External HDD gaming

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by zicky, May 26, 2006.

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  1. zicky

    zicky Notebook Evangelist

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    I'm planning on buying an USB External HDD and I was wondering whether you can play your games with it or must the games be installed on your primary HDD? Sorry, I know it probably has been asked before but I tried searching and couldn't find a thing.
     
  2. RogueMonk

    RogueMonk Notebook Deity

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    A USB HD will be too slow for any any game that is HD dependant for the loading of different game pages/screens. If you are running a game that simply sits in memmory once its loaded, then a USB HD should be fine.

    If you need an external solution, you might look at a SATA based external encosure and a PCMCIA sata adapter. That would give you full HD speed.
     
  3. garlei

    garlei Notebook Enthusiast

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    can you please elaborate on this?
    what sort of games are HD dependent and what aren't?

    for example, for a game like Hitman Blood Money, would it better to install the game on my notebook HD or a USB external HD?

    i'm running it on a USB external HD right now and it has been runnin fine, but only on lowest settings for a T43 with 1.5 gigs of ram.

    would it run better on a notebook HD?
     
  4. zicky

    zicky Notebook Evangelist

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    I am not familiar with the game you're asking for, but I think he meant games that has to load a screen whenever it changes one, i. e. going out of a building, going back inside, etc. and when he talks about games that are just sitting in memory, he refers to those games that aren't to much about changing screens at every fraction of second or without too many objects changing in the background, I would think a racing game would be an example.

    What is the current speed of an USB 2.0? I understand it would be slow when loading screens but once loaded, why would it be a problem? This and the drive name were the only issues I had forseen but I was hoping someone could elaborate a bit more before I decide to make a purchase.
     
  5. Ma2T

    Ma2T Notebook Guru

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    I have a 250gig exernal USB2 HD and have yet to run an games from it, but have always wondered myself.
    My internal HD has an average speed of about 22mb/s, and I tested the external drive and it's average is about 16mb/s. Thats not too much slower, and for some games that are 4-6gig in size now days it would be a good internal drive space saver.

    The drive it's self is a Maxtor 7,200rpm, 8mb cash in the enclosure, usb2 is 480mb/s i think, so in theory it can go very fast, and in test's as I said is about 16mb/s. Not that much slower than a 4,800rpm typical internal drive.

    I guess games would load a lil quicker on an internal drive, but would run fine on an external also, and save some nice space :)

    If in bored enough it might give the game thing a try.
     
  6. ikovac

    ikovac Cooler and faster... NBR Reviewer

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    cheap external case with 5400 80GB disk on USB 2.0 has 33-22MB/s transfer rate. My internal 5400 rpm ide has 35-25MB/s. Hdtach measurement.

    external disks are great for gaming.

    Cheers,

    Ivan
     
  7. Elminst

    Elminst Some Network Guy

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    So if you installed a game to an external drive... I'm wondering how hard it would be to hook it up to a different computer and play the game....
    If all the game files are loaded to the external drive, it should be fairly easy, just point a shortcut to the game executable and you're off...
    Would be handy for bringing games to a friend's house, instead of hauling your whole PC over.
     
  8. NetBrakr

    NetBrakr Notebook Deity

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    Are you sure about that? What about the most important, the so called registry?

    JC
     
  9. Elminst

    Elminst Some Network Guy

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    Most of what goes in the registry for games is just info on where the program is and all the start menu info. And the Uninstall info to put in the control panel.

    For instance, I just searched my registry for everything related to my Valve/Steam installation, which is responsible for approximately 15 different games.
    Almost all the registry entries deal with the path to the various game files, and their respective executables. And one entry for the installation which has the version info and the encrypted registration key. The remaining are the listings for the Start Menu shortcuts.
    Now Steam is one thing that probably would not work to bring to a friends house. Because Steam has to connect online to verify your account, and would need that registration info from the registry to do so. This same reason would would rule out most online games (MMO's), or at least the online portions of some games (multiplayer FPS).
    But single player games should not cause you much trouble.
    In fact, I remember doing this at one point. I physically took one of my hard drives to a friends house, hooked it up in his box so that I could show him some game. that was a while ago and i don't even remember what game it was, but i remember it working.
     
  10. Mark

    Mark Desktop Debugger

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    I have a Seagate 160GB, 8 MB cahce, 7200 rpm hard drive that I put in an external enclosure that works via USB. IT WORKS GREAT FOR GAMING! I have installed the following games on it and ran them just fine on my Dell with no problems. The load times are only slightly longer than the are with the notebook hard drive. Here are the games...
    Far Cry, Ghost Recon, Stars Wars: Jedi Academy, Command and Conquer: The First Decade, Call of Duty, Call of Duty: United Offensive, American's Army, Quake 4, Need for Speed Most Wanted Demo, and Black and White 2 Demo.
    I usually just keep the games that I am currently playing on my laptop harddrive and put the other ones on the external as it saves an enormous ammmount of space.
     
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