Upgrading hard drive for gaming - worth it?

howtoupgraderam

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Jun 26, 2017
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Hello!
I wanted to ask the community if upgrading hard drives can help with performance in video games. I know that faster disks will drastically improve loading screen but how about the performance itself?

By reading other threads on various forums I've learnt that in some games (especially open world games) slow hdds can cause stuttering and short freezes. It seems like I'm experiencing those issues myself. I currently have a 5400 RPM SSHD (Seagate st1000lm014) installed in my pc and I think that it might be the cause. In my case the stuttering really only happens in Bethesda's games (Fallout 4 and Skyrim), other games are fine, apart from tiny stutters that happen maybe once every 2 hours of playtime. Getting rid of those stutters is important to me, since I pretty much only play Fallout 4 and Skyrim.

Will installing an additional faster disk drive and installing my games there help get rid of those issues or should I be looking for the solution elsewhere? If it would, should i be looking for a faster HDD or SSD?

Specs:
Cpu: Intel i5 7400
GPU: Geforce gtx 1060 3gb msi
Ram: 2x8GB Crucial
PSU: Kolink kl-c500
Storage: Seagate st1000lm014 SSHD
MOBO: Msi h110m pro-vd
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
You've got an SSHD. That's a hybrid drive that uses a small ssd (usually around 8Gb) in line with an hdd. That's not an issue. Everything you run gets loaded into the ssd as cache, and runs from that at ssd speeds, only dipping into the hdd when time permits for saves etc. It's entirely likely that that hybrid isn't configured correctly and it's not getting used to its ability. You should be using it with Intel RST (rapid storage technology) which will boost its speed.
 

constantine_99

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May 18, 2017
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stuttering probably happens because you're modding your games? [modded skyrim / fallout 4 can be really demanding on both CPU and VRAM] that might be the issue there :)

performance wise, should be smoother if u switch to a SSD, booting would be faster, texture swapping would also be faster, resulting in smoother experience imo :)
 

Geef

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Sep 12, 2006
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Go with a SSD drive as the main drive and have it hold your OS and the main games you play and have everything else installed on the drive you currently have. Also if you use a setup like this and use Steam for the games you can tell steam to have two seperate locations for games and you can switch the games locations whenever you want. ----> I've used this thought in the past. "Yeah I'm done playing Fallout 4 but I don't wanna uninstall, I guess I'll tell steam to throw it on my backup drive."
 

howtoupgraderam

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Jun 26, 2017
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Thank you for answering.
Some more information:
Stuttering happens even without mods, especially in Fallout 4. It doens't make the game unplayable, but it's frequent enough to be annyoing (especially considering that apart from the stutters the game doesn't drop below 60 fps). It usually happens when the terrain is loading, right before an NPC speaks, when switching weapons, sometimes during combat. I'm also sure that I'm not running out of VRAM (I'm not going above 2.5 GBs, accoring to Msi Afterburner).

I see that you both recommend an SSD drive. What brand and model should I look for? What else would I need to install it in my PC?
 

Geef

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The difference between normal HD and SSD is big enough that Brand and Model shouldn't matter too much. Get 256GB or above because in general they are faster.
If your looking for best of the best level then Check out Sandisk Extreme Pro. Expensive but worth it.
 

howtoupgraderam

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Jun 26, 2017
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I think I'm gonna try the SSD first, see if it helps.

Btw. I took a look inside my PC case and I'm kinda confused now. Firstly, it seems like my Mobo has 4 sata slots, 2 of which have cables plugged into them (Dvd drive and sshd). The slots were labeled sata 0,sata 1,sata 2, sata 3. Does it matter to which slot I plug the ssd into?
Secondly, I don't understand SATA Power Cables. According to some specs I've found in the Web my PSU is supposed to have 4 of those cables which seems to be true, but they are connected in a really weird way. The cable goes from my PSU and it has several connectorsl. Looks kinda like this:

https://images.bjorn3d.com/Material/revimages/psu/CoolerMaster_GX_750/small/13.jpg?79ad0d

Also, the connectors don't seem to be identical. For example one of them has 5 cables (of different colours) going into it, while the next one has 7...

Looks like this. Sorry for the ugly drawing, but i can't take a proper photo of them.
https://imgur.com/gallery/iXPRx
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
You've got an SSHD. That's a hybrid drive that uses a small ssd (usually around 8Gb) in line with an hdd. That's not an issue. Everything you run gets loaded into the ssd as cache, and runs from that at ssd speeds, only dipping into the hdd when time permits for saves etc. It's entirely likely that that hybrid isn't configured correctly and it's not getting used to its ability. You should be using it with Intel RST (rapid storage technology) which will boost its speed.
 

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