Do you use a hard drive or SSD for PC game storage?


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Do you use a hard drive or SSD for PC game storage?   

38 members have voted

  1. 1. Storage type

    • Hard drive
      10
    • SATA SSD
      13
    • M.2 NVME SSD
      13


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PC gamers, I’m curious if you are still storing your games on a hard drive, or are you using SATA / M.2 NVMe SSD’s?


I’ve not gamed on the PC for years, however after many months I’ve managed to secure a GeForce RTX 3060 Ti at msrp, so it will be good to get back into some PC gaming after all this time.

With games been so large these days I will also need to purchase a drive to store them on, as pretty much all my storage is networked.


So I’m curious if people are now moving over to SSD’s with larger drives becoming more affordable, or do you find hard drives are still good enough for games?

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My C drive is a small 250GB Samsung 970 Evo Plus NVMe and my D drive is a 1TB Intel 660P NVMe. Steam data is on the D drive, recently I bought a Samsung 980 1TB NVMe which is a bit quicker than the 970 so I will be cloning C to it and then I will move the Steam data to C because that drive is quicker than the Intel 660P 😛 

 

The D drive will go back to be a data/backup drive. I also have a 3TB HDD in the same PC of which only 430GB is used. If I come across a cheap 2TB 2.5" SSD I will probably replace that as well.

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HDD, man. They still have a purpose. Get an SSD, if you can afford it.

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Depends on the game really. I have more HDD storage than SSD (3TB vs 1.5TB) so I put games which would see a benefit from it on SSD, the others go on HDD.

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on my old gaming PC i had an SSD for OS and installed games. i'd then use a hard drive for PC game storage. These days, SSDs are large enough, and cheap enough, that you can store everything on an SSD.

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On 22/07/2021 at 10:02, Jason S. said:

on my old gaming PC i had an SSD for OS and installed games. i'd then use a hard drive for PC game storage. These days, SSDs are large enough, and cheap enough, that you can store everything on an SSD.

right? now a days it's m.2 NVMe for the boot drive and SATA SSDs for extra storage.

 

Sure in super large sizes HDDs are still superior/cheaper but for the average consumer/gamer 1TB - 5TB SATA SSDs for storage is plenty large enough for affordable prices.

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On my main home gaming PC:

My C drive is a Samsung 980 Pro 1TB NVMe . I install my games on a Samsung 512 970 Pro. I have a Hitachi 8TB spinner for my internet downloads, backups and various other crap.

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I did a little more research after posting, it seems for most games at the moment even a standard SATA SSD will have load times within 1-2 seconds of an NVMe SSD from the benchmarks people have shared.

 

However, I suspect with upcoming games, especially those which target next gen consoles we are going to see far greater improvements with NVMe once the DirectStorage API is available on Windows 10 / Windows 11.

 

From what I’ve read both NVMe PCIe 3.0 and 4.0 drives will be able to take advantage of this when paired with a compatible DirectX 12 Ultimate compatible GPU.


With that in mind I think I’ll go with the majority and upgrade to an NVMe drive, that certainly seems the better future proofed solution, especially if you don’t upgrade all that often these days like myself.


Some interesting further reading below:

In addition, a good comparison video of Hdd, Sata SSD and M.2 SSD game load times:

 

 

 

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I can remember back with Battlefield 4 for instance, waiting for that game to load on a HDD was around 1 minute 30 seconds. I upgraded to a MX100 SATA SSD and that load time went to 40 seconds.  It would be interesting to see the load time, on that game, on that same PC going from SATA SSD to NVMe. (I still have that PC but the graphic cards have changed. I use it for VM and Linux stuff)

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Hello,

 

I use a HDD.  I have noticed that gains from using a SSD for storing games are minimal.

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 

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On 23/07/2021 at 04:39, InsaneNutter said:

I did a little more research after posting, it seems for most games at the moment even a standard SATA SSD will have load times within 1-2 seconds of an NVMe SSD from the benchmarks people have shared.

 

However, I suspect with upcoming games, especially those which target next gen consoles we are going to see far greater improvements with NVMe once the DirectStorage API is available on Windows 10 / Windows 11.

we're getting to a point with storage that the difference in load times is negligible. Whether your super-fast nvme drive is 4000MB/s or 5000MB/s, youre looking at a second of difference when loading a game. Plus, all storage slows way down when loading thousands of small files or assets.

 

in the end, if you want fast load times, SSDs are cheap enough now that any will do. For long-term storage, keep a traditional hard drive around for bulk, cold data.

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While I don't know all of the details, I would imagine some games more obviously benefit from SSD than HDD in terms of shorter load times. but on the small amount of games I replay here and there, I can't say I notice any obvious differences between my HDD's and SSD (Samsung 850 EVO 250GB).

 

but either way, I suspect it will boil down to how much $ one has to spend as I don't think it's worth buying a SSD larger than 1TB at this point in time straight up since the 500GB or 1TB range SSD's tend to be the sweet spot of storage/price combo (at the time I bought my SSD for my main PC, in May 2015, 250GB SSD's were just starting to get more affordable (because I figured as a general rule i would not want a SSD smaller than 250GB or so) as I think I paid $120 for the 250GB where as now you can get 1TB models for that general price range). I figure unless someone is a heavy gamer and likes having many games on a SSD all at the same time, one could easily get by with a 500GB range SSD which I would imagine would give you at least a few larger games installed at the same time, but likely a fair amount beyond that. even 1TB should give more than ample room for games.

 

because unless games are easily blowing over 100GB a game, a 1TB SSD should be 'good enough' for the foreseeable future with even the 500GB range models being passable. or better yet... maybe even have a combo in the sense some games could load from SSD (like ones that benefit the most) while other, lesser important games and more casual ones, a regular hard drive is likely good enough and will allow a person to store much more at a much lower price point, or a similar price point but roughly 4x the storage space (say 1TB SSD vs 4TB+ HDD).

 

p.s. but like others, I am of the mindset that SSD's are good for loading stuff quick (like general OS and programs) but more important data I store on a regular HDD etc.

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I recently moved all my games over from a RAID 10 array of 4x1TB WD Black HDDs to a 2TB NVME. For smaller games like Rocket League and Deep Rock Galactic, the difference in loading times I have found pretty much negligable. Larger games like GTA V and Battlefield are noticably faster loading. However with the new Flight Simulator the difference is night and day, especially if you have the game files and the scenery cache on NVME storage.

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I have 3 SSDs and 1 HDD.

 

2TB SSD: OS and productivity programs, + whatever game I am playing a lot at the time.

1TB SSD: Usually dedicated to Linux

500GB SSD: for source code and games I only casually touch.

8TB HDD: Backups, archives, VMs.

 

I don't know if I could stomach a game running from a HDD.

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I use a 1TB NVME drive for gaming, the trick is, don't try and install every game you own, just install what you're currently playing at any given time.

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