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Question on SSD size for OS only

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November 14, 2011 3:38:52 AM

Thinking about getting a 64gb SSD for just the OS, does this size affect the total read/write at all if its just the OS on it?

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a c 119 G Storage
November 14, 2011 3:56:39 AM

No it doesn't but you should consider going just a little bigger , say a 80 or 90gb just to make sure you won't run out of space as you will get updates and service packs and you could put the current game or application on the SSD.
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a b G Storage
November 14, 2011 4:07:14 AM

if it was me id get a 128gb,

so i can install windows, MS Office and a handfull of my most played games & Apps.

but 64gb would fit windows and nothing much else.
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November 14, 2011 4:13:39 AM

digitalraven said:
Thinking about getting a 64gb SSD for just the OS, does this size affect the total read/write at all if its just the OS on it?

I've been running a 80GB Intel for around a year and have a 1.5TB platter for main storage. I did a sys prep script to move the users, temp, and just about anything else bulk file related to the platter drive during windows 7 install. I have my main applications installed to the SSD and I think a game or two and still have 31.1GB free on the SSD. Doing the script at install is nice because not I don't have to work about moving files around manually or anything like that. All the system paths are correct for putting anything users related on the platter drive.
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November 14, 2011 3:23:38 PM

ok thanks guys i will go with a 90gb. Should i first buy a Z68 mobo for the controller and no issues or will i be fine with my X58 E760-A1? Aslong as i get the max read im fine..
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a c 353 G Storage
November 14, 2011 3:58:24 PM

(1) Performance - SSD will make a BIG differnce in loading the OS (ie booting) and a Big improvement in loading a program. HOWEVER; once the program is loaded you will NOT see a difference, ie Download time is limited by internet connection, Word - how fast can you type, game play, not improvement in FPS.

(2) Size, depends on what you want to put on the SSD. Bear in mind you will only have about 80% of the ADVERTISED size as you lose the Dec to hex conversion and you never want to go above 90 % filled. So a 64 gig becomes really a 54 gig drive (90 gig = about a 72 gig drive). Windows 7, with some tweaks + plus typical programs (excluding games) is about 30->40 gigs.

Added: Steps:
.. Disconnect old HDD, connect New SSD.
.. Go into Bios and VERIFY that the HDD controller is set To AHCI
.. Install windows 7. Note if your system is an Intel system you will want to go to Intel’s website and download and install the latest RST drivers (ver 10.6) http://downloadcenter.intel.com/SearchResult.aspx?lang=...
Just select your Operating system and in the right pane click on drivers.
Everything is OK. Power down and reconnect your Old HDD. Note: do NOT delete anything for a couple of weeks, until you are sure everything is running fine. You will be able to dual boot to the SSD or the HDD simply by pressing the hot key during post that brings up the boot menu (F12 on my gigabyte MB and F11 on my asrock MB. You can simply copy Your favorites over from HDD -> SSD and for email you can do an export/import. After a couple of weeks you can then (1) delete windows from HDD, or (2) back up your data to BU drive and reformat your HDD and copy your data back (This is what I normally do.

3 Things that I normally do for an SSD:
.. (1) disable hibernation - save 4 -> 6 gigs
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/920730
.. (2) Set page file (virtual memory) min and max to the same value, ie 4 gigs ram set it to 1024 mb. > 4 gigs ram set to 512mb. And you can redirect it to the HDD to save alittle more (Very slight performance hit - but compared to HDD even with SRT you would think its a race car). This save upto 6 gigs
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Change...
.. (3) manage restore points. limit the number of restore point or disable. This one if not done can eat up space in the long haul.
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/3187/disable-system-rest...
One Final Important step: Use windows 7 backup (Under Control panel -> System & Security) and creat a image backup for your “C” drive. You can place on your internal HDD (and as a added precaution copy to BU drive). As long as you have the Windows Installation disk, you do NOT need to create the “Restore Disk” when prompted.


(4) MB. I prefer the Z68 as it has newer chipsets than the X58. Also the Performance of the newer Sata III SSD is better on the Intel Sata III port. If you already have the X58, you can still use the Intel Sata II port, but at a reduced performance level, Over all real life performance may not be a biggy. Sata III interface primarily improves Squencial performance - The Least important matrix in a OS + Program drive.
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November 14, 2011 4:14:42 PM

No it doesn't but...with regard to the other posts...

IF you can afford a slightly bigger drive, by all means do go and get it, you'll get better read/writes too (reads usually tend to stay the same/similar across capacities though)...

However, how much you need for the OS drive depends on your usage.
I don't have too many programs, so my OS+5GB page file+programs take up about 30GB. My last format was in august or something, so this is more or less the amount i use.

