Best High-Speed Gaming Hard Disk Drives (HDD) [2016]

Best gaming hard disk drive (HDD)

If you’re a serious gamer and looking for a blazing fast hard drive to immensely enhance your gaming experience, we recommend you to check our Gaming SSD Guide first.

You may have come eventually to the conclusion that a high-end computer, whether it’s designed for gaming or not, will be almost of no avail without a solid and powerful storage subsystem (usually featured by the mechanical hard disk drive (HDD)). The reason for that is simple, it’s because the data you request for processing is basically stored on the hard drive which bears the responsibility of making data available/accessible on demand. When the hard drive is slow, this process is slow as well, thus the whole data processing procedure will slow down, and the symptom will be more visible when handling huge/heavy files like that of video games.

Nowadays, the major performance bottleneck in modern gaming systems is not featured by the CPU, graphics card, or RAM speed/size, as their specifications are usually adequate or even of high standards. Rather it’s the speed of the storage subsystem your computer employs. Using a fast and reliable storage solution to work around this issue is confidently the wise action to carry out if your main concern is to have a seamless and flawless gaming experience.

This guide you’re reading now abounds with valuable information on gaming hard drives and will take you through this world to help you find the best hard drive available on the market for gaming purposes.

The Best Gaming Hard Disk Drives (HDD)

Gaming hard drive technologyI don’t deem finding the best and fastest hard drive for gaming an easy task due to the rush of HDD brands out there that would confuse users about what to pick and what to neglect.

After a long research on this subject we have chosen a specific number of hard drives and sorted them according to their class—either enthusiast or mainstream.

Below the HDD roundup there’s an informative and beneficial guide that manifests our criteria for how we nominated these particular hard drives and how we ranked them. You’ll find also some other valuable information that will certainly enlighten you about the whole matter.

Our Gaming HDD Roundup

Western Digital (WD)
Founded on April 23, 1970, Western Digital Corporation (commonly referred to as Western Digital and often abbreviated as WDC or WD) is an American computer data storage company and one of the largest computer hard disk drive manufacturers in the world, along with Seagate Technology.

WD Desktop Black

Western Digital Black Performance Hard Drive The WD Black is designed to give an overall boost for heavier computing tasks, while offering a good cost per TB. It is an ideal internal storage solution for power consumers looking for the highest possible performance from the market’s current hard disk drive technology as well as those looking for an alternative to the more expensive hybrid drives. The 5tb and 6tb models of this product line are the newest release in the consumer hard drive market (Date first available on the market is: July 14, 2015) and they were seconded with the newest and most improved digital storage technologies that make us say, without doubt, they are the fastest 5tb and 6tb consumer hard drive available as of today.
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Capacity Model # Where to Buy
Official Product Description: WD Black hard drives are designed for desktop PC power users who demand performance. Give your system the high capacity, reliability and robust performance only available in a WD Black drive, that includes a 5-year limited warranty. WD Black hard drives are put through extensive testing in WD’s FIT Lab so that customers have a reliable hard drive they can trust when storing their digital content.
Additional Note: The new 5TB/6TB WD Black HDD offers both a significant increase in storage and noticeable boost in performance. With WD’s latest effort, enthusiasts/professionals will certainly see an overall boost in heavier computing, as it effectively leverages WD’s latest drive technology along with 128MB of DRAM and Dynamic Cache Technology. The latter improves caching algorithms in real time by allocating and optimizing cache between reads and writes. As such, power consumers and gamers with a hefty capacity footprint will find a lot to like with the WD Black 5TB/6TB HDD.
Basic Features
  • Designed for creative professionals, gamers and system builders
  • WD’s StableTrac(TM) and Dynamic Cache Technology increase reliability and optimize performance
  • 2X DRAM cache up to 128 MB (6TB, 5 TB only) for faster read operations
  • Package includes a hard drive only – no screws, cables, manuals included. Please purchase mounting hardware and cables separately if necessary.
  • Industry-leading 5-year manufacturer limited warranty
To download this drive’s official datasheet, click here
Awards & Testimonials

WD Black HDD Award Board

Silent Pc Review Nov 23, 2015

While its mechanical nature prevents it from being as nimble as a SSD, it is the fastest hard drive we’ve tested.

Hardware Canucks Dec 26, 2015

When you add in the reduced power consumption and a five year hassle-free warranty, this drive may just be the perfect HDD for everyone from gamers, to environmentally concerned consumers, to even small form-factor system builders. Western Digital has just breathed new life into their flagship lineup in a big way.

