I think you will all agree with me when I say:
No one wants to spend five minutes staring at a loading screen instead of playing a video game. You want to get right into the action!
The only way to ensure rapid loading times for all games is by purchasing a quality solid state drive.
That is why we took the time to create a list of the best SSDs for gaming. After much research, we narrowed down our list to the best 15 SSDs that offer great storage, speeds and value to gamers.
Top 15 Best SSDs for Gaming On The Market Reviews
1 Samsung 960 PRO Series – 2TB PCIe NVMe – M.2 Internal SSD
The Samsung 960 PRO 2TB hard drive is ideal for gaming computers. It offers ample storage and rapid speeds for gaming and general use. High intensity tasks like video editing are very fast with this solid state drive. Samsung’s Magician software offers easy management of the hard drive.
The product comes with a NVMe interface, which is a level above the SATA III interfaces. The NVMe interface allows the hard drive to achieve read/write speeds up to 3500 MB/s and 2100 MB/s. No matter what task is thrown at it, the 960 PRO 2TB will handle it easily.
Users of the 960 PRO can use it like a regular hard drive. 2TB of space means there is no compromise on what games to install. The solid state drive could easily fit up to 30 AAA games. Lifespan is not an issue either, as the 960 PRO 2TB offers up to 1.2 petabytes written. It comes with a limited five-year warranty from the manufacturer.
Samsung’s Magician software means managing the hard drive is effortless. One program tells users the health of their solid state drive. It also includes firmware updates. Magician is also usable to make settings tweaks to the solid state drive.
Our Rating: (4.6 / 5)
2 Samsung 850 PRO – 256GB – 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD
Want to learn an easy way to speed up your computer? Now you can get faster boot times on a budget. Keep reading to learn more!
The Samsung 850 PRO is one of the top SATA III solid state drives on the market. It offers incredible read/write speeds. The form factor will fit most laptops and all desktops. The solid state drive is based on 3D V-NAND flash hardware. Delivers performance and energy efficiency. Ample storage for casual gamers desiring elite performance.
3D V-NAND hardware stacks 32 cell layers on top of each other. Results in higher density for the solid state drive. It delivers performance compared to regular solid state drives, and manages everything with a tiny footprint and low energy usage. Can handle up to 150 Terabytes written during its lifetime, which is equivalent to 40 GB daily reads/writes over ten years. Will last most users multiple decades.
Comes with an industry high ten-year warranty. The drive’s low power state uses only two milliwatts of power. Perfect for laptops where users desire an energy-efficient sleep mode. Features DDR2 cache memory, which requires less power than competitor drives. Uses 30 percent less power while active compared to typical DDR2 or DDR3 memory. The 850 EVO 250G uses around 90 percent less power than comparable drives while idle.
Features Samsung’s Self-Encrypting Drive technology. Users concerned about files getting into the wrong hands will love the 850 PRO. The drive allows AES 250-bit hardware-based encryption.
Our Rating: (4.7 / 5)
3 Intel Single Pack 400GB 750 Series Solid State Drive PCIE Full Height 3.0 20NM MLC 3.5″
Intel offers high performance users the NVMe solid state drive they desire. 400 GB space means gamers can have many AAA games on their computer. The speeds that accompany the NVMe interface are unmatched. The company promises four-times the performance of regular solid state drives. Perfect for creating 4K quality videos. Handles gaming without a problem.
With proper connectivity, read speeds reach 1300 MB/s. Write speeds are up to 1300 MB/s. SATA solid state drives are lucky to reach 600 MB/s. Users get the best speeds on the market here. Random read speeds go up to 1600 MB/s. Random write speeds reach 1100 MB/s.
Users buying this solid state drive must ensure it is compatible with their system. A PCIe connection is required. A BIOS that is friendly towards NVMe is a must. Otherwise, the solid state drive will require a different connection. And those connections do not deliver the incredible speeds mentioned above. The hard drive will work perfectly with newly built desktop computers. It is not a replacement for SATA 2.5 inch drives in laptops.
Installation is very easy when using the solid state drive as additional storage. More complicated procedures are necessary to use it as the main boot drive. Installation instructions are available with the product. Users may also visit Intel’s website for further details on how to set up the solid state drive in different circumstances.
Our Rating: (4.1 / 5)
4 WD Blue 3D NAND 500GB PC SSD
The WD Blue 3D is a tremendous option for users who want affordability and storage space in a SSD package. Users get sequential read speeds up to 560 MB/s. Sequential write speeds go up to 530 MB/s.
