Should I Install Games on SSD or HDD – Comparison & Suggestions

Should I install games on SSD or HDD? If you’re asking this question to yourself, you might as well refer to this post and try looking for the answer. Here, you’ll see their comparison and suggestions given by experts.


By Michael / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Should I install games on SSD or HDD?

Hi, may anybody give me any suggestions? Recently, I find SSDs are on sales. I used to hear SSDs had many benefits over HDDs in gaming. So, I don’t know whether I should buy 1 since there is already 1 large HDD on my PC. Does SSD improve FPS and this is the thing that most concerns me. Thanks.

ssd vs hdd

SSD vs HDD for gaming

SSD, short for Solid State Drive, uses integrated circuit assemblies to store data persistently, typically using flash memory; HDD, short for Hard Disk Drive, is an electro-mechanical data storage device that stores and retrieves digital data using magnetic storage and one or more rigid rapidly rotating platters coated with magnetic material.

The 2 sorts of hard drives are currently very common on market and PC fans should be familiar with them. However, still, there are plenty of video gamers dithering which one to choose for gaming, hoping to know how much games will be boosted by an SSD. So, this time, I’ll make a comparison of SSD and HDD to show their distinctive features from different aspects


SSDs are more expensive than HDDs in the same capacity. For example, a 1TB internal 2.5-inch HDD costs from 40 dollars to 60 dollars while as of this writing, the cheapest SSDs in the same capacity and form factor tend to cost 100 dollars. There’re much more evident differences if you compare high-capacity 3.5-inch hard drives.



There’re quite a lot of advantages of choosing an SSD over an HDD for gaming. One of them is the faster read and write speed that help it load large files faster and also cut down on the boot times into games. For example, in Witcher 3, it usually takes around 30 seconds to load after you die while after replacing the HDD with a new efficient SSD, the time can be reduced by up to 28 seconds according to some digital surveys.



In the past, regular SSDs are rarely found in capacities over 2TB and you were more likely to find 500GB to 1TB ones. However, at the same time, 500GB was considered a “base” HDD capacity of premium laptops those days. However, nowadays, as the size of programs and games become larger, storage drives on small scale literally don’t make any sense, and in this case, high-capacity SSDs begin to take over HDDs more than usual.


The fan doesn’t have to work hard because SSDs stay cooler than HDD. In this way, SSDs are quitter when working. The bothering humming sound when using a hard drive is gone.


In the past, when we play large games, especially those single player ones, we usually feel the cover of the machine is too warm. This is partially caused by the high temperature of the HDD and the temperature might easily reach 90 Celsius. But now, things have changed, since SSDs access data using flash memory rather than seeking out on a spinning platter like hard drives, they’re capable of maintaining more consistent operating temperature which can keep the drive itself staying cool down.



Because SSDs don’t have tiny moving parts such as spinning platters and arms like HDDs that can be easily damaged or broken, SSDs can effectively resist vibration and shock. If you are a video gamer and often carry a laptop around, an SSD might be a better choice.

Frame rate

Compared with HDDs, SSDs have many advantages including faster boost speed and lower temperature. However, when it comes to in-game performance, you shouldn’t expect too much because SSDs can neither improve graphic quality nor deliver high frame rates. According to benchmarks, there’re only negligible differences in fps in gaming. If you really need higher frame rates for a smoother gaming experience, you’d better off buying another top-notched GPU and CPU.

Which one to choose for gaming?

“Should I store games on SSD or HDD?” This is a common question asked by video game players. The answer is “it depends”. Games installed on an SSD will load faster than on an HDD. And so, there is a big advantage to install games on an SSD instead of an HDD. However, if you’re working with a limited amount of storage on your SSD, the best way is to prioritize the most played games and install them on your SSD and then, store all other things on your secondary HDD.

How to move games from an old HDD to a new SSD?

As mentioned above, you can see, sometimes, it’s a good idea to replace your HDD with a new SSD for a better gaming experience. Usually, to do this, all data and files on the old HDD including your favorite games will be lost and you have to manually download or install them later to the new SSD which is literally time-consuming. So, in this case, you’d better find a way to move the games from the old drive to the new drive.

You can’t just copy the game from the original location to another because in this way, the security of boot files can’t be ensured and the game may not be run smoothly. So, here, I recommend AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. With its inbuilt app mover, you can transfer any programs and games from one drive to another within only a few clicks. The process is quick and secure and you don’t need to worry about any data loss. More than app mover, this software also provides to migrate OS to SSD, clone partitions, and clone disks.

Now, download the demo to have a try!

Download Demo Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. After loading into the main window, select “App Mover” under the tab “Free up” in the top pane.


Step 2. Select the HDD’s partition where the game is and hit “Next” to proceed.


Step 3. Tick the game you want to move to the SSD and preset a destination for it. After it’s done, click on “Move”.


Step 4. Hit “OK” and then, the app move will get started.


Step 5. After completed, click on “Finish” to quit the process window.


Now, locate the transferred game in the SSD and check whether it can be launched successfully; if not, use the restore feature to send the game back to where it was.


Should I install games on SSD or HDD? As you can see from the above contents, generally speaking, SSD is a better choice for gaming for its read and write speed are faster which means shorter load time. Meanwhile, there’re also other advantages of SSD like lower temperature and less noise. In the second half of the post, you’ve learnt how to move games from HDD to SSD with third-party disk management software AOMEI Partition Assistant. If you want to use this software on Server machine, you should try the Server edition.

Michael · Staff Editor
Michael is a professinal editor of AOMEI editor team.