No matter how impressive your laptop’s configuration seems today, the arrival of newer games will always make your mean machine seem obsolete. Of course, many manufacturers have realized how crucial it is for computers to support gaming and have included some of the best graphic cards in the systems produced every year. However, staring at a frozen frame in the middle of an intense match is a common occurrence worldwide even today, despite the advancements in computing performance.
Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) tailored for gaming are probably worth an investment if an exceptional improvement in gaming performance is your primary expectation. These days you witness a deluge in hard drives all over the internet, most of which have impressive configurations and claim extraordinary abilities. However, do they live up to many expectations? Only detailed research can tell.
This list of the best HDD for gaming has been compiled after assessing several factors such as space, cost, and data transfer speed, which largely determine a buyer’s choice. We hope your pursuit ends with a product that is a perfect balance of the factors aforementioned and most importantly mirrors your expectations.
HERE ARE A FEW HARD DISK DRIVES WORTH CONSIDERING TO ENSURE A MEMORABLE GAMING EXPERIENCE
|Seagate Game Drive for Xbox||4 TB||11.7 x 8 x 2.1 cm|
|14 TB||5.79 x 4 x 1.03 inches|
|4 TB||11.7 x 8 x 2.1 cm|
|4 TB||14.7 x 10.2 x 2.6 cm|
|4 TB||11.1 x 8.2 x 1.9 cm|
|500 GB||0.87 x 3.15 x 0.9 inches|
|3 TB||5.79 x 4 x 1.03 inches|
1. Seagate Game Drive for Xbox 4 TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD
Scores of hard drives are available today but hardly any tailored for the Xbox, one of the world’s most popular gaming inventions. All you owners of Xbox One and Xbox One S, here’s a product you always craved for but never got all these years. The green-colored front of the hard drive itself would easily get your attention since it is themed around the Xbox and make the product seem interesting as compared to the bland look most hard drives possess.
However, the benefits of the product aren’t limited to its aesthetically high design alone, there’s much more than the Seagate Game Drive for Xbox can offer apart from its sleek design. The enormous space of 4TB it offers can accommodate more than a hundred Xbox One games. Buying this Seagate product will eliminate the hassle of dealing with a computer decelerated by the hundred-odd games stuffed inside.
The data transfer rate of 110 Megabytes per second (Mbps) also makes it highly desirable. The capacity is big enough to accommodate all the new game releases. So, you don’t have to fret about space for a long time and probably when the new ones arrive, doing away with the games you’ve mastered is a good practice.
What makes the Seagate Game Drive a delight is its plug-and-play nature and users can plug it to a USB port and use almost instantly. The only trade-off involved in purchasing the Seagate Game Drive is probably the price, which is relatively higher than most devices of its kind.
Seagate offers a USB 3.0 cable to help bridge it with computers, but the accessory isn’t a reason worth rejoicing, because a lot of devices today are SATA-compliant. SATA-supportive devices make sure your games load at much faster speeds. Probably, this is an area which the product’s research & development team should inspect and improve, to make a much more gaming-efficient successor.
Those of you who are ardent fans of Sea of Thieves and Halo Wars, the manufacturers offer exclusive skins themed around these games. So, you won’t be just getting the hard drive for the money but also game merchandise, making it a double delight.
|Performance exclusively tailored to support high-definition games.|
High data transfer rate.
|Expensive as compared to many market variants.|
Relatively slower game loading speed as compared to SATA-powered hard drives.
2. Western Digital 14TB Ultrastar DC HC530 SATA HDD
Dubbing this product as a data center-grade HDD wouldn’t be an understatement we presume, considering its enormous capacity. Apart from a 14 TB capacity, a capability which very few hard drives possess, this Western Digital product also has a 7200 RPM spindle speed and a 512 MB faster, which prevents slowdowns that’s a common shortcoming among many HDDs today. Unlike most HDD manufacturers that offer USB 3.0, the Western Digital Ultrastar is SATA-equipped, which makes the device much faster.
