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How's the performance of installing Steam games to an external USB 3.0 HDD??

#1wheepitupPosted 3/13/2014 1:30:59 PM
Like compared to a normal internal 7200 rpm mechanical HDD? If you use 3.0 usb port is it comparable or are you gonna get stutter issues?

I realize I could just try it myself but i just wanted to check first if anyone has experience with this. The reason i ask is cause ive got almost a tb free on an external usb hdd that i could put more games on if the performance hit isn't too bad.
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#2SinisterSlayPosted 3/13/2014 1:31:56 PM
Most games (but not all) don't need drive access except for loading screens. So their shouldn't be any stutter.
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#3wheepitup(Topic Creator)Posted 3/13/2014 1:32:27 PM
SinisterSlay posted...
Most games (but not all) don't need drive access except for loading screens. So their shouldn't be any stutter.


I guess it would only affect open world games then.
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#4SinisterSlayPosted 3/13/2014 1:36:52 PM(edited)
wheepitup posted...
SinisterSlay posted...
Most games (but not all) don't need drive access except for loading screens. So their shouldn't be any stutter.


I guess it would only affect open world games then.


And probably UE3 games as they like to stream textures.

-Edit
You can remove some stutter by disabling quick removal on drives (enabling delayed writes). This lets windows make a RAM cache for the drive.
But you can suffer data loss if you remove the drive without doing the safely remove thing in windows.
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#5El MagnificoPosted 3/13/2014 1:47:30 PM
SinisterSlay posted...
wheepitup posted...
SinisterSlay posted...
Most games (but not all) don't need drive access except for loading screens. So their shouldn't be any stutter.


I guess it would only affect open world games then.


And probably UE3 games as they like to stream textures.

-Edit
You can remove some stutter by disabling quick removal on drives (enabling delayed writes). This lets windows make a RAM cache for the drive.
But you can suffer data loss if you remove the drive without doing the safely remove thing in windows.


It's unlikely that the game will be writing to the disk so enabling the write caching isn't going to impact the read performance.

#6PsythikPosted 3/13/2014 1:49:11 PM
wheepitup posted...
SinisterSlay posted...
Most games (but not all) don't need drive access except for loading screens. So their shouldn't be any stutter.


I guess it would only affect open world games then.
Yeah, for sure. Fallout: New Vegas is a good example. I have a ton of mods for it and the game stuttered constantly until I moved the Meshes & Textures folders to the SSD.
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#7wheepitup(Topic Creator)Posted 3/13/2014 1:56:09 PM
I guess I will try it out and see how the performance is. If it's decent then thats another 1 tb for me to install more games hah.
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#8DV8ingSourcesPosted 3/13/2014 1:58:40 PM
If its a true USB 3 device, I imagine it wouldn't be much of a bottleneck at all as most games would need sustained read, not necessarily random seek performance. Let us know how it goes. I can't imagine it would be much worse than an internal drive.
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#9wheepitup(Topic Creator)Posted 3/13/2014 2:25:48 PM
DV8ingSources posted...
If its a true USB 3 device, I imagine it wouldn't be much of a bottleneck at all as most games would need sustained read, not necessarily random seek performance. Let us know how it goes. I can't imagine it would be much worse than an internal drive.


http://www.amazon.com/Passport-Ultra-Portable-External-Backup/dp/B00E83X9P8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1394749510&sr=8-2&keywords=usb+hdd+my+passport

It's one of those, says it's 3.0, not sure what "true" 3.0 means but yea.
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#10Digital StormPosted 3/13/2014 2:35:16 PM
I run all my games off an external, no problems, no real slow down except for Skyrim which is a bit of a sloth when starting up initially.
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