As Fast As Possible
While an SSD (Solid State Drive) makes video games launch and load times significantly faster than an HDD, the performance of the gameplay itself will not be improved. We still highly recommend having an SSD, though, because it will make your OS run much quicker, and you’ll still have enough room left for your favorite game or two to load faster.
When it comes to SSD vs HDD gaming performance, you won’t get any extra FPS (Frames Per Second) or better graphics by installing a game on an SSD as opposed to the HDD, but you will get a lot faster loading time for games with heavy-load textures and maps.
SSD vs HDD Gaming Load Times
For example, in WoW it can take up to two minutes to load into a densely populated city, Dalaran. Having a faster CPU or GPU does not accelerate the loading screen, it will run the game on an SSD-and up to 10 times.
In other multiplayer games without start timers, such as Left 4 Dead 2, you can actually get faster in the game and therefore have an advantage over your opponents. Most competitive games, however, will have a start timer.
Installing Games On SSD or HDD?
The most popular way to use your drives is to use an SSD for your OS, intensive heavy-load applications like PhotoShop, your web browser, and a few favorite games (depending on how large SSD you can afford) and then a separate storage HDD.
In terms of how many times you can write / read data about it, the SSDs have minimal longevity.Therefore, it’s not recommended to just keep installing and then deleting video games frequently as you’re done with them. Instead, you should only keep your favorite games on the SSD and thus preserve its lifespan.
There are 4 TB and larger SSDs available on the consumer market today, but very few can afford it due to the heavy price tag, even though SSD prices have dropped dramatically over the years. Fortunately, as time passes, they will most likely start to get cheaper and bigger.
SATA III SSD vs M.2 SSD
In short, there are two major versions of SSDs you should be aware of. The SATA 3 SSD is the cheaper variant, but the SATA 3 bandwidth limits it to 550-600 MB / s max. The latest M.2 SSDs are connected via the PCIe lanes, offering a much faster velocity of ~2100 MB / s, but are also more expensive.
Though substantially faster, when it comes to OS and device boot / load times, an M.2 PCIe SSD is only marginally faster (by 1-2 secs) than a SATA 3 SSD. Therefore, we do not recommend getting an M.2 SSD unless you move large files frequently for professional purposes.
In general, you definitely should have an SSD in your system. You should have at least 120 GB SSD for your OS, a few apps, and a favorite game as it will make loading dramatically faster of everything installed on it. It certainly pays off for MMORPG games like WoW. More space on SSD means you can put on more games.
Now, getting a larger or an extra SSD exclusively for gaming isn’t particularly cost-effective unless you don’t have anything else to spend your money on regarding your next PC upgrade or if you really, really want to cut out the loading times in all of your games.