View Full Version : OT: Internal vs. External Hard Drives

12-05-2004, 10:34 AM
I'm thinking of buying a new hard drive, and I would like to hear all of your thoughts concerning the advantages and disadvantages of external hard drives vs internal hard drives. Can I install games on an external drive and play them on any PC I plug the hard drive into? Or are external drives geared more towards storage and nothing else?

Any help would be appreciated.

-HH- Beebop
12-05-2004, 10:54 AM
An internal hard drive should access faster than an external drive. But there should be no reason why you couldn't install and play games on them, they just might be a little slower which could be a problem with a flight sim like IL-2.
I think the primary reason for external HD's is data backup. At least that is what I would use one for.
IMO, if you have the space in your case, go for an internal drive.
They're a bit cheaper too.

My 2 kopecks/yen worth.

12-05-2004, 11:03 AM
External Hard Drives are great for things like data backup, moving large quantities of data, and working with large source files like sound or video.

They are not all that great for playing games off of. Infact, I highly recommend that you not do this at all. Seek times, read times, and data transfer bandwidth is slower. They are closer now than before but still not there yet.

I highly recommend a second internal hard drive if you just want more storage. If you're on the go and want something that can move large amounts of data...THEN get an external. Depends on what you want it for.

12-05-2004, 11:16 AM
Well, I have a 40GB Zen Jukebox Xtra which I can use for moving large files. I want to get a high capacity hard drive to use as a primary slave to keep all my games, documents etc on. I'll leave the 40GB as a master so that each time I have to reinstall Windoze (which happens to be quite often nowadays) I won't lose all my stuff.

It appears now that the general consensus is to stick with internal drives. I checked the stats of a few external drives relative to internal drives of similar capacity. While both had the same rotation speed, the external drive was a bit under par compared to the internal drive, (i.e. one ms difference in speed time etc). I just didn't know how significant such a difference was. Thanks for the help!

-HH- Beebop
12-06-2004, 12:07 AM
In addtion you need to take into account the transfer speed of the interface, (i.e. USB port/serial port), which will slow down retrieving data. (Especailly the serial port.) As you describe your need, I would recommend the internal drive.

12-06-2004, 03:57 AM
I have a 120gb external which i use as a back-up for all that stuff we want to keep, but don't want to burn to cd's...

works well with USB 2.0, but vey slow with uSB 1.0
with the game as it is now, the last thing we want is any form of lag... the present top hardware can barely keep up with the game as it is, and the absolute highest spec stuff right now still cant play it all maxed out with 200 planes and AAA set to realistic with a big fleet action....

maybe in a couple of years..... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

12-06-2004, 04:22 AM
Do you have firewire? Just get a drive enclosure for an ordinary IDE internal drive and run it out of that. USB2.0 can also be decent enough for most uses - burning DVDs and CDRs at ridiculous data rates can be a bit twitchy, depending on the drive, but for HD access there is really not a lot of difference. The theoretical peak transfer rates HD/etc manufacturers like to quote are just that - theoretical, ideal, best case rates which you will rarely if ever see in reality. Firewire and USB2.0 can easily handle whatever a consumer drive is likely to throw at it for ordinary computer usage.

Depending on how tweak happy you are with your computer an external drive can be an absolutely indespensible lifesaver in the event of something horrid happening to your machines RAID/IDE/SATA interface too.