Is RAID 0 better than SSD for gaming?

RAID 0 (also known as disk striping) is a type of RAID configuration that splits data evenly across two or more disks with no parity information for redundancy. The benefit of RAID 0 is increased performance and full capacity utilization. SSD (solid-state drive) storage uses flash memory chips rather than spinning platters like traditional hard drives, providing much faster access times. SSDs have revolutionized computer storage with their speed, silence, and durability compared to HDDs.

This article will compare RAID 0 arrays vs SSDs to determine which offers better performance specifically for gaming purposes. The pros and cons of each solution in various areas like speed, reliability, cost, capacity, and more will be explored to help decide if SSDs are ready to fully replace RAID arrays.


When it comes to sequential read/write speeds, SSD RAID arrays can outperform a single SSD drive. According to Tom’s Hardware forum, RAID 0 arrays made up of HDDs still can’t match the access times of a single SSD due to the mechanical nature of hard drives, but they can provide faster sequential read/write speeds.[1] Enterprise Storage Forum notes that a RAID 0 array of SSDs can double the sequential read/write speeds versus a single SSD drive.[2] This is because the data is striped across multiple drives in parallel. Quora also confirms that properly configured RAID 0 arrays of HDDs or SSDs can surpass the sequential speeds of a single M.2 SSD drive.[3] In tasks like video editing where large sequential transfers are common, RAID 0 can provide a speed advantage.

Access Times

One key difference between RAID 0 and SSD is random read/write speeds. SSDs have very fast random access times due to not having to physically move a drive head. This makes them superior for many tasks involving random I/O like booting an OS or loading game levels.

While RAID 0 improves sequential speeds by striping data across multiple drives, it does not improve random access—the rotational latency of the physical drives remains a bottleneck. According to benchmarks by AnandTech, RAID 0 does not scale for 4K random read workloads as the underlying mechanical drives cannot overcome their physical limitations no matter how the data is distributed.1

For gaming usage involving frequent loading of new assets, the very low random read latency of SSDs gives them a substantial advantage over RAID 0 HDD arrays.


When looking at reliability, one of the main considerations is the likelihood of drive failure. RAID 0 arrays carry double the risk of failure compared to a single drive, since data is striped across two drives. If either drive fails, the whole array fails. According to Linus Tech Tips, using quality drives, the chance of RAID 0 failure is around 0.02%.

SSDs generally have lower failure rates than traditional HDDs. Backblaze’s 2022 report on SSD failure rates found an annualized failure rate of just 1.2% for SSDs. This is much lower than the over 3% failure rate for HDDs. However, SSDs in RAID 0 may still have accelerated failure rates compared to standalone SSDs according to Tom’s Hardware forums. Overall, SSDs in general tend to be more reliable than RAID 0 arrays.


When it comes to hardware expense, RAID 0 arrays made up of traditional HDDs are generally more cost effective than SSD options. An equivalent capacity RAID 0 array of HDDs can be constructed for significantly less money than a comparable single SSD or RAID 0 array of SSDs (Source 1). While SSD prices continue to fall, HDDs still provide more storage capacity per dollar spent.

That being said, some may find the performance benefits of SSDs worth the additional upfront investment. With SSD prices dropping, the cost difference between HDD RAID 0 and SSD RAID 0 is narrowing. For budget-conscious users focused strictly on capacity, HDD RAID 0 remains the most cost-effective high performance storage option. But SSD RAID 0 provides unmatched speed in exchange for paying a premium (Source 2).


When it comes to total storage capacity, RAID 0 can offer more storage than a single SSD depending on the configuration. With RAID 0, two or more identical SSDs are combined into one logical drive, so the total capacity is the sum of all the physical drives. For example, two 500GB SSDs in RAID 0 would give you 1TB total capacity. However, you can achieve high capacities with a single SSD as well, given how large SSDs have become. A 4TB NVMe SSD would provide more space than two 1TB SSDs in RAID 0. The advantage of RAID 0 is you can start small and add more identical drives later to expand capacity. But for ultimate storage space, a single high capacity SSD avoids the need for multiple disk management.

According to one analysis, RAID 0 can provide more storage capacity than a similarly priced single SSD, but comes with reduced reliability. Overall, RAID 0 offers expandable capacity through multiple disks while a single SSD offers greater simplicity.


When it comes to compatibility, both RAID 0 arrays and SSDs are generally compatible with most modern systems. SSDs use the SATA or PCIe interface which is universal across computers, while most RAID controllers support combining HDDs and SSDs in a RAID 0 array. According to one source, it is possible to create RAID 0 arrays with combinations of HDDs, SATA SSDs, and NVMe SSDs despite their differences in interface and speed ( The main compatibility consideration is making sure your RAID controller supports the mixture of drive types you want to use. Overall, both SSDs and RAID 0 provide broad compatibility with modern computer systems.


When it comes to noise levels, SSDs tend to be much quieter than traditional HDDs configured in RAID 0. SSDs have no moving parts, so they generate almost no audible noise during operation. In contrast, RAID 0 arrays with multiple HDDs can produce noticeable humming and drive activity sounds, especially under heavy workloads (, 2022).

Some users report hearing distracting levels of drive noise from RAID 0 HDD arrays, particularly in quiet environments. The multiple drives can create vibration and resonance issues as well. SSDs produce no mechanical or vibration sounds, operating silently in most cases (Reddit, 2022).

If minimizing noise is a priority, SSDs are the clear choice over RAID 0 HDD arrays. For users who want a silent computing experience, the noiseless operation of SSDs is a major advantage. RAID 0 HDD arrays involve inherent mechanical noise that many find disruptive or undesirable, especially for gaming setups located in living spaces.

Power Consumption

When it comes to power efficiency, SSDs tend to be more energy efficient than HDDs. According to a comparative study, SSD RAIDs consume less power than HDD RAIDs when the storage system is idle. However, under heavy load, SSD RAIDs can draw more power than HDD RAIDs. The study found that idle power consumption was about 4-5 times lower for SSDs compared to HDDs.

There are a few reasons for the power efficiency benefits of SSDs. First, SSDs do not contain moving mechanical parts like the spinning disks and actuator arms found in traditional HDDs. The elimination of these mechanical components reduces the energy needed to run SSDs. Additionally, the NAND flash memory in SSDs consumes less energy per bit read/written compared to the magnetic platters in HDDs.

Overall, the consensus seems to be that SSDs are generally more power efficient, with some estimates indicating SSDs use less than 10% of the power that HDDs require. However, workload intensity can impact relative power draw. But for low intensity workloads, SSDs deliver substantially better power efficiency over HDDs.


In summary, while RAID 0 SSD configurations can provide faster speeds compared to a single SSD, especially for sequential reads and writes, the differences are often marginal for gaming workloads which rely more on random access. The doubled risk of failure and added complexity generally make RAID 0 SSD not worth it for most gaming setups.

For a high-end gaming PC build focused purely on the best performance possible regardless of cost or reliability concerns, RAID 0 SSD can potentially provide some small improvements. But for most gamers, a single high-quality SSD like an NVMe drive will be more than sufficient and the smarter choice.

The recommendation is to opt for a single large, high-speed SSD over RAID 0 for a gaming PC. The minor differences in speed are rarely worth the tradeoff for decreased reliability and increased cost and complexity. Focus spending on the graphics card, CPU, RAM and other core components first before considering exotic storage configurations like RAID 0 SSD.