There are a lot of different SSDs on the market, but not all of them are created equal. If you’re looking for the best SSD for gaming, you’ll want to make sure you get one that’s fast, reliable, and has plenty of storage space. And in 2023, it’s the latest Gen 4.0 NVMe drives which are the most sought after, offering average speeds of well over 7,000 MB/s – and set to only get faster and even better value.
While many of the best SSDs for gaming are those Gen 4.0 NVMe drives, SATA and Gen 3.0 models are still worthy of consideration, too. We think that a mix of M.2 drives and SATA is a great way to give yourself enough overhead for all of your games, media, and files on your gaming PC while also using your budget wisely. And if you don’t fancy the chunkier SATA, even the cheaper Gen 3.0 NVMes and their 3,500 MB/s speeds are still close to 7x faster than a SATA – and at a similar cost.
Whatsmore we’re also close to the widespread adoption of PCIe Gen 5.0 drives with rumored bandwidths and speeds of up to a mind-boggling 13,000MB/s sequential rates. The future is very fast indeed, and we’re expecting big things once these models launch at the end of the year. But until then check out our picks for the best SSDs for gaming below.
SSD vs. HDD- Which is Better for Gaming in 2023
As we enter the new year, many gamers are wondering which type of storage is best for gaming purposes. While SSDs have become increasingly popular in recent years, HDDs are still viable for some gamers. So, which is better for gaming in 2023? It really depends on what you prioritize when it comes to gaming. If you care more about load times and general speed, then an SSD is probably the way to go. However, an HDD might be a better option if you’re more concerned with space and price. Ultimately, let’s follow our blog “SSD vs HDD: What’s the difference?“. It’s will up to you to decide which is more important to you.
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Best SSDs For Gaming in 2023
1. The Best SSD for Gaming Overall for Gaming – WD Black SN850
|Specification||WD Black SN850|
|Storage Variants||500GB, 1TB, 2TB|
|NAND Type||Samsung 128L 3D TLC|
|Theoretical Read Speed (Max.)||7,000 MB/s|
|Theoretical Write Speed (Max.)||5,300 MB/s|
|Random Read (4K, QD32) (Max.)||Up to 1,000,000 IOPS|
|Random Write (4K, QD32) (Max.)||Up to 1,000,000 IOPS|
|Form Factor/Interface||M.2 2280, PCIe Gen 4.0×4, NVMe 1.4|
|MTBF (Reliability)||1.75 Million Hours|
|Encryption||No hardware encryption|
- Large SLC cache
- Blistering PCIe 4.0 throughput
- Excellent real-world performance
- 5 years warranty
- Runs hot
- No AES 256-bit encryption
Western Digital doesn’t give us detailed performance specifications the way Samsung does, but the basic specifications make it clear that this drive is aimed at the very top: sequential reads up to 7GB/s are pushing the limits of the PCIe 4.0 x4 interface that is still catching on in the consumer market, and random reads at 1M IOPS from a single M.2 drive were just a dream a year ago. Overall, these peak performance specs line up pretty well with the Samsung 980 PRO (Samsung quotes higher random write performance), and WD quotes slightly faster sequential writes.
To reach this level of performance, Western Digital has introduced the second generation of their in-house NVMe SSD controller design. We don’t have details of how this controller differs from their first-generation design, but it’s a safe bet that almost every part of the chip was substantially upgraded. Compared to the preceding WD Black SN750, the SN850 also benefits from an upgrade to the NAND flash memory, from 64-layer to 96-layer TLC. Western Digital’s client OEM SSD product line had already adopted the 96L TLC with the PC SN730, but their retail consumer Gen 3 drives didn’t get a matching refresh.
Performance ultimately defines any SSD; the WD SN850 really stands out from the crowd. The synthetic benchmarks, spearheaded by ATTO and AS SSD, show that this is very much a second-generation PCIe 4.0 drive, with peak sequential read speeds knocking on 6,750MB/s and 5,920MB/s, respectively. Writes are lower than the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus but still healthy, at either side of 5GB/s. The 4K write performance in AS SSD manages to flip this over, and the WD SN850 outpaces the Sabrent drive.
2. The Best Fast Sequential Performance SSD for Gaming – Kingston Fury Renegade 2TB
|Specifications||Kingston Fury Renegade 2TB|
|Interface||M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4|
|Random Read (4K, QD32) (Max.)||1,000,000IOPS|
|Random Write (4K, QD32) (Max.)||1,000,000IOPS|
|Encryption||Hardware-based – 256-bit AES|
|Reliability (MTTF)||1,800,000 hours|
- The stellar built-in heat spreader
- Amazing sequential read speeds
- Pricey in higher configurations
The Kingston Fury Renegade impresses across the board as one of the best SSDs for gaming on the market right now. With its stated speeds reaching upwards of 7,000 MBS, we’re happy to report that this drive really is the real deal when it comes to blazing-fast performance perfect for DirectStorage.
