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Best Gaming SSD / Solid State Drive 2015

Updated on January 14, 2015

Will a SSD Improve Gaming Performance?

When it comes to gaming and solid state drives there's been quite a lot of discussion. Generally everyone agrees that a solid state drive will improve load times and even fix some of the choppiness that comes from heavy I/O games - especially if you have several programs running in the background.

As far as improving FPS, there has been a bit of a debate. Ultimately, if you have enough ram, it most likely won't improve your FPS, but it will improve your system's overall responsiveness which seems to be well worth the cost.

OCZ Vertex 3 SSD
OCZ Vertex 3 SSD

Choosing a Solid State Drive

While articles from Tom's Hardware show that a SSD will not improve FPS gaming performance there are certainly some solid reasons from both Tom's and Maximum PC that show the benefits of using a solid state drive in your gaming rig. That being said, which one should you buy? Are things like sequential read / write speeds the most important or should you look more towards the controller?

Controller Vs. Sequential Read/Write Times

I'm always looking for the next fastest thing when it comes to my gaming rig. I update my GPU every couple of years and try to stay within just a couple of years of the latest processors. While solid state drive sequential read and write times are largely the focus of manufacturer and retail websites, you shouldn't forget about the controller. All Solid state drives have a controller that creates a bridge between the NAND components and your computer. Per Wikipedia, this internal processor executes firmware-level code and is one of the most important factors for your solid state drive's performance. A Tier one SSD controller like that made by Intel, Marvel and SandForce, and used by many of today's SSD manufacturer's should have 4K writes in the 70-90 range. Ultimately, choose a product that not only has fast read/write times, but also high Random Read Speeds as well. Below I'll list some of the best solid state drives of 2012 according to overall value / bang for your buck, customer ratings, and popularity. Don't forget to vote for your favorite directly below the list.

Top 10 Best SSD for Your Gaming Rig in 2015

#1 Samsung 850 EVO

*The order of this list is determined by the reader poll directly below. All Technical specifications are based on the featured size of 120-128GB using the SATA III interface. Specifications vary with SSD capacity.

Samsung makes its own parts for the 850 EVO series making it one of the fastest and most reliable around.

Technical Specifications: (based on 250GB size)

Up to 550 MB/s sequential read, 520 MB/s sequential write, new 3D V-Nand technology, Samsung MEX Controller, Up to 98,000 IOPS 4k random read, 90,000 QD32 IOPS 4k random write, with a MTBF of 1.5M hours. Includes a standard 5 year parts and labor warranty from Samsung.

#2 Crucial MX 100

I'm all about getting the best bang-for-your buck when it comes to storage. By that I mean speed, capacity, and bottom line, the price.

In the Crucial MX 100 you get some of the best reliability and most capacity on the market.

Technical Specifications: (based on 256GB model)

Up to 550MB/s sequential read, 300MB/s sequential write, up to 85,000 IOPS 4k Random Read, Marvell 88SS9189 controller, and a 3 year parts and labor warranty is included.

#3 Kingston Digital SSD Now V300

Another great product in terms of value is Kingston's SSDNow series which offers a budget solid state drive option without removing the speeds. In fact, the V300 is an average 10 times faster than your standard 7200RPM hard drive.

Overall it doesn't have the fastest read/writes on the market; however, it's not made for that. What it does well is give you a lot of capacity for the money you spend. Features 450Mbps read and write speeds.

#4 Intel 520 Series SSD

SandForce controller, Up to 550 MB/s read, and 500 MB/s write sequential speeds, 4KB Random Read Up to 25,000 IOPS, 4KB Random Write Up to 40,000 IOPS, 1,200,000 hours mean time before failure, and it includes a 5 year parts and labor warranty.

#5 Kingston HyperX 3K

If you're willing to pay up for something a little faster and more reliable I like Kingston's KyperX 3K series of solid state drives. With 555MB/sec Read and 510MB/sec write speeds you get quicker boot times and load times for all your programs.

It's also nice that it ships with a kit so you get everything you need to install it.

Solid State Drive Benchmarks

For SSD benchmark information I recommend you take a look at Tom's Hardware's SSD Charts as well as The Verge's Intel 520 Review.

What's the Best Solid State Drive Overall?

Vote for Your Favorite Below:

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Your Thoughts on Gaming and Solid State Drives

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      sandisk 240gb extreme,kingston hyperx 3k 240gb,mushkin chronos deluxe 240gb..where the heck are they?

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      What about the Crucial M4? Not having it in the top 10 makes me wonder if this review is legit. I mean the only thing you got right was Samsung being #1! And you didn't test any of these with AS SSD...all your numbers are from the Manufacturers website...not real world. Everybody knows the top 3 are the 830, M4 and 520. I own the M4 SATA III and did the benchmarks...500 read / 200 write seq. I like to see any of these hit 500+ on both with AS SSD.