SSD vs HDD: Is There a Difference?

When building the ideal gaming computer, there are certain parts and components that gamers agree on having. One of them is a solid state drive, or SSD. A SSD stores information but has no moving parts. Conversely, a spinning hard drive, or HDD, uses a mechanical arm with a read/write head that moves around and reads information.

Until recently, computer buyers had very little choice when it came to the hard drive that was included in their gaming computer. Most hardcore gaming computers came with a standard HDD. Today, gamers can configure their systems with an SSD, HDD or even both. So what makes the solid state drive a better pick for gamers?

How SSDs Outperform HDDs

Some of it boils down to preference and personal experience. However, if you’re building your own workstation PC, you certainly want more than personal opinion to guide what goes into your system. Hardocp performed an interesting study using both an SSD and HDD on their gaming computers. Comparing apples to apples, they found that using an SSD was the better option. Why?

Interestingly, the SSDs made no difference in gameplay performance, even with demanding games like Battlefield 4 and ARMA 3. In all of the games tested, the framerates were the same and the frame consistency was the same. What made the difference in having a solid state drive was load times, which is a pretty important feature on today’s high end gaming computers.

Not only are gamers impatient, but also many games are in real-time and it’s important for them to load efficiently. Transitioning maps were found to be faster as well. This improves the gameplay experience on any gaming computer by far.

As for personal opinion, many gamers claim that solid state drives are the better option for workstation PCs because they lead to improved gameplay performance and consistency. Not to mention, SDDs are more durable since they have no moving parts and operate with little to no noise. When it comes to gaming and the importance of speed, noise, fragmentation, ruggedness and form factor, an SSD is the better choice.

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