How can I get more memory space on PC (external drive?)

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Calico
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How can I get more memory space on PC (external drive?)

Post by Calico »

My daughter has a PC that she likes to play games on. The C drive has plenty of space for most things, but for one game she plays, this isn't enough. She has to delete everything else from the computer to play it. And when there are game patches, she runs into memory space issues. The computer is just two years old and it is fine with everything else including other games. It's just one game and it happens to be her favorite. When playing the game things are fine, it's just all the memory this game eats up.

Graduation and her birthday are coming up and I thought a nice gift would be to somehow add more memory space to her computer for this game.

In my searching, I find that some people use external hard drives for gaming systems like XBox. Will something like an external drive work with a PC? If so, any recommendations?
DoubleComma
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Re: How can I get more memory space on PC (external drive?)

Post by DoubleComma »

My initial thought is the memory issues isn’t Hard Disk Space, it’s RAM. Depending on the PC, RAM is a simple and affordable upgrade.

It’s it is HDD, those too can be upgraded or a second can be added…both fairly easily.

There will be lots of YouTube videos to show you how to DIY this.
oldlongbeard
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Re: How can I get more memory space on PC (external drive?)

Post by oldlongbeard »

I think you might not be the person to research this, as the descriptions you give, and the terminology you are using is in-congruent with the knowledge needed to update it for her. SHE may know EXACTLY what it needs. Unless you are trying for a surprise, I would consult her, and ask her if she KNOWS.
MGBMartin
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Re: How can I get more memory space on PC (external drive?)

Post by MGBMartin »

It sounds like you are confusing computer memory with storage space.
If she is running out of space on the C drive that is storage.
It could be that her C drive is set up for just the OS etc and the remainder of her storage is actually another drive letter like D:, 1 physical drive partitioned as 2 drives.

Can you post the speciations of her PC or the make and model.
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MarkRoulo
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Re: How can I get more memory space on PC (external drive?)

Post by MarkRoulo »

MGBMartin wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 7:20 pm It sounds like you are confusing computer memory with storage space.
If she is running out of space on the C drive that is storage.
It could be that her C drive is set up for just the OS etc and the remainder of her storage is actually another drive letter like D:, 1 physical drive partitioned as 2 drives.

Can you post the speciations of her PC or the make and model.
And the name of the game for a final sanity cross-check before folks offer suggestions!
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Calico
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Re: How can I get more memory space on PC (external drive?)

Post by Calico »

It is the C drive that's running out of space. Its not Ram. I will get the information and the name of the game shortly. Thanks!
DivesEtPauper
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Re: How can I get more memory space on PC (external drive?)

Post by DivesEtPauper »

As others have said, you're mixing up the terminology a bit. Your daughter's computer has RAM (aka memory), and storage (the "C drive").

How big is the C drive? Without the game installed, how much space is available?
How much RAM?
What is the game? (Asking because the game should tell you the minimum and/or recommended requirements.)
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Calico
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Re: How can I get more memory space on PC (external drive?)

Post by Calico »

Sorry, my mom called and those calls can last over an hour so I wasn't sure I would get a chance to step away and look.

The name of the game she plays is Apex Legends and it takes up 44 Gigs of space
The C drive has 237 Gigs (but she deleted everything she could to make space for that 44 Gigs I mentioned)
There is a D drive it has 931 Gigs (Am I understanding that she might be able to install her game here?)
She has 8 Gigs of Ram

Thanks again for the help. If I don't have to buy something, I guess I need to think of another graduation gift and birthday gift.
Marseille07
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Re: How can I get more memory space on PC (external drive?)

Post by Marseille07 »

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Last edited by Marseille07 on Thu May 12, 2022 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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MGBMartin
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Re: How can I get more memory space on PC (external drive?)

Post by MGBMartin »

Calico wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 7:46 pm Sorry, my mom called and those calls can last over an hour so I wasn't sure I would get a chance to step away and look.

