Homeer is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Best Hard Drives for Gaming: HDD Top Picks and Reviews in 2021

Paul Syverson
  Sep 17, 2021 4:46 AM

People prefer SSD since it delivers faster read and write speed, as well as higher performance. It doesn’t mean that HDDs are outdated; they’re affordable and reliable. HDD is the ideal choice if speed isn’t the main priority in games, but capacity. 

Here we ranked and reviewed the top 26 Best Hard Drives for Gaming in 2021. You can see some household brands on the list below: Seagate, Western Digital, LaCie, Toshiba.


Buying Guides

  • HDD is the ideal choice when looking for a memory kit that can store data backups for a long time. Meanwhile, SSD is the better option if you want to load applications and games rapidly. Therefore, if running programs is not your primary purpose, go for an HDD. 

  • 3.5-inch HDD is for desktops, while the 2.5-inch hard drive is for laptops. People store data on spinning disks on HDDs, so more data equals larger size. One more reason is that people prefer smaller disks for laptops because they have compact designs.

  • If budget isn’t your concern, and if you’re a gamer/person who works in specialized fields, you should opt for a 2TB hard drive disk at least. When you need to store a wide range of heavy videos, images, or games, 2TB will provide you enough space to run programs or applications smoothly. 2TB also can prevent you from buying new storage kits in just a few years. 

  • 7200RPM rotation speed is highly recommended for gaming purposes. It may support your computer to run faster. It is said that the performance will go down over time. However, this rate has been good for HDD up to now. 

  • Internal hard drives can be used as external ones and vice versa. If you aim for storage, backup, and transfer, external is the better choice. In other cases, internal will be the best option.


Compare Products

TOP Choice
1
  • SCORE
    9.6
    H Score

    H Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Western Digital
TOP Choice
2
  • SCORE
    9.6
    H Score

    H Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Seagate
3
  • SCORE
    9.6
    H Score

    H Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Seagate
4
  • SCORE
    9.6
    H Score

    H Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Seagate
5
  • SCORE
    9.4
    H Score

    H Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Seagate
6
  • SCORE
    9.4
    H Score

    H Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Seagate
7
  • SCORE
    9.4
    H Score

    H Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Seagate
8
  • SCORE
    9.4
    H Score

    H Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Western Digital
9
  • SCORE
    9.4
    H Score

    H Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Western Digital
10
  • SCORE
    9.4
    H Score

    H Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Western Digital
11
  • SCORE
    9.4
    H Score

    H Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Seagate
12
  • SCORE
    9.4
    H Score

    H Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Western Digital
13
  • SCORE
    9.4
    H Score

    H Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Seagate
14
  • SCORE
    9.4
    H Score

    H Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Western Digital
15
  • SCORE
    9.4
    H Score

    H Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    LaCie
16
  • SCORE
    9.4
    H Score

    H Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Western Digital
17
  • SCORE
    9.4
    H Score

    H Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Western Digital
18
  • SCORE
    9.4
    H Score

    H Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Seagate
19
  • SCORE
    9.2
    H Score

    H Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Western Digital
20
  • SCORE
    9.2
    H Score

    H Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Seagate
21
  • SCORE
    9.0
    H Score

    H Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Western Digital
22
  • SCORE
    9.0
    H Score

    H Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Seagate
23
  • SCORE
    9.0
    H Score

    H Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Seagate
24
  • SCORE
    8.8
    H Score

    H Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    LaCie
25
  • SCORE
    8.8
    H Score

    H Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Toshiba
26
  • SCORE
    8.2
    H Score

    H Score is a ranking system developed by our team of experts. It from 0 to 10 are automatically scored by our AI Consumer Report tool based upon the data collected. This score has no relationship or impact from any manufacturer or sales agent websites.

  • Brand
    Seagate

Last update on 2021-09-17 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

Amazon Prime is now accessible for students with a free 6-month Amazon Prime trial, including free 2-day shipping, unrestricted time for streaming videos & more. If you aren’t a student, you still have a chance to try a free 1-month Amazon Prime trial.


