Best SSD for gaming in 2022 |

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Crucial MX500 and WD Black SN850 SSDs connected  a bluish  background
(Image credit: Crucial, Western Digital)

The champion SSD for gaming tin guarantee you get into your favourite games arsenic soon arsenic possible. With Microsoft releasing the DirectStorage API (opens successful caller tab) for Windows, games tin perchance pat into these accelerated transportation rates for adjacent quicker load times soon too.

There's nary denying however accelerated existent SSDs are, particularly erstwhile compared to aged spinning hard drives. The aforesaid with SATA drives, and PCIe 4.0 SSDs, games that utilized to instrumentality minutes to footwear years agone similar Skyrim and GTA V, load successful a substance of seconds. Once you acquisition this, you'll ne'er spell backmost to HDDs, ever. 

Every SSD present has gone done our intensive benchmarking suite. It's a operation of real-world crippled loading tests and synthetic velocity tests to find the champion SSD for gaming. I've adjacent utilized each SSD arsenic the superior thrust connected a caller instal of Windows 11 to cheque its performance. 

You'll announcement that our picks for the champion SSDs are beauteous overmuch conscionable 1TB and 500GB drives; thing smaller than that, portion cheaper, suffers a driblet successful speed. And honestly, with games being truthful large nowadays, a 250GB SSD volition capable up truthful overmuch faster than you think. Anything bigger ends up being excessively costly to beryllium a applicable prime unless you find a bully 2TB oregon 4TB SSD connected sale. It mightiness beryllium tempting to prime a ample 8TB HDD connected sale, but spot me, SSDs are the mode to go. 

Best SSD for gaming

WD Black SN850 1TB SSD connected  a grey background

(Image credit: Western Digital)

The champion PCIe 4.0 SSD


Capacity: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB

Controller: WD_Black G2

Memory: BiCS4 96-layer TLC

Interface: PCIe Gen4 x4

Seq. read: 7,000MB/s

Seq write: 5,300MB/s

Reasons to buy


Blistering PCIe 4.0 throughput


Excellent real-world performance


Solid 5 twelvemonth warranty

Reasons to avoid


Runs hot


No AES 256-bit encryption

Our favourite WD Black SN850 config:

The Western Digital Black SN850 makes a fashionably precocious entranceway to the PCIe 4.0 party. It tin deed 7,000MB/s reads and 5,300MB/s writes successful sequential transfers, which is good beyond astir drives' capabilities. That's due to the fact that it uses the latest PCIe 4.0 interface, which has treble the theoretical bandwidth bounds of different PCIe 3.0 drives.

Performance yet defines immoderate SSD; the WD SN850 truly stands retired from the crowd. The synthetic benchmarks, spearheaded by ATTO and AS SSD, amusement that this is precise overmuch a second-generation PCIe 4.0 drive, with highest sequential work speeds knocking connected 6,750MB/s and 5,920MB/s, respectively. Writes are little than the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus (opens successful caller tab) but inactive healthy, astatine either broadside of 5GB/s. The 4K constitute show successful AS SSD manages to flip this over, and the WD SN850 outpaces the Sabrent drive. 

If your motherboard doesn't person a bundled heatsink, past you whitethorn request to look astatine the $20-more costly mentation of the drive—it uses the shipping instrumentality aesthetic of Western Digitals outer drives. Which, personally speaking, looks good, though whether you tin spot it successful your lawsuit is simply a antithetic matter. If you tin purpose immoderate progressive cooling astatine the drive, past that'll beryllium adjacent better. We didn't announcement immoderate throttling successful testing, though it's thing to beryllium alert of. 

The Samsung 980 Pro, which had the borderline for a fewer months, is near retired successful the cold, particularly arsenic it costs the aforesaid arsenic the SN850, but loses retired to the newer thrust successful each metric (apart from operating temperatures). Neither is simply a atrocious drive, obviously, but if we had to urge a next-gen SSD close now, there's lone 1 wide option, and that's the WD SN850. It's simply the champion thrust you tin bargain today.

Read the afloat WD Black SN850 1TB review (opens successful caller tab).

Western Digital WD Black SN770 connected  a motherboard

(Image credit: Future)

The champion worth for wealth PCIe 4.0 SSD


Capacity: 1TB

Controller: Sandisk PCIe 4.0

Flash: Kioxia BiCS5 112-layer TLC

Interface: M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4

Seq. read: 5,150MB/s

Seq. write: 4,900MB/s

Reasons to buy


Solid performance


In-house controller and flash


Five-year warranty

Reasons to avoid


Relatively tiny SLC cache...


...slow erstwhile you spell implicit it


Can get toasty

Our favourite WD Black SN770 config:

We've seen immoderate unthinkable NVMe SSD releases recently, but they've tended to absorption connected top-end show and travel with prices to match. The WD_Black SN770 bucks this inclination and similar its predecessor, the SN750, is aimed astatine offering amended worth for wealth than outright performance. 

The main mode it achieves this is by being a DRAM-less SSD drive. This saves a large chunk of the manufacturer's measure of materials, and acknowledgment to advances successful the latest controllers, it tin beryllium astonishing however small interaction this has connected performance. Such drives are slower, don't get maine wrong, but this caller SN770 inactive quotes work and writes of 5,150MB/s and 4,900MB/s respectively. Not bad. 

The thrust itself is simply a low-profile affair, with this 1TB exemplary boasting a azygous NAND flash module astatine the backmost (actually a rebranded Kioxia BiCS5 112-Layer TLC chip) and the SanDisk controller towards the connector. Western Digital seldom reveals overmuch astir its controllers, and that's the lawsuit erstwhile again here. 

The SN770 is disposable successful 4 sizes—250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB, though there's nary 4TB option, which is simply a spot of a shame. If you privation a earnestly capacious drive, you're going to privation to way down the Sabrent Rocket offerings, which spell each the mode up to 8TB. 

The synthetic show shows the SN770 trails much costly drives successful presumption of reads, though the writes are overmuch closer. The 4K show is comparatively awesome and shows that the SN770 has thing to connection successful this crowded marketplace. It's not excessively astonishing that this thrust outperforms Samsung's DRAM-less offering, arsenic that is simply a PCIe 3.0 drive, aft all, but the grade to which it does is impressive.

It's worthy noting that this thrust tin get blistery erstwhile pushed, conscionable similar the SN850 successful fact. It deed 76°C aft a agelong time of testing, though that was without immoderate nonstop cooling connected it astatine all, not adjacent a heatsink. It should beryllium good successful astir systems, particularly if your motherboard does travel with immoderate cooling solution.

It's successful the real-world tests wherever the SN770 truly struts its stuff. Basically, you'd beryllium hard pushed to archer the quality betwixt this thrust and overmuch faster offerings successful astir day-to-day operations. Given this is the cheaper thrust close now, that counts for a lot. If you request amended performance, past the SN850 is intelligibly the amended drive, but you volition wage considerably much for it.

The lone occupation contented for this thrust is that we don't cognize for definite however accelerated a thrust needs to beryllium for Microsoft's DirectStorage. We cognize immoderate developers person been targeting 5,000MB/s, which is wherever the SN770 sits successful our testing. So it should beryllium good, and for the money, it's precise tempting. If you're a superior gamer though, we'd urge going a small spot higher up the merchandise stack, and grabbing that WD_Black SN850. 

Read our afloat WD Black SN770 1TB review (opens successful caller tab).

Seagate FireCuda 530 SSD connected  a grey background

(Image credit: Seagate`)

A speedy PCIe 4.0 SSD that volition past and last


Capacity : 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, oregon 4TB

Controller: Phison PS5018-E18 controller

Memory: Micron 176L TLC NAND

Interface: M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4

Seq. read: 7,300MB/s

Seq. write: 6,900MB/s

Reasons to buy


All circular large performance


Excellent endurance ratings

Reasons to avoid


One of the much costly PCIe 4.0 drives


Lacks AES 256-bit encryption

Our favourite Seagate Firecuda 530 config:

Seagate whitethorn person taken a portion to get into the coagulated authorities game, and particularly the PCIe 4.0 market, but it has arrived with a bang with the Firecuda 530. With oregon without the heatsink (something that's indispensable for its PlayStation 5 compatibility) the latest Seagate thrust is simply a stunner.

Of course, the rated sequential read/write speeds are fantastic, but it's the endurance levels that truly basal retired compared to the competition. The 2TB thrust we tested has an unprecedented 2,550 TBW standing erstwhile it comes to endurance, which is thing you won't spot this broadside of an SSD made for Chia mining.

The 2TB FireCuda 530's rated sequential work and constitute velocity is 7300/6900 MB/s, and that’s pushing the limits of a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface. For users looking astatine the different capacities, the 4TB thrust has the aforesaid standing portion the smaller 1TB and 500GB drives are rated for 7300/6000 MB/s and 7000/3000 MB/s respectively. 

It combines brand-new Micron 176-Layer TLC NAND—the aforesaid representation Crucial is utilizing to large effect with the caller P5 Plus drives—with a Phison PS5018-E18 controller. Micron claims that its 176L TLC NAND is the champion successful the manufacture with a 30% smaller dice size and a 35% betterment successful work and constitute latency implicit its erstwhile procreation 96L NAND.

Apart from the PCMark 10 retention tests, the FireCuda 530 either matches oregon beats the large bois of the retention world, and erstwhile you adhd its starring sequential show and endurance rating, the Seagate 530 is astatine slightest the adjacent of immoderate user SSD connected the market. 

And successful presumption of show the FireCuda 530 either matches oregon beats the large bois of the retention world, and erstwhile you adhd its starring sequential show and endurance rating, the Seagate 530 is astatine slightest the adjacent of immoderate user SSD connected the market. 

Read our afloat Seagate Firecuda 530 2TB review (opens successful caller tab).

Image of the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 2TB successful  beforehand   of a grey  background.

(Image credit: Sabrent)

The champion thrust for show and worth for money


Capacity: 2TB

Controller: Phison PS5018-E18

Flash: Micron B47R 176-layer TLC

Interface: M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4

Seq. read: 7,100MB/s

Seq. write: 6,600MB/s

Reasons to buy


Updated flash and firmware


Strong synthetic throughput


Runs cool

Reasons to avoid


Not the fastest successful everything


Not the cheapest enactment either

Our favourite Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus config:

The Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus was the archetypal SSD to deed our laboratory utilizing the caller Phison E18 controller, which is the follow-up to the immensely fashionable Phison E16 controller recovered successful fundamentally each first-gen PCIe 4.0 drive. Offering highest reads of 7,100MB/s and writes of 6,600MB/s, it wasn't lone a large measurement up from the archetypal procreation of PCIe 4.0 drives but a notable betterment implicit the Samsung 980 Pro, particularly successful presumption of constitute performance.

In testing, this show was calved retired too, with the faster constitute show dominating Samsung's thrust successful the constitute tests. Real-world show didn't ever archer the aforesaid story, though the differences betwixt these apical drives tin beryllium slight. Even so, you're looking astatine AS SSD hitting 5,868MB/s for reads and 5,630MB/s for writes. Impressive stuff.

Sabrent has precocious updated this thrust to usage faster NAND flash and besides caller firmware for the Phison E18 controller. The quoted show doesn't alteration with this update, but immoderate show metrics person improved, and it's that spot person to the contention portion inactive offering coagulated worth for money.

One happening worthy noting is that the SSD marketplace is successful a authorities of flux astatine the moment, with pricing shifting astir daily. On release, this was the cheapest second-gen PCIe 4.0 you could laic your hands on, but there's often thing betwixt this and our apical pick, the WD_Black SN850, which is wherefore this is successful the 2nd spot.

This thrust does tally cooler than the SN850 though, which whitethorn beryllium a origin if you're looking for a thrust for a cramped case. Also, this is simply a thrust worthy keeping an oculus connected successful the income play arsenic it's often keenly discounted, much truthful than the different drives here.

The caller mentation of the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus is simply a invited release, adjacent if it doesn't dramatically change the drive's spot successful the market. We've had faster drives released recently, similar the Kingston Fury Renegade (opens successful caller tab), on with much budget-focused offerings similar the WD Black SN770 (opens successful caller tab), leaving the caller Rocket 4 Plus successful beauteous overmuch the aforesaid spot arsenic the original—not the fastest, nor the cheapest, but a blessed mediate crushed of the two.

Read our afloat Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 2TB review (opens successful caller tab).

Crucial MX500 500GB SATA SSD

(Image credit: Crucial)

The champion SATA SSD for secondary storage


Capacity: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB

Controller: Silicon Motion SM2258

Memory: Micron TLC

Interface: SATA 6Gbps

Seq. read: 560MB/s

Seq. write: 510MB/s

Reasons to buy


One of the fastest SATA drives


Competitive terms per GB

Reasons to avoid


Low endurance standing for dense information writes


Slow compared to immoderate NMVe SSD

Our favourite Crucial MX500 config:

The Crucial MX500 is the lone SATA thrust near connected our database of the champion SSDs for gaming, but erstwhile the terms delta betwixt PCIe and SATA is truthful small, it's hard to marque an statement for the acold slower technology. But, arsenic determination is simply a hard bounds connected the fig of M.2 slots connected your motherboard, determination is inactive a spot for SATA SSDs arsenic secondary storage.

And the Crucial MX500 is 1 of the best. With SATA's maximum theoretical bandwidth bounds of 600MB/s, it's astir arsenic speedy arsenic you'll get, and Crucial's drives person agelong been among the best-value options disposable too. This is the astir affordable 1TB SATA thrust you tin prime up and it makes a large 2nd location for your Steam and Epic libraries.

It volition happily relation arsenic a footwear thrust connected systems with nary M.2 sockets, oregon astatine slightest nary bootable M.2 sockets anyway. You volition inactive beryllium missing retired connected the zippy effect of your operating strategy moving connected the SSD-specific NVMe protocol, but if that's not an enactment anyway, this thrust volition spot you right. 

Kingston Fury Renegade 2TB SSD

(Image credit: Kingston)

Awesome PCIe Gen 4 show but astatine a superior price


Capacity: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB

Controller: Phison PS5018-E18

Flash: Micron 176-Layer 3D TLC

Interface: M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4

Seq. read: 7,300MB/s

Seq. write: 7,000MB/s

Reasons to buy


Killer PCIe 4.0 performance


Excellent constitute endurance


Low operating temps

Reasons to avoid


Painfully pricey


4K show simply competitive

Our favourite Kingston Fury Renegade config:

It would beryllium casual to look astatine the Kingston Fury Renegade SSD arsenic conscionable different Phison E18-based thrust with different anserine name, but that would mean missing retired connected 1 of the outright fastest PCIe 4.0 SSDs successful the business. The Renegade surely cranks retired the numbers. It besides runs cool, has fantabulous rated constitute endurance, and a agelong warranty. But each that bully worldly comes astatine a achy price.

Phison's PS5018-E18 is an eight-channel controller knocked retired connected nary different than TSMC’s 12nm process. It’s loaded with 5 CPU cores successful total, 3 based connected generic ARM Cortex R5 IP and 2 cores with proprietary Phison designs. Phison claims the E18 tin crank retired 7.4GB/s work and 7GB/s constitute speeds, not to notation 1 cardinal IOPS. We’ve antecedently seen the E18 classified arsenic an NVMe 1.4 chip, but Kingston claims NVMe 2.0 enactment for the Fury Renegade.

We judge Kingston is utilizing the aforesaid Micron 176-Layer 3D TLC chips arsenic seen successful the KC3000 sibling drive. All of which means you’re looking astatine a thoroughly up-to-date drive. Obviously, the PCIe 5.0 modular is notionally upon america with the accomplishment of Intel’s Alder Lake CPUs. But we’re immoderate mode from PCIe 5.0 drives and platforms being mainstream and compatible drives being disposable successful volume.

In presumption of the subjective computing experience, we uncertainty you’d beryllium capable to prime it from the remainder of the high-performance PCIe Gen 4 crop. This means the broader bundle and pricing are cardinal differentiators. We consciousness bully astir this drive’s semipermanent reliability acknowledgment to those chill moving temps and epic constitute endurance rating.

The worth for wealth proposition is simply a batch little appealing. This is presently 1 of the astir costly PCIe Gen 4 drives retired determination close now, rolling successful astatine $425 astatine the clip of review. The Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus (opens successful caller tab), WD Black SN850 (opens successful caller tab), and Samsung 980 Pro (opens successful caller tab) can each beryllium had for considerably little money. So, arsenic undeniably bully arsenic this is, we find the Kingston Fury Renegade a small pugnacious to warrant astatine this lofty terms point.

Read our afloat Kingston Fury Renegade review (opens successful caller tab).

Best SSD for gaming FAQWhat's the quality betwixt SATA and NVMe PCIe-based SSDs?

As the prices of NVMe SSDs autumn each day, we don't spot overmuch quality successful outgo betwixt the best NVMe SSDs (opens successful caller tab) and their SATA-based equivalents. When the cheapest 2.5-inch 1TB SATA SSD is lone $24 little than an equivalent capableness NVMe PCIe thrust (and 4 times slower), wherefore fuss with older SATA exertion erstwhile you tin determination into the aboriginal for truthful cheap?

Many of the champion SSDs for gaming inactive usage the PCIe 3.0 interface, but we're starting to spot much PCIe 4.0 drives sliding into the market. Corsair was an aboriginal pacesetter here, and the recently launched 500GB Samsung 980 Pro SSD (opens successful caller tab) did good successful testing, but the worth proposition isn't the greatest, unfortunately.

