Gaming is more popular than ever before. Not just console gaming like the XBOX or PlayStation, but PC gaming as well. With the ability to customize setups, create the perfect gaming machine, and more, it has gained popularity with good reason.
When it comes to your gaming needs, you may be questioning whether a 500GB SSD is enough. The size of your SSD matters but it comes down to how you game. Casual gamers can get away with 500GB or less because the graphics are less demanding. But those who like games with huge environments – RPG or strategy games – will likely do better with something closer to the 1TB range. It may take trial and error to find what the best fit is for you.
Why SSD Size Matters for Gaming
When we think about gaming, we generally think about the graphics card. With a superior graphics card, we can view all of the images of a game in crystal clear clarity. Moreover, we won’t miss important details because our graphics card can’t keep up.
But what you may not have realized is that having an SSD is vital, too. You need storage space, yes, but also the memory to ensure that your computer can keep up with all of the graphical requests that it will undertake.
Having the proper storage to run games in the background without taking up memory is important. Remember that gaming computers don’t just run games; you want to be able to run all of your standard applications, too.
The Impact of Graphical Performance
There are more than a few areas in which the performance of your components are vital. When it comes to your SSD, it needs to not only have ample storage for installing games but the memory computing to keep up with the high demands of PC gaming.
The higher the graphical quality or storage size of the game, the greater the requirements. Having an SSD, graphic card, or another component that can’t handle the demand will mean a faltering in performance. For most gamers, that is an annoyance at best. But for serious gamers, it can mean the difference between winning prize money and being left in the cold.
Higher graphical performance out of your components means seeing all the details with optimal clarity. It means ensuring that nothing is lost in movements from one side of the screen to the next. It means seeing those little details to give you an edge over the competition. And yes, your SSD can impact graphical quality if it can’t process what you are supposed to be seeing.
How Much SSD Do You Need for Gaming?
The amount of space that you need on your SSD can differ greatly from person to person. There are a couple of important factors that go into choosing the right SSD. For one, the type of game that you are going to play can dictate which one you choose.
Something that has simpler, more casual graphics requires far less SSD space. They can run memory with little to no issue. But if you plan on playing something huge like a strategy game or RPG, ones that require a ton of storage space and superior performance, then you would require something ranging from 500GB to 1TB or more.
500GB SSD or 1TB SSD – Which One is Better for Gaming?
Again, this all comes down to the level in which you are gaming. For the most part, “gamers” are casual to semi-serious. From there, it is a marked leap up to those who are competitively gaming or even competing for money.
If you fall into the category of casual to semi-serious, a 500GB SSD should be fine. Games are getting bigger and bigger, though. If you have something lesser – like a 128GB or 256GB – it may not work so well with modern games.
But if you have the budget or are a serious gamer, something well over 1TB should be the optimal solution. It will provide ample space and ensure that you can run any game no matter how heavy duty the graphics are.
Why 500GB is Not Enough
So, you are a “casual” gamer and don’t think you need a 1TB drive. If you only play sometimes or find yourself playing a single game for long periods of time, that may not be an issue. But there are potential issues that will catch up to you eventually.
For modern games – not just PC, but console games as well – their install sizes are becoming much larger. Drives that are 128GB or 256GB in size are basically obsolete at this point. Because of the increased demand of performance and size of the games, even 500GB is looking questionable.
If you game on a fairly regular basis or have an affinity for switching games regularly, something 1TB or larger is recommended. This way, you won’t be stuck having to uninstall old games just to accommodate new ones. The investment into a bigger drive may seem a bit steep but it will be one well worth it to avoid that hassle.
The Cost of an SSD
One of the more important concerns when choosing an SSD is going to be cost. Like it or not, budget matters when building your own PC. While we would all love to buy the biggest and best of each component, it isn’t necessarily in the cards. That is why it is so important to find value within your budgetary range.
There are a wide array of price options out there. You can find 500GB options for $75-$80 from less popular brands. They deliver much of the same performance quality without breaking the bank. It also means testing out a size or read write speed to see how it performs.
There are also those that cost in the hundreds of dollars. These generally are not only bigger but have superior performance as well. If you are serious about your gaming, it may be worth the investment to go with a pricier option.
Our Recommende SSD Drives
If you still aren’t quite sure which direction to go, you can reference some of the below. These are some of the best-performing SSD on the market today. Of course, there is a wide range of prices, so having options means finding what works for your budget.
1.) Samsung 980 SSD
This option comes in a 1TB storage size. It can provide the necessary boost for gaming or anything else that requires heavy graphical use. It also has tremendous read write speeds with up to 350MB/s.
Even better, you can select the full power mode to really keep your drive running at peak performance. It is also built to last. The 980 comes with a 5-year limited warranty while also delivering optimized endurance. That means reliability like no other.
2.) Samsung 870 EVO SATA III SSD
With options ranging from 250GB all the way up to 4TB, you can find the perfect size for your gaming needs. It is one of the best-performing SSD drives in the industry, with compatibility and reliability like no other.
It has accelerated write speeds, a maximized SATA interface limit of 560/530 MB/s, and has longer high performance thanks to a larger variable buffer. When it comes to your gaming needs, this is the SSD that should turn out the best results.
3.) Kingston A400 SATA Internal SSD
Not everything you find will come from tech giant Samsung. The Kingston SATA3 option comes in sizes that are compatible with all of your needs: 120 GB, 240 GB, 480 GB, 960 GB, and 1.92 TB. Perfect for whatever gaming needs you may have.
This SSD operates at 10x the read write speed of a standard hard drive, allowing it to keep up with even the most comprehensive of gaming needs. The 7mm form factor also means that it can fit a much wider array of systems. Perfect for you no matter what system you may be using.
4.) SK Hynix Gold S31 SATA SSD
One of the most affordable options out there, if you want to get superior performance out of your gaming SSD, this is a great option to do so without breaking the bank. Really, the only downside is that it is limited to just 500GB and 1TB options.
Still, it comes with sequential write speeds up to 525MB/s thanks to the SK Hynix HYPERWRITE technology. It also comes with a 5-year warranty, so you can depend on it for a long time to come with no worries.
5.) Western Digital WD Blue Internal SSD
Another affordable option to counteract some of the more expensive options, the Western Digital WD Blue can upgrade your SSD without the heavy cost. Even better, it has options ranging from 250GB all the way up to 4TB to meet all of your needs.
It even offers an industry-leading 1.75M hours mean time to failure. Combined with free downloadable software, you can keep track of your drives and even clone a backup to ensure your data remains safe at all times.