Random read and write speeds may be lower, but the WD Blue 3D is still a very rapid solid state drive. The 500 GB capacity makes it perfect for gamers. Fitting many AAA games onto the solid state drive is not an issue. And WD claims the solid state drive uses 25 percent less power compared to their previous SSD generation.
The drive uses a 512MB LPDDR3 cache memory. Sandisk’s TLC NAND modules are incorporated into the drive. The WD Blue 3D has a 2.5-inch form factor. It will fit 2.5-inch drive bays in all modern laptops. The WD Blue 3D is perfect for desktop computers too. The solid state drive can function perfectly as the primary boot drive. It is a solid choice for an additional storage drive too.
There are instances where the read/write speeds go down to 450 MB/s, such as instances where big file sizes are involved. But even those speeds are very impressive given the product’s affordability. It is a worthy competitor to the 850 and 750 EVO series from Samsung. Those are often seen as the benchmark for quality solid state drives.
Our Rating: (4.6 / 5)
5 PNY CS1311 120GB 2.5” SATA III Internal Solid State Drive
PNY may not have the name brand recognition of some competitors. It is still a major player in the solid state drive market. The PNY CS1311 120GB is the perfect SSD for users on a budget. It offers incredible speed. There is enough storage space for causal gamers.
The PNY CS1311 120GB may not fit more than one AAA game. But users who play older games will love the solid state drive. It delivers on speed. Sequential read speeds go up to 550 MB/s. Sequential write speeds reach 520 MB/s. It is 20 times the speed a user would get with a 7,200 RPM hard drive.
The PNY CS1311 120GB uses very little power. It draws less power than comparable SSD models. It also has a sleep mode that ensures almost no power draw when the computer is idle. PNY offers a three-year warranty on the CS1311 120GB solid state drive. The company offers 24/7 technical support based in the United States.
Users migrating from a HDD will be impressed by the quiet nature of the SSD. There are no moving parts in solid state drives. When the PNY CS1311 120GB is working, users hear almost no noise. The drive also runs very cool, which means it is ideal for users who operate computers in a warmer environment. The drive is shock proof, and will not fail in extreme temperatures.
Our Rating: (4.6 / 5)
6 Crucial MX300 525GB 3D NAND SATA 2.5 Inch Internal SSD
The Crucial MX300 525GB is an excellent solid state drive for all purposes. It will perform very well for gamers desiring quick load times. It is also suitable for general users who want the OS and applications to boot rapidly. The 525GB disk space means adding multiple AAA games to the drive is no issue.
Sequential read speeds are an impressive 530 MB/s, while sequential write speeds reach 510 MB/s. The energy efficiency is rated at 90x hard disk drives by the manufacturer. Features the innovative Micron 3D NAND technology. Dynamic write acceleration speeds up real world saving and file transfers. The Crucial Storage Executive software helps boost the solid state drive’s performance even more. It also runs much cooler than hard disk drives.
The Crucial MX300 525GB only uses 0.075 kW power during operation, while a typical hard disk drive uses 6.8W. It helps the user save on energy costs, and extends the life of laptops. Battery life will see improvement. The Crucial MX300 525GB has an endurance rating of 220TB total bytes written, which means it should last the average user more than a decade.
Security is no problem with the Crucial MX300 525GB. The solid state drive features the latest AES 256-bit hardware-based encryption. All user files are safe on the Crucial MX300 525GB. Personal and business users will welcome the added encryption features.
Our Rating: (4.6 / 5)
7 Samsung 850 EVO 500GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD
The Samsung 850 EVO is often seen as the gold standard for SATA solid state drives. It delivers incredible performance for computer users. These drives find the balance between affordability, speed and storage space. Gamers will not have any issues with the Samsung 850 EVO, and it will handle any AAA game. Load times are much faster with the Samsung 850 EVO.
The 2.5-inch form factor is perfect for most devices. Will fit modern laptops without an issue, and it is ideal for desktops too. Those with 3.5-inch bays can purchase a 2.5-inch to 3.5-inch bracket. Solid state drive installation is a breeze, and it works as added storage. The drive will also work as the main boot drive on all modern computers.
The Samsung 850 EVO is the speed king among SATA drives. It features 540 MB/s read speeds, and the sequential write speeds come in at 520 MB/s. Most users report real world performance is very close to those numbers. The Samsung 850 EVO has a IOPS read performance of 98K, and a IOPS write performance of 90K.
