MASSIVE Game Installations - Storage - Speed and Size ?

Aug 22, 2021
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Hello

I noticed someone’s list showing they had a 4Tb SSD for Game Installations; and it got me thinking…
I've enquired about this earlier – but it hadn’t really hit me yet just how massive modern games really are until now.
Now that changes my perspective and I realise I'm really not sure of the numbers?


I’ve just picked up all the parts for my new 12th gen build but haven’t put it together yet (Win 10).

To start with - I've only just bought two 1TB Samsung 980 Pro drives - but plan on getting more storage and maybe a separate drive for gaming?

One of the 2x drives will be the System drive... the other will be either:

Split use - Music Production (audio recordings, Sample Libraries etc) + Gaming Installations?

or

Just use it for Music Production and get a new drive just for Game Installs?

The Music Production could get pretty damn heavy which is why that’s far more likely to need the extra speed from the PCIE 4.0. So I’ll definitely use it for that no matter what – whether I split it or not.


However, From everything I've read - it seems a lot of people think PCIE 4.0 NVME's are wasted on Game Installations?

Is this true?

Is PCIE 3.0 even wasted on Games compared to 2.5" SSD or 3/5" HDD?


The other question is how much Storage size for Games?

I intend to play a lot of much bigger, modern games like Far Cry 6, Doom Eternal, Tomb Raider series, Assassin’s Creed etc and I know games are getting between 70-150gb each (so far)?

As I plan to have at least 5-10 + games installed at any one time - I really wouldn't fit many games on 1TB?

So whether I use one of these drives or get another slower drive... I'm wondering is 1TB enough or should I go a lot larger?

Or should I stay at 1TB and just be judicious with what I uninstall when needed or when I’m done with a game?

As I’m really not experienced with gaming for the last 10 years – I’m keen to hear your recommendations. I’ll take that advice and hit the shops tomorrow!


Thank you for your help!
 

Brian Boru

Moderator
should I stay at 1TB and just be judicious with what I uninstall when needed or when I’m done with a game?
Depends mainly on your internet speed. If you can download & install 100GB in 10 minutes, then you don't need extra storage. And of course, uninstall when you're done.

One of the 2x drives will be the System drive
Why 1TB for system drive? Are you planning a bunch of OSs on virtual drives? If so, make sure you get 32 or 64GB RAM.

But if it's Windows only, 128GB is plenty. If you also keep your software—not games—on system disk, then you may want to go for 256GB. I have a lot of software on C: and use 140GB, altho it's been fuller before—plus you want to keep some free space on every drive.

Get a smaller 128-256 for OS & software, use 1TB for audio and 1 TB for games. Have you an external backup yet? That should be 2TB or more.
 
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Jan 15, 2020
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Yea, id grab something smaller for your OS like Brian suggested. You dont want to really have that mixed in with your games/audio projects. The two 1TB 980 pro's should be a good start for you if you havent been worried about games for a while. Only a handful of games reach over 100gb's anyways, so you should be able to have a good amount installed at 1tb and if you need to add more later, you can do that then.

My 12th gen build, when its finally complete, im only starting off with one 1tb 980 pro and im gonna be using it stricly for gaming. I know ill probably add more in the future. But im not one that leaves a bunch of games installed either since i have 1gb internet and it doesnt take all that long to d/l games if i run into space issues
 
But if it's Windows only, 128GB is plenty. If you also keep your software—not games—on system disk, then you may want to go for 256GB. I have a lot of software on C: and use 140GB, altho it's been fuller before—plus you want to keep some free space on every drive.
if its a 1tb drive, I wouldn't bother even partitioning it. It doesn't matter how much space it uses then. Partitioning a drive with C on it to me is a waste of time as if/when you reinstall windows you normally have to wipe the drive its on, and any other partitions are lost.

I normally suggest minimum of 256gb for C now on Win 10, it gives you space to move and allows windows space to grow, and you to put maybe a game or two on as well.
People try to buy 120gb ssd and put windows on them and its just too squishy.
I am same usage as you were on a 250gb ssd, I used 140gb max and doggedly only had applications on the ssd that needed to be reinstalled with windows. Everything that could be reused was on my 2tb hdd. I was going to do similar on current PC but i got a 1tb nvme when I expected a 500 and my 3tb hdd is suddenly not really needed anymore.

Everyone is different in usage, I don't use my space, others I know have NAS drives with several 8tb drives. All I think of then is more you have, more you need to back up.
 
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Brian Boru

Moderator
My setup, with brief reasons:

♣ 256GB SSD—for OS & programs only, small size makes the monthly disk image under 30 minutes, and easy to clone if I need to transfer to another PC.
♦ 1TB SSD—for games, where my ones I replay are permanently installed. Others I install to play, then uninstall.
♥ 4TB HDD—for files. I use my PC for work & play, so I have a lot of documents built up over the years—but only half full. In future I may use the Copy/Paste trick @Kaamos_Llama mentioned elsewhere to keep a few extra Steam replay candidates local.
♠ 4TB External USB—to backup the HDD and keep some archives of old stuff, plus a few 256 SSD images.

I also have a couple of offsite options for vital files.
 
Almost all my files that I create are backed up to onedrive almost right away so while I do have backups of most of the files I need, I can download any I don't. This current PC was set up without the need for me to transfer any files from old PC.
For a long time my biggest concern was losing all my music that I had put on PC off CD, it would have taken too long to recreate it. Now I have it all on a 256gb USB 3 flash drive, as well as on Onedrive, and this PC (obviously) so I am not as concerned of losing it all as I used to be.
 
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