Western Digital’s exclusive HelioSeal technology has been incorporated in the design of this product to deliver higher density, as well as better power usage per TB. Variants of the device with either 12 Gb/s SAS and 6 Gb/s SATA interface are available for consumers. Such interfaces not just make gaming easier but also help manage data deluge effortlessly, considering we are in an era where technologies like Big Data and IoT have permeated into almost every sphere of our lives.
Apart from its unparalleled capacity, Western Digital offers a 5-year warranty probably the highest among devices of its kind. This offer alone testifies that the product would last long and a strong enough reason why anybody should buy it. Considering its capacity and the impressive warranty, you could probably buy this drive and free yourself from disk space concerns for the next few years.
Other noteworthy features of the Western Digital Ultrastar are its Two Dimensional Magnetic Recording (TDMR) and improved Dual Stage Micro Actuator. These components help accomplish optimal head positioning and rotational vibration robustness respectively. As a data protection and security measure, SanDisk has ensured the drive is a self-encrypting device, which rules out the possibility of data losses, one of the primary concerns with hard drives.
SATA interface and 7200 RPM are responsible for its high speed.
3. Seagate Game Drive 4 TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD
PS4 owners can now heave a sigh of relief. Here’s a drive that could ensure those enticing games don’t crash, especially when you are in the middle of a nail-biting contest.
Not just gaming, the Seagate game drive is quite useful if you have just returned from a trip and have a gazillion photos and videos to be backed up to avail some free space. All one needs to do is connect the drive to a mac or computer and files spanning several GB can be backed in a single mouse click. The manufacturers provide a USB 3.0 cable to ensure effortless connection. Users could also schedule a daily, weekly, or monthly backup which would automate the secondary file storage process when the hard drive is plugged in. However, the drive’s speed would have accelerated tremendously had the manufacturers embedded a SATA interface in the design.
Apart from attractive, sleek design, an enormous capacity, and a unique file backup ability, you gain a lot more than just a hard drive when you buy this product. Seagate offers the buyers a one-year complimentary subscription to Mylio Create, as well as a two-month membership to Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan, which helps you manage photos effortlessly.
Purchasing the hard drive will also earn you a year’s subscription of Kaspersky AntiVirus for a PC. The icing on the cake is the 3-year warranty which the manufacturers offer, an assurance that any issues associated with the product shouldn’t bog you down for a long time.
|Files can be backed up on either a daily, weekly or monthly-basis.|
You get more than just a hard drive for the money. Free subscriptions to applications that help you edit and manage photos, as well as Kaspersky antivirus subscription for a year.
|Lacks a SATA Interface.|
4. Toshiba X300 4TB Performance Desktop and Gaming Hard Drive
Be it Mac, Windows, or Linux, Toshiba’s latest hard drive is compliant with all three operating systems. The product has a range of unique features, which prompted us to include it in this list. The makers have utilized the benefits of Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) technology, to enhance its capacity and make it more robust.
The most noteworthy of its abilities is Native Command Queuing (NCQ) that’s responsible for a seek-time performance relatively a notch higher. In addition, the 7,200 RPM speed and 128 MB data buffer the laptop offers is ideally suited for game enthusiasts, since such capabilities eliminate the usual hiccups associated with virtual sports. A built-in cache algorithm and its internal buffer management have resulted in a significantly improved real-time read/write performance as compared to the hard drives developed over the years.
As a data loss and recovery mechanism, the manufacturers have harnessed internal shock detection and ramp-loading too. As far as hard drives are concerned, Toshiba might not be the ‘go-to’ brand as compared to Seagate and Western Digital. However, the plenty of advantages the makers have tried to provide with this gaming-centric product might make you want to sit back and consider buying it. You would also get to choose from a wide range of colors, which isn’t a norm with hard drives.
Apart from a warranty that spans for two years, relatively lesser than other hard drives, there’s no other flaw that should possibly deter you from buying the Toshiba X300.
| Exceptional Performance.|
Capacity adequate to accommodate a large number of games.
|Toshiba offers a 2-year warranty which is relatively lesser than what a lot of brands offer.|
5. G Technology G-Drive 4 TB Mobile Hard Drive
Its silver-coated steel body and a shimmering ‘G’ logo at the front has the potential to it a lot more eye-catchy at a store than many black-bodied drives on the display shelves. If you are an Ardent Apple fan, this hard drive will complement the glitter of your silver MacBook Pro. It could even double as a charger and fuel your Mac in the absence of a charger.
