A high FPS is a top priority for almost every gamer. It is for me, and I am more than sure it is for you too. But many things come in the way of smooth gaming, interrupting essential steps we often miss and end up losing points.
Out of several possibilities, many people wonder if storage has to play a part in the process. While we would not say it does not, we cannot really say it does either.
There is definitely a relationship between a PC’s storage and gaming performance. It is not all related to FPS, but we will see the effects in some cases.
Confused? Let us jump into the details and seek an answer to the question, “Does Storage Affect FPS?”
What Is FPS?
I am pretty sure gamers are well aware of what the FPS is. When we put together a PC from the ground up with a good monitor, FPS is one of many things we consider. But if you are new to gaming and are just getting started with the jargon, this is for you.
FPS stands for Frames Per Second – meaning the number of frames the screen can show in one second. The rule of thumb is that a higher FPS is better and highly crucial in gaming. FPS can be affected by monitor, internet connection, graphics card, etc.
Why Is FPS Important?
FPS is crucial as it impacts several aspects. Still, since we are focusing on the gaming aspect, that is what we will be focusing on today.
FPS is very important in gaming because it ensures that we see animations, movements, and motions on the screen timely and clear. This allows us to perform well in games, hit targets better, get more points and play games without stutters and lags on the screen.
Which Storage Affects FPS?
Talking about storage on a PC can mean both the hard disk drive (HDD) and the solid-state drive (SSD). Let us see how each affects our FPS.
Solid State Drive (SSD)
We will start with the SSD because it does not have a vast effect on the FPS. SSDs are normally installed into computers to increase their overall speed and efficiency. Therefore, it does not directly affect the FPS or gaming as a whole.
It can only affect our PC or gaming when we install games into the computers, which is a positive effect. Also, thanks to the faster load times that an SSD provides, the installation process goes typically faster than it would with only an HDD.
Other than this, having or not having an SSD will not significantly affect the gaming or the FPS.
Hard Disk Drive
When it comes to the HDD, there are a few ways that it can affect the FPS. But technically, that should not be the case. Since the HDD is used as non-volatile storage, and the FPS is something that depends on the graphics unit, these two things should not be related.
But, in some cases, it can be related, and having low storage space on our HDDs can cause a slowdown in our games. This is because the HDD must load all the textures, patterns, colors, models, maps, and many other detailed graphics that come with games.
The problem occurs when the games we play require more data than what our hard drives can provide.
A common example would be games with a lot of action, which require many files to be accessed simultaneously. Unfortunately, a slow hard drive is not able to take such loads, and this results in a lag on the screen.
Now that we know which of our storage affects FPS let us take a deeper look at how exactly HDD affects the FPS of our PCs.
How Does HDD Storage Affect FPS?
We will go straight to the point here. There are a bunch of ways that the HDD affects the FPS. Find them all listed below.
Slow Load And Boot Times
A hard drive with a low space will result in a slow boot time, followed by a slow load time. The entire gaming process is slowed down with a slow hard drive.
More time will be needed for the games to start, and once they do, it will take some more time to load. The amount of time here really depends on the game and its graphics.
Stuttering can be annoying, even more so when a computer or game does. With a slow hard drive, this is what we will get. Mid game you will experience sudden stutters and frozen screens, which will take a few seconds to fix.
Now, a few seconds does not sound so bad. But if you are a pro gamer, you know how horrible a few seconds can be. Especially in shooting or racing games, where every second matters, you can lose many points.
Some games require installation on our computers. Unfortunately, this means they are taking up some of the storage space provided by the hard drives.
When the space on the hard drives is insufficient, these games will not load as fast as we would like them to. This can cause lag on the screen, which in turn will affect the FPS indirectly.
Games with Demanding Graphic Performances
While some games come with minimal graphics, such as racing games where all the focus is on speed, others sport detailed landscapes and stories. When playing the latter kind, you will find tons of details, dimensions, colors, etc., that bring life to the story.
This is exactly the kind of game affected by a slow hard drive.
A slow hard drive takes longer for these details to load, which again causes a lag and, therefore, a slow screen.
When we add modifications to a game, it takes up more space than it initially did. This means more pressure on the hard drive and hence slower loading times.
To ensure this does not happen too much, we can check the number of modifications that are allowed on the said game. There is usually a limit stated to prevent such lags, and when we exceed those limits the lags start to appear.
