Question Hard Disk Usage at 100% while Downloading Steam Games

Aug 2, 2021
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Hi Everyone

My PC build has two storage disks which are a 500 GB M.2 for the system, Apps, and some games, and a Seagate BarraCuda 2TB. My CPU is Ryzen 7 5800X. I have an internet connection of 1000 Mb/s and I use a Cat 6 Ethernet Cable.

My problem is that when I download my games on my HDD on steam the downloading speed is too slow and it keeps dropping to zero from time to time as you can see in the attached image. Also, when I open the task manager, it shows that the HDD usage is 100%. However, when I download my games on my SSD, I don't face this problem at all and the downloading speed reaches a maximum speed of about 100 MB/s. I know that SSDs are much faster and more reliable than HDDs, but I am not sure if this is normal or not because I had a previous PC with a similar storage setup, but I didn't face this problem at all. Could anyone help me with this problem, please?


View: https://imgur.com/Cpsk2Jj
 

4745454b

Titan
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What is your spinning drive exactly? Seagate cuda 2TB could be many going from memory.

I'm guessing your filling the cache. Spinning drives are very slow and when it has to "catch up" from all the data coming in it has to stop. What is your avg write speed in total?
 
Aug 2, 2021
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What is your spinning drive exactly? Seagate cuda 2TB could be many going from memory.

I'm guessing your filling the cache. Spinning drives are very slow and when it has to "catch up" from all the data coming in it has to stop. What is your avg write speed in total?
This is the exact model of my HDD: Seagate BarraCuda 2TB Internal Hard Drive HDD – 3.5 Inch SATA 6Gb/s 7200 RPM 256MB Cache 3.5-Inch

And here is an image for the HDD writing speed:
View: https://imgur.com/a/481COly
 

itrip

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I have Two Seagate Barracudas (ST2000DM008) still in my pc and the write speed is usually far above 100MB/s, They are rated for 220MB/s and that is what I see most of the time when copying very large data, I have only noticed a slow down when I copy data larger than a Terabyte at once.

But I do keep my drives cleanly defragmented and trimmed all the time.

You got to remember that some content consists of data that can't be written or read as fast as the hardware is capable of.
 
Aug 2, 2021
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I have Two Seagate Barracudas (ST2000DM008) still in my pc and the write speed is usually far above 100MB/s, They are rated for 220MB/s and that is what I see most of the time when copying very large data, I have only noticed a slow down when I copy data larger than a Terabyte at once.

But I do keep my drives cleanly defragmented and trimmed all the time.

You got to remember that some content consists of data that can't be written or read as fast as the hardware is capable of.
Hi Thanks for the reply.

It is weird that on steam I don't get a writing speed above 100 MB/s. How can I clean my drivers and what is the process that you do to defragment the driver.
 

itrip

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Hi Thanks for the reply.

It is weird that on steam I don't get a writing speed above 100 MB/s. How can I clean my drivers and what is the process that you do to defragment the driver.
I wouldn't worry about that too much if I was you ( regularly different games on steam can only be processed and written/read because of the file types witch they consist of)

To defragment your drives, Close everything except Task Manger hit the performance tab, then open This Pc and right click on any drive, select properties and go to tools, under tools select optimize drives and run that on each drive after every copy or delete action of data, then your drives will all ways be clean and optimal, besides having a look in disk cleanup.

You might also check you settings in power options in the control panel and see if your drives are not set to turn off or go into low power mode.
 
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itrip

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Then you can also check the properties of the drive's hardware tab and change settings, under that you'll be able to see and set if the drive's using it's write-caching settings, usually enabled, but with the second option off.

If none of that helps improve your drive's performance, I would recommend you invest in more advanced drive technology like another SSD or NVMe drive to replace the drives that don't satisfy your requirements anymore.
 
It is steam, not your HDD, i got 1 gigabite conection and i have 3x2TB SSD (WD Green) in raid 0, with a max read/write speed of 1.5 GB/s, when i download something from steam for the download speed of 100MB/s (my max downlaod speeed) i got a SSD usage of 500-700MB/s, i think it decompresses the files in the same time with downloading or something similar.
 

itrip

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It is steam, not your HDD, i got 1 gigabite conection and i have 3x2TB SSD (WD Green) in raid 0, with a max read/write speed of 1.5 GB/s, when i download something from steam for the download speed of 100MB/s (my max downlaod speeed) i got a SSD usage of 500-700MB/s, i think it decompresses the files in the same time with downloading or something similar.
Yeah true that, when you look on the download manager in steam you can see that the contents of the data the games consist of are downloading and decompressing at the same time.
That's why there is a gauge for internet usage and a gauge for the disk usage and the other info for the sizes of the data.
 
