Buying an External Hard Drive for a Gaming Computer

When buying an external hard drive for a gaming computer, there are several things to consider.

One important key factor to recognize before purchasing any kind of hard drive, is to figure out the capacity requirements.

To figure out how much storage you need, look at your current hard drive and check the total drive capacity.

Now, check the amount of data space it’s using and subtract that from the total drive capacity.


This will tell you two things, how many data space you need and how much you will need.

For example, my current Western Digital external hard drive is over ten years old. It holds 500MBs of data information.

I need to buy an external hard drive for my gaming computer that can hold at least one terabyte 1TB of hard drive space.

Since I know my files will increase over time, I bought me a Western Digital external hard drive with 2TBs of storage.

If you’re looking to buy an external HDD for your business, I would double the predictions to avoid having to buy a new hard drive every year.

Should I buy an external hard drive or an internal drive?

When considering buying an external or internal hard drive for a gaming computer, there are two factors to keep in mind.

First, an external hard drive is great for traveling and taking it where ever you want. Many external hard drives are built smaller than internal drives.

The drive size matters because users can discreetly use them with their laptops or smaller devices in any location.

Modern external drives are built small, but it doesn’t mean they can’t hold huge amounts of data information.


My new Western Digital external hard drive for my gaming computer is tiny but could hold two terabytes (2TB) of storage space.

However, there are current external drives in the market today that can hold over eight terabytes of data.

The internal hard drive is built to work directly with your gaming computer and it’s not meant to be removed.

Internal hard drives don’t look pretty and are not built for traveling.

Also, external hard drives are built with protective layers of plastic around it while the internal drives are naked and can easily be damaged.

One advantage that the external has over the internal drive is that it has fewer chances of getting damaged.

I recommend buying a good internal hard drive for long-term storage because there are fewer chances of damaging the drive.

Should I buy an external hard drive for downloading Steam games?

A few reasons to buy an external hard drive for a gaming computer are if you travel frequently or you have multiple gaming computers.

Some of my friends have gaming laptops, computers, tablets and phones where they play video games away from their homes.

For example, if you have a gaming computer and a laptop, it’s a good idea to buy an external hard drive because you can sync (transfer) information from one device to the other.


Some games on Steam have cloud storage where it saves your current video game progress on Steam servers.

It’s a good idea to have over one storage drive in case the game your playing doesn’t automatically save the game’s progress.

I suggest buying an internal hard drive to save the bulk of your Steam games. Then, buy an external hard drive for those video games that you play often.

However, it’s a good idea to buy an external hard drive as a back-up in case the internal drive fails.

Should I buy an External Hard Drive for a Gaming Laptop?

Yes, I have a gaming laptop and I use an external hard drive to back-up to store the data information.

Gamers that have huge game data, should get an external hard drive to protect their game-saves.

Like I mentioned before, Steam doesn’t have cloud back-up for every single game.

Also, if users have non-Steam games, it’s important to have an external drive to protect their game files.

My Personal Gaming Computer Setup

To make things much easier to understand, I will show you how I set up my gaming computer.

I’m a fan of Western Digital hard drives for hard disk drives and for solid state drives Samsung.

I have to mention that Seagate also have some tough, hard disk drives that can outlast Western Digital Drives.

I have a Samsung solid state drive as my main drive and my Western Digital internal drive as my bulk storage.

The reason for setting it up this way, is that the solid state drive helps my operating system (Windows 10) process information faster.


When downloading a video game from Steam, I download it using the SSD but I store my games into the internal hard drive.

Many internal hard disk drives (HDDs) are slower than SSDs but can hold more data for bulk storage.

However, technology is closing the game between SSDs and HDDs and soon SSDs will be the champions.

My Western Digital external hard drive works as my gaming computer’s back-up.

I don’t store my Steam games into the external drive because it has an overload of data information.

The main reason I bought a huge internal hard drive was to keep all my video games in one spot.

Should I buy a Seagate or WD?

In my experience owning both brands, I would buy a Seagate as an internal HDD and a WD as the external drive.

One of my very first HDDs was a Seagate barracuda. It lasted me a few years before I had to upgrade to more storage capacity.

The Seagate barracuda hard drive never gave me any problems, and it didn’t break down.


During the same time period, I had purchased the Western Digital external HDD for my gaming PC.

After ten years, I still have my WD drive and it works great. So as you can see, both hard drive brands are excellent.

External hard drives can be reliable depending on the brand you buy. Just like any other mechanical drive, they have their own flaws.

Playing Steam Games from an External Hard Drive

I played some of my Steam games on my external hard drive but I didn’t like the experience.

During my game plays, I felt like my hard drive had to catch up with my movements in the game.

It also felt slow compared to my internal hard drive.

If you are a first-person shooter and enjoy playing video games like Call of Duty, I don’t recommend you use an external drive.

An internal hard drive is connected directly to your gaming computer getting rapid information from the motherboard and other PC devices.

Maybe my external hard drive was out-dated, and it felt as I was playing my games with lag without being on the internet.

I haven’t tried using a solid state disk (SSD) external hard drive, but it may be a better choice than using an external HDD.

Big vs Small External Hard Drives for Speed

I recommend buying a small external hard drive for playing video games. The reason for this is that a large drive takes more time to retrieve information.


For example, imagine having five hundred Steam games with each game taking up 5 gigabytes. Mathematically, it equals to two point five terabytes 2.5TB.

Now you have a gamer that’s playing Call of Duty on an external hard drive with only ten of his favorite games installed on the drive.

That gamer with ten games and only 50GBs, will have a better, faster experience than the other who has 500 games.

Basically, the more information a hard drive has, the more work a computer has to do to retrieve those files.

Personally, I would use a solid state disk (SSD) external drive to play specifically online games and first-person shooters.

Online first-person shooting games require a good internet connection and a fast gaming computer to be effective.

My Recommendations


As a video game player, It’s a wise decision to buy an external hard drive for your gaming computer or laptop.

Specially if you have other types of media like videos, images, photo galleries and misc. files.

In some circumstances, users may have to buy several external hard drives for specific files.

For example, if you’re a photographer and you own a gaming computer, get one hard drive for gaming and one for photography.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to buy all external drives; you can buy extra internal drives for your gaming PC.

What brands and types of external hard drives do you use for your Steam games? Are they fast when playing video games online?

External Resources

Gaming, Get A Good External Gaming Hard Drive For Optimal Storage And Performance. Retrieved on 7/13/2019.

Best, Best External Hard Drives. Retrieved on 7/13/19., Best external hard drives of 2019. Retrieved on 7/13/2019.

Last Updated on August 4, 2020 by Tony

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