Submitted by winterlight 2322d ago | article

Installing Xbox 360 games: Is it worth it?

It's a much-lauded feature of the New Xbox Experience, but does it really make a difference for load times? Gears of War 2, Call of Duty: World at War, and Mirror's Edge were all tested. (Call of Duty: World at War, Gears of War 2, Mirror's Edge, Xbox 360)

Raoh  +   2322d ago
hard call to make. i mainly do it with games i play often to eliminate the disc spinning noise.

as far as load times. cant say i see much difference.

anyone know if there is an issue with online games where one person has faster loading times with install and one person has slower loading times without installs?

just asking.
ChanDangle  +   2322d ago
Agree with you there. I do it mainly for noise purposes only.
SynGamer  +   2322d ago
I have 327 games and counting indexed so far...including game performance ratings for 50+ games.


Overall, the silence alone is worth installing games, not to mention many of them show at least *some* improvement in terms of load times.
#1.2 (Edited 2322d ago ) | Agree(5) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
Zeevious  +   2322d ago
I have to agree...
If you have the space and are regularly playing a game, installing to cut out DVD-Drive noise is great.

The couple seconds to nothing gained in loading though was a real disappointment to me. I don't see how loading from a 4200 or 5400 RPM Hard Drive can be the same speed or give you such a slight improvement it doesn't matter.

Maybe something to do with the disc protection, or due to streaming requirements it must throttle the actual speed to the DVD-Drive's data transfer rate?

Either way, it at least reduces drive noise, and that's at least enough of a benefit for me.
DA_SHREDDER  +   2322d ago
My 360 runs alot cooler now since Ive been installing every game that I play alot. Everyone who has any experience with electronics knows the most important thing to do with your electronics is to keep them as cool as possible. You pretty much just extend the life span of your system by doing that. Also, less noise comes from the system. How can you go wrong by installing your games?
Kushan  +   2322d ago
The reason load times aren't THAT different is two-fold. Firstly, the DISK is optimised to be loaded as quickly as possible, naturally some of those optimisations are going to be counter-intuitive when the data is copied to the hard drive, moreso if the game also caches stuff to the hard drive (As in Halo 3 and Gears 2). Secondly, when a game loads, it's not JUST loading data from the disk into memory, there's quite a bit more to it than that. Texture data is decompressed, game data is decompressed and calculated, various other forms of data are computed and this is where a lot of the loading comes from. It's not just the 360, the PS3 is the same, but in that instance the slower read speeds of the BR drive have a cumulative effect.
Zeevious  +   2321d ago
I'd figured it was something like that...a .ISO-like disc image but I thought the DVD-Drives actual firmware had something to do with disk decryption/authentication. Emulation or redirection of that firmware might be in there somewhere too.

At first, after reading some of the times compiled in a list of installed games I wasn't going to bother. (with an average 5-second loading increase I guessed you'd need to play a game 120 times before getting back the 10 minutes you spent on installing it)

I'm glad I DIDN'T listen to the voice of unreasonable reason!

The quiet of running off the hard drive really makes everything sound better...Now if I could just get this suspiciously familiar looking guy to stop loitering on my screen, I'd be set. ;)
TBaT  +   2322d ago
Ya really who cares about a few seconds difference in load times. The main problem was the noise of the spinning drive and that has been solved now. These people are missing the point.
tplarkin7  +   2322d ago
A few seconds can be huge.
In games like Fallout, or Fable, a few seconds means alot when you are jumping back and forth on a map.
El_Colombiano  +   2322d ago
With the MINI HDDs that came with the original Pros....not at all. you'd be lucky to fit two games in there.

But with the 120GB and 60GB....maybe a game or two. Partial installs FTW, full...not so much.
dragunrising  +   2322d ago
I don't know where you went to school but more than 2 games fit on a 60/120 GB hard drive. I have a 120 GB and have all 4 discs of Lost Odyssey installed- 28 GB total. I have Gears 2, Left 4 Dead, Fallout3, Ninja Gaiden 2, Cod: WaW, The Orange Box, Bioshock, GTAIV, Mass Effect, AND Dead Rising installed. One or two games my butt.

The games themselves take less than 5 to 8 minutes to install. In games with lots of streaming (think Lost Odyssey and Mass Effect) initial load times are cut down quite a bit not to mention texture pop in. The decrease in the fan noise is also nice however it wasn't bad for me to begin with (have a quiet Ben-Q drive).

