Gaming with SSD

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by crazycat, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2005
    My friend is getting a new gaming PC and we talked about it, there was this one point that came up.

    Is it better to install the OS on the SSD (which will be around 80GB) and have all his games installed on the 2nd hard drive. He has tons of steam games, WoW/StarCraft2 and he plans on getting more.

    Or have everything on one hard drive? Because i am not sure if there will be any speed increase if any since the games and the OS are on two different drives.

  2. macrumors G5


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    I use the Intel SSD (80 GB G2) as a system disk only. Everything else goes on the RAID array I have in the system.
  3. thread starter macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2005
    Will the gaming experience be slower since the OS is on an SSD and the games are installed on a normal hard drive?
  4. macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2010
    For the last 8 or so months I've been using both an SDD and stock Apple drive side by side (using an optibay; the SDD is the main drive running OSX). I have COD 2 and COD 4 on the SDD but I run WoW, CS:S, DOD:S and TF2 off the normal drive and to be honest, I personally don't notice a difference! WoW has always been outstanding on performance etc.

    There probably would be a slight speed advantage to having the games on the SDD but from what I (and my friend) have experienced, its perfectly fine! Plus a great advantage to having your games on an external drive is that you can play on other machines without messing around with install!

    Just my 2 cents! :)
  5. macrumors 68020


    Mar 26, 2004
    Everything on the SSD will be quicker than having the game on a separate standard HD but if you can only fit one thing on the SSD make it your OS as that is the most important.

  6. macrumors newbie


    May 9, 2010
    For games, installing the games on a SSD will not increase the performance of the game severely, installing the OS on the SSD will increase the performance and might even improve gaming performance as well.
  7. macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2009
    Recently, I exchanged a MBA for a MBP, and I had a chance to play Portal 1 on both of them. My experience is that the HDD ran the game just as well, except for loading between areas, which was faster on the SSD. So if you're playing a game with significant load times, putting it on the SSD will speed that part up. Otherwise, keeping them on the HDD shouldn't create any drawbacks.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    The game will load faster if installed on an SSD. But you won't notice any real in-game difference compared to an HDD.
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2001
    That's not true at all.

    For example with Starcraft 2 ...

    I own a Mac Pro 2006 with a relatively fast 7200 RPM 1TB hard drive, and my girlfriend owned a Macbook Pro 2011 with stock hard drive configuration. Under this setup my Mac Pro would load Starcraft 2 much faster than her Macbook Pro, even though overall my machine is much slower. This was simply the result of the 7200 RPM desktop harddrive outperforming the stock 5400 RPM notebook drive.

    Then she upgraded her laptop to an OWC Mercury Extreme 6g SSD, one of the fastest SSDs on the market. Now her machine loads Starcraft 2 about 2x as fast as my Mac Pro.
  10. macrumors 68030


    Jul 7, 2009
    When running games like WoW that require quite a bit of caching to operate correctly; understand the SSD devices have a limited write cycle lifespan. Yes they have grown significantly over the last few years; but with things that are always writing to the drive, you can shorten the life of your SSD drive.

    Now, that being said, the spread of the SSD data and the advanced controllers help extend the life of the drive, but it does have affect. SSD will continue to advance and will eventually replace most drives, but that's still some time away.
  11. macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    Not really true. An SSD with a good controller (Intel, Sandforce, etc) has a theoretical life of ~100 years under normal desktop usage rates if you only consider NAND wear. Even if you divide by 10 in order to achieve a more conservative estimate, thats still a 10 year lifetime. I bet that if you looked at operating lifetimes for mechanical HDDs, you'll find that SSDs will outlast them pretty easily.

    Of course, SSDs do fail. But so do mechanical HDDs. Intel has a 0.5% published failure rate. Which mechanical HDD can post anything even close to that?

    For any modern SSD, the rule is to use it like you would any hard drive and enjoy the speed boost.

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