Resolved Run games on time capsule HDD?

ventuss

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 9, 2011
363
9
Can I install and run games on the Time Capsule internal hard disk? Or any software at all? Use it as a normal drive?
 

marzer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,331
45
Colorado
Can I install and run games on the Time Capsule internal hard disk? Or any software at all? Use it as a normal drive?
Yes you can, not as a "normal" drive, but as a network share. You usually can't install directly to a network share. So you'll need to install to a local drive and then move it over.

I keep some common troubleshooting utilities on a network share so I don't have to reload them onto all the computers in the house. I also have some old GOG games on the network for occasional use.

Contemporary games and large productivity applications may suffer in performance, or not run at all, from a network share. Best thing to do is try it, you won't hurt anything. And software/files stored on the TC will not get backed up by Time Machine. That'd require a third party solution.
 

Icaras

macrumors 603
Mar 18, 2008
6,072
2,601
Sorry for bumping this thread but I was wondering the same thing.

However, would hardwiring the TC to the Mac via ethernet provide a more stable and fast performance with higher end games?

Currently I have an external drive for installing Steam and Origin games but if I can get rid of the drive and just use my Time Capsule instead, I can minimize and streamline my setup.
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,521
2,033
New Jersey Pine Barrens
I have a new time capsule and this is the performance I get with hard wired gigabit ethernet





And this is what I get with 802.11ac wifi (only available on the newest model macs)




You can run the blackmagic app to see how this compares with your own hard drives.
 

marzer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,331
45
Colorado
Sorry for bumping this thread but I was wondering the same thing.

However, would hardwiring the TC to the Mac via ethernet provide a more stable and fast performance with higher end games?

Currently I have an external drive for installing Steam and Origin games but if I can get rid of the drive and just use my Time Capsule instead, I can minimize and streamline my setup.
You can do it, but for contemporary games and complex applications (such as Steam) you will probably find the performance unacceptable or not able to run at all.


And though I don't have one now, I used to have a Time Capsule. And as I remember it, whether wired or wireless, it had the slowest transfer speeds of any other NAS or file server system I've ever used. Currently, I use a Mac mini as a file server and I get around 108/90MBs R/W. As I recalled, Time Capsule performance was often less than a USB2 drive.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,171
479
Elkton, Maryland
You can do it, but for contemporary games and complex applications (such as Steam) you will probably find the performance unacceptable or not able to run at all.


And though I don't have one now, I used to have a Time Capsule. And as I remember it, whether wired or wireless, it had the slowest transfer speeds of any other NAS or file server system I've ever used. Currently, I use a Mac mini as a file server and I get around 108/90MBs R/W. As I recalled, Time Capsule performance was often less than a USB2 drive.
It is mainly designed for backups and is not a full NAS. For what it does for the price point, it does it well.
 

marzer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,331
45
Colorado
It is mainly designed for backups and is not a full NAS. For what it does for the price point, it does it well.
Ok. We're all quite aware of that. Thanks for refreshing our memories but not the point of this thread. Cheers! :D
 

Icaras

macrumors 603
Mar 18, 2008
6,072
2,601
I actually tried it on Thursday night and although I have the latest Time Capsule, my iMac is the 2012 model which means it only supports up to 802.11n.

I moved my Steam Folder onto the Time Capsule, set the Steam download library to that, and started running some games off of it. It's great to know it actually works but yes, it was pretty slow, given the fact I was running it wirelessly at 802.11n speeds. I did in fact run some semi-contemporary games such as L4D2, CS:GO, and Far Cry 2. Initial loading took several times longer but once the game was loaded, they played just fine, with just a short 2-3 second stutter or two throughout gameplay. I couldn't load L4D2 though because of some library loading error.

I'm very curious to try this out through the wired gigabit ethernet connection though and the speeds posted by Boyd look alright to me. At least they are several times faster than 802.11n. I just need to get a cable to try it out. I'll chime in with results later.

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It is mainly designed for backups and is not a full NAS. For what it does for the price point, it does it well.
I agree that its designed to be mainly a backup drive. However, I wonder still if by putting stress on the TC drive constantly (by running games for example), if that might have an impact on it's performance and longevity in the long run?

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You can do it, but for contemporary games and complex applications (such as Steam) you will probably find the performance unacceptable or not able to run at all.


And though I don't have one now, I used to have a Time Capsule. And as I remember it, whether wired or wireless, it had the slowest transfer speeds of any other NAS or file server system I've ever used. Currently, I use a Mac mini as a file server and I get around 108/90MBs R/W. As I recalled, Time Capsule performance was often less than a USB2 drive.
It isn't too far off from USB 2 speeds though is it? I've read some forums with people running games ok off of USB 2 external drives. But I wonder how modern those games are.

Anyway, if anything, this has been at least an interesting experiment.
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,521
2,033
New Jersey Pine Barrens
As I recalled, Time Capsule performance was often less than a USB2 drive.
No need to jog your memory, I posted the performance stats for the current time capsule above.

https://forums.macrumors.com/posts/19230298/

My USB2 drives clock around 33 to 35 MB/s, the time capsule is in the 44-49 MB/s range when using gigabit ethernet.

I can confirm that my Mac Mini gets around 100 MB/s with file sharing on the same network. But that's another matter. :)

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I wonder still if by putting stress on the TC drive constantly (by running games for example), if that might have an impact on it's performance and longevity in the long run?
It's just a disk drive. Why would this have any more impact than it would on any other disk drive? :confused:

One issue is that the disk spins down almost instantly after it is accessed, and it takes a long time to spin back up. I have used the little program "Keep Disk Spinning" to prevent it from going to sleep. I'd think you might make a case that constant starting and stopping puts more stress on the drive than constant spinning up and down.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
66,690
33,579
Boston
Given the disk i/o performance of a NAS (and Time Capsule), I'd think its not really a feasible solution. At the very least look towards a thunderbolt or USB3 external drive.
 
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