Finding the best SSD for gaming is important for any system. A slow storage drive is a major bottleneck, making your processor sit there twiddling its clock cycles, waiting for data.
To speed up your reads and writes, you need a fast SSD. That’s why we thoroughly test dozens of drives a year and highlight the best SSDs available on this page.
The most efficient SSD for gaming goes to transform a very important a part of your PC with the next-gen consoles set to make it a minimal requirement for high-end gaming functionality.
In the past you would in finding this record full of SATA-based drives from top-to-bottom, with probably just one or two PCIe SSDs lurking on the high-priced excessive finish.
It is now turning into an increasing number of exhausting to suggest the old-fashioned 2.Five-inch SSDs and no longer simply from a directly functionality viewpoint.
Benefits of an SSD for Gaming
- Full-throttle speed: Tired of watching loading screens? Tired of extended family complaining about how long Word takes to start? Computer boot time, file swaps, loading applications—it’s just saved time any way you slice it.
- Life as long as an Elf: They’re extremely reliable, with no moving parts to jam up the workings. You’re only limited by the number of read/writes to individual sectors before they fail—which, real talk now, is a huge number. The number is bigger than Justin Bieber’s ego.
- Save the world: They’re eco-friendly, and it would be super easy to throw one of them into your rig or laptop right now! Just remember to recycle your old drive responsibly.
- Put more junk in the trunk: The average SSD storage size is rising almost on a monthly basis. It isn’t as easy these days to say that size is the limiting factor, with 500GB+ drives popping up faster than Rattata on Route 1.
SATA SSD vs NVMe
- 2.5in SATA SSDs: The easiest drop-in replacement for a standard hard disk is a 2.5in SATA model. These are the same size and shape as a standard 2.5in hard disk, and plug into a normal SATA port on your motherboard.
- NVMe SSDs: If you’re in the market for a super-fast SSD that won’t be encumbered by its interface, you need to move beyond SATA to NVMe (also called PCI Express, PCIe NVMe, or just NVMe).
How we test SSDs
SSDs make your whole system faster and more pleasant to use. But they matter for gaming, too. A fast-loading SSD can cut dozens of seconds off the load times of big games like Red Dead Redemption 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, or MMOs like Final Fantasy XIV.
An SSD won’t affect framerates like your GPU or CPU, but it will make installing, booting, dying, and reloading in games a faster, smoother process.
When shopping for a good SSD for gaming, one of the most important factors is the price per gigabyte. How much will you have to spend to keep a robust library of Steam games installed, ready to be played at a moment’s notice? With many new games surpassing the 50GB and even 150GB mark, this becomes even more critical.
To find the best gaming SSDs, we researched the SSD market, picked out the strongest contenders, and put them through their paces with a variety of benchmarking tools. We also put in the research to know what makes a great SSD great, beyond the numbers—technical stuff like types of flash memory and controllers.
10 best ssd for gaming 2020:
1. Adata XPG SX8200 Pro
If you’re looking for great value when building a new gaming rig, then the Adata XPG SX8200 Pro SSD is one of the best gaming SSDs you’re going to find.
It has respectably-high sequential read and write speeds that hold their own against the WD Black SN750 and Samsung 970 EVO Plus. It also has outstanding durability, with an MTBF rating of 2,000,000 hours and a TBW score of up to 1280 at 2TB – the highest of the PCIe 3.0 M.2s on the list – and 160 at 256GB.
Where it does fall short compared to the SN750 and the 970 EVO Plus – by a good bit, in fact – is its random access speeds, which are a little under half as fast, though the XPG SX8200 Pro is still more than fast enough for all but the most meticulous, BIS builders out there.
It’s also crazy affordable as you move up to larger capacities, beating out the SN750 by about $100/£80/AU$140 and the 970 EVO Plus by about $160/£130/AU$240 at the 2TB capacity – great if you have a large game library and you want to move everything over to an NVMe SSD.