I keep 40GB for the OS partition and 25GB for the programs (just for management's sake) so if i had to consider a OS only drive i'd probably go for 64GB. I have32-bit win 7 HP SP1, however, i know 64-bit versions take a bit more space.

80/90 might serve you some purpose, 128 is usually the sweet spot and allows for some big games...though my favourite is slowly becoming 64+128 or a single 160, which would allow me to keep my os, progs and all games on it.

However, I haven't bought it yet so this is all theoretical...

I only wrote all this because it seems to be a sort of a scare statement, all this "oh my god 60GB is just tiny for an OS!". Hell no, even 40GB is enough (for the OS+programs) for some (most?) people. In the end it depends on the user.

As for your second question, i don't think it should be a prob...IF your X58 has SATA III.
If it doesn't, then you won't get max performance from a SATA III based SSD, especially the SandForce-based ones.
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November 14, 2011 5:14:23 PM

ok thanks for the info, So my board doesnt support Sata III on the intel ports? Says in the specs its Sata 3gb/s? Sorry just a bit confused..i cant find anything except the specs showing it can run Sata III. Will go with just a 90gb for now just as an OS drive, just have to decide between intel and crucial lol.
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a b G Storage
November 14, 2011 5:38:45 PM

I have a 60GB SSD with Win7 64 bit. I have Microsoft Office installed on it, my antivirus software, and a few other things I wanted to run from the SSD, and I use a 1TB WD Black for everything else. I currently have 39gb free on the SSD. Don't know how much bigger an OS drive you would need than that, honestly.
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November 14, 2011 5:57:58 PM

You can easily configure Windows 7 to use 15GB or less by disabling a few features. If it was strictly the OS you can go as small as 32GB for a OS drive no problem.
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a b G Storage
November 14, 2011 6:26:13 PM

nordlead said:
You can easily configure Windows 7 to use 15GB or less by disabling a few features. If it was strictly the OS you can go as small as 32GB for a OS drive no problem.


This. 64GB is way more than enough.

What piles up on your OS drive are restore points. Clean 'em out every month or so with a disk clean-up and your OS installation will barely scratch 1/3 of a 64GB drive.


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a c 353 G Storage
November 14, 2011 6:32:22 PM

For a Comparison of M4 on sata III vs Sata II.
Word of caution, this is an older review of the M4 and does not reflex the performance boost that fw 0009 provides. So take with a gran of salt.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4253/the-crucial-m4-micro...

Still recommend going with the Sata III SSD so that when you do upgrade the MB you can move it over. Remember put it on an intel port, NOT a marvel port.

For SSDs my recommendation for cost - M4, Intel 510 may be more reliable - It uses the marvel controller but has a Intel based firmware. There is also the New Samsung 830 lineup. Reliability/problems are sill unknow as it is a new drive, But the Samsung 470 equaled the intel in terms of reliability.

Anatech review of M4 with FW 0009:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4712/the-crucial-m4-ssd-u...
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November 14, 2011 6:35:58 PM

I think there is a major part missing in the answer...

In general, the bigger size SSD, the faster it is. Meanwhile though, it may not be a difference that is all that noticeable, hard to tell and depends on how big of a jump in capacities. Check out this article... http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/m4-ssd-capacity-com...

Therefore, if you are just wanting to go with an SSD for an OS, it is probably not worth it to spend the extra dough and have the wasted/useless space just for a little increase in performance. Personally, I think a 128GB SSD is the right size for OS, a few games, and programs. The main benefit of an SSD is the loading of the OS/program/game. Even on a 3gb/s port the SSD will smoke a HDD. An SSD is a solid investment for a pc. One thing to consider though is next year SSDs prices are suppose to drop(newer/better/cheaper tech in SSD is suppose to come out, but there is no telling how much better and cheaper it will be).
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November 14, 2011 7:14:14 PM

SATA 3Gb/s = SATA II
SATA 6Gb/s = SATA III. (double maximum theoretical transfer rate)

Crucial (m4, RealSSD) = speed + reliability
Intel (320, 510) = reliability
Samsung (470) = reliable + speed is between Intel and crucial

[830 is new, you could consider it on reputation basis]

I think that from a performance point of view, random read IOPS should influence your decision the most, considering that what the OS drive will mostly do is read.
Writes will probably be bottlenecked by HDD/internet/DVD speeds.

Again, this would be decided by your usage pattern. If you do a lot of sequential transfers to and from the OS partition, look at that metric. Though again, this would be limited by whatever you're transferring to/from.

As RetiredChief says, a SATA III SSD will work with your current setup (at SATA II speeds) but will be able to stretch its legs if you upgrade to a mobo with SATA III port.

