The best SSD for gaming will help you to improve your gaming performance and explore your PC quickly and immediately jump into your games. Whatever you are doing with it, a robust SSD will offer your entire system a lift. Whether it’s zipping about on Windows 10 or launching a large game like Red Dead Redemption 2 in a very fraction of the time it wont to take.
The gaming performance difference between an SSD and a typical hard drive is night and day, and the same can be said for SATA drives and the fastest PCIe 4.0 SSDs. Suddenly everything is true there at your fingertips—the frustration of long boot times is going to be a thing of the past. Once you see games like GTA V load in seconds rather than minutes, there is not any way you’ll be able to return.
Best SSD to Improve Gaming Performance in 2021
All of the drives in this list have been carefully tested using our benchmarking suite, which includes real-world game loading tests as well as fake speed tests to find the best SSD for gaming. On the test rig, each will have had a fresh Windows 10 installation placed onto it, so we know how they’ll perform as your primary drive.
Because smaller SSDs, while cheaper, lose performance, we’ve included both 1TB and 500GB drives in our list of the best SSDs. And, with some games absorbing spill 150GB, a 250GB SSD isn’t cutting it anymore. Also, you can see all the information about the all new Extreme Pro SSD by SanDisk
1. Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD
Transfer Rate: 3500 Mb per second | Device Type: Solid State Drive | Storage: 2 TB | Hardware Interface: PCI Express x4 | Hardware Platform: PC | Dimensions: 0.87 x 0.9 x 3.15 inches | Weight: 1.90 ounces
- Overall, a strong performance
- PCB in black
- A great software package
- Could benefit from further efficiency improvements
The Samsung 970 EVO Plus has left us extremely impressed. Samsung’s drive, like the WD Black SN750, retains the same controller as its predecessor. Instead of replacing it with the same flash, Samsung opted to change things up a little with their new 9x-layer flash. Even when the flash reaches new heights, performance reaches new heights as well. The resultant drive is exactly what its name implies: a massive Plus.
The Samsung 970 EVO Plus is the first commercially accessible retail SSD featuring Samsung’s newest 9x-layer flash, and it provides the same performance as the 970 EVO, plus more. The drive has constantly demonstrated that it has some of the best write performance on the market and is capable of handling heavy workloads. It even outperformed Samsung’s own 970 PRO in a few tests, which is quite an accomplishment given that the professional is Samsung’s workhorse for workstation-class workloads. Also, you can see the WD’s My Passport Portable SSD Storage Device: A Complete Guide
2. Patriot Viper VPR100 SSD
Transfer Rate: 3300 Mb per second | Device Type: Solid State Drive | Storage: 1 TB | Hardware Interface: PCI | Hardware Platform: PC | Dimensions: 3.15 x 0.98 x 0.28 inches | Weight: 0.88 ounces
- Exceptional performance and endurance in the class
- Colorful RGB lights with a heatsink
- Up to 2TB of storage capacity is available
- Write cache is small
- Some lighting configurations may have an impact on performance
- There is no SSD toolkit or cloning software available
We were a little apprehensive about the Viper VPR100’s performance when we first saw it. It was not only rated lower than comparable Phison E12-based SSDs but it was also said to be slower in different RGB settings by the company. The drive, however, exhibited no such issue with our ASRock X570 Taichi testbed when we put it through its paces with varied lighting settings. With the default illumination set, it even outperformed the MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro at times, outperforming its listed specifications. Also, you can a True Gamer’s Take on the Sony PlayStation 5: Exclusive Review
The integrated heatshield not only improves the Viper VPR100’s looks but also keeps the SSD cool under any load. The LEDs, on the other hand, did not produce a considerable amount of heat. So, regardless of your style, you won’t have to second-guess your decision. If you’re creating an all-RGB setup or simply want to add some color to a new gaming system, the Viper VPR100 will do the trick.
3. SK Hynix Gold P31 SSD
Transfer Rate: 2800 Mb per second | Device Type: Internal Solid State Drive | Storage: 1 TB | Hardware Platform: Desktop/Laptop | Dimensions: 3.15 x 0.87 x 0.09 inches | Weight: 0.25 ounces
- High-level performance
- Unprecedented effectiveness
- Encryption with AES 256 bits
- Capacity is limited to 1TB
The Gold P31 from SK Hynix boasts industry leadership as the first retail SSD with 128L NAND memory. The Gold P31 is available at a very cheap price thanks to SK Hynix’s newest NAND, which has an amazing bit density. With prices as low as $75 for the 500GB variant and $135 for the 1TB model, the Gold P31 might be a great deal that makes you reconsider paying the extra $25-$50 on the Samsung 970 EVO Plus. Also, you can see the Best Graphics Cards for Gaming PC in 2021
The Gold P31 from SK Hynix is an excellent choice for individuals seeking to expand their laptop storage not just in terms of capacity but also in terms of battery life. In benchmarks, the Adata SX8200 Pro outperforms the Gold P31, but the SK Hynix is considerably more power-efficient, resulting in longer off-the-charger sessions. However, although the Adata is the better value for desktops and the SK Hynix is the best deal for laptops, the Gold P31’s significantly greater write performance and ultra-high efficiency make it the better all-around option for many customers.
