The PC Build 2017 is now really beginning to take shape. Last week you voted in large numbers for 16GB DDR4 Corsair memory to slot in alongside the AMD Ryzen 5 1500X. Now it's time to pick the all important storage - whether to opt for an SSD or a hard drive. Naturally both comes with pros and cons, and sacrifices are going to be made in order to hit our target budget.

Firstly, let's see where we stand after last week's purhcase. What I found quite interesting was that 57% of GD'ers surveyed said they'd spend no more than $100 on RAM in their ideal PC build, and yet when it came to picking memory, the overwhelming majority went for the most expensive $120 option. When we allocate money for a PC build, do we tend to downplay how much we actually end up paying? Food for thought.

Anyway, onwards. Here's how the PC build 2017 is now panning out. We've got around $700 with which to buy a graphics card, monitor, motherboard, PSU, case and storage. Gulp. Now it's the turn of the latter, the storage.

Component GD Choice Proportionate Spend Budget Allocation Actual Spend
Graphics Card   26% $260 TBA
CPU AMD Ryzen 5 1500X 18% $180 $189
Monitor   18% $180 TBA
Motherboard   9% $90 TBA
RAM  Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 3000MHz 8% $80 $120
PSU   8% $80 TBA
Storage   8% $80 TBA
Case   5% $50 TBA
Total   100% $1000 $309

What PC Storage is the Best Value for Money 2017

After blowing through the budget on the RAM, things could begin to get a little tight now. We've got $80 allocated to storage, which isn't a great deal. $80 isn't going to get you a massive amount of space whether you go for the faster, more costly SSD storage, or the larger, slower, HDD storage.

GD Build Guide 2017 Storage Options

We've got a budget of around $80 for the storage in the PC Build 2017, which definitely constrains us in the high flying world of SSDs. It's either a toss-up between a little bit if high speed SSD storage or a lot of HDD storage. I've also put in a couple of SSD / HDD combos in there as well if you think it's a sensible choice. The 60GB SSD for example may seem tiny, but it's enough to install your OS and some vital applications, leaving money to spare for an extra hard drive.

Remember our targeted budget is $80, and we're already over budget, so if we splash the cash here it may mean skimping on another component further down the line. 

All you need to do is vote in the poll at the bottom of the page and let us know which storage configuration you would put in a $1000 build!

What is the difference between SSDs and Hard Drives?

When deciding between buying and SSD and a hard drive, the difference is thankfully nice and simple.

Hard Drives, or HDD, are the standard computer storage drives you've been using for decades. They're called hard drives because they use hard platters, or discs, inside the device to store data. Conversely, floppy discs used floppy players housed in a hard shell. Hard drives are non-volatile devices, which means they can permanently store and retrieve data on a computer. HDDs are now a mature technology. Manufacturing them in large quantities with a high density is quite cheap, meaning they're a cheap option for mass storage. The downside is that hard drives are quite slow to read data, they're louder, and they're more susceptible to damage when dropped due to the moving parts. Because they are slow to read data, booting your system and loading games will take longer.

SSD meanwhile stands for Solid State Drive. This means it has no moving parts. Data is stored on flash chips rather than platters. They're typically smaller than a hard drive but they are much, much faster. Install an operating system such as Windows on your SSD and it will boot near instantaneously. Game loads will also be significantly faster. SSDs are also silent. The downside to SSDs is that they are far more expensive and available in much smaller quantities. The price of SSDs is also currently on the rise in 2017.

For more information on hard drives, SSDs, and how they work, be sure to check out the following help guides:

How To Install SSD or HDD Storage

Pretty much any case you buy will have internal bays designed to hold 3.5" hard drives or 2.5" SSDs. Some many only have 3.5" bays, so you're going to want an SSD mounting bracket as well. Whatever happens, all you'll need to is slot it into the bay, or into the mounting bracket and then into the bay. Depending on the case, you drive is either then held in with clips or you;ll need to screw it in place from the sides. This can be a little fiddly but don't panic, there's not really anything that can go wrong here.

In terms of connectors, SSDs will required a SATA cable. Simply plug the L-shaped end into the SSD and the other into a spare SATA port on your motherboard. These are usually blue.

Very old hard drives may require an IDE ribbon connection, but if you're buying new then it's going be a SATA connection. This works exactly the same as with SSDs - running a SATA cable from your HDD to an available SATA port on your motherboard.

PC Build Guide 2017 Part 1 - How Much Should You Spend on A Gaming PC

PC Build Guide 2017 Part 2 - Which CPU is the Best Value for Money

PC Build Guide 2017 Part 3 - How Much RAM do you Need for Gaming

PC Build Guide 2017 Part 4 - Is It Better To Buy an SSD or Hard Drive for PC Storage

PC Build Guide 2017 Part 5 - Picking the Right Motherboard

PC Build Guide 2017 Part 6 - Getting the Correctly Sized Case

Poll closed: 18:30 Apr-13-2017
Tags: