Is 1 TB Enough For Gaming? (Explained)

Is 1 TB Enough For Gaming? (Explained)

1 TB hard drive storage space

If you’re a hardcore gamer, you can’t resist the idea of downloading more and more games to play on your rig.

With so many titles available on different platforms, it’s easy to get your hands on any game you want.

However, storage is one of the biggest limitations any gamer can face.

After all, any computer or gaming console has a limited storage space.

That’s why you consider big numbers, like 1 TB.

While 1 TB of storage is more than enough for many computing purposes, you may wonder if it’s enough for gaming.

Is 1 TB Enough For Gaming?

thinking man with computer

One terabyte of storage is enough for gaming if you play a small number of games.

However, if you want to play many games, you may need more than 1 TB.

That’s because modern games are getting bigger and demanding increasingly higher storage.

Some of these blockbuster games can take up more than 100 GB of your hard disk, meaning you can’t have more than ten games in most cases.

You should also consider the space occupied by the operating system and basic system apps, leaving you with no more than 800 GB of space.

As a result, you’ll need to upgrade your storage to store more games without downloading the game every time you want to play it.

What Affects The Game Size?

gamer playing in computer

Today’s games are getting bigger and bigger.

Most games take up between 30 GB and 50 GB of storage.

It’s common sense that the size of storage you’ll need for gaming will largely depend on the games you play.

Not all games are the same size because they have different features that take up different amounts of space.

Modern games are bigger than ever due to high-resolution pictures, high-fidelity sounds, ever-growing game worlds, and increasing mods.

In addition, advances in storage technology have increased storage size and lowered prices, making high-storage systems affordable.

Storage solutions are getting bigger, but they’re also getting faster, thanks to SSD cards.

As a result, neither developers nor gamers worry about accommodating these massive game files.

The most important factors that affect game size are the game assets, including video, audio, images, and textures.

Game developers are competing with each other to offer the most realistic images and videos through high-resolution assets.

If these assets aren’t compressed or are compressed using different compression schemes, their sizes will vary.

The game resolution and FPS also affect the storage it takes up.

While older games used to be 1080p and 60fps, newer triple-A games have embraced the optical craze and support 4K and 120 FPS.

Even if two games have similar assets, their storage places can change their sizes.

For example, if a game stores the assets, such as shadow maps, on the hard drive, it will take up far more storage than a game that uncompresses these assets in real-time.

In addition, their formats, resolutions, and bitrates also affect their size.

All these factors make two seemingly similar games have different sizes.

How Much Storage Is Enough?

Holding new flash SSD

The storage you need for playing games depends on your gaming library, gaming habits, and the number of games you have.

One terabyte of storage is more than enough in most cases, even if you regularly play two or three games.

However, you should consider other features that take up your storage because games aren’t the only things that need storage space.

The most important thing to remember is that your operating system takes a percentage of your storage.

If you have 1 TB of storage, you won’t get that full terabyte to store the game on.

This size can vary across different operating systems.

Both versions of Windows (32-bit and 64-bit) generally take 32 GB of space, while it’s 256 GB for macOS.

Although not as popular as the other two operating systems for gaming, Linux takes the least amount of storage at 25 GB.

In addition, your computer comes with many pre-installed apps that can take up huge chunks of your storage.

These would reduce your storage to a little over 800 GB.

Still, if you plan to use your computer exclusively for playing games and don’t keep any media files on its storage, 1 TB of storage will be enough.

Games don’t have large installation files, but they get bigger and bigger when you explore new maps and mods, and they save these files in your storage for the next time you play the game.

Plus, you may get big updates that can take up several GBs of space on your device.

Most AAA games take a maximum of 100 GB, although games like Call of Duty, Red Dead Redemption, and Destiny 2 can occupy more than 200 GB.

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You could only have four AAA games on your 1TB system.

Here are some of the biggest triple-A games based on file size:

  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  • Quantum Break
  • Destiny 2: Shadowkeep
  • Hitman 2
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege

If most games involve indie titles, you can even store more games on 1 TB of storage.

That’s because these games typically take up between 1 GB and 10 GB.

If you want to use your gaming rig for other purposes like storing and editing movies or high-quality photos, you’ll need to consider the storage required for such files.

For example, a small, low-resolution JPEG file can take about 100 KB, and high-resolution photos can take up more than 25 MB.

If you like to watch your movies in the 4K, you can expect each movie to gobble from 50 GB to more than 150 GB of storage.

As a result, 1 TB may not be enough for you.

Another factor you need to consider is your budget.

If you want to get a gaming console with 1 TB of storage, it will cost more than one with 500 GB.

However, if the price isn’t an issue for you, it’s always best to go for higher capacities because there’s no such thing as too much storage.

Of course, you could go for the lower-spec system if you’re on a tight budget and then expand its storage by getting an external hard drive.

These are personal decisions you need to make based on your specific requirements.

How To Increase Storage Size For Gaming

gamer man using computer

The growing size of modern games doesn’t seem to stop soon because games are getting more complex and realistic.

As a result, gamers should look for new ways to increase their storage space to accommodate these ever-growing files.

Although tech companies, such as Nvidia and Sony, offer game streaming services, they need fast internet connections to prevent lags in games.

These services store the heavy file sizes in the cloud to take much of the burden from the local personal computers.

Until these services become mainstream, gamers have some other options.

Deleting the games may be the first thing that comes to mind when you want to clear up room for new games.

That’s why most gamers, especially those who own consoles, are always thinking of which games to let go of.

However, many gamers don’t like deleting a game in a few seconds and then redownloading it, which can take several hours.

As a result, hardcore gamers prefer to keep their games and think of other ways to increase their storage.

You can expand your storage with an SSD or HDD.

Both of these are great solutions to increase your gaming storage.

However, they come with their pros and cons, making them suitable for different purposes.

The same thing goes for gaming consoles.

Most consoles come with 500 GB, 1 TB, and 2 TB capacities, and you can upgrade your storage via SSD and HDD storage.

1. HDD

Hard disk drive (HDD) isolated

Hard drives are among the most popular and convenient ways of upgrading storage.

Depending on your needs and preferences, you can get them as internal and external.

Internal hard drives are integrated inside the laptop or desktop computer, while external hard drives connect to your computer via USB ports.

Although they work on the same principles, they can be different in terms of functions.

Both versions write information to magnetic platters that spin against a magnetic arm.

Both of them have mechanical, spinning disks.

External hard drives are more convenient as they’re easy to install via USB cables, making them great backup and storage tools.

In addition, they’re portable, and you can take them anywhere, just like USB flash drives.

They can offer large storage capacities at affordable prices, with the largest HDD being 20 TB.

On the other hand, internal hard drives are directly attached to the motherboard, making them fast and more reliable in transferring data.

Unlike external hard drives, you won’t need cables to transfer data, making things faster.

That’s even more noticeable when your external hard drive’s speed changes based on the type of USB port you use.

Naturally, higher-generation USB ports are faster.

They’re more affordable than external hard drives and, most importantly, don’t break as easily.

Although both are sensitive due to their moving parts, internal HDDs are less likely to get damaged because they’re inside the computer case.

In addition, you’re more likely to lose your external HDD since it’s portable.

The biggest downside of internal hard drives is that you need to install them inside the computer, which requires specific skills.

In addition, most computers don’t have enough room for two internal hard drives, so you should replace your current HDD with the new one.

The choice between an internal and external hard drive depends on your preferences, although you can have both of them together.

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If you want to carry your games wherever you go, an external hard drive is a great choice for you.

On the other hand, an internal hard drive is a better option if you want to increase your computer’s speed.

2. SSD

Compare SSD with NVME

Compared to HDDs, solid-state drives use a newer technology that stores data on flash memory instead of mechanical drives.

As a result, they don’t have many of the limitations of hard drives.

Since data is stored on individual memory cells inside the flash memory, the controller can instantly access them, making an SSD super-fast.

A typical SSD can read and write data at least three times as fast as an HDD.

In addition, since an SSD doesn’t have moving parts, it’s more resistant and less vulnerable to drops and physical damage.

Contrary to popular belief, SSDs have a long lifespan thanks to their bad-block management technology, which replaces dead cells with new ones.

The only downside of SSDs is their higher price, especially at higher capacities, which can’t be a deal-breaker as it’s a long-term investment.

An SSD is better for gaming because of its faster loading and running times.

Since you need a huge amount of data to be transferred during gaming, an SSD allows you to experience crisp and stutter-free gameplay.

In addition, an SSD isn’t noisy and consumes less power, making it great for laptops.

Ideally, you can have a hybrid of SSD and HDD to store different files on.

You can store your games or frequently used files on the SSD and use the HDD to store your movies and photos.

Alternatively, you could store the games you frequently play on the SSD and the space-hogging games on the HDD.

This way, you can manage prices more effectively by getting a cheaper, smaller SSD and a higher-capacity hard drive.

3. Other Storage Solutions

Cloud computing concept shown on a laptop screen

As mentioned, cloud computing is helping gamers and developers overcome storage space limitations by storing game files on a virtual server.

For example, Steam Cloud is a cloud storage solution that allows gamers to store different game data, including saved games, game settings, profile stats, and the settings you change in your Steam Client.

It allows you to enable the cloud storage option for your games, both individually and for all games, via your Steam Client.

You can also use Steam’s Storage Management page to move around your games stored on the SSD and HDD, making them more easily accessible.

Xbox, Shadow, Vortex, PlayStation, and Blacknut are among the forerunners in cloud gaming.

In addition to memory and storage, cloud gaming allows you to use the server’s dedicated graphics, RAM, and even CPU.

As a result, you can play games on a computer with low specs and even on a mobile device.

However, cloud gaming still has limitations, such as bandwidth and infrastructure to offer consistent gameplay without lags and latency.

You’ll need a super fast and reliable internet connection to avoid stuttering and lags while playing games.

In addition, these services are currently more expensive than offline gaming because of the costly infrastructure they run on.

That’s why even the most powerful cloud gaming services still struggle to offer a seamless experience.

Still, gamers can see it as a viable option to tackle storage limitations, at least in a few years.

What About RAM?

Computer memory RAM on motherboard

When you want to set up your gaming rig, one of the main factors that you should consider—in addition to storage—is the RAM capacity.

RAM is a volatile memory that temporarily stores your data during gameplay.

It’s an essential PC component, especially for gaming, since it gets data stored on your HDD or SSD and keeps them for the entire gameplay to make things much smoother and faster.

Retrieving data from HHD or SSD every time you need it is counterproductive because it slows things down.

As a result, an efficient RAM can affect your gameplay more than a high-capacity SSD.

When you install a new game, the developers tell you how much RAM you’ll need for this game to avoid lagging and poor performance.

If your current setup has 4 GB of RAM, you may want to consider upgrading it.

That’s because modern games have higher requirements and frame rates that can’t work with 4 GB of RAM.

You may be able to play older games and those such as GTA5, Minecraft, and DOTA2, but you may experience stutters.

To play modern games without problems, you need a minimum of 8 GB, although you may not be able to play some AAA games at the highest settings.

For example, Red Dead Redemption and Hal-life Alex require a minimum of 12 GB RAM to give you optimal performance.

If you want to play blockbuster games with high quality and don’t have to close other background applications, you’ll need 16 GB of RAM.

Hardcore players are increasingly moving toward graphically enhanced gameplay, which is achievable by 32 GB of RAM.

However, many gamers believe that 32 GB of RAM would be overkill even for playing the most memory-intensive games.

As a result, it’ll be your call to see if it’s worth the extra money to add a 32 GB of RAM that you may not fully use.