How Much SSD do I Need for Gaming?

by Paul | Last Updated: July 25, 2021

Building your Gaming Arsenal. Games have always been a fun way to relax, there are times it might seem like stress i.e., when you have been “beaten” thrice in three rounds of a FIFA-friendly game, but it’s all fun regardless. An avid gamer understands that you cannot just use any device for gaming and this article focuses on the ideal or optimal storage capacity needed for gaming.

How much SSD do I need for gaming?

You need as much as the market can offer which is 2TB in this case. If you cannot afford it, you should not buy anything less than 500GB. There are SSDs with storage capacities greater than 2TB but the most commonly available in the 2TB. An optimal solid-state drive (SSD) size is 1TB because you must remember that when you use a computing system for gaming, there are other things you will need i.e., an operating system, files, and other system data.

The price of SSD is not where it was a few years ago but it is still considered expensive when compared to HDD. Owing to this, people tend to go for the smallest storage money can buy when it comes to SSDs but for gaming, this is not the best approach. Remember we pointed out earlier that choosing storage is not just for gaming as you must factor in the accommodation of other files and software, there is also the consideration of the type of games you want to play.

Triple-A games known as AAA games are considered high-end games because a lot of money is spent in creating them and marketing them. They are the games with high-end graphics, this means that these games also require specific storage some as much as 150GB (Final Fantasy XV), there is also the need to leave storage space for updates. Wanting to play this kind of game alone already defeats the 128GB storage option and except you want just one of this type game, the 256GB is not an option either.

Dangers of low storage

It is one thing to purchase an SSD to improve your PC’s performance but when you do not buy one that suits your needs, you will run out of space faster than you expect. Having low storage and enjoying your gaming experience do not go together as you are likely to experience a crashing game often. Asides this affecting your gaming, you are not doing your PC any favours as you are “stressing” it.

Picking Your Drive

With SSDs you have two basic options when it comes to drives, storage capacity is one thing but the drive it runs on also affects speed, let us look at two major options.

2.5-inch Drive

This is a drive that can be used for either HDD or SSD. For PC owners that use HDD, it represents an easy way to swap to SSD. For people who want to purchase a new PC, it represents a more affordable option with the capacity to perform better than the HDD. While this drive runs on the SATA III connection, the PCIe and NVMe interface can be built into it making it fast and good for gaming.

M.2 Drive

This drive is faster than the 2.5” and the NAND technology finds full expression in this drive. It also has the option of both the PCIe and NVMe built in it, an amazing feature of this drive is that it has the capacity of being as much as 4 times faster than the 2.5” and it is also more expensive.

Generally the 2.5-inch SATA III, PCIe, NVMe is very good for gaming, as a matter of fact, upgrading to m.2 drive is not a necessity to enjoy games but given the m.2 is faster, it is a good option for people who have a bigger budget.

Some Great Options on the market

As the demand of SSDs increases, a demand that is not where it is supposed to be given the numerous benefits of this disk, there are a few options on the market, we will highlight 5 we think are pretty good to maximise your gaming experience.

  1. WD black SN850 1TB: Western Digital is no newbie when it comes to the production of storage disks, so it is no surprise that they have manufactured a few SSDS. The SN850 connects through the m.2 drive, runs through the PCIe 4.0 NVMe interface and has a 3D TLC flash memory. All these amazing features makes it capable of a great overall PC performance with read/write speed of 7000mb/s and 5300mb/s. This hardware is available in three storage capacities: 500GB, 1TB and 2TB, all good for gaming.
  2. Samsung 970 Pro 1TB: This SSD is currently available in just two sizes: 512GB and 1TB. It offers a fast performance as it runs on the m.2 drive, with an NVMe interface. The built in flash memory is the Samsung 2-bit MLC, this results in a read/write speed of 3500mb/s and 2700mb/s.
  3. WD Blue SN550: Another Western Digital product, this time its flash memory is the SanDisk 96L TLC, which is not as good as the first as is has a read/write speed of 2400mb/s and 1950mb/s but it is still pretty good. The connection mechanism on this one is the m.2 drive with an NVMe interface. It is available in these storage capacities: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB.
  4. Crucial MX500: This is the first and only disk on this list that runs on the SATA connection but this by no means connotes poor performance. It has a Micron 64 layer 3D TLC as its flash memory, giving it a read/write speed of 560mb/s and 510mb/s. It is available in these storage capacities: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB.
  5. Samsung 970 EVO Plus: The 970 EVO Plus runs on the m.2 drive, with a Samsung 3-bit MLC flash memory, this SSD has a read/write speed of 3500mb/s and 3300mb/s. With capacity storage options of: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB.

As you purchase an SSD for gaming, remember:

  • There is quite the array of SSDs to pick from, the ones above just a few options that we agree that are good for gaming.
  • The minimum option you should go for is 500GB.
  • SSD is just one aspect of your gaming arsenal, you need a befitting RAM, GPU and CPU.