Can an SSD help Skyrim?

I have a few open-world games that run rather... Slow. Especially for my computer build. Here's a quick summery of my system:

Gigabyte Z68A-D3H-B3 Motherboard

i7 2600K (Sandy Bridge)

8GB Corsair Vengence Series CL8 1600MHz

ATI Radeon HD 6870 OC'ed

Seagate Baraccuda 1TB 7200 MHz HDD

So i have no problems running Battlefield 3 on Ultra settings (except for MSAA x4). With MSAA x4, i get an AVG. of 54.6 FPS. With it off, i get an AVG. of 59.8 FPS.

When i play Skyrim, my system has trouble keeping up with my character. My FPS is moderate (AVG. of 48.7 FPS). This is with AA on x8 and Antrosophic Filtering at x4.

When im walking through the map, my FPS changes slighly, but it's like im walking through peanut butter. My character will almost skip around. So i put my AA and Antrosophic filtering completely off. I still kept running into this issue. I read an article about how an SSD coult fix this. I want to make sure before i invest in one.

3 Answers

  • C-Man
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    An SSD probably isn't the real fix, since games don't do extensive disk i/o on the fly, they're all coded to avoid that as much as possible. Games load everything into RAM and only do heavy disk access when saving/loading new zones or previous game progress.

    SSDs have great impact upon your Windows startup time and initial launch time for programs, but much less outside of that.

    However, Skyrim and BF3 are notable for being games that actually use more than 1GB of video RAM at 1920x1080. Same story for Crysis 2 with the optional high-res texture pack. A few years ago, no games exceeded 1GB of VRAM usage except at 2560x1600 or in dual-monitor setups, but now we're reached a point where 1GB cards aren't always enough 1080p. What's your screen resolution anyway? If the problems vanish when running at 1680x1050 or 1600x900, then you're running out of VRAM. The solution is getting a 2GB or higher graphics card.

    Chart unrelated but note the comments regarding BF3 at the bottom:

    If you're running out of VRAM, then an SSD could help. Although that's a balm, not a cure.... you'd be speeding up the disk swapping that occurs when you run out of VRAM, whereas having a 2GB card would eliminate the swapping. Of course that's more expensive.

    Also, using your SSD for Windows paging file duty will shorten it's lifespan. SSD cells can only perform a finite number of write cycles before losing the ability to store data. Your drive would still last for years, but not as many.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    An SSD will drastically improve your storage access time, so think about it in terms of how often are you making call outs to your hard drive, and is this slowing your gameplay down? (You can monitor your HDD activity during gameplay by watching out for the HDD activity light).

    If there is a lot of HDD activity, adding an SSD will make a huge difference. If you are finding the HDD is generally idle during gameplay than an SSD will be less affective.

    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
  • 8 years ago

    My bottleneck was read/write time to/from the hard drive, same as yours. My SSD greatly improved this. has a new hybrid drive that combines an SSD with a HDD, they have a 500GB hybrid for $100. I would buy one if I didn't already have a SSD. Once you have a SDD you won't ever go back to a regular 7200 rpm hdd.

    Source(s): computer geek and builder
    • Commenter avatarLogin to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.