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Gaming on Google Drive | A Bad Idea


A few days ago I came up with a brilliant idea. What if I installed all my games directly on Google Drive. I could make use of RaiDrive to access my Google Drive WITHOUT having to sync all my files onto my local computer. RaiDrive allows you to use your Google Drive like any old storage drive and I love using it as none of my Drive files are synced onto my PC, which is great as my Google Drive has almost 3TB of used space.

After experimenting with streaming videos from Google Drive onto my PC and running a few applications, I leaped into gaming from Google Drive. Installing files from my Windows 10 machine onto Google Drive was a long tedious nightmare and I ended up finding a way to install it via commandline with Google Colab. Finally, my games were available for playing and… it was BAD!

First of all, every time you load the game, packets of data has to be downloaded from Google Drive onto your PC. This includes the textures and objects you are seeing/interacting with immediately around you. For older games the experience was fine as it did not require large chunks of game data to be sent from the cloud to your local machine every second, but for larger games, the story is different.

Modern games require significant chunks of data to be transferred per second as there are more objects (of high quality) surrounding your character. This is the reason why proper SSDs are recommended for modern games as they can transfer more data per second. My local hard drive has a transfer speed of 100 MB/s, while some M.2 NVMe SSDs have speeds of around 3500 MB/s. My internet download speed is a mere 1 MB/s, which certainly does not compare well to any of the aforementioned cases. Even if you have a better internet download speed than I do, I seriously doubt it is anywhere close to 3500 MB/s. More specifically, most people are not even getting close to 100 MB/s. Until internet packages are affordable enough that the average gamer has access to download speeds of GIGABYTES per second, gaming from the cloud will be a shitty experience.

When the day comes that the average internet download speed rivals the average data write/read speed, most gamers will prefer cloud gaming as game file sizes are continually getting bigger forcing us to invest more in data storage.

For now, it’s best to tough it out playing on your local PC and spend days waiting for games to finish downloading on Steam. Yeah, I know, it sucks 🙁

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