Drive / Drive Tests for Tens of Thousands of Small Files (Less than 1024KB)

GDI Lord

Limp Gawd
Jan 14, 2017
Use case: Planning a PC for my wife to play The Sims 4 with 20+GB of custom content, with low load times.

What drives (or what drive tests in reviews) should I be looking at for this use case? The Sims 4 accesses tens of thousands of really tiny files, for the standard game plus the expansion packs plus all the downloaded custom content.

Currently she's playing on my rig (i7-6700 non-K, 64GB RAM, 6800XT) that stores the game files (30GB) on a 500GB Samsung 750 EVO with the mods on a 500GB Samsung 860 EVO (they're stored in the My Documents directory on my C:\) From my profiling of the game using tools like ProcMon, it appears that reading from disk is a bigger issue than CPU usage.

While having large max throughput numbers are nice, this use case demands responsiveness and the ability to read many tiny files, very quickly. What drives should I be looking at when building her PC, and what tests do people typically run to determine how a drive handles so many thousands of files, please? From my experience doing the installation and maintenance of her mods and custom content, most of them are tiny, about half appearing to be in the sub one megabyte range.

Thank you
Honestly, any SSD greater than 512GB would satisfy what you are looking for. You might be able to find a difference in benchmarks, but ESPECIALLY when dealing with small, random files you will likely see little to no real world difference in general use.
Optane is pricey but great at random reads. One of the 32/64GB caching drives (M10) would make a great addition just for the Sims.

Otherwise, I'd say a quality Pcie 4 Nvme.
Actually I just bought a Optane P1600X and its is a fab little drive. Cloned my work laptop build to it and it does feel and act more responsive. Low latency and finally being able to use four lanes for the win.