Does Disk Speed Affect Gaming? SSD vs HDD vs NAS Benchmarks

Today I’m going  to benchmark a few different games running  on an SSD, hard drive, and NAS over both ethernet  and WiFi to try and determine how different  storage types affect gaming performance.  Personally I run most of my games off of my  NAS, it’s got a lot of space and I can easily  use the same files across many different computers  without having to copy anything. This got me interested in finding out if this affects  performance at all, so I’ve done a series  of tests to see.  I’ve tested 7 different games on an SSD,  hard drive, and NAS using both ethernet and  WiFi. Here are the different speeds of each  disk according to Crystal Disk Mark.  we analyze best laptops for interior design if you can buy just click on link.

The SSD is a Crucial SATA3 drive, while the hard drive is a 1TB 5,400 RPM disk.  The NAS is running 4 4TB 7,200RPM disks in RAID 6, and it’ll be limited by its gigabit  connection. We can see here that ethernet connectivity is much better than my wifi.  I’ve also tested disk latency, as this may be a better indicator compared to raw transfer speed if the game is fetching small files  regularly rather than doing a bulk transfer.  Basically this is the amount of time between  a request for data and the return of that  data. As expected we can see the SSD is quickest, followed by hard drive, NAS with ethernet, then NAS with WiFi which is quite a lot behind,  just like the speed test results.  My WiFi tests were done with a laptop in the  same room about 5m away from the access point,  your results will vary based on hardware and  distance. 

So we can see there’s quite a different  range of read and write speeds here, now let’s  find out if these differences translate to  any difference in frame rates with our games.  While I’m expecting the disk speeds to affect  how long it takes for the games to initially  load, I have my doubts about it making a noticeable  difference once playing the games, as most  of the data needed will have already been  loaded, so let’s find out!  As originally expected there really isn’t too much difference, and to be honest most differences are so subtle they’re within the margin of error. Some games seem to indicate that faster storage does translate to better frames per second, while others are all over the place and it doesn’t seem to help at all.

All games were tested with their maximum settings, as I wanted as many pieces of information  to load as possible.  I’ve also tested how long it took to actually load the games up with the different types  of storage, as I figured this would make the  most practical difference based on the type  of storage, so let’s check those results.  So basically if you don’t want to wait around to get into your games, an SSD or even local  hard drive is faster than using a NAS in most  cases as expected. Of course SSD space is  more expensive when compared to mechanical  hard drives, so it’s up to you to determine  if this is worth paying for, especially as  games continue to get larger.

In terms of the gaming experience once you’ve loaded the game up, there really isn’t that much  noticeable difference in terms of FPS between  the different storage types from my testing.  This could of course vary based on the particular  game, for instance if you have a game that  needs to continually load a lot of information  from disk while playing, you might notice  some slight hiccups.  I had a few of these while testing with the  NAS over WiFi, from time to time there were  a few stutters where things would pause, most  noticeably in Watchdogs 2 while driving around  the map as I assume there were delays when  new parts of the map would load. Using the NAS over WiFi was the only time I experienced any noticeable issues while playing the games on the different types of storage.  Basically if you can afford SSD space for your games, go for it, otherwise a slower mechanical hard drive is probably fine if you don’t mind waiting for your games to load.  So what sort of disk do you store your games on? From my tests here, it doesn’t seem to matter too much in terms of FPS, but more noticeably affects overall loading time. Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, and leave a like on the video if you found the information useful. Thanks for watching, and don’t forget to subscribe for future tech videos like this one. 

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