There are a lot of hard drive options available in the market when it comes to picking the right storage if you are building or expanding your gaming PC.
I’ll break it down in this article so you know what is the best gaming hard drive available in the market for your system.
Hard Disk Drive (HDD), these are the most common storage devices, the drives with actual spinning disks inside. Hard drives are the foundation of gaming storage and probably you are running one right now in your PC.
Hard drives have massive capacity and low price but comes up with the disadvantage of speed limits and larger form factors.
For this post, I have tested top HDD for gaming and have ranked them as per their performance, durability and budget.
Overall List: Best 9 Gaming Hard Drive of 2020
|Seagate Baracuda 3Tb||3 TB||7200 RPM|
|WD Velociraptor||1 Tb||10000 RPM|
|Seagate Firecuda SSHD 2TB||2 TB||7200 RPM|
|Toshiba X300||4 TB||7200 RPM|
|WD Black 4TB||4 TB||7200 RPM|
|Toshiba P300||3 TB||7200 RPM|
|WD Blue 1TB||1 TB||7200 RPM|
|WD Caviar Blue||320 GB||7200 RPM|
|WD Caviar Blue||4 TB||5400 RPM|
Best Hard Drive for Gaming – 9 Products Reviewed & Rated
- Seagate BarraCuda – Best Overall Internal Hard Drive
- WD Velociraptor – Ultra Fast SATA Hard Drive
- Seagate Firecuda SSHD 2TB – Fastest Hard Drive
- Toshiba X300 – Best Hard Drive Designed For Gamers
- WD Black 4TB – Excellent PC Hard Drive Made For Serious Gamers
- Toshiba P300 – PC Internal Hard Drive
- WD Blue 1TB – Affordable Hard Drive
- WD Caviar Blue – Desktop Hard Drive For PC
- WD My Passport 4TB – Gaming Hard drive for PS4
1. Seagate Baracuda 3TB
When it comes to hard drives, Seagate is an established brand. And, Seagate Baracuda series has been accepted as the best hard drive by the majority of gamers around the globe including me.
The reason behind such a popularity is the better ratio of the gigabyte per dollar combined with great speed benefits and affordability.
The 3TB model hits a sweet spot by balancing high performance and affordability. Since this drive combines 7,200 rpm platters and high-density data, computers outfitted with this drive will be able to read data extra fast.
If you are looking for lower power consumption, you will really enjoy the lower platter count of the latest 3TB Barracuda. By offering a 1TB x 3 platter configuration instead of 600GB x 5 of the model it replaces, there is less mass to spin around which translates into lower operating needs.
On the downside, Barracuda hard disks have not proven to be as long-lasting and as reliable as some competing models, and Seagate-manufactured hard drives generally have a higher failure rate than any of those made by their competitors.
For those who can manage with lesser storage, Seagate Barracuda offers 1TB and 2TB options as well. With that, you can save significantly on your cost.
Overall, with reliable storage, high speed and brand name, the Seagate Barracuda 3TB model is the definitely the best hard drive available in the market today.
2. WD Velociraptor – Best Gaming Hard Drive
When it comes to PC gaming, speed is everything. So, for anyone resisting the allure of an SSD, and looking to kick it old school with one of the hard drives, it’s time for something that spins just a bit faster.
With the WD VelociRaptor and its insane 10,000 rpm spin speed, you’re going to want to pay attention to it. With capacities up to 1TB available, the VelociRaptor drives are ready to store large game libraries, add the super fast platters will help those games launch and load quickly.
These drives combine a 10,000 rpm drive with 64 MB of cache and the 6 Gbps SATA III interface for three obvious speed boosts.
A fourth comes from the fact that the actual drive mechanism is of the 2.5-inch variety, couched in a 3.5-inch heat sink–like shell, which improves disk access and cooling to keep everything running smoothly.
If you enjoy playing the latest 3D first-person shooter, RPG or MMORPG, the VelociRaptor is a must have. When I was playing the Mass Effect on a standard 7200 rpm drive, the game pauses at level transitions while the drive loads new maps or cutscenes for the next level. The WD VelociRaptor freezes for only a fraction of a second and then the game continues.
With all the features, comes the hefty cost and not everyone can spend around 300 bucks for it. But, if you are a performance-oriented gamer, WD Velociraptor is the best gaming HDD without a doubt.
3. Seagate Firecuda SSHD 2TB
When it comes to hybrid hard drives that include a small amount of solid-state storage to bump up their speed, there’s virtually no competition against the Seagate FireCuda.
The FireCuda can fit up to 2 TB of data, and then its 8 GB of solid-state storage learns and stores the data you use most frequently to make accessing it even faster.
That flash storage speed boost is made even sweeter by the fact the hard drive itself is spinning at a fresh 7,200 rpm. Tack on a 5-year warranty and a reasonable price tag, and it’s easy to see why this drive is a winner.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, Hybrid Solid State Drives are meant to deliver great performance and higher read-write speeds than traditional HDD.
