Best SSD for Gaming 2020
Ultimate Buyers Guide


As a gamer, you must know what SSDs are and how they are much more technologically ahead of the traditional HDDs.

… and today we are going to look at the best SSD for gaming in 2020.

best ssd for gaming 2020

Best SSD for Gaming 2020

Solid State Drives, or better known as SSDs, are faster, more durable, and use lesser energy as compared to Hard Disk Drives or HDDs.

As far as gaming is concerned, SSDs allow the games to load up much faster, thanks to the data transfer speed of over 400 MB/s.

In comparison, HDDs typically have a transfer speed just under 170 MB/s.

SSDs, however, are costly as these use newer technology.

SSD vs HDD: Transfer Speed comparison!


1.
Best Value for Money Gaming SSD

Samsung 860 EVO - Best Value for Money Gaming SSD

  • It comes with Samsung’s V-NAND Technology.
  • It features read and write speed of up to 550MB/s and 520MB/s.
  • It has enhanced security features and encryption.
  • It has wide compatibility and a 5-year warranty.

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Samsung has been in the world of technology for a long time now. It is safe to say that they are one of the best, if not the best in the market right now. The Samsung 860 Evo is a premium gaming SSD that performs so well for its price. This SSD comes with state-of-the-art V-NAND technology that makes it extremely fast and reliable.

This SATA SSD by Samsung comes with the Intelligent TurboWrite technology that allows it to reach read speeds to a maximum of 550 MB/s and write speeds of up to 520 MB/s. Moreover, the buffer size of the TurboWrite is now 78 GB instead of 12 GB! In comparison to the 850 EVO, the 860 EVO has up to 8x higher TBW.

This SATA SSD comes in multiple capacity options, starting from 250 GB and going all the way up till 4 TB. As it is a SATA SSD, you will be good as SATA ports are available in PCs that are over a decade old. Thanks to its wide compatibility, it will work fine on multiple operating systems including Windows, Linux, and even macOS.

However, many users say that the write performance decreases once TurboWrite exhausts. Also, it is a SATA bottleneck after all.

Other than these couple of drawbacks, it is still an excellent option considering that it costs just around $100 for the 500 GB version. It is super fast and comes with a 5-year official warranty as well.

PROS
  • Affordable.
  • TurboWrite technology.
CONS
  • SATA bottleneck.
  • Write speed once TurboWrite exhausts.

2.
Best Budget M.2 SATA 2020

Crucial MX500 - Best Budget M.2 SATA 2020

  • It features the Micron 3D NAND technology.
  • It is ultra-safe with encryption that is AES 256-bit hardware-based.
  • It has read and write speeds of 560 and 510 MB/s respectively.
  • It comes equipped with Integrated Power Loss Immunity and a 5-year warranty.

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Nothing’s perfect. We’ve come along these words a lot of times in our lives, and some of you might agree to it and some you might not. For me, nothing is perfect, but some things are very close to perfection. In the case of SATA SSDs, Crucial MX500 is somewhat closest to the ideal Solid-State Drive. It is very close to the Samsung 860 Evo in performance, as it has sequential read and writes speeds of up to 560 and 510 MB/s respectively.

The Crucial MX500 uses the Micron 3D NAND technology that allows it to be faster and more reliable in gaming. Another thing that makes it the ideal choice is the fact that it comes with Integrated Power Loss Immunity. This feature helps preserve the work in case the power cuts or your PC shuts down for any reason. You don’t have to worry about losing all of your data. Moreover, AES 256 bit encryption keeps your data protected at all times. It significantly reduces the risks of getting robbed or hacked.

As I mentioned earlier, the Crucial MX500 is the closest you will get to perfection for SATA SSDs. Therefore, it does not have any significant negative aspects except for the fact that the SSDs with a lower capacity is slightly slower as compared to the larger ones. Although the difference is hardly noticeable, it still exists.

Nevertheless, for just around $50 for the 250 GB version, the Crucial MX500 is one of the best SATA SSDs that you can get right now. It comes with a 5-year warranty and has wide compatibility.

PROS
  • Great value on money.
  • It is one of the best in its class.
CONS
  • It has slightly slower speed with lower capacity.

