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The Best SSDs for Gaming

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The Best SSDs for Gaming

More and more people are having a smooth experience playing games on their PCs these days because of the flexibility everyone has in building their own machines. When you pick all your hardware yourself, you will have a better idea of how powerful your computer can be. One of the most critical components of one’s computer is the hard drive. Gone are the days when people could only use hard disk drives that can get pretty slow and noisy. Today, Solid State Drives or SSDs are a great way to not only store data but also read it quickly. Initially, internal SSDs were quick but had little storage space compared to hard disk drives, but thanks to technology advancements over the years, things have gotten much better. SSDs are now capable of holding massive amounts of data.

For gamers, having an SSD is like getting rocket boosters for their games. In this article, we’ll talk about the best SSDs for gaming you can get your hands on in 2022. You’ll learn all you need to know about these speedy drives that make gaming fast and smooth, and you can check if their price tag will fit your budget or not. 

01 SK hynix Platinum P41 1TB

You won’t be disappointed with the SK hynix Platinum P41 because it outperforms many of its rivals when it comes to gaming and storage tests. This SSD would cost you about $150 for the 1TB model, but you can also opt for a 500GB or 2TB variant. It’s a perfect drive to have when you like getting things done fast because it promises up to 6,500 Mb/s write speeds and 7,000 MB/s read speeds. It can deliver impressive speeds thanks to its proprietary SK hynix HYPERWRITE cache technology. SK hynix Platinum P41 is an excellent choice for those who care about their power consumption because it features next-tier power efficiency. The installation process for this SSD is easy since you can pair it using the SK hynix edition Macrium cloning software. The drive is already PCIe NVMe Gen 4.0, but it’s still backward compatible with the PCIe 3.0 system. If you have a PCIe 3.0 system, your read and write speeds will be limited to 3,500 MB/s and 3,200 MB/s, respectively. Customers can rest assured that their sizeable investment in this SSD will be worth it because it guarantees superior stability and reliability after going through 1,000 hours of stress tests. You can purchase the SSD without worries since you get a 5-year warranty. One thing to note about it is that it doesn’t come with a heatsink, so you’ll have to ensure you purchase one separately.

Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • Comes with migration/drive cloning software
  • 256-bit AES hardware-based encryption support
  • Fantastic 3DMark and PCMark 10 benchmark scores
  • Impressive speed ratings
  • 5-year warranty

Cons

  • Doesn't come with a heatsink

Specification

  • Price $149.99
  • Hard Disk Size 1 TB
  • Connectivity Technology PCIe NVMe 4.0
  • Data Transfer Rate 7000 MB per second
  • Item Dimensions 3.15 x 0.87 x 0.09 inches
  • Item Weight 0.25 ounces
SK hynix Platinum P41 1TB

02 WD Black SN850 1TB

The WD Black SN850 SSD is one of the best 1TB SSDs on the market right now. It’s a very powerful SSD with high speeds, and you have several upgrade options if you have extra cash to spare. This is the perfect pick for you if you want the best in the 1TB class.

The 1TB of space is more than enough to install multiple AAA title games and downloadable content (DLC). Even if you’re not getting large titles, you still have more than enough space to get an incredibly packed Steam library on there. In fact, 1TB is more than enough for hundreds of games, as many simpler games don’t tend to take up a lot of storage space.

The SN850 is also an NMVe SSD, but it’s a high-tier example, achieving high reading and writing speeds. It can read up to 7,000 MB/s and write around 5,300 MB/s. This is sufficient for your gaming needs, and you’ll find that your games load quickly compared to other SSD types. WD’s custom firmware is what grants the SN850 its high speeds. It also allows it to achieve high random read and write IOPS, reaching up to 1,000,000 IOPS.

We mentioned that you could upgrade the SSD, and other than choosing up to 2TB of storage space, you can also choose to add a heat sink to the SN850. This provides added protection against overheating. Users are advised to download the WD_Black Dashboard to optimize their drive’s performance and monitor its health. It’s also where you can access its gaming mode, which allows you to play games at even faster speeds. You’ll experience lower latency and improved overall performance. The gaming mode disables device-level low-power settings, so you must remember that. For one of the best 1TB NVMe SSDs out there, the WD Black SN850 is a strong choice for gamers. You can play all your games with high performance and have many of them ready at your fingertips. It has very few flaws, too, like running hot and having no AES 256-bit encryption.

