ReviewsStorage6 BEST SSD For Gaming In 2023

6 BEST SSD For Gaming In 2023 [Tested]

In this guide, I will walk you through my selection of the best SSDs for gaming based on sustained performance, endurance, cooling, features, and value.

Solid-state drives have become a key part of modern gaming machines thanks to their unparalleled speeds and exceptional convenience. The jump from a traditional hard drive to an SSD feels like a breath of fresh air for both the system and the user. Although SSDs provide notable benefits in all fields of computing, they are particularly useful in gaming PCs. SSDs provide much faster responsiveness, reduced loading times, and a much better overall user experience than a traditional hard drive.

Here’s a quick look at our selected SSDs for gaming and a brief comparison of their specs:

SSD
Samsung 990 PRO 2TB
Kingston Fury Renegade 2TB NVMe SSD
Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus-G 1TB
Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD 2TB
Crucial P3 2TB
Crucial MX500 1TB
Looks
Samsung 990 PRO Series - 2TB PCIe Gen4. X4 NVMe 2.0c - M.2 Internal SSD (MZ-V9P2T0B/AM)
Kingston Fury Renegade 2TB PCIe Gen 4.0 NVMe M.2 Internal Gaming SSD with Heat Sink | PS5 Ready | Up to 7300MB/s | SFYRDK/2000G
SABRENT Rocket 4 Plus-G 1TB Advanced Gaming M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD, up to 7GBps (SB-RKTG-1TB)
Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD 2TB NVMe M.2 Internal Solid State Hard Drive, V-NAND Technology, Storage and Memory Expansion for Gaming, Graphics w/ Heat Control, Max Speed, MZ-V7S2T0B/AM
Crucial P3 2TB PCIe Gen3 3D NAND NVMe M.2 SSD, up to 3500MB/s - CT2000P3SSD8
Crucial MX500 1TB 3D NAND SATA 2.5 Inch Internal SSD, up to 560MB/s - CT1000MX500SSD1
Award
Best Overall SSD For Gaming
Best PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD For Gaming
Best Budget PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD For Gaming
Best PCIe 3.0 M.2 SSD For Gaming
Best Budget PCIe 3.0 M.2 SSD For Gaming
Best SATA SSD For Gaming
What We Liked
Performance, Unique Samsung MLC NAND, Heatsink
Heatsink, Peformance, PS5 Compatibility
Value for money, Endurance, Speeds
Price-to-performance ratio, Great performance, Multiple capacities
Good performance, Affordable, Wide compatibility
Very affordable, Versatile, Great for mass storage
What We Disliked
Expensive, Heatsink sold separately
Pricey, Heatsink limits laptop compatibility
Slightly lower write speeds
Only PCIe 3.0 compatible, No heatsink option
Slightly lower endurance rating
Bigger form factor, SATA speeds
Available Capacities
1TB, 2TB
500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB
1TB, 2TB, 4TB
250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB
250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB
Form Factor
M.2 2280
M.2 2280
M.2 2280
M.2 2280
M.2 2280
SATA 2.5-inch
PCIe
4.0 x4
4.0 x4
4.0 x4
3.0 x4
3.0 x4
N/A
Sequential Read
7450 MB/s
7300 MB/s
7300 MB/s
3500 MB/s
3500 MB/s
560 MB/s
Sequential Write
6900 MB/s
7000 MB/s
6000 MB/s
3300 MB/s
3000 MB/s
510 MB/s
NAND
Samsung V-NAND 3-bit MLC
3D TLC NAND
3D TLC NAND
Samsung V-NAND 3-bit MLC
3D TLC NAND
3D TLC NAND
Heatsink
SSD
Samsung 990 PRO 2TB
Looks
Samsung 990 PRO Series - 2TB PCIe Gen4. X4 NVMe 2.0c - M.2 Internal SSD (MZ-V9P2T0B/AM)
Award
Best Overall SSD For Gaming
What We Liked
Performance, Unique Samsung MLC NAND, Heatsink
What We Disliked
Expensive, Heatsink sold separately
Available Capacities
1TB, 2TB
Form Factor
M.2 2280
PCIe
4.0 x4
Sequential Read
7450 MB/s
Sequential Write
6900 MB/s
NAND
Samsung V-NAND 3-bit MLC
Heatsink
Amazon
SSD
Kingston Fury Renegade 2TB NVMe SSD
Looks
Kingston Fury Renegade 2TB PCIe Gen 4.0 NVMe M.2 Internal Gaming SSD with Heat Sink | PS5 Ready | Up to 7300MB/s | SFYRDK/2000G
Award
Best PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD For Gaming
What We Liked
Heatsink, Peformance, PS5 Compatibility
What We Disliked
Pricey, Heatsink limits laptop compatibility
Available Capacities
500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB
Form Factor
M.2 2280
PCIe
4.0 x4
Sequential Read
7300 MB/s
Sequential Write
7000 MB/s
NAND
3D TLC NAND
Heatsink
Amazon
SSD
Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus-G 1TB
Looks
SABRENT Rocket 4 Plus-G 1TB Advanced Gaming M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD, up to 7GBps (SB-RKTG-1TB)
Award
Best Budget PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD For Gaming
What We Liked
Value for money, Endurance, Speeds
What We Disliked
Slightly lower write speeds
Available Capacities
1TB, 2TB, 4TB
Form Factor
M.2 2280
PCIe
4.0 x4
Sequential Read
7300 MB/s
Sequential Write
6000 MB/s
NAND
3D TLC NAND
Heatsink
Amazon
SSD
Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD 2TB
Looks
Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD 2TB NVMe M.2 Internal Solid State Hard Drive, V-NAND Technology, Storage and Memory Expansion for Gaming, Graphics w/ Heat Control, Max Speed, MZ-V7S2T0B/AM
Award
Best PCIe 3.0 M.2 SSD For Gaming
What We Liked
Price-to-performance ratio, Great performance, Multiple capacities
What We Disliked
Only PCIe 3.0 compatible, No heatsink option
Available Capacities
250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
Form Factor
M.2 2280
PCIe
3.0 x4
Sequential Read
3500 MB/s
Sequential Write
3300 MB/s
NAND
Samsung V-NAND 3-bit MLC
Heatsink
Amazon
SSD
Crucial P3 2TB
Looks
Crucial P3 2TB PCIe Gen3 3D NAND NVMe M.2 SSD, up to 3500MB/s - CT2000P3SSD8
Award
Best Budget PCIe 3.0 M.2 SSD For Gaming
What We Liked
Good performance, Affordable, Wide compatibility
What We Disliked
Slightly lower endurance rating
Available Capacities
500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB
Form Factor
M.2 2280
PCIe
3.0 x4
Sequential Read
3500 MB/s
Sequential Write
3000 MB/s
NAND
3D TLC NAND
Heatsink
Amazon
SSD
Crucial MX500 1TB
Looks
Crucial MX500 1TB 3D NAND SATA 2.5 Inch Internal SSD, up to 560MB/s - CT1000MX500SSD1
Award
Best SATA SSD For Gaming
What We Liked
Very affordable, Versatile, Great for mass storage
What We Disliked
Bigger form factor, SATA speeds
Available Capacities
250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB
Form Factor
SATA 2.5-inch
PCIe
N/A
Sequential Read
560 MB/s
Sequential Write
510 MB/s
NAND
3D TLC NAND
Heatsink
Amazon