The name of the game she plays is Apex Legends and it takes up 44 Gigs of space
The C drive has 237 Gigs (but she deleted everything she could to make space for that 44 Gigs I mentioned)
There is a D drive it has 931 Gigs (Am I understanding that she might be able to install her game here?)
She has 8 Gigs of Ram

Thanks again for the help. If I don't have to buy something, I guess I need to think of another graduation gift and birthday gift.
It seems it is as I suggested.
C drive for OS etc and. Larger partition D drive for general storage.
She needs to figure out how to install Apex Legends on the D drive.

Here’s a discussion from the game makers forum that might help.
https://answers.ea.com/t5/General-Discu ... -p/7786903
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bob60014
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Re: How can I get more memory space on PC (external drive?)

Post by bob60014 »

Apex Legends, hardly the type of game I would want my daughter playing. As said, the D drive will work.
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Calico
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Re: How can I get more memory space on PC (external drive?)

Post by Calico »

MGBMartin wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 7:59 pm
Calico wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 7:46 pm Sorry, my mom called and those calls can last over an hour so I wasn't sure I would get a chance to step away and look.

The name of the game she plays is Apex Legends and it takes up 44 Gigs of space
The C drive has 237 Gigs (but she deleted everything she could to make space for that 44 Gigs I mentioned)
There is a D drive it has 931 Gigs (Am I understanding that she might be able to install her game here?)
She has 8 Gigs of Ram

Thanks again for the help. If I don't have to buy something, I guess I need to think of another graduation gift and birthday gift.
It seems it is as I suggested.
C drive for OS etc and. Larger partition D drive for general storage.
She needs to figure out how to install Apex Legends on the D drive.

Here’s a discussion from the game makers forum that might help.
https://answers.ea.com/t5/General-Discu ... -p/7786903
Thanks! I sent the link to her and told her to try moving her game. Glad I asked about this before assuming and am even more glad and grateful for all who answered.

Of course, now I am back at square one for two gifts. She's so hard to shop for!
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Watty
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Re: How can I get more memory space on PC (external drive?)

Post by Watty »

Calico wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 7:46 pm The C drive has 237 Gigs (but she deleted everything she could to make space for that 44 Gigs I mentioned)
There is a D drive it has 931 Gigs (Am I understanding that she might be able to install her game here?)
Is the D drive an external drive? If so then running it off of that might not be ideal since it may be slower because of the USB connection. There are lots of factors and this might or might not be a big deal.

Is the C drive a solid state drive? If not and money is not tight then you can get a 1 terabyte drive for around $75 and that would not only give her lots of space but it would make her PC noticeably faster and could be a good gift even if it is not absolutely necessary.

You would want to make sure you have a good backup first but they are not that hard to install and you can find lots of videos and instructions on the internet.
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Calico
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Re: How can I get more memory space on PC (external drive?)

Post by Calico »

bob60014 wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 8:07 pm Apex Legends, hardly the type of game I would want my daughter playing. As said, the D drive will work.
She's 17 and graduates from high school in three weeks. As long as she does well in school and doesn't get in trouble, I don't mind her playing computer games. She plays with a group of friends from school while they all talk (actually talk who knew teens still do that, haha) on their phones while playing.
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Calico
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Re: How can I get more memory space on PC (external drive?)

Post by Calico »

Watty wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 8:11 pm
Calico wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 7:46 pm The C drive has 237 Gigs (but she deleted everything she could to make space for that 44 Gigs I mentioned)
There is a D drive it has 931 Gigs (Am I understanding that she might be able to install her game here?)
Is the D drive an external drive? If so then running it off of that might not be ideal since it may be slower because of the USB connection. There are lots of factors and this might or might not be a big deal.

Is the C drive a solid state drive? If not and money is not tight then you can get a 1 terabyte drive for around $75 and that would not only give her lots of space but it would make her PC noticeably faster and could be a good gift even if it is not absolutely necessary.

