Best PCIe 4.0 SSD for gaming

Best pcie 4.0 ssd for gaming

 pcie 4.0 ssd  for gaming

As well as being the best SSD for PCIe 4.0, it’s also the best SSD overall. In terms of gaming, expect loading screens to zip by in a matter of moments for most of your favorite games. They’re wildly fast, relatively cheap, and ready for future technologies like Direct Storage. Until PCIe 5.0 drives start hitting the market soon, you won’t be disappointed with a speedy PCIe 4.0 SSD.  when looking for best pcie 4.0 ssd for gaming there are things like capacity, price, and the speed that you need to considered before buying.  

These days, we recommend a minimum storage capacity of 1TB for best pcie 4.0 ssd for gaming. Why? Because game sizes are only getting bigger, so 256GB and 512GB SSDs aren’t even a good idea. Having enough storage makes it easier to play your games without constantly having to prune it. There’s also a benefit to going for a bigger drive in terms of performance, so that’s another reason. 

This PCIe 4.0 SSD requires a PCIe 4.0 platform, so you’ll need a PCIe 4.0 platform. An AMD Ryzen 3000- or 5000-series processor and an X570 or B550 motherboard are required. As well as the Z690 and H670 motherboards, Intel CPUs are compatible with these SSDs with the 500-series motherboards. While these SSDs will still work with PCIe 3.0, they will experience performance issues due to interface limitations.

Each SSD on this list has been thoroughly tested to ensure they are up to our standards and worthy of recommendation. I would be happy to put any of them into my gaming rig if I had the choice.

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Best PCIe 4.0 SSD for gaming

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 WD Black SN850~The fastest PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD today

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Capacity: 500 GB, 1 TB, or 2 TB
Controller: WD Black_G2
Flash: BiCS4 96-layer TLC
Interface: M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4
Seq. read: 7,000 MB/sSeq.
write: 5,300 MB/s


Throughput of PCIe 4.0 is blistering
Exceptional performance in real-world settings
Warranty that is solid


At full speed, it runs hot


Among the SN850 range of drives, the 1TB version is our pick. Despite the 500GB drive lacking the punchy speed and a higher cost than most PCIe 3.0 drives with similar capacity, the 1TB SN850 has great speed and a decent sticker price. You can’t go wrong with this drive.

If you’re looking for a fast PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD that can handle real-world benchmarking, you don’t have to look elsewhere. Even though it does not top every test in every benchmark, it’s unbeatable when it comes to real-world benchmarking. Even though it does very well on the synthetic benchmarks, topping a lot of them, there are a few points where the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus or Samsung 980 Pro outperforms, but this doesn’t diminish the fact that this is a pinnacle in storage. 

A SSD’s performance ultimately defines it, and the WD SN850 excels at that. Synthetic benchmarks, conducted by ATTO and AS SSD, show that this drive is a PCIe 4.0 drive in its second generation, with sequential read speeds averaging 6,750MB/s and 5,920MB/s at peak. There are still healthy write speeds, either side of 5GB/s, at a lower speed than the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus. The WD SN850 managed to outperform the Sabrent drive with its 4K write performance as well. 

SN850’s real-world performance tests, however, are far better than its predecessors. PCMark 10’s Quick and Full storage tests put it far ahead of the competition. In the Quick test, this drive was able to achieve 495MB/s, while in the Full test, it was able to achieve 550MB/s. It is a drive that just keeps working in the long run. 


Final Fantasy XIV benchmark shows this performance echoed by the SN850 loading all five scenes in just over seven seconds for the first time. It shows what a difference the latest technology can have on gaming performance when plenty of ‘fast’ SSDs still take 12 seconds to accomplish the same task. 

In your gaming PC, the SN850 will stand out in a way that is better than the others based on Western Digital’s previous SSDs. Samsung 980 Pro, which had the edge for a few months, loses out to the newer drive in all metric (except operating temperatures), even though it costs the same as the SN850. WD SN850 is the best next-generation SSD currently available, and it is clearly the best drive you can buy right now.

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 WD Black SN770~The best value for money PCIe 4.0 SSD

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Best PCIe 4.0 SSD for gaming


Capacity: 1TB
Controller: Sandisk PCIe 4.0
Flash: Kioxia BiCS5 112-layer TLC
Interface: M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4
Seq. read: 5,150MB/sSeq.
write: 4,900MB/s


Performance that stands out
Controllers and flashes made in-house
Warranties of five years


An SLC cache that is relatively small…
Going over it is slow

Heats up quickly


There are other drives that offer faster speeds, but this DRAM-less drive is in a class of its own in terms of value for money. 1TB for just over $100 is clearly a bargain.

