7 Best Hard Drive for Gaming Reviews of 2020 | Push Your Build to the Next Level

Updated: November 18th, 2020By: BrantonReviewsLeave a Comment

A gamer playing

I have spent years trying to find the best hard drive for gaming. The perfect hard drive needs to support your games with speed and high memory, so it can be a challenge to find an affordable HDD that marries the three. That’s why I did it, so you don’t have to.

My Favorite Hard Drive for Gaming Comparison

Editor's Rating: 4.6/5
  • Massive storage space
  • Incredibly quick and easy to download and use
  • Hybrid capabilities
Editor's Rating: 4.5/5
  • Easy to pair with SSD
  • High range of compatibility
  • Free WD Acronis True Image software
Editor's Rating: 4.5/5
  • Extreme reliability
  • Handles up to 14 TB
  • Durable for years of use

What to Look for When Picking a Gaming Hard Drive

When you buy a gaming hard drive, you want high performance, reliability, and affordability. Picking the right gaming hard drive means that you prioritize storage and durability, as well as configuration. This may be the least exciting part of customizing your system, but it’s vital. 

Best Hard Drive for Gaming Reviews

Editor's Rating: 4.6/5

Features:

  • Silent storage makes this hard drive very easy to live with. 

  • Massive storage space makes this drive versatile for multiple purposes.

  • Lack of lag and loading time makes consistent realtime gaming more feasible than ever. 

  • Incredibly quick and easy to download and use so you can get right to gaming

  • Hybrid capabilities mean you have quick and consistent use from the drive.

This is the current gaming hard drive that I use. It’s fast, it’s accurate, and it consistently gets the job done in exactly the way I specify. The cache usage by the drive is incredibly intelligent, and can crank up any game I use within seconds. My favorite games load faster because of the memory on this drive, and I can trust that it will consistently do the job I ask it to do. 

It’s technically a hybrid drive, but its immense capacity and ongoing quality take the best of both SSD and HDD and combine it into a fast, flashy drive that performs. 

The storage space is more than enough even though it doesn’t have the flashy, huge TB numbers. Those actually can become a detriment if you’re not utilizing them, because they can cause your drive to run slower. This drive, because of its sleek data handling, is incredibly fast and provides me with exactly the result I ask for, every time. 

I do not have any qualms about this drive deciding it will shut down, and I never lose data. This drive offers the potential for storage and speed, which is paired with a consistency that gamers could only dream of before. Games download within seconds without any lag, which is such a stark difference from other hard drives I’ve previously used. 

Seagate FireCuda 2TB

Header

Rotational Speed

5400 RPM

Storage Capacity

2TB

Operating System

PC, Mac

This hard drive lived, for a while, supporting my old laptop while I was in college. Unable to buy a new one, this drive kept all of my files so that my laptop could actually function. It was due to this hard drive’s speed and capacity that I had forgotten that I even needed a new laptop at all for a bit. Using this as a backup drive is definitely not its main function, but it was incredibly helpful, affordable, and quick when asked to do a different job, which is something I value in technology. 

The SeaGate FireCuda has significantly decreased my loading and downloading time without an increase in noise, heat, or work on my end. It does its job without any need from me to interfere, and if I determined at any point that I needed more storage capacity, I would be able to do so by buying an upgrade through the company. 

If you’re a bit nostalgic, this drive will make it so that you don’t have to delete your old games or old progress in order to have the speed you want in a gaming machine. You can absolutely have the best of both worlds and not worry about capacity with this hard drive. Another great use for this drive, aside from game storage, is just largescale file storage. If you have movies, photos, bulky files, or download information off of your computer and into a drive every year, this could be a great addition to your setup.

Pros

  • Can upgrade the storage without losing quality
  • Various documents can be run on the drive
  • SSD drive work quality without the SSD price tag
  • Straightforward and easy installation

Cons

  • Clearing the cache is especially confusing for this hard drive. Don’t do it often.

