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The question is:

Can I make an estimate with a game's system requirements to decide which type of disk is "better" for it?


I bought a SSD drive. I wanted speed, but, as usual there's the issue of space. SSD for the OS, right. But, what about games? I want some games to also take advantage of its speed. But, again, limited space. I also have a HDD. I'm thinking about an Hybrid drive because of the issue of space. I guess I have to decide which game is going to the SSD or the HDD (or possibly a hybrid disk in the near future)

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Your question is very vague, I would suggest refining it if you want a clear answer. You can look at this page How to Ask for more info on how to ask a good question. As for what your doing if your using a desktop why not use your RAM as storage? – 50-3 Sep 6 '13 at 3:35
Hard drives are usually good enough - unless you have massive loading times its a non issue – Journeyman Geek Sep 6 '13 at 3:47
What is your budget? If you have $650 you can get a 1tb crucial m500 and all your space issues are solved. – cybernard Sep 6 '13 at 4:04
@JourneymanGeek So, the only issue is actually loading times? – Karolinger Sep 6 '13 at 5:02
@50-3 I have radically simplify it. How about now? – Karolinger Sep 6 '13 at 5:04
up vote 4 down vote accepted

To my experience, gaming don't really require HDD speed as game mainly only need HDD space for storing the in-game textures. But when you play your game, textures that the game needed will be loaded into RAM, and it will work from there.

Some games will not care what the HDD are, some faster HDD/SSD will affect loading time. Some games like oblivion where all areas are rendered on the fly as you are coming closer, will just read as much as they believe is needed.

Other game like ... say Resident Evil, where they would give you a quick cut scene between areas, the faster the HDD read speed, the better as it will give them time to load the textures for the new area.

Note: None of these have been tested but all just conclusion and opinion based on my personal opinion and experience with multiple hardware and games that I've tried. If someone else has done actual testing, feel free to support or provide contradictory proof as needed.

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That's what I have been thinking: textures. So, textures are mostly loaded into RAM and not accessed constantly. That sounds about logical – Karolinger Sep 6 '13 at 9:29

"Fast enough" is a vary vague term.

In terms of System requirements there isn't a game on the market that I have seen that will require a SSD as part of minimum system requirements

This being said you will see a performance gain from a faster storage system. In my personal list of achievable storage options:

  1. Ram Disk (Insane speeds, low load time, high cost, tiny storage, unstable)
  2. PCI SSD (Crazy speeds, low load time, Crazy cost, small storage)
  3. SSD (Great speed, low load times, scaling costs, small storage unless you have the bank to support it)
  4. SSD as a cache (Good speed, lower load times, scaling costs, Large storage as you can easily pair it with a 1/2/3TB hard drive)
  5. HDD (Average speeds, average load times, Cheap, Large storage)

It's all a balancing act of cost/performance when you talk about gaming

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SSD wins in gaming, the speed increase is just to great to ignore. If you can't afford an SSD go with a normal hard disk unless the game you play uses the same data repeatedly, e.g. Heroes of Newerth, Dota, and League of Legends all use the same map data over and over so a hybrid is fantastic. If you were playing a FPS you would sit on one map for 20+ minutes and then cycle to a different map flushing the data out of the hybrid drive and loading fresh data which would be limited to the speed of mechanical parts of the drive.

You can always buy one SSD to start with and add more later as your space requirements increase.

Now, as to your question, You can sort of estimate what type of HDD is best. The larger the game the more valuable an SSD will become in my opinion. Single player games really shine on SSD as the transitions between cinematics and gameplay can become near seamless.

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so drive speed while the gameplay is running isn't really an issue? – Karolinger Sep 13 '13 at 3:13

The speed of the hard drive, or how fast you can move information off the drive into RAM, will not affect gameplay, unless the game is actively loading textures, etc, during gameplay.

The speed of the hard drive comes into play.... well, let's look at Team Fortress 2. The players with the fastest hard drives will load the map first and be in the game first. Those with slower drives will come in moments later... and sometimes it will be enough to get them fragged by those who loaded first. Why? The faster the drive, the faster the information loads and can be used.

So. Having a fast SSD will mean your game will load quicker. Once it is loaded, the speed of the drive becomes a moot point.

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Are there games than often load textures while playing? – Karolinger Sep 13 '13 at 3:11
Big games, MMO's like World of Warcraft for example where you are flying around in a large open world in a game consisting of 20-30GB of data. – Mokilok Sep 13 '13 at 5:37
Thanks for your comment @Mokilok – Karolinger Sep 26 '13 at 2:22

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