Best Hard Drives for Gaming – 2020 Buyer’s Guide

Digital Advisor is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

When it comes to storage space, no device beats hard drives. Contrary to what some people think, hard drives are still very much in fashion and in demand.

They are cheap, efficient, and are a magical solution for many of the gamer’s storage space problems. It is due to this reason that they still dominate the gaming industry and are available in a range of sizes and models.

Buying the best hard drive will not only add to your storage space but will also boost up your overall experience. To help you pick the best device, we will be discussing hard drives in detail in this review.

Comparison of the Best Hard Drives For Gaming

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Very high speeds for faster performance
  • Advanced multi-tier caching technology
  • Higher performance with adaptive memory support
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Best for the Money
  • Comes with vibration protection capability
  • Includes the reliable HelioSeal technology
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Best External Hard Drive for Gaming
  • Compact design for easier storage
  • Can handle the rigors of travel easily
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Best Internal Hard Drive for Gaming
  • Fast 6Gbps bandwith rate
  • Sufficient 500GB for file and data storage
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Best External Hard Drive for PC Gaming
  • Supports windows 7, 8.1 and 10
  • Hardware encryption with password protection
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Best SSD Hard Drive for Gaming
  • Highly secure encryption capabilities
  • Faster reading and writing speeds
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Best Laptop Hard Drive for Gaming
  • Increased data transfer speeds
  • Designed to improve PC performance
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews

Perks of Upgrading Your Current Hard Drive

Hard drives have been a part of PC systems for forever, so it is only natural to assume that most of the users need a hard drive update. It not only takes very few times but also comes with some amazing perks. Let’s talk about some of these here.

More IOPS

One of the most important reasons to upgrade the hard drive is to see an overall increase in your disk performance. The higher your RPM will be, the more IOPs your drive will provide to your system. Moreover, a relatively higher speed, such as around 150000 RPM, is considered perfect for many applications like SQL arrays. This not only significantly increases the response time of gamers but also helps boost their overall performance.

Reduced Energy

Disk makers release new hard drives almost every year. This is because modernization and advancements are happening every day, and tech companies are increasingly trying to come up with products that aren’t only energy efficient but who also have a lower carbon print. So when you update your hard drive, you aren’t only saving on your electricity bills, but you are also playing your part in protecting your planet.

Western Digital (WD5000AZLX)

Prioritization of Data

With most users, and especially gamers, this posts a huge issue. People generally don’t know how to prioritize their work better, and that leads to their storage space having a lot of redundant data. Before upgrading your data drives, it is best that you see the amount of prioritization that your work needs. Once you have that figured out, you can simply get your data organized with the help of the upgrade.

Greater Resilience

This might seem a weird way to associate with hard drives, but there’s a reason for that. Upgrading your hard drives helps add RAID systems to your device, and the greater the number of RAID system there is, the better your system’s performance will be. These varieties of RAID systems hence offer greater resilience and are less susceptible to failure.

What Makes These Hard Drives Great For Gaming 

The market is dominated by so many useless products these days that it’s hard to find a good hard drive. But knowing about some of the features that cater to gamers is a good first step. So before you buy your next hard drive, make sure you have these features in mind.

Better Storage Capacity

Most people only buy new hard drives because they want to improve their storage capacities, so it is no wonder that this feature is at the top of our list. For a hard drive to be considered in the first place, it should offer you significantly higher storage space than your previous hard drives. As a gamer, you probably will have a lot of heavy-end gaming data that needs to be stored, and that requires tons of space. So make sure that you don’t have to buy multiple disks for that purpose alone.

Higher Rotation Speed

A hard disk has its rotation speed that is measured in revolutions per minute or RPM as it is generally known. The drives often use only a single read-write arm to first access and then write data to your disk as it spins under. Higher rotation speeds of your disk will obviously mean better performance. However, higher rotation speeds also generate more heat, so as a gamer, you should ensure that your motherboard comes with a good heat sink to support this overload of heat.

Cache Size

Cache is another term that you will repeatedly come across in any article that caters to gamers. A hard drive has a cache memory that is very much similar to the one that a RAM has for your entire system. This means that it stores some very important data so that your HDD’s processing unit may access this data in a relatively shorter time period. This, in turn, leads to overall better functioning and smoother hard disk drive.

