It is 2023, and I think SSDs are now more common than ever. Hardly any new computer will be using a hard drive for data storage. Older systems might still be making use of them. But, for gaming, there is no point in using a hard drive even for raw data storage. SSDs are now cheap but come with a lot of advantages.
For gaming builds, SSDs are essential because they make the games/programs/OS load quicker. Even saving games becomes quick and streaming software runs smoothly. But, this article is about FPS. We are going to see whether there is any performance impact in gaming when we use SSD.
Generally, SSDs can’t help you directly in improving your gaming performance as a good Graphics Card and enough RAM will do. However, Hard Drives can pretty easily bottleneck your systems. So, the SSDs are great to remove them and get your system to breathe some air.
Again, there is no point in using a hard drive for gaming. But, there is a confusion which I am going to address. Does switching to a faster SSD help with FPS? The answer is yes and no. Even a slower SSD can bottleneck your system. If that is the point, you can see good results. Otherwise, there is no impact of SSD on FPS.
There are several indirect impacts you will experience when you have an SSD installed inside your gaming PC or laptop.
The first benefit is that an SSD will be able to read and write the information faster. So, your system does not have to wait for very long for any chunk of required data stored inside this device. As compared to Hard Drives, SSDs can fetch random data pretty quickly and get it ready for the RAM. Even when the RAM has to grab new data from the SSD, it is very fast compared to the hard drives.
Because of this, firing up any game will take very little time. Mostly, you will see around a 50% – 60% reduction in the game loading time using an SSD as compared to the Hard Drives.
There are numerous other benefits you will surely experience whenever you choose SSDs for your gaming computer instead of an HDD. In this article, we are going to cover these concepts and help you make your decision wisely.
Is it worth using an SSD inside a gaming system?
Usually, games installed on an SSD would boot more easily than games installed on a standard hard drive. The boot time can vary from PC to PC and game to game, but it will take less than half the time it would take to boot a game from an SSD from a hard drive in certain instances.
However, it should be noted that as SSDs increase the speed of data processing, they don’t give you an FPS boost. So if you need to increase your FPS, you need to think of a good graphics card and CPU along with an SSD.
SSDs are good in every aspect when it comes to speed and performance. So, as a gamer, you are going to receive great results for sure. However, price is the only thing you will have to keep in mind. SSDs are more expensive than HDDs.
Will an SSD Improve FPS?
No. SSD has nothing to do with your game FPS (Frames per second). SSD can only load your games faster and help with stuttering a little bit. However, if you want to improve FPS, consider upgrading your GPU.
SSD will always keep all the files ready which is important for your game. So, for any lag caused by the HDD’s slow speed, you can easily fix it with an SSD. However, SSD has become important hardware in any gaming computer.
So, when combined with a good graphics card, RAM, and processor, it can increase your gaming experience a lot. But, do not expect it to improve the FPS because SSDs are not supposed to help with graphics in any way.
Benefits of SSDs For Gamers
1. SSD will use less CPU Power
Yes, having an SSD inside your computer will drastically reduce the CPU power requirements. SSDs are more efficient as compared to HDDs. So, your system will be able to run other important things properly.
SSDs will keep your CPU free of unnecessary processing whenever a task is completed. As compared to HDDs, an SSD will help your system process faster because it can easily store and read the information required for any job.
2. SSDs are silent
As someone who values a quiet gaming environment, I can’t help but appreciate the silent operation of SSDs. Traditional HDDs tend to generate noise due to their mechanical parts constantly moving during operations. In contrast, SSDs offer silent operation, allowing you to focus entirely on your gaming experience without the constant hum or buzz that can sometimes accompany HDDs. It’s a small yet significant improvement that enhances your gaming sessions considerably.
