Should I install Steam on SSD?

by Paul | Last Updated: August 9, 2022

Solid State Drives are without a doubt beneficial for any activity on a PC and gaming is not excluded. As great as this hardware is, there are still times or scenarios where it might be preferable to go for HDD. Now, this does not mean the HDD will perform better, it just means the storage size you need might not be available or affordable in SSD.

Should I install Steam on SSD?

Steam is a platform for buying, playing, creating, and discussing games. The last two features of steam as listed do not really pose any issues to the size of your disk but buying (installing) games on an SSD can be limiting as your game size might increase over time or you might want more games.

This does not mean you cannot install steam on SSD, installing it would indeed improve your gaming experience but imagining purchasing a 2TB SSD and you are so pumped because that is considerably a large size and a price tag to match. Fast forward to a few months in, you are enjoying playing games and you keep installing till you run out of space.

Another scenario is you become so in tune with gaming that you decide to create your own games, you will need more than 2TB eventually. When you love playing games, being particular about your device components comes with the territory.

Your storage drive type does not play a huge role in improving your gaming experience, but it plays some role, let’s look at what having steam on an SSD entails.

Should I install Steam on SSD – SSD Type

There are different types of SSDs, asides from various (and most times limited) sizes of an SSD, there are other aspects of its design that make it superior to others. The first aspect is the form factor, there are two major types: 2.5-inch and M.2. They differ in speed because they are designed with different intentions but the same goal.

The goal is for these drives to accommodate SSD, but the 2.5-inch can also be used for HDD unlike the m.2. With the 2.5-inch, you need the ultimate combination, you do not want to just purchase a basic one, you need one with PCIe, NVMe making it up to 3 times faster than a basic one.

The M.2 is your other option, this is more than 4 times faster than the 2.5 inches, and getting one with PCIe, NVMe is great as it would give you a better gaming experience. The m.2 is slim and is common in ultrabooks, this does not mean it cannot be built into a desktop.

Another feature of the SSD that should not be ignored is the DRAM. Some manufacturers are producing SSD and removing the DRAM and offering it at a cheaper rate. This is not good for your PC as the DRAM serves as your disk cache and once that is missing, it increases the speed at which your disk will deteriorate.

Should I install Steam on SSD – Dual Disk

The SSD is relatively expensive when compared to the HDD and like any storage device, the larger the price, the heavier the price tag. Over the years, as SSDs have become popular the price has dropped and it is considerably more affordable now than when it was first released commercially.

Despite this change, getting a large-size SSD might be above your budget. So, what can you do? You optimize, bring the best of both worlds, a disk that has high performance and another that is affordable and large. Combining SSD and HDD in one computing system is a way to resolve this issue.

Just install your operating system and steam on the SSD (and maybe 2 or 3 games) as this will give you the required system boost you need, then put games and other files on your HDD. It is not the same as using just an SSD, but it comes close. You want a good combination, do not go less than 500GB for the SSD and less than 2TB for HDDs.

Should I install Steam on SSD – External Drive

Asides storing and transferring files, external drives can be used as the extension of a PC. Games can be installed on external drives and played wherever and whenever. Using an SSD as an external drive is a good option, just install steam on it and enjoy your games.

If you are a gamer and you decide to use an SSD as an external drive, the minimum size you should purchase is 2TB, 4TB would be a better option. Please note, determining the size of storage disk you want to purchase, depends on the number of games you want to have and their sizes as some games are 20GB while some are 150GB.

Should I install Steam on SSD – PC Specification

Gaming on a PC is beyond changing some parts or looking out for some things while ignoring others. For a desktop, you are given the opportunity to build from scratch so the user can put together the “best computer” For a laptop, you can build from scratch, but it is difficult, and it is not popular for laptops.

If you purchase a laptop for gaming, most times this usually means you will carry the PC around, so you need to get one that has good battery life.

For your processor, it should not be less than core i7 or the AMD equivalent. For the resolution, a good option will be 1920 x 1080 or anything higher especially if your screen size is 15.6 and above.

Regardless of your screen size, you need a PC with thin bezels to enjoy the screen. Other things include:

RAM: This should not be less than 8GB and not less than 12GB for a better experience

GPU: To enjoy gaming you need a GPU that is modern and has a good size i.e., not less than 4GB

Keyboard: The spacing of your keyboard matters and a keyboard that is backlit is the best option.

Connectivity: Steam is an online platform; you will need good internet access and a PC with a good Wi-Fi driver preferably the latest.

There are other things to look out for, but the ones listed above are essential ones. If you decide to put steam on SSD, use our tips above as a guide to maximize your computing device to be the ultimate gaming machine.