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Gaming PCs and Upgrading To A Solid-State Drive

Solid-State Drives are becoming more populate amongst gamers for their reliability and access speeds

So far, you have upgraded your CPU, RAM and Video Card on your old gaming system and all that is left is replacing the Hard Disk Drive. Here you have a choice: You can stick with the cheaper, older technology of the spinning platter Hard Disk Drive or you can move on to the more expensive, but faster, Solid State Drives. Will the SSD really be benefit for your gaming system?

What are Solid-State Drives?

Solid State Drives operate using a type of flash memory called NAND or "Negated AND" which is a type of logic gate that allows for the storage and access of data. This style of storage uses no moving parts, which allows for faster access times when compared to the spinning platter design of conventional HHD. Generally, the random access times of a SSD are as low as 0.1 ms with read latency times that are negligible due to the data being read directly from the storage location. Compare this speed to the average HHD random access time of 7 ms and the benefits of a SSD become clearer.

Benefits in Gaming with an SSD

Now that we know that SSDs are faster than HHDs how does this benefit a gaming system? Will a SSD prevent system failures or increase a game's performance and frames-per-second? Not noticeably because today's games are designed specifically to access data effectively from HDD during gameplay. Generally, a gaming pc using a SSD will only see a minor increase of 3-4 frames-per-second when playing today's most advanced and graphic intensive titles. Where the true benefit comes from using a SSD is from the minor loading latency when entering into new areas and loading the game. Today's high-end games attempt to preload information based upon expected play routines and pathing thereby lowering the effect of read-latency from HDD. If the player deviates from the expected path that player experiences a slight lag or latency in the loading of game files needed for the location. With a SSD, the latency associated with unexpected pathing becomes negligible.


Solid-State Drives are an excellent upgrade for systems that are already using high end CPUs, RAM, and Video Cards or need to replace existing corrupted hard drives. If your system is using an older CPU, your Ram is below 4GB, or if your video card is several years old, then upgrading your device storage to a SSD will show very little benefit.
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