In gaming, having the upper hand is crucial, and one way to achieve it is by adding a top external SSD to your setup. These devices offer a significant performance boost compared to traditional hard drives, making them nearly essential for modern gaming. Games like Starfield, Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart now require SSDs in their minimum system requirements, highlighting their importance.
While hard disk drives (HDDs) still have their uses, SSDs are becoming the new standard for gaming due to their speed, reliability, and efficiency. If you’re still using an HDD, it’s time to consider our top SSD recommendations to save valuable time on loading screens.
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The gaming SSD landscape is evolving with Gen 5 SSDs offering incredible speeds, but they may require upgrades to your motherboard, CPU, and RAM. Gen 4 SSDs are already eliminating loading screens and come at attractive prices.
Gen 4 M.2 NVMe SSDs remain excellent options, offering high performance and fitting into various setups. SATA SSDs and Gen 3.0 NVMe SSDs are solid choices, especially for larger storage needs. Gen 4 SSDs often offer great value.
SSDs stand out from HDDs and SATAs with their superior read and write speeds, especially M.2 PCIe SSDs. They excel thanks to the efficient Gen 4.0 NVMe SSD interface, achieving impressive input/output operations per second (IOPS).
Affordable gaming SSDs are now available, so consider one of our top picks to enhance your gaming experience.
For gamers needing portable storage for laptops or gaming libraries, an external SSD is an excellent solution, simplifying storage expansion.
Choose the right external SSD to enhance your gaming experience without hassles. Check out our top-rated models, a selection guide, and detailed specifications of our best picks below.
Best External SSD For Gaming
1. WD Black P50 Game Drive SSD (1 TB)
The WD Black P50 Game Drive SSD is a powerhouse in the gaming world. It boasts wide compatibility with devices like PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and Mac. What sets it apart is its USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 20Gbps interface, delivering read and write speeds of up to 2,000MB/s. This SSD ensures you experience lag-free gaming sessions.
- Blazing-fast speeds of up to 2GB/s with the proper interface.
- Metal case for efficient heat dissipation.
- USB 3.2 SuperSpeed 10Gbps compatibility.
- Comes with a 5-year warranty.
- Sustained performance drops after transferring large files.
- Higher price compared to some SuperSpeed 10Gbps drives.
The WD Black P50 Game Drive SSD is a top choice for gamers seeking exceptional speed and reliability. With a 5-year warranty, you can game with peace of mind.
2. Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSD (1 TB)
The Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSD offers impressive performance without the hefty price tag. It’s compatible with SuperSpeed USB 20Gbps ports, delivering transfer speeds of up to 2GB/s. This SSD guarantees high-speed, lag-free gaming with its external portable USB-C drive.
- Stylish design.
- Plug-and-play USB 3.2 Gen 1 interface.
- Competitive pricing.
- Not compatible with PS5.
If you’re looking for great performance at an affordable price, the Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSD is an excellent choice, offering a sleek design and speedy transfers.
3. Crucial X8 Portable SSD (2 TB)
The Crucial X8 Portable SSD strikes a balance between speed, capacity, and price. While it may not be the fastest or the largest SSD available, it offers good speed and a substantial 2TB capacity. With an attractive price point, it’s an ideal choice for budget-conscious gamers.
- Compatible with various devices.
- Economical and portable.
- Includes a 2GB DRAM cache.
- Performance may drop when the cache is exhausted.
The Crucial X8 Portable SSD is an excellent option for users seeking a balance between performance and budget. Its 2TB capacity ensures you have ample storage for your games.
4. Samsung T7 Shield (4 TB)
Samsung’s T7 Shield is the largest SSD on our list, boasting a whopping 4TB capacity. This external SSD is not only spacious but also rugged, with an IP65 rating for water and dust resistance. It delivers impressive sequential read and write speeds, making it perfect for gamers with extensive libraries.
- Massive 4TB storage capacity.
- Fast 10Gbps transfer speed.
- Rugged design.
- Slight performance dip in 4K file writes.
For gamers in need of high-capacity storage, the Samsung T7 Shield is the top choice. Its durability and storage make it perfect for storing games, media, and more.
5. Adata Elite SE880 SSD (1 TB)
The Adata Elite SE880 SSD stands out for its compact size and portability. Measuring just 2.55 inches long and weighing a mere 1.1 ounces, it’s incredibly lightweight and easy to carry. With IP68 dust and waterproof ratings, it’s also durable and resilient.
- Extremely compact and lightweight.
- Dust and waterproof (IP68).
- High-speed USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface.
- Reduced performance during extended write tests.
The Adata Elite SE880 SSD is the perfect choice for gamers on the go. Its small size and durability make it a convenient option for portable gaming storage.