3.
Best Budget Gaming SSD 2020

Kingston 240GB A400 - Best Budget Gaming SSD 2020

  • It is available in multiple capacities ranging from 120 GB-1.92 TB.
  • It is reliable and durable as it is made of flash memory.
  • It has sequential read and write speeds of up to 500MB/s and 450MB/s, respectively.
  • Its compact design makes it ideal for slimmer notebooks.

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The Kingston A400 is SATA3 SSD that is ideal for gamers who are on a budget. SSDs can often be extremely expensive. They are newer in the market and use better technology. Therefore, generally, players usually do not get the chance to enjoy the benefits. Even if the cost per GB of an SSD is cheap, those are not available at a lower capacity. Kingston A400 is a perfect solution for it. It starts at just 120 GB and goes all the way up till 1.92 TB! Therefore, due to such a low starting capacity, the price is also very low.

The Kingston A400 is about ten times faster than the traditional Hard Drive Disk. It has immense read and writes speeds of up to 500MB/s and 450MB/s. These high speeds can help even the older systems to perform significantly better. Moreover, unlike the hard drives which have moving parts in them, the Kingston A400 uses flash memory. It makes it much more durable and reliable and highly unlikely for it to fail.

The design of this SSD is such that it can fit in most of the laptops and desktops, even the slimmer ones. It comes in 5 different capacities which are 120 GB, 240 GB, 480 GB, 960 GB, and 1.92 TB. The one with the least capacity starts at just about $20, so there is something for everyone with Kingston A400.

However, it does not come with any accessories of any sort. Also, its performance is not as good as other SSDs. You can get much better performance with others but a bit more expensive SSDs.

Overall, it is a better alternative to HDDs, and you would surely feel the difference once you try it. It is inexpensive and durable.

PROS
  • Affordable.
  • Durable and reliable.
CONS
  • Not as good as other SSDs.
  • No accessories.

4.
Fastest M.2 NVMe Gaming SSD

Samsung SSD 970 Evo - Fastest M.2 NVMe Gaming SSD

  • It comes with the new V-NAND Technology.
  • It has sequential read and write speeds of up to 3,500MB/s and 2,500MB/s.
  • It features the Samsung Magician Software.
  • It has Samsung’s Dynamic Thermal Guard.

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Samsung 970 Evo is fairly similar to 860 Evo that I talked about earlier. However, it does have some more attributes attached to it, which makes it much better and more expensive too. First of all, it has a similar V-NAND technology used in the 860 Evo, which offers much lower latency and enhanced bandwidth. However, it has a much better read and writes speeds as they go up to 3,500MB/s and 2,500MB/s, respectively.

Everything you need to know about NVMe technology is here.

The Samsung 970 Evo also comes equipped with Samsung Magician Software which allows seamless file transfers. It also has regular firmware updates to keep the SSD optimized and secure to prevent any security breach. Furthermore, it has Samsung’s Dynamic Thermal Guard, which must be pretty self-explanatory as the name itself suggests. It is a perfect solution for heat dissipation. It keeps the temperatures in check to keep them at the optimum level so that the SSD performs the way it is meant.

However, with premium characteristics, there is a premium price tag too. These SSDs are too expensive for an average gamer. Even the ones with low capacity start at a significantly high price. Moreover, the performance slows down to around 600MBps once the cache exceeds.

Ultimately, the Samsung 970 Evo is one of the best SSDs you can get yourself right now. The 1 TB version starts at around $150, but you can get 250 GB version for a little over $50. It comes with many exclusive features and a 5-year warranty as well.

PROS
  • Premium specifications.
  • 5-year warranty.
CONS
  • Pricey.
  • It has a lower performance once cache exceeds.

5.
Premium NAND SSD in Best Price

WD Blue 3D NAND - Premium NAND SSD in Best Price

  • It has read and write speeds of up to 560MB/s and 530MB/s.
  • It has WD’s exclusive FIT Lab certification for wide compatibility.
  • It has free downloadable software to keep everything updated.
  • It comes with a 5-year limited warranty.

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Western Digital is a famous brand with many quality products. The WD Blue 3D NAND is no exception to that as it is a premium grade SATA SSD with multiple capacities and a high transfer rate. You can get one for at just 260 GB, and it goes all the way up till 4 TB. The read and write speeds on this SSD are extraordinary as they go up to 560MB/s and 530MB/s respectively.

