There are few things as scary as the dreaded warning your computer gives you when your hard drive is running low on space. Not only do you know that pushing it could lead to your computer crashing, you also know that from that point on you would have to deal with lag, freezing, and a generally slower PC.
God forbid, the warning comes up when a fellow gaming buddy is standing over your shoulder—there would be no getting back your credibility as a serious gamer after that.
Not to worry, though, you can totally rest easy if this problem ever comes up if you get a brand new hard drive to do all that heavy lifting that the old one is giving up on.
And luckily for you, we just happen to have compiled an ultimate list of the absolute best hard drives any serious gamer should look through if they happened to be in search of a new hard drive.
But first things first; what should you be looking for in a gaming hard drive anyway? This is a different breed from the standard hard drive stashed away in your office desk at work.
There are lots of things to think about and consider when getting a new hard drive to keep your gaming alive. Some of these include: RPM, reading speed, writing speed, cache, brand, and of course storage space.
And oh…don’t forget to make sure whatever drive you get actually fits with your gaming PC. Just saying…
No, seriously, it might actually surprise you the number of devices that won’t let you have your way with upgrading your computer storage. For example, if you are currently blowing through games on an Apple computer, you might not be able to take a bite at storage upgrades.
Many Apple computer models don’t afford you the option of upgrading your storage. So, you would have to look at other options like getting an external storage for that machine.
Now that you understand what is important for a good gamer hard drive, I hope you can use my top ten list to find something to best suit your needs. These are all available on Amazon and I’ve put the links to purchase each under the description.
If you’d like to go onto Amazon for yourself and find a hard drive, I strongly encourage you to take advantage of the refining tools on the side of the page. Write down a list of everything you want from your hard drive and simply select those specifications.
I made sure that everything on my top ten list was four stars and higher. I hope this list helps you!
Best Gaming Hard Drives for PC Gamers—Reviewed & Compared
|Product||Features||Storage Size||Our Rating|
|WD Black HDD||• 256 Mb/s read speed|
• SATA 6.0 Gb/s
|WD Blue HDD||• 2-year manufacturer's limited warranty|
• SATA 6.0 Gb/s
|Toshiba X300 HDD||• SATA 6.0 Gb/s|
• 7200 RPM
|Seagate Portable 5TB External Hard Drive HDD||• USB 3.0 Type A|
• 120 Mb/s
|WD 4TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive||• USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 compatibility|
• 2 year manufacturer's limited warranty
|Seagate Firecuda Gaming SSHD||• Perfect for PC gaming and laptop gaming|
• SATA 6.0 Gb/s
|Seagate Baracuda 3TB Internal Hard Drive||• SATA 6.0 Gb/s|
• 7200 RPM
|Western Digital 14TB Ultrastar HDD||• Annual workload capacity of 550 TB|
• 7200 RPM
|Toshiba (HDTB440XXK3CA) Canvio Basics 4TB External Hard Drive USB 3.0||• Plug & Play|
• USB 3.0 and USB 2.0
|HGST 1TB 5400RPM 8MB SATA||• 5400 RPM|
• Works for PS3 / PS4 Game Console
You better hold on to something because the WD Black HDD would blow your socks off otherwise. This is for serious gamers who are into serious gaming hard drives only.
If you are intent on high quality performance, then you need not look any further than the WD Black HDD. This hard drive is so reliable that it comes with a 5-year warranty to back it up. Thanks to the StableTrac and Dynamic Cache Technology, you get to enjoy enhanced performance once you connect this to your gaming PC. You can rest assured that this gaming hard drive would excel at any task that you throw at it.
With a rotational speed of 7200 RPM, 64MB of cache (for the 500GB-2TB range) or 256MB (for the 4TB-6TB range), and also SATA3 connectivity, you get the industry standard.
However, your eyebrows would start rising when you realize that the average reading speed of the WD Black HDD can rise from its usual 180MB/s to an astounding 281.9MB/s when transferring those large files that make up your favorite game.
If that isn’t enough to win you over to this hard drive’s side, how about the fact that it comes equipped with a dual-core processor and also FIT tested, so that you can rest assured that this hard drive will remain your trusted companion even in the most trying moments when you need it most.
The WD Black HDD is where superior performance, reliability, and value-for-money intersect. As a PC gamer, you simply cannot afford to overlook this in your search for a new gaming hard drive.
The WD Blue HDD is a budget alternative to the WD Black, and offers decent enough performance to merit a mention on our ultimate list. You can comfortably use this gaming hard drive both as a system hard drive or a secondary hard drive without worrying or losing any sleep.
Granted, this is not a hard drive that would impress the most demanding of gamers out there, you still get numbers like: rotational speed of 7200 RPM, 64MB of cache, and also SATA3 connectivity—all of which are on par with industry standards.
