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Pringlulz

Games to run on a 5400 RPM hard drive?

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Posted (edited) · Original PosterOP

I think this will be my first (real) post on the forum, but I couldn't think of a community that would have a better answer for this. Please don't tease me

 

Most threads I've seen on this subject are approaching this question from a "what should I buy" point of view, which has the obvious answer of a 7200 RPM drive with a large cache, but since I'm already in the situation of having a massive, slow hard drive, I'd like to approach it from the other angle. Worst case scenario, I'll move the 5400 drive to a NAS/HTPC project and buy a new 7200 drive.

 

The question I want to answer is:

 

What games won't be affected much by a 5400 RPM drive and the consequently slow loading times?

 

Which I think translates into the question of: which games do dynamic loading of textures or other assets from disk? Or, which games rely on data streaming in from the hard drive to maintain FPS. I couldn't find a good answer anywhere for a large number of games. Even most games on "can I run it" only lists the amount of storage required, not the speed of the storage.

 

If this thread gets enough responses, I'd be willing and able to compile and maintain a list for the benefit of us shmucks who bought a 5400 RPM drive or can't afford something better.

 

If you want my personal story, I bought the biggest and cheapest 4TB drive on memory express during a sale they had in 2017. I made sure it was SATA III and had enough cache for my needs and all that, but then didn't notice that it was only a 5400 RPM drive. I guess I figured those had stopped existing. Now I'm getting the red bar on my 1TB 7200RPM drive so I'd like to distribute my games according to the reliance on the hard drive. I've already split my games with ultra-long load times onto my SSD (Total War, GTAV, Fallout 4), but I was wondering what could go in the other direction. As many of you probably know, coming back to an old game and finding out you've lost your 100+ hour save file because you decided to save some space for a 12 hour fling with the latest 80 GB download kinda sucks.

 

Here's a link to the list of games I currently have stored on my 1TB 7200 RPM drive for those of you who are curious.

Edited by Pringlulz
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Many games that don't stream in very large chunks of data in a short time period should work fine. Source engine games (Valve games, basically) are usually okay to run off of a 5400rpm drive and many older games should run just fine.

I guess it might be more beneficial to list off some games that you'd like to put on that drive but wonder if the loading times would be detrimental.


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Done thing to note is that hdds have gotten faster over time and bigger hdds are normally faster aswell, so your 4tb 5400rpm drive is probably faster than your 1tb 7200rpm drive, esp as the 1tb is almost full. 

 

Id just put games on the bigger drive, the performance will be about the same.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
16 minutes ago, Dan Castellaneta said:

Many games that don't stream in very large chunks of data in a short time period should work fine. Source engine games (Valve games, basically) are usually okay to run off of a 5400rpm drive and many older games should run just fine.

I guess it might be more beneficial to list off some games that you'd like to put on that drive but wonder if the loading times would be detrimental.

I added a link to a Google Sheets document with a list of the games on the 1TB drive I want to free up and their size on disk. I guess the problem is, the larger the game, the more impetus I would have to move it, but also the more risk of streaming large files in from disk.

10 minutes ago, Electronics Wizardy said:

Done thing to note is that hdds have gotten faster over time and bigger hdds are normally faster aswell, so your 4tb 5400rpm drive is probably faster than your 1tb 7200rpm drive, esp as the 1tb is almost full. 

 

Id just put games on the bigger drive, the performance will be about the same.

I hadn't considered this, and honestly was a bit scared to try. A good game on the list to test this out with would be Rising Storm 2, which has some brutal load times. If you're correct in this, I should get about the same load time on the 7200 RPM drive as the 5400 when I move it over. I'll give it a shot this weekend.


Also, just to be clear, "almost full" is still 100 GB of free space. I'm not THAT bad. Yet.

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Games that level load won't be affected.

Open world games may be affected.

 

What you get if a drive is not performing well in an open world game is stutter. Then people think it is their GPU or CPU that causes it. 

 

I stopped using 7200 RPM drives in 2007 since they do cause stutter especially in games that you can mod like Oblivion and Skyrim.  I now even have modded games that will stutter unless they are on a M.2 like the 970 EVO. 

 

Games are mainly tested now on SATA SSDs and you are taking a performance risk if you use less. 

 

 

 

 


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I did find an article written back in 2016 that looked at various games, what they were pulling from the hard drive, and how this affected their frame times https://www.pcgamer.com/game-performance-using-different-storage-media/

 

This might give you some information to what you can put on the HDD without much performance loss.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

That's a really great article! Really interesting conclusions coming from it as well, not what I would expect at all, especially considering my experience with Fallout 4 (like jones177 pointed out, stuttering and jittering to no end). It doesn't help that Bethesda pre-downloads 50 GB of mods for their stupid store.

 

It seems like the rule of thumb would be to keep any large, open-world games on higher performance drives with anything level-based going onto the slower drive. I could probably pretty safely move everything smaller than 10 GB over to the 5400 drive with no issues. I'll do that tomorrow and post back here again if I notice anything that suffers because of it.

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At this point I wouldn't buy HDD for running games. Prices of 1Tb SSDs are low enough, and even 500Gb is enough for your active games.