Quick Take - Best Hard Drives For Gaming

Just looking for the three best hard drives for gaming ? Here they are:

  1. Seagate FireCuda (ST1000LX015)
  2. Western Digital (WUH721414ALE6L4)
  3. Seagate Game Drive (STGD2000400)

Review of the Best Hard Drives For Gaming 

We have spent ample time explaining the top features that you need to look for in a hard drive, but if you thought we would leave you at that, you were completely wrong. You won’t have to look for the best hard drives in the market because we have done that for you. Here are some of the best products in the market for you to choose from.

Best Overall:
Seagate FireCuda

Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSHD 2.5 1TB SATA 6Gb/s Flash Accelerated (8GB) Fast Hard Drive (ST1000LX015)

PROS

  • Provides an enormous capacity of 500 GB
  • Ensures faster transfer and loading of heavy files
  • Allows for quicker operation with multi-tier caching technology
  • Has a storage capacity between 1 TB and 2 TB for boosted performance
  • Adaptive memory technology can efficiently identify the frequently used data

CONS

  • Relatively lesser cache
  • Costs relatively lesser than some other models
  • Not very suitable for encrypted or sensitive data

What Recent Buyers Report

Seagate has been a dominating force in the tech industry with each of its products better than the other. This one is no different, and that’s why recent buyers regard it so highly. It comes with an enormous capacity and amazing cache that not only boosts your performance but also allows you to ensure the fast transfer of your heavy data files.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Everyone likes innovation and adaption, and these two things come brilliantly together in the making of the Seagate firecuda. The model is made with an adaptive memory technology that has the ability not only to identify the most used data but also allow for its quicker operations. Moreover, it also comes with a multi-tier caching technology, which helps in the boosting of the overall performance whilst also ensuring fast loading and unloading of files.

Who Will Use This Most

The model has been made to cater to high-end gamers for whom perfection is the key. The drive provides an enormous capacity of 500 GB. Not only this, it comes with a storage capacity between 1 TB and 2 TB. This not only allows gamers to store all gaming-related data inside but also ensures quick retrieval of that data.

Bottom Line

It takes many amazing features to make a product the best overall. The Seagate ticks all the right boxes by providing all the necessary features for uninterrupted and enjoyable gaming. Its fast, accelerated technology helps boost up your speeds to 5x more and hence provide you with productivity like no other. So if you want gaming with a power boost, then this is the product for you.

Western Digital 14TB Ultrastar DC HC530 SATA HDD - 7200 RPM Class, SATA 6 Gb/s, 512MB Cache, 3.5' - WUH721414ALE6L4

PROS

  • Offers up to 2.5M-3.0M hours of MTBF
  • Has 10 times better desktop rating than most devices
  • Has a whooping workload rating of up to 550 TB per annum
  • Comes with a 5-year warranty thus offering greater reliability
  • Comes with a rotational vibration safeguard technology that offers vibration protection

CONS

  • Time-consuming to install
  • Comes with a relatively larger form factor
  • Storage capacity slightly less than some models

What Recent Buyers Report

The opinions of recent buyers mean a lot when it comes to tech products because these people aren’t only genuine in their claims but also have a firsthand experience of how the product runs. With western digital hard drives, buyers have been mostly positive. They love the fact that the model is relatively cheaper than others and also lightweight; hence it is more portable.

Why it Stands Out to Us

For any model to stand out, it needs to have more than one amazing feature, and that is exactly why this hard drive is considered one of the best. It comes with a whopping workload rating of up to 550 TB. This, coupled with an amazing MFBT technology, helps ensure that you get fast data retrieval and spectacular storage capacity at a relatively lesser price.

Who Will Use This Most

When it comes to hard drives, people often end up in a dilemma because upgrading or changing hard drives require a lot of money, but that can certainly be avoided if you end up buying this particular model. It comes with some of the best features like rotational vibration technology that protects multitaskers and heavy computers from vibrations in their device. Moreover, it has an amazing rating that further adds to its appeal

Bottom Line

The bottom line on this one is pretty simple. Buy this hard drive if you want to save on money whilst also getting a boosted performance. With a 5-year warranty and an amazing rating, there isn’t much that can go wrong with this device. It offers not only higher capacity but also higher reliability. This, coupled with its latest rotational vibration technology, is all that you need for an enthralling experience.

