I am going to get a MacBook Air but the hard drive space is fairly small. I just wanted some clarification on installing games onto a hard drive. If I install steam on my hard drive will the downloaded games also install onto it? And will they run ok off it?
Yes and sort of. External hard drives tend to run slower because of their interface/cable (usually USB).
As far as installing games go, you can install steam anywhere on your laptop and set up the game libraries/install locations somewhere else, like an external drive. Go to
Settings > Downloads to set up game libraries. Keep in mind you need to have read/write and execute permissions (don't know if OSX gives you execute permissions on external drives).
Technically, it does work.
Practically, it won't for bigger games. That is due to external hard drives being connected via USB and that is just too slow to keep up with texture streaming for demanding games.
What you can do is this:
- Install Steam to your mac book, not to your external drive
- Setup an additional steam library on your external
- Install demanding games directly to your mac book
- Install small games to your external.
With this kind of split it would at least be possible to play most games without any issue and have full performance for bigger games.
For being able to install a game to a different hard drive, you need to go to Settings -> Downloads and designated a folder as Steam Library:
If you have multiple libraries, a selection will be shown where to install the game when you download it.