Optimizing your hardware is a key piece of creating an immersive, interruption-free gaming experience. But what factors affect your frames per second? Will a slow hard drive have an impact?
A slower hard drive won’t lower your frames per second (FPS) while gaming. However, it’ll impact your game loading time, so investing in a higher RPM hard drive may still be useful for optimizing your gaming experience.
Read on to learn more about why your hard drive won’t affect your FPS, how your hard drive will affect loading times, and what the best hard drives are for the best gaming experience.
Why Your Hard Drive Speed Won’t Affect Your FPS
A slow hard drive won’t affect your FPS while playing. This is because all of the game assets are loaded from the hard drive at the start of your playing session. Once the loading time has passed, all game assets are there, and any lags in the FPS aren’t due to the hard drive. From there, the FPS is determined by the strength of the graphics card.
However, buying a faster hard drive can decrease the time that it takes your game to load. In general, a solid-state drive (SSD) will load games much faster than a traditional hard drive.
And if you have a hard disk drive (HDD), the most important thing to consider is the actual RPM of the drive. Those with an RPM of 5,400 tend to be slower in retrieving files than those with 7,200 RPM.
What Affects FPS
If you’re experiencing a slow FPS, consider tuning or replacing your graphics card, not your hard drive. It’s the single most important piece of equipment to look at when trying to optimize your FPS.
Best Graphics Cards for a High FPS
The following are two of the best graphics cards available for gaming today on Amazon.com:
- MSI GeForce RTX 3080: The MSI GeForce RTX 3080 is a rare but powerful graphics card built for high-intensity gaming. It has great ray-tracing performance, unlike other cards from the previous generation. Just make sure that you have plenty of power to back this card up, as it needs at least an 850W PSU.
- AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT: The AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT is an excellent graphics card built to make the most out of any display, even at 4K. It has great ray-tracing performance and DLSS technology as well. This graphics card would make a great addition to any high-end gaming computer build.
Do You Need an External Hard Drive for Gaming?
Whether or not you need an external hard drive for gaming depends on where the bottlenecks are in your gaming process. Generally, buying an external hard drive can improve the speed at which your game loads, but it won’t affect your device’s FPS or refresh rate.
If you’re spending too much time waiting at loading screens, a new hard drive might be a good idea.
HDD vs. SSD
The primary difference between a hard drive (HDD) and a solid-state drive (SSD) is that an HDD typically has a much higher storage capacity. In contrast, an SSD has more quick-access memory for fast loading.
When it comes to maximizing FPS, neither one has an advantage over the other. However, if you’re looking to improve loading times, consider your game’s requirements. If you have a game that takes a lot of storage space, consider an HDD; if you have a game where loading time really matters, consider an SSD.
It’s also possible to have a dual setup where you install your intensive games on an SSD and keep the files you need less frequently on an HDD. However, you’ll need to spend more.
Best Storage Drives for a Fast Loading Time
If you’re just starting a PC build for gaming, consider which drive you choose. A more powerful hard drive will make your games load faster, leading to an altogether better experience.
The following are the best HDDs and SSDs for gaming, rated according to their memory capacity and performance (loading time, booting-up time, etc.). All are available on Amazon.com:
The Seagate Firecuda is a two terabyte drive with hybrid storage, matching SSDs in speed while maintaining the capacity of an HDD.
It has 8GB NAND solid-state memory, which translates to fast loading times and a quick start-up. It’s PCle 4.0-based, which means that it has plenty of speed, more than those that are PCle 3.0-based.
The Seagate Firecuda comes in three storage volume sizes: 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB. It’s a 96-layer TLC NVMe SSD. However, it doesn’t come with its own heatsink, so you’ll need cooling options like high-quality fans to keep your drive at a good ambient temperature.
In a test by PCMag, the Seagate FireCuda had one of the fastest Windows 10 loading times compared to other storage drives. They also tested the drive’s performance when launching games and found it was among the fastest of every drive they tested.
The Addlink S70 SSD is available in 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB capacities, so you have plenty of options in terms of size. This SSD is fast and reliable, with accurate capacity ratings. With Addlink, you can expect exactly what they’re advertising.
Addlink S70 SSD is manufactured by a company in Taiwan primarily known for producing storage for mobile devices. However, this drive puts them in the running for top producers of high-quality SSDs for gaming.
It has excellent value for the price, both due to its performance and its durability. It’s an NVMe SSD, and it’s one of the best you can get for the money.
The WD Black SN850 has a 1TB capacity, more than many of its competitors. It has excellent performance and comes with a 5-year warranty in case anything happens to it. This SSD can accomplish 7,000 MB/s reads and 5,300 MB/s writes when transferring data.
The only downside is that it tends to run hot, so make sure that you also have good quality fans installed in your PC if you choose this SSD.
Hard drive speed won’t affect your frames per second, but it’ll affect your game’s loading time. For the fastest loading time, look for a hard drive with a high RPM. If you want to improve your frames per second, consider installing a better graphics card.
My Current Video Editing Setup and Favorite Products
Apple MacBook Air M1 512GB Ram (Waiting for the new 16in pro)
LG 27MK400H-B Full HD Monitor with FreeSync 27″ (I literally have 4 of these)
Razer Holiday Bundle Cynosa Chroma Gaming Keyboard, Abyssus Gaming Mouse, Goliathus Chroma Mousepad
KTRIO Large Gaming Mouse Pad with Stitched Edges
Panasonic LUMIX G7 Digital Camera – Great Entry Camera for Shooting and Streaming
Neewer Ring Light Kit — A Must Have
Emart Green Screen Backdrop with Stand Kit – Affordable and Lots of Uses!
Elgato Stream Deck Mini – I only need the 6 keys
- PCGamer: Game Performance Using Different Storage Media
- ShawkyTech: Does Storage Affect FPS? HDD vs SSD
- Newegg Insider: Can an SSD increase gaming performance?
- PCGamer: The best graphics cards in 2021
- WePC: Best Hard Drive (HDD) for Gaming in 2021: Reviews & Our Pick
- PCGamer: Best SSD for gaming 2021: Faster storage for your gaming PC
- PCMag: Seagate FireCuda 520 Review
- PCMag: Addlink S70 Review