Best SSD for gaming – best solid state drives 2022

Fifty-fifty with the gluttonous storage space demands of modern games, multi-terabyte HDDs should be for overflow just: with one of the best SSDs for gaming every bit your PC’s master storage drive, your whole system will exist faster. Loading games, booting, launching apps, copying and pasting files… it’s all so much quicker with an SSD, even if they’re not as capacious as the biggest mechanical hard drives.

There’s nothing incorrect with having i or two of the latter every bit fill-in storage, but even a inexpensive SSD will outperform whatsoever HDD. And if you tin can spend more, you could potentially take advantage of PCIe 4.0-uniform motherboards for the kinds of read/write speeds that were practically unthinkable simply a few years ago. Alongside upgrading to 1 of the best gaming CPUs or best graphics cards, picking the right SSD can be one of the near desperate functioning-enhancing changes yous tin make to a PC.

What you’ll find below are the best SSDs that we’ve tested, from affordable ii.5in SATA drives to smaller, faster NVMe drives that slot straight into the motherboard. Cheque your PC to brand sure yous can actually install your option, evidently – nearly motherboards these day have at to the lowest degree 1 M.2 slot, and so aim for an NVMe SSD if your build is fairly contempo, though SATA SSDs tin piece of work well as secondary drives also. I’ve also thrown in a few of the best external SSDs, which are ideal for keeping backups of your favourite game installs and any other key apps or files.

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It’southward too worth looking into whether your motherboard supports PCIe 4.0 SSDs, or just PCIe iii.0 drives. PCIe four.0 is a lot quicker, though information technology’s also backwards compatible, so don’t worry if yous’ve blown well-nigh of your building budget on a four.0 motherboard every bit it will still piece of work with 3.0 SSDs.

I’ll exist keeping this list updated with new SSDs one time they’ve proved worthy in testing. For at present, everything here is comfortably deserving of your cash. If y’all practise decide to upgrade, be sure to check out our guide on how to install an SSD also.

Best SSD for gaming 2022

  • WD Blueish SN570 – the best NVMe SSD for gaming
  • WD Black SN850 – the all-time PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD for gaming
  • WD Black SN750 SE – the best cheap PCIe 4.0 SSD for gaming
  • Samsung 870 Evo – the all-time SATA SSD for gaming
  • Samsung 870 Qvo – the all-time big SATA SSD for gaming
  • Crucial X8 – the best external SSD for gaming
  • Samsung T7 Shield – the all-time rugged external SSD for gaming
  • Kingston XS2000 – the best USB 3.2 2×2 external SSD for gaming

WD Blue SN570

The best NVMe SSD for gaming

You could likewise call this the best cheap NVMe SSD for gaming, as the WD Blueish SN570 follows its predecessors – the SN500 and SN550 – in targeting a lower-than-average cost. You lot wouldn’t know this was an affordable model from the functioning, though: the 1TB model I tested easily lived upward to its official maximum sequential speeds, and its random read speeds (the most important for gaming performance) could outpace high-finish Samsung and WD SSDs too. That includes the flagship WD Black SN750.

Not that it’s the accented fastest NVMe SSD we’ve ever tested, simply that doesn’t change the fact that the SN570 is wonderfully agile by both upkeep-friendly and full general PCIe three.0 standards. Its write speeds hold upwardly especially well in tough workloads, so it’s a bully all-rounder likewise, and the unmarried-sided design volition help information technology fit into cramped laptops besides as desktop PCs.

What nosotros like:

✔️ High speeds, both for reads and writes
✔️ Very affordable
✔️ Decent selection of capacities

Read more than in our WD Blue SN570 review

WD Black SN850

The best PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD for gaming

A photo of the WD Black SN850 NVMe SSD.

PCIe 4.0 SSDs are still relatively new and rather expensive, just if you lot’re looking for the best of the bunch, the
WD Black SN850
is currently the one to crush. If yous idea the speed jump from SATA to PCIe 3.0 NVMe drives was big, the Black SN850 offers a like boost once more over PCIe 3.0 drives, offering substantially faster read and write speeds across the board.

In truth, its random read times are much the aforementioned as the similarly nippy Samsung 980 Pro, and the newer Kingston Fury Renegade is faster notwithstanding in certain conditions. But the SN850’s write times and transfer speeds are still fantastically fast, and because it’s a lot cheaper than the Fury Renegade, it’due south a better value SSD overall.

What we like:

✔️ Latest and greatest tech
✔️ Blisteringly quick transfer speeds
✔️ Cheaper than its chief rivals

Read more in our WD Black SN850 review

WD Black SN750 SE

The best cheap PCIe 4.0 SSD for gaming

The WD Black SN750 SE SSD on a dark grey background.

WD Black SN750 SE
is a scrap of an odd one. It’s branded as the “Special Edition” of 2022’s WD Black SN750, merely is a completely unlike SSD with PCIe 4.0 support. Despite this, you can easily discover information technology for less cash. What gives?

