Is an SSD necessary in a budget gaming rig?

Hey guys, this is my first forum post and I appreciate any help you guys can give me.

So I'm building a budget-ish gaming rig, my first one ever, around 1,000-1,200$. I'm having a knowledgeable friend help me, so I won't screw anything up.

My question is, do you guys think an SSD is necessary for a build around this budget?
I think I heard on one of the TekSyndicate Videos that it's a good idea to buy a small one and then have nothing but your OS on it in order to make your functionality overall faster, then use a regular HDD for everything else. I'm hoping for a dual OS of Windows 10 and I want to try Linux.

IMO a ssd is a must for any system. When I built my first budget pc I did not have the money for one at that moment so I just used my HDD as my boot drive until I got the money for one. SO if its not in the budget now make one for a ssd because its worth it.

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Ok, so should I only have one for my OS's, or for everything? And what size should I get?

Thats really up to you and how much your willing to spend on a ssd. I started out with one just for the OS then overtime just upgraded to a bigger ssd to put games&software on. IF you have the money for a ssd that you feel will fit your needs then I would say just buy a ssd for everything. But thats up to your budget.

It's not necessary but it's worth the money. But for gaming you're better off spending that money on a GPU. An SSD will make your OS more responsive and if you install your games on it they'll load faster, but it won't improve your FPS or anything like that.

You could look at getting a SSHD if that better fits your budget.

right, sorry, I wasn't clear:
I meant to ask what size SSD should I get to fit my OS. As in, how much space would Windows 10 and Linux take up? After more thought I don't care much about how fast my games load. They load fine already, and I'm using a regular laptop right now.
And to be on the same page: I want to spend as little as possible, I'm already pretty much at my budget but I'm willing to spend a little more just for the responsive OS's.

Thanks for responding, I'm already planning on getting an EVGA GeForce GTX 970 for my build, which I think is more than enough graphics power for my budget. I don't think I care much about load times, I've never had a problem with them in the past and I use a standard issue Asus Notebook for gaming right now, hahaha. And an SSHD is a good suggestion, tbh I didn't even know they were a thing until now. I just want to know now how big an SSD I need to just put the two OS's on.

For just the OS I'd go with a 120gb but you could probably get away with 60gb.

I would suggest a Samsung 850 EVO 250GB. The 120 would be plenty, but it is only $26+ to get the 250GB. and then get a $50 1TB Wester Digital Blue drive for your non-OS stuff.

You will still want to put things other than the OS on the SSD (Web browser, Steam, photo/video editing software, etc).

may i ask what your build consists of?

Sure. Well, my build is by no means a final draft, I still need to consult with my friend, which I'm doing this Wednesday.
What I'm saying is, I THINK all these parts are compatible, hahaha!

  • Case: Fractal Design Define R5 FD-CA-DEF-R5-TI-W Titanium Computer Case (I'm also buying an extra stock fan for this)
  • Motherboard: MSI 970 Gaming AM3+ AMD 970 6 x SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
  • GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 970 SSC ACX 2.0+ 4GB 256-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 SLI
  • PSU: CORSAIR CX series CX600 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC
  • CPU: AMD FX-8320 Vishera 8-Core 3.5GHz (4.0GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 125W
  • Monitor: ASUS VG248QE Black 24" 144Hz 1ms (GTG) HDMI Widescreen LED Backlight LCD
  • OS: Windows 8.1 (Later I will update to windows 10 for free) and some type of Linux, IDK which yet
  • DEEPCOOL GAMMAXX 400 CPU Cooler 4 Heatpipes 120mm PWM Fan with Blue LED
  • HDD: HITACHI Deskstar 5K3000 HDS5C3020ALA632 (0F12117) 2TB 32MB Cache CoolSpin SATAIII 6.0Gb/s 3.5"
  • I haven't picked out ram yet, but I was thinking 8 GB
  • I already have a keyboard and mouse, but I might replace those later on.
    Anyways, thanks for any suggestions you might want to give Weston, I still feel like I'm kinda in the dark for the most part no matter how much I research.