Colombiano- considering your words, it would appear you have nothing interesting/relevant to add. Reported you as SPAM.
#3.1 (Edited 2322d ago ) | Agree(6) | Disagree(5) | Report | Reply
ActionBastard  +   2322d ago
I have Mass Effect installed and it has done NOTHING for the texture pop in. That game is a technical mess. Let's at least be honest. Unless you really are blindfromthesun?
#3.2 (Edited 2322d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
Kushan  +   2322d ago
I'm not disagreeing with the technical....limitations in Mass Effect, but surely you can't blame Microsoft on that one? Game installs aren't going to be a silver bullet that makes everything much better, but at least for the few games they do help, they're worth it. Mostly older games, it seems.
dragunrising  +   2322d ago
Mr. Action Bastard
Sometimes I confuse certain terms. Sorry. Perhaps this clears up what I meant to say:

"No more “Loading” pauses when moving too fast. Elevator load times are identical (hardcoded)"


And yes, I am who I say I am. Add me on Live if your still skeptical.
#3.4 (Edited 2322d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
ActionBastard  +   2322d ago
Thanks for the clarification blindfromthesun. Totally agree on the loading pauses, but the pop in is awful. And I definitely believe you are who you say you are. My reference was a failed attempt at a joke. Bubbles for remaining civil!
dragunrising  +   2321d ago
"Bubbles for remaining civil!"
lol, likewise. Bubbles. Sometimes its hard :-p

I appreciate your quest to end misinformation, though I wish you helped me with number three point O

Richdad  +   2321d ago
Texture popins
FOr me they have reduced to a good extent, Texture popins where mostly occured in ME and GTA4 but after installation GTA4 textures popins where negligable and no matter how fast I drive say a car texture popins where still low.
In ME texture popins where still there but they where lower than on disc plus loading time while freerun gone and any tutorial and cutscene started without a hiccup. For me installation gave me better experience than before. Although I think as my 360 is 2 years old so and possible its drive is aging so that might have to do something with it.
#3.7 (Edited 2321d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
LostChild  +   2322d ago
To reduce noise and...
I only seem to install open-world games like Fallout3, GTAIV, Saints etc or games with a lot of loading, to get from one place to another. But onces I am finish with those games, I end up deleteding them off my HDD and I have a 120g.
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Blaze929  +   2322d ago
Seeing as im pretty sure none of these games were optimized for installs, of course there wont be much of a difference. gears in fact runs worse when its installed. I got a 120GB HDD and just install few games to cut down the noise and shut of the disc drive plus it runs alot cooler.

Is it worth it? For a longer system life span, i say yes.
LostChild  +   2322d ago
Totally agree even though I didn't have any trouble running gears but I did have trouble running Naruto and had to convert back play from disk.
Tsalagi  +   2322d ago
It depends
I keep COD5 and L4D installed on my HDD all the time because i play them online the most and for the long times. Other games i don't install unless it's something i'll be playing a lot or it has lots of loading (like Fallout 3 or Oblivion). Being able to hear over the 360's jet exhaust is nice too. Especially when you got zombies sneaking up on you.
redwingsrock  +   2322d ago
the only reason i installed my most played 360 games is cause the DVD drive is so frigging loud
flakko  +   2322d ago
heck yea its worth it
i put my xbox in a lian li xb01 case swapped out the fans and replaced the PSU with a corsair atx one and i am playing ninja gaiden 2 in pure SILENCE right now. I only start to hear the fans when im 6 inches away from the box! its even more quiet than my ps3! :D
cheapndirty  +   2322d ago
Worth it
I like it since it makes my 2006 pro quiter and I know it is extending the life of the DVD drive. I like to keep my consoles alive as long as possible. My Saturn I bought in 1996 still works.
dirtrider  +   2322d ago
full installs are worth it for mainly one thing
keeping the wear and tear off of my unit. this is the best feature microsoft has came out with yet.
Covenant  +   2321d ago
Fable 2 loads twice as fast.

Gears 2 runs without a stutter, as does Bioshock.

And my system's so quiet now, I don't even know it's on.

Yes, it's worth it.
Aloren  +   2321d ago
I didn't install a lot of games, but the ones I installed (Force Unleashed and Eternal Sonata) were worth it, the loading times were actually shorter.
freeblue  +   2321d ago
it's most of the silence.. I dont' see a huge difference in load time.. but the noise is a huge difference.
Captain Tuttle  +   2321d ago
Hell Yeah it's worth it...
Less wear and tear on the machine (the 360 isn't what you'd call bombproof). Less heat generated by the drive etcetera etcetera...
TheDarksideKing  +   2321d ago
only worth it if your disc hard locks your system
DOOMZ  +   2321d ago
Less texture draw in, less pop up, less noise & faster loading!
Homicide  +   2321d ago
Yes, go try it out on Lost Odyssey and Last Remnant.
Rob0g0rilla  +   2321d ago
Yeah, I think it is
Especially with any game you know you'll be playing for awhile. Like GTA, RPG, COD4/5, and Gears .
Magic_The_Celt  +   2321d ago
Thanks to microsoft and their crappy cheap hardware

yes, yes it is, and about time

i install every game i get, not for the load times, but so my console doesnt sound like a goddamn jet taking off.
Woundedpeasant  +   2321d ago
nothing personal im not flame baiting or anything but...
didnt every one bash the ps3 for having manditory installs for games, and now you all are praising how it cuts load times and noise in the DD, a littile hypocritycle i think. Granted thats good for the xbox since its so loud to load but, next time some one says anything about manditory installs on the ps3 im going to show them this thread, thats all. Glad MS is finally catching on though.

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