SSDs, also known as solid-state hard drives, are considered to be an essential component of any modern gaming system. While SSDs were first sold in the 1970s, useful gaming SSDs have always been difficult for gamers to find at an affordable price and size until recently. Thankfully, today’s standard SSDs are finally big enough to game with. However, some gamers still are unsure what a solid-state hard drive actually is; and they aren’t sure if it’s worth the time and money to upgrade. This guide will share the major benefits of getting an SSD for gaming, and it will provide in-depth reviews of the best available solid-state hard drives on the market today.
What are SSDs (Solid-State Hard Drives)?
A solid-state hard drive is a nonessential storage unit inside of an electronic device. In fact, SSDs can’t be considered traditional hard drives, because they do not use spinning disk to store and read data through a mechanical arm. Instead, an SSD uses a series of semiconductors that are organized to make up the hard drive and hold storage.
What are the Benefits of SSDs and HDDs?
It’s well known that SSDs bring more to the table than traditional hard disk drives. An SSD has access speeds of thirty-five to a hundred micro-seconds, while HDDs take about five thousand micro-seconds to access the same data. SSDs also feature more reliability because they have no moving parts, they are not affected by magnetism, they produce less heat, and they use flash memory to reliably store data. SSDs also create less noise than HDDs, and they are often available in smaller sizes than traditional HDDs.
What is the Difference between SSDs and SSHDs?
SSHD is a hybrid hard drive that blends the performance of solid-state hard drives with the price tag and storage capacity of a hard disk drive. The driver uses a controller chip that chooses when data is stored in solid-state and when it’s stored through a traditional hard disk. The major differences between the two drivers is performance, capacity, and price. Those who are looking for an increased data capacity at a lower price will enjoy hybrid drives, while gamers who are specifically looking for performance will be happy with purely solid-state hard drives.
How do you Check Compatibility of Hard Drives?
The first major factor for installing a new hard drive is understanding whether your current computer is currently using a HHD or SSD, and to identify the size. The easiest way to identify the actual size of your current hard drive is to simply search ‘About PC’ in your operating system and discover the model of the PC. After that, simply search Google for what hard drive is inside of your PC model to discover the size of the hard drive. You can also easily find this information out from your control panel if you use Windows. While most HHD drives are 3.5″, there are plenty of adaptors out there if you’re looking to easily install a 2.5″ SSD for gaming into a 3.5″ slot.
The second major factor in checking Hard Drive compatibility comes through discovering what connection standard your motherboard is using. Currently, SATA is the golden connection standard that holds about ninety-nine percent of the market. In the rare case you own a hard drive without a SATA connection, a PCI to SATA adaptor can be purchased to connect with your new hard drive.
After purchasing a hard drive, the best way to learn how to install your hard drive is to follow step-by-step instructions given with the driver or do a search of your computer or laptop on YouTube.
SSD For Gaming Comparison Table And Reviews
|The Samsung 850 EVO SSD||Samsung V-NAND Technology|
TurboWrite technology with 540 MB/s sequential read and 520 MB/s sequential write speeds.
