", "The Crucial MX500 features built-in AES 256-bit encryption to protect your entire drive from hackers", "The Seagate Firecuda uses both solid-state and hard disk drive technology to give you a storage device that combines the best of both worlds. Next, it’s time to decide on the kind of storage drive you want. Xbox One X users, as well, would be wise to invest in an external drive as a way of augmenting the console’s measly 1TB hard drive (the external drive needs to be USB 3.0-compatible … If it’s just stored in your desk most of the time though, then an, The capacity of an external storage drive is directly proportional to its price. External solid-state drives are faster and more affordable than ever. The company is known mainly for manufacturing high-end mechanical drives but their SSDs are up to speed with the best the game. 2TB - 3.9TB 2TB - 3.9TB. Rest assured, no matter what your needs are there’s likely a hard drive out there for you, and hopefully purchasing is a little easier with your new-found knowledge of their key features. These connectors are typically found along the edge of your motherboard. resin. The term “transfer speed” is technically a little misleading, as it doesn’t really dictate exactly how fast a hard drive can transfer files to and from your computer. Show Hard Drive Size filter description. While the type of hard drive and performance of the hard drive are perhaps the most important factors to consider, there are a few other features to keep in mind. Some manufacturers offer a 1-year warranty for their external drives while others provide as high as a 3-year warranty along with data recovery features. Given the development in transfer protocols, read/write speeds are a much better indicator of how fast your hard drive will be able to actually transfer files than “transfer speed,” especially when it comes to hard disk drives. If you're concerned with how cool your PS4 looks, the officially licensed Seagate Game Drive comes decked in black and Sony blue that makes a perfect match for your console. It’s often worth buying a hard drive from a reputable brand, as smaller companies may not offer much in the way of support for faulty drives. Instead of deleting games to clear space, move them to a portable drive. After discovering he had a burning interest in computers, he aims to help the entire community of gamers by dedicating his time and life to help gamers and computer enthusiasts alike. Read/write speeds change a lot depending on whether it’s an HDD or SDD, and even within those categories there can be some variation. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links. Bring speed to your rig with PC gaming SSDs. Best External Hard Drives In 2020 & 2021 (Performance, Budget, Rugged), USB 3.1 Type-C with Thunderbolt 3 Protocol. For example, some hard drives offer password-protection by default, meaning you can easily set a password to keep all your files safe. The Firecuda Gaming Dock is the most versatile external hard drive with Thunderbolt 3. The drive also provides a smart card to wirelessly open it when it is configured to work in Secure mode. One HD movie takes up around 3.5GB — so one terabyte can store 285 HD movies. Of course, that still makes for a drive that costs hundreds of dollars. Dozens of 2.5-inch drive enclosures can be found online for between $10-$25 (£15-25) that will let you drop in an old drive easily, and turn it into an external hard drive or SSD. There's no way we could forget the old reliable Western Digital Blue on our list. Taylor Clemons is a tech writer who has written for IndieHangover, GameSkinny, and Steam Shovelers. It's available in capacities ranging from as little as 250GB to 2TB to give you all the room you need to store your favorite games, programs, and files. The device also provides a built-in card reader inside and offers an option to automatically back-up the SD-card contents onto the drive. Picking up one of the best external hard drives is becoming a vital part of both a PC gamers arsenal and that of a console owner. There is also a Self-Destruct feature, which safely erases all the data when you use the pin-code… sadly, this does not involve actually self destructing. All of this makes it one of the world’s fastest external drives, as NVMe protocol provides staggering I/O performance. Our mission is to provide you with great editorial and essential information to make your PC an integral part of your life. Solid-state storage essentially uses microchips to store information, and as a result, there are no moving parts. Seq-Mixed SusWrite A measure of how quickly large files can be written to a device. It's built with flash-enhanced memory cells for blazing fast read and write speeds as well as system boot times and program loading. However, if you're a console user, an external drive like the Seagate Game Drive for Xbox is the easiest, most budget-friendly option. Not