You also don’t have to wait too long to transfer your favorite game’s files with the data transfer speed set at 150MB/s. This is not the fastest you will see on our list—it falls well short of the WD Black HDD transfer speed, but then again, superior performance is not what makes the WD Blue HDD a winner.
What makes this gaming hard drive a winner is the fact that it combines so many key elements nicely and effectively. With the WD Blue HDD, you get an affordable price, strong reliability, several capacities, and an unassuming modesty.
The level at which these features combine is so high that you would be hard pressed to find more than a few that match up in this regard.
If you are in search of a gaming hard drive you can trust to get the job done, and you would prefer to not break the bank in your quest, then this gaming hard drive is one of the surest bets you can make.
Welcome to the extreme zone. The Toshiba X300 HDD takes off the kiddy gloves and pulls all the stops to deliver extreme performance without sacrificing capacity at the same time.
If you are picky and would settle for nothing other than quality that makes you the envy of your gaming circle of friends then the Toshiba X300 HDD is the gaming hard drive for you.
This hard drive is unrelenting and comes in a variety of storage capacities that range from 4TB through 10TB—this is for the big boys—that would allow you the freedom to store more than a few of those games you feel you absolutely cannot do without.
The WOW factor doesn’t stop there. The Toshiba X300 HDD comes with a sequential read and write speed of 200MB/s—which is among the highest you would see across the board—and this transfer ensures that you enjoy smooth gameplay whenever you connect this device to your gaming PC.
But what happens if, by some fluke, you happen to start running out of space while using this device? The answer is NOTHING. The Toshiba X300 HDD is loaded with internal shock sensors and dual-stage actuators that guarantee data integrity even in difficult situations like diminishing capacity.
With SATA3 connectivity and a rotational speed of 7200RPM, this hard drive measures up to industry standards, while its cache capacity of 128MB or 256MB (for the 10TB capacity) outstrips it. Of course, this large RAM capacity is merely one other reason for its stellar quality performance.
Long story short, with this gaming hard drive, you simply can’t go wrong from a performance point of view. The Toshiba X300 would make you the envy of your friends and have them scrambling to meet up with your lofty standards.
The Seagate Portable 5TB External Hard Drive HDD should be your go-to if you are looking for plenty of space at an affordable price. An added advantage that comes with this device is the speed with which file transfer happens. Unlike similar products like the WD Elements Portable External Hard Drive which have a file transfer speed of 95MB/s, the Seagate Portable 5TB External Hard Drive HDD clocks in at a vastly superior 120MB/s –a whopping 30% faster than its rivals.
Getting the Seagate Portable 5TB External Hard Drive HDD just makes sense. For a price that won’t burn a hole in your pocket, this hard drive offers you 5TB of extra space, USB 3.0 connectivity, and plug n’ play simplicity.
Sure, it lacks extra features and bells and whistles, but that wasn’t one of its selling points in the first place. If you want a reliable storage device, that offers decent transfer speed, USB 3.0 connectivity, and compatibility with Mac and Windows enabled devices, then you need not look further than the Seagate Portable 5TB External Hard Drive HDD.
Besides, it is also deemed as one of the best external hard drives for mac.
The WD 4TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive goes down the same route that the Seagate Expansion does. Only it is priced even lower than the Seagate and offers a ton of value in spite of that. Basically, you get lots of space when you buy this gaming hard drive, but for a lower price.
Now, as a tradeoff for the lower price, you get slower sequential read/write speeds in the WD 4TB Elements than in the Seagate—that is about 95MB/s. That’s a 30% reduction in speed. But if you don’t mind waiting a few minutes longer for your large game files to transfer, the easier burden on your pocket could very well be worth it.
For the low price, the capacities you can expect from the 4TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive range from 1TB through 4TB of space, which is adequate for the majority of gamers out who do not have a massive catalogue of games they have plowed through every day. You also get USB3.0 connectivity just like you get with the Seagate Expansion. The WD 4TB is also compatible with Windows and Mac devices.
However, you don’t get special features like encryption or backup software.
If you are looking for a safe, reliable, and super-affordable place to shore up your extra games, and would not mind getting any bells and whistles with the package, the 4TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive is tailor-made for you.
When it comes to storage devices, Seagate is one of the most popular, most reliable names out there. And the same confidence with which you would associate quality with any of their products is the same with which you can associate quality with the Seagate Firecuda Gaming SSHD.
Does that make the Firecuda ‘overrated’? Of course, not. The accolades are well deserved. Many among the gaming community consider the Seagate Firecuda Gaming SSHD as the ultimate gaming storage solution.
Let’s explore why.
The Firecuda is equipped with two essential features that all gaming storage fans require in their devices: capacity and speed.
This is a storage device that is designed to be an SSHD—a hybrid storage solution that packs features of both SSD and HDD devices in one.
So you get the best of both worlds when you decide to buy this gaming storage device. The Seagate Firecuda Gaming SSHD comes with 8GB of premium-performance solid state memory for lightning-fast load times, while having a total capacity of 2TB. Thus you can use it as a primary drive or a scary fast secondary drive.
