Hard Drive or SSD?



I'm building my first PC and I'm deciding between going for a mechanical HD or one of the new SSDs. From what I understand, the hard drives can hold much more data, but are slower, and the SSD's don't have much storage and are expensive, but are a lot faster.

Which should I go for? How much storage space do I need? I'll be using the PC for gaming.


Feb 19, 2012
Vegito7192, you're right on with your understanding of SSD vs. Spinners. The most common setup is a smaller SSD drive (64-256GB) as the systems main drive, exclusively for your operating system and most commonly used apps, and a second platter based hard drive for storage and less frequently used apps.

If you plan on downloading a lot of movies and music right from the start, or will be working with large files, you'll want to make sure you have a fair amount of hard drive space (500GB or more) for the storage. If you're planning on just installing a few games and not really downloading, then anywhere from 200-500GB is fine. The nice part about a desktop is you can always add more space without losing your original files.

You can achieve these storage totals a number of ways:

1. Smaller SSD and traditional HDD
2. Single traditional HDD
3. Single SSD

There is really no wrong way, I would recommend researching SSD drives a bit before attempting to install one. They can be a little tricky, and being your first build, you may want some assistance to save you time and frustration.

There is a noticeable difference in load times between an SSD and a spinner, it can be quite drastic depending on the application or game. If you'll be loading Windows 7 on your computer, make sure the SSD drives you're looking for have TRIM support, as this will allow them to run consistently faster for longer. Also, make sure the motherboard you're purchasing has Sata III ports and the SSD is SATA III as well (6Gb/s).

Good luck to you and don't hesitate to ask more questions as you do your research!