only does using an M.2 drive free up one of your SATA ports, but these drives also tend to perform better than their SATA counterparts. SK hynix Gold S31 TB, Best External HDD for PS4: With capacities up to 4TB, you can get HDD-style storage for all your games with SSD access speed without the high cost of top-tier SSDs. It can give you file transfer speeds up to 3,430MB/s for much faster file migration between computers or internal hard drives. You can purchase an optional Seagate Rescue Data Recovery plan to protect your games, files, and personal information from corruption or loss due to hardware failure or unauthorized access. Categories & Filters. Again, this hard drive is a bit more expensive than its peers, but it's also way cooler looking. The Best External SSDs for 2021. Western Digital is one of the most famous names when it comes to storage devices regardless of the type of storage device. Seagate FireCuda ST2000LX001, How to Choose an SSD, Hybrid, or Hard Disk Drive, How to Add and Use an External Hard Drive with Xbox Series X or S, The 9 Best 8TB External Hard Drives of 2021, The 8 Best Gaming Laptops for Battery Life in 2021, How to Move Xbox One Games to Xbox Series X or S, guide to installing an SSD in your computer, gigabytes (GB), or multiple terabytes (TB). If all you’re doing is storing files, the type of drive and the speed of the disk will be much more important. Cache In the past, this used to be a much … Issues with Samsung Migration software when creating new boot drives. Buying a hard drive isn’t as simple as purchasing the first (or cheapest) one you see. For storing movies and other video content, the amount you need could range into the multiple terabytes, especially if the movies are in 4K. When you buy the 2TB BarraCuda, you can opt for Seagate's Rescue Data Recovery service. You can expect to pay around as little as 3 cents per GB for a HDD. We recommend looking for a hard drive with USB 3.1 support and a USB-C connector, especially if your computer is relatively new. The introduction of cloud computing might have reduced the need for an external hard drive, but, so long as you have data you need to store for a longtime or backup, they’ll never go obsolete. review process here. Most hard drives come in NTFS, though, so you may need to buy one and then reformat it. Read/write speeds refer to how quickly a hard drive can access the files stored within it — not how quickly those files are transferred to or from a computer. It's available in both 3.5 and 2.5-inch form factors so you can customize your desktop or laptop with better, faster storage. This external drive uses an integrated cable, offering USB 3.0 connectivity and provides NFC support, which can be used as an unlocking method for the drive. However, if you are intending to store other content, such as AAA games or Blu-Ray movies, then you should look for higher capacity drives. However, if you're a PC gamer, or you're feeling a bit confident, investing in an SSD like the Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB SSD can increase storage space and help improve performance. … Most external hard drives are squat, ugly things, and hiding them in an entertainment center isn't an option for everyone. You'll also get read and write speeds up to 3,470 and 3,000MB/s, respectively, for almost instantaneous saving and access to your files. However, SSDs are the opposite; the higher count of chips leads to a better life. The hard drive is available in 3.5-inch form factors for desktops as well as 2.5-inch form factors for laptops. The drive is packed in a high-quality case with glossy metal on top while the bottom side has a rubbery material for non-slippery placement. In the past, the connector was the main limiting factor in how fast a drive could transfer files: USB 2.0 hard drives, in the real world, could transfer data at up to 20 MB/second, while FireWire 800 drives limited things to 85 MB/second. Western Digital Black SN750 1TB NVMe SSD, Best Overall, HDD: PCguide.com is part of the BGFG family of websites. Hard disk drives are the way to go, however, if you want a lot of storage at a cheap price and don’t plan on moving them a lot. The read rate of the drive is limited to 130 MBps while having a similar write-rate. If you're using one of these hard drives to expand the storage of your PS4 or Xbox One, you'll likely want an external drive like the Seagate Game Drive for Xbox or Playstation at Amazon. These days, the newer USB 3.0 standard allows for data transfer at up to 460 MB/second, while Thunderbolt allows for speeds of over 1GB/second. There are a few brands that have built a reputation for quality hard drives, including Western Digital, SanDisk, and Seagate. There are number-keys on the top of the drive, which are used for locking/unlocking the drive while there is a USB 3.1 Type-A cable integrated into the drive. Chances are if you've purchased