SSD vs. HDD in games: which one is better and why?

SSD vs. HDD in games, which one is better and why? While it is true that solid state drives (SSDs) are much more expensive than hard drives (HDDs), their cost has decreased considerably and currently the difference between price and capacity means that, at the moment deciding which one to buy, doubts arise.

To clear up the most common questions, we prepared this article in which we will talk about the main benefits of choosing a solid state drive over a hard drive regarding its performance in video games.

An SSD will not improve the graphics performance of your games

Solid-state drives typically offer read and write speeds 10 to 30 times faster than a 7,200 revolutions per minute (rpm) hard drive. However, if you want to buy an SSD thinking that this will improve the graphics performance of your games, particularly an increase in the number of frames per second ( frames per second , fps), you should know that this will not be the case.

Western Digital SN750 Black drive in a person's hand to compare a SATA vs. PCIe

To have a graphic improvement in your games, the option is to update your graphics card and, possibly, your processor and RAM.

So is there a benefit or not?

Yes there is and it is in load times. Because an SSD offers faster read speeds, you will have shorter load times when playing from a solid state drive than from a hard drive.

There is no general relationship , as each game has different loading requirements. However, you will notice less lag when playing games that require many components – such as open world games. We prepared a comparison using Doom Eternal on PC and PS4. We know that the parallelism is not entirely fair (the ideal would have been to compare the game on the same platform), however, it is illustrative for the point we made.

Doom Eternal on PS4 base model from a hard drive

First level loading time: 18:36 seconds.

Doom Eternal on PC, from M.2 Solid State Drive

Loading time of the first level: 14:43 seconds.

Another aspect to note is that the faster reading speed of the SSD over the HDD will also make, in general, games start faster. In some cases, the time required to start the game from an SSD will be half of what it would take from an HDD.

It is also important to note that solid state drives consume less power and therefore generate less heat, which is beneficial for the PC gaming experience.

The cost-benefit ratio

Where there is a notable difference is in the price of a solid state drive compared to a hard drive.

While a 1TB M.2 SSD – the fastest on the market – costs about $ 150 ( a SATA 2.5 costs about $ 100 ), a 7,200-rpm hard drive of the same capacity costs about $ 60 . That is, the price of an SSD can be up to triple that of an HDD.

Of course, the benefits of a solid state drive are many and go beyond load times. Having an SSD in a computer makes the system startup time, file loading and execution of programs and applications much, much faster than it would be on an HDD.

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