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As a gamer, you are probably aware of the importance of a good hard drive. But how long do these drives usually last?
An HDD can last five to eight years if you aren’t uninstalling and installing many games at the same time. Luckily, HDD units have good capacity to store a lot of programs like games (from 20GB to 180GB average) and they can even support the graphics, yet they take more time loading games than SDDs.
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Is HDD good for gaming?
Hard drives work well with games as long as the HDD has enough capacity to store your games and is fast enough to support graphics so you should never have any problem.
However, I mentioned above, HDDs aren’t that good at load times since this solid-state drive does not have to spin a disk to locate potentially fragmented data.
Remember that HDDs are a computer component that people use to permanently store their data. The good thing about this is that your video game data will be safe. This means that the data is not erased when you turn off your PC as it happens with those stored by RAM.
They are made up of mechanical parts and they use magnetism to record your data and files. Manufacturers use one or more rigid disks joined by the same axis and that rotates at high speed inside a metal box. A read/write head reads or writes your data onto the discs on each platter and each of its faces.
The thinner the discs, the better the recording, and the faster they spin so the faster the game data is transmitted, both when reading and writing. Generally, the speed of hard drives is usually 5400 or 7200 RPM or revolutions per minute, and some server-based drives can reach up to 15,000 RPM.
In terms of size, the enclosures for mechanical hard drives can be 2.5 “or 3.5”. Its price may vary depending on this size, but especially on its storage capacity. Moreover, another positive fact about these hard drives over SSDs is that they are less expensive.
Does gaming damage a hard drive?
No, it shouldn’t damage your HDD. Games use data that your HDD will read and write, but that’s exactly what it’s meant for. In other words, that’s just normal usage, so it isn’t intense and it shouldn’t damage your unit in any way.
It is proven that playing games and other types of programs cause computer performance to deteriorate. That is why it is usually worth formatting the hard drive once a year later and to remove all the files that aren’t useful anymore.
Remember that manufacturers designed computers to be used so HDDs can handle much more than you think. All video game consoles are some kind of computer, it doesn’t matter that you play 100 hours, but nothing happens, don’t worry.
Yet, games are the most demanding programs on PCs. It is necessary that you ventilate it well, that the heatsinks and fans of the microprocessor and the video card are well dimensioned because otherwise, the hard disk does a process called swap, which reduces the lifespan of your device by making it work intensively.
The keyboard suffers a lot of damage as well, so it would not be a bad idea, if you have an expensive keyboard on your PC, to put a cheaper keyboard to play with.
How long will an HDD last for gaming?
A typical hard drive is estimated to have an average life of 20,000 power-on hours
In the case of HDD magnetic disks, there are various studies in which some key periods in the life of our device are encrypted. Although each manufacturer defends different durability for their products, on average a hard disk usually has a lifetime of between 5 to 7 years, it depends on the time you use it. Therefore, the best measurement system is through the hours you use it.
If you want to improve an HDD lifespan for gaming the first thing you have to think of is maintenance. It is important you have an HDD sanitized, error checking, hard disk defragmentation, and cleaning.
You should also check the temperature when playing any type of game. Bad temperatures, bad ventilation, or any other external factor can affect your HDD lifespan. Especially, high temperatures are not friendly to hard drives at all.
Another thing to consider is the brand. For a time, Seagate HDDs were very conflictive, but I’ll tell you a secret: Western Digitals are the ones that are the most effective. It is not because they are bad, but because they are the bestselling hard drives. So, here the quality of the brand and how lucky you are will influence. Many say that the best brands are Western Digital, Crucial, and Samsung, but some models have caused problems.
Think about something, the programs you execute will be loaded into the RAM from the hard disk or they will go from the RAM to the virtual memory and in that way, from the RAM the access time will be much lower. In addition to that, there is also a cache memory on the CPU, which will load certain instructions and data that it will process to further reduce latency concerning RAM.
Now, think about another thing, HDD hard drives also have very fast flash memories with low access times that load portions of data to act as a buffer and reduce access times since it will be from these buffers from where the magnetic-mechanical part will take the data to write it and have faster reading.
In fact, there are SSHDs on the market, hybrid hard drives between an SSD and an HDD that are nothing more than HDD hard drives with a somewhat more worked buffer. I mean, with a flash memory greater than 8MB that the other ones usually have, and with somewhat lower access times. What hard drives provide is superior performance to HDDs thanks to this hybridization, but with capacities and prices similar to conventional HDDs.
Do I need 2 HDD for gaming?
Having two HDD units is worth it if you need more than 2GB of storage. HDDs that use more than 2GB are expensive, and in some cases, they aren’t that fast. It also depends on the types of games you’re playing. Light games are easy to store so it’s better to buy a single SSD for the OS and other games.
Using more than two HDD units in your PC can also be great for data security. You can back up data easily since you have multiple drives in one system. With just a few clicks you can create multiple copies of important files.
You must resort to conventional HDD hard drives when choosing where to store your games.
If you still can’t choose between SSD and HDD, take into account that they are teammates.
Although it’s tempting to compare SSDs with HDDs, the truth is that they both have shortcomings. SSDs are quick, but they are far more expensive per GB than hard drives. Hard disks are slower, but they are far less expensive than SSDs.
Fortunately, because both an SSD and an HDD may be used in the same system, the optimal situation is to take use of their benefits to increase performance and storage capacity at the same price.
In most cases, however, I recommend combining both types of hard disks. For example, you can use an SSD on disk C: to install the operating system on a tower unit and make everything go faster. You accompany it with an HDD as a secondary disk and you will have a perfect unit in which to store all the heavy files you have on your computer.
If you usually download a lot of games and you need large amounts of storage, or if you have a low budget, it is recommended that you continue to use HDDs. They are also a good resource for external hard drives, where storage capacity tends to take priority over speed.