Last update on 2023-09-25

  • Why you can trust Tech4Gamers: We understand the importance of making informed decisions. That’s why our team spends significant time testing every product we review. Find out more about how we test.

Best SSD For Gaming

Here is a selection of the best SSDs for gaming that you can buy right now:

  1. Samsung 990 PRO 2TB
  2. Kingston Fury Renegade 2TB With Heatsink
  3. Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus-G 1TB
  4. Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD 2TB
  5. Crucial P3 2TB
  6. Crucial MX500 1TB

Samsung 990 PRO 2TB

Best Overall SSD For Gaming

Samsung 990 PRO 2TB - Best Overall SSD For Gaming
Samsung 990 PRO 2TB

Capacities Available: 1TB, 2TB | Form Factor: M.2 2280 | PCIe: 4.0 x4 | Sequential Read: 7450 MB/s | Sequential Write: 6900 MB/s | NAND: Samsung V-NAND 3-bit MLC | Heatsink: Yes

Pros

  • Incredible PCIe 4.0 sustained speeds
  • Superb endurance ratings
  • Custom Samsung V-NAND
  • Nice heatsink design

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • Heatsink not included

The modern PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs represent the pinnacle of storage technology, and no SSD pushes the boundaries quite like the Samsung 990 PRO. This drive combines extraordinary performance with superb reliability, making it a top choice for enthusiasts and gamers who only want the best of the best, as demonstrated in our Best Gaming PC Under $5000 build.

Performance: Harnessing the full capabilities of the PCIe 4.0 x4 protocol, the Samsung 990 PRO 2TB NVMe SSD delivers exceptional performance. Its 2TB variant achieves remarkable sequential Read speeds of 7450 MB/s and Write speeds of 6900 MB/s, thanks to the incorporation of unique V-NAND 3-bit MLC flash technology. This integration not only enhances overall performance and reliability but also enables an impressive output of 1400K/1550K IOPS, ensuring swift data access and seamless multitasking. The inclusion of a custom controller and a DRAM cache further enhances its prowess, establishing this SSD as an immensely powerful and highly coveted choice for gamers in search of top-tier storage performance.