I'm not sure if this SATA II bottleneck will affect random read/writes though, as from what i know the random whatever throughput is usually less than the sequential throughput...
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a c 114 G Storage
November 14, 2011 7:32:49 PM

Unless you are quite astute about the way windows does things, I'd recommend at least a 120 / 128 GB SSD. The reason i say this is many puers come my way after say 6 months of use with peeps having full SSD's. All your e-mail for example by default winds up stored on C:\ .... temp files, on C....install files..... dmp files .... My documents ....etc.

What you see from you SSD may be disappointing depending upon how fast a HD setup you are used to. M son has a dual boot setup whereby he can boot off the SSD (Vertex 3) or off the HD (Barracuda XT) via BIOS selection. The SSD boots in 15.6 seconds .... the HD boots in 21.2 seconds
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November 15, 2011 12:10:23 AM

thanks for clearing things up guys. Learned a bit here and decided to go with crucial for the drive. Im using 2 120gb WD raptors in raid 0 for just my OS believe it or not and have been for a couple years. Once this new drive comes in i plan on using the raptors in raid 0 for games and programs. 10000k speeds, should see faster loading times (since all my games and programs are on a 7600 rpm drive) until i get 2 more ssd's.
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November 15, 2011 12:48:52 AM

Can i use a reg sata cable to connect to the crucial? or do i have to buy a new cable since one isnt provided?
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a c 353 G Storage
November 15, 2011 1:27:04 AM

I just used the Sata Cables that came with the MB. With the exception of some cheap sata II cables they should work fine.
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November 15, 2011 1:55:35 AM

ok i plan on using a black one that came with my x58 i got a year ago. thanks;)
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November 15, 2011 1:55:59 AM

Best answer selected by digitalraven.
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January 30, 2012 5:44:58 PM

Hello!
I'd like to ask do you know of a website for an AMD system to download the latest RST drivers for a dual boot of Vista and/or 7 OSs on SSD and Data on IDE HDDs, if needed?
Steve, Chicago, IL

RetiredChief said:
(1) Performance - SSD will make a BIG differnce in loading the OS (ie booting) and a Big improvement in loading a program. HOWEVER; once the program is loaded you will NOT see a difference, ie Download time is limited by internet connection, Word - how fast can you type, game play, not improvement in FPS.

(2) Size, depends on what you want to put on the SSD. Bear in mind you will only have about 80% of the ADVERTISED size as you lose the Dec to hex conversion and you never want to go above 90 % filled. So a 64 gig becomes really a 54 gig drive (90 gig = about a 72 gig drive). Windows 7, with some tweaks + plus typical programs (excluding games) is about 30->40 gigs.

Added: Steps:
.. Disconnect old HDD, connect New SSD.
.. Go into Bios and VERIFY that the HDD controller is set To AHCI
.. Install windows 7. Note if your system is an Intel system you will want to go to Intel’s website and download and install the latest RST drivers (ver 10.6) http://downloadcenter.intel.com/SearchResult.aspx?lang=...
Just select your Operating system and in the right pane click on drivers.
Everything is OK. Power down and reconnect your Old HDD. Note: do NOT delete anything for a couple of weeks, until you are sure everything is running fine. You will be able to dual boot to the SSD or the HDD simply by pressing the hot key during post that brings up the boot menu (F12 on my gigabyte MB and F11 on my asrock MB. You can simply copy Your favorites over from HDD -> SSD and for email you can do an export/import. After a couple of weeks you can then (1) delete windows from HDD, or (2) back up your data to BU drive and reformat your HDD and copy your data back (This is what I normally do.

3 Things that I normally do for an SSD:
.. (1) disable hibernation - save 4 -> 6 gigs
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/920730
.. (2) Set page file (virtual memory) min and max to the same value, ie 4 gigs ram set it to 1024 mb. > 4 gigs ram set to 512mb. And you can redirect it to the HDD to save alittle more (Very slight performance hit - but compared to HDD even with SRT you would think its a race car). This save upto 6 gigs
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Change...
.. (3) manage restore points. limit the number of restore point or disable. This one if not done can eat up space in the long haul.
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/3187/disable-system-rest...
One Final Important step: Use windows 7 backup (Under Control panel -> System & Security) and creat a image backup for your “C” drive. You can place on your internal HDD (and as a added precaution copy to BU drive). As long as you have the Windows Installation disk, you do NOT need to create the “Restore Disk” when prompted.


(4) MB. I prefer the Z68 as it has newer chipsets than the X58. Also the Performance of the newer Sata III SSD is better on the Intel Sata III port. If you already have the X58, you can still use the Intel Sata II port, but at a reduced performance level, Over all real life performance may not be a biggy. Sata III interface primarily improves Squencial performance - The Least important matrix in a OS + Program drive.

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January 30, 2012 7:23:52 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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