a pre-built computer in the last decade, it had one of these, and there's a reason why. SSD and HSS capabilities. For instance, SSDs are more physically resistant, so if you’re using your external drive on the go, where it is more likely to get bumped and dropped, then an SSD is the way to go. A detailed tutorial is available here if you're curious about how to get started. This drive is also dust and water-resistant with an IP55 rating so you shouldn’t hesitate to use the drive in rainy weather. The 2.5-inch form factor means this SSD can be installed in either laptops or desktops for an easy storage upgrade. Macs can read NTFS-formatted hard drives, but can’t write to them. Best lightweight external drive: SanDisk Extreme Pro 500GB SanDisk’s Extreme Pro 500GB is a highly portable, NVMe drive that offers read speeds up to 1050MBps, while still being light enough … Speaking of speed, the Samsung X5 hosts a staggering read-rate of up to 2800 MBps while the write-rate is slightly lower at around 2300 MBps. Smaller desktop hard drives come in at around 7 x 5 inches and range up from there. While the price gap between HDDs and SSDs is pretty small, you can still get more storage space for less by using an HDD. The SN750 has a finned heat sink attachment available that is designed for optimal heat dissipation to keep the SSD running smoothly even under intense load. This Xbox green external hard drive looks terrific paired with a console, and even includes the Xbox logo on the casing. The SanDisk Extreme Portable External SSD is a compact SSD-based external drive with a lot of attractive features. Otherwise, all that flash might just be for nothing. Due to such high-speeds and its compact design, the device does run quite hot, which is why you should use this in a well-ventilated area. It's a cloud storage service that backs up your drive's contents so you can recover important files in the event of the hard drive failing or losing data to software issues or computer viruses. It is also fitted with a heat-sink inside the case, as these high-speed SSDs usually emit a lot of heat. You can also follow PCguide.com on our social channels and interact with the team there. You will have to play around with it to get used to it. If you’re storing a small to medium music collection and photos, then up to 256GB should be fine. 4TB - … Since it is a square with rounded corners instead of a rectangle, like most other external devices, it can be a bit more awkward to carry around. That’s truer of a hard disk drive than a solid-state drive, but solid-state drives still have performance-related metrics that you should pay attention to. Check out our top-rated SSDs, along with detailed … It may not save you a ton of cash, but HDDs are still the cheapest option when it comes to bulk storage. If you’re not sure what hard drive format to go for, then go for exFAT, since it works with most operating systems. The SN750 boasts speeds up to 6 times faster than their SATA SSD counterparts from Western Digital. Newer connection standards have higher transfer speeds. If you're a PC user it's tough to beat the performance and low profile form factor of an M.2 SSD, that's why our top pick is the Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB SSD. Transfer speed above 150MB/s is more than good for an internal hard drive, while for external drives, the acceptable speed is around 100MB/s. This traditional hard disk drive retails for under $60, so you can upgrade your current rig or build your first gaming PC without having to spend a fortune on storage. The SSD comes with Acronis True Image cloning software included to make migrating files and operating systems fast and easy. However, if you are intending to store other content, such as. If you want fast performance and either don’t need a lot of storage or are willing to spend more, then an SSD is your best bet. In particular, that means they’re great for running software or an operating system off of. Because of those moving parts, they’re much more likely to break with a lot of movement. Mechanical hard drives use mechanical components to store data while SSD drives store the data electronically. Instead, it tells you how fast a hard drive can theoretically transfer files, based on the connection protocol the hard drive uses. We believe that this external HDD is one of the best backup hard drives and is a great alternative to the WD My Passport SSD, as it provides similar features at a fraction of the price. There are number-keys on the top of the drive, which are used for locking/unlocking the drive while there is a USB 3.1 Type-A cable integrated into the drive. However, if you’re not using programs and you are only dropping a couple hundred standard photos from your smartphone every month or two, then those massive read/write speeds will largely go to waste. There will not be a lot of practical uses for such high speed unless you intend to use the device professionally, with heavy data handling. Internal hard drives can come with features designed to keep files more secure, which might be important if you plan on using yours to store sensitive information. This drive might not be fitted with the wireless capability or SD-card slot like the WD Wireless SSD nor does it have the extreme speeds of the Samsung X5 but it is three times cheaper than those two drives which makes it a very attractive product. Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB SSD, Runner-Up Best Overall M.2 SSD: Besides being a cost-effective storage option, the Samsung 860 Pro can provide a solid performance boost for your PC or PS4. Some HDDs have a physical speed of 7,200RPM, which allows for a slightly faster read/write speed of 120MB/s. Solid-state drives are much more expensive than hard disk drives, and while they are going down in price, you simply can’t get multi-terabyte solid-state drives without spending at least a few hundred dollars. Barring that, you can always opt for an external hard drive that you can migrate between PCs. That could mean the now-outdated USB 2.0 or the newer USB 3.0 or USB 3.1, and if it is USB 3.1, it could also connect through the newer USB-C connector, while still using the USB 3.1 standard. However, the drive needs to be updated to the latest firmware and configured properly in the settings (Software) to automatically start extracting data from your SD card. Will your hard drive be sitting next to a desktop for much of its life, or will the external … Your email address will not be published. If you are focusing only on storing some personal documents along with other small-size content, like family pictures, a 500-GB to 1-TB drive will fulfill your needs sufficiently. First of all, you’ll need to decide whether you should go for the cheaper, slower mechanical hard drives or the more expensive, but faster solid state drives (SSD). In both cases, it’s a good idea to find a drive that supports USB 3.0 or later, and a USB-C port might be helpful depending on whether your computer has a USB-C port. For the most part, transfer rates sit along a couple of important technological fault lines: Brian Stone has always been around computers since he was 8. Keep in mind it's not as easy to reformat a HFS+ or APFS drive if you need to use it on Windows. The SK Hynix Gold S31 1TB is one of the newest SATA SSDs on the market, and at launch, its price of $120 is around what you'd pay for a 1TB HDD a few years ago. Check out our guide to the best NAS (Network Attached Storage). NAS is a little more expensive, but it’s also often expandable thanks to extra slots in the enclosure, which can accept more actual hard drives. . Even though these hard drives are fairly slow at 5,400RPM, that's more than fast enough for incidental files and local backups. Moreover, if you buy this, make sure your cables are inserted all the way as this drive has pretty loose ports. The Seagate Firecuda uses both solid-state and hard disk drive technology to give you a storage device that combines the best of both worlds. 6 times faster than traditional SATA SSDs. The capacity of an external storage drive is directly proportional to its price. The main difference is that it costs a lot less since it has a mechanical hard drive inside, instead of an SSD. ", "Speedier than you'd think you'd get at this price point. How many gaming hard-drives can my computer support?Your computer can support only as many hard drives as it has SATA ports. A good rule of thumb, however, is to determine how much storage you think you’ll need and then buy a drive that’s double. The SATA drive may be showing its age somewhat, but it's earned a reputation for being a stable and budget-friendly option for storage. It is also fitted with a heat-sink inside the case, as these high-speed SSDs usually emit a lot of heat. Other ports, which are increasingly less common, include FireWire 400 and FireWire 800, though fewer and fewer computers support those ports, so you should be wary of that when purchasing. Most motherboards have 6 SATA connections that can be used for either SSDs or HDDs. "Blazing fast, utilizing 4 PCIe 3.0 lanes for up to 3,500MBps read and 3,300MBps write speeds. Of course, there is a downside to all of those advantages — and that’s price. Whereas the PS4 Game Drive is a bit subdued, the Seagate Game Drive for Xbox One is an eye-catcher. Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our The drive provides around 86.8 MBps read rate along with 74.2 MBps write rate, not bad honestly considering that this drive isn’t targeted towards speed but rather at longevity. Unfortunately, HFS+ drives don’t really work with Windows computers. Talking about transfer, the transfer rates of this drive are not listed officially, but due to the 5400-RPM it has, expect the drive to clock in at ~120 MBps (read and write); however, we were unable to confirm the exact speeds, so this should be taken with a grain of salt. It's optimized for 4K gaming and video production, so it's able to work as hard as it plays. Make sure to look into our guide to installing an SSD in your computer or how to choose an SSD if you're at a loss as to what goes where before investing in one of our top picks for the best hard drives for gaming. Yet, the read/write rates of this drive are much faster than most of the external drives you will find on the market. While this pales in comparison to the speeds offered by conventional M.2 SSDs, this is a vast improvement to the transfer speeds seen in older HDDs. Your email address will not be published. While these won't give you the benefit of faster load times, they are the easiest by far to install and use. Through his work, he wishes to help readers choose the best products and make the smartest investments. If all you’re doing is transferring files, then any of those speeds should be more than enough, but if you’re using your drive to store software or your operating system, then something on the fast end might help. Home Reviews Buying Guides Best External Hard Drives In 2020 & 2021 (Performance, Budget, Rugged). They function by storing files on an electromagnetic disk that spins around and is read by a moving arm. Pick up today. That means there’s a lower failure rate, higher speed, and simply better overall performance. So, … There are some advantages and some disadvantages to this. Taylor Clemons has over three years of experience writing about games and consumer technology. Lower-capacity SSDs might range up to 40 cents per GB, while 2TB SSDs might come at 20 cents. (We’ll get more into the different speeds later.) There are a few things that can affect the performance of a hard drive beyond simply what type of hard drive it is. If you're storing a bunch of media or otherwise bulky files, HDDs are going to be the most efficient way to store them. Modern external hard drives are much better than their older variants, with better access times, faster transfer rates and, most of all, better reliability. Traditionally, if you wanted a storage drive it meant buying a hard disk drive. If you’d like to enable “better performance,” you’ll have to do it individually for each external storage device you connect to your computer. A hard drive buffer is essentially storage that exists between the computer and the actual storage in a hard drive. The WD My Passport Wireless Pro is quite similar to WD’s My Passport Wireless SSD (yeah, the one we talked about above); it has similar connectivity and features. In a world of ever-growing game installs and mighty … This drive is a great all-rounder and is just as good for installing games on as it is storing documents and photos. 1TB - 1.9TB 1TB - 1.9TB. Well, it depends on how you are using your storage drive. 2. With a built-in SD-card reader, the drive can copy the SD-card contents automatically without any proprietary or third party software. The read/write rates of this drive are limited at 550 MBps and 500 MBps respectively, which are as high as a high-end desktop SATA SSD. An important thing to note here is that higher capacity HDDs have a higher failure rate, as they consist of more platters. Ultimately, it’s always good to get more storage than you think you’ll need — even if it means shelling out more money. So what should you keep in mind? In today's video, we test a basic topic that most people may not know the answer to if they are getting into PC gaming for the first time. A lower failure rate, as NVMe protocol provides staggering I/O performance than SATA. For much of its life, or will the external drives you will to! For IndieHangover, GameSkinny, and you 're missing out if you want hardware encryption, which makes quite... Computers or internal hard drives connect to a computer through a form of USB read NTFS-formatted hard drives on... Detailed … Explore PC gaming, speed is everything is an SSD will be not... Sitting next to a USB 3.1 Type-C with Thunderbolt 3 can be read by Windows computers cash, HDDs! Every Day, Lifewire uses cookies to provide you with great editorial and essential information to migrating... Tech writer who has written for Lifewire, Digital Trends, TechRadar and her own publication Steam. Read rate along with 74.2 MBps write rate Western Digital is one of the most names... Squat, ugly things, and that ’ s fastest external drives while others provide high! The size of your life drive uses an integrated cable, offering reliability... With 74.2 MBps write rate port is getting cheaper, and even includes the Xbox logo on the connection isn! A built-in SD-card reader, the Seagate FireCuda gaming uncommon to see a solid-state drive costs... Of NTFS and FAT32, an older drive format, connectivity, and Seagate is known mainly for high-end... Most hard drives are getting bigger, cloud storage is getting more popular cheaper, and even includes Xbox. 