Best Gaming Hard Drive – A Complete Resource for 2017
It’s not always easy to pinpoint the best gaming hard drive, but for gamers it’s a necessary step towards building the ideal gaming rig.
It seems silly to have a high end CPU and a superb graphics card, plus huge amounts of RAM, only for the entire system to bog down due to an inadequate hard disk.
So the complete the ideal gaming PC, let’s take a look at some excellent hard disks you can use. With the best HDD for gaming, you’re all set.
1. WD Black 6TB Performance Desktop Hard Disk Drive
This Western Digital hard disk feels like a blueprint of what an ideal HDD looks like for gamers and for professionals too.
The 6TB capacity is certainly spacious, which means that you certainly have lots of room available for your entire gaming library.
You can download an entire truckload of games online and a single hard drive can contain them all.
That’s certainly convenient at the very least, since too many games use up a lot of gigabytes. For some that’s because the game maps are large or they feature high resolution displays, while other games are large simply because the makers don’t even care enough to make basic compressions.
Whatever the reason may be, it doesn’t matter. You just have to accept that the Age of Conan comes in at 26GB at launch, and grows to 31GB after putting in the expansions. The Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Ultimate Sith Edition and The Secret World are at 30GB, Max Payne 3 comes in at 35GB, and the simulator game X-Plane 9 occupies a whopping 70GB of space.
So while the WD hard disk is available at sizes ranging from 1TB to 6TB, you may as well get the 6TB so you can build a huge gaming library without worrying about space. Also, you can put in a music library too—who says you can’t enjoy your own mp3s when you play? It’s also advisable to get the 6TB or at least the 5TB because it comes with a huge 128MB of cache.
You need a large cache to get a speedier read rate performance, and transfer rates are certainly faster too. WD has the technology to improve the real time performance as it optimizes the cache between the writes and reads. The 7200 rpm hard drive rotational speed also helps with the speed, of course.
What’s nice is that it’s not really all that noisy. You probably won’t hear it when it’s inside the PC case, and obviously you won’t hear it at all when you’re wearing a headset. This also comes with a dual-core processor. This gives you double the processing capacity of a single-core processor, and that means loading games and other large files should be much faster.
The WD (except for the 1TB) is also equipped with the StableTrac technology. This tech makes sure that the hard disk motor shaft is secured inside. The tech also helps in reducing the impact brought on by the vibrations caused by your other components in your PC. It’s even backed by a 5-year limited warranty, which leads the industry today.
All these factors point to excellent reliability, since a hard drive failure is certainly one of the worst tragedies that can happen to a PC gamer. You can run these all day everyday 24/7 and not worry at all. And the WD customer service department is by all accounts top notch.
2. Seagate 10TB BarraCuda Pro
Now if you really want performance and lots of space for a huge gaming library, you need to get the 10TB BarraCuda Pro from Seagate.
Sure, it’s also offered on 8TB, 6TB, and smaller storage sizes. But 10TB means that you probably won’t need a second hard disk for a very long while.
With this, you can also have a huge video and music library too. And saving millions of documents and photos won’t be a problem either.
That doesn’t mean that you’re going to need a lot of time to access your data. The 7200 rpm speed sees that you get fast access, and so does the SATA 6GB per second interface. You also get up to 256MB cache.
All these mean that when you’re transferring files to this hard drive, you can get a sustained rate of 220MBs per second. It doesn’t even consume a lot of energy either. In fact, it’s billed as having the lowest power consumption for any 3.5-inch drive, at just 6.8W.
So what’s the catch? The main catch is the warranty situation, which isn’t exactly crystal clear. In some ads, you may find that the warranty lasts for years. But some other sellers have it at 3 years, and some owners report that the warranty is only for a year.
Or it may not even have a warranty at all. So read the reviews, as they may report the situation more clearly. It may depend on where you buy your item.
3. Seagate 8TB Archive V2 Enterprise
So far, 10TB represents the largest storage capacity for HDDs. But in terms of value for money, these hard disks don’t exactly offer a sweet deal for some people.
However, the price for 8TB disks may be more reasonable.Do you know how many games you can put inside 8TB of storage?
It’s a lot. In fact, it’s a safe bet that you may not be able to finish all the games you can fit on this hard disk.
Of course, the 5900 rpm speed may not be optimal for some gamers, but it does offer a 128MB cache. What’s more, it gives you excellent reliability, since this enterprise-grade hard disk is designed to work all the time, all day, and all year. So you can play all day from the moment you wake up to the moment you reluctantly sleep.
