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SSD vs SSD/HDD setup

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June 10, 2013 5:34:46 PM

A friend of mine is looking to build his first gaming computer and has been driving me crazy when it comes to his choice in storage.

He wants to spend $520 on a 500GB Samsung Pro Series SSD, despite the fact that he'll save about $150 by getting a 256BG Pro SSD to install his OS and resource hog games on and a 1TB WD HDD for everything else.

He argues that he'll never need more than 500GB, so spending time and money on a dual drive setup would be wasteful. Frankly I'm getting furious trying to convince him that he should go with the cheaper, larger storage space and spend the money he saves on a better GPU or CPU, which he doesn't care to do.

Will you guys please chime in here and tell us what you think? Is it a better idea to spend more money on a single SSD, or less money on a dual drive setup that offers more space without sacrificing speed?

More about : ssd ssd hdd setup

a b 4 Gaming
a b } Memory
June 10, 2013 5:40:13 PM

I think it's a good idea to dump the HD. Ever get tired of waiting for a HD to spin up? I do it everyday. So do you. Put in an SSD and that problem is cured.

HD's are fast becoming dinosaurs for the average users. Okay if your business has a specific need or perhaps you do a lot of "movies" and need the space............ But I feel your friend and I and countless others are in the same boat.......... time to move away from 'thee' slowest component that now lies in everybody's computer............
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a b } Memory
June 10, 2013 5:42:00 PM

If he wants to store lots of media like pics, movies, T.V series which will be streamed from the HDD or other small random files/programs, then the SSD + HDD setup is the best way to go. A dual drive setup is more cost effective and the opposite of wasteful. You save money by using an HDD and the life expectancy of an HDD is often much higher than an SSD of the same size (especially with lots of re-writing data).

Edit: For streaming media, there is no visible difference between a movie stored on an SSD, compared to a movie stored on an HDD. This is because the movie does not need to be completely loaded during playback.
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June 10, 2013 5:54:45 PM

PyjamasCat said:
If he wants to store lots of media like pics, movies, T.V series which will be streamed from the HDD or other small random files/programs, then the SSD + HDD setup is the best way to go. A dual drive setup is more cost effective and the opposite of wasteful. You save money by using an HDD and the life expectancy of an HDD is often much higher than an SSD of the same size (especially with lots of re-writing data).

Edit: For streaming media, there is no visible difference between a movie stored on an SSD, compared to a movie stored on an HDD. This is because the movie does not need to be completely loaded during playback.


He doesn't plan to use it to store any media, or even that many games, but my argument is that you never know what you might want that space for. That and if you can get more storage space for less without sacrificing speed, why wouldn't you?

He also seems to think that it's a good idea to spend less on a graphics card than to save money where he can to buy a high end card, which I would argue is the most important piece of hardware a gaming computer has going for it and aside from the SSD, the most expensive.
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June 10, 2013 6:04:54 PM

Setsukai said:
PyjamasCat said:
If he wants to store lots of media like pics, movies, T.V series which will be streamed from the HDD or other small random files/programs, then the SSD + HDD setup is the best way to go. A dual drive setup is more cost effective and the opposite of wasteful. You save money by using an HDD and the life expectancy of an HDD is often much higher than an SSD of the same size (especially with lots of re-writing data).

Edit: For streaming media, there is no visible difference between a movie stored on an SSD, compared to a movie stored on an HDD. This is because the movie does not need to be completely loaded during playback.


He doesn't plan to use it to store any media, or even that many games, but my argument is that you never know what you might want that space for. That and if you can get more storage space for less without sacrificing speed, why wouldn't you?

He also seems to think that it's a good idea to spend less on a graphics card than to save money where he can to buy a high end card, which I would argue is the most important piece of hardware a gaming computer has going for it and aside from the SSD, the most expensive.


so, how much space does he actually need? ballpark.
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June 10, 2013 6:10:05 PM

Personally I agree with you 100% and that's the way I currently have my system set up. On the other hand though, if your friend thinks he would be happier with a single ssd setup he's probably right, who would know better than him what makes him happy, so there's really no point in arguing with him.

Personally I would rather put the money I saved into other components because to me the only thing worth putting on an ssd is the OS, apps, and some games. Everything else you with never notice a difference on.
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a b } Memory
June 10, 2013 6:11:16 PM

Setsukai said:
PyjamasCat said:
If he wants to store lots of media like pics, movies, T.V series which will be streamed from the HDD or other small random files/programs, then the SSD + HDD setup is the best way to go. A dual drive setup is more cost effective and the opposite of wasteful. You save money by using an HDD and the life expectancy of an HDD is often much higher than an SSD of the same size (especially with lots of re-writing data).

Edit: For streaming media, there is no visible difference between a movie stored on an SSD, compared to a movie stored on an HDD. This is because the movie does not need to be completely loaded during playback.


