SSDs offer faster Windows boot times and faster loading times. However, this comes at the expense of storage capacity, as high-capacity SSDs come at extreme prices compared to HDDs. Whether an SSD is truly worth it is entirely subjective and depends on whether you are willing to trade storage capacity for performance.
SSDs have slowly but steadily been pushing the good old-fashioned hard drives out of gaming PCs over the past several years. Of course, there’s a good reason for that – SSDs simply offer the kind of performance that a regular HDD would never be able to reach.
But today, we won’t be discussing how the two fare against one another, but rather, we’ll be focusing on a different question: are SSDs even worth it?
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What To Consider
Before deciding whether an SSD is worth your money, there are two key factors to consider, which are described below.
The first and most obvious reason as to why you’d even consider an SSD is its superior performance. Sure, even the cheapest SATA SSDs can surpass performance-oriented HDDs several times over, but what does that extra performance actually do for gaming?
For the most part, you will spend far less time looking at loading screens. Of course, it will also mean faster Windows boot times and faster file transfer speeds, but gaming benefits are mostly restricted to reduced loading times.
Storage Capacity and Prices
A big reason why HDDs survive today is their high storage capacity, and it ties in directly with the pricing. Namely, HDDs come at a much lower price per gigabyte than SSDs.
For example, you can get a decent 1 TB hard drive for just $40 and some change. Meanwhile, you won’t find a reliable 1 TB SSD for under $150, and the faster, higher-quality models can go even over $400.
Conclusion – Is An SSD Worth It?
So, all in all, it comes down to answering the following question: are you willing to sacrifice storage capacity for faster loading times?
Whatever your answer, we wouldn’t advise going solely with an SSD if you own a desktop PC. Many people use an SSD as a system drive while also using a regular HDD for storage. True, SSDs are cheaper than they have ever been, but combining an SSD and an HDD is the most effective way to balance performance, capacity, and cost.
On the other hand, if you have a gaming laptop instead of a desktop and a spacious SSD is too pricey, consider SSHDs as well. These are hybrid drives that combine a small portion of NAND memory with a regular hard disk, thus offering a decent performance boost over regular HDDs. Unfortunately, they are still nowhere near SSD speeds.
Of course, there’s always the option of using an SSD as a primary system drive while using an external HDD for storage. This is a viable solution for both laptops and desktops since external HDDs not only offer cheap storage but portable storage as well. Just keep in mind that they do not offer the best performance, which pretty much only makes them viable as storage drives.