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Getting the most out of my SSD? What to install

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July 1, 2012 7:05:16 PM

This is my first time using an SSD and as such have a few questions. I'm using a hybrid setup(120GB SSD - 2TB HDD) and am installing Win7 to my SSD right now.

What I'm curious about is /what/ else I should install on the SSD - and what I shouldn't. I do two things every day - one is play some form of game(I play 3 mmo's weekly, a few shooters, and about 5 strategy games - with a lot of games I occasionally play) the other is I spend a lot of time browsing the internet(watching videos / reading large amounts of text / etc).

With that being said, my SSD is fairly small(at only 120GB). After installing Win7 I'm assuming I'll have 60~GB left for use. As a large gamer, I know I'm going to install one or two of my most frequent games(probably my mmo's) after that I don't know what's 'best' to utilize with the SSD. Will things such as firefox provide any benefit(other then loading a bit quicker on startup)? What about winamp/itunes? Steam(but game storage on the HDD).

I went through the stickies and was surprised that there wasn't really any lists on what gets the best benefit of an SSD - so any help would be greatly appreciated :) 

More about : ssd install

a c 523 G Storage
July 1, 2012 7:26:28 PM

starrywisdom said:
After installing Win7 I'm assuming I'll have 60~GB left for use.


A fresh Windows 7 install with all of the Service Packs and updates is only 19-20GB.
Your SSD is 120GB unformatted; formatted it will be 111.6GB. So after your Windows install you're looking at around 91GB of free space.

Keep your browsers on your SSD. Also, like you said, keep 1 or 2 of your most frequent games on it as well.
Install Winamp & iTunes on your SSD, but keep your music files on your HDD.
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July 1, 2012 8:21:33 PM

starrywisdom said:
This is my first time using an SSD and as such have a few questions. I'm using a hybrid setup(120GB SSD - 2TB HDD) and am installing Win7 to my SSD right now.

What I'm curious about is /what/ else I should install on the SSD - and what I shouldn't. ...<snip>... what gets the best benefit of an SSD - so any help would be greatly appreciated :) 



All:
I do not have answers, but would chime in on this very timely question. I have just been considering replacing my system drive in an older computer with an SSD to speed up generally, and because I am concerned about the 8-year old drive's remaining life. Bulk data (music, photos, etc) would go on existing newer hard drive.

A guy at work told me that he installs the OS and applications on the SSD, but that doing a lot of writes to it was bad, so he puts his paging file on a hard drive (and presumably browser cache as well). Is this a serious concern? Seems like that would lose a lot my desired speed gain.

Also, as it is an 8-year-old system (Dell 8300, SATA I, 1.5 GB). Should I be concerned about compatibility issues? Or is SATA just SATA, and reliably backward compatible?

Thanks for any help/suggestions.
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a c 523 G Storage
July 1, 2012 9:32:55 PM

At this forum called Xtreme Systems some of the members there purchase SSDs and use software to continuously write to them until they die (wish I had that kind disposable income :)  ).

At Post #4854 of this thread a 256GB Samsung 830 is being tested.
2,258.73TiB of data has currently been written to the drive.
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?2710...

Think of how long it would take you to write or fill up a 1TB drive… now multiply that by 2,258.

Don’t know what you use your pc for but it would take me a couple of decades (at least) to write that much data to my drive. :D 

And if you look at the post you’ll notice that the drive has not even died yet, it’s on day 100 of the test. :) 

If you look at Post #4833 you’ll see that even an old school (1st generation) 80GB Intel X25-M G1 was able to write 744.02TiB of data.
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?2710...

Don’t know how long it would take me to write that much but I’m sure it’s over 5 years. :) 
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July 1, 2012 9:57:31 PM

couple comments - win7 does not like multiple hard drives. moving components away from the C:\ drive can be quite the project(s). this also extends to Office (2003, 2007, 2010) and its components. try moving Outlook to a non-booting hard-drive. at one point I had 3 conflicting *.pst files. Outlook totally corrupted my archives and my contact data - and in frustration, I simply removed Outlook - using a web-based, inferior service from my ISP instead.

bottom line - as a practical matter - I'd put most non system related programs (save Office, Browsers, etc.) on the non-booting, non-SSD hard drive. In my case I have a 1TB WD Caviar Black for non-OS programs and other non-archival data and files.

the archives reside on multiple green drives.

your concern about saving write operations to your current generation SSD, imho, isn't worth the hassle & may be totally unnecessary - given the actual performance limitations of today's SSDs (improvements over initial technology).

then again, ymmv. as for the page file - I'd limit the size (if you have > 8GB RAM) and, for reasons above, leave it on the boot drive.
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a b G Storage
July 1, 2012 10:09:06 PM

Hello,
I have been using SSD boot drives for 3 years and I can't ever see going back to a regular drive.
So yeah, expect about 20 gigs for windows install. However you can save yourself several gigs by doing the following:

1) Yes, do put your system cache on another drive. Not only will you save room but it is faster as when the cache is accessed it doesn't have to wait for the OS drive to finish doing whatever its doing. I have friends that ALWAYS move the system cache to a non-OS drive, regardless of whether an SSD is involved or not. If you have 8 gigs of ram or more, than the system cache is pretty useless anyway.

2) You can save about 5 gigs by getting rid of UAC. I would NOT recommend this for a noob but if you are more experienced and typically install 3rd party apps like AVG Antivirus and Spybot then UAC is more obtrusive than helpful. I must say however that UAC in WIN8 is quite good and you almost don't need any 3rd party software.

There are other things you can do to minimize the install drive space, you won't need to worry considering you have a 120GB drive, but if you are interested in learning more, then I suggest you check out OCZ's SSD forums-they have a wealth of tips and suggestions to get the most out of your SSD.

What you should install:
web browsers
office suite applications
Your most used multimedia apps, photo editors, etc.
Your favorite games of the moment, remove them when ready to move on to another

What to avoid:
defragging
full format, only do a quick format for windows install
Keeping downloads, media files, large data files, or archived stuff on the SSD, move all this stuff to a data drive ASAP.

SSD's perform better when they are less than full capacity. I know some folks that will not allow theirs to get over 50% full. I say keep at least 25-30% free space available.
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July 4, 2012 6:44:37 PM

Appreciate all the quick feedback. Thanks. Any experience with the second question, connecting to a SATA I interface? I have been buzzing through OCZ forums, and getting impression there is more to it than just compatibility with standard SATA interface. A problem there would be a show-stopper for me, as I have no other use for the drive if it does not work.

FWIW, most likely suspect at this time is OCZ Vertex 4 VTX4-25SAT3-128G 2.5" 128GB SATA III which just went from $179 to $129 at NewEgg. So I will post question on OCZ forum as well. Thanks again.

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