steam on SSD or not ?

the snake

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i have a 256MB raid-0 SSD setup now with windows 7,also a 2TB storage drive, and a 146GB ultra 320 drive on this system.
i want to install steam but am not sure where to install it, about the only game i pay is TF2 and maybe portal, i am trying to keep the SSD with the most free space for video editng temp files and i can't run trim because of the raid-0 setup.

so where should i install steam and TF2 ?
 

Omerta

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256gb you mean ;). It depends how often you play TF2. With an ssd, the game will load faster. So if you play it a lot, I'd just put it on a ssd. If not, just put it on one of your hdds.
 

NukeDukem

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I use my 120GB Intel SSD as a dedicated Steam/games drive, it's worth it IMO.
 
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If you play exceptional amounts of TF2 then put it on the SSD. I always hate getting into the server late and i miss the chance to get into the same team with my friends. Keep the rest of the games somewhere else.
 

skizzled

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You can split installs from where Steam is installed, eg have the game you play a lot on the SSD only and everything else on your HD -

http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1138731
This is what I do, only I use this utility so I can do it from the gui rather than command line http://schinagl.priv.at/nt/hardlinkshellext/hardlinkshellext.html

rig in sig.
That's definitely what I would do if I cared much about loading times on games that didn't have a spawn timer at the start of a match. I'm usually one of the first in game on the servers I play on in TF2 and I don't have it on my SSD.

Guess it depends on how long you want to sit around waiting for others to finish loading.
 

Tudz

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Yeah, do it with symlinks like the programs above. You could install steam on your SSD and move all your other games to different drives, or install steam on one of your other drives and symlink it to your SSD for the games you care about. I'd be more inclined to do the first.

If you're really desperate for fast loads you could even set up a ramdisk, copy your steam game to the ramdisk and use a symlink to point from the SSD to the ramdisk. I did this for The Witcher and it made loads pretty damn fast.
 

Godmachine

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I use my 120GB Intel SSD as a dedicated Steam/games drive, it's worth it IMO.

It can be for that little extra edge (a few seconds worth of a head start per say) but only if its something you don't mind splurging for.

The biggest benefit I've ever seen while using an SSD for gaming is in WoW , its really like playing a much better optimized game when using an SSD. Any game that loads a constant stream of files like that will benefit greatly from it. But there are not many that do.
 

archevilangel

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That's definitely what I would do if I cared much about loading times on games that didn't have a spawn timer at the start of a match. I'm usually one of the first in game on the servers I play on in TF2 and I don't have it on my SSD.

Guess it depends on how long you want to sit around waiting for others to finish loading.

I get frequent disconnects due to comcast, so "re"loading a map/reconnecting to the server quickly is very important to me.
 

skizzled

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I get frequent disconnects due to comcast, so "re"loading a map/reconnecting to the server quickly is very important to me.
In that case, yeah, I'd definitely consider putting it on a SSD. And now that you mention it, that's probably a good idea as I've been having connection issues with Brighthouse for the past few weeks.
 

evilcartman

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I use this..... http://www.traynier.com/software/steammover

It allows you to move your steam installs to another folder/hard drive but you are able to still run those games off of that secondary drive. I did this because I had no room on my SSD for all my steam games....so the one's I don't play as often but want to stay installed get put on one of my Samsung drives.
 

Viper87227

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You guys make me feel like I have too many games. I have a 1TB drive dedicated to Steam, and it only has about 100GB left.
 

the snake

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thanks for the advice everyone :)

right now i have steam on the SSD and am downloading TF2 only, i never realized that TF2 and steam combined was 10+ GB ?

holy shit LOL
 

TheGamerZ

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I have Steam and games on my SSD RAID.

Load times are not an issue; I'm consistantly the first one into multiplayer maps. You won't regret it.
 

DeathPrincess

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I have Steam and games on my SSD RAID.

Load times are not an issue; I'm consistantly the first one into multiplayer maps. You won't regret it.

Thats a problem I found though. I used to have starcraft II on SSD, and would constantly be sitting on the load screen with a full bar while I waited for 3 other people with laptop HDDs sitting there for just as long. Having a faster drive would make little difference for most games, as it would still leave the load screens visible for the same amount of time.

The games it worked with were single player only, and I suppose MMORPG style games where everyone loads into the enviroment individually.
 

rampantandroid

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I use this..... http://www.traynier.com/software/steammover

It allows you to move your steam installs to another folder/hard drive but you are able to still run those games off of that secondary drive. I did this because I had no room on my SSD for all my steam games....so the one's I don't play as often but want to stay installed get put on one of my Samsung drives.

http://www.stefanjones.ca/steam/


^ works great for me. i moved gta iv to my ssd to see how much of a performance difference there would be and it was easy peasy with that software.

