Are External Hard Drives Good for Gaming?

Playing computer games is a great way to enjoy life, have fun, and get a little exercise. However, one of the most important aspects of a successful gaming session is the storage drive’s quality and other configurations in the system. But at all times, the internal drive is not enough to handle all of the games. Therefore, external hard drives are great for storing all of your gaming data separately.

They’re like a second storage device that you can use to backup data or games. External hard drives are portable, so you can take them with you anywhere and play on any device! If you’re wondering whether they’re good for gaming or not, the answer is YES.

There are several benefits to using a portable hard drive. It gives you more storage space to store games, makes backing up your game data simple, and is very convenient in terms of portability.

However, to understand whether external hard drives are suitable for gaming or not? We need to understand a few other things like speed, cost, storage capacity, portability, and power usage.

What is the external hard drive?

This electronic storage device connects to a computer or laptop through a cable, FireWire, or eSATA connection. And it has a hard disk inside, which is typically used to store, transfer and back up data. It is also known as an external hard disk or an HDD drive.

Are External Hard Drives Good for Gaming

Pros of External Drive
  • Exterme portability
  • Easy to replace and upgrade
  • Plenty of storage option
Cons of External Drive
  • Slow performance
  • Difficulat to upgrade
  • Required power to run
  • Little expensive


Speed and performance are crucial factors to look in drive while choosing for games – faster speed means a faster gaming experience. Because who wants to wait to kill the opponent’s player or anything else during their gaming session? If a hard drive is too slow, it won’t provide a good user experience.

Since games are highly visual elements that require faster speed and performance, it is crucial to look at them because a slow drive won’t provide a better gaming experience.

Drive speed is measured in terms of Megabytes per second. This means how long it takes to read or write one MB of data. Internal storage (internal drive) is faster than external drives because it’s physically stored inside a computer.

So logically, the read/write access happens quicker with an internal drive. On the other hand, a portable drive is much slower because physically, it’s located elsewhere and consequently not stored directly on the computer requires a 3rd source of connection for data transfer, making the process slow.


Usually, the price of storage drives depends on storage capacity, performance, speed, and other features that hard drives provide, like backup utility software packages and encryption.

Additionally, price also depend on storage brands like Samsung drives are more expensive while WD and Seagate storage drives are cheaper than any other brand. But in my experience, external hard drives prices are a little higher than internal one.

Let’s take an example of two different brands WD and Seagate. The cost of a 2TB external storage drive of Seagate is 54.99$, and the price of the WD element is 57.99$. On the other hand, price of the internal storage of Seagate BarraCuda of 2TB is 46.99$, and the cost of WD Blue is 46.99$. So, we can say that portable drives are a little costly compared to internal ones.

Note: The drive price is constantly changing, so it is better to check the latest price.

Storage capacity

If you’re someone who has a ton of games, then you know that storing them on your internal storage can take up a lot of space and your storage drive run out of space quickly. Because most PCs don’t have a large storage capacity to store games, getting an external hard drive is the only way to do more games.

That allows you to store all of your games in one place instead of having them scattered around your computer. Moreover, internal drives are hard to replace and upgrade, while external ones are simply plug-and-play.


Another advantage of a portable hard drive is they’re small in size and easy to carry. This means you can take the hard drive with you wherever you go, which is why many people use these drives on the days they travel. Additionally, you can play games on any system other than your main gaming station.


You need an additional power source to run an external hard drive. Remember that this is not just a USB cable plugged into your laptop! It will require a power outlet. This means that it will eat up more of your laptop’s battery life while playing video games on your computer, which may be a deal-breaker if you’re always away from outlets. So keep this factor in mind while making your decision.


The external hard drive is incredible for gaming in terms of portability, easy to upgradeable, has more lifespan. While the internal drive is faster, less costly, takes less power, and is challenging to upgrade.   

FAQs on are external hard drives good for gaming

Can I use an external hard drive on ps4?

Yes, external storage drives can be used on PlayStation 4 to run and play games. They can hold anything you want, whatever you like, any type of game.

Is it reasonable to play games on the external hard drive?

Yes, a Portable drive is excellent for storing and playing games.  

Do games run faster on an external hard drive?

No, as compared to an internal drive, games on a portable hard disk do not run faster because there is 3rd source between drive and computer, which slows down the performance of the storage drive. Or other words, when data travel between an external drive and computer, it makes the process slow.

Are external hard drives slower?

Yes, compared to internal drives, they’re slower in performance.  

Are external hard drives suitable for long-term storage?

Portable drives are great for storing data or backup for a long time because they have more lifespan.

Are external drives as fast as internal?

No, they’re not faster than internal storage.

What is better, HDD or SSD?

It depends on different factors like speed, price, and storage capacity. For more details, please read.

Can I run games from an external SSD

Yes, of course, you can use external SSD storage to play and store games.

Are external drives reliable?

Yes, they’re reliable and have more lifespan.

Rob Boirun
Rob Boirun

Staring in the storage industry in 1999, I worked for a DVD Burning API company that provided the burning engine for iTunes and other burning software. Today my love for all types of storage is being displayed here.

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