I would advise something like:

Windows + Games = 240 Gigabyte SSD
Windows only and no games = 120 Gigabyte SSD
Linux = 64 Gigabyte SSD

I would use two SSDs, one for windows and one for Linux. A cheap 64 Gig one would be around 40 bucks. Dual booting from one drive is a pain because sometimes operating systems installer does stupid stuff and puts a boot loader where you do not want it.

32Gb is absolute min drive size for windows 7 + 8Gb swap + drivers + basic software (VLC, winamp, antivirus, etc).
Then you can run larger programs for a separate drive (Games, editing software, etc).

SSD really only effect load times (really noticeable with large games like BF4 and skyrim/oblivion with mods etc)
SSD/HD hybrid would be your step under SSD.
WD blue or black or equivalent would be one step under that.

My 2 cents 120GB or 250GB SSD and a 1TB or 2TB HD. gives you room to run a couple of games on your SSD and gives you a quick boot up for your OS

Pretty good. i am also considering the EVGA 970 SSC ACX 2.0+. you can get it for like $326 + Metal Gear Solid V for free. still going to do some 390 research for the games i plan on playing, but i am leaning towards the 970 atm (as the Sapphire 390 i would want is like $20+ more with out MGSV)

If i may suggest, it might be wiser to go with an i5 over any of the AMD FX CPUs. the i5 not only does better in games, but it would serve better in the coming years when compared to the older FX series. Hell, even some of the newer 13 CPUs beat out the FX-8370 in some games.

Also, although it is $40+ more expensive, the EVGA 650W G2 PSU would be an awesome upgrade. i have the 850W version, and it is awesome. the fan doesn't even turn on until it gets to 45% load (if you flip the eco switch on). it is also built extremely solid and is modular and all that good stuff.

But I was looking at i5's and they seem so extremely expensive for the same speeds. Is there an i5 that you suggest that you know would do better and be faster than the AMD?

For games.. basically all of them lol.
Will you be overclocking?

Probably not because I'd rather keep to air cooling. I don't want to damage my parts and I'd want to know that what I was doing was safe first.

Also there's obviously something I'm missing here. The AMD FX processor is 3.5 ghz standard with 8 cores.
However, an i5 quad core for about 50$ more gives me about 3.0 ghz standard.
So how is it faster? I mean, I believe you, I just don't understand it! :D

That is understandable. Although you can most definitely overclock on air. But, that being said, if you don't see yourself doing that, then you can get a locked intel CPU, that is cheaper.

If you don't care to overclock, i would recommend this CPU and pair it with an H97 motherboard.

Not only are the Intel chips a newer architecture, they use a 22nm process instead of the 8320/8350's 32nm

Also, the AMD chips use 4 sets of 2 'less powerful' cores. it is 8 cores, but the intels use 4 full beefy cores.

And Intel chips have better ipc (instructions per clock/cycle). Basically, a 4 core 2Ghz Intel Haswell chips will outperform a 4 core 2Ghz AMD vishera chip.

Here is the Intel 4460. it is a step below the CPU i am recommending for you.

And here is the 4690k. it is a step above the CPU i suggest you get, but these charts also show how it beat the 8320. so expect the 4590 i recommend to be slightly lower than the 4690k.

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Interesting. However I'm definitely going over budget with all this, I think it's because I'm getting a really good monitor mixed in. The 144Hz Refresh rate and 1 ms response time are for counter strike, because that's the main game I play. I know it's requirements aren't high, but I do all kinds of other games as well, so you can see why I'm building this PC. Hmph. I guess I'll have to speak to my father, he's lending me the money and letting me pay him back over time for this thing. You've given me a lot to consider and really put a lot of work into your responses and I really appreciate it.

Ohhhhh. Well i was unaware of your budget. You should post up how much you would like to spend, and then we can probably put something together for you. AMD may if fact be the right choice, as it is less expensive.