Why do some gaming computers come with an SSD? And why should you get one for your gaming PC? And how much of a difference does it make? Why does it matter? Why can a gaming computer run as fast with an SSD as without? The short answer is that SSDs are for gamers and gamers only. Without an SSD, a gaming PC can only go so fast and take so much of a beating.

The days of spinning rust-laden hard drives are behind us. Today’s gaming PCs and laptops have an SSD (solid state drive) installed by default, which allows the user to boot up and load games/apps much faster than a traditional hard drive. Next question: is an SSD worth it?

Most gamers understand the need for a fast and responsive PC to play demanding games. For the best gaming experience, you’ll want a system that can boot up in a fraction of the time it takes when you’re busy performing other tasks. However, a faster spinning hard drive isn’t always the best choice for a gaming computer. In fact, most gamers understand the need for an SSD.. Read more about is ssd necessary for gaming pc and let us know what you think.

When it comes to the storage on your gaming PC, you want something tiny and compact that can access and load data fast for all of your gaming requirements. SSDs are becoming more popular than traditional hard drives, but are they worth the hype?

A solid-state drive (SSD) is required for a gaming laptop since it outperforms a traditional hard disk drive (HDD). SSDs are also more efficient, dependable, and quieter than HDDs when it comes to loading applications and accessing data. Despite the fact that it is more costly and has less storage space.

Let’s take a look at what an SSD is and how it compares to a hard drive to see why this new alternative to the traditional hard drive is a better choice for gamers. You may even decide to buy a dual-storage solution that works with both.

What is a solid-state drive (SSD)?

Does a Gaming Computer Need an SSD? Everything You Need To Know

A solid-state drive is a form of electronic storage that is becoming increasingly popular amongst PC manufacturers thanks to its sturdy yet compact design and increased speed and efficiency compared to traditional hard disk drives.

Hard disk drives were formerly thought to be the gold standard for computer storage. Hard disk drives, often known as HDDs, are large, delicate machines made up of several layers of magnetic disks.

The disks spin incessantly as an actuator arm connected to them travels about and retrieves data stored on them. They come in two common sizes: 3.5 inches (8.89 cm) and 2.5 inches (6.35 cm), and they may be very hefty.

Solid-state drives, on the other hand, are compact, robust, and devoid of moving components. They store data utilizing flash-based memory and are made up of systems of small circuits, taking up considerably less room within your computer (or outside if you’re using an external SSD). There is just one standard size for SSDs: 2.5 inches (6.35 cm).

What are the advantages of utilizing a solid-state drive (SSD) in a gaming computer?

physical drive size comparison between standard mount drives and an m.2

SSDs are rapidly overtaking HDDs in popularity, especially in gaming PCs, as we briefly stated above. Let’s take a look at the main reasons why solid-state drives have grown so popular in recent years.

  • Solid-state drives (SSDs) are smaller than hard disk drives (HDDs). With a physical dimension of just 2.5 inches, their contemporary, streamlined form is smaller than conventional hard disk drives (6.35 cm). In comparison to a SATA interface, M.2 NVME SSDs are considerably smaller and provide even better performance. SSDs don’t need spinning magnetic disks or a metal arm to move data; they’re made up of just one tiny, stationary component. They also weigh a lot less than hard disk drives, so you won’t have to add another hefty component to an already massive PC tower.
  • SSDs are quicker in booting and loading. Across the board, solid-state SSDs can access your data quicker than hard disk drives. While reading and writing, HDDs must continuously move and reposition their disks and arms, while SSDs have no moving components and can load data and start applications practically quickly.
  • Solid-state drives (SSDs) produce less noise. Solid-state drives are totally quiet, so say goodbye to the constant spinning and buzzing of your hard disk drive. Again, this is due to the fact that SSDs aren’t built up of numerous mechanical components that interact continuously. As a result, they don’t vibrate as much as HDDs.
  • Solid-state drives (SSDs) are more durable. The longevity of the solid-state drive is another advantage of its compact size and absence of separate, breakable components. HDDs are very vulnerable to harm from drops and falls since they are made up of several disks and a fragile actuator arm that may collide and destroy your data. SSDs, due to their slim but sturdy architecture, can resist much more damage.
  • Data fragmentation is less of a problem with SSDs. Because HDDs must split up files into pieces and transfer them about the disk platter when their storage fills up, they store data less effectively than SSDs. This means your data isn’t kept in one logical location as it would be on an SSD. The HDD’s drive head must scan the whole file to locate portions of it, which may slow down a big game with several GBs of data. 
  • SSDs will not cause your machine to overheat. During long gaming sessions, the continuous spinning, shifting, and vibrating of HDDs may cause your computer to overheat. Many contemporary PC games use up a lot of disk space. SSDs can access and load these games’ many data fast without overheating your computer’s cooling fans, like an HDD would.
  • SSDs use less energy. Even while the power drain on a desktop gaming PC isn’t as apparent as it is on a gaming laptop, HDDs still use a significant amount of power to access your data. Using an SSD to store your data is more energy efficient than using an HDD, and it may even help you save money on your monthly power bill.