It’s no secret that there have been some incredible NVMe SSD releases in the past few months, but most of them tend to be very expensive and good-performing. This WD_Black SN770 buckes this trend and offers better value for money than its predecessor, the SN750. 

DRAM-less SSD drives help achieve this. By doing this, manufacturers save a big chunk of money on materials, and thanks to advances in controller technology, this has minimal impact on performance. The SN770 is slower than these drives, don’t get me wrong, but it still quotes 5150MB/s and 4900MB/s for read and write, respectively. Not bad. 

There is only one NAND flash module (rebranded Kioxia BiCS5 112-Layer TLC chip) on the drive, and the SanDisk controller is located near the connector. The controllers of Western Digital rarely get the spotlight, and this time it is no different. 

There are four capacities available on the SN770’s memory card—250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB, but there are no 4TB options available. For a seriously large capacity, you’ll need to look into Sabrent Rocket drives, which have capacities up to 8TB. 


As you can see from the synthetic performance, the SN770 trails more expensive drives in terms of reads, although it’s close in terms of writes. Its 4K performance is pretty impressive, showing that the drive has something to offer in a crowded market like this. Since this is a PCIe 3.0 drive, after all, it isn’t surprising that it outperforms Samsung’s DRAM-less drive. But how far it does is impressive.

As with the SN850, this drive is prone to getting hot when pushed hard. Even without any direct cooling, not even a heatsink, it reached 76°C after a long day of testing. If your motherboard comes with a cooling solution, it should work just fine in most systems.

In most day-to-day operations, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between this drive and much faster offerings. This drive really struts its stuff in real-world tests. Since this drive is the most affordable at this point, that’s a big plus. However, the SN850 is clearly the better drive if you need more performance, but it will cost a lot more.

One of the problems with this drive is that we are unsure exactly how fast a drive needs to be to work with DirectStorage. In our testing, we found the SN770 to run at 5,000MB/s, which is where many developers are targeting. If you’re a serious gamer, we recommend getting the WD_Black SN850, which should be a good deal. For the price, it’s a great deal. 

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Seagate Firecuda 530~A speedy PCIe 4.0 SSD that will last and last

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Best PCIe 4.0 SSD for gaming
Seagate FireCuda 530

Capacity : 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, or 4TB
Controller: Phison PS5018-E18 controller
Memory: Micron 176L TLC NAND
Interface: M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4
Seq. read: 7,300 MB/sSeq.
write: 6,900 MB/s


Great performance all around

Ratings for endurance are excellent


PCIe 4.0 drive that is among the more expensive ones

Does not support encryption with AES 256 bits


If you are looking for the highest straight performance and incredible endurance, you should consider getting the 2TB version. You will have to pay a little more for the version with the beautiful EKWB heatsink, but you will be better off going for it if your motherboard does not have integrated SSD cooling.

In anticipation of the release of Seagate’s PCIe 4.0 NVMe FireCuda 530 series, we’ve been eagerly anticipating it. The Seagate FireCuda 530 is at least as good as any SSD available on the market, and we’re happy to add it to the list of manufacturers who can make top-notch SSDs.

It uses Micron’s 176-Layer TLC NAND with a Phison PS5018-E18 controller to produce a 2280 (80mm) M.2 drive with a length of 80mm. In comparison to Micron’s previous generation 96L TLC NAND, 176L NAND has a 30% smaller die size and 35% faster read and write speeds.

With a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface, the 2TB FireCuda 530 is rated for sequential read and write speeds of 7300/6900 MB/s. Users interested in the smaller capacity drives can find the same rating for the 4TB drive, and the 7000/3000 MB/s and 7300/6000 MB/s ratings for the smaller 1TB and 500GB drives. 

It is essential that Seagate delivers a drive that costs more than the established SN850 and 980 Pro if it is to sell it. Sequential read and write performance on Phison E18 drives is typically excellent, but random performance, especially random read and write IOPS, is typically lacking, which is important for gaming. 

Sequential performance

In addition to PCMark 10, the FireCuda 530 matches or beats the big boys in the storage world, and it is at least the match of any consumer SSD when it comes to sequential performance and endurance. 

With a Noctua fan over the drive, we kept the drive cool during our testing, recording temperatures and noting the peaks throughout the testing. The 2TB FireCuda 530 reached a peak temperature of 71C during our extended testing, but we never experienced any throttling. Nevertheless, to keep things cool, you’ll either need good airflow or an effective motherboard heatsink.

