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A few questions on how to best use an SSD/HDD storage setup

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a b G Storage
April 21, 2013 6:14:36 PM

Okay, so here's my (kinda') dilemma, I'm getting a laptop with a 3.1 Ghz i7 Intel processor, and to counter-balance the 5400/rpm HDD I'm putting in an mSATA SSD for performance. So I have some questions on how to do this best:

#1. I know I should make the SSD the primary boot drive, so at least the OS is going on there and I guess my question is how big should the SSD be? The laptop will be running Windows 8 64-bit (So how much space will that take up?─minus bloatware). It's not much of a gaming rig, so I'm putting only a few games on it. I don't know about potential programs, but I don't anticipate any huge editing suites or the like. I'm just asking for a ballpark

#2 So, I read somewhere on the forums (http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/281881-32-which-progr...) That I should put all my programs on the SSD and my "Libraries" on the HDD (Which makes sense), my only question is, do I put all the PROGRAM FILES on the SSD or just the EXECUTABLE? (Probably a dumb question)

#3. (Less important) Any other recommendations/tips on how I should set this up?

Thanks in advance for reading!


DonQuixoteMC

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a b G Storage
April 21, 2013 6:37:46 PM

1. 120GB is more than enough space for just the OS. I know there are some at 60GB but that's a bit small. It's best to leave some free space so that the SSD performance won't be compromised.

2. Anything having to do with the OS should go into the SSD. Anything else should go into the HDD. You can move games between the two drives depending on what games you will play at any given time. Best to not jump around though. So a bad scenario will be: you play a different game tomorrow than you do today and each time, you swap them between the SSD and HDD. Less writes to the SSD is preferable. So if you play those two games often, just keep them both on the SSD until you no longer play them. Also not all games need to be on the SSD.

3. It's easy.
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a b G Storage
April 21, 2013 7:12:32 PM

ksham said:
1. 120GB is more than enough space for just the OS. I know there are some at 60GB but that's a bit small. It's best to leave some free space so that the SSD performance won't be compromised.

2. Anything having to do with the OS should go into the SSD. Anything else should go into the HDD. You can move games between the two drives depending on what games you will play at any given time. Best to not jump around though. So a bad scenario will be: you play a different game tomorrow than you do today and each time, you swap them between the SSD and HDD. Less writes to the SSD is preferable. So if you play those two games often, just keep them both on the SSD until you no longer play them. Also not all games need to be on the SSD.

3. It's easy.


First off, thanks for the prompt reply!

1. Alright, you said that 120GB would be suitable, so thanks for a good number to shoot for (I almost bought a 30GB SSD haha). My only concern is that I would rather stay cheap and get a 60GB because I read that a Windows 8 clean install only takes up 20GB. If that were true would you still recommend the 120GB over the 60GB?

2. Thanks so much for the example about writing onto the SSD, I had heard that too many writes shortens its lifespan (So thanks for confirming). And just to clarify, with Steam, would I have to put the entire Steam program files folder in the SSD and install only a few games, or would I be able to only put specific games' folders (from steamapps) onto the SSD? My guess is that there would be an unhealthy amount of writing if I put everything on the SSD, and I don't know if the directories would even work (If that matters. I don't know, I'm a bit of a layman when it comes to the specifics of computers)

3. Sounds good to me :) 

Thanks again for your help!


DonQuixoteMC

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a b G Storage
April 21, 2013 7:25:45 PM

1. Yes. Windows 8 stock may require 20GB of space to install. However, over time, with updates, it will take up more space. And you will also have some applications and games on it. That 60GB will fill up fast. Also, you want to always have 10-15% of free space on the SSD at all times. So out of the 60GB of space, you will only have about 30GB free after the OS install.

2. Steam lets you install games to different drives. Though, I personally do not know many Steam games that benefit running off a SSD. I would only put some FPS games and MMO games on SSD.
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a b G Storage
April 21, 2013 7:47:52 PM

Perfect, that's all I needed to know. It does seem like poor planning to only get the minimum.
Thanks again!

DonQuixoteMC
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