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What info is important when looking for an SSD for gaming?

Last response: in Storage
November 12, 2010 11:42:06 AM

While I understand that gaming doesn't really realize an SSD's true benefits. Beyond it being a boot drive, I would like to get one large enough that I can put a few of my most played games on it as well. Since gaming is the main purpose of my PC.

My question is, what should I be looking for in an SSD?

-Higher throughput
-Higher I/O
-Access time, or
-Read / Write?

Power usage isn't going to factor in my decision making process.

Thanks for your time.

Best solution

November 12, 2010 2:33:37 PM

@ Doc Carbon

For gaming you say?.. Since games consumes a lot of disk space, this also
means they consume a lot of Ram in order to load all the files needed to run the
game properly without less File swapping as possible.

File Swapping???...
- Yes, file swapping from your SSD to your RAM, because in the middle of playing
games some files just cant be loaded into the RAM for the game to utilize
for the reason of events and resources constraints.

Events, Resources constraints???..
- Yes you heard it right, games are designed only to use as much RAM as possible
without affecting other processes running in your system or any applications
opened at the same time as you play games, this means games uses file swapping
if the game you're playing has detected it needs more files from the hard
drive(your SSD) to load it into the physical memory (RAM) in order to continue
playing the game WITHOUT any lags or glitches (events). Along the way games are
designed to do this file swapping as fast as possible or as early as possible in
order to lessen or eliminate or compensate for the lags due to the files loading into
the memory coming from your SSD which takes up processing time also.

So, whats the Role of a fast SSD in this case? Or whats the important feature of an
SSD that will favor you OR, you would benefit most while playing games???
- The faster Read and Access times will be very very beneficial, specially if you are
using a slow processor and less RAM, because if your games can load files coming
from your SSD at will, then it will make your gaming experience smoother and
enjoyable inspite of having less hardware resources for the game to
utilize (processor speed and ram capacity).

- This is also true for the using multi-threaded or demanding applications, for
example if you're using Adobe after effects, this application is like flash but it
consumes a lot of Ram and performing a lot of file swapping as you render your
effects, faster seek and access time can lead to a much faster render because your
SSD can easily swap files from the RAM and back as compared to platter standard
hard drives.

So what now?...
- I suggest buy a mid level SSD or a high end SSD (like the vertex 1 or 2), these
SSD's will aid your games to load file to the ram as fast and as easy as possible
without giving you any hassle or lags or loading glitches while playing.

Hope this helps :-)
November 12, 2010 6:44:32 PM

Best answer selected by Doc Carbon.
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November 12, 2010 6:46:42 PM

Thanks for the information. Went above and beyond the call of duty.

I should have posted my specs,

ATI radeon 5850
4MB 1600mhz ram

You've pretty much answered my question I think and I will look into the Vertex SSD's. If my specs have changed anything though please let me know. Otherwise, thanks for the great response.
November 13, 2010 6:27:12 AM

@ Doc Carbon

In Addition, there's some SSD brands aside from OCZ's Vertex series which can give
you very fast performance without spending too much that rivals these Vertetx's performance.

Hope this will give you a good idea, and will help your decision just incase
you're a bit tight on budget.

Good Luck and God Bless dude :-)
a c 353 G Storage
November 13, 2010 5:13:21 PM

Link somewhat dated.
Would look @ SSDs based on the SF-1200 Controllers, such at Vertex-2, Pheonix Pro, or Force. Stay away from Kingston V series SSDs. The C300 is Ok if using Sata III and uSoft's ahci driver.

Side Note. Didn't specify which MB - If AMD, do not use natative AMD ahci drivers with the SF-1200 controller SSDs, use the usoft ahci driver. If Intel MB, look to use the Intel Ver 9 Ahci driver.
November 14, 2010 10:32:40 AM

thanks for the info on the drivers. I will have this thread book marked for as soon as I've saved up my pennies.