Reliability: Exhibiting impressive durability and dependability, Samsung’s 990 PRO showcases its prowess through a Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) rating of 1.5 million hours. The 2TB variant impresses with a substantial endurance rating of 1200 TBW (Terabytes Written), ensuring a prolonged lifespan even when handling demanding workloads. Moreover, its reliability is fortified by the inclusion of TRIM and S.M.A.R.T features, making it a trustworthy storage solution for the vast majority of everyday users. To maintain optimal performance over time, the SSD also incorporates an Auto Garbage Collection Algorithm.

Design: The Samsung 990 PRO NVMe SSD boasts a design marked by its refined simplicity, featuring smooth contours and a minimalist visual appeal. The introduction of subtle red accents injects a hint of sophistication into its overall aesthetic. Moreover, users have the option to go for the heatsink model, which not only improves thermal efficiency but also introduces a visually captivating aspect. This heatsink’s striking and bold design language adds an extra layer of attractiveness, making it an enticing option for individuals who want the best of both worlds.

Value For Money: Although the Samsung 990 PRO M.2 SSD carries a higher price tag, its impressive balance between cost and performance renders it an appealing choice for avid enthusiasts and professionals who prioritize top-tier storage options. Within the realm of premium SSDs, the Samsung 990 PRO stands out for delivering uncompromising performance and long-term reliability that fall in line with its premium price point. Despite the initial substantial investment, the remarkable speed, durability, and dependability of this SSD validate its price in the long run, transforming it into a worthwhile asset for enthusiasts in search of high-end storage solutions.

Buy It If:

Samsung 990 PRO 2TB
Samsung 990 PRO 2TB

You want the ideal SSD for gaming: With ultra-fast sustained performance and extraordinary reliability, the Samsung 990 PRO is the ideal gaming SSD.

Don’t Buy It If:

You have a limited budget: Although it has a unique position in the market, the Samsung 990 PRO is undoubtedly an expensive piece of tech.

What Makes It The Best Overall SSD For Gaming?

Featuring blistering fast speeds of over 7 GB/s, custom internals, PCIe 4.0 support, and superb longevity, the Samsung 990 PRO is the best overall SSD for gaming.

Performance: 10/10 Value: 7/10
Features: 10/10 Endurance: 9/10

Kingston Fury Renegade 2TB With Heatsink

Best PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD For Gaming

Kingston Fury Renegade 2TB With Heatsink - Best PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD For Gaming
Kingston Fury Renegade 2TB With Heatsink

Capacities Available: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB | Form Factor: M.2 2280 | PCIe: 4.0 x4 | Sequential Read: 7300 MB/s | Sequential Write: 7000 MB/s | NAND: 3D TLC NAND | Heatsink: Yes

Pros

  • Various capacity options
  • Impressive endurance
  • High PCIe 4.0 sequential speeds
  • Remarkable heatsink

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limited laptop compatibility

The Renegade NVMe SSD from Kingston is one of the best M.2 SSDs for gaming right now, owing to its exceptional sustained performance and high endurance. It even offers a heatsink model for a nominal price premium, making it a great fit for high-performance applications.

Performance: Boasting exceptional performance, the Kingston Fury Renegade SSD addresses the gaming demands of enthusiasts with its high sustained speeds. The 2TB version of this SSD delivers impressive sequential speeds, with sequential read rates reaching 7300 MB/s and write rates at 7000 MB/s. These high speeds facilitate quick data transfers and minimize loading times in games. Enhanced by the top-notch Phison E18 controller, its efficiency and responsiveness are elevated, and its substantial output capacity of 1,000,000 IOPS guarantees seamless handling of sustained workloads. The SSD also taps into the complete power of contemporary interfaces by effectively utilizing the PCIe 4.0 x4 protocol. 

Reliability: Staying true to the emphasis on robustness, the Kingston Fury Renegade showcases remarkable dependability and resilience, positioning it as a storage solution you can rely on with confidence. The 2TB variant of the SSD comes with reinforced durability through its 2000 TBW (Terabytes Written) rating, ensuring extended usage without any compromise on its effectiveness. Boasting an impressive Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) of 2,000,000 hours, it attests to its enduring nature and consistent performance over time. Featuring the dependable 3D TLC NAND technology, users can consistently expect this SSD to deliver unwavering performance for all their storage needs.

Design: The chosen version of Kingston’s Renegade 2TB SSD comes equipped with a heatsink, which serves a dual purpose: providing an added layer of safeguarding and assisting in the maintenance of ideal operational temperatures. The stylish all-black heatsink design not only introduces an element of refinement but also effectively disperses heat. Beyond its visually striking appearance, the dynamic design of the heatsink plays a pivotal role in enhancing both aesthetics and denoting its exceptional high-performance attributes. The heatsink’s impressive efficiency guarantees the SSD’s temperature remains low even when tackling intensive tasks, thereby significantly enhancing its overall dependability and lifespan.

