How Much Can Hard Drive Speed Affect Gaming Performance?

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#1 Posted by yomonkey (100 posts) -

Hi, I was a bit of a noob when I built my rig (still am mostly) and I cheaped out on the Hard Drive. I haven't been getting the performance I want recently and am wondering how much a slow hard drive can affect overall performance. The drive I got is a 500gb, 8mb cache, 5400 RPM, SATA 2 Western Digital Scorpio Blue. Turns out also its a notebook hard drive, and I'm using it in my desktop.... oops.

the rest of my Specs:

Dual 5770s Xfire

AMD Anthlon iix4 640 3.0 ghz

8gb RAM 1600mhz

Windows 7 64 bit

700W PSU

Avatar image for Silicel1
#2 Posted by Silicel1 (2342 posts) -
Beside read/write performance you wont have problems.
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#3 Posted by yomonkey (100 posts) -

I hear a slow hard drive can affect load times (which I don't care about that much) and also can cause stuttering in games that stream textures or map info etc. I have been having stuttering problems in games like Battlefield 3... then again loads of people are having stuttering problems in BF3. Anyone know if this is true?

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#5 Posted by Tim_Millington (1615 posts) -

I cannot imagine the HDD would affect gaming performance that much. Have you checked the temps of your cpu and gpus while running BF3?

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#6 Posted by ProjectPat187 (2154 posts) -
atleast get a 7200rpm HD you will definitely see a nice speed performance boost
Avatar image for risle
#7 Posted by risle (25 posts) -
I'll take a research about this.
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#8 Posted by yachtboy (1612 posts) -

Ppl game on 5400 drives all the time.... We often get too caught up in numbers and go overboard. Did I choose a 5400 for my pc? Of course not, but that was because the price difference was basically none and everyone gets 7200. With that said, if you want to do anything at all invest in an ssd and after hdd prices fall more get a 1tb or 1.5tb blue or black WD.

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#9 Posted by markop2003 (29917 posts) -
Won't make a huge difference after the data is loaded into RAM. Disk speed only matters when you are reading or writing to the disk, during game play most of the resources are stored in RAM so you're not using the disk.
Avatar image for FelipeInside
#10 Posted by FelipeInside (28548 posts) -
ONE thing people forget. Some games actually load DURING gameplay (like an FPS which loads the next level while you are playing the current one), so a slow hard drive can cause a bit of a slowdown in these cases.
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#11 Posted by red12355 (1251 posts) -
Why would loading the next level cause the current level to slow down? That would just be bad coding on the developer's part.
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#12 Posted by FelipeInside (28548 posts) -
Why would loading the next level cause the current level to slow down? That would just be bad coding on the developer's part.red12355
Maybe, but I've seen it happen.
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#13 Posted by seercirra (311 posts) -

5400 is really crappy. if you have enough ram then there wont be much file swapping during the game (but almost always some), but this varies game to game and some games will be drastically effected by hard drive performance, such as mmo's where it is not possible to load every item of equipment in the game into ram, new textures, equipment, models etc will load from the hard drive, and make you stutter.

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#14 Posted by kraken2109 (13271 posts) -

Big open world games like skyrim and mmos might stutter when loading new content, but in most games only load times will change