The Best Gaming Hard Drives for 2014

While solid state drives are all the rage right now, traditional mechanical hard drives are still a great affordable storage option. And, even if you are going to get a solid state drive, it’s a good idea to get a traditional hard drive to support it. In this article I’m going to go over the best hard drive options for your gaming computer.

Best Gaming Hard Drives 2013Your hard drive isn’t going to have the hugest impact on your gaming experience. However, they are still extremely important as they hold all of the important data, programs, and applications that are on your computer.

As far as gaming goes, the only area where hard drives will make a difference is in the time it takes to load your game. Although, most gamers typically also have large amounts of music and videos.

Some gamers even record their own videos. If that is the case, then the size of your hard drive is going to be extremely important.

I usually recommend an HDD with 1TB of storage space. This gives you plenty of space and it’s fairly affordable. If you’re working with a budget, then you’ll have to consider going with a smaller HDD and upgrading to more storage later.

In any case, you should look to get an HDD with a speed of 7200RPM. This will give you  good results in game load time. If you’re working with a huge budget, you might want to consider getting an SSD, and if you have an unlimted budget, a 10,000RPM HDD like the WD Velociraptor. You can also take it a step further and get multiple HDDs and run them in RAID configuration for best results.

In this post, I will go over the best gaming hard drives in 2014 at various price ranges for to accommodate the budget for your upcoming build. I’ve broken down the categories into four different price ranges: hard drives under $50, hard drives between $50-$100, hard drives between $100-$200, and hard drives over $200.

I only chose one hard drive for each price range and while there are definitely some other worthy HDDs in these price ranges, I felt these offered the best returns for PC gamers.

More From This Series:

The Best Gaming Hard Drive Under $60
Seagate Barracuda 320 GB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s Internal Bare Drive ($45-$65)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)

Best Gaming Hard Drives 2013If you’re building on a budget, one area where you can save a little bit of money is to go with a smaller hard drive. Fortunately, for under $50 you can land yourself a 320GB Seagate Barracuda internal hard drive. It operates at 7200RPM, so the only difference between this HDD and one you’d find in a high-end gaming machine is the size. If you need more room, you can simply add another hard drive in the future.

Seagate Barracuda 320GB 7200RPM Specs

  • 320GB
  • 7200RPM
  • 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

Customer Reviews

From W. Jackson on Amazon:

I’ve had the Seagate ST1000DM003 for about 5 months now. It is a very fast and very quiet drive. When I first got it I noticed it was made in China, which made me a little nervous to be honest. I did hear it chirp a couple times like others have mentioned, so I went to Seagate’s Website and downloaded the latest firmware for the drive “CC4H”, and installed it, and haven’t heard the chirp since. I ran the HDTune benchmarking tool on it, and it showed what I expected, it is a great performer. Don’t know what the longevity of the drive will be, but it’s doing a great job now.

From A. Bello on Amazon:

With all the current fad of SSDs you might think that mechanical hard drives like this Barracuda are becoming obsolete. Nothing further from the truth.

This thing in stand-alone mode blazes at 160 MB/s (for hours if needed). Pair it with another ‘Cuda in RAID-0 (most boards do it for free) and you will have past 300 MB/s speeds for years to come and will not degrade like all SSDs do, specially in write mode.

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The Best Gaming Hard Drive Between $60 and $100
WD Blue 1 TB Desktop Hard Drive: 3.5 Inch, 7200 RPM ($60-$80)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)

Best Gaming Hard Drives 2013A full 1TB of hard drive space is enough to match the needs of any gamer. And, coming in at under $100, this 7200RPM Western Digital HDD is the sweet spot for mid-to-high-end gaming computers. Now if you’re looking to do a lot of video editing, you might want to get the 2TB or 3TB version of this hard drive. Otherwise, this HDD will give you everything you need.

WD 1TB Blue 7200RPM Specs

  • 1TB
  • 7200RPM
  • 64MB Cache
  • 3.5″ Form Factor
  • Two-year limited warranty
  • SATA III
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Holding capacity: 320,000 photos/16,660 hours of music/1,000 hours of video/250 hours of movies

Customer Reviews

From Paul on Amazon:

Western Digital has won me over, for years I looked at WD as one of the worst drive makers due to their older PATA drives were just junk. Ever since SATA came into mainstream I have used several WD hard drives and they have been FANTASTIC! Seagate/Maxtor was my choice but their SATA drives are horrible.

