Do People Still Keep OS and Games on Separate Drives? Exploring the Pros and Cons

With the ever-expanding storage options available in modern computers, the debate over whether to keep the operating system (OS) and games on separate drives continues to be a topic of interest for tech enthusiasts.

In this article, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of keeping the OS and games on separate drives. By the end, you will have a clear understanding of whether this practice is still prevalent and whether it makes sense for your specific computing needs.

The Advantages of Keeping OS and Games on Separate Drives

Faster System Performance

When you keep the OS and games on separate drives, it can lead to improved system performance. The operating system can access its files and resources without interference from resource-intensive games, leading to faster boot times and smoother overall system operation.

Easy OS Maintenance

Having the OS on a separate drive allows for easier maintenance and reinstallation. If you encounter issues with the OS, you can perform a clean installation without affecting your game installations or data.

Efficient Use of Resources

By segregating the OS and games, you allocate system resources more efficiently. Games can utilize the full capacity of their dedicated drive, while the OS can focus on system-related tasks without resource contention.

Backup and Restore Convenience

Backing up and restoring data becomes more straightforward when the OS and games are on separate drives. You can selectively back up your games and game data without including the OS, streamlining the backup process.

The Disadvantages of Keeping OS and Games on Separate Drives

Cost Considerations

Acquiring two separate drives for the OS and games might be cost-prohibitive for some users, especially when high-capacity solid-state drives (SSDs) are involved.

Limited SSD Space

SSDs offer high-speed performance, but they typically have limited storage capacity compared to traditional hard disk drives (HDDs). Separating the OS and games might lead to space constraints, especially if you have numerous large games.

Fragmentation and Performance Impact

Having the OS and games on separate drives can lead to fragmentation on both drives. Fragmentation might impact overall system performance and game loading times, especially on HDDs.

Complexity in Organization

Keeping the OS and games on separate drives can lead to organizational challenges, especially if you have multiple games and software installations. Managing storage and locating specific files might become more cumbersome.

Current Trends: Are People Still Keeping OS and Games on Separate Drives?

The trend of keeping the OS and games on separate drives has somewhat diminished in recent years due to the increased affordability and availability of larger capacity SSDs. Many users opt for larger SSDs to house both the OS and games for the sake of convenience and streamlined management. However, some enthusiasts, especially those with specific performance requirements or legacy setups, still prefer the separate drive approach.

  1. Performance Considerations:
  • Historically, separating the OS and games onto different drives was believed to improve performance. The idea was that the OS drive could focus on running the operating system efficiently, while the game drive could handle the storage and loading of game files
  • However, with the advent of faster storage options like solid-state drives (SSDs) and NVMe drives, the performance difference between having the OS and games on separate drives has diminished
  • Modern SSDs and NVMe drives offer fast read and write speeds, making them suitable for both the OS and game files. As a result, the performance gains from separating the drives are not as significant as they once were
  1. Storage Space and Convenience:
  • Another factor that has influenced the practice of keeping the OS and games on separate drives is the increasing size of games. Many modern games require large amounts of storage space, and having them on a separate drive can help manage storage capacity
  • However, having separate drives for the OS and games can also be less convenient. It may require additional management and organization to ensure that files are stored in the correct locations and that updates and installations are properly managed
  1. Personal Preferences and Use Cases:
  • Ultimately, whether to keep the OS and games on separate drives is a matter of personal preference and specific use cases. Some individuals may still prefer to separate the drives for organizational or performance reasons, while others may find it more convenient to have everything on a single drive
  • It’s important to consider your specific needs and priorities when deciding whether to keep the OS and games on separate drives. Factors such as available storage space, performance requirements, and personal workflow preferences should be taken into account.


The decision to keep the OS and games on separate drives ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. While separate drives can offer advantages in terms of performance and maintenance, they might also present cost and complexity considerations.

With larger SSDs becoming more accessible, many users are now opting for a single drive solution for both the OS and games. Consider your budget, storage requirements, and computing habits to make an informed choice that best suits your usage patterns and goals.

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