With steam sales, bundle sales, and an ever-increasing amount of games on PC, many gamers may see their hard drives filling up. Having to delete games in order to make room for new ones can be frustrating and time consuming.
A good hard drive, whether it be a traditional mechanical hard drive or a newer solid state drive, will give you quick loading times, as well as plenty of space to expand your gaming library.
Those looking to upgrade their PC’s storage face a seemingly endless number of options to chose from, and may struggle to weight the different options.
We took a look at the hard drives on the market that are best for gaming and picked out the five that are best for those looking to give their gaming rig a storage boost.
How we chose the best Hard Drive for Gaming
We began our search by narrowing our focus to only include hard drives that will work in a high performance gaming rig, as to not bottleneck any of your hardware.
We took into account that some hard drives are specifically designed for gaming, and weighed the added benefits of those drives.
We looked over numerous Hard Drives designed to improve your gaming experience by giving you faster loading times, and added space for as many games as you choose to buy. When considering which hard drives should make our list we considered the following features:
- Type of Drive
- Physical Size
We determined this final list by looking over countless technical specifications and user reviews for each hard drive we evaluated. We tailored our list to those hard drives that will provide you with the best experience and upgrade.
We compared each and every nuance of the hard drives we reviewed and weighed each category in order to bring you the five best hard drives for gaming.
The five best hard drives for gaming
Here’s a list of the five best hard drives for gaming:
The most important consideration when choosing the best Hard Drive for Gaming
When looking at a new gaming hard drive, the first thing you want to consider is what type of drive it is. You have two primary options: A traditional Mechanical HDD, or a newer SSD.
If you choose to go with a HDD, you’ll find high storage capacities at very low prices, but with the disadvantage of much lower speeds than a SSD.
However, if you choose to purchase a SSD, you’ll experience incredibly fast load and boot times, albeit at a much higher price per gigabyte than a hard disk drive.
Recently we have seen the rise of fusion drives, which provide a mixture of the two experiences at a competitive price.
We’ll let you decide which type of drive better suits your need, however we carefully weighed the advantages and disadvantages of both when putting this list together.
Other considerations when choosing the best Hard Drive for Gaming
The speed of your hard drive is paramount to everything from your boot time to how fast you can access files on the drive.
Different hard drives come with different levels of speed, and we carefully reviewed the speed of the hard disk drives and solid state drives that we reviewed for this list so that you can get the best possible performance for your money.
The capacity of a hard drive is the most advertised feature of any drive, and for good reason. You won’t want to have to worry about running out of space for your game library any time soon.
Different drives and types of drives come with differing capacities, and we took this into account when putting this list together.
While bigger is certainly better, there are times where sacrificing some storage in return for added benefits, such as higher speeds, is warranted.
However, we did keep in mind that for some people, storage capacity is everything, and, as a result, we approached the topic of storage from every angle.
Being able to use your new storage drive in any computer you choose is incredibly important to upgrading your gaming experience. A good hard drive won’t restrict your choice of operating system for your gaming machine and will let you build out your gaming experience in any way you choose.
The final feature we took into account was the physical size of each drive.
While this may seem to be a meaningless feature, it is important that your new hard drive can fit into the existing mount or cage in your current or new pc.
For this reason, we were sure to include the physical size of each hard drive in order to give you every piece of information you need to make an informed decision.
The best Hard Drive for Gaming
Our #1 Pick for best Hard Drive for gaming is the Samsung 850 EVO.
When it comes to gaming, nothing will give you a speed boost and demolish loading times like a high quality Solid State Drives. Furthermore, your PC will boot up faster allowing you to get to your games even faster.
The EVO sports incredible sequential read/write performance of up to 540MB?s and 520MB/s respectively.
The model of EVO we reviewed is the 250GB model, however for higher prices you can get up to 4 TB in solid state storage, the best available in a Solid State Drive today.
The 850 Evo is compatible with all recent versions of Windows and is Linux Compatible. SATA III guarantees maximum capability and speed.
The Evo comes in at 2.5” guaranteeing its ability to upgrade any gaming machine you choose.
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The four other Gaming Hard Drives we tested
Coming in second on our list is the Crucial MX300. While the EVO is the most premium drive we reviewed, the MX300 offers better capacity at competitive pricing.
The Crucial drive sports slightly slower speeds than the EVO at 350MB/s read and 510MB/s write speeds which are sure to give you competitive speeds for any type of game.