I’m not sure myself, but at least the result is a compelling entry-level PCIe 4.0 drive – an highly-seasoned concept in itself, considering how expensive compatible motherboards can exist. While the SN750 SE is often only slightly faster than the best PCIe 3.0 drives, with the 1TB model posting a 1622MB/s read speed and 1565.MB/due south write speed in our usual CrystalDiskMark 4K test, it comes much closer to PCie 4.0 averages on game load times. Even the mighty WD Black SN850 could simply load Shadow of the Tomb Raider less than a 2d faster.

I’d still say the SN850 is the superior purchase, equally its read and write speeds are much higher on average, then information technology takes better advantage of the PCIe iv.0 interface. But if your PC budget is already stretched, the SN750 SE will exist a adept alternative to last-gen drives.

What nosotros similar:

✔️ Faster than PCIe 3.0…
✔️ …for inappreciably whatsoever extra money
✔️ Capacities up to 2TB

Samsung 870 Evo

The best SATA SSD for gaming

When it comes to buying an SSD for gaming, a lot people still opt for a 2.5in SATA drive rather than a super fast NVMe SSD, if only because the latter tend to be quite expensive and you need a motherboard that supports them. For SATA SSD hunters, so, the
Samsung 870 Evo
is hands downward the all-time drive for the job right now. Its everyday speeds aren’t that much faster than its predecessor, the 860 Evo, but with that drive becoming increasingly difficult to get agree of, the 870 Evo is now our SATA SSD of selection for those.

In fairness, Crucial’s MX500 is another adept budget selection for SATA buyers, but when prices for the 870 Evo are only a fraction more than these days, there’s little point opting for the MX500 unless you can find information technology for a substantial disbelieve. What’southward more, the 870 Evo also comes with a much higher endurance rating than the MX500: 300 terabytes written (TBW) for the 500GB model every bit opposed to just 180TBW on the 500GB MX500. It’s fast, durable, and however to be beaten on overall value.

What we like:

✔️ The fastest SATA drive you lot can buy today
✔️ Bang-up endurance levels
✔️ Improve value for money than the competition

Read more than in our Samsung 870 Evo review

Samsung 870 Qvo

The best big SATA SSD for gaming

In fact, there is
SSD with faster write speeds than the Samsung 860 Evo, and that’s
Samsung’s 870 Qvo. Fabricated from 4-bit MLC Five-NAND instead of 3-bit MLC similar its Evo counterparts, the 870 Qvo is much improve value than Samsung’s equivalent Evo drives. Its performance is more or less identical, and it’s a heck of a lot cheaper, too. Equally such, if you’re looking to become an SSD that’due south at least 1TB in size only don’t want to fork out loads of cash (either on an expensive NVMe SSD or a high capacity SATA drive), the 870 Qvo is the way to get.

Like the rest of Samsung’due south drives, the 870 Qvo has infrequent endurance ratings and warranties, and its random read and write times are upwards in that location with the very all-time. Plus, if you’ve got enough cash, you tin can purchase one that’s a whopping 8TB – which is practically unheard of in SATA circles. Information technology’s nonetheless not as inexpensive as buying a large hd, but information technology’s the best yous’re going to get on an SSD.

What nosotros like:

✔️ First-class everyday functioning
✔️ Vivid value for money
✔️ Just as fast as Samsung’s Evo SSDs

Read more than in our Samsung 870 Qvo review

Crucial X8

The best external SSD for gaming

For a long time, Samsung’s T5 Portable SSD reined supreme in the world of external SSDs, only with that bulldoze slowly going end of life, the
Crucial X8
is the next best external SSD to buy in its stead. The Crucial X8 non only supports the faster USB 3.ii Gen 2 standard compared to the T5’s USB three.i support, only its transfer speeds are second to none, fifty-fifty beating the much newer (and more expensive) Samsung T7 Shield.

Samsung’s SSD has its own charms, but for those afterwards the very best external SSD effectually, the Crucial X8 is a tough act to beat. RPS chief Katharine used to utilize this very model for shifting game installations around diverse laptops and PC setups for testing, prior to escaping the hardware cupboard and pushing me into it earlier the door locked shut.

And, uh, no, I don’t know why the 1TB is so consistently cheaper than the 500GB model correct at present.

What we like:

✔️ Best in course transfer speeds
✔️ Supports the latest USB standards
✔️ A reliable everyday workhorse

Read more in our Crucial X8 review

Samsung T7 Shield

The all-time rugged external SSD for gaming

The Samsung T7 Shield portable SSD, without its detachable cable, on a table.