The PC Enthusiast Oct 29, 2015

Based on the tests and the benchmark results that I got, there’s no doubt that the WD Black 6TB WD6001FZWX is currently the fastest hard drive I have ever tested. It’s faster than the lower capacity WD Black, or any color of WD drives available.

Finally, WD has made a fantastic product in the form of the WD Black 6TB hard drive. This proves that the company continues to really push the boundaries of their storage solution. The WD Black 6TB is also back with a 5 year warranty making it a must have storage drive specially for those who are looking for a high performance storage solution.


WD offers more alternatives to mainstream-class users with minimum 2-year limited warranty and maximum 4TB capacity. The items below are in the descending order according to the superiority of the drive.

Seagate Technology PLC (commonly referred to as Seagate) is an American-founded data storage company. Seagate is one of the global leaders in data storage solutions, developing amazing products that enable people and businesses around the world to create, share and preserve their most critical memories and business data.

Seagate Enterprise

Seagate Enterprise Capacity Hard Drive Since it’s first release in 2014 up until the emergence of WD Black 6TB, the Seagate Enterprise Capacity V.4 was billed as the “world’s fastest” nearline HDD currently on the market, with claims of performance 25% over competitive offerings. With an operating speed of 7200RPM, the Seagate V.4 comes in 6TB, 5TB, 4TB and 2TB flavors. Each type can be purchased with either 12Gb/s SAS or 6Gb/s SATA connectivity, allowing it to be easily integrated into current systems. Seagate also supports optional SED and FIPS encryption.
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Capacity Model # Where to Buy
6 TB ST6000NM0024
5 TB ST5000NM0024
4 TB ST4000NM0053
3 TB ST3000NM0033
2 TB ST2000NM0033
1 TB ST1000NM0033
Official Product Description: Supporting one of the industry’s best response times today for a 6TB nearline drive, the Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD with it’s multi-drive RV-tolerance capabilities enables faster data transfers by utilizing the latest interfaces on a trusted platform. And for reliable access to bulk storage, the Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD provides excellent IOPS/TB along with the reliability, availability and serviceability that your customers expect.
Basic Features
  • World’s fastest 6, 5, 4 and 2TB nearline hard drives
  • 10x the workload rating of desktop drives
  • High 24×7 reliability with an MTBF of 1.4M hours on all drives
  • 12Gb/s SAS and SATA 6Gb/s interfaces for easy integration
  • Best-in-class IOPS/TB storage for unstructured data
  • Seagate Instant Secure Erase feature on SED drives for secure, easy and cost-effective drive retirement
  • RV Sensors and RAID support for maximum multi-drive nearline performance
  • Industry-leading 5-year manufacturer limited warranty
To download this drive’s official datasheet, click here
Awards & Testimonials

Seagate Enterprise Capacity v4 Award Board

Hot Hardware Dec 29, 2014

The Seagate drive’s average read/write speed of 164MB/s is the fastest we’ve ever seen from a drive with rotating platters, even besting the former champ, WD’s 10krpm Velociraptor by a hair. The fact that the Seagate drive is faster despite its slower rotational speed shows you just how much of an advantage areal density can be.

Tweak Town May 07, 2014

The Seagate Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD v4 delivers a big jump in density, impressive performance gains, and even increased power efficiency. With its five-year warranty, class-leading performance, and host of enterprise class features, it earns the TweakTown Editor’s Choice Award.

Overclockers Club Jul 14, 2014

Well, I think it is safe to say that the Seagate Enterprise Capacity 6TB 3.5 HDD v4 is indeed a BEAST. I think I’ve said “beast” quite enough times throughout the review, often more referring to the size of this drive, but along with its large capacity is some rather large and impressive numbers to go with it.


Seagate offers more alternatives to mainstream-class users with minimum 2-year limited warranty and maximum 4TB capacity. The items below are arranged in the descending order according to the superiority of the drive.

Toshiba Corporation (commonly referred to as Toshiba, stylized as TOSHIBA) is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Its diversified products and services include information technology and communications equipment and systems, electronic components and materials, power systems, industrial and social infrastructure systems, consumer electronics, household appliances, medical equipment, office equipment, lighting and logistics.