Neither of these deal with the GCF files, sadly. Maybe you can't use junctions with them, but it's still a good 20GB I wish was on my 2TB drive.
 

Tudz

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Neither of these deal with the GCF files, sadly. Maybe you can't use junctions with them, but it's still a good 20GB I wish was on my 2TB drive.

Have you tried manually creating symlinks? Just copy/paste the desired files to another drive, then create a symlink from where the file was to where you moved the file.

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/howtos/howto_master_your_file_system_mklink

I believe what you want to use is a file hard link (opposed to a directory hard link)....

/H



With the /H flag, mklink creates a hard link, rather than a soft link, as described at the beginning of this article. It must point to a file, not a directory. It would look like this:

mklink /H C:\app\config.ini E:\apps\exampleapp\config.ini

I've been using symlinks to move individual files onto my ramdisk for the witcher (since the entire folder is too large, but there's a few large data files which are clearly the ones being loaded from in game).

Unfortunately you do have to do it file by file, so I wrote a batch script to copy them all then symlink them all in one click.

EDIT: Sorry my mistake, its not hard link you want according to the description in the article, just regular link I think... if all else fails just test it and see, I can't remember what I used for The Witcher as my batch files are on my other drive that I removed from my system the other day and haven't put back yet, lol.
 
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rampantandroid

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I know how to symlink; I manually do all of this myself. I was noting that these programs do not account for the GCF files, and that Steam may not be able to properly deal with it's GCF files if they are not physically in the steam folder.
 

Tudz

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If you do it all yourself why not test it? :p I dont regularly play any games that have GCF files, but I tested it for a couple of games with NCF files and it worked fine. TF2 has GCF files but I never play it so I can't test it that easily (it needs to download 4gb worth of patches before I can even launch it, screw that, lol, test it yourself :p).
 

rampantandroid

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If you do it all yourself why not test it? :p I dont regularly play any games that have GCF files, but I tested it for a couple of games with NCF files and it worked fine. TF2 has GCF files but I never play it so I can't test it that easily (it needs to download 4gb worth of patches before I can even launch it, screw that, lol, test it yourself :p).

I already have TF2 unpacked and all - I'll give EP2 a go though.

How often are the GCF files needed? Only at first run?
 

Tudz

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I already have TF2 unpacked and all - I'll give EP2 a go though.

How often are the GCF files needed? Only at first run?

I'm not sure. NCF files seem to tell steam whether or not a game is installed, as when I removed the NCF files for a couple of games (which weren't huge) steam tried to verify cache but couldn't, then eventually after a restart told me the game wasn't installed, copy/pasting the NCF file back (or symlinking it) made steam recognise the game again and it didn't need to verify anything.

GCF files on the other hand are only for Source games for the most part (the only non-source game I have that uses GCF files is RACE 07) and are typically huge, the TF2 GCF files are 10 times bigger than the actual TF2 folder, so I assume game files are stored there probably uncompressed so everything loads faster.
 

ZodaEX

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Thats a problem I found though. I used to have starcraft II on SSD, and would constantly be sitting on the load screen with a full bar while I waited for 3 other people with laptop HDDs sitting there for just as long. Having a faster drive would make little difference for most games, as it would still leave the load screens visible for the same amount of time.

The games it worked with were single player only, and I suppose MMORPG style games where everyone loads into the enviroment individually.

Hey at least your not the guy holding back the game from starting right? I Always want to punch that guy in the face with the laptop Hard drive.
 

DeathPrincess

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Hey at least your not the guy holding back the game from starting right? I Always want to punch that guy in the face with the laptop Hard drive.

I think therefore the best way to speed up load times is to form a clan and mail all of them SSDs! There was this one person I used to play with in DoW retribution. And every single match it would be all the other players loaded in 30 seconds, then it would take them about 3 minutes... After a while it was used for toilet/drink/snack breaks... Same thing with regular SC2 players on their damned laptops! :D
 

rampantandroid

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I think therefore the best way to speed up load times is to form a clan and mail all of them SSDs! There was this one person I used to play with in DoW retribution. And every single match it would be all the other players loaded in 30 seconds, then it would take them about 3 minutes... After a while it was used for toilet/drink/snack breaks... Same thing with regular SC2 players on their damned laptops! :D

Can I join your clan? I'd love a free SSD :)
 

NY.Esco

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yea i had the same issue, had sc2 loaded on my ssd load a map in a heartbeat but i found out waiting on other players blows just as much.
 

rampantandroid

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yea i had the same issue, had sc2 loaded on my ssd load a map in a heartbeat but i found out waiting on other players blows just as much.

