If you’re buying a gaming PC, you will definitely want to purchase SSD storage to speed up your computer. For video creators or gamers who love to store multiple games simultaneously on your computer, a fast SSD with high capacity is the best option. In fact, it’s a necessity.
While fast SSDs are just one of many factors that improve your PC gaming experience, skimping out on your storage will only lead to weaker performance. Comparatively to HDDs (Hard Disk Drives), SSDs (Solid State Drives) are faster and more durable which provides a better option; particularly those with large capacities so you can install many games at once.
But what size SSD is enough for gaming? Is 512 SSD good for gaming?
Here are the most commonly asked questions we receive about 512GB SSDs from gamers:
A 512GB SSD is good enough for gaming and most performance tasks.
Despite games progressively becoming larger, a 512GB SSD will be able to hold most of your favourite games at once. As long as you don’t plan on installing too many games onto your PC simultaneously, a 512GB SSD will be more than enough to carry a good selection of games as well as your personal pictures, videos and files.
The operating system files on your computer will occupy up to 15GB of disk space, which leaves around 480GB for video games once you take into account other files. On average, PC games will occupy between 30GB-50GB of storage space. Therefore, 500GB SSD is enough for gaming without having to purchase external hard-drives.
On average each game will occupy between 30GB-50GB per game.
When you combine this with around 15GBs worth of storage required for your operating system, a 512GB SSD should be able to support the install for between 8-10 games simultaneously.
This means that as long as you do not plan on installing extremely large games or having too many games installed at once, a 512GB SSD will be enough to run your favourite games.
If you find that you are running out of space quickly, be sure to uninstall any games that you are not playing to save space. As much as we all think we are going to be playing 8-10 games simultaneously, chances are that will not be true.
Do you computer a favour and give it some room to breath.
How much space is 512GB SSD?
A 512GB SSD can store exactly 512GB of data which equates to 512,000 megabytes.
Translating into language we can all understand, 512GB SSD can store approximately:
8 to 10 video games at 30-50GB each
128,000 pictures at 4MB each
4,000 high definition videos at 128MB each
400 applications at 1.2GB each
256,000 Microsoft Word files at 2MB each
As you can see, that’s a fair amount of storage space if you were using your computer for just a single application. However, when you are looking to use your computer for gaming, work, video creation and more, a 512GB SSD may not be enough storage to keep up with your demands.
Both a 512GB SSD and a 512GB HDD will both hold exactly 512GBs worth of data.
However, there a differences in the way in which they store data.
In every circumstance, 512GB SSDs will store data better than 512GB HDDs
By handling data more efficiently, this means that SSDs will also transmit data during your game more efficiently which becomes advantageous for gamers. When comparing SSD vs HDD for gaming, SSDs will write and read data much faster than HHDs which means that they will handle game data more efficiently too. No more lag, no more stuttering.
Video games store and pass tons of data within fractions of a second on your PC. From rendering graphics as you inspect the glorious terrains of your favourite JRPG game to processing a ton of mathematics during a real-time strategy skirmish, gaming requires heavy amounts of processing.
The RAM on your computer is what handles most of the dynamic processing of data. Investing well into your RAM will also help with ensuring data is passed without any noticeable latency. However, sometimes games can load certain assets directly from your hard drive or storage device. Everything is stored on your SSD so it makes sense for this to be the holding post for all of the data that is fetched and pushed; including the data that your RAM processes too.
Here’s 3 reasons why SSDs are better than HDDs for gaming:
1. Faster Game Loading Times
Nobody wants to sit and wait for a game to load. If you have ever experienced this, especially when waiting for just a 5 second cutscene, you will know how frustrating this can be. When a game loads a level, your computer collects all data and assets related to that level from your storage device and passes this through to your RAM which will then process the information.
When you have a HDD instead of an SSD, the prefetch process will be much slower. Therefore, the time to transmit the data to your RAM for processing will also be slower. That’s why SSDs are better than HDDs when it comes to loading games.
2. Smoother Gaming
Most modern games render assets when you get close enough to them. This gives a more realistic effect. From fog that blurs objects in the distance until your are close enough or bullets shooting past your face, data is constantly being transmitted; even after the loading screen.
Mostly, your computer will rely upon your GPU and RAM to process this data smoothly. However, should you have a HDD instead of an SSD, the prefetch process once again will be substandard. This means that some jitteriness might occur which will result in the game feeling less smooth.
3. Fast Game Installation Time
As a much as we are all fairly happy to wait for a game to install, there are those moments when you just wish the damn thing would hurry the eff up!
