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Is 32 Gb SSD big enough for 64bit Win7 HP?

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October 27, 2009 5:41:31 PM

Just like the title says. I want to move from XP home to Win7 64 bit Home Premium, and get a 32 Gb SSD for my boot/main drive. Currently I only have an old 40Gb IDE HDD, as my SATA WD sadly has died; I don't need big HDD though, as I don't store much on my PC. So, I started to think of getting the Corsair X32 and installing Win7 on it, together with one game I play and a few programs like Photoshop and Sonar6 (DAW software). I would keep all my docs on the HDD. So, is 32 Gb enough?

More about : ssd big 64bit win7

October 27, 2009 5:48:19 PM

I would not recommend anything smaller than a 80gb drive for vista and windows 7. Keep in mind anything stored outside the drive will not have the speed advantage of the SSD, and 32 is Barely going to fit your OS, and I do mean barely. Depending on the drive and how they rate the size, it might not fit.
October 27, 2009 6:18:31 PM

Well, I don't know...
My HDD is 38.2 gigs and I have 21gb of free space right now. That's with all documents and junk that wouldn't be on the ssd...
MS requires 20gb for W7, that leaves me 12gb. I'm not sure about page file size though.
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October 27, 2009 6:29:26 PM

Right...but you don't know how much of the 32 is going to usable space (depends on the drive and maker, but you never get the full advertised space), I do clean installs of 7 on most of my builds now, and they generally allocate about 30gb from the HDD (which includes all of the space windows leaves open for itself, but takes from HDD).
a b $ Windows 7
October 27, 2009 6:49:58 PM

If you choose to install an SSD in any pc then make sure that :-

1) paging file is disabled on the SSD
2) windows is set to never degraf the SSD


both can cause serious performance issues and also reduce the life of your SSD
October 27, 2009 7:26:33 PM

ulysses35 said:
If you choose to install an SSD in any pc then make sure that :-

1) paging file is disabled on the SSD


That's something quite opposite to what they say here...

quote from the blog


Should the pagefile be placed on SSDs?

Yes. Most pagefile operations are small random reads or larger sequential writes, both of which are types of operations that SSDs handle well.

In looking at telemetry data from thousands of traces and focusing on pagefile reads and writes, we find that

* Pagefile.sys reads outnumber pagefile.sys writes by about 40 to 1,
* Pagefile.sys read sizes are typically quite small, with 67% less than or equal to 4 KB, and 88% less than 16 KB.
* Pagefile.sys writes are relatively large, with 62% greater than or equal to 128 KB and 45% being exactly 1 MB in size.

In fact, given typical pagefile reference patterns and the favorable performance characteristics SSDs have on those patterns, there are few files better than the pagefile to place on an SSD.
a c 209 $ Windows 7
October 27, 2009 8:23:34 PM

I installed Windows 7 in a 20GB partition on my old laptop with a 40GB hard drive. So a 32GB drive is certainly adequate - however you'll have to be careful to manage the space by monitoring how full the drive gets and possibly moving user accounts, the pagefile, or application programs to a different drive.
October 27, 2009 9:08:41 PM

I'm sorry if people are misunderstanding my post. Yes, you can install 7 on a small drive, but if you do you have to make some compromises which offset the benefit of having a SSD. You can set up a partition or drive to hold only the core OS, but anything stored outside that drive or that windows has to access outside that drive will not benefit from the SSD speed, so basically you have a system that might boot fast initially, but will still have slow load times as it accesses all the other stuff stored on other drives.... is that worth the extra cost of a SSD?
October 27, 2009 9:12:08 PM

I should also note that the 30gb installs I referenced before are for windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit, the others might be slightly smaller.
October 27, 2009 9:15:18 PM

sminlal said:
I installed Windows 7 in a 20GB partition on my old laptop with a 40GB hard drive. So a 32GB drive is certainly adequate - however you'll have to be careful to manage the space by monitoring how full the drive gets and possibly moving user accounts, the pagefile, or application programs to a different drive.


belial2k said:
I'm sorry if people are misunderstanding my post. Yes, you can install 7 on a small drive, but if you do you have to make some compromises which offset the benefit of having a SSD. You can set up a partition or drive to hold only the core OS, but anything stored outside that drive or that windows has to access outside that drive will not benefit from the SSD speed, so basically you have a system that might boot fast initially, but will still have slow load times as it accesses all the other stuff stored on other drives.... is that worth the extra cost of a SSD?


