As the price per gigabyte costs of Solid State Drives continues to plummet under the one-dollar mark, more and more people are beginning to consider SSDs as a viable upgrade option. While the market for SSDs is not as saturated as the older HDD market, many more manufactures are beginning to offer their own brands. How do you pick the right one for your gaming PC? Here's a few things to keep an eye out for.
Quick Read/Write Speeds
This is the big reason for switching from an old Hard Disk Drive to the Solid-State Drive. Look for the best transfer speeds you can find. Anything above 400MB/sec read and 300MB/sec write will be a good choice. Try to find the best balance, as these speeds are just a target and a little higher or a little lower will make a negligible difference.
SATA III Support
You wanted the fasted drive for your gaming computer, so you need to have the best pipe for that data to get to the CPU. SATA III allows for 6gps transfer speeds, which is 4.5gbs faster than the old SATA I. Make sure that your motherboard can support SATA III for the best possible performance, but know that all SATA connections are backward compatible.
A history of Reliability
This is the most time consuming for a new product type. Research any drive you are considering to see what the general consensus is. While there is a high ratio of misinformation on the web these days, consumer reporting site and places like Amazon will have a large cross section of established product information. Spending a little extra time researching your drive model can help avoid the frustration of dealing with a dead hard drive.
This point is a no-brainer. You want the best drive for your gaming system, but money is not grown on trees. As the technology behind SSDs becomes more reliable and the larger drive manufactures begin to expand the offerings, many more low-cost options will be made available. Try to keep the cost under one-dollar per GB.
Use each of these tips as guidelines for considering any new drive purchase, but apply your own weighting systems to which tips are more important to you than the others. For some gamers, transfer speeds are the only important variable while for gamers on a budget the price is all that matters. In my opinion, a history of reliability tends to be weighted more heavily than any other factor: hardware can be replaced easily, but the loss of important data can be crippling.