Hyper-performance solid-state drives are the go-fast device of choice for today’s high-end gaming PCs. But those screaming SSDs don’t come cheap, with most high-end models selling for $200 or more. Even so, they’re still a relative bargain in the world of PC parts and pending some future market shakeup, it’s not likely we’ll see prices falling much below this mark any time soon. That being said, there are plenty of affordable and performance-oriented SSD options available to budget-conscious gamers who want to upgrade their system with an eye toward future-proofing as well as upping performance without breaking the bank. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what you get — and don’t get — from a standard 500GB SATA SSD, and if it’s enough storage for gaming.
Is 500GB SSD Enough For Gaming?
It all depends on what games you are playing and how much space they take up. Having more storage can be a pain if you have to constantly delete old games that you no longer play. It’s also good to have enough space to store new games as they release. The general rule is to have enough space for 1 or 2 games, plus some extra space for future titles.
Why Is 500GB Still So Popular?
500GB is an easy capacity to work with
Another reason why 500GB is such a popular disk drive size is that it’s such an easy capacity to work with. You can easily break a 500GB disk drive down into useful sizes, like 250GB, 500GB, or 750GB. Plus, with 500GB capacities, you can easily double up on drives to create a RAID 0 array of fast, reliable high-capacity storage. This makes 500GB HDDs the perfect solution for gamers who want more reliable and high-capacity storage. If you want to double up on your gaming disk drives, you’ll need two 500GB HDDs to create a RAID 0 array. This makes RAID 0 an ideal solution for gamers who need more storage space. However, if you’re not a gamer, a RAID 0 array isn’t necessary. Other, less costly options are available, like a NAS drive, or upgrading your internet speed.
500GB drives are usually fast and responsive
Another reason why 500GB drives are still so popular is that they’re usually fast and responsive. This means that most 500GB HDDs are ideal for use as data drives used in desktop or laptop computers. Small and compact, 500GB drives are ideal for use in small computers and laptops. This makes them an extremely popular choice for everyday use like word processing, online shopping, internet browsing, and emailing. If you only need a disk drive for these purposes, you’ll find that a 500GB drive is more than enough. And when you need more space, you can easily upgrade to a larger disk drive.
500GB drives may be small, but they’re not cheap
Another reason why 500GB drives are still popular is that they’re not cheap. This means that 500GB drives are usually made from high-quality materials and components. This makes them a reliable investment, and one that you can use for many years to come. While 500GB drives are usually reliable, there are some cheap models out there. These drives are often made from substandard materials and are not ideal for use as your main data drive. If you’re looking for a 500GB drive, try to find a reliable brand, like Seagate hard drives, Western Digital HDDs, or Toshiba. These brands make reliable drives, and are usually trustworthy.
500GB is a popular capacity for external hard drives
A 500GB hard disk drive is often a popular capacity for an external hard drive. Though bigger capacities are available for external HDDs, many people choose 500GB drives because they’re extremely portable, reliable, and easy to use. Plus, you can easily expand the storage space on most 500GB external drives by adding a second drive. This allows you to double your storage capacity without having to replace your current external drive.
Should You Go With 250 Or 128 GB Instead?
- If you’re shopping for an affordable, performance-oriented SSD and 500GB is simply not enough storage, you can get a lot more bang for your buck by stepping down to a 128GB model. And, as you might expect, the jump down to a lower capacity model also results in a lower price.
- 128GB SSDs can be had for just a bit over $100 — $20-30 less than the average going rate for a 500GB SSD. While the drop in capacity may not be ideal for everyone, it can be a good option for those who want an SSD but are on a very tight budget.
How To Game On A 500GB SSD?
Stay on top of storage-eating updates
The first thing to do is stay on top of storage-hungry updates. Most of your games will send you a notification when an update is available. If you’re playing an online game, updates usually happen automatically. Make sure to stay on top of updates for all the games you play. Most games update because their developers are fixing bugs, adding features, or improving performance. If you ignore an update, though, you run the risk of having an unplayable game. Some updates fix game-breaking bugs. Others improve the game’s performance by reducing stuttering and frame rate drops. If your storage drive is small, you should be more diligent about installing updates. The installation process adds to the amount of data that needs to be written to your storage drive. If your drive is almost full, the updates will take even longer to complete. Plus, they’ll add to the data that needs to be written to the drive, which will make the game installation process even slower.
Play games with the smallest install size
You can save a significant amount of space by installing games with the smallest install size. There are several websites that will tell you how much storage each game you own takes up. Games usually have different install sizes based on your computer’s operating system and the features you’ve enabled. For example, if you’re playing on Windows 10, you’ll need to install DirectX 12 to get the best performance. If you’re on Windows 7, you can avoid this step. Some games let you install a slim version that excludes unnecessary features. Others have special slim or low-end versions designed for computers with small storage drives.
Install PC games to a USB drive
Another way to save space when gaming on a small SSD is to install PC games to a USB drive. You can also use this method to free up space by removing some of the older games that are taking up space. If you’re thinking about doing this, make sure you’re using a fast external drive. Slow drives, such as the ones in external hard drives, will slow down your games and make them less enjoyable.
Don’t install games you’re not currently playing
If you have a large library of games, you can make room on your smaller SSD by not installing games you aren’t currently playing. If you plan to return to a game in the near future, you can just download the game’s latest update when it becomes available. If you’re not sure when you’re going to return to a game, you can also use a game library manager to hide the game. If you need a game in the future, you can always unhide it and start downloading the update.
Stream your favorite games
If you have a small SSD, you should probably be more selective about the games you download. One way to save some space is to only play your favorites. If you’re not playing a game regularly, you probably aren’t going to miss it if you don’t own it. Instead of downloading your favorite games, you can just stream them. This can be especially useful if you’re playing a single-player game. Streaming services like PlayStation Now and Xbox Game Pass let you play an ever-growing library of games without needing to download them.
If you want to take your gaming PC to the next level by upgrading to an SSD, you have a lot of options to choose from these days. As we outlined in this article, SSDs have evolved from their humble beginnings as high-performance but low-capacity drives to become high-capacity, high-performance devices. With that said, before you decide on a particular model you should be aware that not all SSDs are created equal. In fact, the type of NAND flash memory used in a given drive can greatly impact its performance and longevity. In the end, a 500GB SSD is enough storage for most gamers and can be had for less than $100. If you’re thinking about upgrading to an SSD, it’s a great choice.