SSD technology is changing the gaming PC experience as we know it, and more games are making the most of ultra-fast drives. However, new benchmarks for F1 2021 on Windows 11 suggest that NVMe SSD speeds are no longer a luxury; they’re now a 4K gaming essential.
According to tests conducted by Compusemble on YouTube, F1 2021’s SSD demands are higher than any other PC game on the market, with read speed reaching 439Mbps. For context, this is almost double the max performance of a mechanical HDD, and it almost surpasses the abilities of a solid-state SATA setup.
Of course, if your rig currently wields an NVMe drive, F1 2021’s ravenous read requirements shouldn’t be an issue. Not only is the interface much faster, with speeds of 2,000Mbps, but it is also capable of 64,000 commands per queue, in contrast to the measly 32 available to SATA devices. Naturally, this means gameplay information can be pulled from storage quicker than ever before, allowing developers to craft expansive experiences that push things to the limit.
Before you start to sweat, you should note that not every game is as glutenous as F1 2021, so your SATA drive should still get you by for now, especially if you’d rather boost fps than play at 4K. That said, the read speed goalposts are shifting with consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X finally sporting SSDs under the hood; so if you want to keep up with the Joneses, you might want to consider giving your ageing storage a well-earned retirement.
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Phil Hayton Hardware writer
Published: Sep 28, 2021
Phil is the latest addition to our hardware department, and a retro enthusiast with previous bylines at TechRadar, Den Of Geek, MSPoweruser, Bloody Disgusting, GameByte, Daily Star, and the BBC.