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus

A lightning fast PCIe 4.0 package for a decent price

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Crucial P5 Plus

Crucial P5 Plus

The most affordable PCIe 4.0 drive around

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WD BLUE SN550

WD BLUE SN550

best cheap PCIe 3.0 SSD is the WD Blue SN550

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The Best SSD for Gaming: In-depth Review

01

best ssd for gaming

WD Black SN850

Brand

Western Digital

Capacity

1TB

Form Factor

Compact

Sequential Reads/Writes

7000/5300 MB/s

Transfer Interface/Protocol

PCIe Gen 4 x4

Weight

0.264 ounces

Dimension

3.15 x 0.87 x 0.09 inches

Warranty

5 Years

WD Black SN850
WD Black SN850 (Image credit: Western Digital)

PROS

+Latest gen PCIe 4.0

+Compatible with PS5

+High-speed data transfer speed

CONS

-High idle power consumption

-No 7000MB/s with PCIe 3.0 slot

We thought of starting with the fastest protocol NVMe SSD in our list. WD Black SN850 utilizes the PCIe 4.0 technology to boost your PC performance by many folds. An internal drive can be named the best SSD for gaming. The product’s price is slightly high, but it is due to the 7000MB/s read speed. A game like GTA V can load in 25 seconds at this speed, whereas a regular HDD would take around 50 seconds. As an SSD, the reliability of its components is backed by a 5-year limited warranty.

The latest generation of PlayStation 5 offers the ability to upgrade storage capacity. Suppose your PS5 has the 21.02-04.00.00 or later software; it will easily pick up the drive in a plug-and-play configuration, making it the best gaming SSD. While using it on a PC, you can utilize the WD BLACK Dashboard for tweaking the drive. Users can enhance the performance of the disk for game mode. It can write data at the speed of 4100MB/s which is ideal for content creators and video editors who require fast pace storage with their high-end processor and GPU.

02

best PCIe 3.0 SSDs

WD Black SN750

Brand

Western Digital

Capacity

500 GB

Form Factor

M.2 2280

Sequential Reads/Writes

3430/2600 MB/s

Transfer Interface/Protocol

PCIe Gen 3

Weight

‎0.272 ounces

Dimension

3.15 x 0.95 x 0.32 inches

Warranty

5 Years

WD Black SN750
WD Black SN750 (Image credit: Western Digital)

PROS

+Small form factor

+Ideal for Intel 10th Gen CPU

+3430 Megabytes per second read speed

CONS

-No gaming console support

-Limited speed due to interface

We added WD Black SN750 to our list because not everyone has a PCIe 4.0 compatible motherboard. You will need to find out what is best for your PC. First, you need to ensure that your PC can run the PCIe 3.0 components before buying any of the best PCIe 3.0 SSDs. It is ideal for Intel 10th Generation CPUs that support the PCIe 3.0 interface. WD has used the alternative to DRAM known as the NAND interface. It gives it the ability to store data without having a continuous power supply, and within a small size single-sided drive, you can achieve powerful results.

Modern gaming PCs require high-capacity drives that are fast and produce low heat. Sometimes you do not need high-speed functionality when you are not gaming. In that case, WD provides a WD_BLACK Dashboard which gamers can use to tweak the best SSD storage device. Users can turn on the low power mode for normal usage, which will cause the drive to cool down and be easy on your energy bill. You need to ensure that your PC supports the NVMe interface on the M.2 slot. If your system is SATA-based, this drive will not work.

