Question Drive / Drive Tests for Tens of Thousands of Small Files (Less than 1024KB)


Junior Member
Aug 19, 2015
Use case: Planning a PC for my wife to play The Sims 4 with 20+GB of custom content, with low load times.

What drives (or what drive tests in reviews) should I be looking at for this use case? The Sims 4 accesses tens of thousands of really tiny files, for the standard game plus the expansion packs plus all the downloaded custom content.

Currently she's playing on my rig (i7-6700 non-K, 64GB RAM, 6800XT) that stores the game files (30GB) on a 500GB Samsung 750 EVO with the mods on a 500GB Samsung 860 EVO (they're stored in the My Documents directory on my C:\) From my profiling of the game using tools like ProcMon, it appears that reading from disk is a bigger issue than CPU usage.

While having large max throughput numbers are nice, this use case demands responsiveness and the ability to read many tiny files, very quickly. What drives should I be looking at when building her PC, and what tests do people typically run to determine how a drive handles so many thousands of files, please? From my experience doing the installation and maintenance of her mods and custom content, most of them are tiny, about half appearing to be in the sub one megabyte range.

Thank you


Diamond Member
Jan 24, 2014
You would want to lean more into the Random 4K performance of the drive, both at low and higher queues. Sequential speeds will not help. The best news is NAND prices are very low right now, so you don't really have to analyze too much all of this. I would simply recommend buying a competitively priced PCIe 4.0 drive that was part of the high-end just a while ago. They are quite cheap now. Some examples would be the Samsung 980 PRO and the WD SN850X. A cheaper drive you could look into is the Kingston KC3000.

When building her a new PC you should also make sure it comes with a modern CPU, even if core count comes on the low side. Main reason is single threaded performance of the CPU can heavily influence SSD random 4K performance. Upgrading from i7 8700 to i7 12700K had a major impact on random IOPS even when using the same 980 Pro.

Last but not least, the system your wife is playing right now might be leveraging OS level caching during her gaming sessions. With 64GB RAM I've seen my system use even 40GB+ for caching. For this next system I would not aim bellow 32GB of RAM, and if you can justify more then it may also be a good time to go straight for 64GB as DRAM prices are also very good at this time.

  • buy a i5 13400 or higher, R5 7600 or higher CPU
  • use the 980 PRO as both price and performance reference (Random IOPS), then shop for a good deal from Samsung or competitors
  • build with 32GB RAM minimum, or straight 64GB if your other usage could benefit from this
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CPU, Cases&Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
Currently she's playing on my rig (i7-6700 non-K, 64GB RAM, 6800XT)

Thinking his daughter could also be cpu limited depending on the resolution she is playing, as that gpu is more then capable of working the hell out of that cpu.