|5.0 out of 5 Stars||$$
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|WD Blue 3D NAND SSD||Up to 560MB/s read and 530MB/s write speeds|
3-year limited warranty
|4.6 out of 5 Stars||$
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|SanDisk Ultra 3D NAND SATA III SSD||nCache 2.0 technology for outstanding speeds|
Limited 3‐year warranty
|4.4 out of 5 Stars||$$$$
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|WD Blue 3D NAND 1TB PC SSD - SATA III 6 Gb/s - WDS100T2B0A||1TB|
Industry-leading 1.75 million hours MTTF (mean time to failure)
WD F.I.T. Lab certification
|4.6 out of 5 Stars||$$$$
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|Crucial MX300 1TB SATA 2.5 Inch Internal Solid State Drive - CT1050MX300SSD1||Micron 3D NAND technology|
530 MB/s read and 510 MB/s sequential write speeds
|4.6 out of 5 Stars||$$$
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|The Kingfast SSD For Gaming - 240GB||240GB|
IOPS performance that runs as fast as 40K
F6PRO technology for multitasking
|4.7 out of 5 Stars||$
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|The Samsung 960 PRO Series||Speeds are out of this world - 3,500MB/s read and 2,100MB/s writing speed|
1TB - other sizes available
5 year limited warranty
|4.6 out of 5 Stars||$$$$$
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|ADATA SU800 128GB 3D NAND SSD||128GB|
Reading speed of 560MB/s and a writing speed of 520MB/s
SSD Toolbox and Disk Migration features
|4.5 out of 5 Stars||$
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|ADATA XPG SX950 3D-NAND Gaming SSD||240GB|
LDPC ECC and RAID engine technology
TBW up to 800 TB and MTBF of two million hours
|4.6 out of 5 Stars||$$
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|Toshiba 256GB Q Series HDTS325XZSTA||256GB|
Sequential reading speed of up to 385MB/s and writing speed of 512MB/s
Comes pared with Echo Data Migration Software
|4.4 out of 5 Stars||$$$
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The Samsung 850 EVO series is considered by many as the industry standard SSD for gaming. The series has a capacity as low as 500GB and as high as 2TB. This hard drive is powered through 3D V-NAND technology that ensures that all computing experiences are optimized for both performance and endurance. This hard drive has writing speeds up to 520 MB/s and reading speeds as fast as 540 MB/s. The EVO also uses RAPID technology that can double the performance of the hard drive by using unutilized memory as cache storage. The 850 EVO series also comes with a five-year limited warranty, and it uses a 256-bit hardware-based encryption for unprecedented data protection and security. The size of this hard drive is 2.5″, and it uses the standard SATA connector.SEE DEALS ON AMAZON
Western Digital’s 3D NAND solid-state hard-drive utilizes the latest technology in order to stay competitive with world’s best solid-state drivers. The SSD series’ capacity ranges from 250GB to 2TB. The hard drive’s raw power has been boosted to perform twenty-five percent better than Western Digital’s previous generations of computers. This SSD for gaming has a sequential writing speed up to 530MB/s, and it has a reading speed up to 560MB/s. The hard drive also comes with a free downloadable dashboard software. It comes with a limited three-year warranty. This SSD has a 1.75M hours of MTTF up to 500TBW for enhanced reliability. This hard drive size is 2.5″, and it uses a SATA connector.SEE DEALS ON AMAZON
SanDisk is another reliable SSD for gaming, for anyone looking to accelerate their PC for pristine gaming. This powerful solid-state hard drive utilizes fast reading speeds that move as fast as 560MB/s. It has writing speeds that run as fast as 530MB/s. The hard drive features the industry standard 3D NAND technology for optimal power and performance. The disk also features nCacheTM 2.0 technology that delivers increased speeds. The warranty utilizes two scenarios. The first is a limited three-year warranty, and the second option is 400TBW. It comes with the SanDisk Dashboard that gives users real-time analysis of the driver’s performance. The driver is 2.5″, and it comes with a classic SATA connector.SEE DEALS ON AMAZON
The WD Blue 3D NAND 1TB SSD is similar to the WD Blue product further up, but much larger memory capacity. There are several great features withe the WD Blue, including an industry leading MTTF (mean time to failure) of 1.75 million hours. The power draw is up to 25% lower than previous WD Blue SSD models, and the WD Labs F.I.T certification ensures compatibility with a wide range of PCs and platforms. The included 3 year limited warranty gives peace of mind and the exceptional sequential read and write speeds make this one exceptional SSD for gaming.SEE DEALS ON AMAZON
