Confirmed, it got worse since 1.6.0. Micro freezes all over the map, menu and inventory, encyclopedia - lag lag lag.
That should by no means justify the fact that before the game's performance was way much better on HDD. Now it's a mess.
As I said before, today they brake something that will make you buy an SSD. And if you keep justifying this, we may come to the point, where someone will say to you
Hell, even Cyberpunk 2077 runs way much better now. Need a fix for it.
On the contrary, it's more like 'If you don't have a 3D graphics card, you are not going to be able to play any recent game efficiently'. Sure, some people didn't like that back in the late 90's, but games started more and more to require one. Frankly, given SSDs are both cheap, improve load times hugely and in no way new technology, there is NO excuse not to have one if your primary hobby is gaming.