If you’re one of those who want to browse the web in a matter of seconds, access to general applications and gaming at your earliest, quieter and less power-hungry systems, and else, then you need to have a Solid-state Drive in your PC or laptop. SSDs have clearly taken overtaken the conventional HDDs in the gaming space. It is mainly because of the transfer speed, better performance, and more affordable than before. If you opt for the best SSD for gaming – you can transform your PC to speed booster, with exceptional performance at all levels.

When it comes to slow performance, you have two avenues – whether to go with slow, cheap, and spacious hard drives (HDD) or prefer expensive yet way faster (and lower capacity) solid-state drives (SSDs). With a variety of gaming SSD option, it is indeed a difficult job to find one that best suits your specs and pocket.

Don’t worry! I’ve done the research for you and created a list of the best solid-state drives you can add to your gaming gig.

Why do you NEED an SSD for gaming?

An SSD is the lighting fast counterpart to the traditional hard drive with no moving parts. It shares so much more in common with a portable flash drive than it does with a mechanical HDD. But not every SSD will smooth-out your gaming and other computer programs – that’s why we’re here.

A good SSD makes everything right. From starting your computer to load new levels within a game. Most importantly, it will take your online gaming to the next level. SSDs will get you into the game faster than your buddies, allowing them to run with fewer hitches and hiccups.

“The best SSD will let your gaming computer enjoy a slicker, more instantaneous, less ‘will you please hurry up!’ experience.”

The best thing is that Solid-state drives are no longer just the preserve of the gaming elite – there are some best SSDs yet more affordable for enhancing your gaming experience. And they are faster too… I mean way, way faster.

With the best SSDs dominating the computing world, you no longer have to live with those slow, unreliable, and noisy hard drives. If you still have the old clunker inside your computer, now’s the time to get the best SSD; no more mechanical shackles. 

9 BEST SSDs for GAMING to Buy in 2020

Shopping for the best budget SSD can be a bit tricky, thanks to so many different SSD technologies, speed wars, form factors, interfaces, and protocols. From budget options to speed-freaks, from highest performers to turbochargers, here are the best gaming SSDs of 2020.

1. addlink S70 1TB SSD – Cheap & Powerful SSD for Gaming

addlink SSD

Specs 

  • Controller – Phison PS5012-E12
  • Socket – M.2 (NVMe)
  • Memory – Toshiba 64-layer 3D TLC
  • Capacity – 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB

We liked

  • Price is half of the competition
  • Excellent components
  • Superfast
  • Impressive endurance

In such a price, who gives a drive that’s twice the size of others, a 5-year warranty, exciting performance, and everything in between; if you ask why we are recommending a company you’ve probably never heard of, the provenance of this SSDs’ parts can’t be questioned.

These aren’t any bargain-basement bits Addlink has picked for its S70 drive, we’re just looking its latest 64-layer 3D TLC NAND from Toshiba, SK Hynix cache, and the excellent Phison PS5012-E12 memory controller. 

2. WD Black SN750 1TB – Budget Performance Gaming SSD

wd black sn750 ssd

Specs 

  • Controller – In-house
  • Socket – M.2 (NVMe)
  • Memory – Sandisk/Toshiba TLC
  • Capacity – 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB

We liked

  • Performance simialr to the 1TB 970 Evo Plus
  • Competitive price
  • Fantastic performance

We didn’t like

  • There are other options of the same price

The WD Black SN750 cannot match the Samsung’s pace, but getting near to it is almost negligibly a serious feat in and of itself. This most impressive NVMe is more an evolution than a revolution. 

Inside the WD Black SN750 is the 256Gb 64-layer TLC NAND – same as the previous version – with the same essential triple-core WD memory controller. But the improved firmware has bolstered the write performance of the drive without impacting the speed of anything else.

The WD drive has its Gaming Mode that reduces the latency by eliminating the lowest idle state of the drive, ensuring no wastage – even for nanoseconds – when playing games.

3. Samsung 970 EVO PLUS – Performance Focused SSD

Samsung 970 ssd

Specs

  • Controller – Samsung Phoenix
  • Socket – M.2 (NVMe)
  • Memory – 3-bit MLC
  • Capacity – 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB

We liked

  • Generally higher performance
  • Improved endurance

We didn’t like

  • A little off the speeds

The new Samsung 970 EVO Plus isn’t the latest generation of SSD, but it is the drive that marked the last PCIe 3.0 version before we moved towards the higher-spec PCIe 4.0 drives when AMD’s 3rd Gen Ryzen rolled out. 

