Does the SSD make a big difference?

EXCellR8

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The performance difference going from a Sata III SSD to NVMe is quite remarkable, according to numbers, but whether or not you'll actually notice the 'real' performance depends on a few things.

I've got a SN750 running in gen2 mode and it still wipes the floor with my fastest Sata drive. I don't typically load games onto SSD though.
 

Iron Woode

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Have a 2 year old PC that is running on an 840 Evo SSD. Have a chance to get a WD Black SN750, both 500GB. All else being equal, will it make any difference in performance? Will it just be in OS/game boot time but not gaming performance?

This shows the difference is huge... but maybe not where it counts...
I just upgraded from an 860 EVO 500GB SATA to a Kingston A2000 1TB Nvme drive (it's $100 cheaper here than the SN750) yesterday.

The install was simple and installing the OS was a breeze. The performance difference is very noticeable. I have yet to install more Steam games. I will throw on Doom 2016 to see for myself.
 

aigomorla

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Completely depends on the Game.
Some games, yes it make a big difference going from a mechanical HDD to a SSD, others not so much.

Example:
If you play Open World games where there is no loading screens then no.
The game buffers as you move, so SSD's really have no impact over a mechanical HDD.
If you play a game with map transitions and loading screens, then yes.
The map will load faster as its buffering to memory.

If you play ForteNite, PUBG, CoD, BF, CounterStrike, then absolutely NO.
There are stop gaps to even the playing field in the form of load timers, which makes the speed demons wait behind a timer.
You can't advance until you exceeded X amount of time, or the last person to load has load.

Lately there are not many open world games now even with map transitions.
They will take a bit longer to initially load, but after that you wont notice any difference from a mechanical vs a SSD.

However Rumor has it that Unreal 5 will require the speed of a SSD, which honestly makes no sense as a PC's RAM is faster then a SSD, hence it would make more sense to load whatever needs loading on RAM after buffering it off a SSD, and most Mid-Tier Gaming PC's now have at least 32GB of ram.

So does a SSD matter... its completely dependant on what game you play.

What do i use?
Well i am a speed demon, so i have 6TB's of nVME + 10TB of SATA SSD storage.
I do not run mechanical drives in my system, as i have a very short temper when it comes to waiting for anything.
 

zinfamous

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Jul 12, 2006
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Completely depends on the Game.
Some games, yes it make a big difference going from a mechanical HDD to a SSD, others not so much.

Example:
If you play Open World games where there is no loading screens then no.
The game buffers as you move, so SSD's really have no impact over a mechanical HDD.
If you play a game with map transitions and loading screens, then yes.
The map will load faster as its buffering to memory.

If you play ForteNite, PUBG, CoD, BF, CounterStrike, then absolutely NO.
There are stop gaps to even the playing field in the form of load timers, which makes the speed demons wait behind a timer.
You can't advance until you exceeded X amount of time, or the last person to load has load.

Lately there are not many open world games now even with map transitions.
They will take a bit longer to initially load, but after that you wont notice any difference from a mechanical vs a SSD.

However Rumor has it that Unreal 5 will require the speed of a SSD, which honestly makes no sense as a PC's RAM is faster then a SSD, hence it would make more sense to load whatever needs loading on RAM after buffering it off a SSD, and most Mid-Tier Gaming PC's now have at least 32GB of ram.

So does a SSD matter... its completely dependant on what game you play.

What do i use?
Well i am a speed demon, so i have 6TB's of nVME + 10TB of SATA SSD storage.
I do not run mechanical drives in my system, as i have a very short temper when it comes to waiting for anything.
everything else I agree with...but the bolded: lolwut?

mid-tier = 32GB RAM? lolno.

it sounds like you are in the stratosphere with your rig and whatever your typical experience is, and so no longer have a real perspective on what us peons run with. :D
 
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Zenoth

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It makes a decent difference in games when loading maps (mostly map transitions like aigomorla said above). And maybe overall desktop Windows 'responsiveness' is a bit snappier for some applications.

Some open world games benefit from SSDs a bit depending on how they load in the assets as you move around. In Skyrim I found that it virtually eliminated all stutter related to assets loading in from the 'grid' pattern that the engine loads assets into (it's like a 6x6 square grid and you're in the center, as you move around things pop in at the edges of that grid; it accelerates the loading of that stuff a bit). Although it's not a major difference (modern HDDs load stuff in Skyrim already fast enough, but sometimes you can get occasional stutter as the environment loads around; then again we're talking about Skyrim and the GameBryo engine here, it's archaic). It's more of a 'quality of life' improvement in those cases than a significant speed increase in loading the environment as you move.

