We study the formation of carbon nanoclusters created by MHz repetition rate - picosecond laser pulses. We show that the average size of a nanocluster is determined exclusively by single laser pulse parameters and is largely independent of the gas fill (He, Ar, Kr, Xe) and pressure, in a range from 20 mTorr up to 200 Torr. We provide evidence of the formation of large clusters at higher pressures in excess of 400 Torr, where the gas fill density is comparable or higher to the density of carbons in the ablated plume, and use simple kinetic theory to estimate cluster sizes, which are in qualitative agreement with the experimental data. We conclude that at pressures well below 400 Torr, the role of the buffer gas is to induce a transition between thin solid film formation on the substrate and nanofoam formation by diffusing the clusters through the gas, with no significant effect upon the average cluster size. At the higher pressure the buffer gas serves as a confiner for the carbon plume, increasing the collision frequency between the carbon atoms and resulting in cluster size growth. We also introduce preliminary ICCD imaging results investigating the temporal evolution of the laser plume.