Thanks to its drastic drop in memory pricing, that’s a trend that looks set to continue; the new 970 EVO Plus has launched at half the price of the 970 EVO.

So you have a fast SSD, especially in the performance enabled by that enhanced Phoenix controller, and one that is at the same price as the drive it is replacing; that’s how frequentative hardware updates roll!

4. Crucial MX500 250GB – Cheap SSD for Gaming

Crucial MX500 SSD

Specs

  • Controller – Silicon Motion SM2258
  • Socket – SATA (AHCI)
  • Memory – Micron TLC
  • Capacity – 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB

We liked

  • Great value
  • Impressive 4K performance
  • Competitive price

We didn’t like

  • Over-zealous with provisioning

The Crucial MX500 SSD is one of our top picks for the best overall SSD for gaming. But when you look at its price tag, it’s also damn-close to the best SSD going for budget gamers.

A brainchild of Micron, Crucial MX500 is reliable, fast, and offers fantastic value for money; I wish if it could match Samsung on the five-year warranty.

Unlike their last few drives, Micron’s drive is a genuine player, not just in terms of its low, low price, but also in both speed and capacity.

5. Intel SSD 600P 512GB – The Reliable Gaming SSD

intel ssd 600p

Specs

  • Controller – Silicon Motion SM2260
  • Socket – M.2 (NVMe)
  • Memory – Intel 3D TLC
  • Capacity – 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB

We liked

  • Affordable alternative to SATA
  • NVMe performance
  • Five-year warranty

We didn’t like

  • Slow read/write speeds

Intel’s SSD 600p is an un-Intel kind of drive. Where they aim to produce high-spec, high-price, and high-performance parts, aiming at a more mainstream market. It’s kitted out with almost everything – from the cheaper controller to stacked TLC memory – that’s why we called this one of the most affordable PCIe drives for now.

The Intel SSD 600p is an affordable yet half-terabyte drive that’s built with the twin performance pillars of the PCIe interface and the NVMe protocol. It’s where Intel is at its smartest, swallowing technological pride. 

It may not be the fastest, but equivalently-priced SATA drives supporting far greater technological longevity; you can call it an entry-level NVMe SSD.

6. SAMSUNG 860 EVO – Best Gaming SSD for SATA Ports

samsung 860 ssd

Specs

  • Controller – Samsung MJX
  • Socket – SATA (AHCI)
  • Memory – 3-bit MLC
  • Capacity – 250GB, 500GB, 1, 2, & 4TB

We liked

  • The fastest SATA drive
  • Excellent endurance
  • Five-year warranty

We didn’t like

  • Slow read/write speeds

This latest Samsung SATA SSD shows the current thinking from the storage point of view; even if you can’t boost performance, you can still beef up the endurance and warranty levels, we should thank NAND memory tech.

The 860 EVO’s 3-bit MLC is at a stage where Samsung can offer a 5-year warranty on its SATA SSD. It’s the fastest SATA drives on the market, but not compare to 850 EVO. 

The 860 EVO SSD is a distilled version of the solid-state learnings Samsung has achieved over the last generations of both NVMe and SATA-based drive, that means chasing down drive endurance figures.

There’s a speed limit imposed upon the old SATA connection – 600MB/s. 

7. Addlink S70 512GB – High Quality SSD for Gaming

addlink ssd drive

Specs

  • Controller – Phison PS5012-E12
  • Socket – M.2 (NVMe)
  • Memory – Toshiba 64-layer 3D TLC
  • Capacity – 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB

We liked

  • Full x4 PCIe 3 interface
  • Stunning price to performance ratio
  • speedy storage
  • 600TBW endurance

We didn’t like

  • Slow read/write speed

Addlink is (out of nowhere) dominating our best SSD for gaming list, and now it’s time to test out their freakishly affordable 512GB version of the S70; to start, it also goes down as the best cheap SSD for gaming.

It uses the Toshiba 3D TLC NAND and Phison PS5012-E12 memory controller, sporting Nanya DRAM cache, as opposed to the SK Hynix memory that the 1TB drive uses. 

