Are you already thinking of getting an external hard drive to help supplement your current computer’s internal storage? If yes, don’t miss this post.
However, the one big question every gamer would have in their minds when buying an external hard drive is this: are external hard drives good for gaming?
Having an external hard drive offers several benefits. You’ll be able to keep your old games and even store more games. The PC’s internal storage might not be enough to store multiple games. And what’s more, most people don’t use their PCs for gaming alone.
However, the obvious concern with external hard drives is their performance for gaming.
Now, let’s answer the question on using external hard drives to enable gamers make an informed decision.
What Are External Hard Drives?
Let’s understand what external hard drives are before we move deeper to answer other burning questions.
External hard drives are sometimes called mobile hard drives or portable hard drives. They are storage devices that help expand the internal storage, but they won’t fit into any device.
The beauty of external hard drives is that you can move them around. In other words, you can take your external hard drive anywhere, probably to a friend’s place, to get games and other software you might need.
They are portable and can be transported easily and stored separately. Ensure you don’t store corrupt files in your external hard drive or drop them to the ground mistakenly; the device will last long.
The sizes of external hard drives are upwards of terabytes. And as earlier explained, the reason is that they aren’t designed to fit into the computer.
External hard drives’ purpose is to serve as extra storage for a computer. You also connect these hard drives to your computer via a single cable.
In other words, you can use a USB cable wirelessly or FireWire.
Are External Hard Drives Good For Gaming?
Now let’s focus on this post’s major question. Is the external hard drive good for gaming? Should a gamer consider splashing the cash on an external hard drive?
Yes, external hard drives are good for gaming. They enable gamers to store a large amount of data and play multiple games.
Being mobile also makes external hard drives a must-have. You can move around with your hard drive in your backpack, collect files from other computers and transfer them to your computer when you finally arrive home. Or, you can leave the received files in the external hard drive
So, you don’t have to carry your computer wherever you go because you want to collect games or other files. The mobile hard drive will do the job for you.
Years back, gamers mostly used external hard drives as game storage, but today, that has changed. Gamers now put the large size of these external hard drives to good use. They store and play multiple games from external hard drives.
So, connect your hard drive to your PC’s USB port and start playing. But ensure the external hard drive is sitting comfortably on the desk. Don’t shift the hard drive while working.
Once connected to the PC, the external hard drive will start functioning like other drives. However, note that the hard drive may function differently in certain areas.
Tips On How To Use External Hard Drives For Gaming
Gaming from an external hard drive is possible. But you need to follow certain steps to ensure the process is successful.
Here is what you are going to do.
After installing a game, choose its installation location. The next step is to select your external hard drive, and don’t forget to leave the shortcut on your desktop.
The purpose of keeping the shortcut is to foster easy access. In other words, for you to run any game on your external hard drive, your computer system must know where to locate the specific game.
Steam is helpful in this regard. It allows you to choose the location you installed the video game manually.
External Hard Drive Vs. Internal Hard Drive: The Differences
The external and internal drives’ similarity is that both are storage devices. You can also get external and internal SSD, including a hard drive.
However, several differences separate both storage devices. Let’s discuss them for better understanding.
1: Speed – Internal Hard Drive Is The Winner:
Speed is essential when in a gaming PC. It makes the game run smoothly and offers a better gaming experience.
As indicated, the internal hard drive is the winner regarding speed, and the reasons aren’t surprising.
The programs installed on the internal hard drive are built-in. You click on the file, and it will come up quickly.
The program doesn’t have to travel far or via a USB before it can start running in the company. Once installed in the internal drive, it remains there.
In the case of the external hard drive, you have to establish a connection and ensure nothing interrupts it.
Disturbing a program while installing it can cause the file to become corrupt.
Take Note: Several things can drop your external hard drive’s speed. It could be an age issue, dust buildup (highly likely, given that the external drive is mobile), the external drive’s base device, cache data, and even technological advancement.
2: Gaming – Both hard drives are winners
Regarding gaming, both external and internal hard disk drives are the winners.
How is this possible? Check this out.
Regarding speed, the internal hard drive wins, but you must ensure the storage memory is large enough for the game.
In other words, the internal hard drive loads faster than the external hard drive for gaming. But you won’t enjoy similar speed when you run a 120GB game on a 128GB internal hard drive.
Anyway, this is just an illustration, as there’s no way you can install a 120GB game on 128GB storage memory. The company will certainly have other programs besides games that will occupy space.
Now here’s the second question. In what aspect does the external hard drive better the internal drive for gaming?
The external hard drive boasts more storage space. Thus, you can store more games and keep old ones while installing new ones (if you fancy doing so).
Now, which storage memory should you opt for?
Well, it depends on your preference. Consider the internal hard drive if you prefer speed or game performance.
However, if you treasure having more games, consider the external hard drive, as it boasts more space.
3: Durability – Both hard drives are winners:
Nothing last forever, and that goes for external and internal hard drives. Normally, hard drives last for about 3 to 5 years, though maintenance is the key.
The advantage internal hard drives have over external drives is that they are protected from the elements of weather and environmental factors.
The internal drives are buried inside the computer or laptop. Thus, they’re not subjected to human errors or damages.
Another thing that separates internal hard drives is you don’t have to disconnect and reconnect them now and then. You can access your games or programs when you turn on the computer.
Now, here is where the external hard drive wins.
Both internal and external hard drives are reparable. But the external hard drives are much easier to repair.
You don’t have to loosen anything. Just throw the drive into your bag, and head straight to the repair workshop.
Unfortunately, for the internal hard drive, you have to dismantle the computer to reach the hard drive. And when you do, you must remove it carefully. Otherwise, it may incur more severe damage or even stop working altogether.
4: Cost – External hard drives are the winners:
You will discover that external hard drives are cheaper than internal hard drives. Just visit Amazon.com and compare the prices.
Here is what we mean by external drives being cheaper. An 8TB (terabyte) external hard drive on Amazon may go for $170, while an internal hard drive of the same size and brand may go for around $200.
The difference is small, as you can see. It’s just $30, but it means a whole lot. You might even get lucky and find a cheaper deal.
Reasons To Consider Using An External Hard Drive For Gaming
The price is the first reason you should consider using an external hard drive for gaming. External hard drives are a bit cheaper.
Another reason is their portability. You can move your hard drive anywhere you like. You don’t have to take your laptop with you.
For instance, if you want to visit a relative who’s a gamer like you, you only need to take your hard drive with you.
An external hard drive will also prevent you from overloading your laptop or computer’s internal storage. You can even leave the games on your external hard drive and store other programs and files on your internal hard drive.
Are external hard drives good for gaming? The simple answer is yes, and they are incredible for gaming. However, external hard drives are a bit slower than the internal drive.
But in external hard drives, you have a device you can move around with ease. They’re also a breeze to repair, as you don’t have to disassemble the computer to access the hard drive.