It’s designed for a busy workload, as it can handle as much as 180TB of data per year. So you can play your games every day if you want, and the hard disk can handle the load with no problem. It’s so reliable that it has won wards since it was introduced in 2015.
4. Toshiba X300 6TB
The Toshiba brand is quite well-known, and that’s often reassuring in these days of falling quality control standards.
At least with a famous brand name, you know that there’s at least some effort being made to make sure of a product’s good quality, so that the brand image isn’t tarnished.
And with this hard disk, Toshiba has a lot to be proud of.
It offers a huge storage capacity at 6TB, which for most people may be the optimal size for a hard disk. That’s a lot of space, which can contain just about very media file you can possibly collect. It certainly should fit your entire gaming library.
And at the same time, it offers a reasonable cost from a “dollars per TB” perspective. Some people think that the cost per TB is too much when you go past 6TB. What’s more, Toshiba packed this hard disk with a ton of advanced technological features that gamers will appreciate. First, it’s compatible with a large number of PCs, as it can work with any OS and SATA-enabled laptops.
It also has the Native Command Queuing (NCQ) support, which really improves the seek-time performance. Looking for particular files is sometimes like physically looking for a book. When you have a single cabinet for your books, then you can find the book you want at a single glance.
But when you have an entire building to house your library, obviously it’s going to need a bit of time. But at least Toshiba has the tech to speed things up. It offers a speed of 7200 rpm, which on average delivers data to your PC about 33% faster than a standard 5400 rpm drive. It also offers a 128MB disk cache, which can speed up the read/write process on the hard disk.
This cache holds the data you’ve recently accessed, and in some cases it also holds nearby data that are the most likely to be accessed next. Then you have the Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) technology, which helps in boosting the disk’s reliability. While you certainly should back up your important files and documents, it’s certainly annoying when a hard disk fails.
And if for some reason you haven’t backed up your files, it’s catastrophic. But at least with this HDD and this technology, that should be unlikely. Its stability is also enhanced by the Tunnel Magneto-Resistive (TMR) recording head technology. The internal shock detection and ramp-loading technology can do their part in protecting your data and the disk itself.
It also has the standard 2-year warranty on the hard disk. While it’s not as long as the warranties on some hard disks, at least it has a warranty. But you ought to make sure with the seller, since you may be buying discount hard disks that don’t have any warranty at all.
5. Toshiba 3.5-Inch 3TB 7200 RPM DT01ACA300
What if you need an extra hard disk? Then you may want the DT01ACA300, which offers 3TB of space.
In fact, Toshiba markets this drive especially for gaming rigs. It features the Serial ATA (SATA) serial interface which can operate at speeds up to 6GB per second.
With the 7200 rpm speed, you also improve the data transfer rate for the hard drive.
This also comes with the Ramp Load technology. This keeps the recording head of the drive from touching the disk media. With this technology, the drive has better protection when you’re transporting it, so you can bring it with you if you need it.
This feature also reduces the wear on your recording head. Now you’d think that with a fast rotating speed, it would be noisier. But it’s actually quiet, so it doesn’t distract you from your gameplay. It won’t wake anybody up when you’re wearing a headset and you’re playing late at night, even if you have somebody else in your room.
The silence is due to the excellent mechanical design of the hard disk, and it also has advanced servo techniques that minimize the drive acoustics. Finally, the disk also doesn’t consume a lot of energy either. The power management technology on the drive limits the energy consumption to just 5.2 watts at the most on active idle.
On standby and sleep mode, it only uses 1 watt. This can help gamers a little bit from spending too much on their energy bill. This is the hard disk you want if you have favorite games you know you’ll play forever, just like some people play chess or poker their whole lives.
So if you think that your fascination for Diablo 2, Warcraft 2, or even DOS games, will never go away, then, you may want to use this super-reliable hard drive.
6.WD Velociraptor WD1000DHTZ 1TB
Sometimes you may just want to play a handful of games, and access speed is your top priority.
If that’s the case, then the 1TB storage capacity of this hard disk will be enough. In fact, you can fit in more than a dozen games on this drive with no problem.
But what separates this hard disk is the 10,000 rpm speed that really accelerates the access rate. Furthermore, despite the increased capacity and performance it doesn’t consume as much power as previous WD VelociRaptor models.
You get a better hard disk without paying a penalty with increased energy bills. Finally, this is also very reliable indeed. For proof, there’s the excellent 5-year warranty that’s a bit longer than average for the industry.
But it also offers 1.4 million hours of Mean Time Between Failure, and that’s the highest reliability rating you can find in any high-capacity SATA hard disk. That means you can play an average of 1.4 million hours before you can expect the hard disk to fail. Now that’s a lot of gaming time!