Features 3D V-NAND flash memory architecture, which helps the hard drive improve on performance in real world applications. The stacked 32 cell layers result in better performance and destiny in a tiny package. The included Samsung Magician software features a “RAPID mode” for up to 2x performance boosts, with the boost arriving through unused PC DRAM memory.
Our Rating: (4.7 / 5)
8 Toshiba OCZ RD400 Series Solid State Drive 256GB
The Toshiba OCZ RD400 Series all the power that users would expect from the NVMe interface. It is even more impressive given the RD400’s affordability. Regular users can get exceptional performance through the Toshiba OCZ RD400 Series. The 256GB capacity is enough for causal computer gamers. Users needing more space will appreciate the 512GB version.
Toshiba OCZ RD400 Series comes with the NVMe interface. It is the new standard-bearer among solid state drives. Even the best SATA III drives cannot compete with the speeds. And it is the type of solid state drive that attaches to a computer’s motherboard. Users who want a small footprint desktop will love the Toshiba OCZ RD400 Series 250 GB version.
The NVMe interface has some limitations. The hard drive is not suited for 2.5-inch bays. It cannot replace the regular hard drive in an older laptop, while it may not work with some older desktop motherboards. Newer computers will not have the motherboard issue. Ensure your motherboard’s BIOS is NVMe-compatible before making a purchase.
The drive delivers unprecedented performance. Among SSDs, it is one of the fastest on the market. Sequential read speeds are at 2,600 MB/s, and the sequential write speeds come to 1,150 MB/s. The random read is at 210,000 4KiB IOPS. Toshiba OCZ RD400 Series delivers random write speeds at 140,000 KiB IOPS. There is no SATA speed bottleneck with the Toshiba OCZ RD400 Series.
Our Rating: (4.2 / 5)
9 SanDisk 500GB Ultra 3D NAND SATA III SSD
Tired of a computer with slow load times? Frustrated that games take minutes to go into new scenes? Read on to eliminate these issues!
The SanDisk 500GB solid state drive will turn your computer into a rapid machine. It can fit into older laptops. It is perfect for gaming desktops. The SanDisk 500GB SSD can serve as the main boot drive, and as an added storage device.
Files move quicker, data copying is rapid, and application loading is instantaneous. Even the operating system loads up within seconds. No more waiting around for game levels to load. The SanDisk 500GB SSD features sequential read speeds up to 560 MB/s. The sequential write speeds are logged at 530 MB/s.
Real world performance can differ, but most users claim the SanDisk 500GB SSD performs as advertised in the majority of circumstances. The drive features nCache 2.0 Technology. It allows the drive to achieve even faster burst speeds during data transfers. The SanDisk 500GB SSD features the latest SATA III technology.
Compromises are a thing of the past. Gamers get the performance they want. They get the drive space to install many AAA games. And it is all available on a budget! That is what SanDisk is delivering to customers with its solid state drive offerings. It is the perfect drive to revive an ailing laptop. It is ideal to serve as the boot drive on a powerhouse gaming computer.
Our Rating: (4.6 / 5)
10 Mushkin REACTOR 500GB Internal Solid State Drive
Mushkin REACTOR 500GB delivers on all fronts. It is an exceptionally rapid solid state drive. The drive gives users the additional storage space they desire. 120GB and 250GB drives are too small for many gamers. 500GB is the sweet spot. Mushkin agrees. The Mushkin REACTOR 500GB is a powerhouse that fits into any 2.5-inch drive bay. Gamers will love this product. It drastically reduces game load times. Even cut scenes will load quicker within games. It is a tangible performance upgrade.
Performance on the Mushkin REACTOR 500GB is very good. The sequential read speeds are 560 MB/s. Sequential write speeds are at 435 MB/s. Gamers will find these numbers very pleasing. Those games that take five minutes to boot up are a thing of the past. Spending more time staring at loading screens than gaming is no longer an issue.
Users desiring a budget-friendly 500GB solid state drive have found their ideal product. Random IOPS reads go up to 62,000. The random IOPS write speeds go to 76,000.
The Mushkin REACTOR 500GB does what it advertises. It helps users break free of the hard disk drive constraints. No more annoying whirring each time the drive operates. Silent operations. Cool running. Energy conversation. Insane speeds. These are some of the Mushkin REACTOR 500GB SSD’s features.
