Solid State Drives, or SSDs, are computer hardware designed as storage that functions quicker than Hard Disk Drives, or HDDs. The age-old experience of seeing your computer slowly “die” isn’t a very difficult problem to diagnose or fix, since this is a product of a HDD being present in a system instead of an SSD. When equipped with an SSD, a PC can boot up quicker, load programs quicker, and when an SSD ages, it doesn’t slow down (though it will still inevitably die).
Most people make the mistake of assuming that storage devices don’t affect gaming, but in today’s age, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Moment-to-moment fluidity in gaming is largely defined in modern AAA titles by CPU and GPU performance, but the ability to load all of the data required for play in the background is now being shoved, increasing demand, onto the storage devices on a PC. And these days, the HDDs are just not cutting it.
And this is no arbitrary fortune-telling. CDPR just recently updated their minimum spec list for Cyberpunk 2077 to include an SSD. This isn’t an industry-wide standard quite yet, but the fact that games are trying, with increasing fervor, to oust loading screens from the experiences they provide means that we’re soon to be just there: in a world where HDDs are simply used as redundant arrays of disks for mass storage and SSDs are used for everything else.
Another large AAA title, Starfield, also came out with a minimum spec list emploring users to play the game with an SSD rigged onto their system. It should come as no surprise to use, then, when every other developer trying to chase that stardust these two companies enjoy follows suit.
The HDD is soon to become a redundant relic of the past for all but the most storage hungry of professionals. Better get ahead of the game and upgrade to an SSD, any SSD, soon, or feel the burn of being left in the dust.