He doesn't plan to use it to store any media, or even that many games, but my argument is that you never know what you might want that space for. That and if you can get more storage space for less without sacrificing speed, why wouldn't you?

He also seems to think that it's a good idea to spend less on a graphics card than to save money where he can to buy a high end card, which I would argue is the most important piece of hardware a gaming computer has going for it and aside from the SSD, the most expensive.


A better GPU would be much more beneficial to a gaming PC than a larger SSD.
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June 10, 2013 6:27:05 PM

leaderWON said:
Setsukai said:
PyjamasCat said:
If he wants to store lots of media like pics, movies, T.V series which will be streamed from the HDD or other small random files/programs, then the SSD + HDD setup is the best way to go. A dual drive setup is more cost effective and the opposite of wasteful. You save money by using an HDD and the life expectancy of an HDD is often much higher than an SSD of the same size (especially with lots of re-writing data).

Edit: For streaming media, there is no visible difference between a movie stored on an SSD, compared to a movie stored on an HDD. This is because the movie does not need to be completely loaded during playback.


He doesn't plan to use it to store any media, or even that many games, but my argument is that you never know what you might want that space for. That and if you can get more storage space for less without sacrificing speed, why wouldn't you?

He also seems to think that it's a good idea to spend less on a graphics card than to save money where he can to buy a high end card, which I would argue is the most important piece of hardware a gaming computer has going for it and aside from the SSD, the most expensive.


so, how much space does he actually need? ballpark.


I would guess between 200 and 400GB. Who knows, maybe he will never fill up 500GB, but if you can get more storage space for less, why wouldn't you?

There's also the issue of life expectancy of SSDs, which I've heard is significantly lower than HDDs. By that logic if you have an SSD to run your OS and a few high intensity games for speed and an HDD for everything else, you can extend the life span of your SSD and get more for your money in the long run.

PyjamasCat said:
Setsukai said:
PyjamasCat said:
If he wants to store lots of media like pics, movies, T.V series which will be streamed from the HDD or other small random files/programs, then the SSD + HDD setup is the best way to go. A dual drive setup is more cost effective and the opposite of wasteful. You save money by using an HDD and the life expectancy of an HDD is often much higher than an SSD of the same size (especially with lots of re-writing data).

Edit: For streaming media, there is no visible difference between a movie stored on an SSD, compared to a movie stored on an HDD. This is because the movie does not need to be completely loaded during playback.


He doesn't plan to use it to store any media, or even that many games, but my argument is that you never know what you might want that space for. That and if you can get more storage space for less without sacrificing speed, why wouldn't you?

He also seems to think that it's a good idea to spend less on a graphics card than to save money where he can to buy a high end card, which I would argue is the most important piece of hardware a gaming computer has going for it and aside from the SSD, the most expensive.


A better GPU would be much more beneficial to a gaming PC than a larger SSD.


Right?
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a b } Memory
June 10, 2013 6:40:42 PM

Setsukai said:

I would guess between 200 and 400GB. Who knows, maybe he will never fill up 500GB, but if you can get more storage space for less, why wouldn't you?

There's also the issue of life expectancy of SSDs, which I've heard is significantly lower than HDDs. By that logic if you have an SSD to run your OS and a few high intensity games for speed and an HDD for everything else, you can extend the life span of your SSD and get more for your money in the long run.



Right?


Yes, so long as you leave ~50Gb or so free. I think to attain longer lives, SSDs use algorithms for re-writing data in which they try to avoid using the same cell twice in a row. Lets say you have cells A - F. A file that is written to A, B, C, will be re-written to D, E, F, before is written back to A, B, or C if those cells (D, E, F) are free to use. If someone knows more about this or can correct me, please do. I wouldn't mind knowing a more accurate explanation for this. :) 
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June 10, 2013 6:42:45 PM

"I would guess between 200 and 400GB. Who knows, maybe he will never fill up 500GB, but if you can get more storage space for less, why wouldn't you?

There's also the issue of life expectancy of SSDs, which I've heard is significantly lower than HDDs. By that logic if you have an SSD to run your OS and a few high intensity games for speed and an HDD for everything else, you can extend the life span of your SSD and get more for your money in the long run."


if all he is going to do is game, i'm temped to say just get a ~250gig SSD and call it a day. he can always rotate games or add storage later (cheaper too) if it gets too cramped. imo an 840 pro is kinda overkill for gaming. i game on an 830 and a agility 3 and i really can't tell the difference. if you set the ssd up right i wouldnt worry about life expectancy of the nand. games are mostly reads anyway. just buy a ssd with a warranty you trust and backup your files.
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a b } Memory
June 10, 2013 6:46:01 PM

leaderWON said:
"I would guess between 200 and 400GB. Who knows, maybe he will never fill up 500GB, but if you can get more storage space for less, why wouldn't you?

