How to Choose an SSD for Gaming
Modern gaming machines have moved away from HDD storage in favor of SSD drives for a long while now. Not only are SSDs faster and more reliable, but are also the storage devices of the future since all advancements are going towards rendering HDDs obsolete.
If you are going to build a machine or upgrade your current rig you should also invest in a good SSD drive since they are becoming cheaper and are offering more storage options than ever before. If you are not sure what exactly makes an SSD a good purchase we can give you a couple of ideas so follow along.
The most important aspect that you should pay attention to is of course the price of the SSD you have in mind. Because the SSD market is growing quickly you do not have to spend money on overpriced drives as there are many alternatives that offer the same performance for less money.
You should do your research and find the best possible specs for your budget and ignore things like branding. If the specs are identical between two drives you should always go for the cheaper one since the brand name does not make your SSD somehow better.
A very important aspect of an SSD is the capacity it has. In the end, an SSD is a storage device so if it cannot hold all of the data you will have it essentially is a bad investment. The capacity of your SSD will also depend on the price range you are looking at so expect the price of your storage device to increase proportionally to its storage capabilities.
For gaming and general use having a main drive SSD with 240-512GB of storage is more than enough. If you however have data in the form of files (videos, music, pictures, etc) that require more than 1TB of storage, buying an HDD for cheaper and using it as a simple storage device is also a solid option.
If you however absolutely despise the idea of using an HDD you better be ready to pay a pretty penny because 1TB+ SSDs are still quite expensive.
Besides the capacity of an SSD, you should pay close attention to the read/write speeds the drive offers. This measurement effectively tells you how fast your drive is during intense tasks that will require it to read and write data therefore should be on your priority list.
SATA SSDs that you will find on the market are usually 500/500 MB/s in terms of read/write speeds. NVMe SSDs can go from 1000 to 5000 MB/s depending on whether you are using a Gen 3 or Gen 4 NVMe drive. The optimal setup for a gaming machine would be an NVMe SSD with a lower capacity (240GB) as a boot drive where you have your Windows data stored, and a higher capacity (512GB+) SATA SSD drive for your games.
This way the faster NVMe drive will help you with Windows boot times and overall productivity, while the slower (but bigger capacity) SATA SSD will improve your loading times in games.
The last thing you should check for when purchasing an SSD for gaming is what kind of extra features it comes with. A lot of SSDs come with cloning software or some sort of maintenance software that will help you keep your SSD running well for a long time.
These extra features are not as important as the capacity or the speed of the drive therefore should not be a big priority for you, but if you are comparing two drives with identical features and prices then the extras could help you in deciding which drive is a better purchase.
SSDs Do Not Give You Extra FPS!
No matter how fast your SSD is it will not increase your FPS in games and the only difference it will make will be seen when loading games or booting Windows. If upgrading your current storage devices is not a must you should save up more money and invest it in a CPU/GPU/RAM upgrade that will affect how your games run.
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