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What is an SSD & Do You Need One For Gaming?

When you are building a PC for gaming, you will ideally want to include the best components so that the computer is powerful. The performance of your computer determines the gaming experience you are likely to have. Regarding the storage solution, you will definitely come across SSD and HDD.

Whether you need to choose SSD over HDD for gaming or not arises. The question arises because SSD is more expensive than HDD, and there is a rapidly growing hype about SSD among gamers. We will look at all the different aspects of SSD and understand if SSD can make a difference in your gaming experience.

Understanding SSD

SSD stands for Solid State Drive. It is electronic storage with higher speed and better efficiency than a traditional hard disk drive. As a matter of fact, SSD is more compact than HDD even though it is equally sturdy.

Hard disk drives are the standard computer storage, but SSDs are quickly replacing them. HDDs are bulky and somewhat fragile, with layers of magnetic disks. SSDs are small, and there are no moving parts like in HDDs. They have flash-based memory having circuits to store data.

Working of an SSD

Solid-state drives have integrated circuits where data are stored permanently. It is a flash memory, meaning the data is stored even without a power supply. It also means that the data are read, written, transferred, and deleted electronically, and there are no moving parts.

Since there is no movement, the actions are performed faster. SSDs have become an ideal choice to replace HDDs in high-end computers. If not as a replacement, SSDs are being used as a secondary storage device for faster speed of data operations.

What Type of SSD Does Computer Support?

There are different types of SSDs available that come in different form factors. There are basically SATA and PCIe NVMe SSDs. PCIe NVMe SSDs are around five times faster than SATA SSDs. SATA SSDs are very much like traditional HDDs, except they are thinning and are referred to as 2.5-inch form factor. PCIe NVMe SSDs are referred to as M.2 SSDs are the smallest. Besides, there are internal and external SSDs available.

The type of SSD your computer supports depends on the type of computer you have. If your computer has a high-end motherboard, it is likely to support almost all modern SSDs because there are extra SATA and PCIe slots available that are compatible with all SSDs types, including SSD add-in cards.

If you have an older computer, you have to opt for SATA SSDs. However, if you have a slim laptop, you must purchase an M.2 form factor SSD for compatibility. Some laptop manufacturers are embedding SSDs into their laptops, and there is no scope for installing any external SSD.

The bottom line is that you have to check your motherboard’s manual specifically to find out the type of SSD your computer supports.

What Capacity of SSD Do You Need For A Gaming PC?

Previously, there were limited capacities of SSDs available. However, these days, there are SSDs available in all the required capacities. But SSDs are highly expensive, especially when compared to regular HDDs. If you are a gamer who plays low to mid-range games, 128GB or 256GB SSDs will get the job done.

If you are a regular gamer with a few top games on your computer, you should consider getting a 512GB SSD. In fact, 512GB SSD is considered to be the base standard for gaming. However, if you are an avid gamer who plays high-end games regularly, you can get a 1TB SSD to satisfy your storage requirements completely.

What are the Important Factors to Consider for an SSD?

Here is a list of the important factors to watch out for when buying an SSD.

Type: First of all, you have to check your computer’s compatibility as far as SSDs are concerned. Your first preference should be M.2 SSD or SSD AIC. If you do not have a slot for them, you should watch out for an option to install SATA SSD. Otherwise, you have to settle for an external SSD. Therefore, you have to decide the type of SSD you need for your gaming computer.

Capacity: You have to decide on the SSD capacity you want to purchase. We have already stated how much capacity you need for gaming. If budget is not a constraint, you should always opt for a large-capacity SSD because your computer will be future-proof. You can replace the HDD completely with an SSD. Otherwise, 512GB is the standard capacity for gaming.

Speed: There are different variants of SSDs available from different brands. Therefore, you have to check the sequential read and write speeds and compare them. The higher the read and write speeds, the faster the SSD will be. This will ensure a lag-free gaming experience when you are playing a high-end game.

Price: Price can be important when you are purchasing a large-capacity SSD. The higher the capacity, the higher will be the price. Besides, the price can vary based on the brand you choose, the type of the SSD as well as the speed. As per your budget, you have to choose an SSD accordingly.

Warranty: Last but not least, you need to check the warranty period on the SSD you are about to purchase. The higher the warranty, the more reliable the product is. This shows that the brand is confident in its product mechanically. You can compare the warranty period and purchase accordingly.

Do You Really Need an SSD for Gaming?

Yes, you need an SSD to speed up your gaming experience. These days, every gaming laptop comes with an SSD, and all gamers install SSDs in their gaming PCs. HDDs are outdated, and their lack of speed hinders a smooth gaming experience.

When playing a high-end game, you need a fast data read and write speed, and SSDs are exactly there for the same. SSDs are at least ten times faster than HDDs so that the gaming experience will be smooth and lag-free.

Can I Use An External SSD for Gaming PC?

There are internal as well as external SSDs available. You can always use an external SSD for PC gaming. However, an external SSD will likely have less speed than an internal SSD. This is because external SSDs use USB-C connectors while internal SSDs use PCIe NVMe.

Unless you have an internal space for SSD and want to replace a traditional HDD, an external one looks perfect. However, your first preference should be internal SSD over external SSD. External SSDs are faster than traditional HDDs, but internal SSDs are the fastest.

One of the biggest advantages of external SSDs is that you can carry around and attach to different gaming PCs and carry on with your gaming experience. External SSDs are the only option to speed up your PC and get more storage space when your internal slots and ports are already taken up.

Which Kind of SSD is Best for Gaming?

If you upgrade from HDD to SSD, any type of SSD will offer a better speed. But the M.2 SSD is the best for gaming because it offers the best read and write speeds over any other type of SSD. M.2 SSDs are five times faster than SATA SSDs. SATA SSDs slightly edge past external SSDs. Therefore, there is no doubt that the M.2 SSD is the best for gaming.


There is no doubt that you need an SSD for gaming. If your gaming computer is underperforming, you should consider instantly upgrading to SSD from HDD. Your first preference should be to install M.2 SSD or even SSD AIC. Thereafter, SATA SSDs and external SSDs come in line. A 512GB SSD is the standard for gaming and you will see an instantly uplift in your gaming experience.

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