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Win7 x64 Boot SSD size?

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  • SSD
  • Boot
  • X64
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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January 15, 2010 4:07:42 AM

Hey everyone,

I'll be doing my first homebuild soon, and I was thinking about getting an SSD for Win7 x64 (to get those epic boot times), and a high-capacity HDD for the main storage. I know that for top performance, SSDs need about 20-30% of their space to be unused, but I'm not sure how big the OS/applications would get over time. My applications wouldn't be anything too fancy, just a game or two, some Java/C++/Python IDEs and stuff, and your standard MS Office, VLC, Firefox, iTunes, etc.

So, my question is: how much capacity will I need in my SSD to maintain that 20-30% headroom?

Thanks in advance. :) 

More about : win7 x64 boot ssd size

January 15, 2010 10:16:35 AM

You could get away with a 64gb drive but it depends on what else your installing I tried an 80gb intel and after installing windows 7 and photoshop CS4 there wasn't a lot left. Personally I use two 64gb drives in a raid 0 and that works very well. Room for the OS, Photoshop, a few games and there is still the required free space. Maybe go for a single 128gb drive and a samsung f1 1tb or the western digital black 1tb drive. Up to you.
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a b G Storage
January 15, 2010 11:37:12 AM

I have Windows 7, 3DS Max 2010, several components of office 2007, Visual Studio 2010 beta 1, numerous other smaller programs etc and I still have 11GB left on my 30GB SSD. Games and other data are on a HDD.
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January 15, 2010 2:40:41 PM

I have Win7 64 bit, Adobe CS4 and Sony creative software and Office Ultimate 2007 on my boot drive; it takes up a little less than 40G. I'm going to get an 80G Intel X-25.
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a c 415 G Storage
January 15, 2010 3:44:43 PM

My 64-bit Windows 7 Ultimate system with 12GB of RAM takes up 53GB with no pagefile, a hibernation file (currently at 9.4GB), and the following major pieces of software installed:

Adobe CS4 Web Premium (includes Photoshop, Publisher, Acrobat, Flash, etc.)
Mozilla Firefox/Thunderbird/Sunbird
MS Office 2007 Pro
MS Visio 2007 Pro
Visual Studio 2008 Pro
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January 15, 2010 5:03:31 PM

I plan on going through the same type of upgrade and I found http://windirstat.info/ to be a great tool for figuring out what is going on with all of the data on my HDD. I have about 80GB of non userdata on my HDD, but that includes the pagefile, hibernation file, and quite a few games which seem to take up most of the space (Dragon Age alone is 15GB!).
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January 16, 2010 4:49:25 AM

Thanks a million guys; very informative.

Now to save up that $250+ for the X25-M, haha.
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January 16, 2010 4:56:20 AM

Mmmm why would you get the intel. It's one of the worst SSD's on the market. I know I bought one. A write speed of 70mb/s and a file copy speed of 20-30mb/s. My two 64gb Crucial SSD 's get 450mb/s read, 400mb/s write and 200-250mb/s file copy and have trim. I guess you can always do what I did. Buy it, try it and get rid of it.
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a b G Storage
January 16, 2010 3:24:30 PM

So, your comparing one Intel SSD to a pair of Crucial SSDs in Raid 0? That isn't a fair comparison. It is true that the Crucial has a faster write speed (I think this is achieved by the large cache on the drive), but Intel has a faster reader speed @ 250mb/s. Further, I haven't seen any information anywhere else to support your claim. Everything I've ever read places Intel SSDs at the top.
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January 16, 2010 5:01:59 PM

Quote:
So, your comparing one Intel SSD to a pair of Crucial SSDs in Raid 0? That isn't a fair comparison. It is true that the Crucial has a faster write speed (I think this is achieved by the large cache
on the drive), but Intel has a faster reader speed @ 250mb/s. Further, I haven't seen any information anywhere else to support your claim. Everything I've ever read places Intel SSDs at the top.


I'm not an SSD expert by any means; but I would have to agree with this.
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a c 415 G Storage
January 16, 2010 5:26:08 PM

Malcolmk said:
Mmmm why would you get the intel. It's one of the worst SSD's on the market. I know I bought one. A write speed of 70mb/s and a file copy speed of 20-30mb/s.
At 20-30MByte/sec, it sounds to me like you're measuring the speed of copying between the Intel SSD and a USB drive, which of course has nothing to do with the performance of the SSD.
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January 16, 2010 5:56:59 PM

No that's the actual internal file copy speed and you can try it yourself if you want. 20mb/s with vista and 30mb/s in windows 7. Yes the intel has a good read speed but when it comes to write speed the crucial and corsair drives are more that twice as fast and 3-4 times faster at internal file copy speed. Yes my two drives are in Raid but it's a very valid point. If you want I will test a single 64gb Corsair and give you the figures for that.
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a c 415 G Storage
January 16, 2010 6:47:01 PM

Malcolmk said:
No that's the actual internal file copy speed and you can try it yourself if you want.
Don't forget that 30MB/sec when copying a file to and from the same drive really means 60MB/sec.

