Internal/External Hard Drives: What’s Best For Gaming?

The quest for storage is almost insatiable in the gaming industry. With more advanced and storage-demanding games being produced every day, it makes sense why gamers have to deal with their PC’s hard drive storage running out. Lucky for you, as a gamer, the price of hard drives keeps on dropping yearly with the average cost as of 2017 falling between $0.028 and $0.01 per Gigabyte, according to

When it comes to purchasing extra storage space to satisfy your gaming needs, it’s often a toss-up between using external and internal hard drives. Although both options can provide a valid solution, one will always outweigh the other. The best option for you all trickles down to your current needs.

Here are a few details to help you solve this dilemma:

Why Buy An External Drive?

External hard drives typically have a high storage capacity. Since they are external, you can choose between different storage capacities depending on your needs. They’re also lightweight and portable which means that you can carry them around in your pocket. The portability aspect makes them great for situations where you want to play your games on other PCs. You also don’t need any special type of installation, making them a good option when trying to find the best hard drive for gaming since even the least tech savvy person can use them.

The Downside of External Hard Drives

Among the main disadvantages of external drives is their fragile state. The drives can easily be damaged by external factors such as dropping them to the floor and exposing them to excessive heat, humidity and even magnetic fields. This means that you have to be extra careful with where you store them and how you use them.

For protection from damages by impact, buying an extra protective cover for your hard drive is wise. On the flip side, the idea that the external hard drives aren’t password-protected raises a security concern in terms of information security. Unless you encrypt the device, then losing it or having it stolen will mean that anyone who has it can access whatever is saved in the drive.

Why Buy An Internal Hard Drive?

Since internal drives will always be connected to your PC, you will never have to worry about switching on your computer only to find that you have no games to play. This aspect doubles as a form of protection of the hard drives from damage by external factors. Internal hard drives are also a great data security since you only have to create a strong password for your computer.

When stolen or lost, it will be challenging for anyone to access your files. Additionally, these drives can be upgraded in case they run out of space. You will typically have to choose between upgrading or buying a new hard drive with a larger storage capacity.

The Downside of Internal Hard Drives

The fact that internal hard drives are bound to be housed within the computer can be a drawback for some gamers. This means that you can’t just pick the drive from your PC and share the files in it with other computers. Additionally, upgrading them means that you will need to open up your computer.

In case you aren’t tech savvy enough, you might end up with a non-functioning laptop, not to mention the likelihood of destroying your hard drive. As a result, you will require working with professionals when upgrading or even replacing your internal hard drive.

It All Depends On Convenience

At the end of the day, the choice you make trickles down to convenience. Which drive will work best for your situation? Factors such as price, protection, formatting capabilities and even performance will come into play.

1.    Performance Comparison

Generally speaking, internal drives will tend to work faster than external drives, which is a huge factor to look at when choosing a drive for gaming. This superiority in speed is mainly because the internal drives are connected to the motherboard using an advanced attachment bus. External drives, on the other hand, tend to connect to the computer using USB ports or even Firewire cable.

However, this doesn’t mean that all external drives have inferior performance when compared to internal drives. The performance boils down to the type of hardware you use when connecting the external drive. With the right choice of USB type or Firewire, you might not even notice the difference between the two options, according to the Medium.

2.    Price Comparison

External hard drives are typically more expensive than the internal ones. The main reason for this gap in price is because the technology used in the manufacturing process is newer than that of the latter. Furthermore, most internal drives will come already housed in laptops or gaming PCs which further reduces their price through low demand.

Picking the right external drive for your gaming PC will also require some research. However, this is only but a small price to pay for portable storage that can double as a backup for your games.

3.    The Need to Be Formatted

An internal hard drive will typically require you to format it for your computer and OS to avoid any hiccups down the road. This is especially true if the hard drive is an upgrade from your previous one. As for performing complex tasks like partitioning your computer, an internal hard drive can be a great choice.

On the flip side, external hard drives do not call for any formatting when it comes to using them. You can simply plug them into your computer with little hustle. In a nutshell, pay attention to what your needs are at the current moment before proceeding to purchase either of the two.

Why Not Use Both Options?

Despite the endless comparisons in this article, you are not limited to using one of both options. In fact, both can work best, unless you lack the power to purchase them both simultaneously. You can use your internal hard disk for games that you play a lot and would love to restrict their use to a single computer.

You can then use the external hard disk to store games that you love playing on the go. This drive can double as a backup for the files on your computer, which can be a lifesaver in case of data loss.


In a perfect world, you would easily run all your games on a drive that never runs out of space. The realistic world, however, will need you to pick your best of the two options, or even better, work with both. Consider the option that tickles your fancy in terms of convenience to enjoy an amazing gaming experience.