I only have a basic SSD though, from Crucial MX series I believe. It's for office stuff, not much storage space at 250GB. I only tested a few games one by one including Skyrim, Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age Inquisition and the most recent one being Monster Hunter World. The most noticeable difference in speed was essentially loading maps (Monster Hunter World was the one where I noticed the best difference, loading the maps was significantly faster in that one, whereas the others the difference wasn't as good since they were older games and modern HDDs do the work just fine for those), or maybe loading the game itself (which is not that much anyway). The difference in speed for loading maps is pretty good I must say. I haven't done any analysis, just observation based on what I was "used to" with those games and my estimation is maybe a 50% speed increase? Maybe? At least in Monster Hunter World it felt that much faster to me. Then again don't take the number for reference, it's just an estimation.

With this said, I stick to my two HDDs for my main system for now (and been like this for years). The storage space-to-price ratio on HDDs is still the overall winner in my opinion today. At least when it comes to 2TB+ in storage space necessities. I for one need around 4.5TB so that's why. The price for 1TB SSDs did improve a lot in the past year or so (many have reached nearly equal prices to 1TB HDDs). However, getting to 2TB+ on SSDs hurt the wallet more than it should in my book, and going 4TB+ is currently just absurd. The last time I checked around December last year for one 4TB SSD on Amazon would have been around $870; Canadian dollars. By comparison you can get something like a single 6TB Western Digital Black HDD and be set for your next 10 years worth of games storage requirements and it'll cost you just about $300.

Ironically enough I wouldn't recommend SSDs for their 'speed' compared to HDDs. I'd simply recommend them because they're the new 'standard' of storage on PC and consoles alike now. In coming years the only new tech and improvements to storage drives on either side (PC or consoles) will happen on the SSD field, not HDD. I don't think we'll ever hear of new HDD tech ever again. So right now I'd say stick with HDDs if you need a lot of space (around 4TB+), but get an SSD if you're fine with 1TB or less, regardless of speed differences. Because at or below 1TB the prices are nearly identical and when you're at that point you might as well just get an SSD really.
 

VirtualLarry

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Aug 25, 2001
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and most Mid-Tier Gaming PC's now have at least 32GB of ram.
Amen! The Ryzen 1600 gaming PC that I have in my FS thread, has 32GB of RAM in it. So do both of my main Ryzen R5 3600 rigs. (Those are NOT for sale...)

Edit: I mean, when you can get 32GB of GSkill (Granted, "Aegis", the RAM with heatspreader "stickers") for $104.99 for 3200 speed, why not?

 
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aigomorla

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mid-tier = 32GB RAM? lolno.
actually zin you'd be surprised ram is not as expensive as it used to be, until you start sporting 32GB sticks.

Laptop level = 8GB (this is minimum one should get even if your not a gamer)
Entry level gaming = 16GB (2 x 8GB sticks are full on budget...)
Mid-Tier = 32GB (2 x 16GB is not that expensive.)
High-Tier = 64GB (2 x 32GB this is where it starts getting costly)
ALLYOUBASESBELONGTOUS Tier = 128GB+ (yeah, you'll probably be running a 7.68TB nVME also)

Edit: I mean, when you can get 32GB of GSkill (Granted, "Aegis", the RAM with heatspreader "stickers") for $104.99 for 3200 speed, why not?
exactly... 32GB of Ram is not that much more then 16GB of ram.
 
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rh71

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Aug 28, 2001
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I was asking for Fortnite and since it doesn't have many map loads, I guess I'll pass for that machine.

On my PC, I have the 860 Evo (which the SN750 would also be a big improvement). In a game like Division 2, where there's constant loads for fast travel (counts from 0-100%), I'm not quite sure if it's drive-read related. It's not a consistent 0-100% load rate... sometimes it stops a few seconds at random % like it's network-related? Am I wrong?
 

pauldun170

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Sep 26, 2011
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Have a 2 year old PC that is running on an 840 Evo SSD. Have a chance to get a WD Black SN750, both 500GB. All else being equal, will it make any difference in performance? Will it just be in OS/game boot time but not gaming performance?

This shows the difference is huge... but maybe not where it counts...
Nope. Not really. From a day to day usage standpoint where that usage is going to be general windows behavior and games you are not going to notice enough to make doing a swap worth the effort.
Sure you might save a little bit time on loading screens but its not going to be mind blowing or exciting.