Pros

  • High speeds
  • PCIe 4.0 support
  • Five-year warranty
  • Slim and light
  • Can be upgraded with a heat sink

Cons

  • No encryption features
  • Can be a bit expensive
  • Gets pretty hot

Specification

  • Price $148.00
  • Hard Disk Size 1 TB
  • Connectivity Technology SATA
  • Data Transfer Rate 7000 Mb per second
  • Item Dimensions 3.15 x 0.87 x 0.09 inches
  • Item Weight 0.26 ounces
WD Black SN850 1TB

03 Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus

The Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus is an NVMe SSD with a PCIe 4.0 controller. This newer controller grants it some incredible speeds. If you want one of the best PCIe 4.0 SSDs around, you can’t go wrong with this one. Storage space for the Rocket 4 Plus starts at 500GB and goes up to 8TB, though we find that 1TB is enough for most needs.

Having 4TB might be extraordinarily spacious and capable of handling all the large AAA titles you want, but it’s also more expensive. Even at 1TB, the Rocket 4 Plus has some blistering read and write speeds. It reads at 7,000MB/s and writes at 5,300MB/s. If you thought that 3000MB/s made your games feel like a sports car, then the Rocket 4 Plus will let your games load at the speed of a race car.

In addition to the fast read and write speeds, the Rocket 4 Plus also boasts high IOPS. It can read at 350,000 IOPS and write almost double that at 700,000 IOPS. Sabrent based the Rocket 4 Plus on the Phison E18 design, which is known to grant SSDs increased longevity and endurance ratings. You get a five-year warranty, and you can be sure this SSD will perform well all five years. To get the five-year warranty, you must register it within 90 days, or it will decrease to a year only. The Phison E18 design comes with a fourth-generation LDPC ECC engine, data path protection from end to end, wear-leveling, bad block management, and more. This superior design is the basis of many other highly-acclaimed SSDs as well. You can trust these features to protect it from all the abuse that will come from frequent use.

If you want to clone your SSD, you can use the included Acronis True Image for Sabrent software to do so. With speeds like this, it’s not hard to see why the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus is at the pinnacle of PCIe 4.0 SSDs. It also comes with some powerful features that make it last longer.

Pros

  • Very high speeds
  • Many hardware features
  • Excellent design
  • Competitive price

Cons

  • No encryption features
  • Not as responsive as some competitors
  • Warranty can decrease if you don’t register in time

Specification

  • Price $299.99
  • Hard Disk Size 2 TB
  • Connectivity Technology NVMe M.2
  • Data Transfer Rate 0 Gb per second
  • Item Dimensions 3.15 x 0.86 x 0.11 inches
  • Item Weight
Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus

04 Crucial MX500 1TB

The Crucial MX500 is a SATA SSD, and while other technologies like PCIe far outpace it, you can still use it as a secondary SSD in your gaming PC. It’s nowhere near what people would call speedy today, but it’s still reliable. Even after two years, it remains the best in this category in both performance and price. Powered by 64 layers of 3D NAND, the MX500 was new for its time.

Besides boosting its speeds, the NAND also has a smaller size than previous generations, allowing you to free up some physical space. With this technology, the MX500 achieved rates of 560MB/s for reading and 510MB/s for writing. Random performance can go up to 95,000 and 90,000 read/write IOPS, respectively. Initially, the SSDs had SLC buffers, which explains why they used the term “up to” in their descriptions. While it comes with an older SMI SM2258 controller, it’s good enough to support the new 64-layer 3D NAND. Its Low-Density Parity-Check (LDPC) algorithms are strong enough to handle the newer NAND.

All capacities ­– 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB– have the same speeds, which means whatever size you choose for your PC depends on how much extra storage space you want. While you won’t be using the Crucial MX500 as your main SSD today, you’ll find it helpful as a secondary SSD.

Pros

  • Still a reliable drive today
  • Worth its price tag
  • Very long-lasting

Cons

  • No encryption or any other software features
  • Some examples failed early
  • Has a dated design even if it’s reliable

Specification

  • Price $84.99
  • Hard Disk Size 1 TB
  • Connectivity Technology SATA
  • Data Transfer Rate 560 MB per second
  • Item Dimensions 4.06 x 0.28 x 2.76 inches
  • Item Weight 0.35 ounces
Crucial MX500 1TB

05 SK hynix Gold P31

The SK hynix Gold P31 is an SSD designed for laptops. It’s not going to be enough to compete with high-end SSDs for gaming PCs, but you’ll find it sufficient for gaming laptops. It’s even faster than the Crucial P1.

