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Better to have separate storage for OS?

Last response: in Storage
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August 24, 2010 2:45:04 AM

is it better to have a separate hard drive just for your OS?

if so why?

thanks!

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a b G Storage
August 24, 2010 3:15:22 AM

there is no real reason to have a seperate hdd just for your os unless you are using a solid state drive
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a c 415 G Storage
August 24, 2010 3:33:40 AM

There are two main reasons why people (such as myself) have always chosen to have a separate drive for the OS.

Performance
The OS drive is heavily accessed, so having your data on a separate drive reduces contention. And moving heavily used files and folders such as the page file and the temporary directories also helps to spread the load.

Manageability
With all your data files on a separate drive it's very easy to do things like making image backups of the OS drive without having to include all your data files, or upgrading to a new OS by replacing the OS drive and keeping your data drive.

And as jefe323 said, if you buy an SSD then it's a no-brainer to put the OS and your programs on the SSD and your data on a separate hard drive. This is because OS/programs benefit from the faster performance and you don't have to pay the premium for terabytes of data that (in most cases) don't require the extra speed.
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August 24, 2010 4:10:12 AM

sminlal said:
There are two main reasons why people (such as myself) have always chosen to have a separate drive for the OS.

Performance
The OS drive is heavily accessed, so having your data on a separate drive reduces contention. And moving heavily used files and folders such as the page file and the temporary directories also helps to spread the load.

Manageability
With all your data files on a separate drive it's very easy to do things like making image backups of the OS drive without having to include all your data files, or upgrading to a new OS by replacing the OS drive and keeping your data drive.

And as jefe323 said, if you buy an SSD then it's a no-brainer to put the OS and your programs on the SSD and your data on a separate hard drive. This is because OS/programs benefit from the faster performance and you don't have to pay the premium for terabytes of data that (in most cases) don't require the extra speed.

is the enhanced performance noticable to the average user?

also how big is the hard drive you buy just for your OS. like 20 gigs?
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a c 415 G Storage
August 24, 2010 4:05:44 PM

The performance difference is pretty subjective. It's not huge, but it's measurable.

When you're buying an SSD the price per byte is very expensive, so you'd get a relatively small drive, perhaps in the 40GB to 80GB range depending on how many programs you expect to install on it.

If you're buying a hard drive for the OS, then you don't really have a 20GB choice any more (they don't make them that small these days), and the price differences between, say 500GB and 1TB (and even 2TB) aren't all that huge. So you might want to buy a larger drive based on the idea that you'd be able to re-use it in the future (a larger drive will be useful for a longer period of time than a smaller drive).

Another factor is that if you buy a large drive (say, 1TB) and partition it down to just what you need for the OS (say, 100MB) you'll get a bit of a performance boost. This is because you'll be restricting the drive to use only it's outermost tracks which have the fastest transfer rates. Again, not a huge difference, but measurable.
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August 24, 2010 9:58:38 PM

Best answer selected by computernewb.
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