2. Samsung 970 EVO
The Samsung 970 EVO is a more affordable internal solid state drive that its faster brother, the 970 PRO. However, the SSD delivers solid performance that will make it a popular choice for serious gamers and professional users. This less expensive model uses some of the same technology that makes the 970 PRO a standout.
Under the hood, the SSD has a PCIe 3.0 x4 M.2 2280 form factor with an NVMe 1.2 interface. The Samsung 970 EVO is fast with a sequential read speed of up to 3,500 MB/s and a sequential write speed of up to 2,500 MB/s.
It comes in four capacities, 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB. When you talk about fast performance, you also have to consider temperature control which Samsung covers well.
Its Polaris controller helps it run smooth and cool, while the Dynamic Thermal Guard (DTG) keeps things in check during heavy workloads. Copper layers within the design protect the core elements. Also, Samsung’s improved TurboWrite technology kicks up its performance a notch. It has an endurance rating of up to 200 TBW (terabytes written).
For optimal performance, the SSD uses Samsung’s TurboWrite technology for creating a write buffer area to ramp up speeds. Users can also tailor its performance to their preferences with Samsung’s Magician Software. The Samsung 970 EVO comes with a five-year limited warranty.
3. WD Black SN750 1TB
Western Digital’s entry into the SSD market was a long while coming, especially at the speedy end of the market, but the WD Black SN750 was arguably worth the wait. It nails solid state performance on par with the best consumer Samsung EVO SSDs and severely undercuts them on price.
The combination of in-house memory controller and Toshiba memory (also essentially in-house after the acquisition of the SanDisk/Toshiba memory division) means what we’ve got here is a drive that can match Samsung in its build methodology too.
And that all means WD can be very aggressive on how much it charges people for the privilege of having a speedy PCIe SSD in their gaming PC.
There is a more expensive version on offer with a heatsink attached to it, but so long as you don’t bury your drive in an M.2 slot beneath your GPU you should be golden, and the SN750 will maintain peak performance without burning out sans extra SSD cooling.
4. SanDisk 2TB Extreme Portable External SSD
This SanDisk 2TB Extreme Portable External SSD is an extremely quick and reliable product, with read and write speeds up to 550 MB/s, and features an extremely high quality and durable external casing that is shock-resistant, IP55 water-resistant and dust-resistant.
We also loved that this drive is available in sizes up to 2 TB and comes with a fantastic three year warranty, two features in line with our top pick.
Though this item does integrate nicely with Mac OS-enabled devices, it will require a reformat and driver download, though it operates right out of the box with gaming consoles and PCs.
Also, we found that this product can get warm with prolonged use, though it doesn’t seem to impact performance. The best external ssd should be fast and reliable.
5. Addlink S70 512GB
Addlink got here out of nowhere to right away pressure down the costs of each and every competing NVMe-based SSD, and turns out to had been the catalyst for bringing nigh-on value parity around the PCIe and SATA SSD ecosystem.
So yeah, it might not be a in particular recognised identify in garage, however given the truth that the S70 remains to be the usage of an absolutely recognisable Phison SSD reminiscence controller and Toshiba’s three-D TLC reminiscence, there is no longer so much that may pass incorrect.
With the decal off, the Addlink pressure is sort of just like the pricier Seagate Firecuda and plays nearly the similar because the WD Black SN750, which therefore needed to tremendously drop its value to compete.
At this 512GB point the Addlink S70 is arguably the most efficient SSD to construct your device round, and the 1TB model plays even higher… and we have observed that as little as $120 ahead of too.
Now we have no issues round reliability both, regardless of the fairly unknown identify, having used each the 512GB and 1TB variants incessantly as a part of our take a look at rigs with out fault.
When SATA drives are costing the similar, and Samsung SSDs price extra however do not truly ship a lot additional functionality, then the Addlink S70 is our pick out of the bunch.
6. Corsair Force MP600 1TB
The Crucial Force MP600 is the high-performance entry on our list, delivering sequential read and write speeds far in excess of what the rest of the best SSDs can offer. That’s because of the PCIe 4.0 interface and that fact that it has a theoretical bandwidth limit that’d double what the PCIe 3.0 interface has.
