Question Cam a HDD cause FPS and Stuttering issues?

Mar 3, 2020
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Okay so I have what I think is kind of a weird question. Recently I Installed an old 5400 rpm hard drive I was given from my buddies old pc into my Acer Nitro 5. I noticed that when I try to play games that are installed on the drive I experience fps drops and stutters. For example when I play Tony Hawk's American Wasteland I will drop from 60-57, or 60-44 every 5 or 10 seconds which makes this 15 year old game unplayable. My GPU, RAM, and CPU usage is completely normal so that couldn't be the issue. I tried swapping out the hard drive with another 5400 rpm drive I had lying around and encountered the same issues as the first drive which males me believe that this is a hard drive issue, both drives are 5400 rpm and 6 to 7 years old as well. Like I said I'm pretty sure these issues have to do with the age\speed of the drives but I thought it be best to post this and see what people reading this have to say. Any help would be appreciated:).
 
Mar 3, 2020
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Thank you for the quick response:) Unfortunately I can't check the usage because I have already removed the hard drive from the pc. I must say that when I tested both drives the only task\application that was running from the drive was the game and that's so I can't imagine that the disk usage would be that high. Anyways thanks for the response. I've been thinking about upgrading to either a barracuda pro 7200 rpm drive or a samsung QVO SSD anyways so I guess no biggie.
 

Jason H.

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Oct 20, 2013
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Okay so I have what I think is kind of a weird question. Recently I Installed an old 5400 rpm hard drive I was given from my buddies old pc into my Acer Nitro 5. I noticed that when I try to play games that are installed on the drive I experience fps drops and stutters. For example when I play Tony Hawk's American Wasteland I will drop from 60-57, or 60-44 every 5 or 10 seconds which makes this 15 year old game unplayable. My GPU, RAM, and CPU usage is completely normal so that couldn't be the issue. I tried swapping out the hard drive with another 5400 rpm drive I had lying around and encountered the same issues as the first drive which males me believe that this is a hard drive issue, both drives are 5400 rpm and 6 to 7 years old as well. Like I said I'm pretty sure these issues have to do with the age\speed of the drives but I thought it be best to post this and see what people reading this have to say. Any help would be appreciated:).
HDD's do not affect gaming FPS. Only load times.

The issue though is that most games store a "cache" of textures onto the drive the game is on that it uses to grab textures from to save space on your GPU VRAM. Its like when your playing GTA V and you see a tree "pop in" in the distance. Or when traversing a games world and entering new "sectors" of the world.

When using an HDD, these "pop ins" or "new sector load ins" can cause a stutter as the HDD is slow and the gpu and cpu are trying to read from the cache the textures are stored in.

But other than that, HDD's do not affect gaming performance. You will not gain, nor lose fps by using a HDD/SDD. You will however notice less stutter in the situations I said, and you wil have faster load times in all parts of the game.

With that said, SSDs are cheap nowadays and are roughly 10x faster than your standard 7200 HDD. Its like night and day, especially when your Windows is installed onto the ssd, everything just feels more fluent.
 
Reactions: extreme_noob
Mar 4, 2020
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HDD's do not affect gaming FPS. Only load times.

The issue though is that most games store a "cache" of textures onto the drive the game is on that it uses to grab textures from to save space on your GPU VRAM. Its like when your playing GTA V and you see a tree "pop in" in the distance. Or when traversing a games world and entering new "sectors" of the world.

When using an HDD, these "pop ins" or "new sector load ins" can cause a stutter as the HDD is slow and the gpu and cpu are trying to read from the cache the textures are stored in.

But other than that, HDD's do not affect gaming performance. You will not gain, nor lose fps by using a HDD/SDD. You will however notice less stutter in the situations I said, and you wil have faster load times in all parts of the game.

With that said, SSDs are cheap nowadays and are roughly 10x faster than your standard 7200 HDD. Its like night and day, especially when your Windows is installed onto the ssd, everything just feels more fluent.
trying to build off Jason here, keep in mind that you are trying to run a 15 year old game. There are certain issues that come with the more modern Operating Systems when running older issues, so i would recommend trying to run it in compatibility mode. if you don't know how to do that, let me know
 
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Mar 3, 2020
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The issue can't be the game because when I installed it on my SSD it ran flawlessly. It's definitely my HDD. Anyways it's not a big deal now, I'm planning on purchasing a new m.2 ssd in the future.
 

Jason H.

Honorable
Oct 20, 2013
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The issue can't be the game because when I installed it on my SSD it ran flawlessly. It's definitely my HDD. Anyways it's not a big deal now, I'm planning on purchasing a new m.2 ssd in the future.
Well, no matter what it is, going from a HDD to a SSD does not add or take away fps. Maybe your HDD is failing, have you ran a health check on it?

But yea that would be the best option for load times and stutters.
 

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