Whether you have a gaming console or a gaming desktop setup, more storage space is always better. A 2 TB Hard Disk Drive can store more than 30+ games including the installation files.
However, most gamers commonly face performance issues even with the latest-gen graphics card and processor. You may not be able to touch expected performance benchmarks which are obviously expected given the hardware you have in place.
What you also need is a hard disk that can read and write data as fast the CPU and graphics card can process.
A hard disk upgrade is a commonly overlooked hardware enhancement. But considering the range of customized gaming hard drives currently available, you can finally enjoy sufficient storage and performance to play the best games today.
Is HDD Good For Gaming? Buyer’s Guide
A custom gaming hard drive can be great for gaming if it offers sufficient storage capacity and performance. There are 2 factors you need to consider before you buy the best HDD for gaming.
- RPM – Higher RPM determines the speed at which the hard disk read and write data. The faster it can do so, the better performance your PC or console can deliver. Higher RPM hard disks are vital for gaming performance. It’s not just about booting or file transfer speeds. Better RPM also means data is processed fastest, vital for high-end gaming.
- Cache – Memory cache, also known as flash memory, determines the sum of commands or instructions your hard drive can manage. Higher flash memory can help reduce input lag, especially helpful when you are using the best-customized gaming accessories.
You can also consider a Solid-State Drive or SSD as an alternative to HDD. The best gaming SSDs do offer significantly better performance. But they are much pricier.
An SSD with the same storage capacity as an HDD will be much more expensive but it will offer just as much better performance.
But considering the storage/price ratio as well as the custom performance enhancements available with them today, HDDs can be great for gaming.
Here are the best HDDs for gaming in 2020, including both internal or external options.
Best Internal HDDs For Gaming
1. Toshiba X300
The Toshiba X300 internal hard drive comes with 4TB of storage using four 1TB platters. Built on a 3.5-inch form factor, the X300 sports dual-stage actuator technology reduces long internal wear that is caused by sudden vibrations to increase longevity and consistent performance.
It also helps increase read and write speeds for instant data access.
With NCQ (Native Command Queuing) technology, this HDD provides improved seek-time performance with a 128MB data buffer, for faster game loading experience.
It offers up to 7200 RPM spindle speeds and low latency of less than 4.17ms. These are ideal stats to run demanding games since high latency time causes stuttering and artifacts.
Additionally, the X300 hard drive comes with features like built-in buffer management and cache algorithm to enhance real-time reading or writing.
Another feature that makes this HDD one of the best internal hard drives for gaming is its ramp-loading technology and internal shock detection that protects both the data and the drive from internal issues due to any physical damage.
Priced within $130, the Toshiba X300 HDD is specially designed for high-end gaming and 2-year limited warranty.
Speed: 7200 RPM | Storage Capacity: 4TB | Hardware Platform: PC, Mac | Hard Drive Interface: Serial ATA | Cache memory: 128GB
- Minimal real-time lag
- Value for money
- Lacks SATA connection cable
2. Seagate BarraCuda
This 4TB Seagate BarraCuda is a standard 3.5-inch internal hard drive with 32MB cache memory. The drive has 3 platters, each providing storage capacity of 1.33TB.
The BarraCuda delivers a maximum sustained transfer rate of 190 MB/s, sufficient for moderate-to-high resolution gaming and ultra-fast data transfers. This hard drive has a rotation rate of 5400 RPM offering a sequential performance to ensure smooth transfer speed, especially for large files.
You can build a powerhouse gaming setup with the various form factor capacities of the BarraCuda HDD. The multi-tier caching technology brings new levels of performance to your hard drive providing fast games and low app load time.
Overall, if you are looking for one of the best internal HDD for gaming with speedy file transfers and quicker application loads, the BarraCuda should be on the top 3.
Speed: 5400 RPM | Storage Capacity: 4TB | Hardware Platform: PC | Hard Drive Interface: Serial ATA | Cache memory: 256GB
- Quick file loading
- High transfer speeds
- Strong vibrations and noise
- Sub-par performance
3. Seagate IronWolf
This Seagate IronWolf 4TB internal hard drive comes integrated with NAS and Agile Array tech that optimizes the drive’s reliability and agility. The drive also features a dual-plane balancing optimization with an advanced power management system.