Apart from being an easy plug-and-play device, the G-Drive is also USB-A and USB-C compatible, which makes it a lot more flexible than other products of its kind. However, there’s a lot more to the G Technology G-Drive which makes it a game-changer among storage devices. The product, which has a capacity of 4 TB, spins at the rate of 5400 rpm, an ideal hard drive speed suited for gaming.
The main drawback of the G Technology G-Drive is its price, which is slightly higher than many other storage devices available today. It’s relatively heavier too. However, considering its exceptional read and write speeds, and design (If you are a person who immensely values aesthetics) the G-Drive is worth the money. It isn’t advisable to leave the device turned on 24/7 since it isn’t designed to work efficiently that way. It does become a little warm when used for a while but not hot to the extent that you start fearing it would explode.
Quite soon, the manufacturers are also planning to release a 10TB-capacity variant, with an improved 256 MB cache. It could be totally worth the wait, if you are willing to skip the 4TB product readily available.
| 5400 rpm, which makes the drive fast enough to support gaming.|
When plugged to a Mac laptop, the G-Drive can actually charge the device.
| Quite bigger than the average hard drive available today.|
Configuration isn’t extraordinary compared to the price.
6. Samsung 970 EVO 500GB – NVMe
Samsung has harnessed the benefits of NVMe technology, the best catalyst existing currently to accelerate the performance of the hard drive. By introducing the 970 EVO, Samsung has surpassed the capabilities of the 860 Pro too, its widely acclaimed storage product released quite recently.
Many hard drives would decelerate when multiple applications are managed simultaneously. This is a shortcoming which the Samsung 970 has managed to eliminate. The drive has been designed to work with the same efficiency irrespective of the workloads. The Samsung 970 Evo not just helps you play those latest games with ease, it’s also a delight for all you marathon video editors and movie binge-watchers.
So, what’s the hullaballoo surrounding the NVme, which gives this drive an edge over a dozen drives available today? The interface amplifies bandwidth and power efficiency considerably and is known for delivering low latency. Apart from gamers and those who always want to own the best of technology, an NVMe-embedded device greatly supports individuals developing 4K and 3D applications.
Unlike many hard drives that turn as hot as a furnace when utilized for many hours at a stretch, the 970 Evo pro wouldn’t dissipate much heat even under heavy workloads. The component responsible for the minimal heat dissipation is Samsung’s Dynamic Thermal Guard, which is missing in a lot of hard drives. Apart from a 3,500 MB/s read speed, the drive has an endurance of 1,200 TBW, which are two impressive capabilities you rarely find together.
The dampener of this Samsung product is its price but considering the range of benefits, the NVme could offer, from a gamer’s perspective, the money aspect can be overlooked. The fact that it’s an SSD coupled with the NVMe technology, makes it advantageous as compared to many hard drives and perfect for gaming.
You also get a 5-year warranty on buying this product, so probably you can be less worried about the drive conking early, like the ones you owned over the years. A long-warranty like this also hints at its reliability and the effort of the manufacturers to ensure the product doesn’t falter for a long time. That’s not all, you also get the Samsung Magician Software, an SSD management solution aimed at enhancing data security as well as performance optimization, and delivers automatic firmware updates.
Maybe it’s time you gave this one a thought.
|Designed to work under heavy workloads.||Capacity is 500 GB. Not sufficient enough to house too many heavy files.|
7. Seagate BarraCuda 3 TB Hard Drive
Here’s another Seagate wonder we just couldn’t afford to miss in this compilation. Known for its 3 TB capacity, the BarraCuda is easily one of the best devices a gamer could own. The innovative product is a result of 20 years of research and development in internal hard drive technology. The space available is large enough to accommodate at least 120 games, considering the capacity of each application is at least 25 GB.
