Intel 730 Series 240GB SSD

Why do you need an SSD?

Do you game? The technology that runs your PC is often taken for granted and we have ridiculously high expectations these days. We want the best and we want it now. With breakthroughs in technology we have graphics cards that run super-efficiently and provide mind-blowing graphics and CPU’s that can perform feats that were mere dreams even just 5-10 years ago. So how can you get more bang for your buck when you already have a reasonable GPU and CPU coupled together? The answer may well be an SSD or Solid-state drive (or sometimes called Solid-state Disk).

The traditional HDD (Hard Disk-drive) is now probably the most barbaric piece of PC machinery you own. It’s like having a record player connected to your MP3 player. They are slow devices with noisy, lumbering moving parts. This means that the game you are playing is having to read a physical disc which not only influences load times but can create lag in the game which may well be costing you valuable milliseconds and ultimately your life. This is serious. You didn’t realise that your life was at stake did you. Well those ‘pro’ gamers you see online are there because they have machines that are fast. When you add raw talent to speed you get a ‘pro’ gamer. I dare you to find a PC ‘pro’ gamer that isn’t using an SSD for their games.

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Most people will have heard that RAM is important and the more you have the quicker and easier your PC can complete multiple tasks. What a lot of people don’t realise is that RAM uses similar storage technology to an SSD. An SSD has no moving parts. This enables it to work silently and much much faster. It also means it can be made a lot smaller. These are all aspects that make an SSD far superior to a traditional HDD – Hard Disc Drive.

My PC is reasonably well spec’d with an Intel core i7-6700k CPU and an NVIDIA GTX 980ti GPU along with 16GB of DDR4 2400Mhz RAM. This means that I can run most new games at high resolutions and with high frame rates. These components are all great but unless they can request and receive information quickly from where your game is stored then you’ll get a bottleneck situation. Just like a race car engine is big, if it doesn’t get enough fuel fast enough it won’t make the power you want and you may as well be driving your nana’s Honda Jazz. My SSD can transfer data about five times faster than a regular HDD. Even when you only consider load times that’s a huge difference. Imagine sitting, staring at the screen waiting for a game to load. An SSD may take 12 seconds compared to a full minute from an HDD.

With prices now becoming more and more reasonable there is very little reason to neglect your storage when you are putting together a gaming rig. With the emergence of VR this will only become more and more evident as the demand for large amounts of data being transferred at high rates will increase substantially.

Recently I have been playing Forza Horizon 3 on Xbox One and on PC in Windows 10. This game has been getting rave reviews on its graphics on Xbox One but on PC it’s next level. Whilst I have been enjoying the graphics it’s the load times that really make me smile. Where I am accustomed to long stuttering load times on Xbox the PC utilising the SSD flies ahead and load times are effectively gone.

I can decide to play or flick through menus and it responds instantly.

This is what makes the gaming experience truly enjoyable.

You can benefit from an SSD if you aren’t a gamer as well. Installing your operating system to an SSD will see your productivity increase as you can boot up your PC and start working in seconds instead of minutes. Gone are the days of hitting the power button and heading off to make a cup of coffee. With an SSD you can hit the power button and by the time your bum hits your chair the computer is already waiting to go. So next time you are thinking your PC is slow, consider upgrading to an SSD before you think of replacing a CPU or adding more RAM. It may be just what you need.

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Intel offer a huge range of SSD’s and will have one to suit your application.

Intel 730 Series 240GB SSD

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Matt

Co-founder & Head of digital content - HashtagMe. Tech lover and audio enthusiast. Husband, father, and casual gamer. Opinions are my own (once cleared by wife)