With the size of games growing faster than Activision’s bank balance, actually cramming these games onto hard drives and, in particular, SSDs, can be a nightmare. You can imagine my horror when I saw Shadow of War was almost a 100GB download. My fibre connection wept.
Fortunately, users on Reddit have been circulating a nifty little tool called Compact GUI which can compress your game library without affecting performance.
“I saw this a few hours ago and saved 8gb on Total War Warhammer 2 with zero performance loss that I can tell,” says Reddit user DirkDiggy99.
Most are reporting some impressive compression for their game libraries, and some are even claiming performance boosts provided your CPU is fast enough to handle decompression on the fly.
Compact GUI’s own release notes say "for most modern computers there will be no (or very little) performance loss. Those with older HDDs may even see a decent performance gain in the form of reduced loading times as the smaller files means it takes less time to read programs and games into RAM.” Not bad, not bad at all.
I bit the bullet and gave this a test run on both The Evil Within 2 and Middle-Earth: Shadow of War. I could notice no discernible performance difference from a brief test.
|The Evil Within 2||Shadow of War|
There’s also a full table of all tested games so far, with some results just bordering on ridiculous. Absolver, for example, can be shrunk from 9GB down to just 1.3GB - just 14% of its original size.
Not all games are going to benefit though. If a developer has already utilised good compression techniques already, the gains aren’t so impressive. One user tried it on World of Warcraft and it saved just 25MB of space. Evidently, Blizzard has done its homework on compression.