WD Black vs SSD for Gaming

BlueWeasel

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Currently, I've got a ton of games (Steam, Origin, GOG, Blizzard, etc.) spread across several mechanical HD and smaller SSD drives. Was considering getting a large (4TB or 6TB) WD Black to keep them in one place.

(1) Is the WD Black series still considered one of the best spinning drives for gaming?
(2) Does the Black make a huge difference in loading of games or is still slower than even the cheapest SSD?
 

GotNoRice

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WD Black drives are still some of the fastest mechanical drives, but no, they don't even come close to any SSD for gaming.

If you are going to go with a big mechanical drive, at least use one of your smaller SSDs to setup SSD caching (Intel Smart Response Technology), so your most recently/commonly used games will still at least have a chance of loading from the SSD.
 

Ranulfo

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Still the best consumer hdd and its still slower than ssd's. Use your ssd's for the os drive and the games you play the most and take the longest to load (mmo, open world etc. usually). Everything else put on the wd black.
 

Stoly

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Currently, I've got a ton of games (Steam, Origin, GOG, Blizzard, etc.) spread across several mechanical HD and smaller SSD drives. Was considering getting a large (4TB or 6TB) WD Black to keep them in one place.

(1) Is the WD Black series still considered one of the best spinning drives for gaming?
(2) Does the Black make a huge difference in loading of games or is still slower than even the cheapest SSD?

WD Black may be the fastest spinning drive in benches, but in real life it makes little difference and much less in gaming. You might shave a couple of seconds here and there but nothing extreme. Actually in many cases SSDs don't make that much of a difference for gaming.
 

Zepher

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I use a pair of WD 4TB Blacks, one for my games (1.25TB worth) and the other for GP storage. I also have a 512GB SSD for the OS, Apps, and a few games (4 of the games on the SSD are about 300GB).

The only reason I have 2 is that I got the second one so cheap, $57.50 from Amazon. First one cost me $240.
IMG_1682.JPG
 

PliotronX

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Tiered storage spaces or Intel RST with as large a SSD as you can throw into a virtual disk comes in handy in this case. At least with the former, you can 'pin' games to either tier and manage the caching. Not user friendly requiring PowerShell to manage however.
 

sirmonkey1985

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WD Black may be the fastest spinning drive in benches, but in real life it makes little difference and much less in gaming. You might shave a couple of seconds here and there but nothing extreme. Actually in many cases SSDs don't make that much of a difference for gaming.

it really depends on the game and the file structure of the game but i do agree a well made game that properly uses memory caching should see little difference between them.
 

DejaWiz

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Any SATA or PCIe SSD will be orders of magnitude faster than any spindle drive, regardless of that spindle drive's RPM, cache, and access latency. That being said, you'll get the most benefit by keeping OS and productivity apps on an SSD, and all your games on larger spindle drives, in this scenario (since I don't think you want to spend $1500+ for a 4TB SSD to replace the drive array used for your games). You have 32GB of RAM, so that already helps with reducing the system paging onto the storage drives.

Another consideration is maybe to get a 1-2TB SSD if you have the disposable income for it, and start transitioning your games library over to it, while adding more/larger SSD(s) as time goes on as SSDs become cheaper, to replace your spindle drive/smaller SSD array.
 

Ranulfo

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Steam can move game installs around internally now, no need for a seperate program. Look in game properties, local files, then move install folder button.
 

Brian_B

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Steam Mover, while it happens to have Steam in the name, works for anything. All it's doing is automating the process of creating Windows symlinks.

You could do the same thing with the command line if you wanted to. I just happen to like the one-step point and click interface that Steam Mover has, since it makes it easy to shuffle stuff back and forth from SSD to HDD
 

westrock2000

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The place I noticed SSD’s the most in gaming was in the on the fly level loads. Places where you are most likely to see “pop up” in the distance or get a studder as it transitions to another section of the game. That was significantly lessened on an SSD. Initial game load, like with the progress bar, not so much. Because there is a lot of computation being done at that point. Once the game is loaded though, it’s just a matter of swapping in new resources or assets.
 

M76

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I don't even know how this still comes up as a question. The which is better SSD or HDD for gaming question was settled at least 5 years ago. Even the slowest, lowest tier SSDs will wipe the floor with the fastest, best spinning drive storage in this application.

The place I noticed SSD’s the most in gaming was in the on the fly level loads. Places where you are most likely to see “pop up” in the distance or get a studder as it transitions to another section of the game. That was significantly lessened on an SSD. Initial game load, like with the progress bar, not so much. Because there is a lot of computation being done at that point. Once the game is loaded though, it’s just a matter of swapping in new resources or assets.

You can't make that into a general claim. It always depends on the game and how it handles it's loading. It is true for some games, but certainly not all. The most notorious example is Dragon Age Inquisition where the initial loading times are at least 20 times longer on spinning drives compared to an SSD.
 

Furious_Styles

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I don't even know how this still comes up as a question. The which is better SSD or HDD for gaming question was settled at least 5 years ago. Even the slowest, lowest tier SSDs will wipe the floor with the fastest, best spinning drive storage in this application.



You can't make that into a general claim. It always depends on the game and how it handles it's loading. It is true for some games, but certainly not all. The most notorious example is Dragon Age Inquisition where the initial loading times are at least 20 times longer on spinning drives compared to an SSD.


Agreed. Though the newer mechanical performance drives (like WD black) are pretty damn good for gaming.
 

Nathan_P

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i'm going with both in my new build. As many games as I can on SSD's and the rest on a WD black, older games will definitely be going on the spinner.
 

UhClem

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...
(1) Is the WD Black series still considered one of the best spinning drives for gaming?
...
I'm not a gamer (except, maybe, PDP-1 Spacewar ~50 yrs ago), but I know a bit about HDD performance.

The new HGST 4TB NAS drive [V2] (HDN726040ALE614) is a surprisingly good performer. Superficially, it differs from the original [V1] 4TB NAS (HDN724040ALE640) by having 128MB cache (vs 64MB for the V1); but that isn't where it shines. Its transfer rate is 210/155/100 MiB/s (max/avg/min) [Note: those are programmer values; the equiv marketing/hobbyist max value would be 220 MB/s] (I think the WD4004FZWX is ~165 MB/s). It gets better--the HGST V2 has an average access time of 11.6 millisec. (The WD4004FZWX is ~12.5)

[For comparison, the #s for the V1 are 165/125/85 MiB/s and 15.2 msec.]

My V2 drive has a Mfg Date of Nov-2017. The performance #s for it, above, are my own measurements, with my own software. Of course, you're free to doubt them/me.

-- UhClem
 
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the_real_7

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Run your ssd for the main os run a second for games and then the black for storage . . . you can never have to much storage only to little

My Setup
Windows OS: Samsung 960 PRO SSD 512
Games: 2 x Samsung 850 PRO SSD 1tb
Storage:6 x WD Black 6tb perfomance

 

horrorshow

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Have WD Blacks improved much in past 8ish years?

My old 1TB (circa 2009) was loud as hell!
 

the_real_7

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When you do your first searches you can hear them spin up but otherwise sound identical as all blacks have since the original 1tb and 2tb drives
 
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