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Do HD's have an impact on gaming?

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May 29, 2006 6:00:42 PM

I've been upgrading my PC slowly. I want to run the newest games like BF2/the HL2 source games/Oblivion etc.. I feel the weak link in my setup now, is my hard drive.

I have an 80GB IDE 7200rpm hard drive. Now I see all of these SCSI and SATA SATA2 drives and I'm wondering if I should upgrade? I'm a little confused in what the benefits are, if any and if they'd positevly impact my gaming?

Thanks, hope that made some sense.

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a b G Storage
May 29, 2006 6:15:25 PM

Yes the hard drive will have an impact on gaming. Games will definitly benefit from the faster throughput of the SATA and SATA2 drives. I know the throughput isn't really 150 or 300 MB/s (that's the interface speed) but the throughput compared to a parallel ATA drive is better.

A better drive may or may not actually help in terms of framerates in games, however where it will definitly help is in terms of loading times.
May 29, 2006 6:47:38 PM

Yes and No

Yeep your games will load faster and and ingame loading will get more smother to (like changing zones stuff like that) and when u dont have enugh ram to run the whole game in ram

No as long as the game is loaded and u have enugh ram then u will not notice any "ingame" diffrence.

Ehh cant really agree with the pata, sata/sataII the interface havent got that much impact (well ncq is nice)
But the newer the drive and the larger the platerns the faster it usually is.
And if u have sata/sataII go with it no need to stay with old tech (good if u uppgrade again later on)
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May 29, 2006 6:55:50 PM

hmmmmmm it depends. sata has a theoretical advantage over p-ata, but in real life they perform almost the same, if both disks have similar specs. Only those high-end (aka expensive) drives can benefit from s-ata advantages, although not much.
but i agree that a faster disk will certainly improve loading times.
but, for the original poster, a bigger ram will be better than a faster hd. How much ram do you have and how much are you willing to buy?
As you're upgrading slowly, i would let the hd for last. The first thing i would upgrade would be ram or graphics card.
a b 4 Gaming
a c 152 G Storage
May 29, 2006 7:28:52 PM

haaaahaaa sata faster the pata..... I get a kick out of it every time... go look on the hard drive charts... there is not drive that ever used the full ata100 bandwidth(i am not talking about interface performance...as it does nothing wow i can burst 155m/sec from my 8/16 meg cache?)...

On the up side NCQ will help in some cases....but not in games...
Also due to the fact that sata does not have to share a cable having 2 drives reading or writing at the same time should be faster and transferring from one to the other will also be faster as they have there own channel to work on. If u had 2 pata drives on there own channel it would be the same. In the real world it does not affect games or average programs

Just for the critics i am running 4 sata drives in this computer soon to be 6...not cause they are faster but because of the small cables and for raid.

As said above a faster hard drive will make those load screens get out of your way faster..but once in game you will notice nothing. So get the biggest cheapest drive you can(unless u have a brand preference). If u are planning to run lots of drives or copy from drive to drive allot, then sata is for you. If you are just playing games there is not a big difference. Let cost be your guide and be aware that new motherboard are trying to get rid of pata(just giving you one channel for 2 cd/dvd roms) so you may need sata anyway

Hope this helps
May 29, 2006 7:49:59 PM

Anyone who tells you that hard drives don't affect gaming don't own/play Battlefield 2. The load times for that game are TERRIBLE... what do you think you're waiting for when it's just sitting there? A video card? A processor? Hell no... your hard drive!

I own a WD Raptor and I will admit it's not worth the money because of it's extremely limited size (I have a 74 GB Raptor) but the difference is perceptible. No, I didn't want to go out and swap out all of my drives in all my systems for Raptors... but I did go "Hey, that does seem a little faster" That said... just go with a faster 7200 RPM and you'll do fine.
May 29, 2006 7:50:06 PM

Right now I have 1gb of pc2700 DDR333 ram installed. I just ordered 1gb of PC3200 DDR400 to replace that. I'm assuming 1gb of memory should be ok for now?


Thanks for the info, I have purchased a 160gb Sata 7200k drive for $40 from Tiger Direct. My load screens are pretty slow, so I'm hoping with the new ram and HD that those will improve greatly.

