Hard Drives really do play a part in Pc Games

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SqUiD267 Posted: Mon, May 12 2008 5:05 PM

 I played Battlefield 2 last summer. I recently reinstalled it on Vista,BUT on my other drive. My loads times in BF2 were so fast! My load times went from 7 mins to 2 mins, 3 mins tops. Even though thie hard drive is like 5 years old. I really didn't think hard drive had a significane in games. I can't imagine with a new VelociRaptor @ 10,000 RPM! I hope you learned something new, because I know I did.

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peti1212 replied on Mon, May 12 2008 6:30 PM

Yep, this is true, I have actually found out about this about one-two years ago. That's why in my new system I have a RAID0 configuration. I have two Maxtor 500GB hard drives in RAID to double the speed transfer rate. :) It's much faster than just one hard drive to be honest with you. It took down my load times tremendeously.

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ice_73 replied on Tue, May 13 2008 4:07 AM

SqUiD267:

 I played Battlefield 2 last summer. I recently reinstalled it on Vista,BUT on my other drive. My loads times in BF2 were so fast! My load times went from 7 mins to 2 mins, 3 mins tops. Even though thie hard drive is like 5 years old. I really didn't think hard drive had a significane in games. I can't imagine with a new VelociRaptor @ 10,000 RPM! I hope you learned something new, because I know I did.



true, hl2 took ages to load on my 5400 but then my trusted drive died on me and i decided to get a raptor 74gb 16 cache one.... as luck would have it that also died... but im on my second right now, and its great and speedy and loads are faster (except xp)

 

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SqUiD267 replied on Tue, May 13 2008 5:15 AM

 imagine raid with the velocirapto, thats just OMG

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Dev replied on Tue, May 13 2008 8:10 AM
RAM plays a huge role in load times too. I went from 1GB last year to 2GB (same speed) and the difference was very noticeable in games like Battlefield 2 and Company of Heroes. -Dev

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I didn't notice a difference in load times when i went from single drive to raid 0 or back again in my last three builds, but I did notice a significant frame rate increase when I got more ram.

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FSeven replied on Tue, May 13 2008 9:28 AM

General rule of thumb that hard drive upgrades (cache, RPMs) will improve load times, boot up, program start, etc. 

While RAM upgrades will improve performance while in the game/application.

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So, a better hard drive will not improve frames in game?  Not that faster loading isn't a worthy goal, but I want to be sure here. 

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FSeven replied on Tue, May 13 2008 11:21 AM

It's a funny situation.

Let's say you have a PC with 512MB system RAM, a 64MB video card, and a 10,000 RPM hard drive. You are playing an intensive game. Because you have low system RAM and low video RAM, less resources will be stored in both and your computer will be forced to read from the hard drive more frequently. This comes into play with games that have draw distances settings such as Oblivion. In this case, a faster hard drive could affect framerate due to the constant need to read from the drive due to low system RAM and video RAM.

However, if you have a machine with 2GB or more and a 256MB+ video card, upgrading your hard drive will not affect framerates in today's games because there is plenty of resources that can be stored in system RAM and video RAM. 

The one exception to the rule is if your hard drive is very fragmented. This will undoubtedly cause you to get lower framerates. 

If you're a heavy gamer, I recommend getting a program like Diskkeeper that automatically maintains the health of your hard drive. 

I'd say the best and cheapest things you can do to improve your gameplaying experience is to upgrade your RAM and keep your system maintained by streamlining running services/applications and keeping your hard drive healthy.

Don't get me wrong, a 10,000 RPM drive is always going to be better but for today's gaming, a 7,200RPM drive is more than sufficient and jumping from a 7,200 RPM drive to a 10,000 RPM drive will not affect framerate. 

That's why most sites that do system benchmarking with games seldom list the specs of the hard drive. Usually, they only refer to video card, system RAM, FSB/Motherboard, and processor.

 

 

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SqUiD267 replied on Tue, May 13 2008 1:51 PM

 I guess my PC specs were just already low. RAM I guess is the best way to increase performance, aside from GFX cards, of course.

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peti1212 replied on Tue, May 13 2008 1:59 PM

That is an excellent exlanation FSeven! I also want to add. Have you guys ever played a very big game and whenever you played it started lagging when you shot a gun or did some kind of an action, but other than that it was ok? Well in this case, defragramenting your hard drive would help tremendeously, but if you are still getting that problem, than it might be that you don't have enough Memory or that your hard drive is slow. For example: there are some games that access the hard drive whenever a new music starts or sound effects happen. If you have a faster hard drive, the computer will be faster in processing the files and will not lower your FPS because it starts reading and then playing. This is not a perfect explanation, but I bet you get my point.

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ice_73 replied on Tue, May 13 2008 2:21 PM

from my tests i noticed a HUGE increase in fps. i went from a 5400 rpm drive to a raptor 16 cache 74gb and i got about 30ish fps more in the css stress test (bringing my total up to something around 240ish... btw, the rig im using is highly overclocked :-) ) 

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 Lets just say imalways the first one to load up a map in BF2. im only running a 7200/16mb

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SqUiD267 replied on Tue, May 13 2008 3:49 PM

 240 FPS! I'm amazed!

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ice_73 replied on Thu, May 15 2008 7:27 PM

SqUiD267:

 240 FPS! I'm amazed!



thanks. overclocking literally increased my speed by around double. :-)

though the resolution was only 1280x1024 when i tested. it is still a good score for cs-s

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SqUiD267 replied on Fri, May 16 2008 1:54 PM

 I wish I could overclock my P4, the hardware doesn't support it. I barely get 10 fps in Unreal Tournament 3. This is at 800x600. Sad

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Dev replied on Sun, May 18 2008 5:46 PM

I good example of having plenty of RAM is Far Cry, if you didn't have enough when opening the door to the outside on the first level the game would lock up a tad bit or when shooting, the gun seemed to skip a beat after firing a round.

SqUiD267:
I wish I could overclock my P4, the hardware doesn't support it. I barely get 10 fps in Unreal Tournament 3. This is at 800x600. Sad

I think the Unreal 2 engine is quite dependent on your graphics card unlike the Source engine, which is CPU dependent. If you play any Source game, I'm sure you will see an improvement in graphics. Otherwise you could get a good config and bring the game up to 30 fps.


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My brother's Pentium IV PC can play Half-Life 2 max settings (no AA/AF of course).  It can play HL2 Episode 2 nearly maxed out.  The Unreal Tournament 3 demo can only do a combination of the two lowest (out of 5) settings at 800x600.  Considering the Video Card is a Radeon 9800 Pro 128mb, it does appear very true that UE3 is GPU dependent, while Source is CPU.  And really, it makes sense to go CPU dependent because more store bought computers now-a-days have a dual core, but still have crappy built in graphics.

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