View Full Version : external hard drive for msts purposes
12-16-2008, 04:06 AM
I was thinking about buying an external hard drive just to run msts and msts x when it releases. I was wondering if they make external HDS big enough to handle programs this big, especialy with all of the addons I have for MSTS. Also would it help with fps if I could get one big enough to handle the two games? Right now I'm running about 32 fps on msts with small to medium consists on routes like mp 3.1 crawford hilll (routes I usually run) with all other tasks shut down but the minimum. I just want to know if this would be a feasable option to just buy an external hard drive to run my sims on it to free up space and make my sims run faster. Thanks for any input.
12-16-2008, 04:41 AM
An external HDD will not help with FPS. That is governed by the speed of the CPU, GPU,memory and the speed of the bus linking them together, plus the amount of memory on the video card and the motherboard.
As for the size of external drives, they can be had up to 1Tb and higher these days. I have three on my system, all for storage, and backups. The sims run on the internal drives.
12-16-2008, 04:55 AM
You would be better served by installing a second HD in your box, and just have MSTS on it.
I have a 160GB sata1 for os and a 320GB sata2 for MSTS.
12-16-2008, 05:41 AM
I have read that response time from an external hard drive is slower than from an internal hard drive, which would affect the sim negatively.
12-16-2008, 08:09 AM
External hard drives are available from 60G to 1T at reasonable prices. A 500 G My Book or 250G completly contained mini drive can be purchased for under $100. All are more then large enough to run MSTS mini routes. Always have a default install on your C drive with the default routes.
You can even run a mini route from a high speed jump drive or camera card of sufficient memory size. I have test installed and ran the PRR Eastern from an 8G jump drive.
While such routes will run just fine from the external drives, you will get better performance from a second internal hard drive. Those are also very inexpensive for their sizes.
If nothing more, get the external drive and use it for backing up your MSTS as well as all other data from your computer. Also, get a program such as Norton's Ghost, and use it to back up your C drive. It can save you a lot of gries if your computer goes down due to a virus of C drive failure. I had to replace my laptop drive last week when it died. I was back up and running on a new laptop hard drive, thanks to a Ghost backup in less then 35 minutes.
12-16-2008, 08:12 AM
ok thanks for the info! I was thinking that if an external HDD wasn't the answer then, getting another internal for simming. I have a cheap dell inspirion 5300 from wally world without any added bells or whistles so you can imagine. I've picked up the 25" monitor that's about all my extras. I can't afford to buy a decent computer to keep up with all of my sims but get by with what i've got. If only I didn't have the power hog OS vista! When I do get another HDD I'm also picking up XP to run on it. I like Vista, but it obviously wasn't built for gaming purposes. Thanks again for the tips. I'll have to ebay a better gfx card and Hard Drive. Does anyone have any tips to get some more punch out of my computer? I'll get the specs for it later it's way AM and I haven't been to bed (playin with the SD9's some more lol!)
12-16-2008, 11:54 AM
> I'll have to ebay a better gfx card and Hard Drive.
FWIW, for improving FPS, defrag your hard disk. It's free. Use Bin w/ the -mem: switch. It's free. Use miniroutes and trim the tsection.dat and \global\shapes directories to match.. That's all free too.
As for the most important single item you can purchase... it's the CPU. See, when MSTS was written, graphics cards were not so powerful, so they had the CPU do alot of the graphics rendering. There really isn't a fix for that besides the fastest CPU (i.e., mHz) money can buy.
As for MSTS-X, the fastest multi-core CPU money can buy is likely to remain as the standard recommendation. The FSX engine -- as it stands in the market today -- does not benefit at all from high end graphics cards. Like MSTS, it's CPU bound. MS is changing that for MSTS-X and the changes are very likely to make a better graphics card worthwhile. But to get the best out of a high end graphics card you do need a high end CPU... and from what I've read, MSTS-X will be able to take advantage of all the CPU cores you have, so a multi-core CPU will be very worthwhile.
I was thinking about buying an external hard drive just to run msts and msts x when it releases. .....
I have been using an external (USB 2.0 connection) HDD (300Gb) for over twelve months with my lap-top.
Every simulation I have is installed on the external drive; the internal HDD is for applications only.
These sims include FS9, FSX and MSTS.
I have never, ever had a problem with the FPS being unduly affected on any of them.
With MSTS only, there will be some slight stuttering occassionally as the cache loads from the external HDD, but I've always experienced that with MSTS since Day 1, anyway, even with a conventional installation.
This arrangement suits me to a 'T'.
12-18-2008, 04:17 PM
And, if you can afford it, look for a 10000rpm hdd, as it will hep ease the studdering during the loads that MSTS does every tile, and AI traffic.
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