Thanks for the info!
May 29, 2006 7:57:53 PM

hmmmmm i've heard battefield2 takes a big advantage of 2gb ram, but 1 gig will do just fine.

i think the improvement in load screens will be noticeable. I think your disk is one of the old 2 MB cache ones, your 160Gb probably has 8, which improves speed.

rodney,
of course a faster drive will be noticeable on big load screens like BF2... what i was trying to say is that it does not affect the game itself, i mean actually playing the game. So i think spending money on a video card or ram, that gives a better gaming experience is better than on a fast drive, which only reduces loading time.
Also, you can take advantage of these loading times to grab that last minute beer or food, or go to the bathroom, things like that :p 
May 29, 2006 8:39:04 PM

Yes, 2 GB does make a world of difference in BF2... and yes, I understand that primarily fast hard drives equate to fast load times... the actual in-game performance is not really affected by disk performance assuming there is adequate RAM. That said... as you're walking from place to place in Oblivion, it does have to go to the HD (even if you have 4 GB I believe it would do this) and a slow HD will penalize you in that instance... no matter... that's just one rare example... once a game is loaded, as a general rule, HDs don't have a huge impact.
May 29, 2006 10:18:29 PM

1.25 and 1.5 GB are rather odd configurations... especially if you're trying to overclock... aren't matched pairs best? Wouldn't it be preferable to have all 4 DIMMs the same? Still... Wusy is correct... assuming you have the various add-ons to BF2, the process BF2.exe consumes just slightly (and I do mean SLIGHTLY) over 1 GB of RAM... and because of the overhead associated with Windows (200-300 MB), the game will studder as data is paged to the HD. I'm not convinced if 1.25 GB would resolve this entirely, but 1.5 GB definitely take care of it. That said, I'd still prefer 2 GB... if for no other reason to have matching memory and a little bit of head room for future games.

As far as Oblivion goes... I have not been able to ascertain the size of the processes it runs, but it clearly studders on my 2 GB system as data is paged. However, I attribute this to the fact that I haven't optimized the settings for my system... so I can't offer any more input on that.
May 29, 2006 10:26:31 PM

Quote:
http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/WEIRD-STUFF-THG-FORUMSftopic-185994-days0-orderasc-50.html
Msg. 72 (More detailed explaination)

1.25 and 1.5 GB are rather odd configurations... especially if you're trying to overclock... aren't matched pairs best?

Quote:
For the sake of dual-channel 2x1GB is used and thus the misconception arises.

Do I have to underline/bold on everything important I said?
Ahh... the always-pleasant wusy. What would this place be without you?
a b 4 Gaming
a b G Storage
May 31, 2006 4:53:59 AM

Quote:
I've been upgrading my PC slowly. I want to run the newest games like BF2/the HL2 source games/Oblivion etc.. I feel the weak link in my setup now, is my hard drive.

I have an 80GB IDE 7200rpm hard drive. Now I see all of these SCSI and SATA SATA2 drives and I'm wondering if I should upgrade? I'm a little confused in what the benefits are, if any and if they'd positevly impact my gaming?

Thanks, hope that made some sense.


Well, if you truly want to unlease your hard drive potentials, then you will want SCSI. Never used it, but some people say SCSI = Voodoo, kinda hard to setup and get going properly. But I'm sure there are plenty of people here that can help you out.

SCSI drives are expensive though 'cause their primary market is not the consumer, but corporate america who demands high performance hard drives to move vast amounts of data.
May 31, 2006 5:54:53 AM

Quote:
*smells n00b feast*

Pretty much what you to know is:
1. With the details you've given us, 2x1GB(for dual channel) is a MUST
2. Use the left over in budget to pump into HDD. Put 74GB Raptor on top of the HDD priority list.

Note that the misconception of BF2/Oblivion/WoW uses 2GB. They DO NOT.
2GB setup perform better in those games because total physical memory usage exceeds 1GB so even 1.25GB or 1.5GB will do. For the sake of dual-channel 2x1GB is used and thus the misconception arises. [/nuff said]


Yeah the ram.
Its truth that 1,25 is enough for bf2 and even a doom3 at highest settings.

I seen that yesterday :) 

The faster hdd is for faster loading into ram and you get that that you start play few seconds earlier(if you have enough ram) if not than you are screwed :x

Buy that ram yes.
!