The MP600 doesn’t get close to that level, however, as it’s using an early PCIe 4.0 Phison controller, which is likely to get outmuscled later this year when Samsung releases its own next-gen controller in the 980-series drives.
That, coupled with the fact that the speedy connection is only available on AMD X570 and B550 motherboards when paired with a Ryzen 3000 CPU, makes PCIe 4.0 SSDs just a little niche.
But if you want the absolute peak SSD performance to go with your high-end AMD Ryzen processor, then the Corsair Force MP600 is a great option. And at $200 for the 1TB version it’s not that much more expensive than the fastest PCIe 3.0 drives, which it happens to outperform.
7. WD Blue SN550
What’s faster than a SATA SSD but cheaper than a high performance NVMe drive? The answer is WD’s Blue SN550, a budget NVMe drive that offers sequential read speeds of 2400MB/s and sequential write speeds of 1950MB/s.
That’s substantially faster than any SATA SSD (which top out around 550MB/s) but doesn’t really challenge the performance of something like a Sabrent Rocket, XPG SX8200 Pro or Samsung 970 Evo Plus (which are closer to 3500MB/s).
If you’re operating on a limited budget, choosing a DRAM-less SSD like this one is a canny choice for lighter workloads like gaming and we didn’t run into any issues during our testing.
With that said, if you can stretch to one of our best value picks (below), you will get better sustained performance, something that’s particularly useful for content creation tasks like 4K video editing.
8. Intel Optane SSD 905P (1TB)
When looking for the best SSD, and we mean the absolute best and money is no object, look no further than to Intel’s Optane SSD 905P.
This SSD features Intel’s latest 3D XPoint memory, it breaks free from many of the drawbacks of NAND and offers the best responsiveness out of any storage device we have tested to date.
And, those needing a plethora of endurance will find the 905P to be a device sent from the gods. With its endurance rating of over 17 petabytes at the 960GB capacity, or over 27PBW at the 1.5TB capacity, you’ll be sure to upgrade it years before it ever exhausts. Need the best? Don’t look at the rest, get the Intel Optane SSD 905P.
9. Samsung 860 Pro SATA III
When it comes to a SATA III SSD, the best you’re going to find in terms of raw performance is the Samsung 860 Pro. With sequential read and write speeds at the very limit of what SATA III can handle, you can definitely expect this SSD to handle whatever data access task you throw at it as fast as possible.
Where it really shines, however, is its random access speeds, and capacity. Other SATA III SSDs can read and write sequentially at the same speeds as the 860 Pro, but the 860 Pro edges out just about everyone else when it comes to random read and write speeds, which make up the majority of data access operations you’re likely going to perform.
And while the 860 Pro has among the lowest MTBF ratings of the SSDs on this list, the 860 Pro’s TBW ratings are phenomenal, with its 4TB SSD scoring the highest of all with 4,800.
Add a 5-year warranty on top of all that and you have a SATA III SSD that will last you at least long enough until you finally break down and make the jump to an M.2 SSD.
10. Crucial MX500 2TB
Crucial has been no stranger to this list and their MX500 series of SSDs have appeared on all but the sub-$50 price range. So, it’s no surprise to see them have a competitively-priced 2TB SSD as well.
In my opinion, the Crucial MX500 2TB doesn’t offer the price-to-performance that the lower capacity drives in the MX500 lineup offer and that hurts its value—especially when you have the ADATA Su800 2TB at ~$50 cheaper.
While all of the options in this price range provide similar sequential read/write speeds, the Crucial MX500 does come in a little bit behind the options from Samsung, SanDisk, and ADATA.
And, while the difference is small, because the MX500 2TB drive costs more than both SanDisk’s 2TB drive and ADATA’s 2TB drive, we think those are better options.
We have revealed the best SSDs for gaming. They have been selected after greater consideration, research and reviews. We are sure of our list of best SSD for gaming. However, we are expecting some conflict from our readers.
Well, if you think that any contender here didn’t deserve the spot or we have missed a great SSD option, please do share your opinion with us. It will be beneficial for our readers too.