Where SATA's theoretical show bounds is 600MB/s, and PCIe 3.0's is 4,000MB/s, the newer PCIe 4.0 SSDs tin treble that fig to a maximum of 8,000MB/s. The existent apical velocity of disposable Gen4 drives is astir 7,000MB/s, which is treble that of the erstwhile generation, apical retired astatine 3,500MB/s, successful the existent world.

How large an SSD should I buy?

The easy, somewhat dumb reply is: arsenic large arsenic you tin afford. With SSDs, the higher capacity, the quicker they are. That's due to the fact that you extremity up with much representation dies plumbed into a multi-channel representation controller, and that other parallelism leads to higher performance. 

We would traditionally accidental that an entry-level SSD should travel successful astatine slightest 512GB successful bid to battalion successful your operating system, for slick wide strategy speed, and your astir regularly played games. But specified is the expanding size of modern games that a 1TB SSD is progressively looking similar the minimum recommendation. That's besides wherever the show starts to spell up too.

Is PCIe 4.0 worthy it for SSDs?

If you privation the implicit fastest drives disposable past PCIe 4.0 SSDs are the mode to go. They're quicker than immoderate PCIe 3.0 drive, and volition marque ample record transfers for specified things arsenic video editing lightning fast. They volition besides beryllium prepared for the aboriginal of gaming successful Windows 11 with the DirectStorage diagnostic being utilized to instrumentality the load disconnected the CPU and occurrence information straight astatine the graphics paper to amended show and shorten, oregon adjacent remove, load times successful tomorrow's unfastened satellite games.

Can you enactment a PCIe 4.0 SSD successful a 3.0 slot?

Yes, you can. They M.2 socket is identical betwixt the 2 generations of interface and truthful a PCIe 4.0 SSD volition acceptable comfortably wrong a PCIe 3.0 slot. They volition besides relation perfectly good too, but the Gen4 thrust volition beryllium constricted by the velocity of the older interface.

That is is theoretically 4GB/s, but is really person to 3,500MB/s owed to assorted overheads. PCIe 4.0 SSDs bash outgo much than their PCIe 3.0 counterparts though, truthful unless you're readying to upgrade to a supporting level soon, it's astir apt worthy sticking with a more-affordable PCIe 3.0 drive.

How bash we trial SSDs?

SSDs marque your full strategy faster and much pleasant to use. But they substance for gaming, too. A fast-loading SSD tin chopped dozens of seconds disconnected the load times of large games similar Red Dead Redemption 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, oregon MMOs similar Final Fantasy XIV. An SSD won't impact framerates similar your GPU oregon CPU, but it volition marque installing, booting, dying, and reloading successful games a faster, smoother process.

When buying for a bully SSD for gaming, 1 of the astir important factors is the terms per gigabyte. How overmuch volition you person to walk to support a robust room of Steam games installed, acceptable to beryllium played astatine a moment's notice? With galore caller games surpassing the 50GB and adjacent 150GB mark, this becomes adjacent much critical.

To find the champion gaming SSDs, we researched the SSD market, picked retired the strongest contenders, and enactment them done their paces with assorted benchmarking tools. We besides researched what makes a large SSD great, beyond the numbers—technical worldly similar types of flash representation and controllers.

PCIe 4.0 SSDs are supported by 2nd and 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen CPUs and X570 and B550 motherboards arsenic good arsenic by Intel's latest Rocket Lake platform. Sure, they're mighty for bandwidth, but erstwhile it's crunch-time in-game, there's not a immense magnitude much it tin present than a PCIe 3.0 drive, astatine slightest not until Microsoft delivers DirectStorage, which volition beryllium exclusive to Windows 11 (opens successful caller tab)

Is PCIe 4.0 worthy it for SSDs?

If you privation the implicit fastest drives disposable past PCIe 4.0 SSDs are the mode to go. They're quicker than immoderate PCIe 3.0 drive, and volition marque ample record transfers for specified things arsenic video editing lightning fast. They volition besides beryllium prepared for the aboriginal of gaming successful Windows 11 with the DirectStorage diagnostic being utilized to instrumentality the load disconnected the CPU and occurrence information straight astatine the graphics paper to amended show and shorten, oregon adjacent remove, load times successful tomorrow's unfastened satellite games.

Dave James

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug connected the Colecovision, and codification books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his archetypal gaming PC astatine the tender property of 16, and yet finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based strategy astir a twelvemonth later. When helium dropped it retired of the window. He archetypal started penning for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World galore decades ago, past moved onto PC Format full-time, past PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, penning astir the nightmarish graphics paper market, CPUs with much cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs much capacious than a Cybertruck.