When they're both rated for the same speeds and acting in accordance with the SATA III specification, choosing between a 2.5-inch SSD and one of the best NVMe SSDs that slides into your M.2 slot is but a matter of personal preference. Well, that and the quality of your motherboard.
Luckily, even if you don't have an M.2 socket—and you don't care enough to buy an adapter—Western Digital is running a sale you might be interested in... that is, assuming you're ready to leave the antiquated hard drive disk where it belongs: in the t̶r̶a̶s̶h̶ past. Although it's a bargain that ends as early as tomorrow, a 500GB SSD for $57.99 is a steal nonetheless, one we're willing to bet most hot-blooded video game players would be eager to take advantage of knowing its original price.
WD Blue 500GB M.2 SSD | $57.99 ($25 off) (opens in new tab)
Also available in the a more ubiquitous 2.5-inch flavor (opens in new tab), the WD Blue M.2 SSD is no cutthroat NVMe trailblazer. However, it is a major upgrade for games enthusiasts still subjecting themselves to the clinkety-clank of an old-school hard drive.
While the 2.5-inch unit (opens in new tab) normally sells for $79.99, Western Digital suggests a retail price of $82.98 for the M.2 rendition (opens in new tab) of the WD Blue 500GB SSD. Both are around 30 percent off at the moment, give or take a few points. Either is a solid deal considering the WD Black 500GB 2.5-inch hard drive is only around $10 less and uses traditional spinning platters, which are louder and unreliable in comparison.
Given its SATA III nature, the WD Blue drive isn't going to grace your PC with the blazing fast load times of the WD Black SN750 NVMe drive I recently got my hands on (opens in new tab), but it's still a marked improvement over antiquated mechanical HDDs. Whereas the 2.5-inch WD Black hard drive averages a sequential read speed of 89.2MB/s and a write speed of 84.5MB/s, according to stress test aggregator UserBenchmark (opens in new tab), the WD Blue SSD promises to up the ante six-fold.
That's right, the WD Blue 3D NAND SSD, in each of its two form factors, boasts sequential read speeds of up to 560MB/s and write speeds of up to 530MB/s. After purchasing one for yourself, long gone will be the grueling, seemingly endless days once plagued by extensive loading screens. With an SSD in-hand, and a rather capacious one at that, you'll finally get the chance to say good riddance to those pesky wait times hindering your every game. For a look at some other options, check out our best SSD for gaming roundup.
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