The updated version of the Western Digital 3D NAND draws about 25% less power when compared with the previous versions. Moreover, to provide the user with enhanced reliability, it comes with up to 200 terabytes written (TBW) and 1.75M hours mean time to failure (MTTF).

To add more to the list, this SSD comes with Western Digital’s exclusive FIT Lab certification, which makes it compatible with a variety of desktops and notebooks. You can also use this SSD with your gaming console, for instance, a PS4. You also have the option to get downloadable software that does not cost even a single cent to keep the SSD updated. You can also back up the data or clone a device using the same free software.

On the negative side, there are some alternatives which are cheaper for the same performance, or they perform better but at the same price. Also, it has a boring logo which can be a turn off for users that like to show off their setup.

Other than this, it is still an excellent SSD that costs around $150 for the 1 TB version. It comes with a 5-year limited warranty, and you have the option to select a higher or lower capacity.

PROS
  • Transfer speeds are close to the fastest SSDs.
  • It is reasonably priced for its performance.
CONS
  • Boring logo.
  • Better alternatives available.

6.
Samsung QVO Technology

Samsung 860 QVO 1TB - Samsung QVO Technology

  • It comes with Samsung’s V-NAND Technology.
  • It has read and write speeds of 550MB/s and 520MB/s.
  • It features an intelligent turbowrite.
  • It has secure encryption and a 3-year warranty.

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Unlike the previous 2 Samsung SSDs mentioned in this article, the 860 QVO is a more affordable SSD with great features. If you want a branded product with considerably well performance, but you do not want to pay tons of cash, the Samsung 860 QVO is your go-to SSD. It features an identical read and writes speed of 550MB/s and 520MB/s just like the 860 EVO. Another thing worth noticing is that it comes in only three different capacities, which are 1 TB, 2 TB, and 4 TB. So, whichever you choose, you get at least 1024 GB of storage.

The intelligent Turbowrite in this SSD makes it faster and more reliable as it maintains its optimum performance for a longer time. It also includes AES 256-bit encryption that keeps the data safe and secure so that the user does not have to worry about getting hacked or a theft. It also comes with Samsung Magician, which has tools to regulate and monitor the speed, performance, and health of the SSD.

As it is for gamers that are on a budget, there are some minor setbacks as well. Firstly, the write speeds decrease to just around 70MBps once the secondary cache is consumed. Moreover, it has a lesser warranty as compared to the Evo series by Samsung.

Overall, it is still an excellent choice considering that 1 TB of memory costs just under $100 and the maximum 4 TB of memory sets you back by around $500. Most importantly, it is a Samsung product with a 3-year warranty.

PROS
  • Excellent value on money.
  • It has high storage for a comparatively low price.
CONS
  • Lesser warranty than the Evo series.
  • Write speeds decrease to 70MBps once the secondary cache is consumed.

7.
3D NAND Gaming SSD

Silicon Power 512GB - 3D NAND Gaming SSD

  • It has a 7mm slim design for slim notebooks.
  • It features 3D NAND technology.
  • It supports Garbage Collection technology and TRIM command.
  • It is very reliable and comes with a 3-year limited warranty.

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Silicon Power is another SATA SSD that comes at a remarkably low price and exceptional features. It has a 7mm slim design so it can easily fit even in the thinnest notebooks. It comes equipped with 3D NAND flash that allows high-speed data transfer which greatly enhances the user experience, especially while gaming. It makes the system faster overall, including the bootup itself. It even allows the laptop to have a better battery life as it consumes considerably less power as compared to traditional SSDs.

The Silicon Power A55 also comes with the exclusive SLC Cache technology, which helps reduce write amplification and offer a longer lifespan to the SSD as its endurance increases as well. It also offers SP Toolbox Software which is a software that helps in keeping the SSD updated and for you to monitor the health and performance too. You can run multiple performance tests with this tool to get accurate and complete details about your SSD. It is relatively helpful when the SSD is having any problems.

As far as the negative aspects are concerned, there aren’t many. The only major flaw is that it has lower random read and write speeds. Secondly, it is available in 3 different capacities, and all are less than 1 TB. The max you can go is 512 GB.

In a nutshell, for just around $50 for 512 GB of storage, the Silicon Power A55 is a great option. It has multiple features and for security and optimization and it comes with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty too.

