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Old 10-12-2012, 06:05 PM   #1
No_Fooler
 
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Playing games on an external hard drive

I am using a mid 2011 Mac desktop, however I am running bootcamp to use windows 7 64-bit.

When creating the partition, I overlooked the fact that there was little space left on the internal hard drive and so I just left 60 gigs for the new windows 7 partition. Just installing windows took a large chunk out of the already small space left, however there was still space to have one largish game installed at a time, which I was fine with (like APB, Tribes Ascend, ARMA II CO). I currently have only ARMA II installed on the hard drive which leaves me with little space (like 1 gig). I wish to play Planetside 2 when it comes out or if I am invited to the beta, but I'm not sure if I would have enough space even after uninstalling the entirety of ARMA II CO.

So I'd like to know whether I should be buying a small external hard drive to install games and steam on to run them off (probably around 100 gig hard drive, I don't have a huge library), or if that would cause performance issues that would give me more trouble than its worth. Does anyone have advice for me?

RAM: 12 GB
Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 6970M 1024 MB
Processor: 3.1 GHz Intel Core i5
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Old 10-13-2012, 03:50 AM   #2
TeKraken
 
 
 
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Unless you have a USB3 or an eSata port I wouldn't bother.

It is possible but game Load/save times will be terrible and overall performance will be lower due to the speed of USB2 ports.
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:41 AM   #3
rickyk
 
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@No_Fooler

I would advise if you're looking to improve game load/save times, texture streaming etc. and considering your Steam lib is small, you should consider buying an 80-100 GB SSD instead of a HDD.

Of course SSD's are more expensive than HDD's but the difference in speeds is quite noticeable.
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:47 PM   #4
ElBandito81
 
 
 
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Question Running steam games on an external hard drive?

So I'm pretty much out of hard drive space, and steam games are taking up a lot of my internal hard drive.

My question is if it's recommended to move my games to an external hard drive. If I move them to an external hard drive, I'm assuming I have to run it off that external hard drive (connected by USB), so how would that be performance wise if I were to have to run it from the external hard drive?

Thanks a ton for any help, I won't forgot to give rep to anyone able to help me.
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Old 10-14-2012, 03:19 PM   #5
craigsters
 
 
 
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You could move the ones your not playing over to a external hard drive and when your ready to play them again, move or copy them over to your main PC and steam folder and then verify integrated of the game cache and steam might need to re-sync with it, update and then you could play it again!..

I've moved my whole skyrim out of my steam folder to a folder on my desktop, because I use mods and some mods turn out to be bad and I need to replace my skyrim quickly,so rather then wait for steam to re-install it over 5 hours or more I just use my backup from my desktop, it's not a steam backup but the whole folder itself I'm talking about!..
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Old 10-14-2012, 03:27 PM   #6
ElBandito81
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigsters View Post
You could move the ones your not playing over to a external hard drive and when your ready to play them again, move or copy them over to your main PC and steam folder and then verify integrated of the game cache and steam might need to re-sync with it, update and then you could play it again!..

I've moved my whole skyrim out of my steam folder to a folder on my desktop, because I use mods and some mods turn out to be bad and I need to replace my skyrim quickly,so rather then wait for steam to re-install it over 5 hours or more I just use my backup from my desktop, it's not a steam backup but the whole folder itself I'm talking about!..
Thanks for the reply. I guess that I could do that, although my main problem isn't downloading/reinstalling the games. My internet speed is pretty good, and I have unlimited GB's when it comes to internet usage. It's just that if I keep them all on my computer, I have to choose between having 3-4 games installed at a time, where if I kept them on the external, I could have them all installed.
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Old 10-14-2012, 03:45 PM   #7
slovenian89
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeKraken View Post
Unless you have a USB3 or an eSata port I wouldn't bother.

It is possible but game Load/save times will be terrible and overall performance will be lower due to the speed of USB2 ports.
Basically what I quoted. I'm running my Steam library (which is quite large) off an eSATA external drive. Compared to having them installed on my internal drive, there is no noticeable difference in game loading times or performance.
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Old 10-14-2012, 03:46 PM   #8
Duane Dibbley
 
 
 
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http://forums.steampowered.com/forum....php?t=2826396
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Old 12-26-2013, 07:22 PM   #9
Gmarcott42
 
 
 
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I have a similar problem. I used to game on my MacBook Pro, but because I messed up with the partition, I barely had any room on the HDD left for games. I used a 500 GB external hard drive for my steam install, and ran all of my games off of there. However today I got a new laptop (with a SSD drive) and soon found that my massive game library wasn't going to play nicely with the lack of storage in an SSD. So I found a different solution (mostly because I wouldn't accept going back to running stuff off of my external hard drive and not my SSD).

Here's what you do:
1) Get an external HD, but not an SSD.
2) Follow the steps linked to below to move your Steam install location to the external hard drive.

https://support.steampowered.com/kb_...7710-tdlc-0426

3) Download all your games to the external hard drive.
4) Create a new folder called "Steam Games" in the external hard drive, and move the "common" folder that you get to under "SteamApps."
5) Move Steam (without any games) back to your internal hard drive.
6) As you want to play a game, copy the game folder from "common" in the external hard drive, to the "common" folder in your internal hard drive.
7) Open Steam and go to your library. Click on the game you just copied over, and click "Install." When the box that usually says "Allocating Disk Space for GAME..." appears, you'll notice it quickly changes to "Discovering existing files for GAME..." and then its done.

Yes I realize its a pain to copy over a game whenever you want to play it, but the time that takes is negligible to the problems you would face when playing off of an external hard drive.
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