3. Energy Efficiency
Finally, let’s talk about one of the unsung benefits of SSDs: energy efficiency. In my experience, I’ve noted that SSDs tend to consume less power compared to HDDs, which not only helps in reducing energy bills but also emits less heat, maintaining a cooler system environment. This low power consumption translates to less strain on your system’s power supply, promoting a longer lifespan for your entire gaming setup. Look at this table for more.
|SSD Type||Average Power Consumption (Watts)||Idle Power Consumption (Watts)||Notes|
|SATA SSD (2.5-inch)||2-4 W||0.5-1.5 W||Generally energy-efficient, helping to prolong the battery life of laptops.|
|M.2 SATA SSD||2-3.5 W||0.3-1 W||Very similar to 2.5-inch SSDs but can be slightly more efficient due to their compact form factor.|
|M.2 NVMe SSD||3.5-7 W||0.5-2 W||Consumes a bit more power compared to SATA SSDs, especially under heavy workloads.|
|PCIe Card SSD||5-8 W||1-3 W||Generally consumes more power owing to the higher performance levels it offers.|
|External SSD||2-4.5 W||0.5-1.5 W||External SSDs are also energy efficient, with power consumption slightly varying based on the SSD technology and enclosure type.|
4. Improved Multi-Tasking for Content Creators
In my observation, SSDs facilitate smoother multitasking, allowing you to run several applications or games simultaneously without any hitch. The fast data retrieval speed means quicker responses when you are juggling between different tasks, a benefit that can be especially appreciated by streamers and content creators who often run multiple applications alongside their games.
5. SSDs will help to load your OS and Games Faster
This is an undeniable fact that an SSD will help your system to load up quickly. You normally see a 50% decrease in the loading time inside Windows systems. However, various users have found many effective results. If you have a good amount of RAM along with a fast processor, your system can load up within 5 to 10 seconds.
6. Facilitates Upgrades and Installs
I can’t overlook the fact that SSDs make the installation of new games and updates a breeze. The faster write speeds ensure that new games and large updates are installed swiftly, reducing the downtime and letting you get back to gaming more quickly than with traditional HDDs.
That’s just amazing.
Another most annoying thing you can experience as a gamer is huge lags whenever you try to load your game. Depending on the size and type of your game, HDDs can take a huge time to load any game on your system.
However, when you have an SSD installed, this time will reduce drastically because your system never has to run the disk first and then find the files your game needs.
SSD vs HDD Gaming Performance Comparison
In this table, I aim to bring forward a comparative analysis of SSD and HDD in terms of gaming performance. Here’s a glimpse of what you can expect:
|Data Transfer Speed||High||Moderate to low|
|Noise Level||Silent||Can be noisy|
This table succinctly presents the distinctions between SSD and HDD, giving a clear idea of where SSDs triumph and where HDDs lag.
What size of SSD will be good for my gaming computer?
It all depends on your requirements.
Let’s take an example of a popular game known as Far Cry 5. To install this game on your system, you will need 40 GB of storage space. You can easily go to the official website of any game and check the system requirements. Then, take your final decision whether you want to go for a 500GB, 1TB, or 2TB SSD.
If you are an occasional gamer who plays games in your free time, 500 GB SSD will be enough for you. But, if you want to take your gaming journey to a professional level or if you are already doing it, just invest your money in high-quality and high-storage devices.
Ok! SSDs improve gaming performance. But, I want a lot of storage space as well
Well, that’s the case with most of us and it mostly keeps us from upgrading. We have seen HDDs storing up to 20 TB which we are not getting with SDDs till 2021. But, there are two alternatives in this case.
Firstly, you can install both SSD and HDD on a single computer or laptop. You can use your hard disk only as a storage space for important files, videos, images, etc. On the other hand, you can use small but faster SSD storage space to store your OS files and game files. This will help you to make your primary tasks fast and efficient by giving you a good storage space along the way.
Secondly, you can think of buying an SSHD (Solid-State Hybrid Drive) which is a combination of both HDD and SSD. An SSHD will come along with a moving disk as an HDD along with a small amount of SSD. But, I would not suggest you use this one because it will have a slower speed as compared to an actual SSD.