Still, there's something I'm missing here... So, fresh install takes 20gb. You're not saying that page file takes remaining 12gigs, are you? I can easily see a few spare gigs there for my programs.
October 27, 2009 9:40:56 PM

I've never tried installing on that small of a drive, its always been drives of 120gb or larger...I'm sure windows adjust the allocated space according to what is available. I'm just saying when I do a fresh install of Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit and core programs (antivirus, system care, DVD or Blu ray program, driver packages, ect) about 30gb is gone before I start installing "optional" programs. This is according to the stats provided by windows under the "computer" tab. I've never really torn into it to see how much of that is actually free space windows is allocating or if it is reporting 100% accurately.
a c 209 $ Windows 7
October 27, 2009 11:33:41 PM

andyKCIUK said:
Still, there's something I'm missing here... So, fresh install takes 20gb. You're not saying that page file takes remaining 12gigs, are you? I can easily see a few spare gigs there for my programs.
Actually if I recall correctly the fresh install (and this was the Win 7 RC which is the "Ultimate" edition) actually took around 10 or 12GB, and since my laptop has 1GB of memory then there was another 2-3GB used for the pagefile and hiberfile. So yeah, there's a little room for other programs as well. But you have to be careful because patches take space, all the more so when they create restore points, and the more programs you install to the SSD the more patches you'll have to deal with (Office seems to get patched almost as often as the OS does).

If a 20GB OS/application installation on a 160GB disk grows to 25GB, it's no big deal. But if the same thing happens on a 30GB disk then you have to start spending time figuring out where the space went to and how to get it back again before you run out. You save money by buying a smaller drive, but in the long run you have to decide if you might have been better off spending extra money so that you could get more of your applications onto it and spend less time managing it.

One thing I do know - if you spend an extra $100 today, you'll have forgotten it 6 months from now. But if you're frugal and buy the smaller disk then you'll have to deal with the related issues every month from now until when you finally ditch the drive.
October 27, 2009 11:49:19 PM

sminlal said:
You save money by buying a smaller drive, but in the long run you have to decide if you might have been better off spending extra money so that you could get more of your applications onto it and spend less time managing it.

One thing I do know - if you spend an extra $100 today, you'll have forgotten it 6 months from now. But if you're frugal and buy the smaller disk then you'll have to deal with the related issues every month from now until when you finally ditch the drive.


:non:  I can't disagree more. :non: 

Buying a small SSD is a good move. Especially for me, I really need only 5gb for my applications. For that 100euros I'll be able to buy a 256-512gb ssd in a year time. What's the point of spending extra €100 for just 32gb more now?
a c 209 $ Windows 7
October 28, 2009 3:38:32 AM

Well, I did say only you can decide... ;)  And having any SSD is definitely going to give you some benefits that you wouldn't get otherwise, so go for it!

Just bear in mind that a year from now you may find yourself asking "why should I spend 100 euros on a 256GB drive when I could wait just one more year and get a 512GB drive"...

(Actually, I don't believe the capacities will be that big for that price only 1 year from now, but you get the idea...)
a b $ Windows 7
October 28, 2009 11:09:00 AM

andyKCIUK said:
That's something quite opposite to what they say here...

quote from the blog


Should the pagefile be placed on SSDs?

Yes. Most pagefile operations are small random reads or larger sequential writes, both of which are types of operations that SSDs handle well.

