Upgrading to an SSD in your desktop or laptop from a mechanical hard drive provides a noticeable increase in performance.
SSDs can make a big difference when running games and applications by cutting down on frustrating load times, while faster boot times and better system performance overall is also possible.
An SSD is always a good investment for PCs which are used for work purposes or gaming, as there is only so much your RAM, GPU, and CPU can do with a slow hard drive anchoring down your system.
Many users opt to install their operating system on an SSD, allowing them to access games and programs without waiting for their PC to boot from a mechanical drive.
Additionally, transfers and game updates are less limited by write speed when the data is stored on an SSD.
Using a PCIe NVMe SSD can grant you even faster transfer speeds, although the difference between a 7,200RPM SATA HDD and a “slow” SATA SSD is a great leap in performance.
YouTuber TechyTalk conducted a storage speed comparison in December 2016, comparing the speed of a Samsung 960 Evo SSD, Crucial MX300 SSD, and a WD Blue 1TB 7,200RPM HDD.
The results show that upgrading to an SSD results in a tangible increase in overall PC performance, increasing boot times, transfer speeds, load times, and more.
Many new games feature long loading screens, a problem which can only be solved by running the game on an SSD.
This is especially true for strategy games such as Total War: Warhammer and Civilization VI, which feature large installations and frustratingly-long loading times when installed on a mechanical drive.
While purchasing a 500GB SSD to store your games on is an attractive option, it is not always financially viable. 120GB SSDs, however, can store your most-used files and applications, and are available for just under R1,000.
Not all games benefit from improved load times when run on an SSD, and certain titles run just as well on a mechanical drive.
However, this generally applies to older games with “quick” load times and small files sizes.
Gaming YouTuber kreight conducted a comparison to measure the loading times of numerous games when running on an SSD and HDD.
Several results showed little difference, but modern games – such as Battlefield 3, Team Fortress 2, The Witcher 3, Grand Theft Auto V, and Dota 2 – loaded much faster on an SSD.
Battlefield 3 was a notable case, with the SSD loading the game in 20 seconds. The HDD took almost one-and-a-half minutes to load the game.
As games become more demanding on storage drives, gamers will benefit from spending a bit less on a new graphics card and purchasing an SSD with the savings.