It’s a slightly different PCB, but still offers excellent performance; thanks to its full x4 PCIe connection, it can easily beat some expensive WD Blue drives.

8. Samsung 970 PRO 1TB – Best NVME SSD for Gaming

samsung 970 ssd

Specs

  • Controller – Samsung Phoenix
  • Socket – M.2 (NVMe)
  • Memory – Samsung 2-bit MLC
  • Capacity – 512GB, 1TB

We liked

  • Continuous speed under load
  • Best-in-class read/write performance
  • Impressive endurance

We didn’t like

  • Limited pro-performance

If the Samsung 970 EVO follows almost the same synthetic benchmarks as the 970 Pro, then why should we spend the extra cash? 

For most users, there’s little need for a pro-version SSD; if you want the absolute fastest SSD, then the 970 Pro is the one you should go with.

Both Pro and EVO have identical 5-year warranties, the Pro has more endurance – the rating of 1,200TB, the 1TB EVO has 600TB, and the 500GB version has the only 300TB. 

To run a serious workhorse of a machine that’s churn through large amounts of data continuously, then, the locked-in reliability of the 970 Pro is what you need.

9. Mushkin Enhanced Source 500GB

Specs

  • Controller – Samsung MJX
  • Socket – SATA 6Gb/s 
  • Capacity – 250GB, 500GB

We liked

  • Decent performance
  • Low cost 

We didn’t like

  • Middling performance
  • Slow and sustained writes

Mushkin’s Source line of SATA SSDs is a bit of old school, using 3D TLC NAND to reach the lower prices. While the performance is relatively modest, this is an excellent upgrade for any budget gamer currently lacking an SSD. And if you’re okay with 500GB, it would be a cost-effective upgrade.

Mushkin releases reliable drives, it means you’re getting an SSD that will perform well for a few years. The manufacturer lists the endurance as ‘3 years’, which is quite vague but seems right based on our experiences with its drives.

FAQs

How much SSD do I need for Gaming?

Well, you can probably live with 128GB SSD drive, however, we recommend to upgrade to at least 256GB drive so you enjoy the best experience of PC gaming.

How we tested these SSDs?

SSDs make your gaming system faster and more pleasant; the fast-loading ones can cut dozens of seconds off the load times of big titles – Battlefield 5 or MMOs like World of Warcraft. Make sure an SSD won’t affect frame rates as your GPU or CPU does but make installing, dying, booting, and reloading games faster and smoother.

When shopping for an SSD for gaming, we always look for price per gigabyte – how much you have to spend to keep a healthy library of games installed and ready to be played at a moment’s notice? 

As these days, many games are surpassing the 50GB mark, this is becoming even more critical. To find the best SSD for gaming, we researched the market, picked out the strongest ones, and put them through our benchmarking tools. 

We have tested all the drives recommended in this SSD guide. The fact is, for gaming, the difference between the fastest and the slowest SSD is often small. Even a slow SSD can save 15-20 seconds on load times.

What to Look in for an SSD?

Before you buy an SSD for gaming, make sure you’re buying the one that will sync with your specific (if any) gaming needs. 

Newer motherboards come with sockets for M.2 drives, which are long, flat sticks that lie against the motherboard; don’t have that in your system? Buy a 2.5-inch drive that uses data cables and power similar to an HDD.

For starters, M.2 drives utilize a PCI Express – or Serial ATA (SATA)-based interface. The former delivers high transfer speeds up to 4,000MB/s, while the SATA drive is limited to a maximum of 600MB/s speed. The 2.5-inch drives are the other form of SSDs that you’ll find, and they utilize a SATA connection.

So this was our review to recommend you good SSD for gaming. I hope we have covered all aspects of the topic. If you think we have left some, drop us a comment below and our team will add your request to the blog. 

Make your gaming PC faster with the best SSD, but don’t just act blindly. Buying the best SSD 2020 is more like chasing many seemingly-best players, to hit the right target. 

Catch you later with some other gaming insights!

Author

Sabih is the founder and chief editor of The Usables. He's a creative thinker, entrepreneur and data-driven individual who loves to share his views with big audience. He likes talking about technology and playing video games. A foodie by choice and marketer by profession, and a proud father!

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