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23-02-2013, 10:24 AM #1
External hard drives/gaming from one
I am going to need a fairly beefy external drive later in the summer but I know hardly anything about them. Aside from data storage I will also be gaming from games installed to it and it will also need to be robust (both to physical shocks and to heat).
A quick google search came up with this http://www.ebuyer.com/396739-samsung...k-hx-m101tcb-g would something like that fit what I require?
23-02-2013, 01:24 PM #2
The thing with external drives is that they are never going to transfer data quicker than your internal drive, so you need to use the fastest connection the machine you can plug it in can handle. So, that looks fine if you have USB 3.0 (which is backward compatible, but you won't get the extra speed).
Something tells me that the current state of play for (single connection) device transfer speeds is something like:-
Thunderbolt > USB 3.0 > eSata
But good luck in finding a non-Mac device with a Thunderbolt connection.
23-02-2013, 02:19 PM #3
I do have USB 3.0. It won't be used for high spec games, just as long as it works to a reasonable degree. To be honest my main concern is durability. I had an external drive before and it didn't last long in a hot, dusty environment.
23-02-2013, 02:54 PM #4
Thunderbolt is awesome though.
Anyway, you actually need to look beyond the interface to find out how a drive will perform. It's not unheard of for manufacturers to take a very slow drive, slap on a high-speed interface, and market it as a super-speedy drive.
23-02-2013, 03:17 PM #5
Do games really access the HDD so much? I'd expect longer loading times, but overall performance shouldn't suffer. That is, if your RAM is big enough.
Is this correct or am I missing something?
23-02-2013, 05:35 PM #6
Last edited by Feldspar; 23-02-2013 at 05:39 PM.
24-02-2013, 01:11 AM #7
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
You do realise that the HDDs in external drives are EXACTLY the same as those inside your laptop or desktop?
Dust isn't a factor either - HDDs are sealed against stuff like that so dust would only be a factor if you let it stop airflow.
The only things which will kill an HDD are
- mechanical failure/fault (same in any HDD)
- heat (and many people believe this is MUCH less an issue than people think - Google included!)
Laptops and desktops are arguably worse than external enclosures for heat anyway - the machine generates more heat than the drive and the drive shares that same space.
I have to admit, anecdotally, I see a LOT more HDD failures in external enclosures than I do in PCs but I honestly think that has nothing to do with the hardware and everything to do with the people who use the hardware.
Some of the things which happen to external HDDs a lot include
- being unplugged from a PC without ejecting first
- losing power unexpectedly
- being moved when in-use
- being moved around generally
I think it's those things which tend to kill them and not environmental factors or anything to do with the enclosures - e.g. it's a PEBKAC situation.
24-02-2013, 11:18 AM #8
As long as it survives for at least 4 months though that's all I need.
24-02-2013, 12:16 PM #9
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
Only time it was actually a problem was when copying large blocks of files across - and even then, a lot of it was Windows having terrible file handling code. It seems to read one file, then copy it across, then do the next file - so whilst it's reading, it isn't using the connection to the external HDD at all, and even on an internal HDD reading is pretty slow. My solutions were either to split the copy into 4 or 5 parts and run them simultaneously, or boot up into Linux, which handled it much more sensibly."Swans are so big, they're like the Ostriches of the bird world"
24-02-2013, 01:37 PM #10
24-02-2013, 11:55 PM #11
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
3.5" drive-based units are a different thing but given the need to drag a PSU around, I'm not sure why anyone would bother with those housebricks? :)
25-02-2013, 11:57 AM #12
Anyway, buy a 2.5" one. Those are laptop drives, which are capable to withstand more shocks than desktop drives (people lug around laptops daily). Part of this is durability engineering, the other part is that the read/write arm is just smaller and thus lighter, and simple physics.
They also use less power so can operate a bit better in hot areas. Also make an effort to keep it cool (don't dump some clothing on it while it's operating, for example, or put it next to a laptop hot air exhaust).
You can game of them, but don't expect great loading times. It'll be good enough though.