I've been using my Seagate 4TB hard drive for gaming for a while now, and though it works well for the most part, sometimes certain games would stutter or freeze momentarily while other games would have no issues whatsoever. GTAV, while laggy, (cause my computer isn't great) has no stuttering or 'freezing' issues whatsoever, but other games like Gunpoint will freeze for up to 2-3 seconds at a time while the sound keeps playing. In GTASA, the game doesn't freeze but the framerate noticeably jumps way down momentarily for no apparent reason. I've tested the hard drive on Mac and PC, using Disk Utility and GSmartControl respectively and there appears to be no problems with the hard drive. I have an inkling of a suspicion that my "rig" isn't strong enough to use a 4TB hard drive properly ('too big' perhaps?) as the same games on my old 2TB hard drive run fine for the most part and like I've said, there appears to be no issues with the drive itself.

EDIT: Here are my computer specs, as KevinTheGreat suggested:

  • OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit
  • Intel(R) HD Graphics 5000
  • Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4260U CPU @ 1.40GHz, 2001 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
  • Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 4.00 GB
  • Total Physical Memory 3.94 GB
  • Total Virtual Memory 7.88 GB

It's pretty terrible specs, I know, but it's what I have to use right now.

  • 3
    I would recommend you add the specs of the PC that you experience the issue on. That way people can give better answers. Dec 15, 2017 at 23:43
  • Not quite an answer, but for frame rate that will go very low for 3-4 seconds, this can be your computer throttling your GPU as to not overheat. With a graphics card that's just the baked-in Intel stuff, this could be the case. Any computer, especially if it isn't cleaned, will throttle your framerate to prevent overheats if your vents are dirty.
    – Zodack
    Dec 16, 2017 at 2:22
  • If the 4TB drive isn't your C: drive then it could be that Windows is turning it off after a period of inactivity and the 2-3 second pauses are caused when the drive spins up again.
    – user86571
    Dec 16, 2017 at 8:55
  • @RossRidge That would actually make a lot of sense considering I've seen the light go off and hear the drive "whir down" and then back up again. I think it's a combination of my terrible computer (see deliciously_dumb's answer below) and what you've said. I'll see if I can stop my hard drive from going idle and see if that changes anything. Dec 16, 2017 at 10:54
  • What's the serial numbers of both drives? If that 4T is spinning at 5400 RPM; there's your answer. Good HDDs spin at 7200.
    – Mazura
    Dec 18, 2017 at 23:01

1 Answer 1


TL;DR : You need more RAM.

Whenever a game needs more RAM space than available, it will reserve what it needs from the hard drive. This is the definition of Virtual Memory. The thing is, because the some-kind-of-needed-resource is located on the drive rather than the RAM (aka where it's supposed to be), the access is much slower than straight from the RAM (in other words, the CPU needs more time to retrieve data from the hard drive than when it's in the RAM) hence the lag / the freeze. Then comes the counterproductive part of having a large storage, the CPU needs to travel throughout the whole 4 TB to get that data every time it needs to. Think about it as if you needed to wander through a huge parking lot whenever you forgot something in your car. This is why your 2 TB storage looks to be comparing better to its double-sized other hard drive : you spend less time looking for your car in a 200-car parking lot than in a 500-car one.

It is also important to know that not the full 4 GB of RAM is allocated to the game, since the OS needs material to run with (I guess 2 GB for Windows, that's already half of your memory available and you did almost nothing yet), so I would definitely recommend getting some more RAM (there are 2, 3, 4 GB sticks, you would easily get waaay up into 16 GB, which is more than enough, since games alone do not require that staggering amount of RAM anyways).

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