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Best gaming SSDs for 2023

The best NVMe and SATA drives for PC gaming.

The best SSD for gaming will offer faster read and write speeds and increase storage for your gaming PC so that you can keep your games, files and apps all in one handy place. The best gaming SSDs needn't be expensive either thanks to lots of affordable solid state drive deals these days. There are a few different types of SSDs to choose between. PCIe 4.0 drives currently offer the fastest speeds and feature up to 4TB of storage that just fits onto your motherboard. You can get even better value with an older SATA or PCIe 3.0 drive nowadays too, and if you want to take all of your games with you then you can pick up an external SSD to help store and run your favorite titles on the go.

Down below is a roundup of the best SSDs for PC gaming you can get right now, including the best PCIe 4.0 and 3.0 SSDs, SATA SSDs, and external SSDs, all at different price points.

While we haven't hand-tested all of these SSDs ourselves, we've rounded up the ones that are the most popular among retailers in the US, and we've taken recommendations from the experts over at Rock Paper Shotgun and Digital Foundry - who have tested them all - to assemble this list of SSDs for PC that are the fastest, flashiest, and the best value so you can get a storage upgrade to match your budget.

WD_Blue SN570

The best cheap SSD
Western Digital Blue SN570 SSD
Image credit: WD_Blue

The WD_Blue SN570 continues the WD_Blue tradition of offering large NVMe storage for small prices, but don't think that means you're making a big compromise when it comes to speed. The SN570 comes with sequential read and write speeds of up to 3500MB/s and 3200MB/s respectively.

Those are impressive numbers for PCIe gen 3 drives, and being a 3.0 drive the SN570 will be compatible with all modern motherboards as long as they have an M.2 slot, so no matter how old or low-cost your PC, the SN570 can offer you a good storage upgrade with either 500GB, 1TB or 2TB options that are all excellent value for money.

WD_Black SN850x

The best SSD for gaming
Western Digital Black SN850X SSD
Image credit: WD_Black

The WD_Black SN850x is currently the second-fastest gaming SSD available, falling just behind the Samsung 990 Pro below. That small difference is forgotten when you look at the price difference between the two, with the SN850x being between $20 and $40 cheaper than the Samsung is at the moment.

That combination of excellent speed, up to 7300MB/s sequential reads and 1.2M IOPS random reads, and low pricing compared to its peers pushes the SN850x to the top of the best SSDs for PC ranking and makes it a great addition to any PC setup looking to load their games faster and store more of them at once.

Samsung 990 Pro

The fastest SSD
Samsung 990 Pro SSD
Image credit: Samsung

If speed is your absolute priority, then the Samsung 990 Pro is the SSD you're looking for. You get best-in-class read speeds in light and heavy loading/copying tasks, and unmatched performance when it comes to gaming. Numbers-wise that means up to 7450MB/s sequential reads, and up to 6900MB/s sequential writes, as well as 1400K/1550K IOPS for reads and writes respectively.

The only thing that stops the 990 Pro from taking the best overall gaming SSD crown is that it's pricier than the WD_Black SN850x. The SSD has, however, seen significant price drops over the last 12 months and can occasionally be picked up for around the same price, so keep your eye out for discounts if you want to get the fastest SSD around.

XPG Spectrix S40G

The best RGB SSD
Adata XPG S40G SSD
Image credit: XPG

PCIe SSDs aren't designed to be stylish, but that doesn't mean they can't be. If you're someone who wants everything about your setup to be bright and customisable, then the XPG Spectrix S40G from Adata is worth checking out. The SSD has two RGB strips on the top, which can be customised using the XPG software to control patterns, pulse speed, lighting intensity, and preset modes.

You don't compromise on speed either, as the S40G has impressive sequential read/write speeds of up to 3500 / 3000MB/s. You can of course find similar speed on lower-priced SSDs, but here you're paying for the RGB and level of customisation.

Crucial P3

The best PCIe 3.0 SSD
Crucial P3 SSD
Image credit: Crucial

With PCIe Gen 4 SSDs taking the reins as the best SSDs and their prices dropping significantly over time, you can now pick up some of the best PCIe 3.0 SSDs for a fraction of their launch price. The Crucial P3 is one of the fastest of the gen 3 SSDs, sometimes outperforming 4.0 drives, with sequential read/write speeds of up to 3500MB/s and 3000MB/s.

Another bonus of the P3 is that there are lots of different size options, so whether you just want 500GB to act as a boot drive, or a 4TB for everything, there's an affordable option. Also, most modern motherboards will be PCIe 3.0 compatible, so you can add the P3 to your PC without any fuss.

Samsung 870 Evo

The best SATA SSD for gaming
Samsung 870 Evo SSD
Image credit: Samsung

NVMe SSDs have usurped SATA SSDs as the fastest drives around now, but there are still reasons to pick one up like if you don't have any NVMe slots left or you're working on a tighter budget. If you are looking for a 2.5-inch SATA drive then the Samsung 870 EVO is the best to get right now, combining excellent performance with a small price.

With sizes starting at 250GB, the 870 EVO is great for any system and the speeds of 550MB/s reads and 520MB/s writes are the best of the SATA SSDs, and for as little as $30 can be a really affordable way to bump up your storage.

WD_Black P40

The best external SSD for gaming
Western Digital P40 SSD RGB
Image credit: WD_Black

If you move between workstations or gaming setups, then an external SSD is a great way to not have to install a new game every time you change PCs. Right now the best external SSD for gaming are the WD_Black P40, and the Crucial X8, but I'm giving the edge to the P40 for now thanks to its slightly more consistent write speeds and its design. These are also the best SSD for laptop gaming too.

The WD_Black P40 has amazing read and write speeds of up to 2000MB/s, and when using it over a USB 3.2 Gen 2 connection the results are seriously impressive when you're playing games directly from the drive, or copying files to and from your PC. The subtle RGB strip on the underside of the casing is a nice touch too, and the P40 is easy to carry around and can survive more than a few knocks on the way.

That's all for now, but we'll continue to add any new SSDs that are released in the future to this list, and update the prices to the SSDs currently on show. It's a good idea to follow Jelly Deals on X (or Twitter if you still prefer), and follow the Deals topic here on VG247, to help you know when any of these excellent SSDs go on sale.

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