Toshiba X300

Toshiba X300 Extreme Performance The X300 is geared for high-end or pro users, such as graphic designers and gamers, as well as all other users, with a focus on extreme performance and reliability to handle intense desktop computing with ease. This 3.5-inch high-capacity hard drive offers up to 6TB of storage capacity, plus a wealth of data protection features, and is backed by a 2-year standard limited warranty.
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Capacity Model # Where to Buy
Official Product Description: Seeking massive capacity and extreme performance for pro-level gaming, graphic design and animation? Make sure your desktop is powered by the Toshiba X300 Series 3.5” desktop internal hard drive and explore a whole new world of awesome speed and performance. Offering massive storage of up to 6TB, plus a wealth of advanced data protection features built-in, this drive delivers impressive high-storage density and capacity that can keep you moving at lightning-fast speed. Whether you’re deep into AutoCAD files, animated graphics and video editing-or staying right in the action with your favorite games-this drive delivers serious real-time performance and advanced features, too. It combines Toshiba’s time-tested hard drive technology with an internal shock sensor and ramp-loading technology for enhanced drive and data protection, plus the advantages of an intelligent Serial ATA interface, state-of-the-art Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) technology, Native Command Queuing (NCQ) support and Tunnel Magneto-Resistive (TMR) recording head technology for exceptional speed and reliability. When you need extreme performance to meet tough demands, look no further than the X300 drive. It delivers all you need, and more.
Basic Features
  • High storage density and capacity with up to 6TB of storage-Tackle extreme tasks and accommodate a massive collection of large digital files with spacious storage capacity
  • Compatible with Windows Mac and Linux
  • Intelligent Serial ATA interface ensures compatibility with most major brands of Serial ATA enabled laptop PCs
  • Native Command Queuing (NCQ) support enhances seek-time performance
  • Internal shock detection and ramp-loading technology help protect your drive and data
  • Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) technology offers higher capacities, excellent reliability and robustness
  • Tunnel Magneto-Resistive (TMR) recording head technology delivers improved stability
  • Built-in cache algorithm and buffer management enhance real-time read/write performance
  • Industry-leading 2-year manufacturer limited warranty
To download this drive’s official datasheet, click here
Awards & Testimonials

This drive has not been reviewed yet as far as we know.


Seagate offers more alternatives to mainstream-class users with minimum 2-year limited warranty and maximum 4TB capacity. The items below are arranged in the descending order according to the superiority of the drive.

The Standards for Determining the Best HDDs

Choosing the right hard drive for gamingIn this pursuit there are some basic and intuitive standards have to be borne in mind before determining the right hard drive for your gaming rig:

  1. The hard drive manufacturer must be prominent and highly reputed in the industry. This condition makes you sure that the hard drive you choose is not of bad quality. We only recommend these hard drive manufacturers: Western Digital (WD), Hitachi (HGST) [Recently acquired by WD], Seagate and Toshiba.
  2. The hard drive model shouldn’t be too old. Just make sure to pick the newest model of a particular hard drive brand. Because technology is continuously in progression and development, unless your computer is already old, if you pick a hard drive model produced before more than 3 years from today, you’ll most probably miss some new important improvements in performance and reliability. If the hard drive brand has stopped development, you better go to another brand or even change the manufacturer itself.
  3. Identify yourself and determine what class of users you belong to. Are you an enthusiast who always play heavyweight, expensive high-end games? or you consider yourself just a regular gamer (i.e. mainstream) who don’t often put heavy load on the computer? Just don’t let the amazing and sturdy features of high-end hard drives dazzle you and consequently allure you to buy one of them while you’re not in a real need of the strength they offer. Just have a fair estimation of yourself and your needs, then pick the right drive for yourself.
  4. If you’re an enthusiast, make sure the drive you pick has been tested and reviewed by experts. This will guarantee that the particular drive you are interested in is worth it. Also it will help you discover the pros and cons of the drive in order to know how to make the best use of it.
  5. The warranty term must be sufficient. Usually a 3-year limited warranty is pretty enough for most users, including enthusiasts. But even a 2-year warranty is good for lightweight usage.

Once you implement these standards you can rest assured that you have picked the best hard drive you have been looking for.

About Our Gaming Hard Drive Roundup

gaming hard drive round upAll hard drives laid out in the roundup follow the most important standards listed above. They are all from prominent manufacturers who have high reputation in the HDD industry, and have decent warranty terms ranging from 2 years to 5 years.

During the process of our research and compilation of this guide we gave most of our focus and efforts to investigate enthusiast high-end hard drives because they are more expensive in price and are supposed to last for too long, therefore their case is more sensitive than mainstream hard drives’. That’s why you’ll see enriched elaborations and informative details once you click the View More Details button located on the bottom of the hard drive’s profile section.

As for mainstream hard drives in our roundup, they are not regarded bad drives, they are rather very good for their purposes. So don’t underestimate them. They are strong enough to handle your daily lightweight to medium-weight games. Even if you aim at playing high-end heavyweight games, they are good (although not as good as enthusiast drives) as long as this will not be your consistent habit.

