Computers Gaming How tos

The Advantages of a SSD for your next gaming computer

Quick access is one of the most important factors while playing games on a computer, so while building a gaming computer, the speed of data access from the hard drive should be checked. Earlier computers had hard disk drives and the speed of data transfers was limited to approximately 250 Mb/second, so were noticeable delays while playing games or accessing other software, data stored on the hard drive. With advances in technology, increasingly gamer’s and others are using a solid state drive (SSD) for their gaming computer for a better gaming experience, since the speed of even the slowest SSD module is 550 MB/second

Though the SSDs are faster than conventional HDDs, they are usually far more expensive compared to conventional hard drives. So while building the gaming laptop, the SSD drive has to be selected based on the budget for the gaming laptop. Like most other computer memory such as Random Access Memory (RAM), the price of the SSD drive depends to a large extent on its capacity, and the cost of a 500 GB drive will be half or less than half of the price of a 1000 GB drive. So gamer’s with a limited budget for their computer may prefer to have two drives, one conventional HDD, and a high speed SSD.

The SSDs available can be further subdivided into SATA (Serial advanced technology attachment) drives and NV Me (Non Volatile Memory Express) drives. Most of the earliest SSDs which were developed were SATA drives, which connected to the SATA bus on the motherboard. However, the speed of these drives were limited by the speed of the SATA bus. Hence the NVMe drives were developed which connected to the Peripheral Connect Interface express (PCIe) bus of the motherboard and are faster. However, the NVMe drives are usually more expensive than the SATA drives since they use the latest technology.

Different parameters are considered while comparing the SSDs sold by major drive manufacturers. The capacity or memory storage capacity is one important parameter with high capacity SSDs proportionately more expensive. The type of interface (SATA or PCI) and speed of the interface is also defined. The manufacturer will specify the sequential and random IO speed for the SSD. Like most electronic and electrical items, the life of the SSD depends to a large extent on how extensively it is being used since the components have a limited life. It is advisable to compare the life of the SSDs in terms of TBW before selecting a specific SSD.

There are a number of manufacturers of SATA SSDs available like Samsung, Crucial, Western Digital (WD) Blue, Mushkin, Gigabyte. Samsung with its 860 Evo series has the largest range of SATA SSDs available with capacity varying from 500 GB to 4 TB. The endurance of the Samsung SSDs is also higher, though the price of the 1 TB and higher capacity models of Samsung is more than that of Crucial. Mushkin, and Gigabyte are lesser known brands of SSD manufacturers, however the price of the SSD on per Gigabyte basis is usually more affordable, making it the preferred choice for gamers with a limited budget. All the SATA SSDs are designed to work on the SATA bus which has a speed of 6Gbps.

Compared to the SATA SSDs, there are fewer manufacturers of NVMe SSDs. All these SSDs are using the PCIe X4 interface on the desktop. Samsung has the 970 series Evo and Pro SSDs with high endurance and high sequential, random IO speeds. However, the Intel Optane 905P has the fastest random IO speed among the popular NVMe SSDs. A data is another manufacturer of NVMe SSD, and its SSDs are using the Intel SM2262 controller. The Adata SSDs are the most affordable NVMe SSDs available on a per Gigabyte basis. WD Black is another high speed SSD using the PCIe bus which is almost as fast as the Samsung Evo.

Based on the product specifications of the SSDs available the SATA SSDs typically have a sequential IO speed of 400/600 Mb/s and random IO speed of 75/110 Mb/s. The NVMe SSDs have IO speeds 5 times that of SATA SSDs, have a sequential IO speed of 2800/3400 Mb/s and random IO speed of 400/500 Mb/s. So clearly the NVMe SSDs offer the highest read/write speeds and are ideal for gaming, though they are more expensive.

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