Reviews

1. Seagate BarraCuda 3.5-inch Internal Hard Drive HDD

Best internal hard drive overall 

Today’s best deal: View on Amazon

Specifications

  • Interface: SATA 6Gbps

  • Capacity: 250GB – 8TB

  • Cache: 256MB

  • RPM: 7,200

Reasons to buy

  • Variety of capacity choices

  • Multi-tier caching technology: secure the hard drive

  • High performance

  • Quite sound

Reasons to avoid

  • The actual RPM may be lower

  • Cables are not included 

As a brand with over 20 years of delivering hard drives, BarraCuda is a trustworthy and reliable manufacturer. BarraCuda Hard Drives have many choices for you, from 250GB to 8TB, providing instant access to data. Depending on the capacity you get, you can download several heavy games and still load them quickly.

You will not have to worry that your data is stolen thanks to the protection of Self-Encrypting Drive technology and hardware-based Instant Secure Erase. With this BarraCuda HDD, you can edit videos/images, store data, and play games on PCs. 

Moreover, the RPM of up to 7200 and cache of 256GB support your computer to transfer the data and information rapidly. One small note is that the 3.5-inch size isn’t the size of the hard drive mechanism but the data platter. 

Alternate choices:

Seagate IronWolf 2TB NAS Internal HDD

Western Digital 2TB Internal HDD

2. Seagate Exos 7E Internal Hard Drive

Best reliable internal hard drive

Today’s best deal: View on Amazon

Specifications

  • Interface: SATA 6Gbps

  • Capacity: 1TB – 18TB

  • Cache: 256MB

  • RPM: 7,200

Reasons to buy

  • Variety choices of capacity 

  • Huge capacity: up to 18TB

  • High performance

  • Five-year limited warranty 

Reasons to avoid

  • A bit overpriced 

  • Loud noise when being overloaded 

If you’re looking for a reliable hard drive that can contain a vast amount of data, Seagate Exos 7E is definitely for you. It has the ability to support the workload of up to 550TB per year - 10 times more than that of desktop drives. HDD usually exists for more than five years, so imagine how efficient it is going with you for such a long time. 

The performance of the drives is high thanks to the on-demand PowerChoice features and rotational vibration tolerance. Additionally, Exos E drives support multiple applications, so you can run some programs simultaneously without lagging or delaying. 

The more capacity you get, the more sequential data rate the hard drive delivers. Although this Seagate Exos 7E is overpriced compared to the equivalent HDD of other producers, it offers higher performance and more features. Therefore, it’s worth your investment. 

Alternate choice:

Western Digital 10TB Purple Surveillance Internal Hard Drive

3. WD Elements Desktop Hard Drive

Best external hard drive overall 

Today’s best deal: View on Amazon

Specifications

  • Interface: USB 3.0, Micro-B

  • Capacity: 3TB – 18TB

  • Cache: Not mentioned 

  • RPM: 7,200

Reasons to buy

  • Variety choices of capacity

  • Huge capacity

  • Easy setup and use

  • Small power consumption 

Reasons to avoid

  • Limited transfer rate

  • May get hot when being overloaded

  • Not convenient as internal HDDs

If you’re finding an external hard drive for your Windows/Mac rig, WD Elements Desktop Hard Drive is the ideal choice overall. The product is available from 3TB to 18TB, giving you more storage to store heavy applications and games. You can use USB 3.0 and 2.0 to plug into the hard drive.

External HDD is ideal when your internal one is full and starts to slow down your computer. You can free up space by transferring data to WD Elements; then, your PC will get high performance again. 

Furthermore, WD Elements Desktop Hard Drive meets some demanding requirements of customers, such as durability, shock tolerance, and long-term reliability to protect the data better and longer. The HDD package comes with comprehensive parts, including the hard drive, USB cable, AC adapter, and manual instruction. 

Alternate choices:

G-Technology 6TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drive

Fantom Drives 6TB External Hard Drive

LaCie Rugged Mini 5TB External Hard Drive

ADATA HD710 Pro 2TB USB 3.1 IP68 External Hard Drive

4. Seagate BarraCuda 2.5 Inch Internal Hard Drive

Best 2.5-inch hard drive for laptop 

Today’s best deal: View on Amazon

Specifications

  • Interface: SATA 6.0 Gb/s

  • Capacity: 500GB – 2TB

  • Cache: 128MB 

  • RPM: 5,400

Reasons to buy

  • Small form factor

  • Affordable price

  • Enough capacity to work on laptops

Reasons to avoid

  • May not work on old laptops

  • The speed will slow down when it is overloaded and warms up 

Seagate BarraCuda 2.5 Inch Internal Hard Drive is built for laptops to serve your needs in adding storage. Using Multi-Tier caching technology (MTC), BarraCuda can improve the performance of your computer. 