There's also the issue of life expectancy of SSDs, which I've heard is significantly lower than HDDs. By that logic if you have an SSD to run your OS and a few high intensity games for speed and an HDD for everything else, you can extend the life span of your SSD and get more for your money in the long run."


if all he is going to do is game, i'm temped to say just get a ~250gig SSD and call it a day. he can always rotate games or add storage later (cheaper too) if it gets too cramped. imo an 840 pro is kinda overkill for gaming. i game on an 830 and a agility 3 and i really can't tell the difference. if you set the ssd up right i wouldnt worry about life expectancy of the nand. games are mostly reads anyway. just buy a ssd with a warrenty you trust and backup your files.


^ Good point. The Pro is a little overkill. You won't need the write speed so much as the read.
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June 10, 2013 6:54:19 PM

leaderWON said:
"I would guess between 200 and 400GB. Who knows, maybe he will never fill up 500GB, but if you can get more storage space for less, why wouldn't you?

There's also the issue of life expectancy of SSDs, which I've heard is significantly lower than HDDs. By that logic if you have an SSD to run your OS and a few high intensity games for speed and an HDD for everything else, you can extend the life span of your SSD and get more for your money in the long run."


if all he is going to do is game, i'm temped to say just get a ~250gig SSD and call it a day. he can always rotate games or add storage later (cheaper too) if it gets too cramped. imo an 840 pro is kinda overkill for gaming. i game on an 830 and a agility 3 and i really can't tell the difference. if you set the ssd up right i wouldnt worry about life expectancy of the nand. games are mostly reads anyway. just buy a ssd with a warrenty you trust and backup your files.


I should clarify that the PC will be mostly used to game, but it will also be used for other things such as video publishing and 3D modeling, just to name a few.
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a c 587 4 Gaming
a c 1983 } Memory
June 10, 2013 8:25:19 PM

Setsukai

Your way is the only way and even 256 on the SSD may be overkill....SSDs keep getting better and better, but their original fault remains..Writes to a SSD are it's bane, and when it's the only drive it is getting written to constantly. Take the SSD load the OS, load all your apps, then optimize the drive, (indexing off, all temp, cache, etc files redirected to a platter, DRAM or RAMDISK, go into your apps, if they use temp files and can be redirected, do so, if you use a paging file, put it on the platter, etc....otherwise every day you use the SSD it shortens the life of it about 4 times faster than it should
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June 10, 2013 10:02:17 PM

It seems that my friend's main reason for wanting to splurge on an unnecessarily large SSD and avoid HDDs all together is that he feels that he'll constantly worry about running out of space on his SSD, and that changing the install directory on new programs from his C drive to his (x) drive is too much effort. He argues that he doesn't want to have to think about where he wants to install new programs, even though it's as simple as changing the directory with a few clicks of the mouse and it's something he only has to to once for each program he installs.

Personally, I use a 256GB SSD with a 1TB HDD and I get fantastic performance out of both and I have never found it to be too much effort to simply change the installation path from the default C drive to my HDD, so I don't quite buy his argument. Sure, it might be his personal preference, but I'm trying to get him to understand that he would be making a huge mistake. One that could potentially cause his SSD to die faster, resulting in an expensive replacement down the line. He could wind up spending near $1,000 on SSDs within the next three years if his dies from constant writing instead of $350 for over 2TB of storage space, but he just won't listen to me. He's too worried that having multiple hard drives will demand too much effort to manage.
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a c 587 4 Gaming
a c 1983 } Memory
June 10, 2013 10:17:06 PM

He can still install the apps/programs on the SSD (even at a 128 probably, but he won't be happy when/if the SSD just up and dies and ALL data is lost
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a b 4 Gaming
a b } Memory
June 10, 2013 10:54:14 PM

Tradesman1 said:
He can still install the apps/programs on the SSD (even at a 128 probably, but he won't be happy when/if the SSD just up and dies and ALL data is lost


well, if that ever happens perhaps we can get the NSA to find it for him?
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a c 587 4 Gaming
a c 1983 } Memory
June 10, 2013 11:04:40 PM

If it's really important data, it can be done, get's expensive, but there's some places that do it (but then too, that's where the platter drive comes in handy can do a selective or full backup on a daily basis, (with many, while eating dinner), but oops, can't do that without the platter ;) 
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a b 4 Gaming
a b } Memory
June 10, 2013 11:08:27 PM

if something is that important it should be backed up an a cd. I never had one go of those go bad..... speaking of platter drives.
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a c 587 4 Gaming
a c 1983 } Memory
June 10, 2013 11:20:13 PM

Yep, especially if only a single system in the house/businesss. If two or more stystems network 'em and keep backups (and or preferably images) for each on the other , then backup to CD or DVD (my preference, multi-session, I have all my systems on a combo cabled/wireless net)
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