In looking at telemetry data from thousands of traces and focusing on pagefile reads and writes, we find that

* Pagefile.sys reads outnumber pagefile.sys writes by about 40 to 1,
* Pagefile.sys read sizes are typically quite small, with 67% less than or equal to 4 KB, and 88% less than 16 KB.
* Pagefile.sys writes are relatively large, with 62% greater than or equal to 128 KB and 45% being exactly 1 MB in size.

In fact, given typical pagefile reference patterns and the favorable performance characteristics SSDs have on those patterns, there are few files better than the pagefile to place on an SSD.



Continuous write to an SSD using the traditional page file that windows likes to use will reduce the life of your SSD. By turning the "Fixed" page file off doesnt mean windows wont use the drive - but just means there is no fixed are being used to read write continuously.

The reason for fixed page files is because HDD's have slow transfer speeds compared to the SSD - were latency is no longer an issue.
October 28, 2009 4:55:04 PM

ulysses35 said:
Continuous write to an SSD using the traditional page file that windows likes to use will reduce the life of your SSD. By turning the "Fixed" page file off doesnt mean windows wont use the drive - but just means there is no fixed are being used to read write continuously.

The reason for fixed page files is because HDD's have slow transfer speeds compared to the SSD - were latency is no longer an issue.


Thanks for the info, I haven't really done my research on that, the page I quoted was one I remembered. That's good news though, as it will give me even more headroom. As far as I can remember the pagefile size is 2.5 times RAM, with my 4gb it would be 10gb? 10gb of free space is more than I need... :D 
October 29, 2009 1:26:09 AM

I think the pagefile explains the descrepancies people are having in install size. Most of my custom builds have 12gb of Ram, so that would explain why my installs have a much larger bite taken out of the hard drive than some other people are experiencing. I just installed 7 on a customers gateway today that has 4gb...install size was right at 18gb.
October 29, 2009 3:58:22 AM

I would not recommend using 30GB drive, as already said here, you will need to closely watch your space.
Yes its true that only windows take 12-14GB on FS, but you need to count also with future windows patches and restore points.
Also applications will write some data to system disk regardless of where you install it and TEMP can be sometime also issue.

Another thing is that smaller SSD also usually have slower speed compared to their bigger versions.
October 29, 2009 8:13:25 AM

andyKCIUK said:
:non:  I can't disagree more. :non: 

Buying a small SSD is a good move. Especially for me, I really need only 5gb for my applications. For that 100euros I'll be able to buy a 256-512gb ssd in a year time. What's the point of spending extra €100 for just 32gb more now?

Why spend it in a year's time when you'll be able to get a 1TB one a year later, and then a 2TB one the following year? Don't spend, save your money for eternity!

@all: I have a 30GB OCZ Vertex. I installed Windows 7 on it, plus all my programs, and still have plenty of space left over. The only things I don't put on it are games as I am not interested in wasting SSD space on loading times when I'd much prefer responsive general-purpose software. The important things to do when buying an SSD, particularly a small one, are:

1) Don't disable or move your page file, just reduce it. I have 6GB of RAM, and therefore I had a 6GB (max) page file. I reduced it to 512MB.

2) Disable hibernation, as this will store a file on your SSD equal in size to your RAM capacity (there goes another 6GB!).

3) Disable superfetch. This is optional, but it's just a waste of time when applications (provided they are on the SSD) will start up fast anyway. It's just another service that could potentially slow things down.

4) Disable Windows Search/Indexing or disable it just for the SSD. There is absolutely no reason to have your SSD indexed unless you search for files hundreds of times a day. The access time is too low to need an index, and all you end up doing is using up write cycles.
July 21, 2011 1:12:11 AM

Oh my God. That is so true, I've also heard that if you have a moderately fast system you can disable the paging file. But me myself I would definitely disable or take down the paging file some. Here's an awesome idea, and this is how my system is setup. 1 30Gb ssd for boot, and extensive programs, meaning a few select, and 2 160Gb Sata II or III drives in Raid 0, with a 320Gb IDE set back, for backup. Is that a winner or what.
a b $ Windows 7
July 21, 2011 11:04:05 PM

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