Editor's Rating: 4.5/5

Features: 

  • The ability to upgrade this drive means that regardless of your system or game files, you can have access to great storage

  • The affordability of this product means you can indulge in the add-ons 

  • Easy to pair with SSD to optimize your speed and productivity

  • High range of compatibility, meaning no matter what system you use, you have access to storage

  • Free WD Acronis True Image software that accompanies the product without requiring you to update your operating systems, meaning you can control your device

This hard drive absolutely boosts your storage while simultaneously staying within budget. Western Digital Blue goes out of their way to provide the most compatible pairings they can, in which you can use PC or Mac systems with this hard drive. It was designed for desktops and all-in-one PCs, giving you a specialized product for gaming. 

For me personally, a huge factor that gives you a great storage edge is the ability to upgrade this hard drive. Through WD Blue, you can invest in features that give you 1TB or 2TBs extra, giving you up to 6TB worth of storage space in one hard drive. All of this, and for the cheapest asking price for the quality you receive from the device. 

WD Blue 500GB

Header

Rotational Speed

7200 RPM

Storage Capacity

Up to 6TB

Operating System

PC or Macintosh

If you wanted to really boost your speed, you could pair this hard drive with an SSD as well, and get maximum storage capabilities from your device. You can pair the speed of an SSD with the reliability and size of your HDD, giving you the optimum performance from your gaming setup. 

Another great feature that comes free-of-charge with this hard drive is the WD Acronis True Image software, which allows you to copy and store all of your existing data in the blink of an eye after one simple download. This can all be done through the WD Acronis True Image software without updating or altering your software system, which is something I’ve found to be a stumbling block in the past. 

I fund my gaming habit by taking professional photos. Maintaining the quality of my photos when they’re in storage can be a struggle, but due to the size and speed of the WD Blue plus the WD Acronis True Image software, that doesn’t bother me anymore. I even forget that blurry photos and quality reduction from storage were ever an issue. My personal data, games, and photos all went into this one hard drive that stores them effectively without any problems. 

This is honestly the best deal for the money you’ll find when it comes to quality storage that you can depend on. It’s fast, straightforward, and retains its memory without overheating.

Pros

  • Reliable
  • You can increase your storage space
  • Comes with the free Western Digital Acronis True Image software
  • Fast and quiet
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • It may be a little bit large depending on your setup

Editor's Rating: 4.5/5

Features:

  • Huge cache and huge storage potential means your system is quick and easy to maneuver

  • Reliability in reading and writing capabilities means you can have confidence that your drive is producing what you ask without flaw

  • Three point data transfers occur easily, so you can get right back to gaming without a lag time

  • Running cool means that you never have risk damage to your data

This hard drive is powerful. Of all of the hard drives on this list, the WD 14TB Ultrastar is a high-performance machine that I would recommend to anyone who needs a dependable hard drive that reliably does what it is marketed to do. 

Similar to the WD Black in performance but with increased capabilities, this hard drive handles whatever you throw at it, whether it’s a ton of personal files or every game that you can download. Data is held accurately, and I never find any issues when pulling files. 

Western Digital 14TB Ultrastar

Header

Rotational Speed 

7200 RPM

Storage Capacity14 TB

14 TB

Operating SystemPC, Macintosh

PC, Macintosh

If I buy something, I need it to be reliable, and this hard drive is exactly that. It performed at its original standard for the length of the time that I was using it, and was back to its old self when I pulled it out of storage to go back to it. It is fast, accurate, and stays cool. It also runs quiet, which was almost shocking because of how powerful it is and how much it holds. 

The only time that there is any kind of mechanical whir is when the machine is actively writing into the disk. And even then, this isn’t an invasively loud hard drive-- it just sounds like it’s active. Enterprise drives like this one make noise, and that’s to be expected, but this one is not an overwhelming sound nor is there any unexpected ambient noise when I’m not working with the drive. When it’s idle, it is entirely silent. Even with this silence, I’m never afraid that it’s going to burn out overnight. 