Quick Overview on the Selected Items

For the sake of reference, the table below offers a quick overview on the hard drives we recommend as the best-in-class HDDs for gaming purposes.

Best Gaming Hard Drives
Manufacturer Brand Name Class Available Capacities Price Range
Western Digital (WD) Performance Black Enthusiast 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, 4TB, 5TB, 6TB $74 to $287
Blue SSHD 4TB Mainstream 4TB only $159
Desktop Performance Mainstream 2TB, 4TB $176.99 to $249.95
Desktop Mainstream Mainstream 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 3TB $44.49 to $79.99
Seagate Enterprise Capacity v4 Enthusiast 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, 4TB, 5TB, 6TB, 8TB $87.99 to $430.24
Desktop SSHD Mainstream 1TB, 2TB, 4TB $69.99 to $144.99
Desktop HDD Mainstream 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, 4TB, 6TB $61.29 to $263.85
Toshiba X300 Desktop Enthusiast 4TB, 5TB, 6TB $134.99 to $234.99
P300 Desktop Mainstream 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 3TB $49.99 to $100.99
A note on Hitachi/HGST Hard Drives

You will note that we have omitted Hitachi/HGST from our selection list, that’s because, even though its brand is one of the most highly-reputed in the HDD industry, it has stopped developing consumer-grade hard drives since WD acquired it in 2012. The latest efforts of HGST in this space is Deskstar 7K4000 HDD that was released in 2012 and comes in maximum capacity of 4TB. It was though a very good drive, but because it’s old (almost 4 years old as of now) we have discarded it from our list.

As for the enterprise-grade hard drives, HGST has developed the Ultrastar 7K300 for enterprise space before the acquisition of WD, then it changed to Ultrastar HE8 with Helium technology implemented. We didn’t pick that drive either because it did not perform so well against the high-end drives in our list.

How the Items are Ordered

We have ordered the hard drives in the roundup according to their reported performance. We’ll depend primarily on the benchmark numbers provided by

The two charts are about capacities ranging from 1TB to 6TB, there WD Black is king undoubtedly. But if you want the fastest mechanical hard drive ever in SATA III interface, it’s Seagate Enterprise Capacity v.5 8TB [ST8000NM0055]. We didn’t include it in our list because it is too huge in space for an individual to possess, unless they have their exceptional reasons to go for that formidable size.

Which’s Better for Gaming—SSD or HDD?

Solid-state drives (SSD) have become very common nowadays in high-end systems that are designed with extreme performance in mind as a top priority.

Now you can hardly find any modern top-notch gaming computer without an SSD incorporated inside. That’s because the fact cannot be denied that current SSDs are magnitudes faster and way more reliable than HDDs. Even though they have their own drawbacks, they are still inevitable and imperative for every performance rig that cares only for performance, nothing else!

For more details on this issue seconded with special SSD recommendations, it’s advisable to view our Gaming SSD Guide.

The Major Benefits of Using SSD for Gaming

There are several remarkable benefits you’ll gain one you configure your gaming computer with an SSD. We’ll briefly list below the most significant ones:

  1. The game files will load exponentially faster than HDD. This is the biggest advantage of SSDs over HDDs. This helps cut down on the time of game launch and moving to a newer stage of the game.
  2. Complex resource-demanding high-end games will run seamlessly with an SSD. That’s because the strength of multitasking an SSD boast which enables it to handle multiple tasks at a time without any noticeable performance hit.
  3. An SSD will take online gaming to the next level. Because an SSD boasts a very fast write speed, it will write the online game’s data much faster than an HDD which will enhance your online gaming experience. This features will only avail users with very fast internet connection.
  4. The game installation process will become way faster. Modern High-end games come in huge file size (an AAA game-file can reach 50GB in size), and when you use an SSD during the installation process, the component files will be extracted and written so quickly that will notably decrease the installation time.

So what justifies using a mechanical hard drive after all? Well, there are some strong points that leads to that trend.

Why Choose a Mechanical Hard Drive for Gaming?

What justifies choosing a hard drive for gaming over an SSD?You might already ask yourself the question that since SSD is much better than HDD, then why the HDD manufacturers still develop it? In a nutshell, the answer is: because it’s much cheaper while providing an adequate performance compared to SSD.

Just few months back, one of the major drawbacks of SSD was the limited capacity that couldn’t exceed 2TB even in the enterprise space. But now, since Samsung released its first 16TB enterprise-grade SSD, SSD has the superiority over HDD in this regard. But that too-large SSD is also too expensive for an individual to buy (Samsung didn’t make that drive available yet, but it will be within few months from now, and the price is expected to be between $5000 to $7000 according to BackBlaze).

