Installing GTA V and You (HDDS, DISCs and USBs).

#1crawdadPosted 9/19/2013 7:51:42 AMmessage detail(edited)
Introduction

Ok so there's a bunch of confusion as to the "hows" and "whys" with the installation process, what it does and what it means for GTA V on the 360.

So here's a rundown of Why games in general have installs.

So the basic part of it is that the system can read off of a Flash Drive or Hard Drive faster than it can off of a Disc (be it Blu Ray or DVD9). Which is why both versions (PS3 and 360) have a mandatory install. This allows the system to access frequently used game assets and portions of the game that will directly affect user experience. Essentially maintaining an optimal experience for the player.

As games have gotten bigger and standards have gotten higher, 360 games now have Install disks either for additional content (Like "HD) packs or general asset disks, like the Halo 4 install disc and the GTA V install disk.

What Makes GTA V so special?
Now what does all this mean for GTA V and why is this game different? well simply put, no ONE portion of the game relies on the install disc (eg, Multiplayer, HD packs etc), the overall game experience does which is why it's REQUIRED and not optional.

Here's where things have been confusing for most people.

Based on Rockstar's comments and anecdotal evidence. it appears there's both issues and improvements based on how you install which disc where. Here's the summarised version that most people will be here for.

I will refer to each disc as they are labeled on the actual Disc, the INSTALL disc, which is the one solely used to install the assets from the game to the selected storage device, and the PLAY disc, which is the one you need in your Console in order to play the game.

Ok so what should I do if I want the best experience?
There are 2 places to install either disc and about 4 combinations with varying results based on user preferences/resources and game coding.. Here they are and their results.

Install Both INSTALL and PLAY discs to the same storage Device (HDD or USB) yields >
Lowest Performance Quality (long load times and various graphical errors and glitches) Not Recommended

Install the INSTALL Disc to a Drive (USB or internal HDD) and Play off the the PLAY disc without installation of the PLAY disc. Yields >
Reduces or minimises graphical errors and glitches as well as reduces or removes most framerate problems .The Rockstar approved method.

Install the INSTALL disc to the HDD and the PLAY disc to a USB device.
Yields >
Near optimal experience with an even greater reduction in load times and graphical problems. Resulted from separate asset locations each with faster read speeds. Recommended through anecdotal evidence.

Install the INSTALL Disc to a USB device and the PLAY disc to the Internal HDD Yields >
Best and most optimal results. HDD has the fastest read speed and the PLAY disc is accessed more frequently while taking advantage of the coding to utilise separate sources for the games assets, resulting in fastest load times and minimal graphical imperfections overall. Most recommended option.
#2crawdad(Topic Creator)Posted 9/19/2013 7:56:10 AMmessage detail(edited)
Conclusion a.k.a TL;DR version

So basically here's how it goes based on what you should or shouldn't do based on experience and Rockstar comments.

Seeing as you HAVE to install the INSTALL disc either way, if you don't have a USB to spare don't bother installing both to the HDD, there's nothing to gain from this. the game runs worse because it confuses itself and, it uses up extra HDD space you normally wouldn't have to, and you still have to have the PLAY disc in your console in the end.

So if you have no USB, only install the INSTALL disc and play off of the PLAY disc.

if you DO have a spare USB Drive, install the INSTALL disc to the USB and the PLAY disc to the HDD for the best experience.

PLEASE REQUEST STICKY IF YOU THINK THIS IS HELPFUL

DISCLAIMER: If using a non slim, or old "Fat" 360, and you don't have the luxury of 2 separate devices or storage media, installing both to one media might be your better option because heat/temperature and/or noise issues related to the older consoles from disc reading might be a bigger problem than graphical degradation. Consider the thread a heads up of what to expect if this is your only real route.
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#3yay4pachirisuPosted 9/19/2013 7:47:35 AMmessage detail
Isn't the play disc just audio and video aspects? I don't understand the best option being that.

Also, will USB decrease game freezes/crashes?
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#4JamdbzPosted 9/19/2013 7:49:27 AMmessage detail
This may seem like a silly question, but if I have the install disk on the HDD already and play off the disk, is it alright for me to delete the install disk from my HDD to install on a flash drive, then install the play disk to the HDD without risking any of my save data?

My initials thoughts would be that this shouldn't affect my data at all, but you never know.

Also, sticky requested; thanks for the guide
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#540DribylfPosted 9/19/2013 7:49:55 AMmessage detail
Great topic. Requesting for sticky.
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#640DribylfPosted 9/19/2013 7:52:35 AMmessage detail
Jamdbz posted...
This may seem like a silly question, but if I have the install disk on the HDD already and play off the disk, is it alright for me to delete the install disk from my HDD to install on a flash drive, then install the play disk to the HDD without risking any of my save data?

My initials thoughts would be that this shouldn't affect my data at all, but you never know.

Also, sticky requested; thanks for the guide


Yes, I just did this. Just delete the install data and don't touch your save data, and you'll be fine.
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#7crawdad(Topic Creator)Posted 9/19/2013 7:52:47 AMmessage detail
Jamdbz posted...
This may seem like a silly question, but if I have the install disk on the HDD already and play off the disk, is it alright for me to delete the install disk from my HDD to install on a flash drive, then install the play disk to the HDD without risking any of my save data?

My initials thoughts would be that this shouldn't affect my data at all, but you never know.

Also, sticky requested; thanks for the guide


Fair question actually, install data is completely separte from your save data. It should be clearly labelled in the 360 storage management page.
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#8crawdad(Topic Creator)Posted 9/19/2013 7:56:51 AMmessage detail
Just added the Old/Fat 360 disclaimer. Seems important enough to put in.
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Spit in the face of life and have a good day out of sheer f****** spite!
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#9BurningNovaFirePosted 9/19/2013 7:59:27 AMmessage detail
Thanks for the info on this. Very helpful.

Request sticky!
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#10Gamebay11Posted 9/19/2013 7:59:40 AMmessage detail
How big is the play disc install?
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