03

A speedy PCIe 4.0 SSD that will last and last

Seagate Firecuda 530

Brand

Seagate

Capacity

4 TB

Form Factor

M.2 2280

Sequential Reads/Writes

7300/6900 MB/s

Transfer Interface/Protocol

PCIe Gen 4 ×4

Weight

1.66 ounces

Dimension

‎3.16 x 0.87 x 0.14 inches

Warranty

5 Years

Seagate Firecuda 530
Seagate Firecuda 530 (Image credit: Seagate)

PROS

+3D TLC SSD NAND tech

+Fastest data transfer speed

+Heatsinked for cooling chipset

CONS

-No 4K efficiency

-Not as cost-efficient as rivals

Seagate Firecuda 530 is one of the fastest SSDs on our list. It reaches an incredible 7300 MB/s data transfer speed at reasonable power consumption. The presence of a pre-installed heatsink is the reason it hit a remarkable milestone. With a plug-and-play configuration, it is designed to easily fit inside the PS5 in terms of dimensions as a speedy PCIe 4.0 SSD that will last and last. It is compatible with the latest generation of gaming consoles like the PS5. The 4TB capacity is high enough to support all the storage needs for PC gaming or editing videos.

It is made with the latest E8 controller and proven ultra-fast 3D TLC SSD NAND technology making it the best SSD for gaming. The backward compatibility of this device with PCIe 3.0 is a great option, but it would not do justice to its speed. When it comes to reliability, it has a 5,100 TB TBW which means you can delete data and rewrite it for many years. Seagate assures data preservation with the three years of Rescue data recovery services, ensuring that the unexpected data loss is recovered with a proven 95% success rate. The rigorous testing has demonstrated that the manufacturers have built this item with sheer perfection.

04

Samsung most affordable PCIe 3.0 SSD

Samsung 970 EVO Plus

Brand

Samsung

Capacity

1TB

Form Factor

M.2 2280

Sequential Reads/Writes

3500/3300 MB/s

Transfer Interface/Protocol

PCIe Gen 3.0 x 4

Weight

1.92 ounces

Dimension

0.87 x 0.9 x 3.15 inches

Warranty

5 Years

Samsung 970 EVO Plus
Samsung 970 EVO Plus (Image credit: Samsung)

PROS

+Fastest in PCIe 3.0 category

+Uses nickel-coated controller

+Samsung Magician for health monitoring

CONS

-Lags sometimes

-No macOS 10.14. 3 compatibility

Samsung has been ahead of the game for years. Their technology is mature and capable of competing with the best in the market. As a PCIe 3.0-based product, Samsung 970 EVO Plus performs the best in terms of speed. Therefore it rightly claims the title of Samsung most affordable PCIe 3.0 SSD. It achieves a 3500 MB/s sequential read speed, and a 3300 MB/s write speed without any heat sink. Considering the modern open-world games like Fallout 4 would greatly benefit from this item. With an EVO SSD installed, the long loading times are reduced to seconds instead of minutes.

When it comes to reliability, the storage drive has a 1,200 TBW. The five-year warranty period also explains Samsungs confidence in their device’s ability to operate in harsh conditions. Samsung uses a nickel-coated controller with a heat spreader that provides superior heat dissipation required for high performance and avoids thermal throttling. Gaming requires fast data access, and this drive is the best gaming SSD with a PCIe 3.0 interface in the market. However, a lower space 250GB version with similar technology has higher performance when compared to the 2TB version, but there is always a trade-off when it comes to storage.

05

best SATA SSD for secondary storage

Crucial MX500

Brand

Crucial

Capacity

1 TB

Form Factor

2.5-in SSD

Sequential Reads/Writes

560/510 MB/s

Transfer Interface/Protocol

SATA

Weight

‎0.32 ounces

Dimension

4.06 x 0.28 x 2.76 inches

Warranty

5 Years

Crucial MX500
Crucial MX500 (Image credit: Crucial)

PROS

+205 years MTBF

+SATA connection interface

+AES 256-bit hardware encryption

CONS

-No dedicated software

-Occupies more space than M.2

Crucial has built a name for itself in the RAM department due to its high-performance chipsets. One of their outstanding achievements is the production of the Crucial MX500 SSD. It is a 1TB drive that comes in a convenient 2.5 - inch SSD form factor as the best SATA SSD for secondary storage. The capability of writing 360TB on the drive before reaching the end of its life is phenomenal as most users do not write and frequently rewrite unless they are videographers. The drive’s life expectancy is 1.8 million hours mean-time before failure, which translates to 205 years, more than a person’s lifetime.

