Friday, August 7, 2020

SSD vs HDD | Which one is better for gaming?

SSD vs HDD | Which one is better for gaming?

Storage solutions like a hard disk drive (HDD) or a solid state drive(SSD) are usually left out while building a computer for the purpose of gaming or just plain browsing or some office work and light gaming.

Now I understand this as building a new gaming PC for yourself. You might want to spend your money on a good high-end processor going with either Intel or AMD. Then the next major portion on the GPU of your choice which can run all the AAA titles for you smoothly. Following this you will be choosing the motherboard , power supply unit , RAM , Case of your choice etc and then lastly if you think that you have enough budget left then you think of buying what storage solution you will be purchasing :).

I am no different, even I have followed these same things while building my own gaming PC!!

But the thing is that making such a decision is absolutely normal and also no harm at first. But as you go down the road and have enough budget I would suggest you to upgrade to a decent storage solution as this would give your day to day tasks a good snappy feeling and smoothness.

I will be covering the vastly used storage solutions by the general public that is a Hard Disk Drive and a Solid State Drive.You will get the answers to which one you should use and what are best suited when you are on a tight budget.

HDD or Hard Disk Drive :

Overview :

This is a mechanical piece of hardware that is used to store your data so that the processor can access it when you want it for doing your tasks , like you want to play your game , want to access a file etc. As of now our motherboards support SATA 3  data transmissions giving large bandwidth over the previous SATA 2 and SATA transmission standards.

Now keeping things simple I'll give you an overview of how a HDD fetches the data.

This HDD is called mechanical because it has moving parts in it.It is not a one piece solid thing.
It has a moving pointer in it and a constantly rotating magnetic track on which data is stored.
If you want to know more about how the data gets stored you can watch this amazing video.
Now that we know that the data is stored in the rotating track and a pointer is used to retrieve the data so you can imagine when the processor asks the HDD for a particular data related to the task that you want to perform then this mechanical pointer searches on the magnetic track for it.

By now you might have guessed that for any kind of information that the processors want from the HDD there is a movement involved to retrieve it and there are also limitations on how fast can this data retrieval process take place.

Speed Indications:

HDD are marked or labeled with their speed indications like the ones mostly used for desktops 7,200 RPM with data speeds of about 150MB/s and 5,400 RPM with data speeds of about 100MB/s.

 This essentially indicates that the HDDs track will make 7,200/5,400  rotations per minute and this will take place from the moment you choose to start your PC to the moment you power it down.

These rotations will take place constantly and you can even hear them or feel it by touching your HDD when you are doing some task.


There are limitations because whenever fast moving mechanical parts are involved it ALWAYS generates heat no matter the material no matter what precautions you take heat will be generated and that cannot be avoided by any means.

Also I would like to point out that when there are moving parts involved there is a possibility of hardware failure. As compared to non-moving parts.

Affordability and Availability:

HDD is a storage solution that is widely accepted because of the huge amounts of data it can store. And the main thing that people consider is the price that it is available at.

Luckily it is so easily and affordably available to the people that a HDD can be chosen at the very very last moment when you are building your own PC as there is simply nothing too fancy to consider when going for a HDD for the general purpose usability.

Life Expectancy:

The life expectancy of every storage solution is limited and a Hard drive is no different in fact I believe that a HDD will have less life expectancy as compared to other data storage solutions simply due to the involvement of moving mechanical parts but as of now I do not have any such proofs so don’t take this as a statement. Also I have been using my HDD for a very very long time and no problems have occurred till now.


  • Large amounts of data can be stored.
  • Very much affordable.
  • Widely used in all of the fields due to its large data storage.


  • Involves moving parts which can be risky.
  • Slower as compared to other forms of data storage solutions.

SSD or Solid State Drive:

Overview and Types:

This is a piece of hardware that does not have any mechanical parts involved like the HDD hence the name solid. Also the data transmissions take pace due to electric currents. Now this major change in data transmissions has brought about a HUGE increase in speed. Considering SSDs we have different types like one using SATA 3 data transmission available in a 2.5 inch  form factor, NVMe SSD which is placed in the M.2 slot of the motherboard , PCIe ssd which is placed in the PCIe slots of the motherboard.

It is even logical that when data transmission is taking place due to moving parts the speed will not be much but when the moving part is eliminated and electric currents are used to carry the data transmissions you will see an exponential rise in speed.

Speed Indications:

A solid state drive with a SATA III connectivity can achieve speeds around 500MB/s read and write speed somewhat closer to it approximately 510MB/s.

These are generally the speed that a SATA 3 SSD can achieve but all SSDs are not the same. Some higher speed SSDs are normally advertised with a PLUS or PRO branding to indicate that it can somewhat achieve higher READ and WRITE speed. But most high end SATA 3 SSD  might get maxed out at around 600- 650MB/s.

Average speeds for PCIe/M.2 SSDs range from around 1.5GB/s for the lower end of these SSDs  and if you want to reach around 2.5GB/s you will need to shell out some more money for higher end SSDs of these types.

Life Cycle:

SSDs are also indicated with a particular amount of read and write cycles but most of the time it’s just an indication that for safety a backup needs to be taken in case that SSD fails but nothing like that has happened till now.

Due to this high speed of data transfer you will get faster booting time when you switch on your PC if your OS is installed in the SSD partition. Faster loading times for your games if they are also installed in the SSD partition.

So basically you will be getting a very smooth and responsive experience from SSD.


  • Small form factor
  • Less heavy as compared to HDD
  • Very fast data speed
  • Has no moving parts


  • Costlier than a HDD

Highlights of SSD vs HDD:

ssd vs hdd highlight and comparison

Which one is Good for gaming ?

Now that you have a better idea about what is a HDD or Hard Disk Drive and what is a SSD or Solid State drive , how they work in terms of data transmissions which one is faster and how better one performs over the other I am sure that you might have come to the conclusion by now that all you need for gaming is a SSD as it is faster than a HDD and can give you very fast loading times.


A SSD can only give you a good fast game loading time it WILL NOT in any way make your game faster !!!!!

Your game speeds and FPS all those will still and always depend on the CPU , GPU and RAM.

It doesn't matter if you are using a SSD or a HDD once you are in the game you are independent of the type of storage solution that you might be using as that will not determine how fast or how smoothly your game will run.


If you are the person who is on a really tight budget and you want to build a gaming PC by spending your money on the best CPU, GPU, RAM etc which suits your budget then by all means please do it. Using a HDD over a SSD due to a tight  budget is by no means going cheap … in fact it is obviously an intelligent choice for being cost effective and spending your money on things that really matter when it comes to running games.

Again mentioning a game’s performance will not get affected whether you are using a HDD or SSD once you are inside the game.You can have faster loading times with your SSD but then after loading it won’t matter. 

Now for all those folks on a limited budget I suggest you wait  those extra seconds for the game to load and then enjoy it !!! and then later on upgrade to a SSD as you see fit as per your budget and put your OS in that to have an overall snappy performance.

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