Value For Money: Although the Kingston Fury Renegade 2TB NVMe SSD holds a slightly elevated price point, its value proposition remains praiseworthy, primarily attributed to the incorporation of the heatsink. This addition plays a crucial role in enhancing thermal management and the SSD’s overall lifespan. The SSD’s impressive level of performance serves as a valid justification for its price tag, positioning it as a sound investment for individuals in search of top-tier storage solutions. Notwithstanding its cost, the SSD falls within the spectrum of premium PCIe 4.0 SSDs, closely correlating with its remarkable performance capabilities. 

Buy It If:

Kingston Fury Renegade 2TB NVMe SSD - Top View
Kingston Fury Renegade 2TB NVMe SSD. Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)

You want the ultimate PCIe 4.0 SSD: The Kingston Fury Renegade delivers exceptional overall performance while being extremely well-rounded.

You want an SSD with a heatsink: Although many other SSDs offer heatsinks separately, Kingston Renegade’s heatsink option comes with only a nominal price premium.

Don’t Buy It If:

You want an SSD for a laptop: If you go for the heatsink version of the Renegade that I have recommended, it will not be compatible with the laptop unless you remove the heatsink.

What Makes It The Best PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD For Gaming?

With a unique combination of superb PCIe 4.0 speeds, exceptional reliability, and an integrated heatsink, the Kingston Fury Renegade is the best PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD for gaming.

Performance: 10/10 Value: 8/10
Features: 9/10 Endurance: 10/10

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus-G 1TB

Best Budget PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD For Gaming

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus-G 1TB - Best Budget PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD For Gaming
Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus-G 1TB

Capacities Available: 1TB, 2TB, 4TB | Form Factor: M.2 2280 | PCIe: 4.0 x4 | Sequential Read: 7300 MB/s | Sequential Write: 6000 MB/s | NAND: 3D TLC NAND | Heatsink: No

Pros

  • High value for money
  • Impressive endurance
  • Remarkable sustained speeds
  • Sizeable DRAM cache

Cons

  • Slightly lower write speeds
  • Heatsink not included

Sabrent has been at the forefront of the storage industry for quite some time now, and enthusiasts have fallen in love with their Rocket series of high-speed SSDs. With the new Rocket 4 Plus-G drive, Sabrent is combining the impressive performance of the PCIe 4.0 protocol with support for Microsoft DirectStorage technology.

Performance: The Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus G 1TB SSD delivers outstanding performance tailored for modern gaming and computing needs. With its PCIe 4.0 compatibility and full utilization of the PCIe 4.0 x4 bandwidth, its 1TB variant achieves remarkable sequential read speeds of up to 7300 MB/s and write speeds of 6000 MB/s. This blazing-fast speed makes it an excellent choice for demanding tasks like gaming and content creation. The inclusion of a DRAM cache enhances its sustained responsiveness, while the utilization of reliable 3D TLC NAND ensures durability and consistent performance over time. The Rocket 4 Plus-G variant also has native support for Microsoft DirectStorage, which separates it from the other variants in Sabrent’s lineup.

Reliability: The Rocket 4 Plus G PCIe Gen 4 SSD is designed with impressive endurance and durability in mind. Its use of 3D TLC NAND strikes a balance between endurance and performance, making it a reliable choice for sustained usage. With a total endurance rating of 700TBW (Terabytes Written), this SSD can handle substantial data write operations over its lifespan, ensuring it remains robust even under heavy workloads. This endurance, coupled with its high-speed performance, makes it an excellent storage solution for gaming PCs and other demanding applications.

Design: Sabrent has not overlooked the visual aspect when designing the Rocket 4 Plus-G SSD, as it features a distinct design with a vibrant and colorful pattern, setting it apart from conventional SSDs. While the heatsink is available separately, it’s worth noting that its rose gold aesthetic adds a touch of elegance to the overall look. The substantial size of the heatsink not only contributes to its impressive visual appeal but also ensures outstanding thermal performance, making it a functional and stylish choice for those seeking efficient cooling solutions for their SSD.

Value For Money: While it may lean slightly towards the premium end of the overall SSD market, the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus G 1TB SSD offers a commendable value proposition with its reasonable pricing per gigabyte. It certainly falls into the premium category due to its PCIe 4.0 compatibility, but the combination of high-speed performance, endurance, and overall durability it provides makes it a genuinely worthwhile investment. Its longevity and robust capabilities ensure that it remains a great value proposition over the long term, delivering the performance required for various tasks without compromising on quality.

Buy It If:

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 1TB NVMe SSD - Top View
Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 1TB NVMe SSD – Image Credits: Tech4Gamers

You want an affordable PCIe 4.0 SSD: Although it still leans towards the premium end of the general SSD market, the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus is one of the better value options in the PCIe 4.0 category.

Don’t Buy It If:

You want a higher capacity: While the 1TB capacity of the Rocket provides excellent value for money, it may not work for you if you want more space for your games and files.