Although the 3 TB drive is quite popular, Seagate offers variants of the same drive in different capacities such as 1 TB, 2 TB, 3 TB, 4 TB, 6 TB, 8 TB, 10 TB, and 12 TB. The Barracuda has an RPM speed of 7200 and the SATA-embedded drive is ideal for not just gaming, but a wide variety of other tasks such as video and photo editing as well.
The drive is self-encrypting, which speaks volumes about its data protection capability and a 64 MB cache responsible for its good performance. However, there are many other similar devices which offer significantly higher cache. The product is backed by a two to three-year warranty that helps you resolve wear and tear hassles effortlessly.
| A great capacity for an affordable price.|
Instant Secure Erase.
| SSDs can easily outdo the abilities of the BarraCuda, although it is exceptionally good for an HDD.|
Many other HDDs offer a much larger cache.
SSHDs and SSDs
Considering the popularity of SSHDs and SSDs among gamers and the edge they provide in terms of performance as compared to HDDs, we have even included a few drives making waves for their exceptional abilities. We hope this list helps you zero-in on a drive closely tailored to your gaming needs.
1. Seagate FireCuda 2TB Solid State Hybrid Solid State Drive
The fact that FireCuda is a Solid-State Drive powered with an 8 GB NAND MLC Flash, makes it far more advantageous as compared to a wide range of hard drives exclusively devised for gaming. The product is a significant improvement over its predecessor the Seagate ST3000DM001, which received a lot of flak for its shortcomings. Anotherability responsible for its impressive performance is the sequential read and write speeds of 216.9 MB/s and 211.4 MB/s respectively. The makers have harnessed the benefits of the Multi-Tier Caching Technology to ensure the product is at least 5 times faster than traditional HDDs.
Although Seagate’s research & development team have tried their best to make the drive far more superior than the competitor products, it falters when multiple apps are being used simultaneously. However, this drive boots applications, especially games, in merely seconds, unlike many products of its kind which consume even more than a minute. The FireCuda’s 2 TB capacity is large enough to accommodate at least 80 games, considering each of them consumes 25 GB.
| The configuration of the FireCuda makes it worth the price.|
The capacity is large enough to accommodate more than 80 games of 25 GB capacity.
|Doesn’t deliver the best performance while working on multiple apps simultaneously.|
2. Samsung 860 PRO 512GB V-NAND Solid State Drive
World-renowned electronic goods manufacturer Samsung too isn’t far behind Seagate and Western Digital in the hard drive arena. It has developed drives exclusively tailored to the interest of gamers. Although the 860 Pro offers a storage of 512 GB, which is comparatively lesser than many hard drives available today, the product comes attached with a string of advantages which differentiates it from the rest. Most importantly, it is a Solid State Drive, and the capabilities of an SSD are unmatched by most HDDs, even if they have exceptional configurations that include 5400 to 7200 rpm speed.
The 860 Pro is equipped with a SATA 6 Gb/s interface that’s quite compatible with SATA’s 3 Gb/s and 1.5 Gb/s interfaces respectively. The Sequential Read and Write Speeds of this Samsung device are 560 MB/s and 530 MB/s, which ensure the frame rate of your games aren’t slower than usual and they boot really quick – which is an improvement over the general shortcoming associated with games.
It’s got an impressive form factor of 2.5 inches SATA III, which is another parameter that makes it gamer friendly. However, if the 860 Pro’s capacity hasn’t impressed you enough, probably you should pass this one.
| The fact that it’s an SSD makes it much more gaming-efficient than HDD products available today.|
Sequential read and write speeds are high enough to ensure games don’t hang.
| Slightly expensive for the storage capacity offered by the device.|
Capacity is merely 512 GB.
Despite being an SSD, the Samsung 860 Pro is slow-paced compared to the NMVe models.
3. Sandisk Ultra 3D SSD
SanDisk, the trusted brand for camera memory cards worldwide, is trying to cement its reputation as a reliable hard drive manufacturer as well. SanDisk’s Ultra 3D could be your best bet in terms of a hard drive that helps those games high on CGI boot really quick. The sequential read and write speeds of 560 Mb/s and 530 Mb/s is one of the vital factors contributing to the acceleration in speed.