You would want to make sure you have a good backup first but they are not that hard to install and you can find lots of videos and instructions on the internet.
The D drive is internal. I am not sure if the C drive is a solid state drive. I googled what that is and considering this was billed as a "gaming computer" when I got it a couple of years ago, I would assume it is. She's using the computer right now so I don't want to interrupt her. But I will check later.
DoubleComma
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Re: How can I get more memory space on PC (external drive?)

Post by DoubleComma »

Calico wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 8:08 pm
MGBMartin wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 7:59 pm
Calico wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 7:46 pm Sorry, my mom called and those calls can last over an hour so I wasn't sure I would get a chance to step away and look.

The name of the game she plays is Apex Legends and it takes up 44 Gigs of space
The C drive has 237 Gigs (but she deleted everything she could to make space for that 44 Gigs I mentioned)
There is a D drive it has 931 Gigs (Am I understanding that she might be able to install her game here?)
She has 8 Gigs of Ram

Thanks again for the help. If I don't have to buy something, I guess I need to think of another graduation gift and birthday gift.
It seems it is as I suggested.
C drive for OS etc and. Larger partition D drive for general storage.
She needs to figure out how to install Apex Legends on the D drive.

Here’s a discussion from the game makers forum that might help.
https://answers.ea.com/t5/General-Discu ... -p/7786903
Thanks! I sent the link to her and told her to try moving her game. Glad I asked about this before assuming and am even more glad and grateful for all who answered.

Of course, now I am back at square one for two gifts. She's so hard to shop for!
Doubling the RAM to 16GB or even 4x to 32GB will make a notable improvement in that PCs performance, especially for gaming.
dboeger1
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Re: How can I get more memory space on PC (external drive?)

Post by dboeger1 »

Assuming installing the game to the D drive works and you're still looking for a gift for her, I don't have experience with that game specifically, but I know it's super popular and most likely has a ton of licensed merchandise, so you could always get something like a shirt, bag, mousepad, etc. Growing up, my parents were pretty generous in buying me games, but they never really cared to know much about them or buy anything tangentially related to gaming. Just the fact that you know which game your daughter likes and are showing an interest in supporting her efforts to play it with her friends is a rather exceptional trait. This may be a bit of an outdated meme, but a lot of running jokes in the gaming community are about how parents years ago were notorious for just not understanding anything about the games their kids played. A common one that hits close to home for me is the one about the suburban mom telling the kid to pause in the middle of their online competitive game, as if they can just make everybody else on the Internet stop playing. It may seem like a little thing, but I would have been pleasantly shocked to receive any kind of game-related accessory from my parents growing up. Just a thought.
wunder
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Re: How can I get more memory space on PC (external drive?)

Post by wunder »

Based on the sizes posted above I would bet good money the computer has:

256GB SSD, probably NVME attached. This is very fast. Operating system and core applications go here. This can be upgraded but would require moving the OS to a new drive and be moderately challenging.
1TB HDD, probably 2.5" SATA. This will have slower sequential speeds and especially random speeds due to the spinning platters. Best suited to bulk storage (movies, music, etc.) but you certainly can install the game here. Worst case load times will be slightly longer.

The difference from those numbers vs your capacity is that drive manufacturers market their drive in base 10 (gigabyte is a billion bytes). Windows using binary exponents (gigabyte is 2^30 or 1,073,741,824 bytes).
Dyloot
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Re: How can I get more memory space on PC (external drive?)

Post by Dyloot »

Calico wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 8:12 pm
bob60014 wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 8:07 pm Apex Legends, hardly the type of game I would want my daughter playing. As said, the D drive will work.
She's 17 and graduates from high school in three weeks. As long as she does well in school and doesn't get in trouble, I don't mind her playing computer games. She plays with a group of friends from school while they all talk (actually talk who knew teens still do that, haha) on their phones while playing.
Bob's comment made me laugh. Hardly the game you want your daughter playing? Did you mean child? Or would it be OK if the OP's son was playing Apex Legends?

As a lifelong gamer and a girl-dad I would high-five my daughter if she was playing Apex Legends with a bunch of school friends. There are a lot of much worse things those kids could be doing with their time.

