5 Best M.2 NVMe SSD For Gaming in 2023

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In the ever-changing world of gaming, where speed, performance, and responsiveness are crucial, your choice of storage matters. In 2023, M.2 NVMe SSDs are gaining popularity in the gaming industry for their incredible speed and reliability. In this article, we’ll explore the top 5 M.2 NVMe SSDs for gamers, providing lightning-fast load times, seamless gameplay, and the competitive edge you need in virtual battles. Whether you’re a casual gamer or a dedicated enthusiast, these SSDs are set to enhance your gaming experience.

Samsung 990 PRO

Seagate FireCuda 530


SK Hynix Platinum P41


1. Samsung 990 PRO

The first one on our list is Samsung 990 Pro SSD, the Samsung 990 Pro SSD comes with a convincing read and write speed, but remains within the PCIe 4.0 standard.

With the “Pro” series of its SSDs, Samsung usually shows what solid-state storage is capable of. Compared with the predecessor 980 Pro, the data transfer rates have increased by 40%, at least when writing, according to the manufacturer.

However, the lack of a large heat sink seems to be much more noticeable. Only a kind of heat-conducting sticker is found on the SSD’s underside. The fact that this is sufficient is due to the significantly reduced power consumption. According to Samsung, only half the power is needed for writing, which reduces heat development significantly.

In addition, the working memory size in the memory controller has been reduced from 2 to 1 GB. In the following, we have tested how the M.2 SSD works with this and behaves in practice. However, it remains to be seen whether Samsung will also present an SSD 990 Pro with an additional heat sink at a later time.

At least with the AS SSD tool, we could not achieve the promised sequential transfer rates. We stopped at just over 5,000 MB/s even after several attempts. In return, Samsung’s SSD 990 Pro showed its potential with DiskSpd. Even in the long run, the read performance remained at more than 7,100 MB/s.

The 990 Pro is aimed at users of high-end systems and particularly ambitious gamers. Even these should not be able to really utilize the enormous transfer rates in most cases. At the same time, this naturally means that the SSD will not become a slowing factor in the gaming PC, game console, or workstation in the long run.

Overall, The Samsung SSD 990 Pro performs as promised. It offers excellent sequential write and read rates. Much more, it can stand out from the competition in permanent load. At the very least, it should be difficult to achieve better values in copying, writing, and the total amount of terabytes written.


  • Top-end performance for a PCIe 4.0 SSD
  • Not much more expensive than other PCIe 4.0 drives
  • Consistent, efficient, and cool


  • Only 1TB and 2TB models available
  • Old firmware can permanently damage the 990 Pro
  • Sustained write performance is lower than expected

2. Seagate FireCuda 530

The next one on our list is the Seagate FireCuda 530 SSD, Seagate may have taken a while to get into the solid state game, especially the PCIe 4.0 market, but it has arrived with a bang with the Firecuda 530. With or without the heatsink the latest Seagate drive is a stunner.

Of course, the rated sequential read/write speeds are fantastic, but it’s the endurance levels that really stand out compared to the competition. The 2TB drive we tested has an unprecedented 2,550 TBW rating when it comes to endurance, which is something you won’t see this side of an SSD made for Chia mining.

The 2TB FireCuda 530’s rated sequential read and write speed is 7300/6900 MB/s, and that’s pushing the limits of a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface. For users looking at the other capacities, the 4TB drive has the same rating while the smaller 1TB and 500GB drives are rated for 7300/6000 MB/s and 7000/3000 MB/s respectively. 

It combines brand-new Micron 176-Layer TLC NAND—the same memory Crucial is using to great effect with the new P5 Plus drives—with a Phison PS5018-E18 controller. Micron claims that its 176L TLC NAND is the best in the industry with a 30% smaller die size and a 35% improvement in read and write latency over its previous generation 96L NAND.

In terms of performance, the FireCuda 530 either matches or beats the big boys of the storage world, and when you add its leading sequential performance and endurance rating, the Seagate 530 is at least equal to any consumer SSD on the market. 

Overall, the best version is the two-terabyte version. It gives you the best straight-line speed and an amazing level of endurance. The version with the beautiful heat costs a little more. But if your motherboard doesn’t have SSD cooling built in, it’s worth going for.