From Phoenix Custom PCs on Amazon:

This is my 3rd 1 TB hard drive from W.D. and I have to say I’m happy with the speed and durability. I’m using them in my probox to stream movies, music and backing up files. I’ve never had one fail. Thanks W.D. for such a good product. Would recommend this drive.

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The Best Gaming Hard Drive Between $100 and $200
Western Digital Velociraptor 600 GB SATA III 10000 RPM ($165-$200)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)

Best Gaming Hard Drives 2013At 10,000 RPMs, the WD Velociraptor is the fastest gaming hard drive on the market. This drive doesn’t have a full terabyte of space, but 600GB should be enough for most gaming computers. And, the added speed will help your computer load games and applications a whole lot quicker. For even more performance you can purchase a few of these drives and run them in RAID configuration.

Although, with the rise of the much faster solid state drive, Western Digital’s Velociraptors aren’t quite as appealing as they once were. In my opinion, your money would be better spent pairing a 1TB 7200RPM HDD with a 128GB SSD for right about the same price.

WD Velociraptor 600GB 10000RPM Specs

  • 600GB
  • 10,000RPM
  • 32MB Cache
  • 3.5″ Form Factor
  • SATA III
  • 5-Year Limited Warranty
  • Holding Capacity: 200,000 photos/10,000 hours of music/600 hours of video/150 hours of movies

Customer Reviews

From Jean on Amazon:

I have a gaming AMD pc with 6 of these drives in raid 0

The read and write speeds are amazing 3ms seek time for a 2.5 sata 3 drive amazing.

These drives do not get hot and not really warm either. Western digital made major improvements to these drives when they went to 2.5 inch for 10,000 RPM drive they are almost silent in my corsair obsiden 800D case.

I always hear from people that a $500 SSD drive is faster then going raptor however time and time again I see SSD drives die or firmware bug out on them. MFG try to push SSD drives as more reliable because no moving parts but they fail more often then hdd’s. Western Digital came out with a great medium for people that want speed reliable storge and awesome product for raid 0 /5 envirmoents.

From this point on I will only buy Western Digital Enterprise class drives for my PC.

Other great Thing about these are they are made right here in Fremont CA, Price may be a bit more then a samsung and or segate but I like buying American where ever I can.

From Duane G. Jacobs on Newegg:

I was building a gaming PC and I really needed a speedy boot drive. This little gem fits that profile perfectly. I read where it one of the fastest spinning hard drives on the planet. I checked the techie websites and they agree. After installation of the OS and few games, I am impressed with it’s speed. The 5 year warranty from Western Digital is pretty cool too.

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The Best Gaming Hard Drive Over $200
WD Velociraptor WD1000DHTZ 1TB 3.5″ SATA Hard Drive ($214.18)
(Prices fluctuate–check here for current pricing)

Best Gaming Hard Drives 2013Just like the WD Velociraptor mentioned above, this 1TB version is the fastest gaming hard drive out there.

This one just has more storage and twice the cache. It’s not going to be as fast as an SSD, but you get a ton more space for the price.

However, as previously mentioned, pairing a regular HDD with an SSD may give you a better all-around experience.

WD Velociraptor 1TB 10000RPM Specs

  • 1TB
  • 10,000RPM
  • 64MB Cache
  • 3.5″ Form Factor
  • SATA III
  • 5-Year Limited Warranty
  • Holding Capacity: 320,000 photos/16,660 hours of music/1,000 hours of video/250 hours of movies

Customer Reviews

From Ana on Amazon:

This is the best mechanical hard disk you’ll find around. I’ve been using this for years, since the first generation, and I love it. It’s quick, silent, stays cool, has a long lifetime. And its Icepack is just nice, besides cooling the disk very well it makes it look wild.

I use an SSD to run Windows, and Velociraptor as the storage drive. The cobination of both, with other good hardwares, makes my computer fly.

From Dan Scheffler on Amazon:

So happy with the 1st one I purchased, I bought a second one. This thing really moves and I’ve been most impressed with the speed. I knew it was going to be faster than my 7200 platters but WOW does this thing move out!

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