Reads and sequential writes always come back correctly. That’s the really fine point of these devices -- they’re accurate as can be. If you want to invest in long-term quality and a high rate of storage for something a little beyond the average user, this is the hard drive you should consider. If you are looking to do 3 point data transfers, this hard drive is able to perform that without any hiccup or questions asked. Overall, this is a useful machine for high-quality performance.

Pros

  • Extreme reliability
  • Runs quiet and cool, especially for such a large amount of storage
  • Handles up to 14 TB
  • Durable for years of use
  • Accurately reads and writes files

Cons

  • Can be tricky if you are not used to any form of OEM drive

Editor's Rating: 4.1/5

Features

  • The quietest drive on the market means there are no distractions and no ambient noise in your system

  • Quick reading means that your graphics are immaculate every time

  • Accurate writing means that you can have confidence in your files being properly replicated

  • Lack of lag time lets gamers get directly to their gameplay, working in realtime

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This drive is basically the product of twenty years of SeaGate innovation, leading to the consistency and quality you see in this product. If you’re looking to build a powerhouse personal setup or a wildly consistent gaming computer, this will be your best bet. 

When I was storing vast amounts of photo and video data, this internal hard drive made a massive difference for me, and since then has really shown its worth by means of a gaming hard drive. There is no lag, graphics are immaculate, and load times are pretty reduced compared to the typical hard drive load time, which definitely makes this HDD worth the investment. 

Seagate BarraCuda 3TB Internal Hard Drive

Header

Rotational Speed

7200 RPM

Storage Capacity

3TB

Operating System

PC

However, photos enter into the realm of small files, which is why this drive is ranked fourth. Small files can cause a bit of a lag with this particular drive, meaning that if you are working with numerous small files, this HDD will not perform like you’re expecting it to. If you avoid these small files, you will be more than happy with the drive, however, if you need to store a ton of small photos, there are better options. 

A very valuable aspect of this hard drive is that you can run multiple programs at once without mistake, lag, or crossover. If you need to keep other applications open while using one or the other, it’s entirely feasible with this drive. The caching technology is entirely optimized, meaning that it learns as you go and applies what it has figured out to increase its utility. 

This is also the quietest hard drive that I have used personally. It’s basically silent, especially when it’s writing. Compared to other larger hard drives, the silent quality is a really useful feature for me. When the drive doesn’t make too much sound, I’m not removed from my focus, so my gameplay improves. This is the no-distractions drive of any gamer’s dreams, be that distraction complex installation, not working as advertised, or loud noises from heat or function. 

Pros

  • Quiet. I mean, real quiet
  • Can run multiple programs at one time
  • Quick loading times and no lag
  • Does not get hot
  • Cache learning system makes for optimized performance

Cons

  • At 4k speeds, meaning when lots of very small files are active, this hard drive sometimes slows down.

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Editor's Rating: 4.4/5

The 436M6VBPAB from Philips Computer Monitors is a 42.5-inch QLED monitor. 

If you are looking for intense desktop performance for your gaming setup, the WD Black 4TB Performance Hard Drive is an optimal choice. With a 2x DRAM cache, the read operation flies by, which is great when you’re looking to just get on with your gameplay. 

This hard drive was developed for professional gamers and system builders, and makes for a great addition to any gaming setup if you are worried about speed or reliability. These are tested vigorously for quality, and stand up to another important test: time. 

WD Black 4TB Performance Hard Drive

Header

Rotational Speed

7200 RPM

Storage Capacity

4TB

Operating System

PC

Another feature that I found absolutely necessary with this WD Drive is the ability to future-proof your device. You can add enough capacity for your extra downloaded game content to not affect the efficiency of your setup. If you’re the kind of person who thinks you can never get enough storage, you can bring on even more TBs and add an SSD for a bulk of data with high-performance speeds.

And if gaming isn’t your only dimension, this drive is great for creatives or people who need multimedia storage that is versatile enough to handle this storage without warping it or taking too long in working with different mediums. 

The cache size in this drive has also been increased recently, meaning that you have highspeed transfers of at 128 MB on the 5TB or 6TB models. The dual-core processor also offers twice the processing capabilities, meaning you can load your games or multimedia twice as fast as you could on a standard core. 