  • Fast PCIe 4.0 performance
  • Attractive design & heatsink
  • Cool operation
  • Very high TBW (longevity) rating


  • Expensive
  • Less efficient than some competitors
  • No longer the fastest Gen 4.0


The third one on our list is WD Black SN770, We’ve seen some really great NVME SSDs come out recently, but they’ve mostly been focused on top-tier performance and priced accordingly. The WD Black SN 770 goes against this trend and like its predecessor, it is designed to be a better value for the money than just a fast computer.

The main way it has achieved this is by being a DRAM-less SSD drive. This saves a big chunk of the manufacturer’s bill of materials, and thanks to advances in the latest controllers, it can be surprising how little impact this has on performance. Such drives are slower, don’t get me wrong, but this new SN770 still quotes read and writes of 5,150MB/s and 4,900MB/s respectively.

The drive itself is a low-profile affair, with this 1TB model boasting a single NAND flash module at the back and the SanDisk controller toward the connector. Western Digital rarely reveals much about its controllers, and that’s the case once again here. The SN770 is available in four sizes—250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB, although there’s no 4TB option, which is a bit of a disappointment.

It’s worth noting that this drive can get hot when pushed, just like the SN850 in fact. It hit 76°C after a long day of testing, although that was without any direct cooling on it at all, not even a heatsink. It should be fine in most systems, especially if your motherboard does come with some cooling solution.

The SN 770 really shows what it can do in real-world tests. In most everyday tasks, it would be hard to tell the difference between this drive and the ones that are much faster. Since this drive is cheaper right now, that says a lot. If you want better performance, it’s clear that the SN 850-X is the better drive, but it will cost you a lot more.

Overall, The WD Black SN770 is a nice-priced PCIe 4.0 NVMe internal SSD that aced many of our benchmarks, especially for program loading and file copy.


  • Fast performance and cool operation
  • Very good everyday performance
  • Competitive Pricing
  • 5-year warranty


  • Slow write speed after write cache fills
  • Lacks AES hardware encryption
  • Uses HBM, which is not supported by the PS5 gaming console

4. SK Hynix Platinum P41

The next one on our list is SK Hynix Platinum P41 SSD, This newest Gen 4.0 model pushes the boundaries of what’s possible in the form factor while keeping things entirely in-house rather than using external components to keep those rates consistently high.

There’s certainly something to be said for a bleeding-edge NVMe SSD which stays true to the brand’s internal commitment to controllers and flash memory. This is what we saw with the SK Hynix Gold P31, which remains a popular Gen 3.0 option to this day, too. Right at the tail end of Gen 4.0, we’ve got a storage drive that can hold its own with larger names such as WD Black and Samsung.

The SK Hynix Platinum P41 is an aesthetically beautiful and well-crafted storage drive with its sleek black-and-purple color scheme and low-profile sticker which covers the new Aries controller and 176-layer NAND flash memory.

There’s a premium feel to the drive in the hand, and that translates to the actual installation process in your gaming PC, too, being as plug-and-play as things get.

The SK Hynix Platinum P41 performs incredibly well, coming well within the figures claimed by the company in our testing. Specifically, the 2TB variant is quoted by the manufacturer as achieving up to 7000 MB/s read and 6500 MB/s write, which would position this drive as one of the strongest all-rounders to date.

Although We didn’t quite see the sequential performance pushing the 7000 MB/s figure, CrystalDiskMark reported read rates of 6549.75 which is admirable to be sure. We recorded write rates of 6164.07 which is very much in the upper bracket of what the form factor is capable of. Anvil Pro confirms this, with an overall score of 23,121.18 which positions this drive as balanced for data going both ways.

File transfer times are lightning fast, though, in real-world applications. For reference, Street Fighter V’s 59GB of data made the jump from another Gen 4.0 drive to the Platinum P41 in just shy of 20 seconds for roughly 3GB/sec.

Overall, Without a doubt, the SK Hynix Platinum P41 is an excellent NVMe SSD with strong sequential rates and consistently good random reads and writes.