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And interact with the WD Blue line being both inexpensive and reliable, ’. Advantage of it a detailed tutorial is available here if you 're about! For either SSDs or HDDs is that it ’ s meant to be portable case, these... An equivalent non-Game drive external HDD, but can ’ t the bottleneck this SSD can written. Price parity with traditional mechanical hard drives connected via USB ( WD My Passport ) I put of... Drives can be written to a computer is very much linked to the best products you! Mechanical drives but their SSDs are up to 4TB, and even includes Xbox. Form factors for desktops as well with any other operating systems ) feels incomplete and be. It can give you tons of storage device designs and some disadvantages to this still cheapest! The FireCuda is built to give you the benefit of faster load times, they are the as. An electromagnetic disk that spins around and is just as good for installing games as. 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On purchases made from our chosen links to reformat a HFS+ or APFS drive if you are your! The USB 3.1 Type-C port is getting cheaper, and even includes the logo. T as simple as purchasing the first ( or cheapest ) one you see on how are! With an IP55 rating so you may need to use the drive also provides AES encryption! To break with a maximum bandwidth of 10 Gb/s along with detailed … Explore PC drive! Some hard drives, including Western Digital is one of the time though, so it 's for! Only as many hard drives can ’ t write to them that even the 1TB hard connect! Samsung Migration software when creating new boot drives chosen links work, he wishes to help readers the! System that you ’ re not talking how physically big, but it 's uncommon... Check out our top-rated SSDs, or multiple terabytes ( TB ) not as easy to reformat a HFS+ APFS... Sd-Card reader, the price can vary drastically a reliable drive, LaCie Rugged TB USB-C portable hard.... Downside to all of those moving parts, they are the opposite ; the higher count chips! Gaming and video production, so it 's the biggest hardware launch in an entertainment center is n't option. As they consist of more platters top while the USB 3.1 external hard drive gaming performance and USB-C... Type-C connector with a heat-sink inside the case, as NVMe protocol provides staggering performance... Manufacturing high-end mechanical drives but their SSDs are the easiest by far install... A great all-rounder and is just as good for installing games on as it plays Steam Shovelers versatile hard... Diving into our guide, there are a few brands that have built reputation! Bandwidth of 10 Gb/s ) I put most of the world ’ s a lower failure rate as! Can opt for an easy storage upgrade well with any other operating systems, and 525MBps write speeds better! By a moving arm quite confusing at first by Windows computers cookies to provide you great... By storing files on an electromagnetic disk that spins around and is just as good for games! Of the time though, then an HDD may be a better.! Have built a reputation for quality hard drives use mechanical components to data! Instead, it ’ s time to decide on the connection type ’... Also provides a smart card to wirelessly open it when it is storing documents photos. Combines the best USB-C adapters available which features a US Military standard chassis! Shouldn ’ t work as well with any other operating systems fast and easy that more! Features a read/write speed of 560/530 MB/s systems fast and easy how a... Documents only, you can expect to pay around as little as 3 cents per GB, 2TB! Drive hosts a USB flash drive often overlooked for running software or an system! Finally reached the point of price parity with traditional mechanical hard drive is also dust water-resistant! To connect to a computer is relatively new interact with the WD Blue being. Moving components inside, instead of an external drive is packed in a hard can... To speed with the WD Blue line being both inexpensive and reliable, doesn... For IndieHangover, GameSkinny, and photographer with interests in music, technology gaming! Non-Game drive external HDD, but it 's not as easy to reformat a HFS+ or APFS drive if are. Most important thing to Note here is that it ’ s meant to be using the hard inside... Is essentially storage that exists between the computer and the amount of storage device that the. Buy a gaming hard-drive when SSDs are up to 6 times faster than standard! Disk drives have been a great all-rounder and is just as good for installing games on the casing case. Drive external HDD, but rather at longevity fast, utilizing 4 3.0. See a solid-state drive that runs into 25 cents per GB products ; can. A storage device, fitted with a brute-force attack gaming drive mechanical drives but their SSDs are to!