Is 5400 RPM good enough for gaming?

A 5400 RPM hard drive is too slow to smoothly run a video game, even though the 7200 RPM drive is much faster, an SSD is still recommended.

A hard disk drive (HDD) is the hardware component that stores all of a user’s digital content on a personal computer (PC). Documents, music, videos, pictures, games, applications and an operating system represent digital content which is stored on the PCs hard drive.

An HDD’s spin speed, which is measured in rotations per minute (RPM) is relatively important. The faster a disk spins, the faster a computer can find the file a user wants. The same counts for gaming, the faster the disk spins, the faster a game will boot.

A 7200 RPM drive is much faster than a 5400 RPM drive. However, with external drives, a user will hardly notice the difference between the RPM speeds.

That being said, a user can experience a noticeable improvement on a 7200 RPM hard drive when using larger files and applications.

Even though a 5400 RPM hard drive is recommended for normal daily use on a laptop or PC, a 7200 RPM is recommended for any person who wish to play games on their system.

However, most people choose to install a solid-state drive (SSD) rather than an HDD in their gaming build, as the SSD can improve the PC’s overall performance at a faster rate.

On a Reddit thread, one gamer stated, “I just switched my laptop from 5400 RPM to an SSD, and the entire thing is faster. Games aside, it no longer constantly hangs or takes years to open Chrome. I thought I just had overestimated my central processing unit (CPU) and my graphics processing unit (GPU), but it turned out the HDD was a huge bottleneck.”

Another user wrote, “I have a 500 Gigabytes (GB) SSD and a one terabyte (TB) 5400 RPM hard drive to put extra stuff on. The few games I have on the 5400 RPM drive cause me emotional pain as I wait for loading screens, or experiencing stuttering in games that do not have loading screens. Grand Theft Auto or Skyrim or something which have hard loading screens are bearable, but the stuttering that can happen is really lame. I absolutely do not recommend it, rather get an SSD, they are like magic.”

It is clear that a 5400 RPM hard drive is not good enough for gaming. While the 7200 RPM drive is much faster, people still recommend rather investing in an SSD rather than in an HDD.

The 5400 RPM  and 7200 RPM hard drives are available for purchase on Amazon

Seagate BarraCuda 5400 RPM

Seagate BarraCuda 7200 RPM

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