Comparatively to a HDD, an SSD will process the games install packets up to 10x faster. For a 30-50GB game, HDDs will read and write data at speeds of approximately 300MBs/70MBs. This means that the game will take anywhere between 20-30 minutes to install on the average computer.
Conversely, SSDs can read speeds of reading and writing data of up to 4GB/9GB. This means that the same game which took up to 30 minutes to install using a HDD will now only take up to 5 minutes to install with an SSD. The same rules apply for game updates and patches which we all know are frustrating when you are not expecting them!
Once again, this means that an SSD is better than a HDD for gaming.
Different Types Of 512GB SSD
Before you get on your high horse screaming that SSDs are better for gaming, while this is strictly true, it’s important to note that not all SSDs are created equal. Aaaah, there’s always a catch!
Typically a base-level SSD will always outperform a high-end HDD when it comes to gaming. However, there are different types of SSDs to consider depending on your needs.
Keeping things simple, SSDs are classified on two metrics:
Data transmission protocol
For form factor, you can choose between an M.2 or 2.5 inch SSD. How you choose between the two will depend on your motherboard and how much space it can work with.
For smaller motherboards, the M.2 is the more recent SSD that comes with a sleeker build. It’s so sleek in fact, you could possible mistaken an M.2 SDD for an oversized SD card. Conversely, 2.5 inch SSDs are chunky and look just as outdated as they actually are. However, these are also good options for motherboards with larger slots.
When it comes to the data transmission metric, there are also two types of 512GB SSDs. Players can choose between SATA SSD or NVME SSD. The former is the older technology and the latter is the newer technology. If you can afford the NVME SSD, a recent speed test from TechReport indicated that an NVME SSD will transmit data 10x faster than the fastest SATA SSD.
So, for gamers who wants speed, an M.2 NVME 512GB SSD is the best choice.
Therefore, a 1TB SSD will always be better than a 512GB SSD.
If you can afford to buy a 1TB SSD for your gaming computer, then go for this option. However, if you are on a budget, you can buy a 512GB SSD and still enjoy plenty of games simultaneously.
Beyond gaming, if you do not plan on doing any other high-performance task with your PC then a 512GB SSD might be all that you need. However, for anyone that plans to use their computer for anything that’s remotely creative as well as gaming, then stretch your budget to the 1TB SSD.
Don’t forget, you can always purchase backup HDDs to save less important files. The price of a 2TB HDD will probably be the same amount as the difference between a 512GB SSD and a 1TB SSD so you can essentially get the best of both world. More storage space as well as a high-performing solid state drive for your gaming.
512GB SSD vs 1TB HDD – Which Is Better?
Although bigger is better when comparing one SSD to another SSD, the same cannot be said when comparing a 512GB SDD vs 1TB HDD. While a 1TB HDD will provide you with more physical space, a 512GB SSD will outperform a 1TB HDD across almost every other performance metric.
Thus making the 512GB SSD the better choice.
Why? Well firstly, SSDs are much faster than HDDs. And, with modern gaming stretching the limits of PC hardware, an SSD is actually an essential if you want to keep pace. From loading games quickly to keeping up with all of the other components that makeup your gaming rig, a standard SSD will even outperform high-end Hard Disk Drives.
Secondly, for those of you who don’t care too much for speed, a solid state drive is also more durable and energy efficient than hard disk drives.
There’s nothing worse than losing important files and hard disk drives are prone to breaking over time. Conversely, solid state drives are renowned for lasting very long periods of time under heavy duress. They have greater resistance to failing and most certainly require less energy to operate. This also makes them quieter when processing.
Trust me, just purchase the 512GB SSD.
Is 8GB Ram & 512GB SSD Enough For Gaming?
Yes, 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD is enough for gaming. However, while many games state that they can be smoothly run with 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD, this is not always the case.
For example GTA V will require close to 16GB RAM to optimally run at moderate settings. Many gamers who have 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD have struggled to run this game smoothly.
For most games however, 8GB RAM and 512GB SDD will be enough.
I hope that this guide has provided you with the answers you need. I’ve often been asked whether 512GB storage space is enough for gaming and the answer has more often than not been yes. It’s very rare that I have stumbled across a gamer who would immediately need more storage. However, should you fall into that bracket, I would advise against buying a 1TB HDD as the extra space will not be worth the reduction in performance.
Instead, you should save a little more and buy a 1TB SSD which will provide you with the extra space you need without any compromise on performance. As for everything else, just forget about it. As you will have learned by now, there’s no other option for gaming that solid state drives.
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