HDD 100% usage on a game which is installed on the SSD?

  1. Posts : 1
    Win 10

    HDD 100% usage on a game which is installed on the SSD?

    Hello everyone,
    lately I've engaged a problem with several games. Alot of my games suddenly got tons of performance issues. I've checked my Task Manager during game sessions and noticed that my HDD just spikes up to 100%, mainly consistently on 100% actually. Games are installed on the SSD, but HDD just takes the hit. Any idea why and how to fix it?
    Also, GPU (GTX 1050ti mini 4gb) max 40%, RAM (some old DDR3, 12gb) max 70%, CPU (Intel I7 4770k) max 65%.
    Winver: 1909 (Build: 18363.1440)

    Not running the best setup in the first place, but this performance impact makes games ALMOST unplayable.

    Im looking forward to some ideas.

    Thank you in advance!

      My Computer

  2. Posts : 2,732
    Windows 10

    In the Task Manager sort the columns such that the highest disc usage is at the top, and then ID what Processes are involved.
    Also, how much of the SSD is being used, there should always be roughly 20% free space for temporary files etc.
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 7,724
    3-Win-7Prox64 3-Win10Prox64 3-LinuxMint20.2

    So you have the operating system installed on a hard drive and games on a solid state drive ?
      My Computers

  4. Posts : 11,246
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux

    Hi there

    Actually if it's a reasonably modern game and you have enough RAM and a sensible GPU (Graphics card) most of the real "spade work" for the game will be done by the OS, RAM and the GPU so although it might appear counter intuitive it would be better to have the OS on the SSD and the game on the HDD. Decent games aren't usually I/O intensive so can absorb the slower performance of the HDD -- assuming the HDD isn't one of those dreadfully slow IDE drives or has a tiny cache.

    I don't know how the mechanics of your particular game(s) work but if it isn't saving huge swathes of data to scratch work areas every few seconds then the above switch should work. In any case you could assuming enough space have the OS and the game on the SSD. (Or replace the HDD with another SSD although that might not be necessary).

    The problem with the way you have it set out currently is that the GPU, and the SSD activity for the game will be waiting on the slow HDD for the OS task manager (part of the Windows kernel) to finish its business and be building up a chain of "pending I/O" requests that can't get cleared quick enough by the OS kernel --- evidence of the 100% activity on the HDD. An i7 processor is definitely fast enough to handle anything Windows 10 can throw at it and the DDR3 RAM isn't an issue in these cases either.

    In nearly a quarter of a century of working with various computer OS's and hardware - I would say around 90% of poor performance is caused by poor I/O (Disk) configuration -- I still get the feeling on these boards when discussions of improving computer performance comes up many people go for unnecessary processor upgrades or putting in more RAM. In general nothing beats improving the Disk sub systems. It's not 100% true but in general and especially on HOME / domestic computers poor / slow Disks are generally the source of poor performance.

    So Rule 101 for any OS :

    Always put the OS on the fastest disk device whatever else you have in / running on the system. !!!!


    A lot of SSD data can be held in main memory as a 2-D array - the SSD data only needs to be re-written back to the device every so often and the OP has 12GB RAM which is good. So the 20% free space while "Good Best Practice" isn''t actually necessary for proper system operation if the OS is on an SSD -- there's no mechanical movement or rotational delay on an SSD so any address is as good as any other one.

    What does happen is that the system paging file will decide what data to hold in RAM, what to keep on the paging file and what to release back to the I/O device. Since in this case the OS is on the slowest device the paging file will be going bonkers as it can't get serviced quick enough by the I/O requests coming in from the game, any write back / cache clearing data from the SSD and the GPU. So a double whammy in this case !!!

    Last edited by jimbo45; 05 Apr 2021 at 04:52. Reason: Added (hopefully) more explanation of Disk I/O
      My Computer


  Related Discussions
Our Sites
Site Links
About Us
Windows 10 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 10" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 14:57.
Find Us

Windows 10 Forums