The Best SSD For Gaming in 2022? Ft. Budget Sata & M.2 SSDs

Choosing the best SSD can be difficult, however, with this comprehensive guide, you'll be equipped with the knowledge to make the most informed decision on your next SSD purchase

best ssd for gaming
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If you’re trying to find the best SSD for gaming in 2022 which maximizes your overall experience then look no further. We’ve rounded up six amazing options for great SSDs to accelerate your gaming experience.

Finding the best SSD for gaming wasn’t a total walk in the park, it took some looking around to make sure what we recommended was the best option out there. We found the highest-rated, highest-forming SSDs across various price ranges and have put them on this list for your convenience.

Regardless of which SSD you choose, your in-game loading times will skyrocket, as will your boot times and program launch times.

With no further ado, let’s hop right into our six contenders for the best SSD for gaming and choose which one is right for you.

Our Top Picks

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WePC Awards Best In Class
The Best SSD For Gaming
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The Next Best SSD For Gaming
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Best High-end SSD For Gaming

How We Choose

All of the SSDs on this list have been hand-selected for a reason. First and foremost, we conducted a search to discover which SSDs gamers tend to prefer while trying to balance those with the highest reviews against those with the lowest price tags.

Reviews from various manufacturers were taken into account, as well as reviews from others in the PC gaming industry.

Next, we get our hands on as many of our recommendations as possible so we can see the build quality up close and test how they perform.

How We Test

From graphics cards to SSDs, we like to get hands-on with all the hardware we recommend. Testing the products is a huge part of our overall selection process and it is a way we can be sure that a specific option is the best for the job.

Products must pass our testing which is largely a lot of gaming, with some other boring stuff but most if not every recommendation will have gone through a strict testing process.

With an SSD, especially the ones we list as the best for gaming, we need to assess build quality, performance, and finally, value.

This process enables us to provide you with an accurate take on how well individual SSDs perform and, ultimately, if they are worth your hard-earned cash.

Things To Consider

PC components are considered an investment, so regardless of what the piece of hardware is, there are always going to be a few key things to consider before making that final purchase. In this section, we are going to go over why you should buy an SSD, talk you through storage capacity, and briefly explain the different interfaces, to ensure you walk away with the right product for your individual needs.

Storage Capacity

Due to their faster speeds and more expensive manufacturing methods, SSDs are much more expensive per gigabyte than an HDD. Because of this, most enthusiasts prefer to have an SSD in their system alongside an HDD, so they aren’t losing out on either performance or storage space.

When selecting your SSD, you’ll want to figure out how much of it you actually intend to use. If you already have an HDD to use alongside it, use the HDD to store most of your media and games.

Your operating system and your most-played games should be stored on your SSD. Modern games come in at anywhere from 10-50GB, so keep this in mind when comparing the SSDs that we’ve provided.

If you aren’t going to supplement your SSD with an HDD, you’ll want to spend more on your storage to compensate. You should also get used to managing your existing storage space more carefully.

Interface

There are three main interfaces for SSDs: SATA 3, M.2, and PCI-E.

SSD 5

SATA 3 is an interface shared by standard HDDs and has limited speeds when compared to M.2 or PCIe. However, even with the SATA speed penalty, SSDS go far beyond an HDD’s speed capabilities.

M.2 is both an interface and a form factor, designed for tiny SSDs and tiny slots for them to plug into. These slots can run a SATA or PCIe signal for the same or better performance, all while saving significantly on space for installation.

The PCI-E SSD is mounted in the same way as a desktop GPU: in a PCI-E slot. PCI-E SSDs have world-class performance and are most often used in enterprise environments, thanks to the memory bandwidth and speed offered by a PCI-E slot over alternatives.

Why buy an SSD for gaming?

SSD 3

Roundup aside, some of you may be left wondering why to use an SSD for gaming, or what performance benefits it actually offers. We’re going to hop into that now.

If you’re buying an SSD expecting it to boost your in-game FPS, it won’t. Unless the game has issues loading in assets during gameplay that hurt its FPS, your performance won’t see a boost from investing in an SSD.

Where an SSD will make a difference on the gaming front is in loading times. Loading times, especially loading screens between maps, will plummet significantly on an SSD versus any hard drive.

SSDs will also improve your experience outside of games. Transferring large games or large files will become much quicker on an SSD when compared to an HDD.

Additionally, if you install your OS and your programs on your SSD, everything will run much faster. Even on systems with weak CPUs, the drive is the main bottleneck behind operating system boot times and program launch times.

This is why many people buy SSDs to revive old computers. It’s one of the best user-experience upgrades that a user can buy for their system.

SSDs, as a whole, do come with one key downside: price-per-GB. Because of this, people generally supplement an SSD with a larger, cheaper HDD.

Best SSD For Gaming

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In-depth Review

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The Best SSD For Gaming
WePC Awards Best In Class
Samsung Logo

Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB

Editor's Rating
5.0/5
Pros

One of the quickest available

Improved longevity

Cons

Doesn't have a huge capacity

Fairly expensive

Samsungs 970 EVO plus was released earlier this year and likely marks the last PCIe 3.0 version before we move onto the higher performance PCIe 4.0 which will coincide with the release of AMD’s 3rd Gen Ryzen chips, due out later this summer. The new 970 Evo Plus came to shelves at almost half the price of the 970 EVO’s release price which arrived a little less than a year ago making this SSD extremely good value for money. You can thank the dramatic drop in memory prices for this.