  • Excellent everyday performance
  • Sustains performance during long writes
  • Priced low for a top-tier PCIe 4 SSD


  • Runs hot; no heatsink
  • No 4TB capacity


The last one on our list is the WD Black SN850X, The WD BLACK SN850X is the company’s release from the consumer gaming NVMe SSD line and the direct successor to the very impressive SN850 from 2020. The SN850X features increased performance, and more “tuning” features via the new bundled Game Mode 2.0 software, and is equipped with a newer 20-82-20035-B1 controller.

The WD BLACK SN850X features a black, single-sided design with white and orange text–a look and feel in line with its predecessor. The front side features the company branding, product name, capacity, and all the supplemental information you need. Under the sticker, you can see the DRAM and two NAND packs on the black PCB.

Available in capacities ranging from 1TB to 4TB, the new PCIe Gen4 M.2 BLACK drive features an optional model with RGB lighting and a heatsink to help sustain peak performance when playing resource-intensive games.

The SN850X has specced with PCIe Gen4 performance, quoting up to 7.3GB/s read and 6.6GB/s write in sequential transfer speeds for the 2TB and 4TB models. In random 4K performance, the higher-capacity models are expected to reach up to 1.2 million IOPS read and 1.2 million IOPS write.

The 1TB model is quoted with slightly lower numbers in sequential writes with 6.3GB/s, while random reads are a bit lower as well with 800,000 IOPS. The endurance rating is 600 TBW for the 1TB, 1,200 TBW for the 2TB, and 2,400 TBW for the 4TB with an MTTF rating of 1.75 million hours.

This is a fairly noticeable increase compared to the 2020 SN850 model’s 7GB/s read and 5.3GB/s write sequentially and 1 million IOPS in 4K random performance. The SN850 also only offers up to 2TB in capacity, so the 4TB model is a nice addition to match the ever-growing game installation sizes.

WD also implemented new updates to improve thermal consistency and energy efficiency by smoothing out the thermal throttling step function. Overall, WD’s Black SN850X is an excellent, and slightly more affordable alternative to Seagate’s might FireCuda 530. It’s also especially adept at real-world transfers and random operations.


  • Excellent performance
  • Optional heatsink/RGB and a good range of capacities
  • Software support with sufficient warranty


  • Pricey
  • Game Mode 2.0 is a bit gimmicky
  • Lacks 256-bit AES hardware-based encryption

Buying Guide: 5 Best M.2 NVMe SSDs for Gaming in 2023

In 2023, the gaming world is advancing at breakneck speed, and one crucial component that can significantly enhance your gaming experience is the M.2 NVMe SSD. These lightning-fast storage devices reduce load times and provide seamless gameplay. This buying guide will walk you through the top five M.2 NVMe SSDs for gaming in 2023, helping you make an informed decision.

Step 1: Understanding M.2 NVMe SSDs
Before diving into the top picks, it’s essential to grasp the fundamentals. M.2 NVMe SSDs are compact, high-speed storage drives that connect directly to your motherboard, ensuring rapid data transfer and shorter loading times compared to traditional HDDs or SATA SSDs.

Step 2: Capacity Consideration
When selecting an SSD for gaming, consider your storage needs. Games are becoming larger, so aim for at least 1TB of capacity to accommodate your favorite titles and future releases without compromising on speed.

Step 3: Speed Matters
Gaming demands quick data access. Look for SSDs with high read and write speeds. Seek models with read speeds exceeding 3,000 MB/s and write speeds over 2,000 MB/s for optimal performance.

Step 4: Additional Features
Consider other factors such as warranty, endurance, and the manufacturer’s reputation for customer support when making your final decision. These elements can impact your overall gaming experience and long-term satisfaction.

Step 5: Budget Allocation
Allocate your budget wisely, ensuring you get the best value for your money based on your gaming needs. Remember that investing in a high-quality M.2 NVMe SSD can significantly enhance your gaming rig’s performance.

Step 6: Conclusion
In conclusion, the right M.2 NVMe SSD can transform your gaming experience by reducing load times and providing smooth gameplay. The five options mentioned in this buying guide for gaming in 2023 cater to a range of budgets and preferences. Choose the one that best suits your needs, and level up your gaming rig to enjoy a truly immersive gaming experience.