It is not just the storage or HDD in a PC that can affect the FPS or gaming performance. A lot of the other components play a big part here as well. The RAM is one of the more significant ones.
If you have low RAM, that pressure is shifted to the hard drive, which in turn causes slowing load times, a lag, and a bad gaming experience.
We have just seen a range of ways in which a slow hard drive can cause problems in gaming. Unfortunately, this last point is probably the worst for gamers.
This is when the game crashes without warning due to low space on the hard drive, exiting you instantly. While this can also result from other problems the computer might be facing, having a slow hard drive is also on that list of problems.
Ways To Improve Gaming And FPS With Hard Drive Storage
It is never useful to talk only about the problems something can cause if the solutions are not evident. For this reason, I am going to discuss some ways to avoid the problems we face with gaming performance and FPS in gaming related to the hard drive.
Note that some of these are tips and tricks, while others require big changes or investments to a setup. Of course, they do not all apply to everyone, but if it is something you can do, we recommend it!
Cleaning The HDD
This does not mean literally! Instead, we mean that it is a good practice to delete and clean out files that we do not need any more from our computers. Unfortunately, this is a very common mistake that most people make, as we all tend to forget to delete unwanted files at a point.
Doing this every few months will ensure we are not wasting any space. In addition, this will only take a few minutes and clear up space so that games can load properly.
Upgrade To An SSD
Upgrading to an SSD, or inserting an SSD externally can help.
This will make your computer perform better while removing any other source of trouble. When the speed of your computer goes up, gaming speed does too! It is like an overall performance boost for your computer.
But, check to see if the computer you are currently using is compatible with an SSD. If it is not, upgrading will not do much good.
Minimum Gaming Requirements
The games we play come with their individual requirements. Therefore, we should take a minute to look them up and see if they are compatible with our PC sets or not.
Of course, this is a must-see if you are headed to buy a new PC with brand-new configurations. It will help you out tons in the long run with smooth games and almost zero lag.
This, as a whole, will save you and your PC lots of money and damage. However, if the PC is unsuitable, it is better to avoid the game as a whole or upgrade the computer, as upgrading the hard drive might not show the best improvements.
We spoke before about how having low RAM can create more pressure on the hard drive. Well, this is your very straightforward and simple solution. Upgrade the RAM, and it will take off the focus from the HDD, even if it is by a little bit.
The end result here is smoother overall PC performance, including smoother screens, better gameplay, and of course – optimal FPS!
How To Test If HDD Storage Is Affecting FPS?
Our computers are made up of multiple components. Without digging into it, it is not always clear to us which part is causing the lag in our games. As we have seen earlier, it may or may not be the HDD.
So, what if it is not? But we have already upgraded it! – It is but a waste of money and resources.
To prevent these from happening, there is a straightforward test that we can do that will allow us to see what is really going on. This will take a little time, but it is still better than wasting that time correcting the wrong things.
Run Games From SSD
A very simple and straightforward method to check if the HDD is the root of your issues. Instead of running the game from the HDD, run it from the SSD. If the issue persists, then the problem lies elsewhere.
However, if it does not, the HDD is most likely causing the trouble here. Upgrading the HDD can solve the problem and speed up the game booting and loading times.
At the end of the day, if it comes down to having to change the HDD, do remember to back up all your files. This is a common step most newbies forget, only to lose all their files in the process.
It is tough to focus on one component in a PC and speak about its effects. You see, every element in a PC comes together to provide the outcome, so it can be hard to pinpoint where exactly a problem is originating from. The same goes for storage and how it affects FPS.
We have seen that in some indirect ways, a lacking HDD can, in fact, affect the FPS, even though, directly speaking, it does not. But there are ways around it for users with budgets on both ends – which is the most essential part.
We hope this piece gives you a brief of the problems you may encounter so we can avoid them early on and follow suit with the solutions. This will help us achieve optimal gaming performance while also ensuring our PCs are in good health.
Hello Good People! This is Pavel and Welcome to PC Delight!
I’m an Electronics Engineer by profession with a passion for Gaming & PC builds. When I came up with the idea for PC Delight, it was my goal to share & offer the very best PC building ideas to tech-loving people like myself.
Since my school days, I’ve been just addicted to gaming & PCs. That leads me to experiment with various ways around the very niche, resulting in great productivity. And I’m here to share those practical experiences. So that next time you start some experiment with your PC builds or struggle to cope with a certain game, I’m here with the solutions. With these philosophies, I started my journey in 2017 and just kept going.