Best External Hard Drive for Gaming:
Seagate Game Drive (STGD2000400)

Seagate Game Drive 2TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD – Compatible with PS4 (STGD2000400)

PROS

  • Has a travel-friendly and small form factor 
  • Provides an easy and quick set up that saves time
  • 2 TB of hard drive storage with increased portability
  • Prevents lagging in gaming thereby providing a boost in performance
  • Does not require you to delete any games to make room for new games

CONS

  • Not energy efficient in the long run
  • Heat dissipation is not very well catered to
  • Relatively lesser compatibility with some USB designs

What Recent Buyers Report

In this modern world, buyers love and appreciate the convenience, and since this model is super portable, buyers have ended up loving its compact design. It ensures that you can store and load heavy games using a small disk. Moreover, its smaller form factor has also added to its appeal and increased its worth in the eye of the users.

Why it Stands Out to Us

For any product to stand out, it’s important that it offers not just sustainability but also high reliability too. The Seagate comes with an impressive design that has a sleek but tough exterior. It is enclosed with aluminum, which adds to its durability and ensures that the model works for a relatively long time.

Who Will Use This Most

This product doesn’t require the use of any USB powered cable, which means that anyone looking for increased portability will love using it. Moreover, it comes with a cooling mechanism that adds to better heat dissipation. This means that with this hard drive, your motherboard is less likely to heat up and create hindrances in the gaming experience.

Bottom Line

When it comes to gaming, peace of mind is extremely important, and that cannot be achieved with gamers facing lag and hindrances in their game time. The Seagate model ensures that gamers get a boosted performance and don’t face any issues related to time and load. Not only this, but the large storage drive also helps in better retrieval of data.

Best Internal Hard Drive for Gaming:
Western Digital (WD5000AZLX)  

WD Blue 500GB Desktop Hard Disk Drive - 7200 RPM Class SATA 6Gb/s 32MB Cache 3.5 Inch - WD5000AZLX

PROS

  • Allows for mainstream from 2 TB to 4 TB
  • Has a whooping rotational speed of 7200 RPM
  • Large capacity of 500 GB makes it suitable for gamers
  • Storage capacity of up to 6 TB to cater to gamer needs
  • Can easily pair with an SSD to give a power boost to your PC

CONS

  • Relatively less cache
  • Does not protect sensitive data very well

What Recent Buyers Report

Any product that offers the storage capacity of more than 6 TB is bound to provide exceptionally good performance. Western Digital has earned a good reputation in the market by providing quality products for decades. Its large capacity, coupled with its mainstream range, helps add to the appeal of the product.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Hard drives are usually limited in both their design and their mechanism, but that is certainly not the case with the western digital. The internal hard drive is not only extremely energy-efficient but also helps save on your cost. This feature, coupled with the drive’s tendency to produce less heat, ensures that you can store large files with ease.

Who Will Use This Most

The model is a dream-come-true for not only gamers but people who love streaming online or downloading HD videos and movies. With whooping storage of 500 GB, it is no wonder that the model is winning hearts all over. It can easily pair with SSDs to give a power boost to your PC. This, in turn, also helps maximize your gaming experience.

Bottom Line

These drives can store movies, files, applications, and high-end games, so it is natural to assume that it is one of the best ones in the market. With a wide mainstream range and a high storage capacity, you can rest assured that you will get your work done in no time. Another noteworthy feature of the disk is its amazing rotational speed, which helps increase the speed of data processing.

Best External Hard Drive for PC Gaming:
Western Digital (WDBYFT0040BOR-WESN)

WD 4TB Orange My Passport Portable External Hard Drive - USB 3.0 - WDBYFT0040BOR-WESN

PROS

  • Higher compatibility with Alexa too
  • Compatible with both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0
  • Comes with WD reliability thus can be trusted
  • Allows for an auto-backup option that helps protect your data 
  • Hardware encryption also comes with a password protection option

CONS

  • Might lead to slower data transfers after long usage
  • It requires reformatting for MAC OS-X operating system
  • Produces relatively more amount of heat than some other models

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers couldn’t be more pleased with the performance of this amazing hard disk drive. It comes with an auto-backup option that particularly impresses consumers who make use of this feature to save their important data in the drive automatically. Not only this, but it also helps prevent your data from being lost or stolen. Moreover, the device allows for a massive capacity of up to 4 TB and hence proves to be an effective model.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Most hard disk drives are pretty ordinary and don’t really come with many features that make it stand out. But that completely changed with the introduction of this hard disk drive. It comes with the TM software that not only connects it to popular social media applications but also connects it to numerous cloud storage services like Dropbox. Hence with its help, you can easily import your photos and videos in no time.

