I’ve heard people talking many times about how if you want to have peak performance in your PC games you would absolutely needs to go for the best equipment available including an SSD over HDD. Now while “expensive” and more modern hardware certainly is better the question is, do I really need it for gaming and what are the benefits?
Let me give you a TL;DR version right away:
No, SSD is definitely not a crucial component for your games to perform flawlessly however, it does have advantages.
So what good is an SSD for gaming then?
I’ll try and explain what exactly SSD will and will not improve. If you have a sluggish HDD chances are your games are going to load for quite some time. There are games where this will be very noticeable and games where this won’t be much of an issue (especially older games). Some huge open world games like the Elder scrolls online are known to have a very long loading time before they let you hop into the game world and in games like this the improvement would be most noticeable. Games that have a lot of details, actors, objects and are generally set in huge areas with seamless transitions from cell to cell would most certainly benefit from having an SSD in your computer though, rest assured that this will not improve your frame rate or visual quality (duuh) in any way.
Everything else in video games, besides loading times is handled by graphical and central processing unit, so for example if you have a scene where a lot of things are going on time, despite it being a large amounts of data, that data has already been loaded in your Random Access Memory also known as RAM and that’s precisely what loading times are for. During the loading time data from your hard disk or solid-state drive is being transferred into your random access memory which is unimaginably faster than both HDD and SSD are (and probably will be for quite some time) and after that when the game needs it, it is processed directly from RAM into what you see on your screen.
So yeah, that’s pretty much the only thing an SDD is good for if you’re a gamer. I guess we can say it will also let you boot up your computer almost instantly compared to HDD and let you play your games more quickly than a standard hard disk drive would allow you to but that would be it. So unless you’re an MMO kind of person or somebody who absolutely hates and can’t stand the loading times in video games, there’s not really a strong reason to get an SSD. It won’t give you a more stable frame rate CPU and GPU are in charge of that, and most certainly won’t make your games latency drop-down as I’ve seen some people online are suggesting, you need a more stable and faster ISP to do that.
Hope I cleared some things out and helped you choose an appropriate storage unit for your next computer configuration.