In a bid to accelerate speed, the makers have utilized the nCache 2.0 technology and its results can be easily noticed. Booting up a game would hardly consume any time, and in fact, a computer powered by the SanDisk Ultra 3D drive would load Windows 10 within merely 10 seconds. In addition, the presence of the 3D NAND ensures the product’s endurance is pretty high and less power is consumed.
SanDisk offers 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB capacity variants of the same hard drive. From a consumer’s standpoint this variety offers several benefits. It makes the product less rigid, since you get to choose a drive exactly tailored to your capacity and price expectations, with the same technical capabilities.
Since it is an Ultra 3D, this product is quite compact and hardly occupies any space. In addition, the product is quieter as compared to other hard drives and resistant to shocks and vibrations. That’s right, even if the hard drive is vulnerable to external environmental threats, it’s designed to stay secure to a significant extent.
The drawback of the device is its price which is slightly higher even compared to the NVMe-powered hard drives, which boast of far more superior configurations.
| The inclusion of nCache Technology in its development has made it faster than several other SSDs.|
High sequential read and write speeds.
| Quite expensive compared to many other hard drives.|
Price much higher than those built by utilizing NVMe.
4. FireCuda With Fantom Drives PS4 Upgrade Kit
This product is a special mention, to paint a clearer portrait of how a hard drive coupled with a Fantom Drives Upgrade Kit can elevate your gaming experience to a whole new level. PS4 fans have a reason to rejoice because this is a perfect gadget combination with the ability to amplify the whole PlayStation gaming experience. 5-times faster than any normal HDD out there today, the FireCuda, powered by the Fantom Drives Upgrade Kit, can load you favorite PS4 games much faster than you actually could.
The upgrade kit includes several accessories such as a 16GB USB3.0 Flash Drive, G-Force portable USB3.0 aluminum enclosure, carry pouch, Micro USB3.0 Cable, installation guide and screwdriver. The combination is compatible with almost every modern variant of the PS4 including the PS4 PRO and PS4 SLIM. In fact, even if you own the relatively legacy PS3, this drive works perfectly well with the product.
The manufacturers offer a 5-year warranty on the device, so you don’t have to fret over the product wearing out for a considerably long-time span.
Compatible with PS3 and modern PS4 versions.
Easy to upgrade.
|Initially, a setup exercise is required, before the drive can be used.|
1. Is a hybrid hard drive good for gaming?
Hard drives are of course enormous enough to accommodate a large number of games, but Solid State Drives (SSDs) are known for booting game applications in comparatively lesser time. A recent trend among gamers is to opt for a hybrid product that effectively combines the benefits of both HDDs and SSDs. When subjected to booting and application tests hybrid drives pip the capabilities of hard drives significantly.
When subjected to a time-to-ready test too, SSHDs consume much lesser time than other storage devices. Hence, this capability makes it much easier to plug and play, which is one of the primary expectations most gamers have from hybrid drives.
When subjected to a series of performance tests it was found that hybrid drives have performed much better than HDDs. In fact, it is widely recommended that if gaming is the primary factor to purchase a storage device, it is better to either go for a Solid-State Drive or a hybrid SSHD, since the performances of both of these pip HDDs by a mile.
Seagate is the brand leading the way in terms of hybrid hard drives tailored for gaming today and many other reputed manufacturers are following suit.
2. What size hard drive do I need for gaming?
It is highly recommended to purchase a hard drive with at least 1 TB of space if you have a large repository of games to be moved from your computer.
However, there are plenty of other factors too apart from a mere size that should help you determine the ideal hard drive for gaming. Read-write speeds and rotations per minute (rpm) are a couple of integral factors. For instance, a hard drive with a 7200 or 5400rpm capability, but a storage capacity of 512 GB is still far superior to the one with 1 TB and relatively lesser speed. Rate of media transfer too is an important parameter to consider while buying a hard drive.