Who Will Use This Most

One of the most noteworthy features of this device is that it comes with hardware encryption, so any person who works with sensitive data will love using this hard drive. This hardware encryption, coupled with the auto backup option, ensures that your data is not only protected but also secured. Moreover, this feature also comes in handy for gamers who often forget to save their gaming data and hence can rely on auto-backup options.

Bottom Line

Compatibility, reliability, and security are the three words that come to mind when you think about this hard disk drive. And these are the three features that most users are also looking for in their new devices. The model also promises higher compatibility with most PCs and Alexa. It also works with both USB 2.0 and the latest USB 3.0 software hence offering higher convenience.

Best SSD Hard Drive for Gaming:
Samsung SSD (MZ-76E1T0B/AM)

Samsung SSD 860 EVO 1TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E1T0B/AM)

PROS

  • Allows you to watch in 4K and 3D data videos effortlessly
  • Secured operation by ensuring encryption and protection
  • Enhanced read and write speeds for boosted performance
  • Comes with the advanced and innovative V-NAND technology
  • Helps provide improvised performance for your everyday computing

CONS

  • Relatively heavier than some models thus decreases portability
  • System hardware and the configuration can influence performance
  • Performance can sometimes vary depending on your SSD’s firmware version

What Recent Buyers Report

Any recent buyer who is getting enhanced and boosted performance by the inclusion of a hard drive is likely to praise the product. Samsung is a trustworthy name in the tech industry, so it’s no wonder that consumers love the product. They appreciate the consistency that the model has to offer, which not only ensures reliability but also allows for better read speeds of up to 550 MB/s.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The best feature of the model has to be its turbo write technology that offers higher speed and less workload, but that doesn’t mean that it is the only feature that stands out. The technology is coupled with a buffer size upgrade that increases memory from 12 GB to a whopping 78 GB. This also helps boost endurance by offering up to 8 times higher TBW. 

Who Will Use This Most

People who face compatibility issues with their drives are likely to prefer this model. It is considered the best SSD drive for a plethora of reasons. It is not only energy-efficient but also helps in better heat dissipation in your PC. This, in turn, ensures that your performance is not hindered by the excessive heating of your device. Moreover, the drive allows you to watch 3D and 4K videos effortlessly.

Bottom Line

Computer usage takes tons of our time every day, whether it is for work or for recreational activities, and the last thing that users need is a device that consumes more of their time. To help cater to game lagging issues, Samsung has introduced one of the finest SSDs in the market. It not only provides you with a higher overall capacity, but its secured operation via encryption system also makes it a reliable model.

Best Laptop Hard Drive for Gaming:
Western Digital (WDBU6Y0020BBK)

WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive, USB 3.0 - WDBU6Y0020BBK-WESN

PROS

  • Comes with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Allows for extremely fast and quiet data transfers
  • High capacity helps successfully store all your data
  • Improves your PC performance thereby saving time 
  • List Element

CONS

  • Often requires reformatting for some operating systems
  • The compatibility may also vary depending on the user’s hardware
  • Your configuration system and operating system affect performance

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers have long been waiting for a product that offers them faster and more cost-effective data transfers, and that is exactly what they have found in this model. It is a portable hard drive that comes with an amazing capacity and universal connectivity. This ensures that recent buyers can store their data with ease.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Compatibility is key to achieving perfection because, without the right combination between your motherboard and your hard disk, the product is likely to fail. Hence, the most spectacular feature of the product is that it comes with high compatibility with both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0. This means that your drive will work even if you choose to upgrade your system.

Who Will Use This Most

Those who work with extremely important and sensitive data will make the most use of this product. This is because of the high capacity of the model helps ensure that you can store all your important files, applications, pictures, and videos in your hard drive. Its 2-year warranty also makes it a reliable and trustworthy model for people working with heavy files.

Bottom Line

If you possess a laptop and want to upgrade its hard drive, then this is the way to go about it. Inserting this will not only boost your overall performance but will also give you fast and easy access to all your stored videos and files. Moreover, its higher compatibility will ensure that the disk works with a range of systems.

Seagate BarraCuda 3TB Internal Hard Drive HDD – 3.5 Inch SATA 6 Gb/s 7200 RPM 64MB Cache for Computer Desktop PC (ST3000DM008)

PROS

  • Has a SATA system technology
  • Comes with a 2-year limited warranty
  • An internal hard drive that offers relatively more storage
  • Offers comparatively high cache for easy retrieval of data
  • Available in a range of form factors and a variety of capacities

CONS

  • With long usage, the disk heats up 
  • Larger form factor hence slightly difficult to install
  • Upgrades require more money than some other products

What Recent Buyers Report

With so many exceptional features, it is no wonder that this product is said to be one of the best ones in the market. It is an internal hard drive that offers amazing storage, and that is exactly why most recent buyers are all praise for it. Moreover, its faster computations also help provide reliability to the users.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The model stands out to us because of its diversity and high compatibility. Unlike most other models, this hard drive comes with a range of different factors. This, in turn, influences the space required for it. So having a range of capacities ensures that the customers have a choice of which size they want for their motherboards.

