When PC gaming, nothing pulls you out of the action faster than a long-lasting loading screen. As your game of choice rushes to load assets and textures, a slow hard drive or solid-state drive can mean sitting around when you could be exploring a virtual world or setting out on a fishing raid. A fast SSD, though, can get you to what you want to play faster.
Here’s a list of the best SSDs available for gaming, including modern high-speed M.2 slot options and more traditional SATA drives. Whatever your PC supports, there’s an SSD here for you.
If you’re looking to purchase a whole new gaming PC with an SSD on a budget, check out our selection of the best cheap gaming PCs available.
Addlink S70 1TB M.2 SSD
The brand name Addlink might not be as much of a household name as some others, but don’t let that small detail fool you — Addlink offers quite a few incredible products, including our top pick for the best SSD for gaming. The S70 1TB is a PCIe 3×4 M.2 internal SSD that’s perfect for quickly loading textures and other game assets, thanks to its 3,400MBps read and 3,000MBps write speed.
Addlink offers the S70 in various capacities, including 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB. However, not all sizes achieve the same read/write performance stated above, and the S70 1TB seems to be a perfect balance. You won’t need to worry about your investment either, as Addlink includes a healthy five-year warranty with each purchase.
Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB M.2 SSD
The 970 EVO Plus is Samsung’s option for those who need a bit of speed. Featuring V-NAND technology and the company’s Phoenix controller, it can reach read and write speeds of up to 3,500MBps and 3,300MBps, respectively. As with other brands, the 970 EVO Plus is offered in capacities including 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB, but rated speeds may vary between models.
If you’re worried about reliability or endurance, Samsung has rated the 970 EVO Plus to handle up to 1,200TB of written data, and the SSD features a dynamic thermal guard to maintain optimal operating temperatures. Samsung also throws in a five-year warranty to back you up if anything was to happen to the hardware.
Samsung 860 EVO 500GB SATA SSD
If your motherboard doesn’t offer an M.2 slot, we’ve got you covered with another selection from Samsung. The 860 EVO is a modern SSD with a SATA interface for broader compatibility with legacy hardware. It is limited by the SATA interface’s reduced speed, but it is still far ahead of traditional hard disk drives. The 500GB capacity of the 860 EVO is our favorite option due to its excellent price per GB, and it can achieve read speeds of up to 550MBps and write speeds of up to 520MBps.
Other capacity options include 250GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB. If you’re a Linux gamer or run SteamOS, you’ll also appreciate the drive’s improved queued trim ability. As with Samsung’s other storage products, a five-year warranty is included with your purchase.
Corsair Force Series MP600 1TB M.2 SSD
If you’re seeking speed, look no further than the Corsair Force Series MP600; this 1TB M.2 SSD reaches speeds of up to 4,950MBps. When you take the MP600 out of the box, you instantly know something is different due to the massive, black aluminum heatsink surrounding the components. Built exclusively for AMD Ryzen chipsets, the MP600 is guaranteed compatible with Ryzen 3000-Series CPUs and X570 motherboards.
Sustained speed for the SSD promises up to 4,950MBps when reading and 4,250MBps when writing. The Corsair achieves such rates in part thanks to its support of Gen4 PCIe M.2 interfaces. To keep your high-speed drive up to date, Corsair also includes a software toolbox to enable advanced drive controls and manage firmware updates. The MP600 is guaranteed up to 3,600TB writes over its lifetime and includes a five-year warranty.
Crucial MX500 250GB SATA SSD
If you’re not too worried about storage size — we can’t all have massive Steam libraries, after all — and are looking to save money, then this 250GB SSD from Crucial might be right up your alley. The MX500 is perfect for systems that lack newer M.2 slots and still require a traditional SATA connection. Rated with read speeds of up to 560MBps and write speeds of up to 510MBps, Crucial delivers all it can muster with Micron 3D NAND technology.
The Integrated Power Loss Immunity feature helps to preserve your data if you suddenly lose power. At the same time, a general five-year warranty will work to keep your hardware protected while you spend those late nights gaming.
If you like what the MX500 has to offer but need a bit more space, you can also pick it up in a few different capacity options beyond 250GB, including 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB. However, prices do rise dramatically at greater capacities.
Western Digital Black Edition 2TB
Before you keep reading, note that you’ll need to have a relatively deep wallet for our next pick, the Western Digital Black SN750. However, if you can spare the expense, this 2TB M.2 SSD can store all of your game data with room to spare. With a sleek heatsink that helps to maintain peak performance while gaming, the SN750 can transfer up to speeds of 3400MBps. Western Digital’s Black lineup of products has always represented the best the company has to offer, and we see no difference here.
You can grab the SN750 with or without the heatsink, although we recommend including it to help keep it running at peak performance. It’s available in a variety of capacities, including 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB. You’re even able to customize the performance of the SN750 using the included WD Black SSD Dashboard software. Western Digital also includes a five-year warranty to protect your pricey, yet exciting, new investment.
The slick design of the SN750 would be a worthy addition to any gaming PC with a side window.