If you’re still gaming on an old hard drive with clunky moving parts that make frightening noises whenever you start your favorite game, you should do yourself a favor and purchase a solid-state drive. SSDs offer much faster loading speeds, noise-free operation, and improved power efficiency. Their cost has decreased substantially over the past few years, while the cost of hard drives has remained basically the same.
Depending on how many games you like to keep installed at the same time, you may want to use an SSD alongside a larger hard drive. This way, you can reserve the SSD for your operating system and one or two most-played games and keep everything else on the hard drive.
To enjoy the superior performance of SSDs, you don’t even have to open your PC case. The Samsung T3 is a portable SSD with the internal SSD-level performance. It connects to your computer via USB 3.1 Type-C port, which allows it to reach speeds up to 450 MB/s.
Samsung sells the SSD in four sizes: 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB. Regardless of which size you select, you can rest assured knowing that your data are protected by a shock-resistant metal case and durable internal frame. According to Samsung, the SSD should withstand up to 1500G of force, which is the equivalent of a 6.5-foot drop. Thanks to AES 256-bit, the T3 is protected against malicious attackers and people who have no business going through your personal files and folders.
SanDisk SSD PLUS
With read and write speeds up to 535 MB/s and four sizes to choose from, the SanDisk SSD PLUS is one of the most attractive SSDs on the market. SanDisk is an American company and the third-largest manufacturer of flash memory in the world, and their products are known for their excellent reliability and value.
Like all SSDs, the SanDisk SSD PLUS offers improved energy efficiency and completely silent operation. The SSD connects to your computer via the SATA 3.0 interface. There’s no need to install any additional drivers—simply connect the SSD and enjoy your favorite games without being always stuck at the loading screen.
Samsung 850 EVO
The Samsung 850 EVO is the most popular internal SSD on the market. It’s powered by Samsung’s V-NAND technology, which prevents data corruption caused by cell-to-cell interference. The SSD is favored by professional graphics artists, music producers, gamers, and everyone else who demands flawless performance at an attainable price.
The 850 EVO is available from 500 GB to 4 TB, and it can reach speeds up to 540MB/s. Independent benchmarks have shown that it’s one of the most consistently performing SSDs currently available, which is why so many people claim that it outperforms even theoretically faster SSDs.
Crucial is an emerging brand that wants to show the big boys how to create affordable SSDs without making any compromises. The MX300 supports speeds up to 530 MB/s thanks to Micron 3D NAND technology, which uses an innovative process architecture to provide 3X the capacity of planar NAND technologies while providing better performance and reliability, according to Micron.
Besides fantastic data-transfer speeds, the MX300 also protects your data with AES 256-bit hardware-based encryption, RAIN technology, and Exclusive Data Defense technology. On the official website, Crucial offers a free downloadable tool that you can use to update the SSD to the latest firmware and enable the Momentum Cache feature for even better performance.
Kingston SSDNow UV400
You can get the UV400 SSD from Kingston either in a bundle kit that contains everything you need to install it or alone. The kit comes with a 2 to 3.5-inch adapter, a SATA data cable, and a USB enclosure. You also get a free coupon for an Acronis data migration software, so you can easily migrate data from your old hard drive to the UV400.
Kingston offers the UV400 from 120 GB to 960 GB. Thanks to a four-channel Marvell controller that delivers impressive speeds with both compressible and incompressible data, the maximum data transfer speed this SSD can reach is around 540 MB/s, which is about 10-times faster than a traditional hard drive.