Solid State Drives are currently in vogue, but for gamers demanding an inexpensive means of meeting their storage needs, hard drives offer an excellent alternative. Whether you’re in the process of setting up a completely new gaming rig, or simply looking for an upgrade, you should definitely consider an external HDD. The only question is: which one?


Before purchasing an HDD it’s important to realise that a gaming HDD won’t have a significant impact on the quality of your gaming experience—save for some minor differences in load speed. Instead, the external HDD is dedicated to fulfilling your storage needs; to containing your applications, data, programs and—if you’re that way inclined—your gameplay videos and recordings.

Because of the considerable storage requirements of games, a minimum 1TB HDD is recommended. Any less than that and you may find yourself needing an upgrade before too long.

Speed-wise, 7200RPM is a good yardstick for providing quick load times, though a 10,000 RPM HDD, such as the WD Velociraptor, is certainly a tempting treat. Another option is to use multiple HDDs and run them using RAID configuration.

There are many fantastic HDD options on the market, so be assured, whatever your particular needs there most definitely is an ideal HDD available. Below you will find the best gaming HDDs for all price points, ranging from the sub $50 bracket to over $200.



The Best Gaming Hard Drive For Under $50

Seagate Barracuda 320 GB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s Internal Bare Drive

Without question the best sub $50 gaming HDD on the market right now is the Seagate Barracuda. Operating at 7200RPM and with 320GB the Seagate Barracuda offers plenty of bang for your buck. 320GB does mean a slightly restricted storage space, but you’d be hard pressed to find a better alternative for the money.

Seagate Barracuda 320GB 7200RPM Specs



   16MB Cache

   3.5″ Form Factor

   Two Year Warranty

   Serial ATA-600

   Holding capacity: 100,000 photos/5,300 hours of music/320 hours of video/80 hours of movies


The Best Gaming Hard Drive For Under $50 – $100

WD Blue 1 TB Desktop Hard Drive: 3.5 Inch, 7200 RPM

With 1TB the WD Blue is perfectly well equipped to handle your storage space requirements. Running at 7200RPM, Western Digital’s HDD is perfect for a mid-to-high-end gaming rig. If you’re the type of gamer who records and edits gameplay footage you’d be well advised to opt for a 2TB or 3TB model. But for most gamers, this HDD offers both quality and space for a very reasonable price.

WD 1TB Blue 7200RPM Specs



   64MB Cache

   3.5″ Form Factor

   Two-year limited warranty


   Lifetime Warranty

   Holding capacity: 320,000 photos/16,660 hours of music/1,000 hours of video/250 hours of movies




The Best Gaming Hard Drive For $100 to $200

Western Digital Velociraptor 600 GB SATA III 10000 RPM

Western Digital is truly the producer of the best gaming HDDs, and the WD Velociraptor is one of their finest. 600GB does slightly restrict your storage needs, but the additional speed offers exceptional loading times that are impossible to beat at this price point.


WD Velociraptor 600GB 10000RPM Specs




   32MB Cache

   3.5″ Form Factor


   5-Year Limited Warranty

   Holding Capacity: 200,000 photos/10,000 hours of music/600 hours of video/150 hours of movies




The Best Gaming Hard Drive Over $200

WD Velociraptor WD1000DHTZ 1TB 3.5″ SATA Hard Drive

For just an additional $50 the WD Velociraptor is available in the 1TB model and with double the cache. It’s certainly not as speedy as an SSD, but nevertheless the Velociprator WD1000DHTZ remains a high-quality option.

WD Velociraptor 1TB 10000RPM Specs




   64MB Cache

   3.5″ Form Factor


   5-Year Limited Warranty

   Holding Capacity: 320,000 photos/16,660 hours of music/1,000 hours of video/250 hours of movies


Any of these HDDs will readily satisfy your gaming needs. But do be advised; if you’re looking for a truly top-end rig, you will achieve better results by combining an HDD with an SSD.

Categories: gaming

Paul Harrison

Paul M Harrison is an entertainment journalist, novelist, and blogger, and a specialist in the theory of storytelling. Paul Harrison can be contacted via his personal website or on Twitter or Facebook.


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