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Best Hard Drive For Gaming?

Posted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:27 am UTC
by gadgetick
I have a pretty good rig . GTX 580, i7 950 processor, 12 GB memory But my seagate 1 TB hard drive lets me down. 

Can I get some feedback on what Hard Drives are good for loading times, Bootup. But also just practically good for gaming . Price range not a problem but Not over say $600 thank you 

Re: Best Hard Drive For Gaming?

Posted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 9:44 pm UTC
by KnightExemplar
How much space we talking about?

Solid-State is the best technology right now. You can get a 1TB MLC SSD for $260: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6820226596

MLC is a good "middle of the road" SSD. TLC is a good bit cheaper, but the performance characteristics are weaker. TLC is still much faster than a normal hard drive though.

Super-high performance is relegated to PCIe drive, but the expenses shoot through the roof.

Re: Best Hard Drive For Gaming?

Posted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:07 pm UTC
by wumpus
Note that while all "unbelievably fast" drives are PCIe drives, the inexpensive ones can be iffy.

I suspect that the crucial BX300 series (in 2.5" form factor) is what you want. ~$0.25/G and reasonably fast (compared to other SSDs. Compared to "old seagates" it is blindingly fast).

Compared to this, there is the Intel P600 series, which is about the same speed (and a PCIe connection) that isn't necessarily faster (but more expensive). There is also the Patriot Hellfire which *does* seem a bit faster, but is ~50% more expensive. I suspect you won't notice the extra speed, and I'd prefer to leave the m.2 slot open for a "fast" PCIe beast should they become affordable (buying a PCI-e expansion card for a m.2 isn't something I'd prefer).

Of course, all this assumes that your system is held back by the hard drive. I'd believe it is, but after sticking a SSD in my father's old [dual athlon/4?GB system] I don't think I noticed any difference (this is much more likely true of anyone buying the PCIe systems mentioned above vs a SATA SSD). Also, if you don't have m.2 slots on your motherboard (something I wouldn't expect in a system with a 1T "old seagate") then it is a non-issue: just get a 2.5" sata drive.

Sources:
http://pcpartpicker.com/products/intern ... =a7&page=1 (SSDs sorted by price/GB. If it is reliable and fits your budget and data, that should be enough.)
http://www.anandtech.com/show/11104/the ... vme-tested (patriot hellfire review)
http://www.anandtech.com/show/10850/the ... 2gb-review (Intel P600 review)
http://www.anandtech.com/show/11130/pre ... nand-512gb (more on what drives the P600 and [presumably] similar later products

Re: Best Hard Drive For Gaming?

Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 12:58 pm UTC
by mosc
not over $600? How is the recommendation not a Samsung 960 Pro 1TB?

Re: Best Hard Drive For Gaming?

Posted: Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:37 pm UTC
by RickyOrrooho
An SSD will be your best bet. Any made from Crucial, Samsung, or Sandisk would be my best recommendations. Kingston isn't too bad either.

If you're going to put all your games on there outside of the ones that you will play the most frequently then I'd suggest going for an SSD that's around 400GB or more.

Re: Best Hard Drive For Gaming?

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:33 pm UTC
by KnightExemplar
RickyOrrooho wrote:An SSD will be your best bet. Any made from Crucial, Samsung, or Sandisk would be my best recommendations. Kingston isn't too bad either.


IMO, not quite. Its less important to look at the brands and more important to look at the technology.

There are basically three kinds of SSDs available:

* SLC (Single bit per cell) -- The original SSDs. They are the fastest and most reliable, but are not really available anymore.

* MLC (Multi-level Cells: 2-bits per cell)-- Originally designed to be cheaper than the original "SLC" (single level cells) SSDs... MLC have proven themselves to be reliable enough. With 2-bits per cell, they fit 2x the storage in the same number of cells. Advanced in SSD technology have made MLCs extraordinarily fast. In theory, SLC is faster... but in practice... SLC aren't made anymore. So high-quality MLC is what you should look for.

* TLC (Triple-level Cell) -- A relatively new innovation, adding 50% more storage capacity over the MLC drives. However, there are reliability issues in the early TLC drives... see the Samsung 840 Evo issues. Despite issues with the 840 EVO, it seems like Samsung fixed the TLC issue by the 850 Evo, so be sure to buy 850 Evo or newer. Other companies have TLC-drives... but the technology is new enough that its hard to prove their reliability. TLC is also much slower to write than MLC... in some cases... TLC drives are even slower than Hard Drives on writing speed!

Of course, there are varying grades within the styles. The Mushkin Reactor is a budget MLC drive, the Intel 750 will outperform it by incredible margins. Indeed, the Samsung 850 Evo is the best TLC drive and seems to hold its own against the cheaper MLC drives. The lowest quality TLC drives are pretty crap however.

The Mushkin Reactor is an MLC drive available for $250 / TB right now. The Samsung 850 Evo is considered the best quality TLC drive, but its $350 / TB.

Samsung's MLC line is the 850 Pro for $465. It got more IOPS than the budget Mushkin Reactor.

-----------

So I guess... the long story short is... buy the Mushkin Reactor, unless you want to go high-end with PCIe / NVMe drives. Mushkin buys the flash from Crucial and just packages it together.

Re: Best Hard Drive For Gaming?

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:20 pm UTC
by mosc
Do you have an M-2 slot or a PCI-E 16x slot? If so, why are you looking at anything SATA based?

Re: Best Hard Drive For Gaming?