All these features make the IronWolf excellent for long usage hours – this hard drive is rated as the best choice for marathon gaming sessions. Additionally, it comes with a security feature called the Rescue Data Recovery that allows you to recover your data and files in case of a sudden disaster like RAID controller issues or power surges.
Performance is at par with most other 4TB HDDs, delivering 5900 RPM other than 64MB cache and 6GB/sec interface transfer rates. The drive also uses Parallel Magnetic Recording to reduce drag and increase read and write speeds.
IronWolf also comes with its standalone Ironwolf Health management software, improving the reliability of the comprehensive system through prevention, recovery, and intervention options.
It is optimized to run on network-attached storage 24×7. This is the best HDD for gaming if you are looking for a hard drive that will last for hours at a stretch and years in the long run. For just over $145, the IronWolf NAS is a must-have if you need a reliable HDD.
Speed: 5900 RPM | Storage Capacity: 4TB | Hardware Platform: Desktops | Hard Drive Interface: Serial ATA
- Excellent NAS reliability
- Consistent read and write speeds
- Low price-to-performance ratio
4. WD Black 6TB
This WD Black internal hard drive is one of the best HDDs you can buy for a customized storage upgrade to your gaming rig. WDs StableTrac Technology promotes accurate data tracking for enhanced gaming performance and there are plenty of other performance features added in as well.
This gaming HDD offers sufficient data transfer speeds of an average 210MB/s along with a 2X DRAM cache of 256MB. High memory cache helps reduce performance lag, especially vital if you are using customized gaming controllers like steering wheels or flight sticks.
Additionally, the device also features Dynamic Cache Technology that enhances real-time caching algorithms and optimizes reading and writing speeds. These features enable it to run some of the largest games available in the market.
The WD Black is quieter than most other 7200 RPM HDDs. It also comes with a 5-year industry-leading warranty.
For under $230, the offered features make it one of the best internal HDDs for gaming. If you want a high-performance hard drive where you can store your games and run them of it as well, the WD Black should be in your top 3.
Speed: 7200 RPM | Storage Capacity: 6TB | Hardware Platform: PC | Hard Drive Interface: Serial ATA 600
- Excellent price-to-performance
- Reliable and durable
- High power consumption
Best External HDDs for Gaming
1. Seagate Portable 2TB
With this Seagate Portable external USB drive, you can easily access your stored AAA game titles and play directly from it. It is compatible with both Mac and Windows computers and offers plenty of features to compete with internal HDDs in its class.
This 2TB external HDD comes with auto-recognition, just plug and play. It comes with a generous 18-inch long USB 3.0 cable. But it also offers backward compatibility with USB 2.0 so that you can run it on previous-gen desktops and consoles as well.
What makes this one of the best external hard drives for gaming is portability and performance. This is one of the thinnest portable HDDs with 2TB storage and it is also one of the fastest portable single-volume external hard disks in the market.
For around $65, this probably the best HDD for gaming you can buy if 2TB storage is enough, and especially if you want a portable storage option.
Speed: 5400 RPM | Storage Capacity: 2TB | Hardware Platform: PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox
- Fastest 2TB portable HDD
- Slim and portable
- No access security option
2. Seagate Expansion
This Seagate Expansion desktop stands true to its description. It is not the usual external drive but an expansion drive for backup storage. If you keep running out of storage space on your desktop, this 4TB Seagate HDD can be a straightforward solution.
Compatible with Windows and Mac, this portable 4TB hard offers seamless plug and play. Although this device runs only at 5400 RPM, this is one of the fastest 4TB external hard disks, just like the previous 2TB external. Seems Seagate has found a secret to getting more performance despite the low specs.
Although this is a bit heavy for a portable hard disk, understand that this Seagate 4TB is marketed as an expansion external drive. The design is simple and its backward compatibility with USB 2.0 other than the USB 3.0 default makes this compatible with older PC builds as well. Also, you can plug it with your gaming console or your media box as well.
Priced at just above $90, this is an in-demand external hard disk. If you need a storage expansion for your gaming setup, this HDD can store 85+ games with average size around 40 GB, only $1/game!