The decision to delay releasing its best SSDs until it could include 176L NAND and steal the headlines, as a major player in the storage industry, is likely to have been a challenging one for Seagate. For me, the decision was well worth it. It delivers amazing sequential performance, a stunning endurance rating, and excellent random read and write performance. 

All in all, this makes the Seagate FireCuda 530 stand out from the competition. If you need a scratch disk to move large data sets frequently, you can use it as a C drive, or you can use it as a scratch drive. Feel free to pound it with any load.

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 Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus~The best value second-gen PCIe 4.0 SSD you can buy

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Best PCIe 4.0 SSD for gaming

SABRENT 2TB Rocket 4 Plus NVMe 4.0

Capacity: 1 TB, 2 TB, or 4 TB
Controller: Phison PS5018-E18
Flash: Micron B27 96-layer TLC
Interface: M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4
Seq. read: 7,100 MB/sSeq.
write: 6,600 MB/s
Synthetic performance that is strong
Exceptional performance in real-world situations
Cools down quickly

No one is faster than the other


A 2TB PCIe 3.0 SSD will cost considerably more than a Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus that is one of the fastest around, and is not much more expensive than a similar 2TB PCIe 3.0 SSD.

A new Phison E18 controller has been used by Sabrent for the first time in the Rocket 4 Plus drive. This controller followed up on the immensely popular Phison E16 controller in most PCIe 4.0 drives of the first generation. The controller is used on everything from Corsair MP600 to Gigabyte Aorus to Addlink S90 to Sabrent’s drives.

Phison’s E18 controller offers a sequential read/write throughput of 7,100 MB/s and 6,600 MB/s, significantly upping the ante. Both PCIe 4.0’s theoretical limits are 8GB/s, so those figures are not far off from what you can expect PCIe 4.0 to offer. On paper, it’s one of the fastest drives ever released.

Sabrent’s latest drive impresses almost effortlessly, especially when it comes to synthetic throughput. Both benchmarks show impressive sequential read and write performance, but it is the writing performance that really stands out, beating its competition to the ground. Particularly in comparison to the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus, the Samsung 980 Pro does not perform as well.

This synthetic throughput is not always translated into real-world performance, as we saw previously with previous drives. In comparison, 30GB of data (including a Steam game installation that is composed of a lot of small files and a few chunky ones) takes just 2 minutes, 16 seconds, or 225MB/s to copy.

Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus vs Samsung 980 Pro and the WD Black SN850,

Compared to the Samsung 980 Pro and the WD Black SN850, the Sabrent falls behind the Samsung in both Full and Quick PCMark 10 storage tests. With just over seven and a half seconds, Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers loaded the levels significantly faster than the first generation drives, though behind the WD Black SN850 drive.

Despite the promise of class-leading synthetic read and write speeds, these read and write speeds don’t necessarily translate into class-leading real-world performance. Though it’s not far behind the competition, and you may find it to be the best choice for your own usage situations—especially if you write out a lot of large files—it can only make fifth place when it comes to gaming on a daily basis.

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 Kingston Fury Renegade~best pcie 4.0 ssd for gaming

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Best PCIe 4.0 SSD for gaming
Kingston FURY Renegade 1TB PCIe Gen 4.0 NVMe M.2

Capacity: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB
Controller: Phison PS5018-E18
Flash: Micron 176-Layer 3D TLC
Interface: M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4
Seq. read: 7,300MB/sSeq.
write: 7,000MB/s
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Performs like a champ with PCIe 4.0
Exceptional endurance when writing
Temperatures below freezing


The price is exorbitant
A mere competitive performance in 4K


A high-capacity SSD is hard to come by, especially when it comes to the latest PCIe 4.0 drives. However, if you’re looking for a drive that’s seriously fast and that’s going to last you a long time, then the Kingston drive is perfect for you. 

There’s no denying that the Kingston Fury Renegade SSD is one of the fastest PCIe 4.0 SSDs in the industry, but if you did that, you’d be missing out on one of the fastest Phison E18-based SSDs available. In addition to putting out impressive numbers, the Renegade runs cool, has a long warranty, and runs cool. However, all of this comes at an extremely high price.

With the PS5018-E18 controller, Phison offers eight channels in TSMC’s 12nm process. The CPU is comprised of five cores, three of which are generic ARM Cortex R5 IPs, and two of which have proprietary Phison designs. According to Phison, the E18 delivers 7.4GB/s read and 7GB/s write speeds, in addition to one million IOPS. Previously, we’d referred to the E18 as an NVMe 1.4 chip. Kingston claims that the Fury Renegade supports NVMe 2.0.

