The 9 Best SSD to Buy for Gaming in 2018

If you're a serious gamer, you'll want to pick up one of these SSDs

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Are you thinking about building your own gaming rig? If yes, it's a smart idea to find the best solid state drive (SSD) that’ll be able to handle the demand for quick loading processes and giant games that take up precious GBs. As soon as you turn on your computer, your SSD will boot your operating system and all the programs that live and breath within it, so it’s important to get a good one. And they don’t have to be expensive, either. While it's possible to spend around $50 on a quality SSD, you can also go all out with something super speedy that will offer you a lifetime of performance. With so many options to consider, we rounded up our favorite SSDs that will take care of all your gaming needs. So read on to find and buy best SSDs for gaming – we're sure your gameplay will be smoother and more enjoyable.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Crucial MX500

When we’re talking about the best overall SSD for gaming, we want to hit on a perfect combination of price point, speed, performance and reliability. And the Crucial MX500 does just that. From 500GB to 2TB, Crucial’s MX500 offers one of the best overall prices while delivering maximum performance on minimal power.

The Crucial MX500 is built with a next-generation Micron 3D NAND, making it run cooler and quieter without using too much power for your everyday gaming computing use. It pushes a read speed of up to 560 MB per second — this means if you’re streaming Counter-Strike: Global Offensive online with 4K HD video and high-quality audio, you’ll have no worry of a hiccup. The MX500’s write speed pushes to about 510 MB per second, so you can quickly drag and drop huge files and store them in a flash. It comes with a five-year limited warranty and is compatible with both Mac and PC.

Best for Speed: Samsung 960 PRO

The Samsung 960 PRO is like a fast pass at Disney World, with a lighting fast read speed of up to 3,500 MB per second. Wait, now, slow down, the Samsung 960 PRO is an M.2 SSD, so you’ll want to first make sure that your motherboard is compatible with it in order for it to run. Besides its read speed, this gaming SSD writes at 2,100 MB per second and includes Samsung’s Magician software that delivers both in sustainable management and automatic firmware updates to keep it fresh and ready. Its lifespan reliability will last you about 1.5 million hours, and if that’s not enough time, you’ll be covered by its five-year limited warranty. It comes in 512GB, 1TB and 2TB models.

Runner-Up, Best for Speed: Samsung 960 EVO

Though not as fast as our top pick, the Samsung 960 EVO earns the spot of the best runner-up for speed when it comes to gaming SSDs because it has a more affordable price point. The NVMe M.2 SSD will power you through your load screens for graphic- and memory-heavy games with a whopping 3,200 MB per second read speed.

With a sequential write speed of 1,800 MB per second, the 960 EVO will store an 18GB video game in roughly 10 seconds flat. It also features a Dynamic Thermal Guard that automatically adjusts its temperature during heavy use in order to prevent your system from overheating. The Samsung 960 EVO comes with a three-year limited warranty and in 500GB, 1TB or 2TB models.

Best Value: Silicon Power 120GB SSD

The Silicon Power 120GB SSD will be sure to please anyone wanting to make a custom gaming PC on a strict budget. The SATA III gaming SSD can be installed in both compatible laptops and desktops and will cost you less than $40.

Slim in size, but powerful in punch, the Silicon Power 120GB SSD is both shock- and vibration-proof, offering whisper-quiet performance with high read speeds at 550 MB per second and write speeds of up to 420 MB per second. It’s designed with a reliable bad block management that keeps your gaming PC at an optimized performance when transferring data, assuring that it’s being put to good use. It comes with a three-year warranty.

Best for Portability: SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD

The handy SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD is the best option on the list if you have a handful of games that you'd like to take over to your friend's house. Weighing just .64 ounces and measuring 3.8 x 1.9 x 0.3 inches, the ruggedly designed SSD fits right in your pocket, so you can take it anywhere, anytime.

Did we mention its durable? The SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD has an IP55 rating, meaning its water-, shock- and dust-resistant and can be dropped from up to two meters on a concrete floor. The USB Type-C and USB-A connected SSD works with both Macs and PCs and is able to read at 550 MB per second and write at 500 MB per second. It comes in 250GB, 500GB and up to 2TB models and has a ​three-year limited warranty.

Best High End: Samsung 860 Pro

With consistent, unwavering speeds and 4TB of memory, the Samsung 860 Pro is the high-end SSD for gaming on the list. This is the one to go for if you're pushing your PC to the limits of multitasking with 4K video and graphic-heavy games.

With V-NAND technology and a vigorous algorithm-based controller, the Samsung 860 Pro is built to take on hefty amounts of multiple applications, making it an ideal choice for gamers who like to game and stream. Without breaking a sweat, it delivers a consistent read speed of 560 MB per second and write speeds of up to 530 MB per second. The Samsung 860 Pro will write up to 4,500TB of data until it croaks, but it comes with a limited five-year warranty.

Best for Macs: Crucial MX300

Gaming on a Mac? Sure, it’s possible, and you can get a reliable gaming SSD like the Crucial MX300 that can help you do the job because of its high data performance speeds and energy efficiency. The Crucial MX300 is a SATA 6.0-connected SSD that pushes 530 MB per second read speeds and has a 510 MB write speed on all file types. Its Extreme Energy Efficiency Technology makes the drive use only 0.075 watts, which can save a ton of power on your laptop’s battery life, and there's a thermal protection technology included that adjusts activity to prevent overheating. The SSD comes in 275GB, 525GB, 1TB and 2TB models and has a three-year limited warranty.

Best for Reliability: HP SSD S700

Reliability means that the HP SSD S700 will give you one of the longest running lifespans of an SSD for gaming so you can game forever. With around two million hours (228 years) of life, you’ll be able to pass it on to your great-grandchildren (but realistically, it'll probably be outdated by then).

The HP SSD S700 can write about 80 (80,000 GBs) to 650 (650,000 GBs) terabytes until it fails, so even if you download every PC game released in the past five years, you’re going to have a hard time killing it. The SATA-connected gaming SSD can write about 520 MB per second with a read speed of 565 MB per second and has been manufactured at HP’s highest quality standards (full tests and certifications in its laboratories ensure its longevity and performance). The HP SSD S700 is available in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB models and it has a three-year, new replacement warranty.

Best External: Samsung T5 Portable SSD

If there’s no more room left in your gaming PC, you can always outfit it externally with the Samsung T5 Portable SSD. The best external SSD for gaming won't take up too much desk space and has a sleek look but powerful performance.

The Samsung T5 Portable SSD measures 0.4 x 2.3 x 3 inches and it's top-to-bottom, shock-resistant, metal design weighs a total of 1.6 ounces. It’s compatible with PC, Mac and Android OS, with both a read and write speed of up to 540 MB per second, meaning you can count on quick access to data and programs across multiple platforms. The T5 comes with an optional password protection setup along with AES 256-bit hardware encryption and a three-year limited warranty. You can purchase it in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB size models.