Best answer: Utilizing a solid-state drive (SSD) over a hard disk drive (HDD) means faster load times and better performance in all of your games.

Speed and storage: Western Digital Blue 1TB SSD ($115 at Amazon)

What's the difference between an SSD and HDD?

Both an SSD and HDD are components of a PC that deal with storage and dictate how fast information can be read. In an SSD, data is stored on flash-memory chips and it has no moving parts whatsoever. An HDD, on the other hand, uses mechanical moving parts to read and write information.

Why are SSDs better?

Because an SSD utilizes flash-storage as opposed to magnetic tape and mechanical parts like an HDD, the former tends to be faster, smaller, and quieter. Everything you see on screen when you play a video game is data and information that needs to be rendered nearly instantaneously to ensure a smooth experience. SSDs have a much easier time doing this.

How will an SSD benefit PlayStation 5 games?

In an interview with Wired, PlayStation architect Mark Cerny boasted that the next-generation PlayStation's custom SSD could nearly eliminate load times. In the article, Wired describes a scenario in which a fast travel sequence in Spider-Man that took 15 seconds on PS4 Pro only took less than one second on the PS5. A video from The Wall Street Journal's Takashi Mochizuki recently surfaced that shows this in action. In the video, the sequence is cut down from eight seconds to less than one.

You can also look no further than how an SSD benefited Anthem on PC after launch. Though every game is different, the larger effects of using an SSD can be extrapolated for nearly every title on the market. You'll be getting faster load times, less pop-in, and less hitching.

In another interview with Wired, Cerny revealed that an SSD will help save storage space, giving developers the opportunity to create more detailed game worlds or shrink the sizes of games and patches altogether. It will also change how game downloads work. Because data is simplified by an SSD, game downloads will become more configurable. This means that players can opt to only download the single-player or mutliplayer portions, for example. Should you wish, you can even download the entire game and choose to delete a portion, like the single-player campaign once you have finished it.

Will an SSD affect frame-rate or resolution?

No. SSDs do not affect the frame-rate or resolution which your games run. Those variables are instead dictated by the power of your console's graphics processing unit (GPU) and central processing unit (CPU).

Can't I already use an SSD on PlayStation 4?

Yes, you can use an SSD on PlayStation 4; however, you'll need to purchase one separately as the console only comes with an internal HDD. Whatever custom SSD the PS5 uses will also likely be better suited for gaming specifically than any SSD you can pop into your PS4 today.

Our pick

Western Digital Blue 1TB SSD

PC speeds on console

You don't need to wait for the PlayStation 5 to take advantage of SSDs on console. PlayStation 4 is already compatible with them, so pick one up and see what it's capable of for yourself.

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