Is there any point in partitioning an SSD?

I am upgrading from a 64gb ssd boot drive + 500gb disk drive setup to just a Samsung 830 series 256gb and was wondering are there any advantages/disadvantages of partitioning an SSD?

Thoughts.......suggestions?


Any information would be greatly appreciated.
7 answers Last reply
More about point partitioning
  1. There are several reasons to partition a drive. For some of them it makes sense to partition an SSD and for others it doesn't, so the main question you need to ask yourself is WHY do I want to partition my drive?

    1) Performance
    If you partition a HARD DRIVE, the first partitions perform better than the last ones because they're situated at the outermost tracks which have the highest transfer rates. People often do this to make sure, for example, that the OS is located on the fasted part of the hard drive. But SSDs have the same transfer rates for all sectors, so this does not apply to them. There's no reason to partition an SSD in the hopes that you can get better performance out of one partition than another.

    2) Over-provisioning.
    Some people have concerns about "using up" the write cycles on their SSD. A way to extend the write lifetime of an SSD is to simply not use all of it. You could, for example, partition an SSD so that only half of it is in use. This should, in theory, double the number of write cycles it can sustain (because they'll be spread across twice as many sectors as you're actually writing). In practice the gains are less because drives already have "hidden" storage to help even the write load. My personal preference is to create a partition that spans the whole drive and then simply not fill it up - that lets you use more storage in a pinch if you need it.

    3) Management.
    The OS typically requires an "image" backup while data files are better saved using file-by-file backups. If you plan to put both the OS and data files that you need to back up on the SSD, it may be reasonable to put them into separate partitions in aid of such a backup strategy. For example, it means that the OS image backup won't have to back up the data files. But doing this can make space management more difficult - for example, you might fill up one partition and need more room but the only space available is in the other partition.
  2. sminlal said:
    There are several reasons to partition a drive. For some of them it makes sense to partition an SSD and for others it doesn't, so the main question you need to ask yourself is WHY do I want to partition my drive?

    1) Performance
    If you partition a HARD DRIVE, the first partitions perform better than the last ones because they're situated at the outermost tracks which have the highest transfer rates. People often do this to make sure, for example, that the OS is located on the fasted part of the hard drive. But SSDs have the same transfer rates for all sectors, so this does not apply to them. There's no reason to partition an SSD in the hopes that you can get better performance out of one partition than another.

    2) Over-provisioning.
    Some people have concerns about "using up" the write cycles on their SSD. A way to extend the write lifetime of an SSD is to simply not use all of it. You could, for example, partition an SSD so that only half of it is in use. This should, in theory, double the number of write cycles it can sustain (because they'll be spread across twice as many sectors as you're actually writing). In practice the gains are less because drives already have "hidden" storage to help even the write load. My personal preference is to create a partition that spans the whole drive and then simply not fill it up - that lets you use more storage in a pinch if you need it.

    3) Management.
    The OS typically requires an "image" backup while data files are better saved using file-by-file backups. If you plan to put both the OS and data files that you need to back up on the SSD, it may be reasonable to put them into separate partitions in aid of such a backup strategy. For example, it means that the OS image backup won't have to back up the data files. But doing this can make space management more difficult - for example, you might fill up one partition and need more room but the only space available is in the other partition.


    ok, ok I see. I never make images because I see no reason in trying to save an already set up OS because it probably has so much performance degradation already.

    And I only store all my personal data on a separate partition just so it wont be littered throughout the partition that windows is installed in.


    My only question is now, if I were to partition my SSD, what software is out there that I can use to do so, because i dont see anyone recommending me to a piece of software that was created for disk-based drives, because those programs go by where one disk ends and the other starts and all that and I don't see that in any way benefiting the partition of an SSD.
  3. why not just keep using the 64g ssd for windows? then u can use the full 256g ssd for what ever else u want to use it for.
  4. ShadyHamster said:
    why not just keep using the 64g ssd for windows? then u can use the full 256g ssd for what ever else u want to use it for.


    This 64gb is 2 or 3 years old and is based on the first generation of sandforce controllers and the 256gb is a Samsung that I bought last week with top of the line Samsung guts inside, so that's why. To put it more bluntly... lol


    OLD: PQI 64gb ssd = 140 MB/s Seq. read, barely 50 MB/s Seq. write

    This old 64gb is 70% full. It can barely get past 3000 IOPS on 4kb random reads and you don't even wanna know what writes were. (400 something)
    Don't get me wrong this thing is pretty snappy, but the samsung will be even snappier!


    NEW: Samsung 830 series 256gb ssd = 520 MB/s Seq. read, 400 MB/s Seq

    This thing is rated for 80,000 IOPS 4kb random read and 36,000 IOPS 4kb random write!
  5. phil0083 said:
    My only question is now, if I were to partition my SSD, what software is out there that I can use to do so, because i dont see anyone recommending me to a piece of software that was created for disk-based drives, because those programs go by where one disk ends and the other starts and all that and I don't see that in any way benefiting the partition of an SSD.
    I'm not quite understanding the point you're trying to make, but you can just use Windows to partition the drive (assuming you use Windows). Windows 7 will create the partitions aligned on the correct boundaries to ensure optimum performance of your SSD.
  6. you could just do a secure erase on the drive to return it to 'out of the box performance', a firmware update wouldn't hurt either (unless you have already done so, lol). thats what i would do.

    anyways about partitioning the new drive, just do it during the initial part of the windows setup, i see no reason to use 3rd party partitioning software. windows 7 is smart enough to detect the drive as an ssd and should set it up correctly automatically.
  7. ShadyHamster said:
    you could just do a secure erase on the drive to return it to 'out of the box performance', a firmware update wouldn't hurt either (unless you have already done so, lol). thats what i would do.

    anyways about partitioning the new drive, just do it during the initial part of the windows setup, i see no reason to use 3rd party partitioning software. windows 7 is smart enough to detect the drive as an ssd and should set it up correctly automatically.


    sminlal said:
    I'm not quite understanding the point you're trying to make, but you can just use Windows to partition the drive (assuming you use Windows). Windows 7 will create the partitions aligned on the correct boundaries to ensure optimum performance of your SSD.



    sminlal, I see what your saying. I knew that windows 7 (which is what I'm running) could properly detect and optimize an ssd, I just wasn't sure if it could partition them accordingly as well. I guess I'll do what I've been doing then, C: will be windows, then D: will be programs and E: will be personal data, Thanks for the info!

    ShadyHamster, no disrespect, I'm trying to tell you that the 64gb ssd is minimum 2 years old, "advertised" speeds on this thing at the time were 170 MB/s Seq. read and 100 MB/s Seq. write. This Samsung 256gb I BOUGHT JUST LAST WEEK with 520 read and 400 write lol. I guess what I'm trying to say is that while this is very much still a good piece of hardware, compared to what I have now, it's just obsolete! Not to worry though, I'm giving the 64gb ssd to a good friend who will do the same ssd+hdd setup except his hdd will just be his 250gb instead of my 500gb. He'll install Windows 7 on the ssd and leave the 250gb for programs and storage.
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