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Thread: Is it worth getting a second hard drive?

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    Taz
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    Is it worth getting a second hard drive?

    I've got a chance to install a second hard drive in my new build as I haven't started the build yet. The primary drive will be a 500GB M.2 SSD, so it'll be quite quick.

    I originally planned the new PC build to be just for playing X-Plane, but I've invested a lot of money into buying all of the components so it would be a bit of a waste to just play one game on it!

    But if I were to use the PC for other app/games then I imagine I'd run out of space on the M.2 SSD, particularly as I've seen that you should keep a certain percentage of the space free on it.

    So, is it worth me getting a second hard drive that would be 1TB+ to future-proof the PC a bit. The cheaper route would be a mechanical drive which would disappoint me in terms of performance. A 1TB SSD would not be cheap.

    Do I just wait until I actually need one and then open up the case again in the future, or install one now?

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    Senior Member spacein_vader's Avatar
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    Re: Is it worth getting a second hard drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taz View Post
    I've got a chance to install a second hard drive in my new build as I haven't started the build yet. The primary drive will be a 500GB M.2 SSD, so it'll be quite quick.

    I originally planned the new PC build to be just for playing X-Plane, but I've invested a lot of money into buying all of the components so it would be a bit of a waste to just play one game on it!

    But if I were to use the PC for other app/games then I imagine I'd run out of space on the M.2 SSD, particularly as I've seen that you should keep a certain percentage of the space free on it.

    So, is it worth me getting a second hard drive that would be 1TB+ to future-proof the PC a bit. The cheaper route would be a mechanical drive which would disappoint me in terms of performance. A 1TB SSD would not be cheap.

    Do I just wait until I actually need one and then open up the case again in the future, or install one now?
    A SATA based hard drive is trivial to install so I wouldn't base it on that. A spinning rust drive may not disappoint you depending on what you are planning to store on it. What's the use case?

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    RGB Champion Ttaskmaster's Avatar
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    Re: Is it worth getting a second hard drive?

    Most people run a second (or third, fourth, fifth, etc) drive for data storage.
    My SSD only has OS and some basic app files on. Everything else goes on the HDD, including games.

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Is it worth getting a second hard drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taz View Post
    ... if I were to use the PC for other app/games then I imagine I'd run out of space on the M.2 SSD ...
    I suspect it'd take you quite a while. Modern games can be quite large, but 500GB is still quite a lot of space. If your original plan for the build was a single game I'm going to assume that you don't have a huge game library you'd want to install immediately.anyway? I'm not a huge gamer but I've taken advantage of a fair few free game offers, and my entire Steam library (40 games) currently requires ~ 250GB of disk space. I own a couple of games that aren't on Steam too, but if I was building a primarily gaming machine right now I'd be happy sticking a 500GB SSD in there and using it for all my game installs. So it might be worth having a serious think about whether you really need more than 500GB for your games.

    Of course, that doesn't take account of any other software you might install or data you might want to store, and that can eat up disk space quickly. Plus since we don't really know much about your current storage usage it's hard to give really good advice on whether you need more storage.

    As spacein_vader says, adding a drive later is dead easy, but transferring stuff you've already installed can be a PITA. Running a game off an HDD generally won't make much difference to game performance (there are some exceptions, but mostly it affects loading times rather than frame rates) so if you're pretty sure you'll need the extra storage eventually it might be worth getting it now so you can install games and software you're less bothered about onto it to start with. If you think you can rpoabbly manage, then you may as well wait - tech prices are always shifting, and you never know what might happen with storage performance and prices in the future...!

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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Is it worth getting a second hard drive?

    If you've got room/power/budget for it I'd always do so. Anything sequentially accessed (think media etc.) is still pretty quick from a modern hard drive, and it's useful to have different storage tech as part of your backup strategy to increase resilience. And it has a cumulative effect on reducing SSD wear as you say, keeping free space on SSD is good, so moving big sequentially read files off the SSD wins there too.

