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Best SSD for gaming in 2024 – our top picks

Level up your gaming rig with these SSDs...
Last Updated on April 15, 2024
The best SSD for gaming, the WD - Black SSD, is shown on a blue background.

If you are looking for the best SSD for gaming, then we have you covered right here.

Now, there’s a difference between a regular SSD and a gaming SSD. From a technical perspective, gaming is a straining, resource-intensive process that needs more power. So SSDs aimed at gamers tend to have better speeds, powerful heatsinks, and other specs that make them different from regular drives. Of course, these drives can also be used for video editing and other demanding tasks. 

If you have a look at the options available on the market, you will find both internal as well as external SSDs aimed at gamers – with the former option being more popular. If you have a good budget, you can even consider getting the premium drives, which come with dedicated gaming features, powerful heatsinks, and even RGB lights. 

With that being said, we have researched and shortlisted some of the best gaming SSDs that you can check out. 

Products at a Glance

How we picked

For this guide, we have looked at several SSDs manufactured by different brands and then shortlisted the ones that we thought were the best. We have picked the SSDs based on features like speeds, storage capacity, heatsink, and more. Plus, we are always adding new products to our list to keep it updated, so you can check back here for more updates.

Our Recommended

Product Reviews

1
PROS
  • High read and write speeds
  • PCIe Gen 4 interface
  • Game Mode 2.0
CONS
  • Expensive

If you want the best internal SSD for gaming, then we think that the WD Black SN850X is a good pick.

Much like some of the best NVMe SSDs, this drive also uses the standard M.2 2280 form factor and offers a PCIe Gen 4 interface, which means you can expect faster sequential speeds and overall better performance.

Getting into specifics, the drive offers speeds up to 7,300 MB/s, which should translate into low latency, minimal stutter, and rapid app launches. Plus, you get the Game 2.0 mode, which boosts performance with faster in-game loading.

For this guide, we have chosen the 1TB variant, which we think should be enough for most gamers. However, you can go for 4TB or 8TB SSDs, if they suit your needs better.

2
PROS
  • Comes with heatsink
  • 7,450 MB/s transfer rates
  • 50% more power efficient over predecessor
CONS
  • Expensive

If you want the best M.2 SSD for gaming, then you should check out the SAMSUNG 990 PRO drive.

To start with, this M.2 drive sports a PCIe Gen 4.0 interface, which should translate into high speeds. Specifically, the SSD offers read and write speeds of up to 7,450 MB/s and 6,900 MB/s, which should translate into faster app launches, quick loading times, and overall faster performance. Further, much like some of the best NVMe SSDs, this is also quite power efficient. The SSD uses over 50% less power than its predecessor.

Further, much like some of the best NVMe SSDs, this is also quite power efficient. The SSD uses over 50% less power than its predecessor. And to maintain this performance, the drive is equipped with a nickel-coated controller that promises to deliver thermal control.

For this guide, we have selected the 2TB model, which we think should be better suited for gamers. However, depending on your needs and budget, you can choose other storage capacities.

3
PROS
  • High read/write speeds
  • Backward compatible
  • Budget-friendly
CONS
  • Mediocre 4K performance

If you are on a budget, then you should look at the SK Hynix Platinum P41 SSD.

Now, despite being a somewhat budget pick, the SSD packs incredible speeds. Coming to the exact numbers, the drive has a read speed of up to 7,000 MB/s and write speeds of up to 6,500 MB/s, which is quite fast – and the SK Hynix HYPERWRITE cache technology promises faster performance.

Now, this is an NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD, which should be compatible with most setups. However, it is backward compatible with PCIe 3.0 systems, but the speeds are capped. You will get up to 3,500 MB/s read and up to 3,200 MB/s write speeds, which is still a good speed.

For this guide, we have chosen the 1TB variant, which we think is a good balance between price and performance. However, depending on your budget and preferences, you can go for the 500GB variant.

