If you are reading this, you are thinking about swapping your HDD with an SSD in order to have a better gaming performance. Should you do it? The answer is yes and no at the same time. Yes, you should switch to the SSD, because you will get some improvements, but you shouldn’t do it for the reasons you probably believe will be present.
What you will get
When you replace your HDD with an SSD, the first thing you are going to notice is a much shorter booting time. With HDD you are looking for a minute, but an SSD will boot your system in 20 seconds. Of course, this depends on the configuration, but even the slowest computers can get this time frame advantage.
Ready to use time will be shorter as well. With an HDD, you must wait a couple of minutes in order to get a computer ready to use. With an SSD, the time is once again a few seconds. For example, Skype needs a few minutes to start when it is set to start with Windows feature, but with SSD it starts immediately.
Faster loading time. This is the main advantage of SSD drives for gamers. Starting a game is faster than ever and each one will be ready to play within a matter of 2 seconds. If you have a computer which takes a lot of time to start a game, an SSD is definitely something worth considering.
Better multitasking is the next advantage, especially when you run a game. A computer with SSD will be able to run several operations at the same time. Switching applications are better and faster as well.
Shorter drive loading is an advantage some gamers will need. In essence, when you play a game which must load a file from the storage drive, you will get a pause which may be annoying. SSDs are much faster, so there is no this issue.
What you will not get
We saw a few advantages of SSD which are important. But, if you are planning to get an SSD due to some of the reasons mentioned below, you shouldn’t.
Graphics will stay the same. SSD doesn’t have anything to do with the graphics. Yes, a frame rate will be slightly better but this isn’t relevant. All other aspects of the graphics will stay exactly the same as well. There are no visual differences whatsoever.
You won’t be able to play more demanding games either. A computer uses processor and RAM memory, alongside graphics card to run the games, not storage drive, so you will be able to play the same games as with HDD.
Should you still go for SSD?
The answer is yes. First of all, SSD drives give much better user experience, which is important for the gamers, simply because they spend a lot of time at their computers. Then, we have the reliability issue, meaning that a computer won’t fail to start due to unknown reasons, which is common with HDD, especially when they have a lot of bad sectors.
Laptop users also get better battery life, less noise and less heat, which is all important for gaming.
Those users who play smaller or online games will benefit from solid-state dries even more. Starting and running a game will be better and much faster, therefore user experience will be much better.
Hybrid configuration for gaming
A hybrid configuration refers to the computers which use SSD and HDD. This is a common nowadays due to the price of solid-state drives. As such, most users will use a 128GB SSD and 1TB HDD, both integrated into the computer case. The operating system must be installed on SSD in order to get the advantages of the drive.
When it comes to gaming, this configuration is needed and not needed at the same time. The main advantage is the fact you will get all the benefits of an SSD we have mentioned already. But, this also means that games must be installed on SSD. But, because you have HDD as well, space won’t be an issue like in the case when you use one drive only. Basically, you can use HDD for media and data, and SSD for games.
On the other hand, if you install a game on HDD you won’t get any benefit of the SSD, meaning that there is no point in using both drives.
At the end of a day, a hybrid configuration is desirable for users who want to get the most for the money but doesn’t provide significant advantages compared to HDD only. It is up to you to decide do you need this type of configuration.
Components important for gaming
If you are a gamer, you will want to know which components are mandatory for gaming. This comes with an advantage which allows you to upgrade or replace those components and get a much better or more powerful computer. In the case of gaming, the following components are those which run games and allow or don’t allow you to play them.
The processor is the main component of each computer. It determines how many operations a computer can handle at any given time. The situation with the games is the same as well. Basically, they are tons of processes on a computer. At the moment, Intel i7 is the best option to go for and it will be able to run all the games smoothly and without any issue.
The processor is the main components, period. This means that if you have a slow processor, all other components won’t be sufficient to play the latest games and to get the fastest computer. As such, Intel i5 and i7 are desirable. Intel i3 is decent but isn’t exactly suitable for gaming. If you have first two types, you are ready to upgrade and make your computer capable of running the latest games.
In addition, if you have an i7 processor, it is known that a motherboard is newer and capable of supporting plenty of RAM. It defines the limit of the upgrades and the capabilities of a computer.
This is a memory which is used by the processor to store data while a computer is operating and using it until it is shut down. No, it isn’t the same as a storage drive and it loses all the data once a computer is turned off. In general, this is the reason why all apps run smoothly when you use a computer but they need some time to run the first time you open them.
Games require a lot of RAM, simply because they have a lot of processes which need to be handled. Furthermore, a single process is more than just demanding, therefore RAM of 4GB is the least you will need for gaming. 16/32GB are ideal.
A graphics card is used for image processing. Images create a video, so the name is obvious. Gaming requires great graphics cards, due to the fact new games have a lot of images and a lot of objects which have to be processed. That’s why all gamers invest a huge amount of money into this component only. In addition, this is the element which should be improved if you are looking for a better graphics or better said better visual experience.
Graphics cards have dedicated memory, almost the same as the RAM and a processor which is optimized for image processing. Together, these elements allow for a computer to provide video capabilities at all times.
It should be mentioned that if you have a laptop or a computer with the integrated graphics card, there is no point in investing money on RAM and processor. These graphics cards will use RAM as dedicated memory and they are not designed for gaming or video editing. The only advantage they have is in size, allowing for computer manufacturers to produce smaller laptops.
Storage space is important as well. This is the place where all the games will be installed. If we know that most games require tons of space, a high capacity storage drive is a must. For example, a single game may require 30GB of space. 30GB is already occupied by the operating system and main software, so storage drive of 64GB is useless and the one with 128GB is barely sufficient. 256GB is sufficient for most gamers.
Should you go for SSD if you are a gamer? The answer is still yes and now. You will get a faster and more appealing to use a computer, but none of the gaming performance will be improved. But, if you are a gamer who always wants the best, an SSD is definitely an important upgrade to consider. After all, you will get a better computer thanks to the new technology and you will get a much better user experience. Soon, all computers will be equipped with solid-state drives, so you can get an idea how great they are.