What Makes It The Best Budget PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD For Gaming?

The Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus-G maximizes the PCIe 4.0 protocol by providing excellent sequential speeds, a robust reliability rating, and a reasonable price point, making it the best budget PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD for gaming.

Performance: 9/10 Value: 9/10
Features: 9/10 Endurance: 8/10

Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD 2TB

Best PCIe 3.0 M.2 SSD For Gaming

Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD 2TB - Best PCIe 3.0 M.2 SSD For Gaming
Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD 2TB

Capacities Available: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB | Form Factor: M.2 2280 | PCIe: 3.0 x4 | Sequential Read: 3500 MB/s | Sequential Write: 3300 MB/s | NAND: Samsung V-NAND 3-bit MLC | Heatsink: No

Pros

  • Superb price-to-performance ratio
  • Maximizes PCIe 3.0 bandwidth
  • Incredible sustained performance
  • Several available capacities

Cons

  • Only PCIe 3.0 compatible
  • No heatsink option

The Samsung 970 EVO represents the peak of the PCIe 3.0 era of storage drives, as it maximizes the potential of that particular standard. It is still among the fastest and most revered storage drives on the market, and enthusiasts show an incredible level of trust in the endurance and reliability of the 970 EVO.

Performance: The Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe SSD boasts exceptional performance across the board, fully utilizing the PCIe 3.0 x4 bandwidth for optimal data transfer rates. With blazing sequential read speeds of up to 3500 MB/s and write speeds of 3300 MB/s (for the 2TB variant), it accelerates data-intensive tasks such as loading times and file transfer. The integration of Samsung’s custom controller, along with the distinctive Samsung MLC V-NAND Cache, not only maximizes performance but also enhances endurance, making it suitable for both demanding workloads and everyday tasks. The inclusion of a Samsung DRAM cache further solidifies its position as a high-performance storage solution.

Reliability: Renowned for its remarkable reliability and endurance, the Samsung 970 EVO Plus is a great choice for any gaming or workstation build. With a robust 1200TBW (Terabytes Written) rating on the 2TB variant, it is built to withstand extensive data write operations over its lifespan. A substantial 1.5 Million Hours MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) rating underscores the long-term dependability of the 2TB variant. The support for TRIM and S.M.A.R.T technologies ensures efficient maintenance and monitoring of drive health, while the Auto Garbage Collection Algorithm contributes to sustained performance by preventing data clutter. This SSD is a solid choice for users seeking storage that is both resilient and dependable.

Design: Generally, PCIe 3.0 SSDs do not go out of their way to stand out in terms of design. The Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe SSD follows suit, as it features a straightforward design with a sleek all-black background adorned with subtle orange accents. Its M.2 2280 form factor offers versatility, making it suitable for integration into both desktops and laptops. While it doesn’t include a built-in heatsink option, the addition of such an option could have been a valuable bonus, particularly for users seeking enhanced thermal management in high-performance setups.

Value For Money: Samsung’s 970 EVO Plus SSD provides excellent value for money by offering a more affordable alternative to PCIe 4.0 SSDs. Since the day-to-day performance difference between the two might not be significant for most users, the 970 EVO Plus maintains a strong price-to-performance ratio, delivering a satisfying balance of speed and cost-effectiveness. As NAND prices continue to decline, this SSD becomes an even more attractive option, offering a compelling deal for users seeking reliable and efficient storage without breaking the bank.

Buy It If:

Samsung 970 EVO Plus 2TB
Samsung 970 EVO Plus 2TB

You want the best PCIe 3.0 SSD: The PCIe 3.0 platform represents a good sweet spot between price and performance, and the Samsung 970 EVO is the best of the bunch.

Don’t Buy It If:

Your budget is limited: The Samsung 970 EVO is among the most expensive PCIe 3.0 SSDs on the market, despite its positive value proposition.

What Makes It The Best PCIe 3.0 M.2 SSD For Gaming?

With excellent sustained performance, remarkable endurance, and an impressive price-to-performance ratio, the Samsung 970 EVO is the best PCIe 3.0 M.2 SSD for gaming.

Performance: 9/10 Value: 8/10
Features: 9/10 Endurance: 9/10

Crucial P3 2TB

Best Budget PCIe 3.0 M.2 SSD For Gaming

Crucial P3 2TB - Best Budget PCIe 3.0 M.2 SSD For Gaming
Crucial P3 2TB

Capacities Available: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB | Form Factor: M.2 2280 | PCIe: 3.0 x4 | Sequential Read: 3500 MB/s | Sequential Write: 3000 MB/s | NAND: 3D TLC NAND | Heatsink: No

Pros

  • Impressive value for money
  • Solid overall performance
  • Several storage capacity options
  • Wide compatibility

Cons

  • Slightly lower endurance rating
  • No heatsink option

Crucial is known for providing high-performance storage solutions at a cost-effective price tag, which is the primary reason behind their popularity among gamers. The Crucial P3 NVMe SSD continues this trend as it delivers respectable sustained performance without being overly expensive.

Performance: The Crucial P3 NVMe SSD delivers a commendable overall performance that makes the most of the available PCIe 3.0 x4 bandwidth. With impressive sequential read speeds of up to 3500 MB/s and write speeds of 3000 MB/s on the 2TB model, it offers rapid data transfers in day-to-day applications. Its exceptional random read/write capabilities, rated at 650K/700K IOPS, further enhance its responsiveness and multitasking efficiency. In the realm of PCIe 3.0 SSDs, the Crucial P3 stands out for its remarkable performance, making it a reliable choice for users seeking a balance between speed and value.

Reliability: Although it doesn’t particularly stand out in this department, the Crucial P3 NVMe SSD offers a dependable level of reliability with an average endurance that aligns with industry standards. Its 440TBW (Terabytes Written) rating positions it as a solid choice among 2TB PCIe 3.0 SSDs. The utilization of 3D TLC NAND enhances its durability and longevity. Moreover, its impressive MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) rating of 1.5 million hours underscores its stability and long-term reliability. This makes the Crucial P3 NVMe SSD particularly well-suited for gaming PCs where performance and value are key considerations.

Design: Crucial’s P3 SSD features a generic design without any standout visual elements, but its sleek all-black appearance holds a certain aesthetic appeal. While lacking a heatsink option might be a drawback for those seeking maximum performance under heavy loads, its absence does expand its compatibility across a wider range of laptops and desktop systems. This design approach offers a balance between form and function, catering to both aesthetic preferences and versatile installation scenarios.

Value For Money: Staying true to Crucial’s brand reputation, the Crucial P3 NVMe SSD provides excellent value for money overall, offering a competitive price point relative to its performance and features. With its impressive affordability per gigabyte, it stands out as one of the more budget-friendly options among PCIe 3.0 SSDs. This makes it an attractive choice for individuals seeking a cost-effective solution for laptop upgrades and gaming setups, where a balance between performance and price is crucial.

Buy It If:

Crucial P3
Crucial P3 

You want a PCIe 3.0 SSD on a budget: Thanks to its reasonable pricing and high value for money, the Crucial P3 NVMe SSD is an incredible choice on a budget.

Don’t Buy It If:

You want a heatsink: The Crucial P3 NVMe SSD does not offer any heatsink. Therefore, you’re out of luck if you want one for your build.

What Makes It The Best Budget PCIe 3.0 M.2 SSD For Gaming?

Providing excellent sustained speeds with the power of PCIe 3.0, respectable endurance, and high value for money, the Crucial P3 is the best PCIe 3.0 M.2 SSD for gaming.

Performance: 9/10 Value: 10/10
Features: 8/10 Endurance: 7/10

Crucial MX500 1TB

Best SATA SSD For Gaming

Crucial MX500 1TB - Best SATA SSD For Gaming
Crucial MX500 1TB

Capacities Available: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB | Form Factor: SATA 2.5-inch | PCIe: N/A | Sequential Read: 560 MB/s | Sequential Write: 510 MB/s | NAND: 3D TLC NAND | Heatsink: No

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Great for mass storage
  • Quite versatile
  • Numerous capacity options

Cons

  • Bigger form factor
  • SATA speeds

SATA SSDs still have a significant place in the storage market, as they cater to a different set of needs than NVMe drives. The Crucial MX500 is one such example, as it offers a respectable level of performance at an incredibly affordable price point, making it a great addition to any gaming PC.

Performance: The Crucial MX500 SATA SSD delivers solid performance within the confines of its SATA 6Gbps interface. While it falls short of the speeds offered by modern NVMe drives, it remains one of the top-performing SATA SSDs available. Its sequential read speeds of 560 MB/s and write speeds of 510 MB/s on the 1TB model showcase its capability. With a random read/write rating of 95K/90K IOPS, it offers respectable overall responsiveness. The drive’s strength lies in its suitability for mass storage of games and large files, making it a valuable addition to gaming rigs seeking ample storage and decent performance.

Reliability: In the realm of SATA SSDs, the Crucial MX500 stands above the rest with an impressive level of overall reliability, backed by its endurance rating of 360 TBW, a commendable figure for a 1TB SATA SSD. While its endurance is slightly lower compared to some NVMe drives, it is quite respectable for a SATA drive. Moreover, the utilization of 3D TLC NAND strikes a favorable balance between performance and reliability. This drive raises no significant red flags in this regard, especially considering its competitive price point, making it a dependable choice for users seeking a durable storage solution.