Our Rating: (4.5 / 5)
11 XPG SX950 480GB
The XPG SX950 480GB solid state drive delivers all the features power users desire. The ample disk space means adding multiple AAA games is no issue. The speed ensures all games load within seconds. Within game loading is much faster. Solid state drives deliver exceptional speed compared to hard disk drives. The XPG SX950 480GB SSD is a very affordable option.
The sequential read speeds on the drive are measured at 560 MB/s. XPG SX950 delivers sequential write speeds of up to 530 MB/s. Everything loads instantly on computers using this hard drive. It can serve as the boot drive without any issues. The The XPG SX950 480GB is the perfect product to revive an old gaming laptop. This solid state drive is suitable for gaming desktops too.
The XPG SX950 features a long endurance MLC plus NAND flash. These features deliver exceptional speed in all circumstances. It is rated as a very durable solid state drive. XPG SX950 will run for up to 800TB in total bytes written. The average user should enjoy optimal performance on this drive for decades.
XPG wants users to feel safe purchasing this solid state drive. There is an advanced six-year warranty attached to the product. Few manufacturers go beyond five-year warranties. The dynamic SLC Cache keeps write/read speeds up when big files are involved. The real world performance of the drive matches all the testing numbers.
Our Rating: (4.6 / 5)
12 Intel Optane SSD 900P Series
Want a solid state drive that delivers unmatched performance? Read on!
The Intel Optane SSD 900P Series delivers some of the best performance seen in a solid state drive. Users who cannot compromise on speed will love this hard drive. It requires a specific setup to work ideally. But when it does, the results are tremendous. And the 280GB capacity is enough for users who are avoiding massive file storage.
The hard drive requires a PCI-Express 3.0 x4 to run. It is a desktop hard drive. It will not work with laptops. The form factor is too large for modern laptops. It does not fit into the 2.5-inch drive bays in laptops or desktops. Anyone considering the Intel Optane SSD 900P must ensure their motherboard supports the NVMe interface.
The read and write numbers are staggering. The Intel Optane SSD 900P delivers up to 2,500 MB/s read speeds. The sequential write speeds are 2000 MB/s. The random speeds are equally impressive. Up to 550,000 IOPS read speeds. And up to 500,000 IOPS write speeds. Do not want to compromise on speed? The Intel Optane SSD 900P is your ideal solid state drive.
The Intel Optane SSD 900P is a feature-packed solid state drive. There is near symmetrical read/write performance. It is an ultra-low latency drive. Even at low queue depth, the drive will perform very rapidly. And it features up to 1,600,000 hours before any possible system failures.
Our Rating: (4.4 / 5)
13 Intel SSD 600p Series
Sometimes a run of the mill solid state drive is not enough. Power users need more of everything. More speed. More performance. And no bottlenecks. That is what the Intel SSD 600p Series delivers. The incredible 1TB storage space is the icing on the cake. Building a new PC? Money is not an object? The Intel SSD 600p Series will change the way you use computers.
We are used to stepping away from the computer while completing a major file transfer. But now you get sequential read speeds up to 1800 MB/s. Equally impressive sequential write speeds up to 560 MB/s. Even large file sizes are not an obstacle. They are transferred in seconds. Reading those files is even faster.
Random read/writes are equally impressive. Intel rates the random read of a 8GB span at 155,000 IOPS. Random write of a similar file span is 128,000 IOPS. It is such a powerful solid state drive. One would assume it uses a lot of power. But that is not the case. During use, the power use is 100 mW. The drive only uses 40 mW during its idle state.
The only issue with these solid state drives is the connectivity. Do you have an older desktop? Or are you buying a budget motherboard? The PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4 interface may not work with your computer. It is vital to choose the correct setup before purchasing this solid state drive.
Our Rating: (4.8 / 5)
14 Plextor M8Pe 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Internal Solid-State Drive with Heatsink
The Plextor M8Pe 256GB is the ideal solid state drive for high performance users. It features the latest NVMe technology. The SSD delivers incredible speeds on every front. Sequential reads per second are 2,000 MB. The sequential write speed is 1,400 MB/s. Random reads come in at 280,000 IOPS. The random write speed is 240,000 IOPS.
Finally, we have a solid state drive designed with pro gamers in mind. Those involved with eSports will get unparalleled performance. The hard drive is geared to co-exist efficiently with professional gaming platforms. This version of the Plextor M8Pe 256GB attaches to motherboards through the M.2 connector.
