SSD vs HDD for PC gaming in 2023

SSD vs HDD for PC gaming in 2023
Amaar Chowdhury Updated on by

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If you’re weighing up the differences between an SSD and HDD for PC gaming – we’ve covered the essentials for you here.

SSDs have been around for a while now, but for many still gaming on a HDD (Hard Disk Drive), the question of which is better is probably looming. An SSD, or Solid State Drive, is a storage device which uses flash memory to store data. The SSD has no moving parts, and data is stored in semi-conductors.

On the other hand, a HDD is essentially like a giant CD. There’s a spinning disk inside which has data read to or written from it, and you can literally hear it spinning and whirring as storage is accessed. The problem with HDDs is that they are noisy, loud, and prone to much more environmental damage due to their moving parts.

SSD vs HDD for PC – gaming performance and speed

If we’re comparing the SSD vs HDD in terms of speed, there is a clear winner. Due to the nature of the SSD’s flash memory, accessing bits of data within the drive is extremely easy and fast. The memory location is pre-recorded so finding and accessing it doesn’t require much processing power.

On the other hand, a HDD is a physical device, much like a CD or vinyl record, in which you have to traverse through the data to find the specific item you’re looking for. Due to this limitation, accessing memory is much slower and consumes much more electrical energy.

If you’re looking for an SSD or HDD for PC gaming – realistically, you’re going to want to pick the piece of hardware which is fastest. In this case, and most cases, it’s the SSD, which contains vastly superior flash memory.

Choosing an SSD means your games will load significantly faster, and you’ll also have more TDP to allocate to other PC components.

SSD vs HDD for PC gaming – price

However, if you’re looking for a budget PC gaming option, the HDD will be a better choice. Hard drives have been manufactured for decades now, and coming across a 1TB or 2TB hard drive is ridiculously easy for cheap prices.

On the other hand, an SSD will fetch a much higher price. This is due to the vastly more technical manufacturing process, though also the increased usability of an SSD. For example, an SSD can be connected directly to the motherboard for ultra-fast data transfer, whereas a HDD has to be connected to the motherboard via a SATA cable, which slows down data transfer.

We’ve had a look on various retailers at how much an SSD costs compared to the cost of a HDD, and here’s what we’ve found.

SSD / PriceHDD / Price
Crucial MX500 1TB 3D NAND SATA 2.5 Inch Internal SSD / $51.99Western Digital 1TB WD Blue PC Internal Hard Drive HDD / $34.99
Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD 2TB NVMe M.2 Internal Solid State Hard Drive / $139.99Western Digital 2TB WD Blue PC Internal Hard Drive / $49.99
SAMSUNG 870 EVO 4TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD / $299.99Western Digital 4TB WD Blue PC Internal Hard Drive HDD / $67.99

Above, we’ve listed a few SSDs and HDDs of varying price. As you can see, there’s a significant disparity between the two, however, the entry level price for an SSD is only $15 more than an HDD. In light of that, there’s really no reason to pick the latter, and an SSD should be your number one choice.

In fact, there’s actually a fantastic deal on Amazon right now for the Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD 2TB NVMe M.2 Internal Solid State Hard Drive which is discounted by nearly $370.

SSD vs HDD for PC gaming – final verdict

Ultimately, when it comes down to it, there’s no denying that an SSD is vastly superior to a HDD in terms of gaming performance. In light of that, we’ve already gone over how to upgrade the SSD in an Xbox Series S and even the best PS5 SSD, so we’ve covered not just PC, but console too. We’re going to be keeping an eye out for the latest updates on SSDs and HDDs, so make sure to check back in with us periodically for your latest gaming fix.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is an SSD good for PC gaming?

An SSD is your best storage solution for PC gaming as it will dramatically reduce loading times in-game.

Is a HDD good for PC gaming?

Realistically, we wouldn’t recommend a HDD for PC gaming as they aren’t very fast, nor do they offer good energy consumption.