Laptop users who don’t require a terabyte of storage but value battery life should put the new SK Hynix Gold P31 at the top of their list.
4. Crucial P5 Plus SSD
Transfer Rate: 6600 Mb per second | Device Type: Internal Solid State Drive | Storage: 1 TB | Hardware Interface: PCI Express x4 | Hardware Platform: PC, Mac, Linux | Dimensions: 3.14 x 0.86 x 0.09 inches | Weight: 0.59 ounces
- Competitive pricing
- AES 256-bit encryption on hardware
- Aesthetics that are blacked out
- Suite of software
- Warranty period: 5 years
- Long-term writing performance is unimpressive.
- Idle power usage is high
- Under stress, less-than-average efficiency
The Crucial P5 Plus is a development of the P5, with an emphasis on enhanced performance, particularly where the previous P5 failed us. Crucial’s P5 Plus is a robust PCIe 4.0 x4 SSD that is priced reasonably for its feature set, designed for gamers and creative professionals who desire faster load times and more efficient workflows.
The P5 Plus showed capable of keeping up with the top in most applications but relying on value rather than pure performance. It has several specialized algorithms for data security, as well as hardware-based, OPAL 2.0-compliant AES 256-bit encryption. If you can’t afford the Samsung 980 Pro or the WD Black SN850, the P5 Plus is a decent-performing option worth considering.
5. Sabrent Rocket Q SSD
Transfer Rate: 3200 Mb per second | Device Type: Internal Solid State Drive | Storage: 1 TB | Hardware Interface: PCI Express x4 | Hardware Platform: Desktop/Laptop | Dimensions: 3.15 x 0.86 x 0.11 inches | Weight: 2.40 ounces
- M.2 SSD with the highest capacity available
- Performance and efficiency in a competitive environment
- Support for software
- Warranty of up to 5 years
- Very Pricey
- After the write cache fills, the write speed slows down
- In comparison to TLC, there is a lack of endurance per GB
- It is possible to throttle without cooling
Sabrent‘s 8TB Rocket Q is the highest-capacity M.2 NVMe SSD on the market. The pocket-sized behemoth is best suited for the data hoarder on the run, but at $1,500, it’ll cost you almost the same as a good gaming laptop. Thanks to the new Phison E12S controller and 96-Layer QLC flash, the drive not only pushes capacity to the maximum we’ve seen with a compact M.2 SSD, but it also impresses with outstanding speed and efficiency.
Even though QLC flash has certain downsides, such as reduced durability and slower write performance when the SLC write cache fills up during large file transfers, the Rocket Q’s Phison E12S controller allows it to deliver the greatest performance we’ve seen from a QLC drive.
What size SSD should I buy?
The easy, slightly dumb answer is: as big as you’ll be able to afford. With SSDs, the upper capacity, the quicker they’re. That’s because you finish up with more memory dies plumbed into a multi-channel memory controller, which extra parallelism ends up in higher performance.
Traditionally, an entry-level SSD should have at least 512GB of storage space to accommodate your operating system, general system performance, and your most often played games. However, due to the rising size of contemporary games, a 1TB SSD is becoming the minimum suggested. That’s also when the performance begins to improve.
For SSDs, is PCIe 4.0 worth it?
PCIe 4.0 SSDs are the way to go if you want the very quickest drives available. They’re faster than any PCIe 3.0 drive, making big file transfers for tasks like video editing a breeze. They’ll also be ready for the future of gaming in Windows 11, thanks to the DirectStorage feature, which takes the strain off the CPU and sends data straight to the graphics card, boosting speed and reducing, if not eliminating, load times in tomorrow’s open-world games.
Is it possible to install a PCIe 4.0 SSD in a 3.0 slot?
Yes, it is possible to install a PCIe 4.0 SSD in a 3.0 slot. A PCIe 4.0 SSD will fit nicely in a PCIe 3.0 slot since the M.2 socket is the same for all generations of the interface. They will likewise work flawlessly, with the exception that the speed of the older interface will restrict the Gen4 drive.
This is potentially 4GB/s however, due to numerous overheads, it is closer to 3,500MB/s. However, PCIe 4.0 SSDs are more expensive than PCIe 3.0 SSDs, so unless you’re going to move to a supported platform soon, it’s generally best to remain with a less expensive PCIe 3.0 drive.
Is it possible to install an SSD to my PS4 or Xbox One to speed up loading times?
Yes! The PS4 and PS4 Pro may have an SSD installed in place of the system’s internal drive, whilst the Xbox One and PS4 Pro can have an external SSD attached via USB 3.0. Our research on game load time improvements with the PS4, PS4 Pro, and Xbox One can be found here.
We propose a cheap 2.5-inch SSD, such as the Crucial MX500 we mentioned above, for an internal upgrade on the PS4 and PS4 Pro. If you decide to go with external storage, we recommend the portable SSD mentioned above or one of the other SSDs we’ve recommended with a matching enclosure.