PROS
  • Excellent for people on a tight budget.
  • User-friendly software.
CONS
  • Low maximum storage.
  • Low random read and write speeds.

8.
NVMe M.2 SSD (Value for Money)

Sabrent Rocket NVMe - NVMe M.2 SSD (Value for Money)

  • It has support for TRIM and SMART commands.
  • It has advanced Bad Block Management and Wear Leveling.
  • It comes with 3D TLC NAND flash memory.
  • It has Sabrent’s exclusive Acronis True Image for the software.

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The one thing that everyone focuses on first is the price. From that perspective, the Sabrent Rocket NVMe is an excellent option as it starts at a relatively low price but performs exceptionally well. The 3D flash memory used in this SSD comes from Toshiba, which explains for its premium quality.

There are five different capacities for you to choose which are 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB, and 4 TB. The one with the least memory starts at just under $50 and you can get 4 TB of storage for around $650. However, you need to have a motherboard that has support for M.2 2280 gumstick SSDs for this SSD to work with your computer.

Although it is a good affordable option with an extremely fast transfer speed, there are still a few negatives. Firstly, the 256 GB SSD is nowhere as fast as the other ones with higher capacity. Secondly, cloning a drive to the Sabrent Rocket is a bit tricky as it has no 512-byte emulation, and it uses 4k sectors.

Therefore, the 3-year warranty and a low price of a bit over $100 for 1 TB for this NVMe SSD make it an excellent option.

PROS
  • Not as expensive.
  • NVMe SSD rather than SATA.
CONS
  • Cloning is tricky.
  • 256 GB variant isn’t as fast.

9.
Expensive yet Best Performance!

AData XPG SX8200 - Expensive yet Best Performance!

  • It comes with a super-fast NVMe Gen3x4 Interface.
  • The read and write speeds are up to 3500/3000 MB/s.
  • It uses 3D NAND technology and is about 625% faster than standard SATA SSDs.
  • It features E2E Data Protection for protecting the data.

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After a long list of different SSDs that are available in the market, the AData XPG SX8200 is the last but still one of the best SSDs you can get right now. It comes in five different storages which start from 128 GB and go all the way up till 2 TB.

Thanks to the NVMe Gen3x4 Interface, the read and write speeds on this SSD go up to 3500MB/s and 3000 MB/s, depending on the hardware and configuration of your system. This top-tier performance makes it perfect for video and photo rendering/editing, 3D animation, and other intensive tasks. All of these features make it about 625% faster than the standard SATA SSDs.

Safety is always a major concern when it comes to SSDs. The SX8200 Pro comes with LDPC error-correcting code technology to enhance your overall experience. Moreover, it has the E2E Data Protection to make sure that all your data is protected and safe from hackers.

However, there is some thermal throttling despite the availability of heatsink. Moreover, it has identical endurance to the non-pro model of this SSD.

Therefore, if these couple of negatives don’t bother you, the AData XPGS X8200 Pro is excellent. It costs a bit over $200 for the 1 TB version and comes with an extended warranty as well.

PROS
  • Outstanding performance.
  • Hefty warranty.
CONS
  • Thermal throttling.
  • Endurance is identical to the non-pro model.

SSD for Gaming
Buyers Guide


As far as SSDs are concerned, there are some factors that you need to take into account before you spend your money on one of them.

After all, these costs way too much and you don’t want to regret your purchase after you have made one.

So, without any further ado, let us get right into it.

Gaming SSD Buying Guide

Capacity

The first essential thing that you need to see is the capacity you need in the SSD you are looking forward to buying. SSDs start from as low as 128 GB and go as high as 4 TB. It depends on you that how much capacity do you require. It will vary on how you use the computer. To help you out, here is a rough idea of what size would be ideal for you.

So, the lowest capacity you can go for is 128 GB. It is very inexpensive, but it is not worth it. You install the operating software and a couple of games, and that will be it. You will be totally out of storage. Therefore, as it is a one-time investment, it is better if you at least go for 256 Gb of storage and disregard 128 GB.

Moving on, we have 256 GB. It is twice the 128 gig storage and would be fine if you don’t play games on your computer, and it is strictly for college/office use.

