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Benefits of SSDs for gaming?

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October 8, 2010 2:00:08 AM

Hi all,

I've been wondering what the benefits of an SSD are for games? I'm considering getting one for a boot drive, and was wondering if I should get one large enough to toss some games on there as well [Empire: Total War, Dead Space, Left 4 Dead 2, Orange Box (Half Life 2, Episodes 1&2, etc)]. If there is a performance boost, I'll set money aside, but if not there's no point, right?

If there IS a benefit, what size SSD would I need? And recommendations if thats ok. Ideally something that works with my X58A-UD3R without needed a control PCI board.

Thanks in advance! Answers to either/both questions appreciated.

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October 8, 2010 3:26:09 AM

I'm wondering if it's really worth it as well? Looking forward to hearing some takes on the situation.
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October 8, 2010 4:37:36 AM

Your FPS won't change. Once the game/level is loaded into ram it won't access the drive. Your load times will decrease, how much will depend on how much data needs to be loaded and how fast your SSD is. Your overall FPS MIGHT increase a bit if you play games that have to pause to load more of the level. In this case the SSD might be worth it as you won't get the load more of the level into ram slow downs. I don't play any games that have this issue, not sure if you do or not.

Generally I tell people to look at buying more ram if you have less then 4GBs, or a faster CPU if your still using a lower end dual core. If you already have a fast quad core, 4GBs of ram, and a GPU that can handle your resolution, THEN consider getting the SSD. If your using an OC'd 5200, 2GBs of ram, and a 9800GT at 1680x1050, I wouldn't bother.
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October 8, 2010 4:49:03 AM

I'm using a i7-930 (currently at stock 2.8 GHz, that might change soon), MSI Lightning II 5870 (slight overclock, that might also change), and 6 Gb GSkill 1333MHZ (CAS 7)

I figure the only thing really left is a SSD, but I'm trying to figure out what size to get. If I won't see any performance gain on the games listed above, then I'll probably get something around a 40 GB boot drive. If its worth it to get a bigger one for games, I'll hold off a bit till prices drop some, and go ahead and get a bigger one. My next question is how big of one I'd need....

So, worth it for games? And if so, how big?
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October 8, 2010 7:02:16 AM

Of the games you listed the only one I've played is TF2, part of the OB. It loads the level and doesn't do anything else. You'll see a decrease in load time, which will then be offset by the wait for players. I wouldn't bother for that game. Seeing as they are all built on the same engine, I would imagine that HL2 and L4D would be the same way. Who cares if you can get into the game if you then have to wait for everyone else?

40GB should be fine, but I'd probably shoot for a 60/64GB. First, you'll have more room for all those programs that want to install stuff on the windows drive. Second, the more space on the SSD the more channels it uses so the faster it is. You might even want one of the 80GB ones.
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October 8, 2010 8:13:38 AM

Let the games be on the customary hard drives for now.. Except reducing application load times (as already said by others) a SSD is virtually useless with such miniscule amount of data storage for an insane price tag..
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October 8, 2010 9:34:45 AM

Quote:
a SSD is virtually useless with such miniscule amount of data storage
for an insane price tag..


Just because you or I view it that way doesn't mean everyone does. I can easily see some big company putting their database on a RAID5 array of SSDs for their 1000s of employees. It would greatly reduce wait time so they would pay for themselves.
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October 8, 2010 10:49:50 AM

4745454b said:
Quote:
a SSD is virtually useless with such miniscule amount of data storage
for an insane price tag..


Just because you or I view it that way doesn't mean everyone does. I can easily see some big company putting their database on a RAID5 array of SSDs for their 1000s of employees. It would greatly reduce wait time so they would pay for themselves.


There you go.. SSD's find their use in data servers wherein constantly high I/O is necessary.. Its sort of a quadro in the storage arena which is more beneficial to view from an enterprise respective rather than from an individual/desktop use respective.. Yes of course i realize that my statement will be different if and when the very 'X' GB SSD at 'Y' price comes to '2X' the capacity at 'Y/2' the price.. Till then, i'll just be happy with the conventional disks price to performance and/or storage ratio..
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October 8, 2010 11:02:28 AM

As would I. But I felt that you meant that SSDs had no place in computing because the price per GB was so high.
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October 9, 2010 12:02:02 AM

Alright, I'll probably stay in the area of 60-64Gb, unless my finances change or prices drop soon. My next question is..

Vertex 2 or C300? Whether in the 60s, 90s, or 120s? I think my mobo (UD3R) can handle either of those to the fullest. What do you guys recommend?
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October 9, 2010 2:57:53 AM

Emperus said:
Let the games be on the customary hard drives for now.. Except reducing application load times (as already said by others) a SSD is virtually useless with such miniscule amount of data storage for an insane price tag..

Not really. I use my X25-M G2 as a scratch disk for storing files (mainly RAW images and vids) while I work and it has noticeable difference against having my OS,files,etc on RAID0 array with 2x F3s.

Most people atm, use SSDs as a boot drive/scratch disk NOT as a storage drive. And the price isn't THAT bad considering the first gen HDDs sold in the realm of $1k+ for like less than 1GB. The current Vertex 2/Agility 2 SSDs are about $2/GB. With the Intel G3 I think we may see this go down to $1.50/GB or lower.
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October 9, 2010 2:59:05 AM

If you really want to buy one then get the highest capacity drive you can afford.. The OCZ Vertex2 120 GB will be good.. Both the OCZ Vertex2 and the Crucial RealSSD C300 series are good (and mostly similar) performers so its not like you'll be loosing anything by not opting for either one of them..
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October 9, 2010 3:02:13 AM

^Agreed. You won't miss the differences between the C300 and the Vertex 2.

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October 19, 2010 2:22:23 AM

Best answer selected by crow305.
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