Plextor puts in a lot of testing before releasing any of their hard drives. The M8Pe went through a 100% burn/aging test. A 48 hour sustained read and write test demonstrated its performance. The company also put the hard drive through a 4000 times idle test, and 1008 hours of zero-error testing.
The Plextor M8Pe 256GB uses far less power than traditional hard drives. It is designed to handle high operating temperatures. If your gaming PC tends to run hot, the Plextor M8Pe 256GB is a great SSD solution. And its small form factor means it is suitable for ultra-portable desktop cases.
Our Rating: (4.2 / 5)
15 Corsair Neutron Series NX500 400GB SSD
The Corsair Neutron Series NX500 is a 400GB solid state drive that will satisfy the speed needs of every user. The NVMe interface delivers speeds 5x faster than any SATA 3.0 solid state drive manages. The product can operate at a temperature between 0 to 70C. It ships with a heat sink, ensuring cool temperatures within your desktop case.
Connecting the Corsair Neutron Series NX500 through a PCI Express 3.0 x4 slot ensures the rapid speeds brought by the NVMe interface. Users must be very careful when purchasing such a solid state drive. Not every motherboard plays nicely with the NVMe interface. Ensure your motherboard is NVMe-friendly before purchasing the Corsair Neutron Series NX500.
The specially designed heatsink ensures the drive remains cool, even during the most demanding games. eSports gamers, Twitch streamers and gaming enthusiasts will all love this solid state drive. The days of staring at the corner of your screen, worrying about hard drive temperatures, are over.
Corsair offers a five-year manufacturer’s warranty, giving peace of mind to purchasers. If anything goes wrong with the solid state drive, Corsair will assist customers in finding a solution.
Our Rating: (5 / 5)
Best SSDs for Gaming Buying Guide
Solid state drives, or SSDs, are the number one choice for high performance computer storage. SSDs are popular thanks to the rapid transfer rates they offer. They do not have any moving parts. SSDs also use less power compared to hard disk drives. SSDs are very useful for laptops. But they also offer tremendous benefits to desktop users who want more performance.
Where gaming is concerned, load times are a major issue. Most modern games have many cut scenes and levels. Each level means a new loading screen. With a regular hard disk drive, loading screens can take anywhere from three to six minutes. Those times are drastically reduced with SSDs.
Some games take up to a minute to load up on a computer. A solid state drive would do the same job within 5 to 10 seconds. And it is not only gaming where users will see the benefits of a quality SSD. These drives are going to improve overall PC performance drastically. Every application loads quicker. Even the operating system boots up much quicker on a SSD. And the lower power needed from the SSD means computers using them run cooler. When price is no issue, a SSD is always the best choice.
It is impossible to ignore price when discussing solid state drives. A 120GB SSD costs roughly the same amount as a 1TB HDD. There are many great solid state drives with higher storage capacities. But they become a lot more expensive when going to 500GB and higher. Users on a budget may have to compromise on storage size when purchasing a SSD.
Always choose a solid state drive with a 6Gbps rated SATA interface. It is the latest generation of SATA interfaces. The older generations, SATA II and SATA I, have 3Gbps and 1.5Gbps respectively. 6Gbps translates to 750 MB/s maximum speeds.
SATA II and SATA I drives are still very good compared to regular HDDs. But they do not offer the premium speeds of SATA III 6Gbps SSDs.
Solid state drives are available from 64GB to 4TB. A regular user can make do with a 120GB or 250GB SSD. Gamers will want a 500GB model at minimum. Those who have no price objections can choose a 1TB SSD. A typical AAA video game may have a file size anywhere from 25 to 75 GB.
Read and Write Speeds
One of the key elements to research when buying a SSD is the read and write speed. The sequential read and write speeds are important. These indicate the speed of the SSD when writing or reading high capacity files. Then we have the random data access speeds. These speeds indicate how quickly the SSD reads and writes many sets of smaller files or applications.
It is not always a good idea to trust manufacturer numbers. When buying a SSD, do independent research on the read and write speeds to ensure you are buying a quality product.
The market for SSDs has exploded over the past few years, with mainstream laptops and desktops now including SSDs. Manufacturers are responding with newer and faster models. That is why our list is so useful. It breaks down the top 15 SSDs for gaming.
We hope that you will find it much easier to choose a solid state drive for your gaming computer. Now you can experience incredible loading speeds. These SSDs are all excellent. Some offer more storage, while others are budget oriented. Choose the SSD that best matches the features you are seeking.