low disk space can affect performance?

#1 Edited by AnnouncerGXZ (910 posts) -

 low disk space can affect performance?
 
i was playing cryostasis with only 7gb left (493gb used out of 500gb) then i delete some shiet and free up like 300gb and when play cryostasis it feels alot smoother.
 
is this why games have hdd space requirement on their system requirement?

#2 Posted by Butchio (354 posts) -

HDD in general new some free space to run smoothly. Normally for every 100gig i like to keep 20 gig free.

#3 Posted by Ineedaname (4276 posts) -

I always thought most games have the required install space because that's the size of the game.

#4 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8504 posts) -
@AnnouncerGXZ:  Without a doubt.  Windows is a paging operating system and so it requires space to be able to track memory usage of different features of Windows and the applications and games that you run.  Even if you disable the page file at least 64MB of your disk space is used for the paging database.  Low disk space will often lead to instability and noticeable slowdowns as Windows will struggle to keep up with and safely secure RAM requirements which programs and features use.
#5 Posted by tomte (293 posts) -

yepp, try to keep at least 10% free when playing games

#6 Edited by AnnouncerGXZ (910 posts) -

ahh i knew it but i also heard somewhere that people say it dont matter (co worker or something) guess they lied haha. i believed them untill i experience myself.

#7 Edited by lhaymehr (204 posts) -

The only disk based factor (along with actual drive performance) that would affect performance is how much fragmented your drive is. There's a chance your page file is largely fragmented (depending on when you last defragmented, which is best done monthly), and also that your game data is all over the disk. I use an utility called "WinContig". It allows you to select specific files/folders to defragment. I run this tool on install directories of each game I install. This decreases load times significantly and completely eliminates all lag from games that stream data from disk as you're playing.
 
Defragment your page file. This needs to be contiguous, not just for games but for overall OS performance. For this you'll need a better tool. Standard disk defragmenter that comes with Windows won't do. Try "O&O defragmenter".

#8 Posted by Branthog (5717 posts) -

Two things:
 
Paging (a few gigs should have been enough,t hough).
 
Defragmentation. On a 300gb+ drive, having only 7gb free makes it awfully hard to move data around. Free up space. Defragment (oh, Windows - you're so retro!) will make a noticable improvement.
 
I wonder if MS will ever move to a file system less prone to severe fragmentation, like other OSes have for years.

#9 Edited by essaregee (631 posts) -

The amount of free space won't affect anything, so long as there's ample room for the swap file to grow as needed. Once you get below about 10% free, this will start to become a problem. Anything above the magical 10% mark won't have any real impact.
Through the wonders of angular velocity, data stored on the outer most edge of the drive platter will be accessed at a much higher rate. The platter size doesn't tend to change with drives, only the density of the data, so following that to it's logical conclusion, higher capacity drives would be able to store more data on the outer edges of the platter. Of course you have no real control over where data is stored, so it's kind of a purely academic discussion.
Of course the entire discussion is purely academic. Your hard drive is like a battery powered go kart compared to a formula one car when it comes to the speed of the components in your computer. CPUs, RAM, even add-on cards, have all been getting progressively faster while hard drives have barely budged an inch in decades. So the amount of variance in the impact your hard drive has on your overall system performance is pretty small. So swapping out some ancient hard drive for a top of the line SCSI drive is unlikely to get you more than a few percentage points performance gain.

#10 Posted by threeve (205 posts) -
@Branthog said:
" Two things:  Paging (a few gigs should have been enough,t hough).  Defragmentation. On a 300gb+ drive, having only 7gb free makes it awfully hard to move data around. Free up space. Defragment (oh, Windows - you're so retro!) will make a noticable improvement.  I wonder if MS will ever move to a file system less prone to severe fragmentation, like other OSes have for years. "
 
Well it would probably be a waste of resources honestly - SSD will be the standard in a few years.
#11 Edited by Branthog (5717 posts) -
@threeve said:

" @Branthog said:

" Two things:  Paging (a few gigs should have been enough,t hough).  Defragmentation. On a 300gb+ drive, having only 7gb free makes it awfully hard to move data around. Free up space. Defragment (oh, Windows - you're so retro!) will make a noticable improvement.  I wonder if MS will ever move to a file system less prone to severe fragmentation, like other OSes have for years. "

 Well it would probably be a waste of resources honestly - SSD will be the standard in a few years. "
Fragmentation is a function of the file system - not the drive format. FAT and NTFS have horrid management. Defragmenting your hard drive on other operating systems is something that is almost never required, suggested, or done. For MS operating systems, it's a necessary maintenance activity and often the solutions to countless performance issues. For contrast, see HFS/HFS+, UFS, EXT2/EXT3, REISER, etc...
 
 @essaregee said:
"The amount of free space won't affect anything, so long as there's ample room for the swap file to grow as needed. Once you get below about 10% free, this will start to become a problem. Anything above the magical 10% mark won't have any real impact."
 
