Depending on your needs, it's easy to run out of storage in a gaming PC if you don’t pay attention to it. With larger triple-A and indie games coming out each year, it's important to manage how much and the type of storage your system has readily available.
1 TB of storage is typically good enough in a gaming PC for casual gamers. But, if you play more AAA titles or larger games like MMOs, you may need more storage space. With the amount of storage comes the type as well. The fastest, most modern platform for storage is NVMes (Non-Volatile Memory Express), followed by SSDs, and then hard drives.
Let's review how much storage you need and what types are used for gaming.
How Much Storage Do Modern Games Need?
Before releasing a game, the developer recommends specific system specs, including the game's storage requirements.
In the past decade, the number of gigabytes needed gradually increased. Let’s review the different storage needs between triple-A and Indie games and the dependency between faster or slower storage.
Triple A Games, due to the nature of their complexity, have often requested higher demands for CPU, GPU, and Storage to run optimally depending on if it is stored on an NVME, SSD, or HDD. More on that in a bit.
With those considerations, triple-A Games can be anywhere from 30GB to 60GB, with some exceptions being smaller or larger, like Doom Eternal at an 80GB+ download.
Indie Games have a reputation for being relatively small in their download size compared to AAA titles due to having smaller dev teams and fewer assets to produce. While the content and the download size will likely grow with time, Indie Games are anywhere from 1GB to 10GB, depending on the genre.
Storage Options For Gaming PCs
Depending on the games and the amount of time you intend to play, having a responsive storage solution is essential in the long run.
HDD (Hard Disk Drive)
Hard Drives are one of the most dated forms of storage in conventional computers in the last 30 years. However, much like film in the late 90s, the technology of hard drives has been refined and researched to a point of mass innovation.
While HDDs may have their downsides, hard drives remain a prominent workhorse for storage solutions in the data industry and gaming world. Here are the types of Seagate hard drives we use at Apex. Typically you would use hard drives for higher file sizes and programs that don't rely on quick loading time. This means that storing multiplayer/online games on a hard drive will give you a loading disadvantage.
SSD (Solid State Drives)
Solid states drives offer a more conventional experience to the types of speeds expected from storage solutions. SSDs bridge the gap when it comes to read and write speeds. Only in recent years have SSDs become more reliable and cheap to produce and get into the hands of consumers coming into the $45-$65 range making SSDs and Hard Drives competitive in both aspects. The main benefit is SSDs reduce loading time. But, they're not as reliable in durability when subjected to read and write cycles like hard drives.
NVMe (Nonvolatile Memory Express)
NVMe is a more recent innovation of the SSD allowing direct integration into the Motherboard allowing for even faster read and write speeds.
In most cases an NVMe can quadruple the read and write speeds of conventional Hard Drives and SSDs. That said, you can expect to pay double for these types of solutions than conventional storage like SSDs and hard drives.
External Storage DrivesThe best option for laptops, or particular desktops, are external storage devices that are reliable solutions for accessing games via a high bandwidth connector.
Most external storage drives use a type C connector to generate not only fast loading time for games but to transfer any large content files between drives or the computer itself.
What Does Apex Recommend?
At Apex Gaming PCs, we recommend getting at least a 500GB NVME or SSD for your boot drive and an additional 500GB SSD or 1TB Hard drive for your games. This diversity ensures whatever games or work is stored has ample room in your storage devices.
We use many brands like Seagate, Team Group, Samsung, and Sabrent that offer a variety of storage types like HDDs, SSDs, and NVMEs. When picking storage, the type is just as important as the size. Let's go through the types of storage options available for the average gamer.
Storage For Gaming PCs FAQ
Is 500 GB Storage Enough for Gaming?
500GB should be enough for your operating system and 4-5 games, depending on the genre. It could shrink to 2-3 depending if the download size goes over 80-100GB.
Is 4 TB Overkill for Gaming on PC?
4TB of storage should be a good fit, depending on your gaming style. If you play a different game every day and have most of your game library downloaded on your computer, taking up 4TB should be a cakewalk.
However, for those who only want to play 1-2 games for the foreseeable future, there is nothing wrong with a 500GB storage option.
Do SSDs Improve Gaming Performance?
The short answer is SSDs significantly reduce load times. Some intensive games like Star Citizen are unplayable if not stored on an SSD or NVME.
While slightly more expensive, the time spent on fewer loading screens is worth it in the long run. SSDs reduce this time faster than hard drives, while NVMEs remains the fastest consumer option.
No matter what type of storage you decide on, you should have a minimum of 1TB of storage space in your gaming PC if you want to store all your games at once. At Apex, we offer everything from efficient space saving drives to multiple hard drives, SSDs, or NVMes in a single system in our high end Apex Carbon and Extreme. We hope to solve all of your storage needs whatever they may be!
Written by Will Wilson