Our benchmarks don’t lie, and neither did Kingston. The Fury Renegade achieved read and write speeds of 7,344.99MB/s and 6,873.21MB/s respectively through CrystalDiskMark, and a stellar Anvil score of 21,649.35 for some seriously impressive performance. Of course, raw numbers mean nothing if the in-game performance can’t back it up. Fortunately, loading and transfer times were as close to instant as you would hope for from a drive of this caliber.
Briefing touching on transfer times, we noted that CyberPunk2077, a 64.88GB game, took only 22.66 seconds being written from one NVMe drive to Kingston. It’s a similar story to Destiny 2, and its 73.5GB of content, which made the jump between drives in just 28 seconds. Loading times were all but non-existent as well, as we were able to jump into Halo Infinite’s main campaign in a mere 18 seconds – straight into gameplay.
3. The Best Budget Gen 4.0 NVMe SSD for Gaming – Crucial P5 Plus
|Category||Crucial P5 Plus|
|Capacity||500GB, 1TB, 2TB|
|NAND||176L 3D TLC|
|Interface||PCIe 4.0×4 NVMe 1.4|
|Cache (DRAM)||1GB LPDDR4 (1TB)
2GB LPDDR4 (2TB)
|Read speed||6,600 MB/s|
|Write speed||5,000 MB/s|
|Random Read (4K, QD32) (Max.)||Up to 630,000 IOPS|
|Random Write (4K, QD32) (Max.)||Up to 700,000 IOPS|
|Encryption||Hardware-based – 256-bit AES|
|Reliability (MTTF)||2,000,000 hours|
- Built on our own leading Micron Advanced 3D NAND and innovative controller technology
- Rated at MTTF greater than 2 million hours for extended longevity and reliability
- 5-year limited warranty or up to the max endurance rating of 1200 TBW
- Not the fastest drive in its class
- Could be more power efficient
The Crucial P5 Plus is the company’s first Gen4 SSD to hit the market. Though the P5 line is considered by the company as their more premium SSDs, it is actually more in line with the mainstream, budget-friendly category.
For performance, the P5 Plus is quoted with potential read and write speeds up to 6,600MB/s and 5,000MB/s, respectively. Crucial also focused on increased longevity and reliability with their new SSD, indicating an MTTF (mean time to failure) rating of over 2 million hours, which is a bit more than its predecessor, the Crucial P5 Gen 3 SSD.
The P5 Plus also comes bundled with SSD management and Acronis Cloning software, which allows users to optimize performance based on their specific needs, increase data security, and easily upgrade the drive’s firmware. It also comes with a range of advanced features such as dynamic write acceleration (to help improve energy consumption and performance), multistep data integrity algorithm (for data loss protection), integrated power loss immunity (protects data during sudden power loss), and error correction code (so that a decoder can identify and correct errors in the data).
4. The Best Budget Gen 3.0 NVMe SSD for Gaming – WD Blue SN570
|Capacity||250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB|
|NAND||BiCS5 112-Layer TLC|
|Interface||PCIe 3.0×4 NVMe 1.4|
|Durability||150 TBW, 300 TBW, 600 TBW, 1,200 TBW|
|Read speed||From 3300MB/s to 3,500 MB/s|
|Write speed||From 1,200MB/s to 3,500 MB/s|
|Random Read (4K, QD32) (Max.)||Up to 460,000 IOPS|
|Random Write (4K, QD32) (Max.)||Up to 450,000 IOPS|
|Encryption||Hardware-based – 256-bit AES|
|Reliability (MTTF)||2,000,000 hours|
- Competitive pricing and performance
- Single-sided PCB at all capacities
- Software support
- 5-year warranty
- Small SLC cache and weak sustained write speed
- Lags behind PCIe 4.0
The WD Blue SN570 PCB layout is similar to both the Blue SN550 and the SN750 SE. Like the SN550 and SN750 SE, this new drive is DRAM-less. Paired with the custom WD controller is a single NAND package. This NAND package is Toshiba (now Kioixia?) BiCS5 112-layer TLC NAND, which is not something we have looked at yet.
The WD Blue SN570 line of SSDs is available in sizes between 250GB and 2TB. At 1TB memory, rated sequential performance is good for a PCIe 3.0 drive at 3500 MB/s read and 3000 MB/s write. Interestingly, this is just below the read rating on the SN750 SE and just above that drive on the writes, despite the SN750 SE nominally being a PCIe 4.0 drive. Regardless of that, these are much improved specs over the previous SN550 drive and are much more in line with a high-end PCIe 3.0 drive rather than a value-segment drive.