The Crucial MX300 1TB SATA Internal SSD comes very highly rated. This SSD for gaming is up to 90 times more energy efficient than a standard hard drive. The sequential read and write speeds are 530 MB/s and 510 MB/s respectively. This SSD does come in a variety of sizes, but the 1TB appears to give the most value for money, and is the perfect size for a gaming SSD. The great speeds in the Crucial MX300 SSD for gaming owes its acceleration to the Micron 3D NAND technology. This SSD for gaming is slightly cheaper than the other 1TB SSDs in this list, but stands up well in terms of speed and performance.SEE DEALS ON AMAZON
The Kingfast was designed to be a more efficient solid-state drive. This specific driver only has a capacity of 240GB which is a little on the slim side as a gaming SSD, but can complement a hard drive for quicker startup and loading times. This hard drive comes with an impressive set of abilities. The F6PRO technology allows a computer to easily multi-task, boot-up more quickly, and it improves gameplay for gamers. Every Kingfast SSD for gaming is rigorously tested by the company before its released for consumption. This hard drive has a reading speed of 550MB/s and a writing speed of 410MB/s. It also has an IOPS performance that runs as fast as 40K. The hard drive has been specifically engineered to be resistant to shock and vibrations. This keeps the data safe even if your computer or laptop takes a dive. This SSD doesn’t produce any noise. It has a size of 2.5″, and it comes with a limited three-year warranty that comes with technical support.SEE DEALS ON AMAZON
The Samsung 60 PRO Series is a V-NAND Client solid-state hard drive that’s ideal for high-performance desktops and avid gamers. The hard drive comes with sequential reading speeds of an impeccable 3,500MB/s as well as an impressive 2,100MB/s writing speed. The results are highly reliable processing even in the most demanding software and games. The secret to high performance lies in the forty-eight-layer V-NAND architecture inside of the M.2 factor. The SSD also comes with a software that allows users to monitor, manage, and optimize the driver’s performance. The driver also comes with NVMEª interface that allows the series to support PCIe Gen 2 x4 lanes. This produces an enhanced bandwidth and lower latency when compared to traditional SATA connectors. While an adapter is required to connect this to the mother board, it’s a very beneficial style of connection. It’s very important to double check that your motherboard PCI connection before purchasing, but almost every motherboard has this connection. This driver size is 2.5″, and it comes with a limited five-year warranty.SEE DEALS ON AMAZON
The ADAT SU800 is a solid-state hard drive that uses the cutting edge 3D NAND technology. The 3D NAND technology utilizes stacking memory cells vertically to solve the density issues of previous 2D structure. This SSD has a reading speed of 560MB/s and a writing speed of 520MB/s. For optimized speed and performance, the SSD uses Dynamic SLC Caching complemented by the DRAM Cache Buffer. This solid-state drive comes with a limited three-year warranty, and it uses RAID Engine and Data Shaping to provide excellent security and protection throughout the hard drive. It also comes with a Low-Density Parity Check technology that utilizes error correction to minimize data corruption and improve overall data integrity. It also has a high TBW and a device sleeping mode that improves stability and power management. The SSD Toolbox and Disk Migration features also come free of charge to provide data analysis, management, and migration. The hard drive uses a SATA adaptor, and it is 2.5″ large.SEE DEALS ON AMAZON
The XPG SX950 is a hard drive by ADATA that was designed for an optimal gaming experience. The 3D MLC NAND technology allows the solid state drive to produce high speeds with reliability. The NAND flash is also built in with SLC caching and a DRAM cache buffer. This solid-state drive produces reading speeds up to 560MB/s and writing speeds that run as fast as 525MB/s. The end result is a faster system boot time and faster loading times throughout intense gaming. The XPG SX950 also utilizes LDPC ECC and the famous RAID engine technology in order to strengthen data security and produce data integrity. The hard drive has a TBW up to 800 TB and MTBF of two million hours. As a result, the hard drive comes with an impressive six-year warranty that you can play into the next decade with. This SSD for gaming has a disk factor of 2.5″, and it uses a SATA connector.SEE DEALS ON AMAZON
