How good do windows games run off of external hard drives?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by xi mezmerize ix, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. xi mezmerize ix macrumors 6502a

    xi mezmerize ix

    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    #1
    My external drive is on its way. I want to partition it 3 ways: one for osx backup, osx storage, and windows xp back up. But I was wondering if games ran well off of external drives? I was thinking about adding a 4th partition to the external drive to store games, as my bootcamp partition is pretty small on my internal and I want to keep it that way. Any help would be great.

    P.S. Any help with the formatting necessary for each partition would be deeply appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. Arminator macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    #2
    If its firewire, you wont even notice its on an external. USB should be also fine for most games, although it will drain CPU, so be aware. I played COD4 via USB and it was just fine.
     
  3. xi mezmerize ix thread starter macrumors 6502a

    xi mezmerize ix

    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    #3
    Yea its going to be firewire 800.
     
  4. aki macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Location:
    Japan
    #4
    Firstly, tangentially, any reason you want all those partitions? I'm presuming you have bought some mammoth multi-GB drive, which is fair enough. Just in the past I've set up drives with partitions that seemed all logical and ordered at the start; and then after a couple of months I'd find that half were too small, the other half were too large, and half of them I didn't really use anyway.

    For that plus security reasons (more drives means you loose less when one fails) I tend these days to go for a couple of drives instead of one-drive-many-partitions.

    But that aside.

    I've been running almost all my games off an external drive for ages and haven't noticed any performance hit. For reference this was a C2D iMac (3.06), running Vista32 and then Win7 64.

    At first I set up a firewire (I can't recall now if it was 400 or 800, probably 800); but for logistics reasons I switched at some point to a regular USB drive and honestly I noticed no difference at all.

    I didn't actually run framerate tests or anything but subjectively it was fine - and in my case, having the space on my internal drive was more important to me than a dropped frame here or there (presuming there were any).

    So I'd say go for it. You can always install a game on your internal partition if you want to check performance yourself on a particular title.
     
  5. xi mezmerize ix thread starter macrumors 6502a

    xi mezmerize ix

    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    #5
    Well the 2 partitions for backing up will be exactly the same size or slightly larger than the 2 partitions I am trying to back up from. That would leave me about 1TB of space for storage. I would probably use that space all for os x storage, and only partition it if i ever need to for windows games (i buy mostly for 360 but some games i want are pc only) so I dont just have a big partition that i may never use.

    I'm glad to hear though that games run fine...thanks! :)
     

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