questionswhat is a good hard drive for gaming?


Sixty bucks probably isn't enough to go with an SSD, but that's what I'd recommend for pure gaming performance.

Lacking that, you should look for a couple generic traits:

Go with an internal drive - SATA II speed will outperform eSATA and USB external drives. You will want a drive with a 7200 RPM rotational speed and a 32 MB or higher cache buffer.

This one fits your budget if you don't pay sales tax or shipping:


For that pricing, I would go with a Seagate Momentus drive (assuming you have a laptop). What this drive will do is cache often used data, such as core Operating System files used at boot and commonly used applications (such as games), and store that data in its SSD-like cache. They come in various sizes, including ones that fit into your budget. If you have a desktop, they make similar hybrid drives for them as well.


I'd say, for gaming, assuming you mean a desktop, is to go with the Western Digital Caviar Black Drives. This will give you the best space/performance for the buck. An SSD would be good too, esp. for long load time games, but are so small per dollar, that for a few more seconds to load their not worth it for gaming, in my opinion.


Right now i am running for my primary drive a OCZ agility SSD drive 60 GB. I have my OS on that and key programs. On my secondary drive i am running a WD cavier Black 1 TB 6 GB/s and have secondary programs and storage on it, but it is almost full. I am looking for a bigger hard drive to add on to my system but not to sure which might be good. SSD is a little to spendy and wouldnt give me the size i am looking for. i can spend more than the 60 i have but i just dont want to spend a ton of money.

My system build right now on my desktop is:

i7 - 950
OCZ agility 60 Gb
1 TB sata 2 6 GB/s
6 GB triple channel ram .
1 GB video card.
Asus sabertooth x58 mobo.
and other typical accessories. P.S., dvd player.


If you're just using it for game installs, a pair of 500gb WD blues can be found for around $70-90ish depending on how good an eye you have for good deals. Raid 0 them together, you'll have a dramatically faster machine than most single-HDD setups. Windows 7, most Linux builds and probably Vista (I have no clue lawl) have quick and efficient built-in RAID utilities. Win7 will even set up a software RAID on motherboards that don't support it natively, but the drives will only ever be accessible to Win7. A Goog'll tell you how fairly easily.

(fake edit: Avoid the Greens anyways. They don't RAID, and more importantly to you, they're slower drives which equals slower load times. Also, avoid Seagate. Highest failure rate in the industry, yo. Toshibas and Hitachi's are reliable. Higher end WDs are good, though I've seen people complain about the generics and the WD greens occasionally.)


@smitelight: OMG, NO! RAID 0 is a terrible idea. Lose one drive, and lose everything. Best would be a RAID 5 setup. Still has the speed benefit of RAID 0, but also drive parity so you can lose one. It does require 3 drive, and you only get 2/3 of the total space (technically n-p space where n is the total drives and p is the parity drives, usually p=1).

Oh, and strike two, WD green drives are perfectly capable of RAID. How do I know this? I have a 4TB RAID of 3 2TB WD Green drives running right now.

Please, don't spew useless information unless you know what you are talking about.


@mrmucox: Firstly, I'm not sure why you had to get insulting with your last post. Nevertheless, allow me to educate you.

He asked for the best performance in the range of $60. I gave him that. I also made it clear that if he was installing games only, the RAID 0 was his best bet. The majority of modern games save to the C:\Users[etc]\App Data\ directories, so he would not lose saves in the RARE chance of a drive failure.

WD Green drives are frequently refurbished or flawed from the manufacturing process and use a handful of different firmwares, marketed under the same model. Several of those FWs don't RAID. The overwhelming majority of failed-to-RAID calls my company gets are from people attempting to use a Green or similar HDD. Many work just fine, but the majority do not. I'm happy for you that your drives work, but it's a known issue and Western Digital have even directly said in their white papers that Green HDDs are not guaranteed to work in any RAID configuration.


You can boost your access times on cheap HDDs with some sensible partitioning ( and get better load times in your games.


@smitelight: I'm sorry, but telling someone, that has asked for a gaming hard drive, because they know little abot them, to use RAID 0 in their setup, is like putting a mouse in a snake cage, it might not die right away, but eventually it will. And where did the OP say this would not be their main drive. If you meant this to be a seconday drive , why didn't you mention that. I still believe that RAID 0 was never meant to be implemented except under certain controlled conditions, where data loss is not an issue. In this instance, it is not necessary, it's a disaster waiting to happen. I'd gratefully wait a few more seconds for a level to load each time rather than have to reinstall all my games for hours or even days, when the Flimsy RAID 0 dies.

As for the Green drive, I was only giving my experience with them, i'm sorry you were offended, but my experience has been positive.


@mrmucox: It was sort of implied in the question that it would be secondary.
Either way, it was a decent assumption to make.

Also I agree with smitelight. Most games nowadays are tied to an account. Like Steam or one of the other distribution platforms.

So, if your RAID0 dies, you just replace the lost disk and redownload/reinstall your games. Minor inconvenience for a possible, cheap performance boost.

Anyway, I have a Caviar Blue 500gb that I have all my games on, and I'm thinking about buying a second one and RAID0ing. haha.


My last comment on the matter. Total drive failure is extremely uncommon compared to gradual failures or decommissioning due to simple upgrades. Dismissal of RAID 0 due to some unrealistic boogie man tale is irresponsible. It's a legitimate and effective upgrade for anyone on a budget. It should also be pointed out that RAID 5 on only three disks is still not completely safe. A minimum for full data security is 4 drives. Even that doesn't protect against illegal write head instructions or vibration, etc. If a malicious firmware virus hits you, it just means more dead drives to be replaced. Unless you're storing secure financial information or irreplaceable manuscripts, higher disk counts are just an optional luxury.


I have never raided before, but have plenty of sata ports. Is it pretty hard to raid and do i need any special hardware in order to do it? RIght now my primary hard drive is a SSD OCZ agility 2 60 Gb and my secondary is a 1 TB sata 2 Gb/s.


@icemanforlife: Assuming your motherboard\chipset has built-in RAID capability, setting up RAID is pretty easy. The simplest form of RAID is mirroring (RAID 1) and can be setup by adding a second identical (or nearly identical) drive to mirror an existing drive. Assuming you would mirror your secondary drive, you would add the drive to your system, enter your BIOS, and add the new drive to be a mirror of your existing drive. Once the synchronization between the drives is complete, you will have a mirrorset and be protected in the case of one of these two drives failing.

This is a very simplistic 40,000 foot view of what needs to happen and doesn't touch on anything that could go wrong but should be enough to get your started down the right path.

hlx hlx

The only difference you'll see in a low performance and high performance hard drive is going to be loading time.