Right. Presumably one would  have the swap file in a contiguous portion of dedicated space on the drive. Regardless, the problem with the lack of drive space is obviously that the less drive space there is, the more broken up allocation of new data will be, since it has to write in many more places across the disk.
 
Only 7gb free on a 300+gb drive is well beyond the point where that could start to have impact (since it's about 2% free drive space).
#12 Posted by Chaser324 (7066 posts) -
@Branthog: Thanks for geeking out and providing that explanation so that I didn't have to.
Moderator
#13 Posted by Furyjoell (259 posts) -
@essaregee said:
"

The amount of free space won't affect anything, so long as there's ample room for the swap file to grow as needed. Once you get below about 10% free, this will start to become a problem. Anything above the magical 10% mark won't have any real impact.
Through the wonders of angular velocity, data stored on the outer most edge of the drive platter will be accessed at a much higher rate. The platter size doesn't tend to change with drives, only the density of the data, so following that to it's logical conclusion, higher capacity drives would be able to store more data on the outer edges of the platter. Of course you have no real control over where data is stored, so it's kind of a purely academic discussion.
Of course the entire discussion is purely academic. Your hard drive is like a battery powered go kart compared to a formula one car when it comes to the speed of the components in your computer. CPUs, RAM, even add-on cards, have all been getting progressively faster while hard drives have barely budged an inch in decades. So the amount of variance in the impact your hard drive has on your overall system performance is pretty small. So swapping out some ancient hard drive for a top of the line SCSI drive is unlikely to get you more than a few percentage points performance gain.

"
That's why I'm pining after a SSD. So damn expensive though.
#14 Posted by Evilsbane (5018 posts) -

SSD will render all of this pointless I can't wait no more clicking hard drives of doom!

#15 Posted by Jams (3043 posts) -

But don't SSD's have high failure rates at this time? I want to get a new drive to move my huge steam folder to. I was thinking either a 1TB 7200RPM, a SSD, or a 10,000RPM dedicated to games only.

#16 Posted by Branthog (5717 posts) -
@Evilsbane said:
" SSD will render all of this pointless I can't wait no more clicking hard drives of doom! "
How does SSD render these things pointless? SSD has incredible speed, but you're still going to get better performance from a non-fragmented file system -- regardless of the type of hardware the file system is on. FAT and NTFS still retains the same FAT an NTFS file system limitations, whether they're on a thumbdrive (flash/ssd) or a 5400 RPM platter drive. A poorly maintained file system on an incredibly fast storage mechanism will be better than a well maintained one on a slow storage mechanism, but a well-maintained file system on SSD is going to perform far better than a poorly-maintained file system on SSD.
 
Saying "SSD will render all of this stuff pointless" is like saying "my Datsun 210 is going to perform like a Ferrari as soon as they repave the road in front of my house!".
#17 Posted by Eurobum (271 posts) -

Fragmentation aside, HDD drives become slower as they fill up. Because they can read data faster on the edge of the spinning disc and they read data slower on the inside. Unlike optical discs, Hard drives start writing on the very edge and move to the middle.
 
Just run any harddrive benchmark (like HD Tach), the speed vs size graph is always a declining line. Lets say hdd data is saved in concentric circles the circle on the edge may hold 100KB while the one next to the axis may hold 60KB. Meaning that you'll actually see a 40% slow down as the drive fills up.

#18 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8504 posts) -
@Branthog said:
" @Evilsbane said:
" SSD will render all of this pointless I can't wait no more clicking hard drives of doom! "
How does SSD render these things pointless? SSD has incredible speed, but you're still going to get better performance from a non-fragmented file system -- regardless of the type of hardware the file system is on. FAT and NTFS still retains the same FAT an NTFS file system limitations, whether they're on a thumbdrive (flash/ssd) or a 5400 RPM platter drive. A poorly maintained file system on an incredibly fast storage mechanism will be better than a well maintained one on a slow storage mechanism, but a well-maintained file system on SSD is going to perform far better than a poorly-maintained file system on SSD.  Saying "SSD will render all of this stuff pointless" is like saying "my Datsun 210 is going to perform like a Ferrari as soon as they repave the road in front of my house!". "
Not really.  Sequential data means little if you have no moving parts.  Then data access works like it does in the case of RAM.  Defragging is a holdover from MS being unable to move to a more modern storage implementation.  When you consider a storage system where everything is properly object oriented, then disc access speeds are the least of your problems.  Maintaining that relational database of objects is far more stressful and much more important.  Most Unixoid operating system have fragmentation in their partition systems but it doesn't affect their performance much at all.  SSD and their follow-on technologies indeed will render defragging useless.
#19 Posted by keyhunter (3209 posts) -

I like defragmenting my hard drives. It gives me something to do.
#20 Posted by Time_Lord (792 posts) -

storage is incredibly cheap now days you can pick up a 1TB drive for a hundred or o if you shop around.

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