While testing, I compared the load times for some games like Fallout 4, Bloodborne and found 6 – 15 seconds faster loading. Yes, 15 seconds! That’s how fast your games become with this sweet thing!
Looking at the price tag and benefits of hybrid drive, Seagate Firecuda is my top choice for the gaming hard drive under 100 dollars.
4. Toshiba X300
Next up on our list of the best HDD, we have the Toshiba X300, a high-profile performance-oriented model.
It maintains the same rotation speed as the P300 while doubling the cache size and it offers greater storage capacity, starting at 4 TB where the P300 left off and going as high as 8 TB.
The X300 also maintains all the reliability of the P300, all the while delivering substantial improvements, as listed above.
The X300 drives boast great gigabyte-to-dollar value without sacrificing on the performance side. These drives all spin at 7,200 RPM and include 128 MB of cache for fast operation.
The only downside is the warranty only lasts two years, which feels short for a drive meant to store so much important data.
It is a faster, larger, and more efficient hard drive intended for demanding users. And as it often goes with such hard drives, they are on the expensive side and will almost never benefit a casual user in any way.
5. WD Black 4TB
The WD Black is a professional level hard drive that combines speed and durability along with a large storage capacity.
It utilizes many data safety technologies created by WD like corruption protection and vibration reduction. The hard drive is extremely durable thanks to these technologies.
The dual-core controller cache improves overall drive speed, as does the SATA 6.0 GB cabling, the 64 MB cache, and 72000 RPM. If you’re looking for a hard drive focused on speed, you’ll be safe with the WD Black.
The WD Black hard drives are manufactured with two things in mind: living up to a higher quality standard and delivering superior performance. They succeed at both of these, as they are more reliable and noticeably faster than the cheaper Blue HDDs.
Overall, it’s an incredibly powerful and durable hard drive and easily blasts other high-end HDD competitors out of the water with its speed and reliability, and certainly one of the best gaming HDD options available if you need high speed.
6. Toshiba P300
Toshiba P300 is basically a 3.5-inch desktop HDD a number of improvements. The P300 has up to 3 TB of storage and a significantly bigger memory cache while also increasing the rotation speed to 7200 RPM.
Unlike the L200, this hard drive does not lag behind the competition in terms of performance and it manages to keep the build quality and reliability of the former.
Not only does Toshiba manage to deliver excellent quality, but they also do it at a very approachable and competitive price. There is also the use of the Native Command Queuing that supports better seek time performance. You will love the way this model works.
Ultimately, there is really no major issues with any of the P300 hard drives. Toshiba has a great track record with very few cases of HDD failure, and their P300 models seem to have everything in one modestly-priced package.
The only problem you might encounter is that they are not as widespread as the other HDDs on the list, which might lead to lesser availability.
7. WD Blue 1TB
Western Digital offers a solid bargain with its line of WD Blue hard drives. With a wide variety of storage options from a small 500GB to a capacious 6TB, the WD Blue is a viable pick for almost any type of PC build that’s sticking to a budget.
The best value comes from the larger drives – they’ll give you much more storage per dollar spent. And, if you’re looking for a bit more speed, there are also 7,200 rpm models available that don’t come with too much of a price hike.
The WD Blue 1TB gaming hard drive uses a modern 7200RPM construction for reliable access to games with its 64MB cache and SATA 3 6Gbps interface.
Though 1TB might be relatively smaller for some gamers out there, it’s also possible for further hard drive storage expansion.
The WD Blue is also made with NoTouch Ramp Load Technology that safely positions the recording head off its disk surface to protect your data. It comes with a two-year limited warranty.
8. WD Caviar Blue 320GB
If you are building a PC on an extremely low budget, this is the drive for you. It uses the same high-quality technology that the WD Caviar Blue drive uses, but in a 320 gb package that’s even more affordable.
If you really need to cut costs, you may want to use this drive as your primary drive, and then upgrade your rig with some more storage options when more money comes along down the line.
Despite its low price, this drive is still great – boasting all of the top-of-the-line features that makes the Western Digital Caviar Blue one of the best selling hard drive lines of all time.
The low capacity can also be augmented by external hard drives that you may already have, or flash storage options.
Overall, though 320 GB is hardly generous, it’s enough to operate a computer, and with the ease-of-installation that most HDDs offer, it’s not hard to add additional storage later.
So if you really need to cut costs to get a better graphics card, processor, or motherboard – this drive is a good compromise. It won’t blow you out of the water, but it’s darn cheap, and good at what it does, despite its limited capacity.
9. WD My Passport 4TB
For those who want to expand the game storage of their PS4, the WD My Passport 4TB hard drive is the best gaming hard drive for PS4. It has a perfect balance of speed, looks and storage space.