Of course, I'm probably biased. I spent way too many hours in high school killing my friends in Quake 2. Back then we physically brought our PCs to one person's house, networked them, and then commenced with murdering one another for hours on end. 20+ years later all of these guys live happy, productive lives. Last I checked none of the D&D players ended up as Satan worshipers, either.

:D
homebuyer6426
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Re: How can I get more memory space on PC (external drive?)

Post by homebuyer6426 »

The SSD (solid state drive) is for installing games on because of its faster speed. The magnetic disk drive is for storing things which don't need quick access (like video files, or games with short load times). Should solve her problems if she follows this rule.
Dyloot
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Re: How can I get more memory space on PC (external drive?)

Post by Dyloot »

wunder wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 8:38 am Based on the sizes posted above I would bet good money the computer has:

256GB SSD, probably NVME attached. This is very fast. Operating system and core applications go here. This can be upgraded but would require moving the OS to a new drive and be moderately challenging.
1TB HDD, probably 2.5" SATA. This will have slower sequential speeds and especially random speeds due to the spinning platters. Best suited to bulk storage (movies, music, etc.) but you certainly can install the game here. Worst case load times will be slightly longer.

The difference from those numbers vs your capacity is that drive manufacturers market their drive in base 10 (gigabyte is a billion bytes). Windows using binary exponents (gigabyte is 2^30 or 1,073,741,824 bytes).
Agreed.

If it were me, I'd buy a replacement NVME drive and install the OS fresh. This comes with some cost (I'd probably spend $150 to $200 on the drive), and some knowledge (downloading the Windows 10 image and installing it on the new drive). Not rocket science, but it takes a willingness to spend the money and the desire to learn how to do it.

All in all, kid's play compared to how difficult it was decades ago.

I'd also recommend the RAM upgrade from 8GB to 16GB--but again, some cost here.

For me, PC gaming and building is more of an enthusiast activity than a value-based purchase. I know many here would cringe at the idea of shelling out $2000 - $3000 to build an awesome gaming PC. For others (like those who love to buy luxury cars), it's an utter joy.

But, I digress. A hard drive upgrade and a RAM upgrade will probably go far. Also, the OP described Apex Legends as a large install, but 44GB is really not that large. She may have other applications or data she can move to the D drive instead of moving Apex Legends to the lower performance drive.
PeninsulaPerson
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Re: How can I get more memory space on PC (external drive?)

Post by PeninsulaPerson »

dboeger1 wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 9:57 pm
It may seem like a little thing, but I would have been pleasantly shocked to receive any kind of game-related accessory from my parents growing up. Just a thought.

This was such a lovely idea!

The OP would have to be sure to get it right ... but that acknowledgement would be very sweet.

Maybe ask your daughter's friends for gift ideas or on-target game gifts?

Very nice of OP to want to do all this for their kid!
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Calico
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Re: How can I get more memory space on PC (external drive?)

Post by Calico »

Thanks for the ideas to help improve my daughter's computer! I need to take a closer look at things when I get a chance. Right now I am on my way out the door in about 15 minutes.
dboeger1 wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 9:57 pm Assuming installing the game to the D drive works and you're still looking for a gift for her, I don't have experience with that game specifically, but I know it's super popular and most likely has a ton of licensed merchandise, so you could always get something like a shirt, bag, mousepad, etc. Growing up, my parents were pretty generous in buying me games, but they never really cared to know much about them or buy anything tangentially related to gaming. Just the fact that you know which game your daughter likes and are showing an interest in supporting her efforts to play it with her friends is a rather exceptional trait. This may be a bit of an outdated meme, but a lot of running jokes in the gaming community are about how parents years ago were notorious for just not understanding anything about the games their kids played. A common one that hits close to home for me is the one about the suburban mom telling the kid to pause in the middle of their online competitive game, as if they can just make everybody else on the Internet stop playing. It may seem like a little thing, but I would have been pleasantly shocked to receive any kind of game-related accessory from my parents growing up. Just a thought.
I am probably a different kind of mom because I too was a gamer back in the day. I played mostly MMORPGs like CoH, WoW, LOTRO, and SWTOR (that was the last one I ever played). I know you can't just up and leave in the middle of a raid (or whatever it is kids do these days). I haven't played in years since I just don't have the time anymore and I only ever had two gaming computers. My first one which really wasn't set up as a true gaming computer and then a new one which I bought with games in mind. I once added RAM to the older machine, but that was it. I never had to upgrade anything to play these games an I never had to mess with hard drive space, but the new games are nearly like movies they are so intense I guess they just eat up a whole lot more resources.
dboeger1
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Re: How can I get more memory space on PC (external drive?)