If the 840 was failing then moving over to nvm drive would be a different story
If you had VM's or some other task where the current 840 was a limiting factor then it would be a different story.
If you needed to expand storage and wanted to jump to TB it would be worth it.
If you had any other reason aside from performance it might be worth it.
Based on your description...I wouldn't waste money on a 500gb drive.
Go big or identify an actual use case that demands the bandwidth


I have used the following for my steam library over the past 12 months
Sata
Samsung 830 256gb, 860 evo 500gb
Sandisk 500gb Ultra, Cruicial MX200, BX and whatever

NVMe drive
WD SN550 1tb
 
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Midwayman

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However Rumor has it that Unreal 5 will require the speed of a SSD, which honestly makes no sense as a PC's RAM is faster then a SSD, hence it would make more sense to load whatever needs loading on RAM after buffering it off a SSD, and most Mid-Tier Gaming PC's now have at least 32GB of ram.
You should go read this new console storage article.

Consoles will need that streaming capability with lower ram, but its easy to see why unreal 5 will need the ssd.
 

zinfamous

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Jul 12, 2006
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actually zin you'd be surprised ram is not as expensive as it used to be, until you start sporting 32GB sticks.

Laptop level = 8GB (this is minimum one should get even if your not a gamer)
Entry level gaming = 16GB (2 x 8GB sticks are full on budget...)
Mid-Tier = 32GB (2 x 16GB is not that expensive.)
High-Tier = 64GB (2 x 32GB this is where it starts getting costly)
ALLYOUBASESBELONGTOUS Tier = 128GB+ (yeah, you'll probably be running a 7.68TB nVME also)



exactly... 32GB of Ram is not that much more then 16GB of ram.
hmm, current rig was built ~ 2 years ago, sort of in the middle of the last RAM price-fixing debacle. It was about $300, I think, for the 16gb of GSkill 3000 that I had/have, though I bought that some year or more before the prices went bonkers, and got it for just around $200? (I bought RAM long before my CPU...was waiting on Zen, ended up waiting an extra year+ for Zen+ and this $170 2700X, which I think is great)

I may have to look around some more if prices are really great. I haven't thought much about it because I don't feel that I need it, and I'm not all that into tinkering anyway.

But is more than 16GB really all that useful at this time for even top-tier games? I feel like the 8GB HBM in my Vega 64 Nitro+ is rarely completely utilized as it is? Seems to me that running around 8GB and more, in what have now been even the mid-tier GPUs for several years now, + 16GB system memory, seems perfectly adequate in nearly all cases....

But yeah, pricing like that, I totally agree. I do think tiers should be more of a reflection of overall price. If 32GB high speed stuff is what I was paying for 16GB, not-exactly high speed at the time, then that makes sense.
 

rh71

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Aug 28, 2001
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Thanks, between the above video and a couple responses, I'll pass on this until 1TB get cheaper...
 

BFG10K

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Unless all you do is copy files all day or have some kind of niche I/O workload (if you did you wouldn't have posted this thread), you won't notice a lick of difference between a first generation SATA2 SSD and a PCIex4 NVMe drive.

Anyone that says NVMe makes games load "instantly" compared to SATA SSDs is lying. Games aren't primarily I/O bound, not for streaming, nor for loading. This is coming from someone who owns an NVMe drive, several SATA SSDs, and a 10K VelociRaptor. The latter actually competes very well with solid state for games.

The biggest practical benefit of NVMe is actually not having to use SATA cables or drive cages, which makes a cleaner setup in the case.
 
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Midwayman

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Anyone that says NVMe makes games load "instantly" compared to SATA SSDs is lying. Games aren't primarily I/O bound, not for streaming, nor for loading. This is coming from someone who owns an NVMe drive, several SATA SSDs, and a 10K VelociRaptor. The latter actually competes very well with solid state for games.
Nah, I notice the difference between my HDDs, my sata SSDs and NVME. The difference between HDD is pretty obvious on level loads. Sata vs NVME its not really worth talking about, but I notice in multiplayer I do load in faster than my buddies with sata drives. (Though almost all games have a load timer now)

The games I notice it a lot are ones with a lot of fast travel. That's a level load every time. Most games disguise streaming pretty well. SATA vs NVME I wouldn't buy for games, but just for the fact that they're not that much more than sata drives anymore. Its worth it in other areas.
 

GodisanAtheist

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Nov 16, 2006
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Unless all you do is copy files all day or have some kind of niche I/O workload (if you did you wouldn't have posted this thread), you won't notice a lick of difference between a first generation SATA2 SSD and a PCIex4 NVMe drive.

Anyone that says NVMe makes games load "instantly" compared to SATA SSDs is lying. Games aren't primarily I/O bound, not for streaming, nor for loading. This is coming from someone who owns an NVMe drive, several SATA SSDs, and a 10K VelociRaptor. The latter actually competes very well with solid state for games.