You can easily find a kit for using it for plugging in as a USB to the computer. The drive comes in a large case that protects it from harm and can be used as a secondary drive due to its low price and decent performance. It comes with adaptive thermal protection and the best SSD with a SATA interface. It has error correction code technology, which detects the common causes of data corruption and maintains data integrity. The ability to encrypt data at a hardware level with AES 256-bit is ideal for protecting confidential data from hackers and thieves.

06

A lightning fast PCIe 4.0 package for a decent price

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus

Brand

Sabrent

Capacity

1 TB

Form Factor

M.2 2280

Sequential Reads/Writes

7000/5300 MB/s

Transfer Interface/Protocol

PCIe 4.0 x 4

Weight

2.39 ounces

Dimension

3.15 x 0.86 x 0.11 inches

Warranty

5 Years

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus
Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus (Image credit: Sabrent)

PROS

+NVMe 1.3 Compliant

+Bad Block Management

+Supports ONFi 4.0 interface

CONS

-Lesser responsiveness

-No hardware encryption

Sabrent is a new name for storage devices. It has earned its reputation by producing fast-performing products with stability, and Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus is a pitch-perfect device for everyone. Although it is not that famous yet, it is a lightning fast PCIe 4.0 package for a decent price. The compact form factor of M.2 2280 can provide 7GB/s of data speed. It utilizes the most advanced interface protocol available in computers, PCIe 4.0 x4. The power consumption compared to an HDD is very low. It consumes only 6.6Watt during normal working operation. At the same time, a typical HDD consumes as low as 10Watt while working.

It uses the Phison PS5018-E18 flash controller, the fastest in the market and verified by tech enthusiasts as being stable in performance at overclocked conditions. The speed at which this drive operates with consistency makes it the best SSD for gaming. It uses the external DDR4 cache, ideal for high-speed performance, and a NAND flash BGA132 known for its reliability. This product is the most desirable thing despite a few flaws. 1600000 hours of operation is the meantime before failure for this drive, which means it can work for ages.

07

The most affordable PCIe 4.0 drive around

Crucial P5 Plus

Brand

Crucial

Capacity

500 GB

Form Factor

M.2 2280

Sequential Reads/Writes

6600/4000 MB/s

Transfer Interface/Protocol

NVMe PCIe 4.0

Weight

0.59 ounces

Dimension

3.14 x 0.86 x 0.09 inches

Warranty

5 Years

Crucial P5 Plus
Crucial P5 Plus (Image credit: Crucial)

PROS

+Read 360K IOPS

+Minimalist Design

+Software package

CONS

-Gets heated up

-No efficiency under load

Crucial has been in the business of producing memory modules, and with the Micron Advanced NAND, their Crucial P5 Plus is a well-acclaimed device for PC users. It has proven to be the most affordable PCIe 4.0 drive around. It is nearly two times faster than the same manufacturer’s previous generation of PCIe 3.0 drives. Application opens up in seconds, and windows boot-up time is reduced to half of the time required by HDDs. With a powerful PC with high-speed RAM, a processor with PCIe 4.0 support, and a motherboard with PCIe 4.0 lanes to supply the M.2 slots, this device will prove economical.

While gaming, your storage device is continuously used for retrieving data, and with the read IOPS of 360K, the loading process will be smooth and flawless. No thermal throttling is observed when the drive is in operation, representing the SSD’s ability to dissipate heat and its highly efficient design. It works with the PS5 in a plug-and-play configuration, giving it the title of the best gaming SSD. However, some users have reported it heating up inside the cramped-up space of a PS5, so be sure to use it with a heat sink or thermal pad when installing in a PS5. Overall it’s a cost-effective item with high latest-generation performance.

