Store Games on NAS drives

Okay so I just recently completed my new gaming rig. I have 2 SSD's 120GB  in RAID0 for a total of 223GB for splendid performance. Last night during the Google+ hangout I was directed to the humble bundle and bought 6 games for $6. This made me realize that with the many games I already own on Steam already and the 5 that I am currently downloading, that 223GB will fill up fast. I can get a 300GB Velociraptor at newegg for $69.99 sure however, I already own 2 readynas nv+ storage drives with 6TB of space right now. For $200 I can double that space with 2 Western Digital's new Red drive 2TB made almost entirely for NAS.

My question really is, while I am not playing the game constantly, can I store the game on my NAS drive instead of deleting local content to create space for a new game? I would store the game on the NAS drive and transfer the game to my SSD's when I would like to play them and after a while I can move it back to the NAS drive when I feel I will not be playing it any time soon. Would there be too many issues with steam? Will the game just auto update when I move it back into my steamapps folder? I could run run defragment cache files, verify integrity of game cache. All options that Steam offers within the client. There is even a backup game files which I have never used before. I am looking for any guidance that could help me keep the performance of my SSD's and possibly utilize my NAS drives that I already own. Keep in mind that I can still do all of this without spending a dime because I really do not need to upgrade the NAS drives at the moment.

Yes you can do that no problem. I recently reinstalled and before doing so copy pasted my steamapps folder to another hdd i dient format after the reinstall i just copyed back opend steam and all my games where back.

But you could just take the hdds out of the nas and shove them in your pc then you can just keep games you dont play often on them and not bother with all the copy paste nonsence. If you are really worried about speed then if your mobo supports it you can use a partiton of your ssd as a cache and get near ssd speeds on the mechanical hdd

WIth steam it is pretty easy, but you must use the backup function, otherwise its a crap-shoot. SImply, when you want to play a game put it on a local drive, and run it. Otherwise back it up to the NAS (its actually on the network right?) and and simply restore when you want to play it again. Steam takes about 5-10 minutes to "Backup" if you dont use any compression (make the maximum folder size as big as you want it doen't matter as long as its bigger than the game). Restoring takes another 5-10 and file transfers take what they take. The files sizes will be the same as what you downloaded them as (plus patches etc). Though I don't know if it includes mods.

All I want is to utilize the NAS drives that I already own and have a place that I can store all games that I am not using to a separate location. I want less clutter and information physically in my gaming rig. I am definitely worried about speed however, just while I am playing the game. Fast as hell load times on the RAID0 SSDs and a place to store the games when I am not playing the game. I just don't want there to be too much fragmentation of the game with the copying and pasting and moving from hdd to ssd multiple times.

Okay if what you are saying is true, this is exactly what I want! I can just use the back up function already in the client and open up disk space? Then when I want to play the game again I just use it again to regain the info that was backed up onto my NAS drive? I will try on black mesa to verify since it is only 3GB and I have the rar file in case. Yes the NAS drives are on my network on my gigabit switch.

Fragmentation should not be a problem, as long as windows is set to defrag regularly, and fragmentation on an SSD basically doen't matter, unless it starts to get too full.

Why not just install another HDD in your system? You can plug a NAS into a desktop.

@Flux copying the steam folder only really works if you copy the whole thing, with individual games it gets upset and makes you download them.


Okay, basically what I want to do is have the SSDs as a sort of steam cache on my system when it comes to games. I will bring the games to the SSD drives when I will be playing them regularly and moving them onto my NAS drives whilst they aren't being utilized. It doesn't matter where the drive is physically located. I just want to know if it is doable, to keep moving the files around on an as needed basis. 

Why not just have the network share mapped as a drive letter on your local computer and install Steam and all it's games to that "drive".

Yep, but it wouldn't slow the games down very much to load them directly off the Red drives in your system, but it would save you time dealing with the transfer. But it's really up to you.

Never run defrag on a SSD it will shorten the life of the device. Windows 7 supports the trim command natively wich will improve the performance on the long term or use a third party TRIM software like intel SSD toolbox for an intel drive.

Check out Steam mover, designed for Steam but works with other stuff too. Not heard of anyone moving to a network drive but maybe it's OK??

I have done it before with a few diffrent individual games off my bros steam folder to mine to save downloading the same game. It might not work with every game but ive never had any problems with it.

Decent video on how moving steam shit around works.