Are you talking about the Intel X25-V series? The X25-M drives are certainly way faster than what you're claiming. And their hidden benefit is that their performance stands up very well once all the flash blocks have been populated - something that isn't true of some of the other drives.
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January 16, 2010 8:21:17 PM

Oh please. Double the figure for the correct file copy speed. That makes my crucial ssd's 400-500mb/s. Also the drive was an 80gb X25-M G1. It's not hard to try it for yourself. I use a 4gb folder of RAW files as my standard test.
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a c 415 G Storage
January 16, 2010 9:24:53 PM

I have a 160GB Intel X25-M G2 on my Core i7 920 system with 12GB of RAM. I had to disable write caching to the SSD and reboot to run each test to ensure that the file I was testing wasn't read cached on the SSD side, because otherwise I got insanely fast times (i.e, even more insane than what you normally see with an SSD...). Note that this is a single drive (using AHCI protocol), so it's not going to get the same kind of throughput figures you'd see in a RAID 0 array.

Copying a file FROM the SSD to another drive with write caching enabled on the target drive gave me a transfer rate of about 240MByte/sec. The other drive couldn't accept data at this rate, but Window was able to read it off the SSD that quickly, cache it, and then use lazy writing to complete the copy.

Copying a file TO the SSD from another drive (where I had just read the entire file to ensure it had been cached) gave an SSD write rate a little above 100MByte/sec.

Copying a file from one place on the SSD to another place gave a "copy rate" of about 95MB/sec, which means the drive was reading about 95MB/sec and writing 95MB/sec for a total aggregate rate of 190MB/sec.

I know the G2 drives are somewhat faster than the G1, and that the 160GB drives are somewhat faster than the 80s, but I'm still having a hard time understanding why your test produces such low numbers, particularly in the face of other test results that have been reported from sites like Tom's and Anandtech.

And to put this all in perspective, for most people the most significant metrics for an SSD are the access times, not the transfer rates. You can achieve competitive transfer rates with mechanical drives in RAID arrays, but nothing you can do with a hard drive can come anywhere close to the hyper-fast access times of an SSD.
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January 16, 2010 9:40:45 PM

That's great news for everyone who bought an 80gb G1. Also the file copy speed is the file copy speed. You can't double it.
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a c 415 G Storage
January 16, 2010 10:07:08 PM

Malcolmk said:
Also the file copy speed is the file copy speed. You can't double it.
It's very unusual to use a file copy to and from the same device to quote performance. If you did this with hard drives then the transfer rates would be abysmal because of all the seeking. So to compare your figures to standard industry specs for other drives, the folks who read this thread need to understand that when you're copying data from one place to another on the same device, the total amount of data being transferred to and from the device is twice as high as you quoted. Otherwise they'd be comparing apples and oranges.
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a b G Storage
January 16, 2010 11:44:37 PM

The latest firmware for the G2 drives boosted file copy speeds dramatically IIRC. G1 users got left out in the cold.
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a b G Storage
January 17, 2010 12:21:00 AM

And so it should. I don't want Intel's first SSD to remain the performance leader for 3 or 4 years. The faster the top dog goes down, the better the competition is. Granted, we need to see 3rd party benchmarks, not just what is shown at a trade show, before passing judgement.
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January 17, 2010 12:44:46 AM

Indeed!

I will be buying one of these next month if things look as good as they seem, I think having seen this.

Can't wait to see - will be my 1st ever SSD as have been waiting for them to get really good :D 

Someone else is also bringing out a new SSD in the next month or two too, don't remember for sure though... more competition is always a good thing.

+ a 5850 maybe

Good Times!
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January 17, 2010 4:11:09 PM

Another angle to SSDs is my growing disappointment with the failure rate of conventional hard drives. As a long time Seagate user; their drives are just not as dependable as they have been in the past; WD may be a little better, but the performance of the Caviar Blacks I have seems a little off advertised specs as well.
I, for one, will not miss rotating platter devices.
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January 17, 2010 5:25:26 PM

I second that!

I am (was) also a big Seagate fan - had 7 Seagate drives in my PC at one point!

(bear in mind I always rotate out the oldest before about 2 years age and use for archiving + PC runs near 24/7 with power saving mode)

just over a year ago I had 3 of them fail. Man but I lost SO much data of all kinds, even with my infrequent but large backups >_<


A friend had a RAID 5 setup...1 drive failed --- he was So please he had gone RAID 5
and then while adding in a new drive, another failed, he lost Everything!!! - can't win sometimes :cry: 

Can't wait for something more reliable for mass storage!
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January 17, 2010 6:31:01 PM

I must admit conventional drives are very poor at the moment. It seams like everyone is cutting back on costs and therefore reliability. I just went back to the Samsung F1 drives after failing to find a decent replacement drive. The F3 drives have a very erratic transfer speed and don't raid well, I purchased two new Hitachi 7K1000.C drives to see if they were any good and both drives were faulty. I looked at the Western Digital reviews on newegg and noticed the green power drives have something like a 40% failure rate so I have decided to stay with the F1 drives. The Samsung F1 drives all have a very clean transfer rate and all are within 2-3mb/s in transfer rate. Just perfect for raiding. There not as fast as the new drives with 500gb platters but they work a lot better.
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