Overall, it’s simple to understand why today’s gamers favor SSDs over HDDs, and why the HDD is quickly becoming outdated. HDDs, on the other hand, continue to have supporters, and many gamers prefer them over SSDs, or even utilize one with an SSD in a dual storage configuration.

You may also read my previous post on whether SSDs are worth it, which will provide you with a more technical view on the topic.

But, before we get into why an HDD may still be a viable option for certain gamers, it’s important to understand the distinctions between internal and external SSDs.

Is it possible to play PC games with an external SSD?

external ssd drive with usb cable

External and internal solid-state drives, like hard disk drives, may be used for additional storage on your gaming PC.

If your computer was built within the past couple of years, it may already contain an integrated SSD, depending on the year and manufacturer. Solid-state drives are rapidly becoming the standard for gaming PCs and laptops alike.

Although internal SSDs are increasingly being incorporated into gaming PCs by their makers, you can always buy an external SSD if yours doesn’t have one.

External SSDs are more portable and smaller than ever, making them a great option if you don’t want to open up your computer or take it to a professional to install an internal SSD.

Internal SSDs and external SSDs are almost identical in terms of functionality, with the main difference being that an external SSD may be plugged in and used right away, while an internal SSD must be connected to your PC’s motherboard.

If you need additional storage, most PCs enable you to utilize both an internal and external SSD.

Given that many contemporary PC games may be hundreds of GBs in size, utilizing an external SSD in addition to your computer’s internal SSD or HDD may be worthwhile if you have a big number of games that you switch between often.

What is a hard disk drive (HDD)?

a mechanical hard disk drive or HDD

Before you go out and buy an SSD for your gaming laptop, consider whether a hard disk drive is enough for your gaming and browsing needs.

For many years, hard disk drives (HDDs) have been the norm in both PCs and laptops because they are readily accessible, cost-effective, and offer large storage capacity.

They are, however, rapidly becoming outdated as SSD technology improves and becomes quicker, cheaper, and more efficient.

A hard disk drive (HDD) is a kind of computer storage device. To store data, a hard disk drive typically consists of a stack of thin, magnetic disks, often known as disk platters.

An connected actuator arm with a magnetic head reads and writes information stored on the disk platters to access the data.

The typical size for most HDDs used to be 5.2 inches (13.21 cm). However, in recent years, there have been two major sizes: 3.5 inches (8.89 cm) and 2.5 inches (6.35 cm), with the 2.5-inch (6.35-cm) version being more frequently used in laptops and the 3.5-inch (8.89-cm) size being more commonly seen in desktop computers.

HDDs are placed in the majority of conventional desktop computers and laptops since they are the norm for electronic storage. But, in comparison to the more contemporary and elegant SSD, are there any advantages to utilizing one?

What are the advantages of utilizing a hard disk drive in a gaming laptop?

technician installing a hard drive into a laptop

Hard disk drives are still widely utilized in desktop computers and laptops, but SSDs are rapidly replacing them as the main storage option for gaming systems. However, there are several advantages to using a hard disk drive, including: 

  • HDDs are less expensive than SSDs. HDDs are the way to go if you’re worried about obtaining the most storage for your money. While average SSD storage costs about $0.10 per GB, HDD storage costs around $0.02 per GB.
  • Hard disk drives (HDDs) have greater storage than solid state drives (SSDs). An HDD will not only save you money on storage, but it will also provide you more room in general. HDDs with capacities of 2 TB or more are popular, while the typical SSD has a capacity of just 500 GB or such.
  • With bigger data, HDDs are more dependable. Although SSDs are ideal for retrieving and loading smaller data, big files stored in adjacent or linked blocks perform better on HDDs. Given that many contemporary games may be hundreds of GBs in size, you may want to retain some of them on a hard drive rather than an SSD, particularly if you don’t play them often.
  • Hard disk drives (HDDs) have a longer lifetime than solid-state drives (SSDs). Although SSD technology is continuously developing and improving, hard disk drives continue to outlast SSDs. Despite being able to withstand greater physical damage, an SSD will likely only survive 5-10 years in the best of conditions, while HDDs may last decades if properly maintained.
  • With HDDs, data recovery is a lot simpler. Another testimony to its dependability is that recovering damaged data from an HDD is usually easier than recovering data from an SSD. When an HDD fails, it is simpler to find data, and it emits obvious warning signals (typically odd noises like grinding and spitting from the disk platters).
  • Physical damage is less of a concern with SSDs. Because SSDs do not have moving components like hard drives, there is a far reduced risk that they will be damaged by a drop or other accident.

Despite the increasing popularity of solid-state drives, particularly in gaming laptops, HDDs are still widely utilized due to their low cost and accessibility, as well as the quantity of storage they provide.

Furthermore, since HDDs have been around for far longer than SSDs, PC specialists have a more comprehensive and trustworthy library of information about how they work. 

Is it necessary to have both an SSD and an HDD in a gaming PC?

hdd and ssd drives

Although both kinds of storage aren’t required for a gaming PC, dual storage configurations have become considerably more common in recent years. Most tech-savvy PC gamers nowadays choose to utilize both an HDD and an SSD on the same machine and assign them to separate tasks. 

You may obtain the most efficient, durable, and cost-effective solution for your large library of games and other miscellaneous data by using a PC with this dual storage configuration.

Sure, if money isn’t a problem, you could buy a big stack of SSDs and go through them at your leisure. Unfortunately, most customers are forced to strike a balance between cost and performance without losing too much of either.

To address this problem, utilize your computer’s hard disk drive to store data you don’t use very often, and a solid-state drive or two to store your games and other frequently-used files.

Because your games are stored on an SSD, they will start up as fast as possible. Other files may be stored on a lower-priority HDD to keep them out of the way.

Furthermore, many modern gaming PCs come with a dual storage configuration that includes both an HDD and an SSD, eliminating the need to buy a separate drive.

Although these laptops are pricey, they are well worth the cost if you don’t want to waste time looking for an external SSD or opening your computer to connect an internal SSD to the motherboard.

HDDs will certainly become obsolete in favor of pure SSD systems in the future, as SSD costs continue to fall and their storage capacity continues to increase, at least among gamers.

For the time being, though, the argument over whether kind of storage is better will go on for years.

So, what benefits can you presently anticipate if you choose to utilize a computer with a dual storage system?

Advantages of a dual storage system with SSD and HDD

Instead of putting these two storage choices against one another, many gamers choose to utilize them for distinct reasons. There are many advantages to utilizing a dual storage system, including:

  • Assigning certain files to various storage formats. SSDs are often used for regularly accessed data, whereas HDDs are used for longer-term media assets such as pictures, music, documents, and movies that are mainly used in the background and not opened frequently.
  • Using an HDD to save money on lower-priority storage. You’ll save a lot more money per GB if you use your HDD for the majority of your less essential data rather than throwing everything you can onto an SSD. This manner, your SSD will only be used for your most important data, which means you won’t be wasting space on things that don’t benefit from quicker startup times.
  • If one of your drives fails, you’ll have backup storage. If you have any problems with either your hard disk drive or your solid-state drive, you may utilize the other as a backup, depending on how you store and organize your data. In a pinch, you’ll be able to move the data from one to the other.

Should you keep your games on an SSD or a hard drive?

If you have a computer with dual storage, you may be wondering which disk should be utilized to store your game collection. The answer is mostly dependent on which games you play often and which ones you don’t use nearly as much.

In general, you should save games that you’re currently playing on your SSD, whereas games that you’ve completed or won’t be playing for a time should be saved on your HDD.

The games you’re currently playing will benefit from the quicker load and startup speeds associated with solid-state drives if you retain them on your SSD. 

Meanwhile, the remainder of your game collection may be securely stored on your hard disk drive with your other less-frequently used media assets, since hard disk drives are more secure for long-term storage. Simply move your data as needed and keep track of which files are saved on which disk.

Conclusion

Despite their high cost and lack of storage capacity, solid-state disks are becoming increasingly popular among gamers worldwide.

SSDs are fast, small, and use little power, making them ideal for gamers who value efficiency. Hard disk drives, on the other hand, are still feasible for a variety of applications because to their cheap cost, large storage capacity, and long-term durability.

SSDs will ultimately become the preferred electronic storage solution across the board as the technology used to make them gets cheaper and more efficient.

Although the discussion between HDDs and SSDs continues, we strongly advise you to choose an SSD for your gaming PC.

When it comes to gaming computers, you have to choose between the latest and greatest multi-core processor, the fastest graphics card, the largest amount of RAM, and a top-of-the-line SSD . Unfortunately, sometimes what you want most for your gaming rig is something other than the most.. Read more about is hdd good for gaming and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

How important is a good SSD for gaming?

A good SSD is very important for gaming. It will help load games faster, and it will also help with loading times in general.

Do I need both SSD and HDD for gaming?

SSDs are faster than HDDs, but they cost more. The difference in speed is not significant enough to warrant the extra cost of an SSD.

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