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On 5/19/2019 at 10:23 AM, Pringlulz said:

It seems like the rule of thumb would be to keep any large, open-world games on higher performance drives with anything level-based going onto the slower drive. I could probably pretty safely move everything smaller than 10 GB over to the 5400 drive with no issues. I'll do that tomorrow and post back here again if I notice anything that suffers because of it.

It also depends on how many files the game has to load. If you mod a game to hell, loading becomes even worse since the game has to make a bunch of separate file requests rather than a bunch of requests to a single file. The more files you have to access, the more overhead there is.

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On 5/20/2019 at 3:59 PM, LogicalDrm said:

At this point I wouldn't buy HDD for running games. Prices of 1Tb SSDs are low enough, and even 500Gb is enough for your active games.

Not everyone is from the US / EU , which you can enjoy cheap low PC hardware prices....come to Asia...you will cry...even in Aussie most of PC hardwares are overpriced as fuck. 

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1 hour ago, gh0st47 said:

Not everyone is from the US / EU , which you can enjoy cheap low PC hardware prices....come to Asia...you will cry...even in Aussie most of PC hardwares are overpriced as fuck. 

If you think EU prices are low, then I truly feel sorry. 1Tb SSD is €130, about same price for what 500Gb was 1.5 years ago when I upgraded. The price of 500Gb SSD is about same as with 2Tb 7200rpm HDD. Looking at Australian prices from PCPP, they are about same. 2Tb drives for $75, 500Gb SSD for $95. Which is why I say for games and software, 500Gb SSD might be better pick than 2Tb HDD. Unless you have other uses for all the space.


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1 hour ago, LogicalDrm said:

If you think EU prices are low, then I truly feel sorry. 1Tb SSD is €130, about same price for what 500Gb was 1.5 years ago when I upgraded. The price of 500Gb SSD is about same as with 2Tb 7200rpm HDD. Looking at Australian prices from PCPP, they are about same. 2Tb drives for $75, 500Gb SSD for $95. Which is why I say for games and software, 500Gb SSD might be better pick than 2Tb HDD. Unless you have other uses for all the space.

Cheapest I can find in my country ( I'm not even sure if this is Discounted ), 180 Euro...Samsung Evo 860 1TB 
Yes, SSD has been LOT cheaper. same goes for NVME ones. But in many countries it's still not cheap enough to become replacement for HDD...
I can ge at 3 - 4TB W.D Black for one 1TB SSD here...

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6 minutes ago, gh0st47 said:

I can ge at 3 - 4TB W.D Black for one 1TB SSD here...

Less than USD90, 1tb non dram ssd or 4tb wd purple

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34 minutes ago, gh0st47 said:

Cheapest I can find in my country ( I'm not even sure if this is Discounted ), 180 Euro...Samsung Evo 860 1TB 
Yes, SSD has been LOT cheaper. same goes for NVME ones. But in many countries it's still not cheap enough to become replacement for HDD...
I can ge at 3 - 4TB W.D Black for one 1TB SSD here...

I'm not talking about SSDs becoming replacement. But for use case they are starting to be at the point where you really need to think, what you need/want more, speed or capacity. And as said, 500gb is quite enough, even if you happen to play 70gb games all the time.


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7 minutes ago, LogicalDrm said:

I'm not talking about SSDs becoming replacement. But for use case they are starting to be at the point where you really need to think, what you need/want more, speed or capacity. And as said, 500gb is quite enough, even if you happen to play 70gb games all the time.

Well yeah, I guess it's good to buy a 500GB just to throw in some games in it. 
STEAM can move game files really easily...I guess we could, get high capacity HDD and a 500GB SSD. Then install the games you're currently playing often, when you're done, move them to your mechanical HDD.. 

But Segate's Firecuda SSHD are quite cheap, I wonder if they are any good. They are almost same price as W.D Blacks. But it's faster, least on paper. But in the past Seagate's quality is rather concerning, they have the highest failure rate. 

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The ideal configuration is (keep in mind this is elaborate) is to have something like this:

C:\ SDD (OS drive either SATA or NVMe)

D:\ SDD (active game(s), NVMe)

E:\ HDD (Inactive games/rarely played, 7200RPM drive)

F:\ HDD (All other infrequently used data like videos)

 

Because of spin-up time when capturing games, if you capture video, you want to capture to a SSD. When playing games, especially MMO's you want those on a SSD, because the slowest player winds up with a disadvantage, and in some really awful games, the slowest player will get kicked. A game like FFXIV, can spend 40 seconds loading from a 7200RPM drive where it will take less than 5 seconds from a SATA SSD.

 

Most "offline" games, are perfectly fine being played from mechanical hard drives, they just have a much longer loading time. Some games this loading time is more than noticeable. But don't stick everything on your SSD. Your SSD operates at peak efficiency if you don't fill it up past the 50% point due to how cells on the drive are worn out and how data works in parallel. (Take note if you've ever bought a USB stick and notice that the larger the drive, the faster the drive, because the chip has more layers.)

 

If you only have one drive, then you want the fastest drive possible, but given how things have evolved rapidly since 2015, a 256GB SSD, be it SATA or NVMe is far superior to any mechnical drive. Just don't put valuable data on SSD's. While they may be fast, most wear tests to date have seen the drives spontaneously fail from wear, and no longer work in any meaningful way (can't read or write to them.) The assumption was that a worn out SSD would still be readable, but that tends to not be true.

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