Should I go for a portable SSD as a Gamer?
A portable SSD is another great option to enhance your gaming performance. You can easily install your games or even the OS inside a portable SSD and boot anything from there. So, if you want to keep your HDD installed and get an additional but faster storage space, you should go for a portable SSD for great results.
You will always have the freedom to connect and disconnect it anytime you want. But, for some people, it can become a mess. However, the results would be similar. But, I would suggest you install the SSD inside your system if you are a regular gamer. It will save space and will be efficient at the same time.
To better understand the impact of SSDs on gaming, I decided to share personal experiences, illustrating the clear differences and improvements noticed while gaming with an SSD compared to an HDD. Let’s delve into these real-world scenarios:
Case Study 1: Gaming with an HDD
In my earlier gaming days, I relied on an HDD to store and run my games. While it served the purpose, there were several aspects that left room for improvement:
- Load Times: One of the foremost issues I encountered was the prolonged load times. Getting into the game and transitioning between different levels often meant waiting through long-load screens.
- Noise: My gaming sessions were often accompanied by the humming and buzzing of the HDD, which, at times, disrupted the immersive experience.
- In-game Stutters: There were instances where the game stuttered, especially during high-intensity scenes, where a lot of data had to be loaded quickly.
- Multitasking Challenges: Running other applications alongside the game could result in a noticeable slowdown, affecting both the gaming and overall system performance.
Case Study 2: Gaming with an SSD
Transitioning to an SSD brought a wave of enhancements to my gaming experience, some of which were instantly noticeable, while others became evident over time:
- Swift Load Times: I was pleasantly surprised by the reduction in load times. The games loaded much faster, and even within games, transitions were smoother and quicker.
- Silent Operation: The silent operation of the SSD was a breath of fresh air, allowing for a quieter and more focused gaming session.
- Enhanced Multitasking: I found multitasking to be much smoother, with the ability to swiftly switch between different applications without experiencing a hitch.
- Improved In-game Experience: The faster data retrieval speed of SSDs translated to quicker texture loading and a visually richer gaming experience with no disruptive pop-ins.
Looking back at these experiences, it’s clear that transitioning to an SSD elevated my gaming experience to a whole new level, providing a smoother, faster, and more immersive gaming environment. The difference was not just in speed but in enhancing the overall quality of gaming sessions, creating a seamless and enjoyable adventure from start to finish.
In simple words, if your goal is to increase the FPS or the visual quality of your games, SSD is not going to help you in any way. However, fast game and OS loading time is something most gamers will find helpful. So, if you want to upgrade your gaming computer completely, you should surely invest in good quality SSD along with other things such as GPU, CPU, RAM, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely, many gamers, including myself, opt for a setup where they use SSD for the operating system and frequently play games to benefit from faster load times, while using an HDD for storing other data and lesser-played games, striking a balance between speed and storage space.
Yes, SSDs can be used with older gaming systems. However, I would advise checking the specifications and requirements of your gaming system to ensure compatibility. Make sure to match the PCIe versions of your CPU/Motherboard and SSD to eliminate chances of overkill or bottlenecks. Read this SSD buying guide for more.
Yes, I have successfully cloned my HDD to an SSD without reinstalling all the games, using various cloning tools available in the market. This way, you can retain all your data while enjoying the benefits of gaming on an SSD. You can use tools like Macrium Reflect or EaseUS Partition Master Free.
DRAM cache in an SSD acts as a buffer that temporarily stores data for faster access. From a gamer’s perspective, I have noticed that SSDs with a DRAM cache can offer smoother and quicker data retrieval, which translates to reduced game load times and a more seamless gaming experience.
As the computer tech is growing, the CPUs and RAMs are becoming faster and faster. So, storage drives should also be going ahead. So, make sure to combine the right type of SSD with the best possible options. Use tools like PCPartPicker to match the right components together along with SSDs.