So what we have here is an extremely efficient SSD which, from a consumer point of view, is much more powerful than the majority of the SSD’s in its price range. For this reason, we have given the Evo plus the crown for best NVME performer this 2019 and it’s hard to argue against it. If you have room for it in your budget we definitely recommend spending the extra over the 860 EVO which is currently in our $1000 build.

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The Next Best SSD For Gaming
Western Digital logo logotype emblem 1

WD Black SN750 NVMe PCIe

Editor's Rating
4.5/5
Pros

Excellent performance

6x faster than their fastest SATA

Well trusted brand

Cons

Can be considered expensive

Western Digital is closing the gap rapidly between themselves and top-tier SSD developers giving consumers, even more, to think about in today’s market. Their most recent addition comes in the shape of the SN750 and it comes to the table boasting speeds similar to that of the 970 Evo Plus. Western Digital have been quoted saying the SN750 has their fastest ever NVME interface making it 6X faster than their best SATA SSD providing performance stats similar to that of the 970 range from Samsung. Very impressive considering it’s price tag.

The WD Black SN750 secures our runner up position for best SSD for gaming this time round, however if they keep making huge leaps forward we may see them surpass Samsung some day soon.

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Best High-end SSD For Gaming

Sabrent 2TB Rocket

Editor's Rating
5.0/5
Pros

Significantly faster speeds than PCIe 3.0

5000 MB/s (read) / 4400 MB/s (write)

2TB Capacity

Cons

Very Expensive

In theory, the Sabrent Rocket 4.0 is one of the best SSD M.2’s we have ever used and this 2TB version is a great option for those looking to finish off their high-end build with some premium storage. This thing is fast, efficient, and actually well-priced when you compare its specs to the competition.

The only reason this doesn’t sit at the top is due to the rather large price tag but for all intents and purposes, it is top drawer in terms of quality and speed. This Gen4 PCIe M.2 is available in 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB, boasting read and write speeds of 5000MB/s and 4400MB/s respectively. Now that’s quick.

Ultimately, until the next iteration of these hits the shelves and doubles the Gen3 speeds, consumers may want to hold back investment but rest assured, this is a high-quality piece of kit.

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Best Value SSD For Gaming

Adata SX8200 NAND NVMe M.2

Editor's Rating
4.5/5
Pros

Extremely good value for money

1TB Capacity

Excellent performance

Cons

Not the most trusted brand

Varying performance under different hardware setups

Adata aren’t usually the first on our list when recommending, well anything, but after extensive research and testing, we were seriously surprised with what Adata had managed to produce with there SX8200 M.2 SSD.

First and foremost, Adata isn’t the most trusted of brands, however, they are growing within the community and are starting to provide consumers with solid options for hardware. So, let’s talk about performance. The SX8200 currently sits in the 99th percentile for performance, it falls just short of the 970 EVO plus in this regard but comes to shelves at a fraction of the price making it incredible value for money.

We are yet to discover how this SSD handles itself over time but one thing is for sure. If you can get a year out of this product then you’ve got yourself a serious bargain.

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Best Budget SSD For Gaming
INTEL

Intel 660p NVME M.2 1TB

Editor's Rating
4.0/5
Pros

Great budget selection

Fairly decent performance stats

Cons

Not the fastest out there

The Intel 660p gets our top budget 1TB SSD solution and for good reason, it is truly incredible value for money. Intel has designed this SSD to specifically target budget consumers and why not!? it’s a great idea and one many will take advantage of. As far as 1TB SSD’s go, you simply can not get anything close to this for price/performance standards. Not to mention the peace of mind you get when purchasing Intel products.

Many of the drives on this list are 500GB or below due to the expense of SSD’s these days, however, our budget pick comes with a huge 1TB storage capacity. This means you not only have enough space to accommodate your OS and primary game titles, you’ll also be able to store your additional media library here as well. No need for additional HDD capacity.

A truly fantastic cheap SSD that has all the features and tech you’d expect but at a much more affordable price tag.

Final Word

There we have it, the best SSDs for gaming all in one place. Now, this may seem a little M.2 heavy but they are the fastest and require nothing more than being plugged in, with no cable management required. There is still plenty of use for the 2,5″ SSDs but they just lose out across the board. Finally, that brings us to the end, our personal favorite SSD would be the Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB, thanks to its fair pricing and great performance.

In truth, a SATA SSD over a PCI-E SSD won’t result in much of a difference in gaming. However what you will see is huge improvements in overall, general system usage. We can not recommend an SSD enough, it is truly one of the greatest system improvements you can buy.

So, we’ve gone for the Samsung 970 EVO Plus as our top choice, what’s yours?

Comment below and let us know what you went with.

The Author Who Worked On This Article

Co-Founder
at
WePC
Andrew has always been interested in computers and gaming from a young age. It all started with the BBC Commodore and then evolved into PC gaming in his early teens building numerous Intel Pentium custom PCs. Andrew enjoys FPS, role-playing and strategic games.

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