08

best cheap PCIe 3.0 SSD is the WD Blue SN550

WD BLUE SN550

Brand

Western Digital

Capacity

1 TB

Form Factor

M.2 2280

Sequential Reads/Writes

2400/1700 MB/s

Transfer Interface/Protocol

NVMe PCIe 3.0

Weight

0.2 ounces

Dimension

3.15 x 0.87 x 0.09 inches

Warranty

5 Years

WD BLUE SN550
WD BLUE SN550 (Image credit: Western Digital)

PROS

+Withstands 1500 G force

+Effectively utilizes PCIe 3.0

+Up to 70°C normal operation

CONS

-No PCIe 4.0 NVMe support

-Not suitable for recording and playing

If you are all about value for money, there is no better option than the WD Blue series. When it comes to performance with a large capacity, the WD BLUE SN550 lands on top. At the end of our list, we thought of adding the most feasible and the best cheap PCIe 3.0 SSD is the WD Blue SN550. Whether you are a gamer or a content creator, you will love the four times higher performance than the previous SATA-based SSDs. The M.2 2280 uses up to 4 Lanes to provide 8 Gb/s via the PCIe 3.0. Its rated endurance, as stated by the manufacturer, is 600TBW.

As an item with an M.2 form factor, it is known for having the endurance to withstand shocks. The item can stand against a 1,500 G force at 0.5 msec, making it the best SSD designed for internals under rugged conditions. A single-sided product comes in a small form factor ideal for small spaces and heat dissipation with heat sinks. You can install an aftermarket heatsink to improve the drive operating temperatures. However, it can withstand 70°C during normal operation, but anything above it will cause it to thermal throttle by reducing performance. It is undoubtedly the most suitable gear for the price when used for gaming-related purposes.

Final Words

If you are still using an HDD as your storage device, then you will see a drastic change in your window loading performance when using an SSD drive. Before indulging in a shopping spree for the best SSD for gaming, we have some basic knowledge to transfer to our readers. You need to be sure that the PC you will install the drive in, must have an M.2 slot, or you should at least have a SATA port connection spare for installation. All the PCIe 4.0 devices are backward compatible with PCIe 3.0 slots, but the compatibility issue will occur if you go any lower. A PCIe 3.0 or 4.0 M.2 2240 SSD will not work with a PCIe 2.0 slot. If your computer system still has a PCIe 2.0 slot, you should upgrade your motherboard and CPU before buying an M.2 drive.

Second, you need to be sure that none of the hardware on the motherboard will bottleneck the performance of your drive. Your motherboard should have PCIe 4.0 lanes available for gear to work. A processor that doesn’t support PCIe 4.0 will lead you to lose performance while gaming. Games like Fortnite and Call of Duty Modern Warfare require rapid map loading; this will get you to be the first one to load the round in time. For open-world games like Resident Evil 8, Ghost Wire Tokyo, and Death loop will benefit from loading faster as they require enormous data for operation. Overall we believe that an SSD can drastically improve the performance of any PC but be sure that you meet the necessary conditions for fast operation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good size SSD for gaming?

Typically, an SSD with 500GB of space is enough for gaming requirements. You can store the frequently accessed games on the device and others on the HDD. The Crucial P5 Plus with 500 GB storage capacity is ideal for gaming. It is affordable with hardware-based AES 256-bit encryption for protection against hacking and theft.

Are SSDs good for gaming?

They are indeed the best option for gaming, but they are expensive. It is better to buy a fast and cheap gaming SSD like the WD BLUE SN550. The 2400 MB/s read speed is high enough to load massive games like GTA V in seconds rather than minutes compared to HDD. It is PCIe 3.0 interface based, so it’s ideal for 10th Gen or higher Intel processors.

Do games on SSD run better?

Open-world games like the Red Dead Redemption 2 and Elden Ring require ample storage space and fast read speed from the device for flawless operation. Using a 7000 MB/s read speed SSD like the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus will ensure no stuttering during gaming due to graphics being loaded while gaming.

Is it better to have 2 SSD for gaming?

If you are streaming, recording, and gaming simultaneously, then it’s better to have 2 SSDs for gaming. We recommend using the Seagate Firecuda 530 with 4 TB storage space for recording as it has an incredible read/write speed of 7300/6900 MB/s. Combine it with a humbly priced WD Black SN850 for best performance. It will ensure no cap on the game’s performance and the recording process.