With the support of intelligent layers of NAND Flash and media cache technologies, this hard drive can push the read and write speed by optimizing the data transfer rate. Thereby it allows you to download or load applications as quickly as possible. 

You can choose the pro version to recover data more efficiently. Although the number of choices is not abundant as other internal HDDs for PC, your laptop may just need up to 2TB to deal with all heavy tasks and some games. Besides, there are some options coming with a Sabrent adapter or a StarTech adapter for those who need them.

Note that you will have to pay an extra fee for the optional recovery plan. With 20 years of innovation, Seagate BarraCuda is confident that it can offer customers the greatest and best service and product. 

Alternate choice:

Western Digital 1TB WD Blue Mobile Hard Drive

5. Western Digital Red Pro NAS Internal Hard Drive

Best high-performance hard drives for PCs

Today’s best deal: View on Amazon

Specifications

  • Interface: Serial ATA-600

  • Capacity: 2TB - 18TB 

  • Cache: 256MB 

  • RPM: 7,200

Reasons to buy

  • Various choices of capacity

  • Huge capacity 

  • Excellent performance + fast speed 

  • Nice look

Reasons to avoid

  • Highly-priced

  • Loud noise

Western Digital Red Pro NAS Internal Hard Drive is built for up to 24-bay NAS systems. The available capacity ranges from 2TB to 18TB. You will no longer have to worry about your computer becomes slow since the lack of capacity. This hard drive is beneficial for business as it enables employees to share files or backup folders quickly.

Additionally, WD Red Pro is equipped with a multi-axis shock sensor, blocking any shock event to protect your data longer. Besides, the dynamic fly height technology also adjusts the read and write speed to compensate better and save the data. 

Western Digital Red Pro NAS Internal Hard Drive reduces the power consumption to stable the temperature. You can work with the HDD for a long time without feeling it hot. The total workload per year can reach up to 300TB, making this HDD the most efficient hard drive ever. 

Last but not least, you can enhance reliability and data recovery with the help of 3D Active Balance Plus and NASware 3.0 technology. To sum up, they are the outstanding features and high performance that make WD Red Pro NAS expensive!

Alternate choice:

WD Purple 18TB Surveillance Hard Disk Drive


FAQs

1. How much storage capacity is enough for gaming?

It depends on how many games you downloaded on your PCs. 256GB is for one or two light old games. If you want to play some more heavy and latest games, you may need at least 1TB of storage (HDD or SSD) so that those games can run smoothly. 

Generally, most modern games can use up to 100GB of memory, so 1TB is not the ideal number anymore. With AAA gaming titles, you may need more. Depending on your budget, you can choose the best HDD or SSD for yourself. 

2. Is SSD or HDD better for gaming?

We highly recommend you to use SSD because it is faster and more responsive than HDD. When you play heavy and demanding games, SSD can support loading the games more quickly and deliver far faster read and write speed.

On the other hand, HDD is the ideal option if you want to store important and heavy data rather than load applications. HDDs are also much cheaper than SSDs

3. What factors should you consider when choosing HDDs?

When buying a new HDD, you should consider those factors below:

  • Internal or external: External HDD is portable, so you can bring it everywhere and plug it into any device. It is also helpful in case your PC is compromised. If you’re using laptops, it would be more convenient when you use the internal hard drive.

  • Storage capacity: This is very important, especially if you have a huge demand for using capacity. You should consider carefully and buy the one with a bit more storage than your need for future upgrades.

  • Rotation speed (RPM): It determines how fast your hard drive spins. The quicker the plates spin, the quicker the load and access time. We highly recommend HDDs with 7200 RPM. 

  • Cache: the large the cache memory size, the faster the HDD is.


4.7
3 ratings