Then we have 512 GB SSD. It is ideal storage for an average person that likes to work and play games on the computer. It performs extremely well and does not cost as much as the TB versions, which are significantly more expensive.

Lastly, we have 1 TB and all the way up to 4 TB. These are for people who want to go all out and get the most out of their SSDs. It is for users who want to make the investment worth it and do not plan on upgrading for at least the upcoming couple of years or more. It is perfect for video/photo editors, professional gamers, artists, etc.

Conclusively, deciding what storage would be the most suitable for you is essential because once you run out of it, you either need to upgrade or delete older files to add more data to the computer.

Read/Write Speeds

Once you have made up your mind on what storage is the most suitable for you, the next thing that you need to consider is the read and write speed. These determine the data transfer speed on the computer and hence are essential, especially if you are a gamer. You need quick loading times to enhance the overall experience.

As a rule of thumb, the read and write speed of the SSD is the rate at which the drive reads and writes the data. The higher the rate, the greater the speed. Therefore, considering these speeds is essential so that you don’t get disappointed once you get the SSD.

Form Factor

There are three main form factors that SSDs come in. These are SATA SSDs, AIC SSDs, and M.2 SSDs. It is essential for you to decide which type of SSD would work with your desktop/laptop. Let’s look a bit deeper into all these three form factors.

Firstly, we have the most common ones that are the SATA SSDs. SATA, which is short for Serial ATA, has a similar shape to the traditional hard drives that came in laptops. These connect with the identical SATA cables, so, as long as you have a 2.5-inch bay along with a SATA connector, you will be good to go. SATA SSD would work like a charm with your computer.

Next, we have the Add-In Card SSD (AIC SSD). These use the PCI Express bus which makes it considerably faster than the other drives. These drives plug right into the motherboard in the slots which are normally used for RAID controllers or graphic cards. However, if you do not have a slot available, you are out of luck. You need a spare slot available to use the AIC SSD with your computer.

Lastly, we have M.2 SSDs. These are the ones that are most commonly found on laptops that are very slim. These are generally 22mm wide and 80mm long, but there are some that are a bit longer or shorter. The last thing you need to keep in mind about these is that the maximum space available with these SSDs is 2 TB and they cost much more than others.

Keeping all these form factors in mind, you need to go for the one that fits perfectly with your computer so that you can enjoy the benefits of the SSD.

Price and Warranty

The last two things that you need to consider is the budget and whether the SSD comes with any warranty or not. Firstly, the budget is essential as it makes the decision-making process much easier. Once you have the price bracket in your mind, it is much easier for you to shortlist and chooses the SSD that suits your needs and provides you with the most value on money.

Moreover, you have to go for an SSD that comes with a generous warranty. Typically, you will find SSDs with a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty. However, it is not necessary. There are numerous SSDs that come without any guarantee. To prevent any problems in the future and to have protection, going for the one with a good warranty will be beneficial for you in the long run.

FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs
Are NVMe SSDs faster than SATA SSDs?

NVMe SSDs are considerably faster as compared to traditional SATA SSDs as they have far more PCI-E lanes. However, this increase in speed is only noticeable while transferring large files.

Can you use SSDs with a gaming console?

You can surely use an SSD with a gaming console. However, you need to make sure whether the SSD is compatible with the console or not. The WD Blue 3D NAND is a great example of an SSD that is compatible with the PS4, which is a leading gaming console.

Are SSDs better for gaming?

SSDs are better for the overall performance of a computer. As far as gaming is concerned, it does make the overall experience feel much speedier. It greatly reduces the loading times, and they produce much lesser heat as compared to traditional HDDs.

How much space is good for gaming in an SSD?

It depends on how many games you want to keep in the library. If you are a hardcore gamer with plenty of games, you should go for at least a terabyte of SSD to be on the safe side. If you are an average gamer, 512 GB would be good enough for you.

Can SSDs improve performance in older computers?

The best thing about SSDs is that not only does it make the newer computer much better, but these also make the older ones much better. It gives an immense performance boost and makes the programs much more responsive.

Conclusion

To conclude, I would say that it is without a doubt a great step to change your traditional HDD and choose an SSD.

Not only does it make your computer much faster, but it gives a boost in gaming as well.

So, do let us know how much this guide was useful to you and do share it with your friends on social media :)

Conclusion

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