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    Senior Member Jonj1611's Avatar
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    Re: Is it worth getting a second hard drive?

    My current games are taking up 1.5TB!
    Jon

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    Re: Is it worth getting a second hard drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonj1611 View Post
    My current games are taking up 1.5TB!
    I'm guessing 80 Gig of that is Star Citizen alone?
    Another 50GB for Black Desert, maybe?

    I remember when my mate at Rebellion was telling me about the "small" 18GB game he was working on!

  8. #8
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    Re: Is it worth getting a second hard drive?

    Yep, world of warcraft is pushing 65gb at the moment, the star citizen and various call of duties etc, soon ads up.
    Jon

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    I really don't care Dashers's Avatar
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    Re: Is it worth getting a second hard drive?

    Buy a new drive when you run out of space and no longer have any games you can uninstall as you've finished them.

    I guess I've got about 1TB of games split across SSD and disks. Most games work just as well on disk as they do on SSD, there's a few exceptions to it (Payday 2 for instance, will take a life time to complete the updating process if not on SSD).

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    Oh Crumbs.... Biscuit's Avatar
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    Re: Is it worth getting a second hard drive?

    Personally I would put in a hard drive.

    I have 2 x 500GB SSDs (one for windows and one for Steam/Origin, Ubisoft don't get anywhere near my PC) then a 1TB hybrid drive for data storage, including games I own but am not currently playing, games that have no online mode therefore the extra waiting time for loading is no big deal, or games that are a bit older and smaller so a modern spinner is plenty fast enough. Honestly with the hybrid drive, you barely notice much difference in loading times between it and the SSD.

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    Re: Is it worth getting a second hard drive?

    By getting a big second hard drive, you're not future-proofing it, you're being-too-lazy-to-open-it-up-in-the-future-proofing it.

    I don't really understand the desire to spend good money on a secondary, large SSD. SSDs are good value for money when it comes to operating systems, but aren't economic for storage unless you've got money coming out your ears.

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    Taz
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    Re: Is it worth getting a second hard drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
    Personally I would put in a hard drive.

    I have 2 x 500GB SSDs (one for windows and one for Steam/Origin, Ubisoft don't get anywhere near my PC) then a 1TB hybrid drive for data storage, including games I own but am not currently playing, games that have no online mode therefore the extra waiting time for loading is no big deal, or games that are a bit older and smaller so a modern spinner is plenty fast enough. Honestly with the hybrid drive, you barely notice much difference in loading times between it and the SSD.
    I've seen a few 2.5" SSHDs (hybrid SSDs) for sale that have decent capacities. However, their mechanical parts only run at 5400RPM. Online reviews suggest performance isn't great, but as a data drive they may be an option. On the positive side they are tiny and will fit nicely in the two slots on my case above the PSU shroud.

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    Senior Member Spreadie's Avatar
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    Re: Is it worth getting a second hard drive?

    My OS drive is a 256GB NVMe SSD, but I have a couple of 500GB SATA3 SSDs in my rig - one is for Steam/Games and the other is for general storage. They ain't cheap, but they are nice and quick.

    I have a 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM SSHD in a DAS box, and all my standard mechanical HDDs are in my server.
    Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes; after that, who cares?! He's a mile away and you've got his shoes!


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    Oh Crumbs.... Biscuit's Avatar
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    Re: Is it worth getting a second hard drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taz View Post
    I've seen a few 2.5" SSHDs (hybrid SSDs) for sale that have decent capacities. However, their mechanical parts only run at 5400RPM. Online reviews suggest performance isn't great, but as a data drive they may be an option. On the positive side they are tiny and will fit nicely in the two slots on my case above the PSU shroud.
    I often see similar reports about performance, and I rarely recommend them because I really cba to run any kind of tests to prove any different, but have been using them since the first generation ones appeared and have always been very happy with the performance vs plain hard drives.
    It's not a huge difference, but with regularly used applications and files, there certainly is one.

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