Firstly, the 4TB storage ends the struggle of having to delete one game to download the other one. You can keep all your games, data and in-game footage with zero hassle.
Talking about speed, WD My Passport offers upto 5 GBps transfer rate – thanks to the USB 3.0 interface. It took around 1 and a half minutes to transfer all games from my PS4’s internal storage to this external hard drive.
All I had to do was to plug it into the USB port and a few OK clicks to get it running.
WD My Passport also comes with an interesting Auto Backup software that allows automatic backups when you connect it to your laptop or desktop. Although, this feature does not work with PS4 yet.
In terms of looks and feel, this hard drive will complement any gaming PC or PS4. The patterned design in both black and white variants is made especially to look like the PS4 console.
WD My Passport is affordable as well as durable. Just in case 4TB is too much for you, there are 1TB and 2TB options also available.
Choosing the Best HDD for Gaming
So guys, you have already seen the top gaming hard drives and their reviews above. With the whole lot of features and technical details, you might be wondering what is the best drive for me? Don’t worry. I have jotted down all the important things that you need to consider before you buy a hard drive for your gaming PC.
So basically, the faster a drive spins, the faster you can access and transfer data. Most of the best hard drives these days have a speed of 7200 rpm. You don’t want anything less than this, as you will notice annoying delays between reading and writing data, when loading your games.
Hard drives usually come with extra cache memory built into the drive for even faster loading. Drives with 32 MB or even 64 MB of cache will usually run very fast, but you don’t need huge amounts of cache memory in reality, and picking a hard drive with less cache memory such as 8 MB or 16 MB is fine.
Hard Drive Interface
The hard drive interface is the hardware that manages the exchange of data between a computer and the hard drive. The most common interface used is ATA (Advanced Technology Attachment). ATA comes in two forms, the original ATA (also known as Parallel ATA, or PATA) and the newer, faster SATA (Serial ATA). When choosing your hard drive, make sure your motherboard supports the interface of your hard drive which will most likely be SATA.
What Size of HDD Do You Need?
Hard drives come in all different sizes, but if you are playing the latest games I would get a decent size to store your games as they can take up quite a bit of space. Also consider how many pictures, videos, and music that you will be storing on the computer as well.
For a gaming PC where you will be installing many large games, I would suggest getting at least a 250 GB hard drive, or 500 GB or more to be even safer and more future-proof.
Does Hybrid Hard Drives Actually Matter?
Hybrid HDDs are an amazing compromise between an SSD’s speed and an HDD’s raw storage and are often just the compromise people need.
If you wanted the absolute best performance in all your gaming and applications, a 2TB SSD would get that job done and then some. Unfortunately, SSDs cost way more per GB than HDDs do, and having space for all your games on an SSD simply isn’t feasible for most.
Meanwhile, a 2TB HDD is more than enough space for most people to store their games and media. I’ve been using a 2TB HDD for years now and I still haven’t quite filled it up, despite all the downloads and video recording I’ve done on my PC!
However, an HDD can sometimes translate to slower loading times. As my HDD has aged, I’ve noticed its performance drop, meaning I’m left sitting on loading screens much longer than my contemporaries are.
A Hybrid HDD balances the benefits of both storage types but doesn’t quite replace either of them.
Also Check out: SSD vs HDD for Gaming – What are the main differences?
Stick To Trusted Brand Names
If you want peace of mind that you are buying a quality product and have the best chance of avoiding problems with your hard drive, I would highly recommend sticking to a trusted manufacturer such as Western Digital, Hitachi, and some Seagate models.
What About Solid State Drives?
Solid state drives (SSDs) are fairly new on the scene and contain new storage technology to take loading times to a whole new level. With an SSD you will experience the very fastest loading speeds possible, but they are quite a bit more expensive at the moment.
The price of solid state drives are slowly coming down, but they are a great choice if you have a little extra to spend on your custom PC because the advantages over standard drives are very noticeable. What a lot of people do these days is to buy a smaller SSD for loading the OS, and use a larger standard hard drive for your files.
Also Check out: Best SSD for Gaming
Gaming Hard Drive vs Normal Hard Drive
Gaming hard drives have faster speed starting from 7200 RPM while the normal hard drives spin at 5200 RPM. Faster speed allows faster read write operations while gaming which improves the performance.
Another edge that a gaming hard drive gives you is larger cache size. Having a larger cache decreases the game load times. In fact, some hybrid gaming HDDs use an SSD cache just for that purpose while the data is stored on spinning storage plates only.
Also, gaming hard drives generally have more storage capacity to store high-end games. A gaming hdd comes with 2 TB – 8 TB storage but normal hard drives offer a maximum of 4 TB storage.
Well, it is a bit difficult to sum up this round-up of gaming HDDs. There are a lot of factors like storage, size and speed which makes it impossible to zero down to just one hard drive I could recommend straight away. Also, the choice depends on individual requirement as well.