For a competitive price the Crucial drive offers 525GB of storage with a maximum capacity of 2TB. While half a terabyte is the perfect amount of storage for a moderate game collection, 2TB is perfect for future proofing your gaming machine.
The Corsair drive is rated to work with any current operating system as well as SATA III compatible. Just like the previous drive we reviewed the MX300 will fit in any PC build you choose to use it in allowing you to augment your games wherever you are and whatever form factor you are building in.
- Sequential reads/writes up to 530 / 510 MB/s on all file types
- Random reads/writes up to 92K / 83K on all file types
- Over 90x more energy efficient than a typical hard drive
The third drive featured on our list is the most expensive, and complicated to install, we reviewed. However, for any professional or aspiring-professional gamer the speeds offered by the 960 Pro are an essential addition to your competitive PC build.
The speeds of the 960 Pro are a loading screen shattering 3,500 MB/s read and 2,100 MB/s write speeds blowing away any and all competition. This is made possible by going beyond the limits of SATA and using an M.2 connection solution.
The standard model of the 960 Pro is 512GB, however there are options up to 2TB. Incredibly high speeds mixed with high storage options makes this the perfect drive to upgrade your competitive-level PC and prepare yourself for years to come.
The 960 Pro is perfect for any mobile or desktop computer that you would like to upgrade, and its small 3.15x.87x.09 inch form factor make it a perfect fit regardless of your available space.
While its higher price tag may put it out of the spending range of casual and intermediate gamers, the lightning fast speeds and high storage make it the perfect storage solution for those willing to spend extra money.
- M.2 (2280): PCIe 3.0 x4 NVM Express SSD for Client PCs
- V NAND Client SSD ideal for GAMING, high performance tower desktops and small...
- Sequential Read Speeds up to 3500MB/s and Sequential Write Speeds up to...
Our fourth pick for best gaming drive is aimed at more budget friendly builds or upgrades sporting the cheapest price tag for an SSD on this list, while still sporting competitive speeds.
The Drevo X1 Pro offers read speeds of 560MB/s and write speeds up to 500MB/s. Despite being the slowest Solid State Drive speeds on this list, they are still lightning fast performance metrics which will give a noticeable speed increase to your gaming device.
The Drevo drive comes with storage of 128GB making it the ideal choice for those with small gaming libraries or people who are looking to add an SSD to their existing Hard Drive setup.
Using SATA III cables and a normal 2.5” form factor the DREVO will give you no trouble in adding it to your gaming machine.
While it may not have the fastest speeds or highest capacities, the DREVO is ideal for those looking to use their money elsewhere in their gaming pc.
- Achieves sequential read/write speeds up to 560 MB/s, 500 MB/s
- Comes with an industry-leading Mean Time to Failure (MTTF) of 1.75M hours
- Available in a 2.5”/7mm enclosure to accommodate most laptops and PCs
Rounding out our list of best gaming hard drives it the WD Black series, Western Digital’s premier gaming line of hard drives.
While a mechanical hard drive Simply cannot keep up with Solid State Drives in terms of speed, the WD Black series is specifically geared towards gaming and includes a massive 128 MB cache allowing for faster loading times than a traditional hard disk drive.
The storage of the WD Black is what places it on our list, as Five Terabytes of storage will allow you to expand your gaming collection for years to come with no worries of running out of space.
The WD Black is a standard 3.5” hard drive using SATA connection, meaning it will fit perfectly in your existing case in place of your current hard drive.
Despite its lower speeds, the WD Black is perfect for anyone who is looking for a new way to store their massive gaming collection, making it a natural fit for our list.
- Designed for creative professionals, gamers and system builders
- WD's StableTrac and Dynamic Cache Technology increase reliability and optimize...
- 2X DRAM cache up to 128 MB (6TB, 5 TB only) for faster read operations
The bottom line
A good hard drive will provide you with competitive speeds and enough storage to last you for years, because the last thing you want to worry about while shopping for a new game is how much storage you have left to fill.
Our top pick for best hard drive was the Samsung 850 Evo for its lightning-fast speeds, high storage capacity, and relative affordability. These qualities along with its high quality build make it a natural fit for best gaming hard drive.
However, each of the devices we mentioned here are high quality competitive devices that will have no trouble upgrading your gaming experience and making sure your hard drive is always ready when you need it.
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