If you would like to use this hard drive with a Mac system, it’s entirely possible as well. All you need to do is a little reconfiguring and you have a drive that runs with Mac and PC. While these drives may be a little on the pricier side, they are definitely worth it because of their consistent reliability and its cache learning system. For me, it was more than worth it to figure out how to convert this guy to work on my photography desktop, which is a Mac, as well, after I retired it through no fault of its own from gaming.

Pros

  • Can increase your storage for optimized gaming
  • Cache learns with you, quickly
  • Great for multimedia storage as well as gaming
  • Easy to future-proof your device

Cons

  • If you are not experienced with mounting HDDs, this may be a bit more difficult to mount.

Editor's Rating: 4.0/5

Features: 

  • Advanced learning happens accurately, allowing your drive to give you the information you’re after

  • The internal shock sensor protects your files, meaning your games last longer in the system

  • Mitigated vibrations increase the longevity of your products

  • The writing process is a bit noisy, however it is incredibly accurate

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This Toshiba is designed for serious gamers with high-end workstations. If you fit that bill, this HDD may be a phenomenal fit for your build or setup. The cache is massive, and the drive has massive capabilities for storage as well as the ability to accommodate huge gaming libraries without altering the speed or quality of your gameplay. 

Due to this cache and the 7200 RPM, your gaming is absolutely happening in realtime, and the data protection technology offered by Toshiba protects all of your games, personal information, and miscellaneous files. 

ViewSonic VX4380-4K 43 Inch Frameless Widescreen IPS 4K

Header

Rotational Speed

7200 RPM

Storage Capacity

4 TB

Operating System

PC, Macintosh

If you’re looking for a great HDD for your gaming PC, professional desktop work station for a creative field, all-in-one PC, or home media computer, this drive would be the next logical addition to your setup. You can add ten additional TBs to bring this up to a 14TB drive, which means that any form of media can be stored on this device. 

Toshiba’s patented cache technology also assists with advanced learning, which helps your frequently-accessed files perform more quickly. I loved this feature, because some of my favorite games come with huge files and attachments, and I wanted to be able to both store these without worry and run them quickly. This drive does exactly that, and performs at the caliber it’s advertised at. 

Another great feature is the internal shock sensor, as well as the ramp-loading technology that protects your drive and therefore your data from damage. This is an incredibly secure HDD, and if you’re highly mobile and need to transfer a large hard drive, this Toshiba will perform for you without question. Another protective feature is the drive stabilization technology offered by Toshiba. Vibrations are mitigated due to stabilization features at both ends of the motor shaft. This basically means that the reading and writing operations of this drive are incredibly reliable, and provide accurate outcomes. 

The only flaw I can come up with is that the patented Toshiba technology can become a little less accurate over time if it is not maintained. Making sure that the drive is not exposed to rough conditions and does not ever overheat is incredibly important, but that’s a standard for most drives. The writing process from this drive is also the noisiest of any on this list, which can be shocking if you are not anticipating the noises.

Pros

  • Very secure drive
  • Reading and writing operations are reliable and accurate
  • Patented cache technology helps you get to your favorite files quicker
  • Ability to add 10 more TBs for storing entire media libraries
  • Quick, cool, and reliable

Cons

  • Can be a little noisy if you are not used to the sound of writing

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Editor's Rating: 4.6/5

Features: 

  • The portability of this device is unmatched, so the gamer can take this anywhere

  • Drag and drop technology allows you to move the files and get directly to gameplay

  • Automatic recognition for most systems means that you can game no matter where you are without having to download new technology

  • The USB plug-in capabilities simplify the download and upload process

If you want easy storage and access of up to 5TBs of data, the SeaGate Portable 5TB External Hard Drive may fit your bill exactly. The simplicity of this hard drive makes it incredibly useful for me because it’s a drag-and-drop screen that works with both PCs and Macs. It’s advertised as “plug and play” which is beyond accurate for how this system conveniently downloads your files, simply plugs in, and allows you immediate access.

