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Slight Upgrade for an Older Machine... Couple Questions

I'm thinking of getting an SSD in my current setup in order to squeeze a little bit more life out of it before needing to do a new build, just don't have the money for that right now.

My current HDD set up is: I have a 256GB with Win7 Premium x64 and all my installed programs/games/etc. on it, and then a back up 512GB HD with all my movies, pics, music, backup, etc. My boot drive is currently using about 142GB, some of which could probably be cleared out. I have Steam and a bunch of games installed, Microsoft Suite, etc.

What I need to understand is, what's the best way to get an SSD into my rig without spending a ton on the SSD itself? From my current setup, I would need a 256GB SSD, but is there a better way to manage installed files so that I can get it down to only needing a ~120GB SSD? I've seen where some people get a small SSD for their OS and then install programs on a separate HDD, but wouldn't that just mean that games/programs load at their usual speed and only Windows would boot quickly? Or would it be best to get a larger SSD for my OS and programs I run often (games, MS Word, etc.) and then everything else remains on the HDD for backup?

Ultimately what I'd like to do is have the same set up as I have now, a 256GB for the main OS and programs and then whatever size backup I need, but if I can save money and buy a smaller SSD that'd be great. Thanks for the help!
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  1. Best answer
    A very good question.

    Besides a quick boot, a ssd is very good at random i/o. That speeds up cartalog search, web browsing and a bunch of other things the os does.

    While 250gb would do the job, there are some 160gb and 180gb drives available.
    If you can move your lesser used objects off to a different drive, then 120gb ssd should work out well.

    1) Clean up your "C" drive first.
    Run disk cleanup, and empty the recycle bin.
    2) Look at what is taking up space on your c drive, and see what is reasonable to move off.
    Uninstall any programs. Run windows easy transfer to export your files and settings to a secondary drive.

    I suspect the best way to bring in a SSD would be a new clean install. Particularly if you do not already have ahci specified in the bios as the sata mode.
    Leave your other drives disconnected. Reinstall those programs that you will certainly want on the ssd. Run windows easy transfer to import your files and settings.
  2. After uninstalling some games I don't play anymore and removing some programs I don't use, I was able to get my C:\ useage under 120GB. With that, I think a 120-160 would be plenty to make an SSD my primary boot/OS/programs drive and have a secondary HDD for all backup files.

    Thanks for the help!
  3. Best answer selected by DeeJayBoS.
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