On the Performance of Games using Solid State Drives

On the Performance of Games using Solid State Drives

Mark Claypool, Jared Hays, Alex Kuang and Thomas Lextrait

In Proceedings of the 10th ACM Network and System Support for Games (NetGames)
Ottowa, Canada
October 2011

Since games typically demand considerable computer resources, game players will often purchase new technologies to improve their game performance. One such technology is the solid state drive (SSD) with the potential to provide significantly better performance than the traditional hard disk drive (HDD). However, while the benefits of SSDs to drive access speeds can be demonstrated, the benefits to computer game performance is largely unknown. This paper presents a detailed study comparing the performance of SSDs to HDDs for several popular computer games. Initial experiments provide read access speeds on both a desktop PC and a laptop to provide a baseline for SSD and HDD comparison. Then, detailed experiments are run for three computer games, Civilization IV, Portal 2, and Torchlight, covering a range of disk activity types. Analysis of the results shows SSDs compared with HDDs provide a 25% improvement to game boot times and game start times, but no significant improvement to game save times.


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