SSDs for Gaming, What’s the Hitch?

Sure SSDs are great for improving boot times, but when it comes to gaming, what performance difference do they offer? This is often the first question we get when we attend gaming events and the answer isn’t as simple as people might think. While SSDs have often been billed as one of the best upgrades that a consumer can make, their impact on games may not be as obvious as upgrading your GPU for example, which has a direct impact on boosting framerates.

Where SSDs can improve the gaming experience beyond just faster game load times is when it comes to in-game stuttering, which is also known as “hitching.” This phenomenon is most prevalent in sandbox or open world games where players are able to navigate large virtual worlds and tackle objectives freely, as opposed to traditional linear storylines and gameplay. In both popular massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs) like World of Warcraft® (WoW) or even single player games like Fallout® 4, when a player transitions from one scene or environment to the next, there can be pauses because the game cannot pull these assets quickly enough to keep up with the player’s next transition. The result of this hitching is an interruption in the gameplay, which is an annoying distraction from the overall gaming experience.

As these open world games transition from the monitor to VR, as in the case with the latest version of Fallout 4, reducing hitching and delivering a smoother experience through every transition is key to a more immersive experience. This is where SSDs come in and can make the most noticeable difference in enhancing the gaming experience. Gamers don’t even need to invest in the largest drives to realize these benefits, and can use an SSD as their boot disk and where they store the games they are currently playing most, and still use an HDD for their general storage and archiving.

SSDs have become so much more affordable and accessible for consumers over the last two years that gamers can easily leverage them across mobile and desktop platforms for even value-oriented and older platform upgrades with products like Toshiba TR200 SATA III SSD with 64-layer 3D BiCS FLASH™ to keep them in the game, or high performance VR-enabled builds utilizing M.2 PCIe® SSDs that deliver the highest levels of bandwidth. In gaming, where every split second can make the difference in both competitive gameplay, and just how immersive and entertaining an experience can be, the only “hitch” that remains is not using an SSD.


World of Warcraft is a registered trademark of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.

Fallout is a registered trademark of Bethesda Softworks LLC in the U.S. and/or other countries.

PCIe is a registered trademark of PCI-SIG

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of KIOXIA America, Inc.