Storage Size/Type for Games ?

Aug 22, 2021
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Hello

What size drive would you recommend I get for Games?
I'm looking for something that will definitely have enough room for my needs now AND in the Future too?

I'd love two different suggestions from you...
1) Min/Max needed for the Average Gamer (whatever that is)
2) Min/Max needed for the Hardcore Gamer (we all know that guy!)

I want to make sure I have enough storage - but don't want to waste money on vastly more than I'll ever use (on a budget of sorts).


I haven't really gamed for like 5-10 years so cut me some slack with my list here...
These are the kinds of games I've liked in the past - I hope to get a lot of new games too.
I won't bother listing the tinier little games as that's not really gonna matter so much.

Tomb Raider 2013 (the first Reboot)
Far Cry series
Crysis series
Americas Army
Bioshock
Racing Games like Need for Speed, Dirt 3
2D/Platformer/Puzzler games like Portal, Battleblock Theater etc
Dishonoured
Maybe Skyrim type stuff
Spintires
Euro Truck Simulator 2
Metro series
Wolfenstein/Doom series
Trine series
Tiny and Big
Sandbox Universe
Unmechanical
War games like COD etc etc
Shadow Warrior
CS Go online type shooters/army
ARMA series
Sim City/Civilisation Series type of game


Also - it sounds like there's no real need to go faster than old school SSD or PCIE 3.0 Nvme for gaming? Is that right?
What would be the minimum, and better suggestions?.... and I'll just assume the 'if you are rich and it doesn't matter' category equals just buy everything.

I was thinking 500gb-1Tb at least .... or is that overkill or 'underkill?'

I really just don't have a sense for just how big game installations are these days... can you give me some examples?



thank you for your help


cheers
 

From a year ago, but still relevant.

For example currently I have 1,2 TB of SSD dedicated to games, 40 games taking up about 850 GB installed.

Get a 1TB NVME drive as long as you have room on the motherboard, they're no cheaper than SATA drives now. If you want to spend a bit more you can pick up a decent 2TB drive. Toms Hardware has a buying guide here


Dont worry about getting the fastest drives, there's currently no noticeable difference for gaming load times. If you want to move a lot of games between two very fast drives quickly, then you might see the difference

Might be some tech changes in the not to distant future but I think we're O.K to stay off PCI-E4.0 for a few years yet without losing out on anything much playing games.
 
Aug 22, 2021
152
60
670

From a year ago, but still relevant.

For example currently I have 1,2 TB of SSD dedicated to games, 40 games taking up about 850 GB installed.

That's a good start... I'd definitely like to get a sense of the older games too. Maybe I'll try and search for something similar by year.

Do you think you'll fill that up anytime soon?
Do you still have a lot of games installed on that which you are finished with or unlikley to go back to - or all pretty active games?



Get a 1TB NVME drive as long as you have room on the motherboard, they're no cheaper than SATA drives now. If you want to spend a bit more you can pick up a decent 2TB drive.

I know old school spinning HDD's used to run faster/better the more empty space they had (or at least less full)... it it true that that is not the case anymore with any type of drive higher than that? Eg doesn't make any difference how full drives are if they're not external or spinners?


Cheers
 
That's a good start... I'd definitely like to get a sense of the older games too. Maybe I'll try and search for something similar by year.

Do you think you'll fill that up anytime soon?
Do you still have a lot of games installed on that which you are finished with or unlikley to go back to - or all pretty active games?





I know old school spinning HDD's used to run faster/better the more empty space they had (or at least less full)... it it true that that is not the case anymore with any type of drive higher than that? Eg doesn't make any difference how full drives are if they're not external or spinners?


Cheers
I want to buy more storage because I'd rather have every game I own installed to play on a whim. Loved the days when you just had to whack in a disk or 3 and you were ready to go in 10 minutes. My download isnt the greatest so often the biggest games take several hours and by that point the mood or time window is gone.

Write speed varies by drive. Generally writes slow down as the SSD fills up, can be down to HDD speeds even. As well as PCI-E version I believe this also depends somewhat on the type of flash used (QLC is slowest and cheapest TLC is better and MLC I dont think used anymore much best), the controller, and whether the drive has a DRAM cache or not. Most people say to keep them at 80% of capacity to keep them zippy and help them last longer. Just the basics as I understand them, I dont think it affects the average gamer much, as games are using reads to load and most arent transferring huge game files between drives.

For music production moving a lot of large audio files you maybe want to get something zippier, but I'm even less expert on that. :)
 
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Personally 1TB of storage is the minimum I'd recommend for a modern PC build (there is an argument for lower in low budget builds, though). Personally, I think an SSD for the operating system is essentially a requirement in modern times. A 128gb or 256gb for the OS + 1TB HDD for games has been a classic combo for awhile.

Still, if it is within budget I would really recommend avoiding HDDs for gaming (they are fine for mass storage). In some cases the difference in loading times is quite considerable, and there is an expectation that storage speed will become more important in the future (although this is uncertain, of course).

For SSDs, I would recommend PCIe gen3 NVMEs. @Kaamos_Llama intelligently points out that these drives are really no more expensive than SATA SSDs and much faster. Gen4 drives are not necessary currently but it is not clear the extent to which storage speed will matter in the future of gaming. Still, I can't imagine Gen4 speeds being relevant for at least a few years, likely more.

Personally, I have three 1TB SSDs, but I'm also someone who likes having a ton of games installed and my internet is not very good so I tend to be reticent to uninstall larger games. If you have a small library and/or good internet, sticking with a 1TB NVME should be sufficient. 2TB might not be a bad idea if you only have 1 NVME slot on your motherboard. If you have multiple slots then you can also just upgrade down the road if it becomes a problem.
 

ZedClampet

Community Contributor
Get the biggest storage you can find. Some games are ridiculously big these days, with CoD coming in at over 200 GB. You listed out a fairly eclectic bunch of games, which indicates to me that you are serious about jumping back into gaming with both feet. If that's the case, just get the biggest and best you can afford. Of course, you can always add more later if you under shoot. I've got 4 drives on my PC and am finally happy with it.

By the way, I recommend adata.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
Your network speed matters A LOT. If you've got unlimited gigabit speeds, there's no need to have big drives to hold all your games. Even if that 200GB game needs to be a 200GB download, it still only takes half an hour to download, so there's no need to keep it on your drive just in case you want to play it again two years later.
 

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