Internal Hard Drive Recommendations, Suitable for Games

Hi everyone. I've just started teaching from home, and my videos are chipping away at what remains of my 1TB hard drive, so I thought it was time for a proper update. As someone who has quite ad-hoc computer knowledge (try to learn things as I need them), I find genuine comparisons of what actually matters in hard drives to be confusing. So I was hoping I could get some help.

The OS is running off a 256GB SSD. Both hard drives are leftover from an old work computer from my dad, but the rest of the parts are newish and pretty good. My main hopes are:

  • Not to destroy the bank. Sub $300 would be nice, and lower is definitely appreciated, especially if I'm not getting much for it.
  • A decent amount of storage. I don't think I could justify the cost if I'm just going to 2TB. Ideally 4TB (and of course nothing wrong with more).
  • Decent to have games on it. I'll admit that I don't find the time I used to for PC games, but I like having the option. I don't need the absolute greatest loading times, but if there is a noticeable improvement between hard drives, I'm interested.

I've done some research, but answers can be a bit unclear from the perspective of enthusiasts. Would the WD Blue 4TB fit this, or is 5400RPM not enough? Is the jump to 7200 worth the price/sacrificing space? Am I being silly by doing anything other than an SSD for games, and should I be upgrading both hard drives now?

I hope that's not too confusing or rambly. Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to read this and offer any advice at all!

Comments

  • +3 votes

    5400RPM is fine.

    So you'll need to wait a little more for games to load.

    Certain games which would benefit from a faster drive you could use the SSD for, and everything else dump into the HDD. TBH there's only a few games that it would make a real difference.

    •  

      I thought that might be the case. In fact, I was surprised how it wasn't mentioned in "best of" lists and the like.

      From what I can tell, the WD Blue 4TB hits a sweet spot in price/features. People seem to say the Seagate of the same capacity is less reliable, and some are saying the Toshiba is loud. Moreover, the price for anything above seems to jump a fair bit, as much as I may tempt myself to a 6 or 8TB.

      Thanks heaps for the advice.

    •  

      I only found out that this process exists a couple of days ago. Is there any difference to reliability/speed? As someone with limited knowledge, I always hesitate a touch when using something in a way not fully intended.

      Although one big benefit would be that, unless I'm mistaken, the hard drive transfer should be exceptionally easy: just drag across before the shucking process?

      • +1 vote

        No real difference in speed or reliability, but it does free up desk space, a powerpoint and a USB port.

        I've done it many times and it's super easy, but if you're not convinced or confident then you're not losing any speed or features by staying USB; I had to stay 'unshucked' on my 5th HDD as I'd run out of SATA ports lol

        •  

          I'd definitely prefer to have the desk space etc. I assume that the USB and shucked variants have no discernable difference to a pre-built internal drive?

        •  

          No real difference in speed or reliability

          Are you serious? SATA provides much higher speed than USB for hard drives especially for sustained read/write and much better reliability due to the common failure of USB controllers since you now have 2 components that could fail.

          •  

            @Hybroid: Heh, and now you see how I can find researching this as a layman to be quite difficult. As I ponder my choices, do you think that a standard 4TB SATA hard drive like the WD Blue fits my needs?

            • +2 votes

              @HenSim: WD Blue are ideal for everyday use. They won't be as cheap as long term storage/NAS drives but cheaper than SSDs and better suited for your use. All the better if you can find a 7200 RPM model.

              •  

                @Hybroid: Thanks! Sadly I haven't seen a 7200RPM model over 2TB. Am I missing something there? I could try to wait it out if that's on the horizon as well.

      •  

        no, shucking won't affect reliability & speed
        as general, reliability on HDD is hit and miss, just pure luck
        you can always buy 2, shuck 1, and keep 1 as external backup copy, which is the best insurance
        as for speed, you won't notice it for gaming, only noticeable when transferring files but won't be too bad if you got nothing to compare with

        yes, just drag / copy and paste for individual files , if no operating system or program installed

        •  

          Thanks for the advice. I'll definitely look into it. Sadly, there are some programs on it, but no OS stuff, and none of the vital things like Chrome or Office.

    •  

      hi mate, do you have a shucking tutorial for this kind of hard drive? cheers

    •  

      Up to you, I have shucked and unshucked. Unschuked is sometimes a good option, as it's cheaper, you maintain the warranty, and it's often quieter than popping it in your case (depending on the effort you put into the install). It also has the mobility advantage should you ever need it, want to download a game over your work network for more speed, or just plug the drive into the TV to watch something in a hurry, or the house is on fire and you don't have an offsite backup?

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