SSD vs HDD for video gaming: what works best?

SSD vs HDD for video gaming: what works best?


For anyone looking to pass their time stuck indoors, a common starting place is to look at video gaming. This interactive and engaging activity is one that can suck up many hours of your time and makes a great companion for COVID-19 lockdown. However, one thing you might not be sure about when reading into video gaming (in terms of building a gaming PC) is what hard drive to get. Typically, you have two main options today.

You have the slick and more expensive Solid State Drive (SSD), which often load much faster but have smaller space limits.

You have the more generic and all-purpose Hard Disk Drive (HDD), which has larger storage capacity and is cheaper but loads much slower.

However, the main thing about buying an SSD for gaming is that it might not improve performance by much at all. Many people go out to buy an SSD thinking it’ll make a game run 10-20% smoother – it likely won’t. Any performance increase is going to be incremental and often hard to notice, even for those with many years in the gaming industry. Where you will notice a big improvement, though, stems from loading times.

SSDs are better for games with lots of loading times

A problem that you might face is playing a game with a lot of loading screens. This can be a time-consuming endeavor, especially when time is precious, and you don’t have many gaming hours to use per day. With an SSD, though, you can often improve load times by 50% if not more depending on the game itself.

However, just be aware that while an SSD can make a big difference it’s not going to make every game run and load so much smoother. Games that are already running choppy and without consistent quality on your machine won’t start running super-smooth with the addition of an SSD. The main performance improvement is going to come from somewhere else – loading times

If you find that a game tends to load find when you are playing it, but it just takes a while to load, then an SSD will cut down loading times quite dramatically. However, if a game is already choppy and plays poorly then an SSD is not likely to make a big difference you would have expected.

At that point, your best bet is to turn to help with a full PC upgrade or a new PC build entirely. If you are looking for the best ways to make games run smoother, though, an SSD is not the main thing to look at. What an SSD will always help with, though, is making a game load quicker. So, if you are someone who lacks patience then you should look to upgrade your PC with the help of an SSD.

If you are looking to help make a game load in the first place, though, an SSD might not solve the problem that stops the game from loading, to begin with.