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When you’re looking at which storage drive to select for gaming, the choices can be confusing. Let’s look at the differences between a hard disk drive (HDD) and a solid state drive (SSD) for gaming.

How your storage disk affects gaming

Of course, your storage drive stores your games and any preloaded files for online games. You need enough storage space to store your games and anything else you have on your computer. Hard drives and solid state drives both store data, but the technology is different between the two kinds of storage drives. 

Hard drives versus solid state drives

Generally, hard disk drives work well for gaming. As long as the HDD has enough capacity to store your games (modern games range from 20GB to 100GB for a single installation) and is fast enough to support the graphics, you should have no trouble. Read about how to increase computer storage space.

Where HDDs do not do as well as SDDs for gaming is in load times. Because SSDs do not have spinning parts, they are ready when you are and have faster load times. Read about the benefits of Solid State Drives.

The video below shows a side-by-side comparison of loading a game using a computer with a hard drive and one with a solid state drive. 

What about cost?

Choosing between a single hard drive or solid state drive is not the only option. It’s possible to use a combination of internal and external drives in different configurations of hard drives and solid state drives to work with both your budget and your need for fast load times. Look for the biggest, fastest drive possible and still stay within your budget. The Crucial System Scanner or Advisor Tool™ will give you a list of drives that are compatible with your system so you can choose the SSD that fits your budget. You can choose the SSD that meets your budget.  

Which form factor?

Solid state drives come in several form factors. What you choose depends on what your system specifications are. Use the Crucial® System Scanner or Advisor™ tool to determine which drives are compatible with your system. Find out which SSD form factor best suits you.

Other advantages of SSDs for gaming

SSDs have other advantages that aren’t directly related to gaming. Solid state drives are more energy efficient, quieter, and offer more ways to store your data. Read about the top 10 reasons to get a SSD.

Solid state drives are also more durable than hard drives, a benefit if you bump or move your computer regularly. 

SSDs definitely have an advantage over HDDs on load times. If it’s important to you to start your game faster, use the Crucial® Advisor™ tool or System Scanner tool to find the best SSD for your system.

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