Solid State Hard Drives (SSHDs) are also good devices from a gamer’s standpoint since they are easier to plug-and-play and help games boot faster.
3. Is 7200 rpm hard drive good for gaming?
Hard drives that offer 7200 rpm are quite good, but SSHDs and Solid State Drive (SSDs) still manage to deliver better performance. However, if you are specifically looking to buy a hard drive, a device with rpm spanning from 5400 to 7200 could be your best bet. However, rotations per minute shouldn’t be the only factor determining your purchase behavior.
It is equally important to consider data transfer rate as well as read and write speeds too while considering a product that could cater to your gaming needs. It is equally important to know if the manufacturers are offering SATA. A product with a SATA interface coupled with 7200 RPM can definitely offer you high performance, not falter under large workloads, and help your favorite games boot really fast.
4. Can a slow hard drive affect gaming?
Yes, considering the fact that the latest games are heavy on graphics and are developed by utilizing cutting-edge technological disciplines such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), and Virtual Reality (VR). A slow hard drive would take a significantly long time to boot the game and may also adversely affect the frame rate while the game is being played. You realize the negative impact of a slow hard drive when you are in the middle of a thrilling FIFA game and the screen freezes just when you are about to make a pass that could prove to be match-winning.
Ideally, a Solid-State Drive (SSD) or a hybrid storage device would be ideal for gaming. However, if an HDD is your preference, purchasing a device with high RPM and read-write speeds as well as the cache is important to ensure an excellent gaming experience.
5. Which brand of a hard drive is most reliable?
Largely, as far as hard drives are concerned, reliability has been a term used to collectively describe efficiency and susceptibility to wear and tear. The reputation of the hard drive’s brand and the duration of the warranty are two important factors that determine reliability.
Seagate and Western Digital are leading manufacturers of hard drives today. Both these brands have carved a niche over the years for churning hard drives that effortlessly help manage a lot of heavy-sized files spanning several Gigabytes.
Both these brands offer hard drives with high capacity, impressive read and write speeds as well as data transfer rates, and offer a warranty that spans up to even 5 years.
6.Does an SSD wear out faster than an HDD?
A few years ago SSDs used to wear out quite, early. However, the proliferation of technology has ensured that the product doesn’t wear out early.
Three types of SSDs are available today, classified according to the way they store data, namely Single Level Cell (SLC), Multi-Level Cell (MLC), and Triple Level Cell (TLC). An SSD’s probability of degradation is proportional to the amount of data stored in every cell.
The drives being manufactured these days store data uniformly across cells, preventing the possibility to wear out significantly. As compared to HDDs, SSDs wear out quite slowly when used in read-only mode and are far less susceptible to wear and tear.
7. Is SSD or HDD better for gaming?
Secondary Storage Drives (SSDs) have proved to be more gaming-friendly due to the lesser time consumed in booting as compared to a game installed on a traditional hard drive.
An SSD isn’t really poles apart from the HDD in terms of frame rate when a game is being played, but a faster boot time is definitely a sigh of relief as compared to the time consumed by our computer’s primary drives.
8. Which is better 1 TB HDD or 256 GB SSD?
A 256 GB SSD is much better than 1 TB HDD because solid-state drives are generally far superior in terms of performance. To experience the most minimal game loading time and lesser crashes, it is highly advised to opt for either an SSD or an SSHD. However, if storing a dozen games is your concern, a 1 TB HDD is ideal.
A clear understanding of the benefits of SSD and HDD is important to understand which storage device works better from a gaming perspective. Most of you are probably willing to oversee the cost to buy a drive that ends your gaming woes for good, so it is really important you inspect everything that the hard drives available online have to offer. Capacity alone shouldn’t be a determinant, closely observing other abilities such as the read and write speeds, endurance, and data transfer rate.
In this compilation, we’ve tried our best to include hard drives known for their prowess in supporting gaming and are almost perfect balances of configuration and price. Seagate’s Game Drive for Xbox is a device we highly recommend since it is exclusively tailored to support one of the world’s most loved gaming products.
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