This Q Series from Toshiba is a solid-state hard drive that has 256GB of space. This drive is designed to be placed into ultrabooks and computers that enjoy running on high performance. The hard drive is 7mm thin so it’s ideal for small computers. The HDTS325XZSTA has random reading speeds of up to 385MB/s second and random writing speeds of up to 242MB/s. The sequential reading speed of this SSD for gaming is 554 MB/s, and it has a writing speed of 512MB/s. The box also comes with a mounting spacer and a quick installation guide. The solid state drive also comes pared with Echo Data Migration Software for free which allows users to analyze and better manage data. The drive was also designed to be durable against shock and vibration just in case the computer takes a tumble. The hard drive size is 2.5″, and it uses a SATA connector.SEE DEALS ON AMAZON
Solid-State Hybrid Hard Drives For Gaming
The FireCuda is a hybrid hard drive from Seagate that comes with the capacity of either 1TB or 2TB. The hard drive performs about five times faster than traditional hard disk drives. While the FireCuda hard drive isn’t as fast and as quiet as the solid state hard drives in this review, it does come with a speed of 7,200-RPM and a cache of 64MB. The size of this hard drive is 3.5″, and it does use a SATA connector. This hard drive also comes with a limited three-year warranty. The major benefit of this hard drive is that it is a low-budget solution for gamers who aren’t looking to run the fastest performance while gaming.CHECK DEALS ON AMAZON
The WD10S21X is a solid-state hybrid hard drive from Western Digital that has a data capacity of 1TB. The hybrid drive has a 16MB Cache as well as 8GB of NAND flash memory available. The form factor size of this hard drive is 2.5″, and it utilizes a SATA connector. The WD10S21X SSHD is 7mm slim, which makes it perfect for thin laptops. This hard drive has been performance tested in PCs, high-performance laptops, and even gaming systems. It’s an excellent complement for gamers that are looking for a larger hybrid drive to store media files and documents. The 8GB of flash memory is useful for games, but still a little on the small side of things.CHECK DEALS ON AMAZON
SSD and SSHD for Xbox One And PS4
This upgrade kit from Fantom Drives is a solid-state hybrid hard drive that has 128MB of cache. The kit uses the Firecuda, which is considered to be one of the fasted drives for console gaming. This hard drive is specifically designed to upgrade a PlayStation 4, but it can also be used to upgrade a PlayStation 3. The kit also comes with the ability to back up essential files, install new components, and even reuse the original PS4 hard drive. The original drive can even be transformed into a portable drive with the included G-Force USB 3.0 aluminum enclosure. This kit has a capacity of 2TB, and it packs an increased performance for serious gamers that enjoy playing PS4. The hard drive also comes with 16GB of flash memory for extremely fast gaming.CHECK DEALS ON AMAZON
The WL is a 1TB solid-state hybrid hard drive that’s equipped with NAND flash technology in order to blend storage with performance. This hard drive has a buffer size of 64MB Cache and has a rotation speed of 5400 RPMs. It’s 7mm thin, and it has size of 2.5″. It’s an excellent solution for PlayStation 4 fan that’s looking to take the console to another level of gaming.CHECK DEALS ON AMAZON
The STFT512400 is a full solid-state portable hard drive from Seagate that’s specifically designed for Xbox. This hard drive was built for elite gamers. It uses nothing but flash storage to eliminate long load times. The hard drive allows levels to load faster to make transitioning between levels a smooth experience. This 512GB hard drive can make room for about fifteen games, and it uses easy plug and play technology to make playing your favorite game easy. It is important to note that this hard drive cannot be transitioned from an Xbox360 to an Xbox One or the hard drive will be reformatted resulting in the files to be deleted.CHECK DEALS ON AMAZON
The Shadow Mini is another external solid-state hard drive created by Oyen Digital. This hard drive moves at speeds as fast as 400MB/s to produce the ultimate gaming experience for serious gamers that are looking for reliable storage. This hard drive was designed to be compatible with the Xbox One. Its 1500Gs operating shock makes it capable of enduring heavier impacts, and it features plug and play technology.CHECK DEALS ON AMAZON
All of the solid-state hard drives in this review are excellent options for gamers that are looking to make the most of what games have to offer. While solid-state hard drives tend to be more expensive, the speed and performance of these hard drives are lightyears ahead of traditional hard drives.