The short and simple answer to the question whether 512GB SSD is good enough for gaming or not is a yes. 512 GB can be considered quite sufficient if you want to have only a handful of games installed on your system at a time.
As such, 512GB SSD capacity just barely hits the mark. You should NOT settle for anything less. In other words 512GB is the least SSD storage capacity you can get away with for a decent gaming build.
Anything less than 512GB and you wouldn’t have sufficient capacity for games, OS and work related apps at the same time.
While I will discuss the answer to the question “is 512GB SSD enough for gaming?” in detail in the following write up, know that there can never be a definitive answer.
This is because the amount of storage you need, particularly SSD storage, depends upon countless factors including:
- How many games you wish to install at a time?
- What kind of games you wish to install, AAA games, Indie Games, or eSports Titles?
- Do you plan to keep media files like videos and personal photos also on the hard drive?
- Do you plan to have an HDD along with your 512GB SSD?
- What is your overall budget?
All of these points matter in deciding whether a certain storage space is lacking, sufficient or an overkill for your gaming machine.
Let us discuss these in detail:
How Many Games You Wish to Install at a Time?
The number of games you wish to keep on your SSD installed at a time is the biggest consideration when determining whether 512GB SSD is good enough for your or not.
At an average as it stands, AAA games take about 93GB per game. but the exact storage space needed varies greatly from game to game.
The following table lists some of the popular AAA titles and the storage they require:
|Resident Evil Village||45 GB|
|Battlefield 2042||49 GB|
|Elden Ring||60 GB|
|Cyberpunk 2077||70 GB|
|Grand Theft Auto 5||72 GB|
|Gears of War 4||112 GB|
|Call of Duty: Black Ops III||113 GB|
|Red Dead Redemption 2||150 GB|
|Destiny 2||165 GB|
So at an average, a 512 GB SSD should be able to hold 3-5 AAA games at a time, if you also factor in the operating system size as well as the size of some of the essential apps like Microsoft Office etc.
Therefore, take into account that you will need to set aside about 100GB storage space for the OS and the essential space.
As such, for 3-5 AAA games installed at a time, 512 GB should be quite sufficient.
What Kind of Games You Wish to Play?
The type of games you wish to play also matters. There are generally three types of game:
- AAA Games
- Indies Titles
- eSports Titles
AAA games are already discussed above and they tend to occupy the most space on your SSD.
Indie titles, those made by lesser known developers, tend to occupy the least space. Indie games like Stray, Stardew Valley, Disco Elysium, only take about 10GB, 500MB and 8GB respectively.
eSports / Popular Online games such as League of Legends, Overwatch, Counter Strike Global Offensive, generally do not take much space. There are exceptions however.
As such, your gaming preference also dictates how much of a capacity would be sufficient for you. If you an indie gamer lover, 512 GB SSD would be an overkill. If you are a AAA lover, then you may find 512 GB sufficient only for 3-5 games at a time.
Also Read: Is NVIDIA RTX 3050 Good for Gaming?
Do You Plan to Archive Media Files?
Do you media files such as video or photos? Perhaps you are also a video editor with a lot of raw and finalized data.
Well, if this is the case with you then unfortunately 512 GB SSD for gaming may NOT be sufficient.
As a rule of thumb, you should NOT use the SSD for archiving or storing media data. You have to understand here the difference between hot and cold data.
These are data center terms but quite relevant here. Basically hot data means, data that should readily be available to you or the data that you frequently use. This includes the games you are currently playing for instance.
Cold Data relates to data that you do not use frequently. This includes archival media data, footages, large video files, installation files etc.
So coming back to the point, SSDs should ONLY be used for hot data given their costs. Archival or cold data should be stored in Hard Disk Drives instead.
The following table summarizes the cost of SSDs vs HDDs:
|SSD||WD Blue NAND (1TB)||SATA M.2 SSD||$110||$1.1|
|SK Hynix Gold S31 (1TB)||SATA 2.5" SSD||$100||$0.1|
|Samsung 980 Pro||Gen 4 NVMe SSD||$150||$0.15|
|HDD||WD Blue 7200 (1 TB)||7200rpm HDD||$35||$0.035|
|WD Black 7200 (1 TB)||7200rpm HDD|
- Note that the prices are subject to change.
Hence, given that SSDs can cost four times as much as HDDs, the SSD storage is more precious and thus should NOT be used for archival data.
If you have a lot of media or archival data that you wish to store then the best idea would be get a 1 TB or a 2 TB HDD along with your 512GB SSD.
What is Your Overall Budget?
The final consideration in determining whether 512GB SSD is enough for gaming or not is your budget.
If you have a limited budget, then maximizing your budget for the GPU should be your primary concern. While having an SSD is almost a must for any decent gaming build these days, sacrificing a good GPU over a large SSD capacity would be unfruitful.
So Is 512GB SSD Enough for Gaming?
Given the discussion above, it is clear that if you are frugal and pragmatic with the SSD storage space, then 512GB SSD should be quite sufficient for gaming.
512GB is sufficient for 3-5 AAA games. For indies games, 512 GB is an overkill. For online / eSports titles, 512GB is again quite sufficient.
It is NOT, however, sufficient for a gaming PC where you also wish to store a lot of personal media or raw video editing data.
Also Read: Is 1 TBSSD Enough for Gaming?
Is 512GB SSD Enough for Gaming AND Streamer?
Game streamers often store a lot of their gaming data on the drive. Raw footages can occupy a lot of space on your drive.
Hence if you someone who stores their game streaming data, then you will find 512GB quite lacking.
The best recommendation here is to have an affordable 1 TB HDD along with your 512GB SSD for storing the streaming data.
How Many Games Can 512GB SSD Hold?
Well as discussed earlier an average AAA game occupies about 90-95GB of storage. But the actual range of space occupied is quite vast.
Resident Evil village for instance occupied 45 GB. Destiny 2, on the other hand, occupies a whopping 165 GB of storage space.
So if you have a variety of ONLY AAA games installed, you can expect to 512 GB to hold about 3-5 games.
Indie games, however, with an average size of about 10GB, occupy far less space. Hence for indie game lovers, 512GB can actually be an overkill.
But of course, a typical gamer can have a variety of games including AAA, indie and eSports titles installed at a time. So if you have a mix of these games, you can have about 5-7 games installed at a time.
Also Read: Does SSD Improve Gaming Performance?
Which 512SSD to Go For?
I always recommend the PCIe NVMe SSDs. These are stick like SSDs that plug into the M.2 slots.
Avoid the SATA SSDs if you can.
Read in Detail: What is the Difference Between SATA and SSD and HDD and NVMe?
So is 512GB SSD enough for gaming? Yes it is. However, in the end it all depends upon how many games you wish to have on your PC at the same time as well as on whether you plan to use your PC solely for gaming or for other work as well.
But in a nutshell, 512GB SSD is the lowest storage capacity you should settle for particularly for a gaming build.