And what’s more, the Seagate Firecuda Gaming SSHD can be gotten for a relatively affordable price. There is also a 5-year warranty thrown in to sweeten the deal should you decide to buy.
Large, clunky, but with lots of speed and versatility to spare, fans are going to love the Seagate Baracuda 3TB Internal Hard Drive. This gaming hard drive comes with enough space to store all your games and even some media files, because why not?
With 3TB of storage packed into this device, you would probably have enough space left over to store 4K content and other files that are dear to you. With modern games beginning to require spaces of up to and beyond 20GB these days, having a reliable store like this in which to play could not be more welcome.
You could easily store 120 of your best games which are up to 25GB large without having to worry. No wonder many have called this the best internal hard drive for gaming on the market. Even if you happen to not necessarily agree, you can see the reason behind the sentiment.
This is a hard drive made for serious streamers, especially those who deal with lots of 4K content. Nobody understands the need for a reliable source of enormous space to handle content like that particular demographic. When it comes to storage, there is simply nothing out there at the moment that beats this hard drive. So, you definitely should check it out if space is the strongest factor you are considering in your search.
Most important to note about this device is the fact that it is so future proof. Given the rapid advances in gaming, the emergence of 8K gaming content is probably just around the corner, and when that time comes you would want a reliable device in your corner. Even now in the era of 4K, it is easy to see the advantage of having such massive storage space at hand.
You could solve all your storage problems for the foreseeable future.
In addition to insane storage space, the Western Digital 14TB Ultrastar comes with other impressive stats. For example, it comes with a cache of 512MB which is far above the industry standard. Similarly, the RPM of 7200 outstrips that of the majority of hard drives on the market today.
If you’re a streamer, especially one dealing with 4K content, or you’re simply looking to solve your storage problems once and for all, you should definitely check the Western Digital 14TB Ultrastar out. It comes at a premium, but it’s definitely worth it.
The Toshiba Canvio makes it really easy to store and transfer your files; being plug n’ play, which is something PC gamers are certainly going to appreciate about the device. Setting up requires no software installation and simple drag and drop operations are enough to accomplish whatever transfers you have in mind.
With 4TB of space, there is certainly more than enough than most gamers would ever need for their catalog. The fact that it is designed to be portable and easy to carry in a pocket or bag is a plus if you intend travelling or going over to a friend’s place to play your games.
And you can be confident about the quality of the product you would be storing in your pocket. Toshiba has held itself to the highest standards of production, and their brand has become synonymous with quality. But to their money where their mouth is, the manufacturers offer a 1-year limited warranty when you purchase the product.
This is a great consumer-grade hard drive that works great and would meet the storage needs of most casual gamers out there.
Some of the best selling points of this device include speed, quietude, cool during operations, and affordability.
This would be a great entry device if this were the first time you were buying a gaming hard drive and don’t yet know what to expect. The HGST 1TB should ease you nicely into the world of additional space on demand.
What to Look Out for When Buying a Gaming Hard Drive
When choosing a gaming hard drive, you have to be very conscious of what your needs are, so that you can choose a device that best meets them. While there are many devices out there that are worthy of your consideration, the majority of them simply do not meet your needs in the best way possible.
Another thing to consider is your budget and frequency of use. You may be willing to spend a little bit more on something that is absolutely crucial or meant for frequent use, than you would be willing to spend for something that is meant for occasional use.
Whatever the case may be, these are few factors you want to look out for when on the search for a gaming hard drive:
Capacity probably tops the list of important features when considering a gaming hard drive. After all, you are in search of another hard drive because you anticipate running out soon.
Take note that no matter the amount of space a hard drive offers though, it remains finite and it will eventually get full one day. So go for a hard drive that promises more space than you anticipate needing. If you think you need 1TB, go for 2TB and so on. That buys you more time.
Speed comes next. You don’t want to spend a week waiting for your files to transfer from your PC to your hard drive; you’ve got games waiting for you to play them.
So choose hard drives that offer high sequential read/write speeds. Rest assured that the higher the speed, the costlier the product; but usually the extra expense is worth it in terms of man hours saved.
Shoot for internal hard drives with a transfer speed exceeding 150MB/s. For external hard drives, 100MB/s is good enough, although our list contains several options that offer much better speeds than that.
The more the better as far as cache is concerned. Higher cache space, usually translates to faster load times. For a gamer, these slightly improved load times are important and worth going for.
Internal hard drives commonly come with SATA connectivity. Recently, SATA3 has emerged as the standard for gaming hard drives. However, you can still get your hands on the slower SATA2 devices that are yet to leave the shelves if you would prefer. But, as many gamers would agree, speed trumps most things.
External hard drives usually deal with USB connectivity. And while USB 2.0 is still an acceptable option, you want to go for the present USB 3.0 standard if you prefer faster data transfer.