Design: SATA drives have more of an opportunity to showcase different design patterns than NVMe drives, just because of their larger form factor. The Crucial MX500 SATA SSD features a 2.5-inch form factor, and its silver body with stylish blue accents lends it an appealing aesthetic that adds personality to the drive. This design choice also enables users to showcase the drive alongside their motherboard, granted their case permits such visibility. Overall, the drive’s design is notably pleasing and contributes to its overall visual appeal.

Value For Money: At the end of the day, SATA SSDs are relevant due to their affordable pricing, and the Crucial MX500 SATA SSD excels in delivering superb value for money, especially since it offers an unbeatable price per gigabyte ratio. Its affordability, particularly in comparison to NVMe drives, makes it an ideal choice for gamers seeking cost-effective mass storage for games and large files in their gaming PCs. By combining a larger SATA drive like the MX500 with a smaller NVMe drive, gamers can achieve an optimal balance between capacity and performance while maximizing their budget’s potential.

Buy It If:

Crucial MX500 1TB
Crucial MX500 1TB (Image Captured by Tech4Gamers).

You want an affordable SSD for mass storage: With its incredibly low price-per-gigabyte, the Crucial MX500 is the ideal choice for mass storage in gaming PCs.

Don’t Buy It If:

You want an M.2 SSD: Although it delivers respectable speeds, the Crucial MX500 is still a bit limited by its SATA interface.

What Makes It The Best SATA SSD For Gaming?

The Crucial MX500 is the best SATA SSD for gaming as it offers respectable performance, various capacity options, and wide compatibility at an incredibly low price.

Performance: 7/10 Value: 10/10
Features: 8/10 Endurance: 7/10

Important SSD Key Terms

Here are some key terms regarding SSDs that every buyer should know:

  1. SSD (Solid State Drive): A storage device that uses NAND-based flash memory to store data, providing faster access speeds and greater durability compared to traditional hard drives.
  2. NAND Flash: A type of non-volatile memory technology used in SSDs, consisting of memory cells that retain data even when power is disconnected.
  3. Read/Write Speed: The rate at which data can be read from or written to an SSD, indicating its data transfer performance.
  4. TRIM: A command used to optimize SSD performance by marking unused data blocks as available for reuse, preventing write performance degradation over time.
  5. Endurance: The total amount of data that can be written to an SSD over its lifespan, determined by factors such as NAND type and controller technology.
  6. SATA (Serial ATA): A common interface used to connect SSDs to a computer, offering improved speed over traditional hard drives but limited compared to newer interfaces.
  7. NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express): A high-speed interface protocol designed for SSDs, significantly boosting data transfer rates compared to SATA.
  8. Latency: The delay between a data request and the actual data retrieval from an SSD, with lower latency indicating better responsiveness.
  9. Controller: The microchip responsible for managing data storage, retrieval, and other operations within an SSD, affecting overall performance and efficiency.
  10. Wear Leveling: A technique used by SSDs to distribute write and erase cycles evenly across memory cells, extending the lifespan of the drive by preventing certain cells from wearing out faster than others.
  11. SLC, MLC, TLC, QLC: Different types of NAND flash memory cells with varying levels of data storage density and endurance: Single-Level Cell, Multi-Level Cell, Triple-Level Cell, and Quad-Level Cell, respectively.
  12. DRAM Cache: A small, high-speed memory buffer within an SSD that stores frequently accessed data, improving overall read and write performance.

How We Picked The Best SSDs For Gaming

When purchasing a solid-state drive (SSD), there are several critical factors to consider that can greatly influence your overall computing experience. To ensure you make an informed decision, let’s delve into the key aspects that should guide your choice when buying an SSD.

Form Factor

SABRENT ROCKET 4 PLUS REVIEW
Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 2TB M.2 NVMe SSD (Image By Tech4Gamers)

When delving into the realm of SSDs, one of the first considerations is the form factor. This refers to the physical size and connector type of the drive. The options range from the familiar 2.5-inch drives to the sleek and compact M.2 form factor and the versatile U.2. Each form factor brings unique advantages – M.2, for instance, not only saves space but also boasts faster data transfer speeds. The choice of form factor is crucial, as it determines how seamlessly the SSD integrates into your system setup. One should check the physical compatibility of the drive with the case before purchasing.

SATA vs NVMe

GIGABYTE Z790 AORUS ELITE AX - SATA Ports
GIGABYTE Z790 AORUS ELITE AX SATA Ports (Image Captured by Tech4Gamers).

The interface of an SSD has a substantial impact on its performance, making the SATA vs NVMe decision critical. SATA SSDs are cost-effective options that offer good performance for everyday tasks. On the other hand, NVMe SSDs leverage the PCIe interface, resulting in significantly faster read and write speeds. This means quicker application loading times and a more responsive system. The interface you choose depends on your usage – SATA for general tasks and NVMe for more demanding applications. You can also go with a combination of SATA and PCIe drives to strike a balance between price and performance.

Related: How To Connect SSD to Motherboard

PCIe 3.0 vs PCIe 4.0

If you’re leaning towards an NVMe SSD, the PCIe generation support becomes a pivotal consideration. PCIe 4.0 offers double the bandwidth compared to PCIe 3.0, leading to even faster data transfer rates. PCIe 4.0 drives can hit speeds of more than 7 GB/s, while PCIe 3.0 drives typically max out at around 3.5 GB/s. While PCIe 4.0 is appealing, it’s important to evaluate whether the increased speed aligns with your computing needs and whether or not it makes sense from a cost perspective. For most users, a PCIe 3.0 NVMe SSD provides a substantial performance boost without a significant cost escalation.

We have also covered PCIe 3.0 vs. PCIe 4.0 in depth separately.

Performance

SABRENT ROCKET 4 PLUS REVIEW
SABRENT ROCKET 4 PLUS CrystalDiskMark 8.0.4 (Image Captured by Tech4Gamers).

The speed and performance of an SSD are key factors that impact your overall computing experience. Opting for SSDs with high sequential read and write speeds translates into snappier multitasking, quicker boot times, and expedited file transfers. These improvements can greatly enhance your workflow efficiency and system responsiveness. Prioritize the speed aspect based on your usage patterns and the tasks you frequently perform. You should also look at the sustained speeds of the SSD, and the random read/write operations (IOPS), to get a better picture of the drive’s performance.

Endurance

SSDs have a limited number of write cycles, which means they degrade over time. The endurance rating of an SSD is a critical metric that informs you about its expected lifespan. This aspect becomes particularly important for users who engage in intensive read-write activities. Selecting an SSD with a higher endurance rating ensures a longer lifespan and sustained performance, mitigating the risk of premature wear. Always look for the TBW (TeraBytes Written) or MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) ratings to get a better idea of a drive’s long-term reliability.

Thermals

Kingston Fury Renegade Heatsink (Image Captured by Tech4Gamers).

Heat generation during operation is a concern for SSDs, as it can affect both performance and longevity. Some SSDs feature advanced thermal management solutions, such as integrated heatsinks, to dissipate heat effectively. Evaluating your system’s configuration and potentially investing in an SSD with a robust cooling solution can contribute to prolonged functionality and optimal performance, especially during demanding tasks. 

Price and Value

While performance is crucial, finding the right balance between performance and cost is essential. High-end SSDs offer impressive speed and endurance but can come at a premium. On the other hand, mid-range options may deliver a more favorable value proposition, aligning with your specific computing requirements and budget constraints. Carefully assessing your needs allows you to make a well-informed decision that maximizes the benefits per dollar spent. You can always combine different types of SSDs to strike the perfect balance between cost and performance in your system.

Why You Should Trust Us

For over a decade, Tech4Gamers has been a stalwart source of technology news within the community, accumulating extensive expertise throughout this duration. Its significance has gone through a notable upsurge over time, cementing its reputation as a trustworthy authority concerning all aspects of technology. Its reception of acknowledgment from diverse tech firms, including DeepCool, Corsair, and Thermaltake, is noteworthy.

Utilizing an incredibly adaptable writing approach, Tech4Gamers carefully develops each article, subjecting it to a series of exacting phases encompassing research, testing, and thorough proofreading. The objective is to provide users with an exceptional reading experience. Above all, Tech4Gamers places great importance on authenticity, equipping readers with carefully verified information to empower them in formulating well-grounded decisions.

FAQs

Is NVMe better than SATA?

Yes, NVMe drives are much better and faster than SATA drives. NVMe SSDs use the PCIe protocol which delivers much faster speeds than the traditional SATA interface. SATA drives, however, are more affordable.

Does SSD affect FPS?

No, an SSD does not directly increase FPS in a significant way. However, SSDs improve loading times quite noticeably, and they also help to decrease asset loading time, reduce stuttering, and provide an overall smoother experience.

Should I get PCIe 3.0 or PCIe 4.0 SSD?

You should get whichever NVMe SSD fits your needs and budget. Both PCIe 3.0 and PCIe 4.0 SSDs are extremely fast and will provide a noticeable upgrade over traditional SATA SSDs or hard drives. From a value perspective, PCIe 3.0 SSDs hit the sweet spot between price and performance.

Is SSD better than a hard drive for gaming?

Yes, an SSD is significantly better than a hard drive for gaming. Not only does an SSD provide exponentially faster speeds, but it is also more durable and is not prone to physical damage. Moreover, SSDs have gotten quite affordable recently, so they provide a strong value proposition as well.

 
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Usman Saleem
Usman Saleem
Usman is a hardcore tech enthusiast and hardware geek with a passion for PC Gaming and the PC Hardware industry. What started with flash games in a browser window, led to an undying love for the technology behind PC Gaming and the hardware that drives it.

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