Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

HDD vs. SSD Real World Gaming Performance

We've upgraded all our video card test systems to SSDs recently. But does it actually make a difference in real world gaming performance? Today we are going to test the claim that an SSD will improve your gameplay experience compared to a spinning hard drive. We test several games apples-to-apples on our video card test system.

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Summary

We have recently upgraded all three of our video card review systems to SSDs. This was born out of many reasons, but we certainly received a lot of feedback from our readers that moving to an SSD was needed for the utmost potential in gameplay performance.

Until now, we relied on spinning hard drives in our review systems. After moving to SSDs we finally got the chance to test the claim that games actually played better using SSDs compared to HDDs. We ran several games directly comparing performance on the Western Digital 640GB HDD we had installed prior, compared to our new Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB SSDs.

In terms of raw video game performance our conclusion is that upgrading to an SSD made absolutely no difference in gameplay performance. Honestly, we did not expect that it would, hence why we held back for so long on upgrading to SSDs. In every game we tested the performance fell within the margin of error for a realworld gameplay run-through. We tested some very demanding games as well such as Battlefield 4 and ARMA 3. However, no game showed any performance advantage with the SSD versus the HDD. The framerates were the same, the frame consistency was the same.

Here is what was better with the SSD, as you might guess; load times. Loading each game was significantly faster on the SSD. Transitioning maps during gameplay was also significantly faster on the SSD. Loading times were improved, and we had a better experience overall simply because game data loaded faster.

However, those load times do not translate into frames per second differences while gaming. Upgrading to the SSD has not given us a new performance profile in games, nor has it changed the performance we've shown to you in past reviews using an HDD.

The Bottom Line

We can definitively state that our gaming performance as shown prior on our HDDs is exactly the same under the SSDs; there is no difference in gameplay performance. All the feedback and suggestions that we should upgrade to SSDs because our HDDs were holding back gameplay performance and consistency were misplaced. We were not being held back. The actual consistency and smoothness under the SSD is the same as we experienced under our previous HDD; and that HDD was not exactly "new."

Consistency, framerate, gameplay performance, is exactly the same under our new SSDs. That said, the load times of actually getting into the games is greatly improved, and that alone helps us since we are loading in and out of games all day while testing. That's just a time saver. As stated, we are now running SSDs on our video card review systems, but as tested there are no gameplay performance differences because of it. The load time improvements though are very welcomed.

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