Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Best SSD for Gaming

Last response: in Storage
Share
February 13, 2012 6:24:08 PM

Hello,

I have searched around for a long time, and the material written on SSDs are either incomplete, too technical, or out of date. I haven't found a sure answer for my question, which is: what is the best performance SSD for gaming and operating system speed? I would like to buy a ~120gb SSD, the cost of it is not an issue. The most important feature for me would be gaming performance and general operating system performance (snappiness, boot time, etc). I don't perform a lot of large file transfers, but when I do, I would like them to be fast (although not as important). My computer is a Sager NP8150 (with 6gb/s sata), which means the Vortex 3 is off the list due to compatibility issues. The most interesting-looking drives to me have been the patriot wildfire, kingston hyperx, and muskin chronos deluxe. Not sure what the difference between the Pyro and Wildfire are, they both seem pretty much the same. Also, if there is a new SSD coming out soon I think it would be worth the wait depending on how long until release.

What do you think? Any clear winners?

~Jacob

More about : ssd gaming

a b G Storage
February 13, 2012 6:55:18 PM

You're overthinking this. Just get the drive that has the highest read speed, which will give you the fastest loads.

That said, an SSD isn't going to increase your framerate. Games don't touch the disk all that often.
February 13, 2012 6:57:59 PM

I think there is more too it than that, even if the nuances don't make much of a difference. Which one does have the fastest read speed in real-world performance tests?
Related resources
February 13, 2012 7:06:12 PM

If you are willing to consider other drives then the ones you are interested in I would go with the Samsung 830.
February 13, 2012 7:11:36 PM

your needs are basically the same as every other desktop user who wants/has a ssd. while some will perform better than others depending on the controller and type of nand over all coming from a mechanical hd to a ssd the jump will be so great that even slower ssds will decrease load times by an order of magnitude. there is a shellshocker deal at newegg today on the agility3 120g which while not a top of the line model it is also no slouch and can be had for really really cheap by ssd standards:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

if flat out performance is your goal try the vertex 3 120gb or the samsung 830 128gb they perform similarly trading wins by a small margin depending on the workload but over all both are very fast. the samsung seems to have a better reliability record but the OCZ drives are much better with the new firmware installed

edit: my mistake i skimmed over the part about the sandforce compatibility issues. if you want to stay around the 120gb price point/capacity i would have to give the samsung 830 my sole recommendation. I have one now in my htpc and it works flawlessly. I cant tell any difference in performance between it and the 240gb vertex3 in my desktop during normal use.
a b G Storage
February 13, 2012 7:12:34 PM

flash3d8 said:
I think there is more too it than that, even if the nuances don't make much of a difference.

There really isn't. Loading a game is all about reading data, so the drive that reads the fastest, loads the fastest. It's not like processors where clock rates aren't comparable, because data rates aren't relative. Data read is data read, regardless of anything else. One driving at 500 MB/s sustained is exactly the same as any other drive at 500 MB/s sustained. Games also read fairly few files, so IOPS isn't relevant.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/ssd-charts-2011/AS-S...

Grab any drive at the top of that chart.
February 13, 2012 7:47:09 PM

This is sequential read, do you think 4kb random read would be more accurate for gaming/OS performance?

~Jacob
February 13, 2012 8:41:18 PM

Thanks, I'll read those. Any insight into what is the difference between the Wildfire, Pyro, and other fire-related drives?
a b 4 Gaming
a c 107 G Storage
February 13, 2012 8:48:11 PM

flash3d8 said:
Thanks, I'll read those. Any insight into what is the difference between the Wildfire, Pyro, and other fire-related drives?



Not without looking at specs. I do know the Samsung 830 series is about the best you can get right now as far as quality and reliability goes.

Don't get caught up on SSD speed. If you read the Tom's recommended SSD article:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-review-benchmar...

" As a point of comparison, a file operation completes 85% faster on a low-end SSD than it does on a high-end hard drive, but there is only an 88% speed difference between a high-end hard drive and a high-end SSD. That why you shouldn't let less aggressive benchmark results at the low-end deter you from making the switch. You don't have to have the best SSD to get great performance relative to a hard drive. "

So there is only a 3% difference in the slowest to the fastest SSDs tested compared to a HDD. I am still using a year and a half old Vertex 2 and see no reason to upgrade to the newest drives because it is still amazingly fast.
February 13, 2012 9:05:20 PM

the patriot wildfire and pyro use the same controller with different NAND. The wildfire has toggle NAND while the pyro SEhas synchronous ONFi NAND and the pyro has asynchronous ONFi NAND. these are essentially identical to the vertex 3 Max IOPs, vertex 3 and the agility 3. Because of this if you are worried about compatibility as you stated in your original post you should avoid any drives based on the sandforce 22xx controller.

i would also have to agree with anort3 about not getting caught up in the speed of the ssd as relative to mechanical drives any ssd will be crazy fast.
February 13, 2012 9:23:21 PM

Sager issued a notice that there are issues between the Vortex 3 and Sager laptops, for reasons unknown and not consistently. XoticPC says nothing has been mentioned about other Sandforce drives.

Yeah, I am a mid-level tech guy (actually a web developer), so I know that there is often little difference between a one drive and another. However, if I am going to get a drive now, might as well get the best one available.

I will read the articles soon. However, ss it the consensus that Samsung drives are the best and most reliable?
a b G Storage
February 13, 2012 10:01:14 PM

flash3d8 said:

I will read the articles soon. However, ss it the consensus that Samsung drives are the best and most reliable?


It was a toss up for me between Samsung or the new Intel 520.... Tom review

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-520-sandforce-review-benchmark,3124.html

and the report of top notch mem (and 5 year warrenty) - swung it for me..

May be overkill (tech will move on so it will prob be redundant before 5 years)... but it a drive... so reliability is important.

I am happy :) 

HTH - cheers
February 13, 2012 10:32:32 PM

it is pretty much a toss up and sager has not issued a notice for any drives other than sandforce 22xx based OCZ drives, however there are reports on forums of both patriot, mushkin and kingston drives based on the sandforce controller having similar issues.
a b G Storage
February 13, 2012 10:41:09 PM

ewood said:
it is pretty much a toss up and sager has not issued a notice for any drives other than sandforce 22xx based OCZ drives, however there are reports on forums of both patriot, mushkin and kingston drives based on the sandforce controller having similar issues.


Indeed - and the message I got (reinforced by the toms article I linked) was that Intel has been slow to market with the sandforce controller as they been working really hard to make sure they dont have the firmware type issues that have effected others.

So hopefully I have the great sandforce controller... with great Intel memory.... with rock solid Firmware to tie them together.

Thats the theory anyway... only time will really tell ;) 

Cheers
February 13, 2012 10:47:09 PM

yoji said:
Indeed - and the message I got (reinforced by the toms article I linked) was that Intel has been slow to market with the sandforce controller as they been working really hard to make sure they dont have the firmware type issues that have effected others.

So hopefully I have the great sandforce controller... with great Intel memory.... with rock solid Firmware to tie them together.

Thats the theory anyway... only time will really tell ;) 

Cheers


yeah that would be really nice. i have to say if the intel based ssds had been out when i bought either of the drives i have now i would have gone intel instead. their track record alone is more than worth the slight increase in cost in my opinion
a b G Storage
February 14, 2012 7:38:39 PM

flash3d8 said:
This is sequential read, do you think 4kb random read would be more accurate for gaming/OS performance?

~Jacob

For gaming performance, your reads are not going to be that small. Data files tend to be large and sequential. OS performance, your 4k random performance is going to matter more. I linked the sequential chart because you specifically asked for the best SSD for gaming.
a b 4 Gaming
a b G Storage
February 14, 2012 8:16:45 PM

For reliability only, I would go with Crucial's M4 line of solid states. I have used several sizes and they have yet to be an issue. For speed and reliability, I would go with the Intel 520 series. Intel reliability with sandforce speeds. For pure raw speed, I would try the OCZ revo drive. Yes, it takes up a PCI-Express slot but there is nothing faster out on the market at this moment. I didn't need revo speed so I am using an Intel 520 series SSD (120 GB).
a b G Storage
February 14, 2012 8:47:25 PM

willard said:
You're overthinking this. Just get the drive that has the highest read speed, which will give you the fastest loads.

That said, an SSD isn't going to increase your framerate. Games don't touch the disk all that often.


Best Answer right here

The top competitors now have very similarly competing SSD's. OCZ, Intel, Crucial...etc...! When you compare the quality/price brackets of each, the competition is similar. If you stay with the best brand names you cannot really go wrong unless there is a known defect, problem, compatibility...etc. As I said before, stay with known, reviewed, and reputable brands.

I do have alter my agreement about read-speed and loads. If you are looking for snappy OS performance and fast boot time, you should be looking for access times, random writes/reads. Thats what affects how "snappy" the feeling is. Booting the OS and general file access involves hundreds and thousands of tiny files like 4K in size a lot of the time. The speed at which the SSD can find these files becomes far more significant in how much sustained bandwidth it can accomodate over a sustained period. Read/Write speeds only matter for large file transfers.
February 14, 2012 10:24:25 PM

Let your budget, newegg's reviews, and toms articles work their magic.

As far as waiting, I want a 512GB SSD in two years for $200.

February 15, 2012 7:30:47 PM

Samsung and Intel definitely seem on top in SSDs, but which one is better? I've been seeing a lot for in favor of Samsung in terms of speed, and Intel in terms of reliability. Is Samsung 830 reliable? Also, although Intel seems to have better memory, Samsung seems to be performing better? Any ideas?

www.tomshardware.com/charts/ssd-charts-2011/compare,278...[5418]=on&prod[5413]=on

Any ideas?
a b 4 Gaming
a c 107 G Storage
February 15, 2012 8:21:09 PM

The Samsung drive has proven itself very reliable as evidenced by the fact it now is the SSD you get when you get a Dell with a SSD in it. You know how cheap OEMs like Dell are. If the drive had not passed every test they could throw at it they never would put it in their computers since the price of replacing them would be so high.
a b G Storage
February 16, 2012 6:50:40 PM

Quote:

Samsung and Intel definitely seem on top in SSDs, but which one is better? I've been seeing a lot for in favor of Samsung in terms of speed, and Intel in terms of reliability.


Any SSD will be 100-fold more reliable then any HDD ever could. The simply fact there is no mechanical part movement automatically has that effect.

Intel is VERY reliable from my experience. I have an Intel X25-M 80GB running 24/7 since about thanksgiving of '09. I have also never really heard of any issues with them in any online reviews or forums.

In terms of speed, its all up to the drive itself. Look at benchmarks. If you want a drive that will be very snappy in all around performance, makes sure it has quick random 4K writes/reads as well as access times. Sustained Read/Writes won't be of much concern unless of course you transfer massive data between drives regularly.

OCZ and Crucial are not slouches either. They are right up there at the top players.
!