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It’s complicated: What gamers really think about SSDs

December 17, 2018

Although not as sexy a topic for gamers as liquid cooling kits and 34-inch curved monitors, SSDs still play a starring role in the gaming world. But their relationship with SSDs is complicated.
 
Gamers hate the way in which SSDs are marketed to them. They hate how much they cost. They hate upgrading. But boy do they love being the fastest among their friends.
 
What gamers really think about SSDs:
 
Don’t call it a gaming SSD
Astute gamers aren’t fooled by manufacturers who slap the term “gaming SSD” on their product. There are certainly gaming chairs and gaming headsets, but an SSD is an SSD. They may come in consumer or enterprise grade, and many are certainly ideal for gaming, but SSDs either include specs that consumers want to accomplish tasks or they don’t. Gamers resent paying a “gamer tax.”
 
Here’s how gamers rank SSD features
Marketers can push their SSD features all they want. Here’s what most gamers care about—in order of importance.
 
1. Performance
2. Price
3. Capacity
4. Endurance
 
Speed is divided into 3 schools of thought
From genome research to moviemaking to gaming—the need for speed is the reason SSDs exist. No gamer complains about having too much speed. However, we’ve identified 3 clear speed camps:
 
Camp 1: I simply want an SSD that’s faster than my hard drive.
Camp 2: I will overpay for speed but need some money left for rent.
Camp 3: I would do bad things to be the fastest. Very bad things.
 
An SSD can be a show piece
Aesthetics matter. Gamers show off their systems like car enthusiasts show off their beloved automobiles. Although there’s no such thing as a gaming SSD, one can certainly be bedazzled. Show-off gamers aren’t above adding RGB or liquid cooling to their SSDs. And back to the topic of system speed—like cars, being faster than your friends never gets old.
 
Experts predict the death of physical storage
Although it seems far off now, gamers may one day shun all physical storage. They’d simply live their lives in a memory-only world. In theory, one could cram 80 gigs of memory on a stick using NVDIMM (non-volatile dual in-line memory module). This new class of memory maintains all of your data, even when you’re not using power to do so. That means quick access, which is never a bad thing. Not many gamers can afford this now—leaving only enterprises to deploy NVDIMM—but experts see it trickling down to the consumer in 7–10 years.