Micron 176-Layer 3D TLC chips

With the arrival of Intel’s Alder Lake CPUs, the PCIe 5.0 standard is notionally upon us, as we’re looking at a thoroughly up-to-date drive. Kingston is using the same Micron 176-Layer 3D TLC chips as its sibling drive the KC3000. However, PCIe 5.0 is still a long way off from being mainstream and being widely available.

We doubt you’d be able to distinguish it from the rest of the PCIe Gen 4 high-performance cards in terms of subjective computing experience. The broader package and pricing are key differentiators here. With those cool operating temperatures and epic write endurance ratings, we feel confident about this drive’s long-term reliability.

This drive costs $425 at the time of review, making it one of the most expensive PCIe Gen 4 drives on the market. It is much less appealing for value for money. There are several models available for much less money, including the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus (opens in new tab), WD Black SN850 (opens in new tab), and Samsung 980 Pro (opens in new tab). Although this is undeniably a great product, we struggle to justify the Kingston Fury Renegade at such an expensive price.

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Best PCIe 4.0 SSD FAQ~ 

What’s the difference between PCIe 3.0, 4.0 and 5.0 SSD when looking for the best pcie 4.0 ssd for gaming?

Bandwidth, essentially. A PCIe 4.0 SSD can theoretically offer double the bandwidth that a PCIe 3.0 SSD can, and a PCIe 5.0 SSD double a PCIe 4.0 SSD.

Here’s a comparison of bandwidth for a single lane (connection):

  1. PCIe 3.0: ~1GB/s
  2. PCIe 4.0: ~2GB/s
  3. PCIe 5.0: ~4GB/s

A PCIe 4.0 drive would theoretically be able to run up to 8GB/s if it were embedded in a motherboard with four lanes for SSDs.

SSDs aren’t exactly double the speed of their predecessors in real-world terms, but it’s all about the controller and the NAND on them. Our experience shows that later in the release cycle, drives tend to utilize their PCIe x4 connections to their fullest extent.

It is not as great to be able to utilize all that speed for gaming due to the difference in loading times between top M.2 speeds on various PCIe generations. However, DirectStorage could change that, allowing speedy SSDs to be used more efficiently. If you’re planning to move massive files, for example, a faster drive will be better.

Is PCIe 4.0 worth it for SSDs?

You should go with PCIe 4.0 SSDs if you want the fastest drives available. In addition to being faster than any PCIe 3.0 drive, they will make large file transfers lightning fast for video editing. Furthermore, they will be able to prepare themselves for the future. With DirectStorage, the CPU is relieved of load and data is delivered directly to the graphics card, improving performance and reducing, or even eliminating, load times in open-world games in the future.

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Which CPU/chipsets support PCIe 4.0 SSDs?

AMD’s Ryzen 5000/3000 processors, as well as AMD’s Threadripper 3000-series processors, can take advantage of PCIe 4.0 drives for top speeds.

The 11th Gen Rocket Lake and 12th Gen Alder Lake processors support PCIe 4.0. Just be sure to check your motherboard and chip online, as exceptions can occur.

Can you put a PCIe 4.0 SSD in a PCIe 3.0 slot?

As long as the M.2 socket has been kept the same between generations, you can use a PCIe 3.0 SSD in a PCIe 4.0 slot. Both SSDs will function perfectly, but the Gen4 will be constrained by PCIe 3.0 speed limitations.

Despite the fact that it is theoretically 4GB/s, it is closer to 3,500MB/s due to various overheads. However, PCIe 4.0 SSDs are more expensive than PCIe 3.0 SSDs, so it may make sense to stick with a PCIe 3.0 drive unless you’re planning to upgrade soon to a supported platform.

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How do we test the best pcie 4.0 ssd for gaming?

In the PC Gamer labs, we test every SSD we receive in various synthetic and real-world benchmarks. We use ATTO SSD Benchmark for compressible data (the best case scenario) and AS SSD for incompressible data (a more realistic scenario) to determine sequential throughput. In addition to AS SSD, CrystalDiskMark 7.0 and Anvil Pro were used to test random throughput.

To test in real-world settings, we used PCMark10 and Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers, both of which include a level load test, to time the time it takes to copy a 30GB game install across the drive. Additionally, we check the drive’s operating temperatures to ensure it is not overheating and throttling.

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How big a PCIe 4.0 SSD should I buy?

Your storage should be as large as possible. You should be able to install Windows 10 and some of your most popular games at the very least. 500GB is becoming increasingly cramped as games get bigger, and a 1TB makes more sense if you’re going to use it long term. Most of the time, there aren’t many options below 500GB, since newer models start at 500GB.