Computer gaming a cross-generational pastime. It’s popularity has also risen significantly over the last year. According to a study published in Games and Culture, people were online gaming 71% more during lockdown, with 58% saying it helped their overall well-being.

During this period, many players realized that they needed to upgrade their CPUs and their storage. Jitesh Ubrani, an IDC research manager, told the Wall Street Journal they “pulled out their old PCs in many cases, and they realized that this PC is really too old to be productive.”

Old PCs simply can’t handle the graphics, speed and sound that make some of today’s PC video games shine. While many people have purchased new PCs, others have upgraded what they have, installing new CPUs and top-of-the-line storage technology, like the Samsung PRO series solid state drives (SSDs).

How does the PRO series improve play for today’s PC gamers? Read on to find out.

Factors to consider

When prospective gamers download or purchase a new game, they may realize that they have a problem as soon as they boot up. People without enough storage, or the right kind of storage, often endure extensive wait times as their games load, only to find that the gameplay is subpar due to the limitations of their equipment. This can introduce unnecessary frustration to the gaming experience. A new SSD can help solve those problems that can impact the gaming experience.

Delayed boot and load time

You grab a snack and a drink and pull up a chair, turn on your PC, click on your game, and then — and then you wait. This scenario is all too common, unless you’re using the right SSD.

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This is because traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) with spinning disks have to move a mechanical arm to find and retrieve data every time you advance to a new level or enter a new environment in a game. This is especially frustrating in a multiplayer enviornment, as all of the participants wait for one player’s rig to catch up. SSDs, on the other hand, don’t have moving parts, so data retrieval is almost instantaneous.

Game lag

Today’s games require lightning quick reactions to on-screen events. If your storage takes too long to read data, you’ll find yourself getting upset. Lag can ruin the entire gaming experience by delaying your computer’s response to your commands when you pull the trigger, release the ball or pull up on the flight simulator yoke. When you’re gaming, the right SSD helps all on-screen commands happen faster.

You can help prevent lag by making sure your storage is fast. Focus on sequential input/output (I/O) speeds, which determine how quickly the drive can seek adjacent (sequential) blocks of data from its NAND, or signal producing circuit. Additionally, if you also use your gaming PC for other intensive applications, like 3D modeling or serving files to other devices, you should pay attention to random I/O speeds, which indicate how quickly the drive can read from nonadjacent blocks of memory. For pure gaming applications, that specification is less significant.

Samsung PRO SSDs

Samsung offers best-in-class SSDs that solve lag issues. They are ideal for both gaming PCs already built with cutting-edge technology and PCs that are a bit older and in need of a storage upgrade. The Samsung PRO series in particular is designed with heavy workloads in mind, featuring high sequential I/O speeds and a variety of interface buses and capacities.

If you have a gaming PC with the latest motherboards and chipsets that can take advantage of the peripheral component interconnect express (PCIe) 4.0 bus, consider the Samsung 980 PRO. It’s a non-volatile memory express (NVMe) drive about the size of a stick of gum that’s 12 times faster than Samsung SATA SSDs. It features read/write speeds of up to 7,000 and 5,100 MB/s in a space-saving, compact M.2 2280 form factor. With capacities ranging from 250GB to 2TB, these drives can handle even the most demanding new games.

The 980 PRO drive can be equally beneficial for people with older technology that’s still functional but needs a storage boost. Like all PCIe 4.0 drives, it’s backwards-compatible with PCIe version 3.0 and older. Starting from $79.99, you can pop a 980 PRO into your three-year-old gaming rig and instantly improve its performance or, for a little more, get a 2GB drive and be at the forefront of gaming technology.

Discover how SSD technology is crucial for gamers building their own systems in this recent blog post. Then learn how to push your storage to the limit with a free white paper on how over-provisioning of SSDs can improve memory performance.

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Karen Bannan

Karen J. Bannan is a veteran business, health, lifestyle and technology journalist with a wide range of publishing experience. Her tech and business work has appeared in Forbes, BusinessWeek Online, Adweek, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, MyBusiness Magazine, Government Computer News, Workforce Management, CFO, AdWeek, Crain's New York and Crain's BtoB.

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