Also, when I open the task manager, it shows that the HDD usage is 100%. However, when I download my games on my SSD, I don't face this problem at all and the downloading speed reaches a maximum speed of about 100 MB/s. I know that SSDs are much faster and more reliable than HDDs, but I am not sure if this is normal or not because I had a previous PC with a similar storage setup, but I didn't face this problem at all. Could anyone help me with this problem, please?
Disk Usage is simply the amount of time the disk was busy doing something over the period of one second. It's not a problem per se, especially when you consider that hard drives are loads more slower at servicing requests than SSDs. Like hard drives can only service a few hundred operations per second at best while SSDs can do basically 1000 times that.
 
Aug 2, 2021
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Do some reading about smr disk.
I have just read about it a little bit and looked into my HDD on Amazon. I think mine is smr disk and I Saw a lot of people complaining about the writing speed. That sucks. Also, thanks for mentioning that.
 
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I wouldn't worry about that too much if I was you ( regularly different games on steam can only be processed and written/read because of the file types witch they consist of)

To defragment your drives, Close everything except Task Manger hit the performance tab, then open This Pc and right click on any drive, select properties and go to tools, under tools select optimize drives and run that on each drive after every copy or delete action of data, then your drives will all ways be clean and optimal, besides having a look in disk cleanup.

You might also check you settings in power options in the control panel and see if your drives are not set to turn off or go into low power mode.
Thanks for the explanation, I will try to do that whenever I am not busy.
 
Aug 2, 2021
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It is steam, not your HDD, i got 1 gigabite conection and i have 3x2TB SSD (WD Green) in raid 0, with a max read/write speed of 1.5 GB/s, when i download something from steam for the download speed of 100MB/s (my max downlaod speeed) i got a SSD usage of 500-700MB/s, i think it decompresses the files in the same time with downloading or something similar.
That's true, but the problem is that my SDD has no problems at all, and the writing speed is way too low for the HDD and it fluctuates a lot from 70s to 0
 
That's true, but the problem is that my SDD has no problems at all, and the writing speed is way too low for the HDD and it fluctuates a lot from 70s to 0
Yes, but also think about it, you do not have sequential writing or reading, you got random multiple files, small or large, also your hdd speed must be split between, writing the downloading files, reading the archives and extracting the archives, there are 3 separte operations, HDD is very very slow for multiple simultaneous operation and also you will not see your max write speed on small multiple files. SSDs are known to have much much better random IOPS .
 
Even if it is in a different language, you can figure it out the gauges which one is which, they are the same as yours, only text is different, as you can see there are situations where my disk is used 3 times more then the download speed but there are situation when they are identical. So, it is not your hdd, it is steam.
 
Aug 2, 2021
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I wouldn't worry about that too much if I was you ( regularly different games on steam can only be processed and written/read because of the file types witch they consist of)

To defragment your drives, Close everything except Task Manger hit the performance tab, then open This Pc and right click on any drive, select properties and go to tools, under tools select optimize drives and run that on each drive after every copy or delete action of data, then your drives will all ways be clean and optimal, besides having a look in disk cleanup.

You might also check you settings in power options in the control panel and see if your drives are not set to turn off or go into low power mode.
UPDATE:

I have defragmented my driver as you said, and the writing speed and download speed have improved and become more stable than before. I haven't optimized my HDD since I bought my PC which I think kinda makes sense. And thank you for the help

View: https://imgur.com/a/mmUXVrw
 
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itrip

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UPDATE:

I have defragmented my driver as you said, and the writing speed and download speed have improved and become more stable than before. I haven't optimized my HDD since I bought my PC which I think kinda makes sense. And thank you for the help

View: https://imgur.com/a/mmUXVrw
No problem at all to help out with this stuff, keep your drives clean and optimized then at least you know you have done your part.
 

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