Thread: SATA Upgrade?
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Old June 10th, 2006, 10:38 PM  
Retired Administrator
Kiros's Forum Picture
Name: Ben
Join Date: May 22, 2004
Location: Albany, LA - USA
Age: 28
Gender: Male
Blog Entries: 17
Default Re: SATA Upgrade?

Trust me, it's worth it if you experience annoying load times. Get this, I've had Unreal Tournament 2004 for a couple years now. Before, I had it installed on my 40GB IDE drive. This certain game loads a lot of it's own packages during map/gametype changes. Everytime that it changed a map, I would literally get up from my desk (rather table ) and go watch TV until a commercial, then come back, and get something to drink, and have a chat with my brother. Finally, I would get into the game and it would be about 7/8 over already. In total, about every map change took me around 10-12 minutes each time.

Now understand, this was probably due to not only my slow 5400RPM IDE hard drive with a 2MB buffer, but also due to my low 256MB 266MHz RAM. In any case, when I got my new 1GB 400MHz dual channel RAM, the load time was cut in less than half - 4-5 minute load time.

When I finally got my 7200RPM 250GB SATA hard drive with an 8MB buffer, I was actually in panic. I never hooked up a SATA before and I couldn't get it to work. I just didn't get it: the disk read in the BIOS but was not showing up in Windows. Finally, the next day I had a great idea! I went to Control Panel >> Administrative Tools >> Computer Management >> Disk Management and I saw the drive All I had to do was select it, make it dynamic, partition, and of course, format it. Then I went onto moving Unreal Tournament 2004 to my F: partition (SATA).

So basically, let me describe to you now what I have to go through:
Everytime a map changes or a gametype switches, I don't even have enough time to get a drink. Loads never go above 20 seconds... The usual time (for maps the game doesn't have to download and uncompress) is about 10-12 seconds. It's really unbelievable. But it actually gets better. I actually host my own FragHouse Invasion (a modded gametype for UT2004) as a dedicated server on my computer, and I play on it at the same time. What happens then is I actually have to wait for the server to load before my game will load the different map. But you know what's really amazing about it? I still get there before everyone else - even though I have to wait for my server to uncache packages, clean 'trash' in memory, reload packages, read and interpret the map and it's geometry, load all mutators into memory and prepare ports to receive connections (that's just a small bit actually) BEFORE my client-side game loads anything at all.

Sorry, but I'm trying to make a point. I went from 5-6 minutes of average load time and now I'm at 10-12 seconds of average load time. Serail ATA hard drives are definitely worth the effort.

Kiros || Ben

Happiness is not about being perfect.
It is about seeing beyond the imperfections.
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