The automatic recognition was also a huge timesaver for me, since I used this portable drive to carry my library with me when I was more mobile. This is also a pretty durable hard drive. As I said, it moved around with me, and the reading and writing functions continued with extreme accuracy for years. Simply plug it in via a USB connection, and you have access to your entire library. The USB was included with the purchase, which was very convenient as well. 

Philips Momentum 43" Console Gaming Monitor, 4K UHD 

Header

Rotational Speed

Not specified

Storage Capacity

5TB

Operating System

PC, Mac

If the standard size doesn’t come with enough data storage, you can also optimize your purchase and get even more longterm data storage. The setup for both the larger storage unit and the standard one is incredibly simple. I plug in this hard drive and all of my systems instantly recognize it, meaning I don’t have to spend time downloading software and trying to make the tools recognize each other. 

Sometimes with drives that have the main appeal of being “portable” there can be a game quality difference. That’s not the case with this drive. I simply plug it in and play, without any noticeable difference in gameplay from lagging, loading, or graphics quality. It does what it is marketed to do, every time. 

There is a caveat with this product, however. While it is one of the best portable hard drives I’ve used, it also takes far longer to back up than some of its counterparts. It also does not come with immediate security. This may not be the hard drive to be putting all of your social security documents onto, but it’s a great and convenient option for gaming.

Pros

  • Easy to download files onto using the drag-and-drop method
  • Portable without damaging your files
  • USB plug into almost any gaming system for instant access to your library
  • Can optimize in order to get more data storage

Cons

  • Does not come with security innately

Storage Capacity 

The storage capacity of your hard drive is the most important consideration. Typically, computers come with between 250 GB and 750 GB of storage, but a hard drive can contain between 2 GB to 4 TB, which is a huge range. 

Cache

The cache is a memory space that temporarily holds data while your hard drive reads and writes down the permanent data. It’s like short-term memory. It’s somewhat like the RAM, or Random Access Memory, however, it works for the hard drive. 

Rotations Per Minute

The rotations per minute, or RPMs, of a hard drive affect its speed. The more RPMs, the quicker it goes. However, the higher the RPM, the more heat that may be created. 

Size and Durability

Like every part of your gaming setup, size and durability are important because your items need to fit in your space without causing a problem. You also want them to last for as long as possible. 

RAID and Data Transfer Rate

RAID stands for “redundant array of independent disks” and is important for configuring your information. They stripe, mirror, and parity so that your data stores are consistently up-to-date as you use your hard drive. 

The Three Hard Drive Types

The three hard drive types are the parallel advanced technology attachment, the serial ATA storage drive, and the solid-state drive. These days, the tech industry is moving more and more toward the solid-state drive, or the SSD. The SSD is not necessarily a hard drive, but rather another form of storage. 

Hard Disk Drive vs Solid-State Disk Drive

Hard disk drives are relatively older than solid-state disk drives. Both do the same job, mainly booting your systems and storing your files, but SSDs have smaller storage capacities and are typically faster than HDDs. 

NVMe Drives vs Solid-State Disk Drives

The Non-Volatile Memory Express, or the NVMe, Drive is a drive that is similar to HDDs and SSDs but is typically even faster than SSDs. They seriously increase your computer’s performance but don’t hold nearly the same level of information as their counterparts. 

So, what type of hard drive is best for gaming? 

Hard drives make a huge difference with gaming in your load time. An HDD with about 1TB of space is going to be adequate and quick for your gaming needs. You should also try to have a speed of about 7200RPM. This allows your games to load faster, which means you can get right to what you want to do rather than wait. SSDs may be available to you, but a standard hard disk drive is not only cheaper but performs consistently.

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Branton

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Hey there! I'm Branton, the founder and lead editor here at PC Game Haven. Since our launch in 2015, we've helped thousands upon thousands of gamers build their dream desktops, find the perfect peripherals, and more. Thanks for stopping by and feel free to get in tough!

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