Choosing The Best HDD for Gaming — Buying Guide

Gone were the days when Hard drives were the Alpha and Omega of computer storage; if you had to do serious file storage back then, you really needed to pay attention (and money, too, sometimes) to a good hard drive. Unsurprisingly, then,  if you were into gaming back then, your entire gaming experience would have been mostly hinged on the kind of hard drive you were using and how much data you’ve been able to keep on it. Things are a lot different now (and, honestly, it didn’t even take that long); with faster, cheaper, more flexible storage solutions, gamers have more options to store their data on things like Solid State Drives-SSDs (which, by the way, sounds and looks cooler than Hard drives). However, Hard drives are far from being obsolete; for one thing, they’ve witnessed improvements of considerable degrees, but, more importantly, hard drive still have some key advantages over its alternatives; It’s still cheaper when price per gigabyte is considered, and it has longer lifespan. Thus, SSDs might be cooler, lightning-fast and all of that, but hard drives are still a thing gamers should give a serious thought to, because it is still as decisive as ever.

It’s 2019, and choosing a hard drive for gaming is as decisive as ever, and this piece is aimed at highlighting the best hard drives for gaming, and showing how these options compare so that users (gamers, in this case) could choose the hard drive that would suit their various individual needs.

CATEGORY: 2.5 Inch Hard Drives

Basically, 2.5- inch hard drives are used with laptops or consoles (some desktop case have racks for these kind of hard drives too), because they’re the smaller of the two categories. Due to their small size, users would most times have to make do with limited storage options, slower rotation speed, and often times too, lower cache memory. But still, the following are some the best hard drives of this category that you can find out there in 2019.

WD Blue Hard Drive

WD (Western Digital) hard drives are quite popular, for some nice reasons, and that extends to their 2.5 inch offerings. The WD Blue Hard Drive keeps true to the superior manufacturing Western Digital is known for: balancing power consumption, storage capacity, and speed. It features WD’s “NoTouch” technology which ensures that the read head is never touching the disk; this technology makes the hard drive quiet and durable, and any laptop owner (gamers, especially) would appreciate its quality. However, the WD Blue Hard Drive has its drawbacks; they’re limited in storage capacity, and although they come in some higher storage variants, it’s tough to get anything but the smaller storage option (higher storage options are kind of scarce). Besides, Blue Hard drives aren’t the most long-lasting drives out there.

Overall, the WD blue Hard Drive is a pretty decent hard drive, it would do fine for gaming purposes, and it is relatively cheap too!

Seagate Barracuda

The Seagate Barracuda Hard Drive excels in storage capacity and cache memory, so that it performs well even if it only has an average RPM of 5400. With storage options up to 5TB, the Seagate Barracuda is quite impressive for a 2.5 inch hard drive, and then, the low rotation speed is compensated with 128MB of cache memory. The one major drawback to the Seagate Barracuda hard drive is that it has a high failure rate, higher than most alternative hard drives; this means it’s not as durable and long-lasting as the others.

Drawbacks notwithstanding, the Seagate Barracuda is still a good option for gamers. It’s cheap (it has very low price per gigabyte), and has higher storage options. However, it is recommended that this hard drive not be used for primary system drives (due to the disappointing failure rate).

WD Black Hard Drive

The WD Black Hard Drive is a performance-oriented hard drive (compared to the more balanced WD Blue cousin). It has a faster rotation speed of 7200 RPM (where the WD Blue could only manage 5400), and ample cache memory which allows for faster data read and write. It even has more flexible (and available) storage options; from 250GB all the way to 1TB, it doesn’t have the highest storage option but makes all the options readily available to purchase.

The WD Black Hard Drive is expensive, given the “added features” of faster data read/write and more cache memory, but then, gamers (and professionals) would appreciate the performance boost this hard drive is offering.

CATEGORY: 3.5 inch Hard Drives

3.5 inch hard drives are, of course, the bigger of the two categories, and they’re basically used for desktop systems. They feature a higher rotation speed (7200 RPM) and a much, much higher storage capacities. They come in a range of prices too, although they don’t always have to cut down on features relative to the pricing (something 2.5 inch hard drives are known for). The following are some of the best hard drives and HDDs for gaming PCs gamers can find in 2019.

WD Blue Hard Drive

There’s a 3.5 inch version of the WD Blue Hard Drive which is unsurprisingly bulkier than the 2.5 inch version. It features a much higher storage option and a larger memory; it offers up to 6TB of storage (which makes 500GB look ridiculously small) and a comfortable 64MB of cache memory. It also comes in 5400 and 7200 RPM versions, allowing for users meet their specific performance-price needs (thus, they won’t be getting more than what they need, or less, now that they have choice).

There’s a lot to love about the WD Blue hard drive, with its ample storage sizes, and performance-enhancing technologies (the “No-touch” technology is present here also) but there’s no getting away from the fact that the WD Hard Drive is “mainstream”, sitting awkwardly in the middle; it is neither the most dependable nor the fastest. If you’re out for the hard drive of the very best quality and dependability in a hard drive, this is just not it, but it would do just fine in all the other situations.

Toshiba P300 Hard Drive

The Toshiba P300 hard drive is a 3.5 inch hard drive that’s a little better than the competition. It balances quality, price and storage options better than most of the other hard drives from other manufacturers. It offers up to 3TB of storage; pretty ample for gamers, 7200 RPM, and a “significantly better” memory cache than the competition.

It is not common to find a quality hard drive that’s affordable at the same time, and gamers would appreciate that a lot. The one thing that’s a snag to the “stellar profile” of this hard drive is that it’s not easily available; it’s not a mainstream device, and that means it would be harder to find out there.

Toshiba X300 Hard Drive

The Toshiba X300 Hard Drive is the meaner beast cousin of the P300, and it’s the best HDD for gaming (talk about saving the best for last!). It’s a high-profile, performance-oriented hard drive that has all the high profiles you could find in a hard drive; it offers storage options from 4TB all the way up to 8TB, with double the cache memory of the P300 and the same 7200 RPM. If you’re out looking for one of the very best hard drives for your gaming PC, this is the one to consider. For others (read: casual PC owners), this is not exactly an economical option; you’d be paying a premium for all that high-end specs, and in the long run, it wouldn’t be a good value for money if you don’t need that much resource.

Conclusion

Picking a hard drive shouldn’t be as risky as it used to be “back then”, but then, in 2019, it is still important to pay attention to the kind of hard drive one would be buying for gaming. Criteria such as Rotation speed, Storage capacity, connectivity and Cache size should be considered so that users won’t have too much or too little of resources. Needless to say, it is not advisable to depend on one hard drive for all data storage, as all it would take is one failure to lose all the data.