You can find the Gold P31 in two sizes, 500GB and 1TB. This might be a downer for some of you, but we urge you to give it some slack. After all, this is meant for gaming laptops, not gaming PCs that have more space for hardware. You might find it less convenient if you want to download many large games, which necessitates external SSDs or a larger laptop SSD. Despite this, you’re probably not going to fill the Gold P31 to maximum capacity.

At reading speeds of 3,500MB/S and writing speeds of 3,200MB/S, you’ll find your laptop capable of competing with low-end gaming PCs. Being an NVme PCIe SSD, it’s already around six times faster than standard SATA SSDs. It’s a durable SSD, even if it’s made for laptops, lasting 750 terabytes written (TBW). You might notice that 750 TBW is a very high number, and it’s more than some award-winning SSDs. As such, you’re more likely to swap it out for a new one before it starts failing. You get a five-year warranty, which should be sufficient for your needs. This is also the industry standard, though some companies only offer three-year warranties.

The software department of this SSD isn’t very good, as it has no encryption or boosting features. You can clone it to another SSD, but beyond that, you don’t have much else. But if you’re using your laptop for gaming, this wouldn’t be too much of an issue. SK hynix is a relatively new contender in the branded SSD market, but it has been making memory chips for many years. As such, it isn’t an inexperienced newbie but a worthy adversary to consider. If you want a speedy and reliable SSD for your laptop, the SK hynix Gold P31 is an excellent pick. It’s not packed with features, but it gets the job done. Its speed and endurance will make it worth every dollar you spend on it.

Pros

  • Very high speeds for a laptop SSD
  • Long-lasting design
  • Good discount price

Cons

  • No encryption and any other software features
  • No sizes above 1TB
  • The base price is very high

Specification

  • Price $103.00
  • Hard Disk Size 1 TB
  • Connectivity Technology PCIe NVMe 3.0
  • Data Transfer Rate 2800 Mb per second
  • Item Dimensions 3.15 x 0.87 x 0.09 inches
  • Item Weight 0.25 ounces
SK hynix Gold P31

06 Crucial P1 1TB NVMe

The Crucial P1 SSD is a reliable budget pick. It’s a solid SSD for its type and outperforms older SATA-based SSDs. For a budget option, it works very well as long as you don’t let it get too full.

With 1TB of storage space, you have enough room to store some big games, such as the latest AAA titles like Red Dead Redemption, which require up to 150GB. That’s not a surprise, considering how much content and graphics these games involve. As such, you’ll need more than a few gigabytes to store these games in your SSD, and this one has enough for at least five games.

The NVMe technology in this SSD allows it to reach speeds of 2,000MB/S for reading and 1,700MB/S for writing. These speeds are much faster than older generations of SSDs, particularly the SATA-based ones from years ago. With the help of Hybrid-Dynamic Write Acceleration technology, the Crucial P1 can achieve these speeds. This is Micron’s proprietary firmware, optimized to yield the best performances. While many SSDs require a lot of power, the Crucial P1 is known for its efficiency.

When working in low-power states, it’s rated to consume 100mW; the most it will go beyond that is 8W. When idle, it’s rated to consume about 80mW. When resting, the Crucial P1 has data loss protection courtesy of Adaptive Thermal Protection. This feature prevents the SSD from overheating, but it can still get pretty warm.

Another layer of protection is the Redundant Array of Independent NAND (RAIN), which gives the P1 device-level data redundancy. Your data will be safe at all times. While you have a five-year warranty, the Crucial P1 isn’t known for its endurance, and you may need to have a few more SSDs after a few years. The P1 also doesn’t spread heat very well, which can be risky even with the data protection features. But if you want an entry-level SSD for lower-level gaming, the Crucial P1 is still a good choice.

Pros

  • Power efficiency
  • Excellent data protection
  • Five-year warranty

Cons

  • Not as fast as high-end and medium-end SSDs today
  • No heat spreading
  • Lower endurance rating

Specification

  • Price $77.00
  • Hard Disk Size 1 TB
  • Connectivity Technology SATA
  • Data Transfer Rate 2000 Mb per second
  • Item Dimensions 3.14 x 0.08 x 0.86 inches
  • Item Weight 0.59 ounces
Crucial P1 1TB NVMe

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Oct 26, 2022

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