Now if you conduct a simple price comparison between SSD and HDD, you’ll see the blatant difference. A 8TB enterprise hard drive from Seagate costs around $450, while a 2TB of Samsung 850 Evo, which is a mainstream drive, costs around $650 as of the time of writing.

Primarily for that reason I can say undoubtedly that a modern high-end hard drive is still a very appealing option for gamers due to the huge storage capacity it provides with an adequate price.

Performance Comparison Between HDD and SSD

Here we’ll compare WD Performance Black 6TB Hard Drive, which is the fastest consumer-grade high-end 6TB HDD available, and Samsung 850 Evo 2TB, which is currently the fastest mainstream SSD on the market.

We’ve deliberately chosen a mainstream SSD in this comparison to manifest how a low-end SSD can easily beat a high-end HDD in terms of performance.

Performance Comparison – HDD vs SSD
Test WD Black HDD Samsung 850 EVO SSD
2MB Seq. Read 214.53 MB/s 493.54 MB/s
2MB Seq. Write 214.91 MB/s 468.10 MB/s
2MB Ran. Read 78.34 MB/s 483.45 MB/s
2MB Ran. Write 107.05 MB/s 467.22 MB/s
4k Ran. Read [MB/s] 0.325 MB/s 40.18 MB/s
4k Ran. Write [MB/s] 0.811 MB/s 116.20 MB/s
4k Ran. Read [IOps] 83.21 IOps 10,287.13 IOps
4k Ran. Write [IOps] 207.61 IOps 29,748.15 IOps
4k Write Latency [Avg] 4.8 ms 0.0333 ms
4k Write [max] 1,248.19 ms 3.94 ms

As can be already observed, a mainstream SSD can easily beat the most powerful mechanical hard drive in all performance tests.

Ok, so SSD is great enough to attract every serious gamer, but how can we work around the high price issue of SSD while take the full advantage of the huge capacity of HDD?

Solution: SSD-HDD Combination (SSHD)

The best option we always suggest to everyone who looks for a large capacity and a high performance is to combine SSD and HDD together in hybrid mode. That way you will leverage the power of both drives.

We strongly suggest that you don’t go below 250/256GB SSD capacity, and not less than 2TB hard drive capacity.

You can read more about this method in detail on this article.

FAQs on Gaming Hard Drives

Below are laid out the frequently asked questions about choosing a relevant gaming hard drive and the most practical method to take full advantage of it.

What Capacity Suits Me Best?

It actually depends on your interests and how you use your computer. As for me, I have been using only 500GB hard drive since years and still use it, and when I run out of space, I just send the additional rarely-used files to an external hard drive for archiving.

Theoretically you don’t need larger than 1TB if you are just a lightweight gamer like me, or if you play mostly online games. Otherwise, as an enthusiast that has lots of high-end games to play, you’ll need at least 4TB capacity to serve you in the coming few years.

Add to that your additional digital needs beside gaming. If you download and save many HD movies, even if you deem yourself “mainstream”, a 1TB capacity will be a joke! You’ll need at least 4TB as well, just like an enthusiast.

Using New HDD with Old One in RAID0

We don’t recommend that at all, because modern hard drives are faster (they can be faster by double than older versions). So when you set them both in RAID0, the array will adopt the speed of the slowest drive in the set. That way you’ll lose the speed advantage of your new drive.

What to Do with the Old Hard Drive

Replacing the old hard drive doesn’t mean necessarily to dispose of it. If it’s still functioning well, even if slow, you can still leverage it for good by keeping it as an expansion storage device for archiving purpose.

Any Hard Drive Recommendation for PS4?

If you plan to use a desktop hard drive on PS4, we advise you to read this valuable guide that will teach you how to add a desktop 3.5-inch hard drive to your PS4 console that would replace the stock internal hard drive. If you go with that method, we recommend using a mainstream hard drive.

Otherwise, you can find a good 1TB or 2TB internal PS4 hard drive replacement on this article.

Final Words

At the end of the day, picking a good and strong hard drive for gaming purposes is inevitable if you are serious about improving your gaming experience and taking it to the next level.

High-end video games require sturdy computers in all aspects to handle them, and if the PC components are all fast and perform so well except the hard drive, then the overall system performance will slow down drastically, and you’ll make no remarkable avail of the strength of other components. From there stems the need for a fast hard drive for top-notch gaming PCs.