Speed: 5400 RPM | Storage Capacity: 4TB | Hardware Platform: PC, Xbox, PS4.
- Excellent performance
- Easy plug and play
- Not so portable
- No access security
3. Seagate STGD2000100 Game Drive
The Seagate 2TB game drive is an exceptional portable external hard drive specially designed for PS4 (system software 4.5 or higher) allowing you to store over 50 AAA titles with average game sizes of 40GB.
Featuring easy plug-and-play, this Seagate hard drive features the classic all-black design, making it a perfect accessory for your gaming console setup. The all-aluminum casing provides additional protection to this small and compact HDD.
This is one of the smallest 2TB portable HDDs in the market. But despite its size, this device delivers decent performance at 5400 RPM and 5GB/sec transfer rates for zero stutterings even with the most demanding games.
This is a PS4-only gaming HDD, and at under $80, it is the perfect add-on to your gaming console on a budget. Also, this is an officially PS4 licensed product, making it even more worth a buy.
Speed: 5400 RPM | Storage Capacity: 2TB | Hardware Platform: PlayStation 4
- Compact design
- Strong performance
- Compatible with PS4 only
- Lacks hardware encryption
4. Seagate 2TB Game Drive for Xbox
This 2TB HDD is a compact device that comes with the trademark Xbox color code and insignia to match with your gaming console setup.
This dedicated gaming drive gives you a high-performance with average reading/writing speeds of over 140 MB/s. It is designed to arm you with a massive arsenal of Xbox games. With such speeds, you can transfer multiple game files from your console to the drive within the hour and install fresh new ones into your Xbox drive.
Like the PS4 gaming drive, Seagate prices this HDD just as competitively, at under $80. This too comes officially licensed from Sony Xbox as a gaming drive and you might even consider the 8TB Gaming Hub for a discount right here!
Speed: 7200 RPM | Storage Capacity: 2TB | Hardware Platform: Xbox One
- Great performance
- Compact and durable design
- Easy plug and play
- Cannot be used for game and media storage together
5. Seagate Firecuda Gaming Dock
Arguably the most utilitarian extended storage device you can add to your gaming station, the Seagate Firecuda gaming dock is the most powerful device in its segment.
The FireCuda comes with a 3.5 inch, 4TB hard drive with provisions for an expandable M.2 NVMe slot that is built for SSD upgrades like the FireCuda 510 NVMe SSD that can add up to 2 TB more.
This is more than just a storage expansion, this is a gaming dock that will resolve all common connectivity issues multiple added ports. The Seagate FireCuda comes with 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports, a DisplayPort 1.4, an ultra-modern RJ45 Ethernet port, and a dual 3.5 mm audio in and out ports.
In short, this is the ultimate gaming hub. It even houses a small silent fan for cooling!
The design of this beast is impressive with minimalist aesthetics and customizable LEDs. The rubbery grip outside along with the sleek detachable front end makes a unique add-on to your gaming setup.
Even the price tag of $325 seems justified with the features it offers. Add this to your gaming console for an essential storage and connectivity boost.
Speed: 7200 RPM | Storage Capacity: 4TB | Hardware Platform: PC, Mac, Console | Hard Drive Interface: Thunderbolt
- Multiple connectivity and ports
- Extendable SSD option
- RGB lighting
- Includes Thunderbolt 3
- Top-end reliable performance
- Very expensive
Find a hard drive that fulfils your requirements. Compare the above products based on compatibility, file transfer rates, loading time, RPM, storage capacity, security, backup technology and also warranty coverage.
If you are looking for the best external gaming HDD but on a tight budget, go for with the Seagate Portable 2TB or the 4TB Expansion, both of which are available at under $100. With a higher budget, you can get even better performance from either the Toshiba 4TB or the IronWolf NAS 4TB internal HDD.
The WD Black 6TB will be a perfect internal HDD for those looking for a high-end internal hard drive with massive storage capacity.
The FireCuda gaming dock is the next level external drive with the 4TB capacity and performance, that can further be expanded. But this powerhouse comes at a premium, also worth it if you are short of USB or Thunderbolts for your gaming rig.
Make sure to purchase products from top-rated sellers and double-check on warranties. It is advised to register bought products on the manufacturer’s website immediately after receiving!