Over-provisioning SSDs for better performance

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Data Storage

Game on: Samsung’s PRO SSDs​ are all work and all play​

Computer gaming is no longer just for the layperson looking for a bit of entertainment. Thanks to online activity and the advanced imagery, speed and sound that go with today’s PC video games, only high-performing rigs with the best in storage technology will be able to keep up. That’s where Samsung’s PRO series solid state drives (SSDs) come into play.

How does the PRO series benefit today’s PC gamers? How will the right Samsung drive change your gaming rig?

Factors to consider

What’s most important for your gaming PC when it comes to storage? There are two factors:

  • Avoiding lag: Especially in first-person shooters and other games requiring quick reactions to rapid events, lag can literally ruin the gaming experience. It takes you out of the “fun zone,” forcing you to wait for your computer to respond to your commands to pull the trigger, release the ball or pull up on the flight simulator yoke. When you’re gaming, the right SSD doesn’t just make moving faster.

  • Better overall performance: As PC games get more intensive and immersive, with increasingly realistic graphics and sounds, the files that the game stores on your drive grow larger and larger. An SSD with fast bursts in read speed will be able to seek those files, read them into memory and put them in front of you much more quickly, resulting in a more harmonious gaming experience for you.

How Over-Provisioning SSDs Impacts Performance

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Apart from the usual concern about your SSD’s capacity, you’ll also want to consider how quickly your SSD can read and write data to its silicon. Most gamers will want to focus on sequential input/output (I/O) speeds: how quickly the drive can seek adjacent (sequential) blocks of data from its NAND, or signal producing circuit. If you also use your gaming PC for other intensive applications, like 3D modeling or serving files to lots of other devices, you may want to pay attention to random I/O speeds: how quickly the drive can read from nonadjacent blocks of memory. For pure gaming applications, that specification is less significant.

Samsung PRO SSDs

Samsung has best-in-class SSDs ideal for gaming rigs built on cutting-edge technology or gaming PCs that are a bit older and looking for a breath of fresh air via a storage upgrade. The Samsung PRO series in particular is designed with such workloads in mind; these SSDs have high sequential I/O speeds, as well as a variety of interface buses and capacities.

  • For gaming rigs with the latest motherboards and chipsets that can take advantage of the PCI Express (PCIe) bus, consider the Samsung 970 PRO. It’s a Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) drive about the size of a stick of gum, and it’s extremely high-performing: The PCIe bus boasts a 5-6 times speed increase over the traditional Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA). The Samsung 970 PRO has a read speed of up to 3,500 MB/s, a write speed of up to 2,700 MB/s and a range of capacities from 512GB to 1TB to accommodate the latest demanding games.

  • For your tried-and-true gaming workstation that’s still functional but needs a storage boost, consider the Samsung 860 PRO series. It uses the venerable SATA bus interface for maximum backward compatibility while also delivering enough performance to completely saturate that bus in the real world. The 860 PRO delivers a read speed of up to 560 MB/s, a write speed of up to 530 MB/s and a range of capacities from 256GB to 4TB — at affordable price points.

For less than $200, you could pop an 860 PRO into your 3-year-old gaming rig and have it perform like brand-new — or, for a little more (and if your motherboard supports it), go with the 970 PRO and be at the cutting edge of gaming technology.

Discover how SSD technology is evolving — and, with it, how people are enjoying their computers — in this infographic. Curious gamers can read the lore behind Samsung’s client PC drives.

Jonathan Hassell

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Jonathan Hassell

Jonathan Hassell is an award-winning writer specializing in enterprise information technology, including administration, security, and mobile. His work has appeared in Computerworld, CIO.com, Network World, and dozens of other publications.

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