Much like some of the best budget SSDs, this one delivers clean performance without any bells and whistles. However, it does come with a heatsink, which should help keep the drive’s temperature and performance optimal.

4
PROS
  • PCIe 4.0 x4 interface
  • PS5 compatibility
  • Wide range of storage capacities
CONS
  • No accompanying software

If you are looking for an SSD for your gaming PC, then we think this Silicon Power drive might be a good fit.

To start with, this M.2 SSD has high read and write speeds, so you can expect it to tweak your gaming experience. To be more specific, you get sequential read speeds up to 7,300MB/s and sequential write speeds up to 6,800MB/s.

It sports a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface, which, combined with the M.2 form factor, makes this quite an upgrade. As far as gaming is concerned, these specs look solid. And to add to that, you also get a heatsink, which should help in maintaining optimal performance and temperature.

For this guide, we have chosen the 2TB variant, which we think should be more than sufficient for gamers. However, depending on your needs, you can also get 1TB, 4TB, and even 8TB drives.

5
PROS
  • High read/write speeds
  • Wide compatibility
  • RGB lights
CONS
  • RGB works only on PC

If you are looking for an external gaming SSD, then we think that the Western Digital P40 SSD might check all the boxes for you.

Now, external drives tend to have slower speeds than internal SSDs, But portable drives compensate for the speeds with flexibility and multi-utility. Much like some of the best external SSDs, this WD drive has a speed of up to 2,000MB/s, which should be sufficient for gamers.

Further, this drive is compatible with PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4 Pro, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S, which is good news for console users. Plus, this drive also works well with PCs, laptops, and even Macs.

As this is a portable SSD, it is pocket-sized, lightweight, and has a rugged design. Aside from being portable, this SSD also sports RGB lights, which should appeal to people looking for gamer aesthetics. However, the lights work only with PCs and laptops.

 

How to pick the best SSD for gaming

Speed

The speed depends on whether you decide to get an external SSD or an internal SSD. Usually, for gaming, the internal drives are more common as they offer more speeds – you are looking at sequential read speeds of up to 7,300 MB/s.

Meanwhile, external drives mostly have read speeds ranging from 1,000 MB/s to 3,000 MB/s. However, portable SSDs tend to be multipurpose and portable – so the right choice depends on your use case.

Storage

If you have a look at the storage options available, you will find SSDs offering storage from 500MB to 8TB, which is a wide range. Ideally, for gaming or storing massive amounts of data, you should go for 2TB of storage. However, again, this will vary depending on your requirements.

Heatsinks

As you are buying this SSD for gaming, which is a resource-intensive task, your SSD will be under a bit of load and will probably heat up. To help maintain optimal temperature and performance, you should look for a heatsink. Most SSDs aimed at gamers will feature a heatsink, so you don’t need to be too worried about it.

Gaming features

Since you will come across many gaming-specific SSDs, you will find that they offer dedicated gaming features like enhanced heatsink, RGB lights, and more.

What SSD speed is best for gaming?

The faster your SSD, the quicker your games will load, and the smoother your gaming experience will be. As a general rule, SSDs with a speed range of 3,500 to 7,000 MB/s provide excellent performance for gaming. So, when choosing an SSD for gaming, remember – the faster, the better!

Is 512GB SSD enough for gaming?

If you’re the type of gamer who plays a couple of games at a time and then uninstalls them, a 512GB SSD should suffice. However, if you’re a hardcore gamer with a penchant for AAA titles that take up a lot of space, or you like to keep a wide variety of games installed at once, you might find that 512GB fills up pretty quickly. In that case, it might be worth investing in an SSD with a larger capacity – say, 1TB or more.

Our Verdict

If you are looking for the best SSD for gaming, then we think that the WD Black SN850X SSD is a good option. Its PCIe Gen 4 interface and blazing 7,300 MB/s speeds mean lightning-fast loading, minimal stutter, and rapid app launches. Plus, you get Game Mode 2.0, which further optimizes in-game performance. While the 1TB option should suffice for most, larger 4TB and 8TB capacities are available.

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