I recently purchased a 256gb Samsung 840 pro SSD and Ive almost filled it with a number of my programs ( Photoshop, Steam games galore, etc.) but I was advised that I should avoid filling it completely. I have around 18gb free but I'm not sure what the recommended amount of free space is. Does it differ from brand to brand?
Also how do I use a second SSD? Ive considered buying another 256gb one and I was wondering if I just plug it in and play or is there a way to set it up to share the load?
On that note I was told to try and utilize 16gb RAM? Someone mentioned setting swap files to 1024/1024 for more free space on my SSD or something along those line.
Usually it's best to leave 20-30% free on an SSD. That way trim and clean-up function properly and you won't have trouble with slowdowns. Make sure ACPI is enabled in your Bios, too. You're down to 7% so I'd say move some of your data or programs to your hard drive. If you do lots of photo-editing then another drive might help as a scratch disk. I've heard people say the photoshop will use it that way but have no experience. Move your swap file to your hard drive if you have 16gb of RAM. Also disable hibernation and either disable or move system restore to another drive.
I would try to leave 5gb of space on the ssd for operating system needs. It needs space for operating system future patches and random writes. Wont need 18gb though.
For a second ssd, just plug it up and format it into a separate partition. You can install new applications to it. Just change c: to d: (if you choose the letter d for the partition) when you are installing the application. You will only be ale to install steam games to one partition though. I would uninstall your non-steam apps from your first drive and reinstall them to your second drive. This will free up more space for steam games on your first drive. You can only make both ssd's share the load by configuring them to raid 0. But to do this, you will have to format both drives. It's possible to save your data by using imaging software, but it's tricky.
It's tough to utilize 16gb of ram. You could download ramdisk and make a 4gb partition. Then set your page file on your c: drive to off and set your page file on your ramdisk partition to 2gb or so. It wont get you much more speed to really be worth the trouble though. Will save you some writes to the ssd though. You could also Add your IE temp folder the the ramdisk too.
The only way to really use 16gb is with virtual machines, but you probably don't have a need.
The very worst that you will encounter is a small loss in speed by using 100% of the drive. I know why you want to leave 10% on a platter drive. It's physics. No one seems to have a good reason for doing the same thing with ssd's other than habbit. ssd's are so fast that it really wont make a difference to you if it slows down. I would be a lot more concerned about how much it costs me to leave that space unused. ssd's aren't cheap.
ssd manufacturers build in more space that you can't see to take care of the garbage collection. They know the average user wont know to not fill up their drive to 100%, so they made if fool proof.
"Over-provisioning refers to space set aside so that a drive can perform bookkeeping functions. As you start using a SSD, collecting scattered blocks helps allocate space for future writes. This is what we know as "garbage collection."
Zero percent over-provisioning might cause the drive to perform slower as it fills up. In our case, we're just copying entire directories from our boot drive until the SSD is full. If there is a problem, performance will fall after we've filled the drive.
As expected, we see some performance degrade when we pack the drives full of data. After we wait 30 minutes to let idle garbage collection kick in, we see most of the performance recover"