Top 5 Best SSD for Gaming in 2018 – Based on features, Price and Benchmarks
In a PC world, gaming has become the flare for young and adults. Though the PC market is dwindling, there are many computer users who use the big screen to play graphically aesthetic games. In this scenario, the factors involved in a gaming PC play are of utmost importance for a smooth user experience and without any hiccups. SSDs have replaced HDD in 2018 and the price gap is also reducing fast enough. In this article we bring you best ssd for gaming in 2018.
There are various genres in the PC games. They can be MMO, simulations, adventure, rts, puzzle, combat, action etc and many more. In LAN based games, the speed of internet and the response time of the computer plays a big role. The type of GPU and its performance also has an impact on the games you play. In order to have faster operations between the GPU and your processor, you need to have a good RAM and storage device. Since the read/write sequential speeds start around 500GB/s it will surely give a smooth experience and less headache for gaming in 2018.
For running League of Legends, the minimum specs are 2GHz processor, 1GB processor and 8GB available hard disk space. For optimal performance you need 4GB RAM and 12GB disk space. When you switch off your computer, the information of your game still stores on your storage device.
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Also game logs, content that keeps on adding, paused games etc need more space as you continue playing the game. So when you restart your PC and start playing the game, the time taken for initial response is very crucial. This is because if the game does not start, we are not sure whether its software, hardware or any other issue.
Also waiting for more than a minute tests our patience and temperament. In this regards SSD plays a key role, as the game will start quickly removing any doubts of error of software of the game. Then as you continue playing the game, bits of information that has to be read is also significant.
In this regards, SSD play an important role by pushing the I/O operations quickly from the CPU to the software game which act as a storage medium.
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
Age of Empires IV
Alien: Isolation 2
Ashes of Creation
The following are some of the best SSD suitable for gaming in 2018.
1. WD Blue 3D NAND
This comes in different capacities like 250GB/500GB/1TB/2TB. It also comes in SATA III 6GB/s and M.2 2280 variety. It has 5 year limited warranty, as mentioned on Amazon.com. 3D NAND technology involves making multiple layers into the storage device chips. This will increase the storage capacity and thus in a small SSD you can hold more data than normal SSD. The advantage with 3D NAND technology is that the stacked cells can still be TLC and MLC. This means better performance with more memory.
The WD Blue is not without hiccups. If you want to use with an old desktop, you need to buy a SATA III cable and 2.5″ to 3.5″ adapter bracket if needed. The speed of the disk as observed by one user is 5 times faster than normal HDD. Also for cloning the old drive, you may need Acronis software. This is available free from WD’s site.
The following are the user benchmark metrics as observed on ssd.userbenchmark.com.
Read : 472 MB/s
Write : 240 MB/s
4K Read : 29.2 MB/s
4K Write : 50.3 MB/s
Mixed : 241 MB/s
4K Mixed : 15 MB/s
This got much less positive reviews than the Samsung 850 Evo. The price was also little higher. Another disadvantage with this SSD, you may need to spend around 5 to 6 hours swapping hard drives. Also downloading drivers for USB controller, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth etc may be necessary. But the PC will boot in 10 seconds.
2. Samsung 960 Evo
This comes in 250, 500 and 1TB versions. The sequential read and write speeds are of the order 3200MB/s and 1800MB/s respectively. The main reason for this astonishing speeds is the NVME M.2 form factor. It has Polaris Controller and TurboWrite technology which outperforms the SATA III connected SSDs.
One has to be careful with the motherboard with which you want to use this SSD. For example if your motherboard has the PCIe4 slot, then this SSD will work at half the speed of the actual. Also having a z170 chipset gives you an additional advantage, if you are using a graphics card alongwith the SSD. It has 20 lanes and that is sufficient for both of them to work.
The following are the benchmark metrics as observed on the previous site mentioned.
Read : 2191 MB/s
Write : 1115 MB/s
4K Read : 52.8 MB/s
4K Write : 104 MB/s
Mixed : 1204 MB/s
4K Mixed : 32.1 MB/s
Though the price $30 more than WD Blue SSD, the performance is lot better as can be seen in the above metrics. Also in 2018, the market share of this SSD has increased linearly.
3. Intel SSD 600p 512GB
This has M.2 2280 form factor and comes even in 1TB size. It supports PCI-E 3.0×4. It will perform better than the Samsung 860 Evo. You need to update the firmware to get optimal speeds. Even if you take a $400 NVME SSD, the performance difference is not that much compared to this one. Even the OS booting and game loading speeds are almost similar with high priced SSDs.
It also gives higher iops in the range of 140 to 150. With only $40 more than the SATA 6 SSD which give only around 500MB/s, this is a deal you cannot forget. Also as most of the times, games and every day operations write only few times and read most of the times, this is useful in that regards.
One has to install the Intel SSD Toolbox, to get most out of the drive. Also as mentioned earlier to update the firmware, you need the above tool. You also need some technical mind to make this work perfectly.
The benchmarks can be seen in the image below as compared with Samsung 850 EVO.
As can be seen, the 4K read is better in Samsung than Intel. Though the read, write speeds are better than Samsung, the 4K mixed speed is not that much different. The advantage can be seen in the hugely faster mixed IO speed.
4. ADATA SP550 960GB
The main advantage with ADATA SSD is that it manufactures drives with every type of controller available in the market. The SP550 has the SM2256 controller. SM stands for Silicon Motion. This SSD is an entry-level model and is available in the cheapest price. Though it is a SATA 6 model, it continues to be in line with the same read, write sequential speeds of their contemporaries. The random read, write IOPS are also in the range of 60k to 80k respectively.
The 960GB model has a lower rate of random write IOPS, compared to smaller disk sizes. This SSD model also provides Acronis True Image HD software (along with the key) which can be used to clone HDD. It also has a metal enclosure which protects the disk from impact. It also provides the SSD toolbox utility configure, optimize and monitor your SP550 model.
The benchmarks when compared to the Samsung model can be seen here.
As can be seen, due to the form factor of M.2, the Samsung model outscores in every department. It doesn’t use the Adata-packaged-flash, but as mentioned before uses the SM controller. There is also the usage of 3-bit per cell NAND from SK Hynix.
Though TLC is being used, it is important that a powerful controller supports it which is capable of advanced error-correction technology. Compared to the 3D NAND technology, the write performance is relatively low.
5. Crucial MX300 275GB
It uses the 3D flash memory and provides strong security with hardware encryption. But in performance it lacks behind the Samsung 850 EVO. The MX300 is the second SSD drive after Samsung, to use the flash memory technology. It is more wallet friendly.
Its main advantage is the hardware-enabled power fail protection for data at rest. Strong performance can be seen in HTPC and random 4K write benchmarks. The huge difference in Samsung 850 Evo and this one is in the 4K Mixed IO speed. The specs as mentioned are there and hence the performance does not also differ in practice.
Out of the 5, as you can see the Samsung 960 Evo has a good reading and IOPS speeds which are good for gaming. But as it is costly, you also need to spend more money. But if you want a smaller disk with SATA speeds for playing PC games, Crucial or ADATA is a good choice. But if you want to believe in the brand, Intel is a good choice. But as users tend to prefer performance over price, brand, I suggest you go for Samsung. Also there are other different models of Samsung that give worth for your money.