Playing games off external hard drive? Performance issues? Is it safe?

jameshh93

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Hi I recently bought a new computer with an m.2 sdd added to it but it has very limited space. To keep costs down I decided not to go with a internal hard drive...wups! Now Im looking to buy a external hard drive to store games on and play them using a usb 3.0 or the usb 3.1 connection (may buy a sdd internal hard drive and put it in one of those cases you can buy to make it external).
Is this safe to do? Will the games be impacted in gaming performance in any way apart from loading screens take longer? My new computer has a very good graphics card will the graphics card full potential not be reached?
Also very importantly will playing a game off an external hard drive damage my computer in anyway such as the usb ports.. motherboard or the external hard drive from constant use?
Would be really grateful to get some info on this as the internet is kind of lacking answers. Thank you!
 
1. Unfortunately you didn't mention the make/model of the PC you recently purchased but I'm assuming it's a desktop PC.

2. As such, surely it has provision for you to add an internally-connected HDD in the system, does it not?

3. If that's so, you would be far advised to purchase a HDD of your choice and install it internally in your system. It would be much, much more desirable for your games in speed/performance than some USB external drive.

4. And the cost shouldn't be even more than a USBEHD. If it is, it would be trifling. Think about this.
 

DSzymborski

Judicious
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It won't damage it, but games that require a lot of data to be streamed may run absolutely horribly. Just how small is this case that you can't install any internal hard drive outside the m.2 slot?
 

jameshh93

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Thanks for your quick responses really appreciate it! I got the pc custom built but didn’t select a hard drive option. I would add in an internal hard drives (lots of empty slots where the hard drives should go) but Im quite afraid of damaging the computer..as I have a tendency to break things very easily. I found this old thread where someone basically says that internal or external hard drives are limited to 120mb/s anyway so should not be too impacted on performance if you use an external hdd with a good connection here’s link http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php/668863-USB-3-or-SATA-6gb-s ...but as you can see it is rather old so I don’t know if this is still true.
 
James:
Believe me. An internally-connected HDD will prove MUCH MORE satisfactory for playing your games than some USB external drive. There's NO COMPARISON BETWEEN THE TWO. It's really not too difficult to internally install a secondary HDD in your PC assuming the PC contains an available SATA data & power connector which virtually all PCs contain. Isn't there someone who can help you? And you can read the simple instructions by performing a Google search.
 

DSzymborski

Judicious
Moderator


It's literally a 5 minute job, the majority of it opening and closing the case. You literally put the hard drive in the cage or cradle or whatever your case has and and attach a couple cables. PC's have maintenance needs and troubleshooting and unless you want to pay $100 or more for every little changed component or dead fan or cooling solution cleaning, starting with one of the absolute easiest tasks is a good place to start.
 

jameshh93

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Thanks for your replies guys. I know your right but I’m very very useless when it comes to technology as in I could set a hot tub on fire. I noticed that my case has a “3.5”/2.5” SATA HDD EZ-Swap dock“ would using this be just as good as an internal one? Also can this work with an sdd instead of an HDD?
 
It would certainly seem so. Those "swap docks" ordinarily set up a internal connection to the motherboard's SATA data/power connectors and usually will accommodate a SSD. So it would seem you're home free. But to be certain provide the make/model of your case.
 

samer.forums

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Make sure any external box you buy supports UASP for better performance.

and SSD works better with UASP.

and yes any SATA SSD will work in SATA to USB3 enclosure. make sure it is SATA3 and supports UASP
 

jameshh93

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Thanks it is a "InWIN GT1 BLACK". (Hehe I got really lucky as it looks as though these external bays are very rare and just picked the case because it was the cheapest one with a window).

Also if this does work am I able to take out the sdd when ever I like and plonk it back in again whenever using this external bay?

 
I'm not entirely clear whether you can actually remove/insert different drives EXTERNALLY from the case's swap bay. (Generally when the case manufacturer refers to its case being equipped with a "swap bay" there's an assumption that drives installed in that component can be accessed externally by the user.) Obviously you'll be able to do so internally.

Did the case come with a manual or user guide with any kind of explanation about this?

(BTW, for many years we used various InWIN cases. We were always favorably impressed with their build although we haven't used any of their recent models lately. I would also mention that virtually ALL the PCs we build are equipped with a mobile rack/removable drive that's installed in one or more vacant 5 1/4" external bays of the desktop case. We wouldn't build a PC without at least one of these racks.)

In any event PROMISE that you'll give no more thought to using a USB external drive to install/play your games. It fills me with dread just to think about it.

Take a look at https://www.in-win.com/en/gaming-chassis/GT1 and see if there's anything there of any help. Also, Newegg's site re that InWIN model. And there's a fair amount of info you can obtain from a Google search. Have you tried doing that?
 

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