It would be unfair to call the
Samsung T7 Shield
merely a more ruggedised, fingerprint sensor-less take on the T7 Touch. Besides launching with much more sensible (albeit yet relatively high) pricing, the T7 Shield outran the T7 Touch in every single one of our usual operation tests. That includes the AS SSD criterion’due south ISO and application copying tests, which are especially relevant to external drives: to give simply one, the T7 Shield scored 332MB/s in the game copying test, hands besting the T7 Touch’s 249MB/due south.

The Crucial X8 is faster and the Kingston XS2000 is more compact, but it’s nevertheless worth paying for the T7 Shield’s added toughness if you want something that volition regularly become blimp in a backpack. Its rubbery outside adds some drop protection and even with a detachable cable, the T7 Shield is water- and dust-resistant to the IP65 standard: plenty for a total blockage of grit and dirt ingress, or to withstand an adventitious drinks spillage.

What we like:

✔️ High speeds
✔️ Durable but lightweight design
✔️ Both USB-A and USB-C cables included

Kingston XS2000

The all-time USB three.2 2×2 external SSD for gaming

The Kingston XS2000 portable SSD, without its detachable cable, on a table.

Portable SSDs are tied upward in a lot of silly naming conventions for USB standards, like how “USB iii.2 Gen 1” is basically just USB All you need to know about USB 3.2 2×2 is that information technology’s the fastest USB standard yous can currently look to find supported by gaming motherboards, at to the lowest degree until USB4 adoption picks up.

Granted, even USB 3.two 2×2 mobos are nonetheless pretty rare, and I don’t recommend the
Kingston XS2000
if you’re going to limit it to lower USB 3.2 Gen 2 speeds. But if you do have 2×2 hardware, you’re in for a care for, as this wonderfully pocket-friendly SSD can more than match its advertised sequential speeds while flying through more challenging read and write tasks. In the As SSD copy benchmark, information technology completed the game copying portion in i.21s, or at 1138MB/south; the Crucial X8’s best showing, over USB three.2 Gen ii, was three.3s / 420MB/s.

What we like:

✔️ Exceptionally fast over USB 3.two 2×2
✔️ Very small and light
✔️ Bundled with protective sleeve

Frequently asked questions

SATA SSD vs NVMe: what’s the difference?

SSDs are split into two main types right now: SATA drives and NVMe drives. 2.5in SATA SSDs are the easiest driblet-in replacement for a standard hard disk. These plug into a SATA three port on your motherboard, and nigh mod PC cases have mounting points for ii.5in SSDs on the back of the motherboard tray. If yours doesn’t, you can use a inexpensive adaptor (really only a three.5in-wide metal plate with spiral holes) to fit the SSD in a normal three.5in hard disk bay. The SATA 3 interface has been around since 2009. It’s several times faster than a mechanical hd, but it’s too not really quick plenty to keep pace with the very fastest SSDs that are around today.

If y’all’re in the market for a super-fast SSD that won’t be burdened past its interface, you need to move beyond SATA to NVMe (also called PCI Express, PCIe NVMe, or simply NVMe). Most NVMe SSDs are are just 22mm wide and 80mm long (so about a tertiary shorter than a stick of RAM) and are mounted directly to the motherboard in an M.2 slot, then no more having to route SATA and ability cables around your case. If your motherboard doesn’t accept such a slot, there’south but one way to unleash the speed: a PCIe add together-in carte du jour (AIC). These add-in cards will fit in a spare PCIe x4 or x16 slot and are monstrously quick, as well equally monstrously expensive.

NVMe SSDs require an Yard.2 slot (above) on your motherboard.

What’south the difference between PCIe iii.0 and PCIe iv.0 SSDs?

Like many unlike kinds of engineering science, the PCI Express (PCIe for short) interface has had many different generations over the years. Virtually new CPUs and motherboards these days provide PCIe four.0 support, though PCIe three.0 is yet very widely used, hence why 3.0 SSDs are nonetheless releasing. The main divergence between them is the amount of bandwidth they have to move data dorsum and forth between dissimilar parts of your PC.

Bandwidth doubles every generation. PCIe iii.0 currently has a bandwidth of 32GB/southward, too as a fleck or data rate of 8 gigatransfers per 2d (GT/s). Withal, PCIe iv.0 doubles that to a bandwidth of 64GB/south and a bit rate of xvi GT/southward, making it much, much faster at moving large quantities of data around.

What size SSD should I buy?

The minimum SSD size I’d recommend these days is 500GB, as this will give yous enough room for your Windows installation (effectually 20GB), a few large games, plus all your music, photos and any other programmes you might demand. Still, if you lot accept a peculiarly big photo and music collection, or simply like having lots of games installed at the same time, so I’d recommend bumping it up to the 1TB mark.

To go the nigh gigs for your money, you could become a smaller SSD – even as niggling every bit 256GB – every bit your main bulldoze and augment it with a 1TB or 2TB hard drive. Just remember, though, that any games or apps saved on the HDD won’t benefit from the SSD’due south much faster speed. I’d still suggest going for the biggest SSD that your budget volition allow.