Who Will Use This Most

The model comes with SATA technology and specifically caters to the needs of high-end gamers and multitaskers. The model has gone through 20 years of innovation and hence is extremely reliable. Moreover, its high cache ensures that gamers can store important data in the hard drive, and when they need this data, they can retrieve it easily.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for higher reliability and a modern product that caters to your individual needs, then this is the one for you. With high cache and high storage, this product ensures that gamers do not face any lagging or hindrance during their gaming. More importantly, the hard drive comes with a 2-year warranty, thus ensuring long-term usage.

What Do I Need to Know Before Buying 

People are often extremely skeptical of changing their hard drives, and this dilemma often stems from their lack of knowledge. For you to make a wiser choice, it is important that you know some basics related to hard drives. This will help you make a good overall choice, so here it goes.

What Are Your Needs

Most people buy hard drives for added storage space, but a recurrent issue is that people don’t first assess their needs and make a hasty decision. Because no matter how large the hard disk is, it is bound to get full sooner or later, and for you, we would prefer it to be later. So before you buy a hard disk, make sure it is able enough to sustain your workload. So, for example, if you need 2 TB of space, you should go for a hard drive that supports 3 TB at least.

Western Digital (WDBU6Y0020BBK)

Speed

Speed doesn’t fall much behind storage and should be evaluated carefully before buying any product. If you don’t want your data transfers to take hours or even days, then it’s best that you choose a hard drive that offers maximum sequential write and read speeds. They are obviously more expensive but definitely serve your purpose better in the long run. Transfer speed of around 150MB is good for an internal hard drive; however, for external drives, this number could be slightly less.

Connectivity

Connectivity is also an important thing to know and understand before buying a hard drive. Internal hard drives usually offer SATA connectivity. In recent times, SATA 3 has been a standard, and if you go towards SATA, you might face a slower rate. With external hard drives, they usually come with USB connectivity. Many people still use the USB 2.0 connectivity, and that is okay too. However, if you want better and faster transfers, then it is recommended that you shift to USB 3.0.

Conclusion 

Gaming and other PC-related tasks should never be thought of as one. Gaming does not only require some hard-earned skills, but it also has to do a lot with uplifting one’s moods. So it is only necessary that the product that you choose is absolutely the best one in the market. A bad hard drive can significantly lower your chances of entertainment, and more importantly, winning, so it’s important that you invest in either an upgrade or completely buy a new hard drive. Our list has a range of models that will not only add to your storage space but will also help boost your overall performance.

People Also Ask

When it comes to enthusiasm and passion, no one beats gamers. They want the absolute best experience, and they aren’t willing to compromise on it one bit. So to help them boost their experience, we decided to answer some of the most frequently asked questions on the internet.

Is SSD or HDD Better For Gaming?

If you see in isolation, then SSDs might come with more general advantages, but they don’t really cater to gamers as such. Solid-state drives are relatively more energy-efficient, and they produce less heat, but in the long run, they don’t offer very good storage or cache that gamers need to boost their performance.

Can a Slow HDD Affect FPS?

FPS doesn’t really get affected by hard drives. The only time they will be affected is when you don’t have the appropriate amount of RAM to hold all the files that a gamer needs. If that happens, games can slow down significantly and will continue o slow until the data from the hard drive is received.

Is a 7200rpm Hard Drive Good For Gaming?

When it comes to hard drives, very few can beat the 7200 rpm hard drive. It is considered as an amazing internal hard drive for gaming. It comes with amazing capacity and offers a cache of 512, which is significantly better than the cache offered by most other devices. It is also more energy-efficient, which adds to its appeal.

Is HDD Bad For Gaming?

Gamers have separate needs than the general people, so their evaluation also has different criteria. Although SSDs offer better energy efficiency and are sometimes cost-effective too. But HDD offers more storage space, resilience, and cache that are needed by gamers so they cannot be considered bad for gaming.

Share to Pinterest

More Hard Drive-Related Buyer Guides

Below are some more reviews related to hard drives: