Can an SSD increase gaming performance?

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The technology surrounding gaming has come a long way in just a short matter of years. In both PCs and consoles, one specific piece of technology has jumped leaps and bounds, seemingly every year, and that technology is storage. More specifically, solid-state drives, or SSDs. They’re cheaper, faster, and on the whole much more powerful than they’ve ever been. You can pick up a 2TB SSD today for the same cost as a 256MB SSD five years ago, and that’s not even considering how much faster they are today, too. Nor is it considering the changes in form factor, such as M.2 SSDs or PCIe add-in cards. It’s an entirely new world of storage, and it seems like old hard drives dominated the industry only a handful of years ago.

While those advances have led to some serious boosts to gaming as a whole, it’s also left curious consumers with more questions than they had previously. Sure, an SSD can load any data significantly faster than a traditional platter-based hard drive, but does that affect the game itself? Does it boost graphics? What about your FPS? Or is it tied only to loading screens? The answer to all those questions is… “sort of.”

Let’s dig in.

This article was produced in cooperation with Crucial.

What SSDs do best: loading data

The primary function of an SSD is to store and load, or read and write, data. An SSD can do these things very, very quickly. In gaming, this can affect some very obvious things in pretty great ways. Loading screens, for example, are a big one. If a game you’re playing needs to pull data from your storage to show you a room, a building, an instanced encounter, or anything else similar, there’s a good chance it will utilize