The biggest practical benefit of NVMe is actually not having to use SATA cables or drive cages, which makes a cleaner setup in the case.
- The difference between your standard 5400/7200 RPM HDD and a SATA SSD is night and day, its absolutely a huge difference with a perceptible drop in loading times. As someone with limited gaming time, I would strongly urge everyone to make this upgrade so you spend less of your valuable time waiting for multiple gigs of assets to load from spinning rust.

Going from a SATA SSD to an NVME drive, while still a very small improvement in limited gaming scenarios, definitely does not yield the same experience. You're right that a major perk is just how clean it is to reduce yet more unwanted cables from the case.

If you're building a rig from scratch, go with the NVME drive for future proofing (see next gen console commentary above) and cleanliness. If you're upgrading a rig from a mechanical drive, anything is a huge improvement. Price willing, of course.
 

alcoholbob

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May 24, 2005
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I don't think anything you buy now will be future proofing though, any new SSD tech won't come out for PC until after it's released for the consoles anyway. If there's something special for gaming purposes (hardware decompression?) current NVME SSDs probably won't be able to keep up.
 

GodisanAtheist

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I don't think anything you buy now will be future proofing though, any new SSD tech won't come out for PC until after it's released for the consoles anyway. If there's something special for gaming purposes (hardware decompression?) current NVME SSDs probably won't be able to keep up.
True that the PS5 SSD has some secret sauce to it, but the XSX does not and is essentially an off the shelf SSD.

I'd imagine that outside a small number of first party PS5 games, games will be designed to take advantage of standard SSD speeds for cross compatibility purposes.
 

Lost_in_the_HTTP

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I don't 'game'. Last one I messed with at all was the one with the spooks chasing you around a maze on a bar room table. Or maybe Minesweeper. Can't remember now.


But since this is more about SSDs ....

I converted this old laptop from an HDD after it failed to an SSD. Performance is better, runs cooler and is overall much quieter.

But, a question. When an HDD fails, it is often possible to recover data one way or another. I've done it by using it as a slave in another machine. Some have done it by replacing the controller board. And there is the expensive option of a recovery service that removes the platters and reads them on another device.

Is any of that even possible with an SSD? If and when it fails to respond, is it gone once and for all?
 

shortylickens

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I notice a few games load up damn near instantly when on my SSD. But they are lightweight and didn't cause much trouble when still on the hard drive.
Of course Fallout 4 and Elder Scrolls 5 are two noticeably better games with faster load times. Far Cry 4 and 5 as well.
 

alcoholbob

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May 24, 2005
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I don't 'game'. Last one I messed with at all was the one with the spooks chasing you around a maze on a bar room table. Or maybe Minesweeper. Can't remember now.


But since this is more about SSDs ....

I converted this old laptop from an HDD after it failed to an SSD. Performance is better, runs cooler and is overall much quieter.

But, a question. When an HDD fails, it is often possible to recover data one way or another. I've done it by using it as a slave in another machine. Some have done it by replacing the controller board. And there is the expensive option of a recovery service that removes the platters and reads them on another device.

Is any of that even possible with an SSD? If and when it fails to respond, is it gone once and for all?
NAND is not a good long term storage format. There's evidence that it has trouble retaining data if there is no electrical power running through it consistently. I wouldn't use it for any archival storage formats.
 

BFG10K

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Aug 14, 2000
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Sata vs NVME its not really worth talking about, but I notice in multiplayer I do load in faster than my buddies with sata drives. (Though almost all games have a load timer now)
This is absolutely meaningless without video proof. To date there's zero evidence of NVMe being significantly faster for games than SATA.

You might shave 5 seconds off which is basically nothing if multiplayer GTA5 (for example) takes 2 minutes to load. You're server & DRM bound in those cases.

Games aren't I/O bound whether they stream, fast-travel, or whatever once they're on any SSD. Heck, even a 10K Raptor offers comparable gaming performance in many gaming situations I've tested.

The games I notice it a lot are ones with a lot of fast travel.
Please show us video evidence.
 
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VirtualLarry

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I'm with @BFG10K here. Even on desktop Windows applications, I barely notice any difference between my two Ryzen R5 3600 rigs, between the 4.2Ghz all-core OC with RAID-0 NVMe (2x QLC Intel 660p 1TB), and the one running stock with a 240GB Adata SP550 TLC SATA SSD.

I'm sure that I could find a workload that was faster on the RAID-0 NVMe, like Windows Defender all-drive scanning (probably, haven't timed it, the RAID-0 build has more files though, so it might actual take long, in real time, even though it might go faster). But for most things, no noticeable difference.
 

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