5. The Best SATA SSD for Gaming – Samsung 870 EVO
|Specifications||Samsung 870 EVO|
|Capacity||250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB|
|Storage Memory||Samsung V-NAND 3-bit MLC (TLC)|
|Controller||Samsung MJX Controller|
|DRAM (Cache)||LPDDR4:512MB (250GB/500GB)
|Sequential Read||Up to 560 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||Up to 530 MB/s|
|4KB Random Read||Up to 98K IOPS|
|4KB Random Write||Up to 88K IOPS|
|TurboWrite Cache||Undisclosed amount of SLC NAND Flash|
|Endurance (Total Bytes Written)||150TBW (250GB)
- Plenty fast for PC games
- High capacity options
- Reliable lifespan
- Not the cheapest
Samsung is one of the most well-respected names in the SSD business and has been putting out superb drives for years now. One of its most recent is the superb 870 EVO, which boasts impressive read and write speeds that both exceed 500MB/s.
It’s a great option regardless of what use you’re planning for it, gaming, professional, or otherwise, and also represents really solid value, which is impressive given its freshness on the market. If you prioritize capacity over speed, then opting for the Samsung 870 EVO could be a smart play. You can pick it up in sizes that go all the way up to 4TB, meaning you won’t have to worry about rehoming your Steam library and it costs much less than any M.2 SSD with the same amount of space.
6. The Best External SSD for Gaming – SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD V2
|Specifications||SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD V2|
|Connection||USB-C or USB-A|
|Durability||IP55-rated for water and dust resistance|
|Interface||USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Gb/s),
down gradable to USB 3.0 or USB 2.0
|Encryption||256-bit AES with Password Protection|
- Faster than SATA SSDs
- Use both USB-A and USB-C
- Confusing naming
Solid-state drives are typically at least 4 times faster than a mechanical spinning disk drive, but until recently their prices have placed them outside the means of many creative professionals. The Sandisk Extreme SSD is the first of a new wave of drives that are far more affordable. In terms of $/Gb, they are still more expensive than mechanical drives, but the gap has closed and the clear speed and durability benefits of solid state drives make this a gap that’s now small enough to be worth considering.
It’s worth noting that the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD uses USB 3.2 gen, which allows it to offer read and write speeds faster than SATA. However, don’t worry if you don’t have a built-in USB-C port in your machine as it comes with a USB-A adapter. Moreover, The original version of the SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD had a quoted speed of 550MB reads, and 500MB writes, as tested by the often optimistic CrystalDiskMark.
And, using the same synthetic benchmark we achieved 1,027MB/s reads and 958MB/s writes, almost exactly double. The performance limitation here isn’t the NAND modules inside, but the USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface.
How Much SSD Storage Do You Need For A Computer?
If you’re wondering how much SSD storage you need for a computer, the answer depends on a few factors. The first is what you’ll be using your computer for. If you’re a power user who needs to store a lot of data, you’ll need more storage than someone who only uses their computer for basic tasks. The second factor is the type of data you’ll be storing.
If you’re storing large files like video or audio files, you’ll need more storage than someone who only stores text files. Finally, the size of your hard drive will also affect how much storage you need. A larger hard drive will obviously need more storage than a smaller one. So, how much SSD storage do you need for a computer? It really depends on your specific needs. Following our blog to get more information about that.
What are the 3 types of SSDs?
Type of SSDs:
- SATA SSD: SATA SSDs are the first generation of SSDs. They can reach a read speed of up to 570MB per second. …
- NVMe SSD: NVMe is a protocol that allows you to reach even higher speeds than with a SATA SSD. …
- M. 2 connector. …
- PCIe connector. Video cards on the motherboard can also be connected by a PCIe connector.
Can an SSD improve FPS?
Upgrading to an SSD won’t increase your FPS, but it can result in an improvement in some open-world titles with game engines that load in new areas and textures as you play.
What is a good size for a gaming SSD?
As games continue to get larger, we generally recommend either a 1TB or 2TB model over anything smaller in the NVMe form factor. This is to give you enough headroom to load up titles from your virtual game libraries (such as Steam, Epic, or Origin) without having to constantly make room for new releases. Also, 1TB / 2TB drives tend to run slightly faster than their smaller siblings in the same product line.
What is a good SSD speed for gaming?
While there’s no hard and fast rule as to the quickness of an SSD, we would strongly recommend a minimum of a Gen 3.0 drive in your gaming PC as it has rates of up to 3,500 MB/s read and write respectively. However, should you want the best of the best, then we’re seeing sequential performance exceeding 7,000 MB/s from flagship Gen 4.0 drives at the moment. Our advice is to go with the fastest drive that your budget allows, but ideally, you’ll want to go NVMe over the slower SATA and HDD models online.
There are plenty of options out there if you’re in the market for a gaming-specific SSD. A short list of alternative products above that we think is your great choices. If you have any thoughts or suggestions about our list, let us know in the comments below! Otherwise, you can browse other articles on the Memoright blog. Keep a lookout for more helpful articles on the way soon!