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:05 pm UTC
by KnightExemplar
mosc wrote:Do you have an M-2 slot or a PCI-E 16x slot? If so, why are you looking at anything SATA based?


Based on the original post: i7 950 processor

I don't think those older boards had an M.2 slot. M.2 wasn't very popular 8 years ago.

Re: Best Hard Drive For Gaming?

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:42 pm UTC
by Tub
M.2 is electically compatible with PCIe, so adapter cards are cheap - there's not a single controller chip on them. But I doubt the old computer has PCIe 3.0, and 4x PCIe 2.0 is limited to 2000MB/sec. It would be cruel to buy a 3200MB/sec drive and put it in there.

I expect the additional speed to be useless for gaming. Most games still optimize asset compression for HDDs or slow SSDs, so loading times are likely CPU limited even with a regular SSD.

Personally, I'd buy a 500GB SSD for ~200 bucks, keep the old HDD for less performance sensitive data and for backups, and then use the remaining 400 bucks on something more useful. Bigger monitor, better speakers/headphones, or just saving it towards the next computer.

Re: Best Hard Drive For Gaming?

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:08 pm UTC
by KnightExemplar
Tub wrote:Personally, I'd buy a 500GB SSD for ~200 bucks


I hope you mean $250 on a 1TB SSD: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6820226596

Aside from that, I agree with your post.

just saving it towards the next computer.


In particular, AMD's "RyZen" platform shows single-threaded improvements over 3000-series Intel Core, while Intel's has continued to have incremental improvements in single-threaded performance each generation (all the way to the current Kaby-lake 7000-series). The 8-year old 950 is likely ~40%+ slower than modern processors (especially since the "big jump" was the 2000-series "Sandy Bridge" processors).

So I think anyone who has something older than a 3rd-generation (3000-series) Intel Core should look into upgrading.

The GTX 580 is roughly five-generations old. Since the GPU is the most important component for gaming, I'd consider upgrading that first.

Re: Best Hard Drive For Gaming?

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:48 pm UTC
by Tub
KnightExemplar wrote:I hope you mean $250 on a 1TB SSD: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6820226596

"bucks" is a currency that may or may not be similar to either us dollars or euros and may or may not include VAT. That one is 280€ here, and a 500GB drive is just over half of that. But that's where the OP needs to thrift through their data and decide how much of that needs to go onto the SSD and how much can stay on the HDD.

Re: Best Hard Drive For Gaming?

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:51 pm UTC
by KnightExemplar
Tub wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:I hope you mean $250 on a 1TB SSD: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6820226596

"bucks" is a currency that may or may not be similar to either us dollars or euros and may or may not include VAT. That one is 280€ here, and a 500GB drive is just over half of that. But that's where the OP needs to thrift through their data and decide how much of that needs to go onto the SSD and how much can stay on the HDD.


I was not aware that "bucks" can refer to Euros. I stand corrected then.

Re: Best Hard Drive For Gaming?

Posted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:50 am UTC
by jastim
You can't go wrong with SSD's. Also, they are getting more affordable these days.

Re: Best Hard Drive For Gaming?

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:30 pm UTC
by roflwaffle
You could also try 16GB-32GB of Intel Optane, either as a your boot drive if your installation is smaller enough, or as a cache for the HDD.

Depending on the workload, it provides performance that's similar to or better than very good SSDs.

https://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/8157/ ... ndex6.html

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Re: Best Hard Drive For Gaming?

Posted: Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:03 pm UTC
by Tub
Uh, what? For around the same price, you can get either one of these:
- 32 GB of Optane M.2, 1350 MB/sec read, 290 MB/sec write
- 120 GB of M.2 SSD, 3000 MB/sec read, 2400 MB/sec write
- 256 GB of SATA SSD, ~600 MB/sec read, ~500 MB/sec write

I'm not sure why you'd ever consider the first on a gaming rig. Optane has some interesting properties compared to regular SSDs, but most of those are irrelevant for gaming. What is relevant is the size - for short loading times, you'll need to fit both OS and game on the SSD, and 32 GB just won't do.

The write speeds aren't too important for gaming, so let's talk read speeds. Considering the horrible price per GB and the slow write speeds, you'd expect read speed to outclass the competition, but they don't. Optane is slightly ahead in random reads (less than a factor of 2), but falls way behind in sequential reads (more than a factor of two). Guess which one most game engines are optimized for? (Hint: it's the one that HDDs are better at.)

tl;dr: too small and too expensive with little advantages for a gaming rig. Optane is worth its price in a few select use cases, but gaming isn't one of them.

Re: Best Hard Drive For Gaming?

Posted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:02 pm UTC
by roflwaffle
I think it depends on what's being loaded/used. Optane has much better read latency than even the best SSDs, so if enough stuff can be cached, optane plus an HDD could be better than an SSD of the same cost. On the other hand, if there are more small files that can't be read sequentially than can fit on 32gb, a inexpensive 240gb SSD would certainly be better.

What I'm really curious about is a system with optane, an SSD, and an HDD. That may provide 95%+ of the performance of a large, higher-end SSD with more storage capacity at lower cost.

Who would have thought that just by adding a little 32GB Optane Memory module to cache an HDD you could actually get better system response in most scenarios than you will get from the best flash-based SSD? In reality, it is the most effective low cost storage solution devised to date. Optane Memory is changing the game, in a way that is likely to breathe new life (at least for few years) into the quickly fading mechanical HDD industry.

Read more: https://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/8157/ ... ndex9.html


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