Post by dboeger1 »

Calico wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 3:36 pm Thanks for the ideas to help improve my daughter's computer! I need to take a closer look at things when I get a chance. Right now I am on my way out the door in about 15 minutes.
dboeger1 wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 9:57 pm Assuming installing the game to the D drive works and you're still looking for a gift for her, I don't have experience with that game specifically, but I know it's super popular and most likely has a ton of licensed merchandise, so you could always get something like a shirt, bag, mousepad, etc. Growing up, my parents were pretty generous in buying me games, but they never really cared to know much about them or buy anything tangentially related to gaming. Just the fact that you know which game your daughter likes and are showing an interest in supporting her efforts to play it with her friends is a rather exceptional trait. This may be a bit of an outdated meme, but a lot of running jokes in the gaming community are about how parents years ago were notorious for just not understanding anything about the games their kids played. A common one that hits close to home for me is the one about the suburban mom telling the kid to pause in the middle of their online competitive game, as if they can just make everybody else on the Internet stop playing. It may seem like a little thing, but I would have been pleasantly shocked to receive any kind of game-related accessory from my parents growing up. Just a thought.
I am probably a different kind of mom because I too was a gamer back in the day. I played mostly MMORPGs like CoH, WoW, LOTRO, and SWTOR (that was the last one I ever played). I know you can't just up and leave in the middle of a raid (or whatever it is kids do these days). I haven't played in years since I just don't have the time anymore and I only ever had two gaming computers. My first one which really wasn't set up as a true gaming computer and then a new one which I bought with games in mind. I once added RAM to the older machine, but that was it. I never had to upgrade anything to play these games an I never had to mess with hard drive space, but the new games are nearly like movies they are so intense I guess they just eat up a whole lot more resources.
The thing about storage now is that games are going through a kind of transition period, and it's difficult to say with any certainty without testing the specific game you're interested in whether or not the particular type of storage matters. For many years, standard 5400/7200 RPM HDDs (with the SATA3 bus being the newer standard, if I remember correctly) were kind of the standard target, and games were just designed to deal with the average asset loading times.

Now, with much faster storage options available, games are actively being designed to take advantage of much faster asset streaming by creating more detailed levels, enabling faster movement through levels, allowing players to quickly teleport between levels without significant loading times, etc. In other words, being able to load data that much faster means that new experiences can be designed that bypass a lot of the old loading time limitations. With the latest generation of consoles in particular, fast drives are now the standard, which should increase the amount of games that require them as minimum specs.

The thing is, there are still so many systems with older, slower HDDs out there, including the previous generation of consoles which are still selling, so as a general rule, unless the game specifically calls faster storage out as a requirement, the assumption for PC games is that they still support slower storage, albeit with potentially longer loading times or higher RAM requirements to compensate. Apex: Legends is also a "free-to-play" game, so part of the business model is being accessible to as many global players as possible, meaning it's highly unlikely that they would design the game to require the latest storage. For those reasons, I have to assume that just moving the game to the D drive will work, even if it is a slower HDD. I would not assume that for a game like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, which I believe was designed specifically to leverage the fast asset streaming on the new PS5 to allow players to quickly teleport between worlds. So if she hasn't tried moving her game to the D drive yet (or moving something else off of C to make room for it), I'd still say that's worth a try.
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