Welcome to the world I've always known from always having a RAID array of 2 raptors as my main partition - 2x 36GB raptors; 2x 74GB raptors; 2x 150GB raptors. Skipped the 300GB ones...
 

Shalafi

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You should have your operating system on your SSD, and the OS footprint CAN be trimmed, I believe there are guides on how to do this in the OS section of this forum, and if not there, it can be Googled, I believe that the installs can be small enough to fit on a flash drive now.

Once that is accomplished, you can fill your SSD to capacity with your most frequently played Steam games.

Nothing wrong with that.

Go have fun and stuff.
 

ZodaEX

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You should have your operating system on your SSD, and the OS footprint CAN be trimmed, I believe there are guides on how to do this in the OS section of this forum, and if not there, it can be Googled, I believe that the installs can be small enough to fit on a flash drive now.

Once that is accomplished, you can fill your SSD to capacity with your most frequently played Steam games.

Nothing wrong with that.

Go have fun and stuff.

You can install windows to a flash drive? How is the performance? Is it relatively fast? I've installed games to my flash drive before, never tried to do the o.s.
 

Pac-Man

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You can install windows to a flash drive? How is the performance? Is it relatively fast? I've installed games to my flash drive before, never tried to do the o.s.

The OS and frequently used apps should go on the SSD, and yes it's incredibly fast. I'm not sure how you missed that option given that it's been the primary use for consumer SSDs since they've been released :confused:
 

Biggrich76

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You can install windows to a flash drive? How is the performance? Is it relatively fast? I've installed games to my flash drive before, never tried to do the o.s.

Most people refer to "flash drives" as portable USB-powered drives. Not quite the same as a dedicated SSD which is a 3.5" internal drive.
 

sok0

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All I use anymore are SSD's in my gaming rig with an external dump drive in case i need to store anything. Using computers at work with hard drives and windows xp makes me rage hard on the inside.
 

rampantandroid

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All I use anymore are SSD's in my gaming rig with an external dump drive in case i need to store anything. Using computers at work with hard drives and windows xp makes me rage hard on the inside.

Believe me, I'm the same. Every time I compile something at work I wish I had an SSD :)
 

DeathPrincess

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You can install windows to a flash drive? How is the performance? Is it relatively fast? I've installed games to my flash drive before, never tried to do the o.s.

Yes, if your motherboard allows booting off a USB disk, but not that wonderful being (probably) USB 2.0. Perhaps on a 3.0 drive it might be worth it. For windows 7 it would have to be a 32gb drive, 16gb would be too small. Linux works fine however.

Can I join your clan? I'd love a free SSD :)

I'd have to make another one... You don't mind it being called DeathFairy? :p
 

Shalafi

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I was merely stating that they CAN be placed on a flash drive, not that it was optimal, don't get my message twisted :p

the purpose of putting an install on the flash drive is to use it instead of a DVD to get Windows installed on a computer as well as having a Windows install that will fit in your pocket cause it's on the flash drive.

I don't think anybody actually runs windows from a flash drive, I could be wrong though but I don't believe it's optimal to do that.
 

DeathPrincess

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I was merely stating that they CAN be placed on a flash drive, not that it was optimal, don't get my message twisted :p

the purpose of putting an install on the flash drive is to use it instead of a DVD to get Windows installed on a computer as well as having a Windows install that will fit in your pocket cause it's on the flash drive.

I don't think anybody actually runs windows from a flash drive, I could be wrong though but I don't believe it's optimal to do that.

The problem with running windows from the flash drive is the way it authenticates. Installations of the OS will only authenticate 5 times before you have to reset the key with microsoft (this is for windows 7/vista/xp I think, definately 7/vista you can use windows 98 fine...apart from no sata drivers etc.etc.) and unless you used it in 30 day "trial" mode, and reinstalled every 30 days, it wouldn't work very well as a "live" OS. Which you would have to do every time you moved the flash drive to a new computer. Plus probably fix the MBR.

Works great with certain linuxes, but theres no steam for that yet (unless you use wine, or run a VM of windows 7 from inside the linux OS...But then youd probably be looking at a 64GB flash drive, but it would work :D

Installing windows off a USB drive is much much quicker than the DVD which has a slow transfer rate. Though, the image downloading/ripping would take a while, so would only be worth it for multiple installs! :(
 
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