Programs and files on SSD vs HDD for max performance...

So I just built a new gaming computer with the following relevant specs...
- Win 7 Enterprise
- 90GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD
- 750GB Hitachi Sata III, 7200RPM HDD
- Games: World of Warcraft, Skyrim, Star Wars

My thought was to just save the OS and games on the SSD for best performance, and everything else on the HDD. I did that initially and only used about 50GB on the SSD.
Since then I've downloaded many drivers, manuals, game mods, and programs (like Adobe, Logitech, etc), most of which just saved directly to the SSD without giving me the option of a different path? Now I have only 5GB left on my SSD and want to make sure I only keep the files/programs on it that will provide the best performance.

On my SSD I have 4 files:
Program Files - contains drivers (Asus mobo, DVD recorder, Mcafee, etc), IE, McAfee, Nvidia, and Windows files (Dfender, Media Player, etc)
Program Files (x86) - contains many of the same files that the "Program Files" has in it??
Users - My documents, Downloads, Desktop, etc...
Windows - bunch of stuff that looks like it needs to be there

1) What kind of files/programs should I keep on my SSD vs. my HDD aside from the OS and games for best performance?
2) I read in a thread here that "Program Files" folder is for programs designed for 64-bit, and the programs that go into "Program Files (x86)" folder are designed for 32-bit. But, why are things duplicated in them, and why
(even as an Admin) can't I delete files off them (tells me I don't have permission)? Do I really need files in both of them if I'm running at 64 bit??
3) I'm often not given a choice on where to save downloaded programs. How do I set it up so all my downloaded programs save to my HDD moving forward?

I found this thread on this forum, but it seems like there has to be a better way than this...

Thanks in advance!!
5 answers Last reply
More about programs files performance
  1. Put on SSD - W7 + all the programs + page file

    HDD - partition 1 @200GB - install large games here.

    HDD - partition 1 @70GB - photos, project and other files up to 5MB + Document folder.

    HDD - partition 3 @ whats left for files 5MB> videos and other files.

    To have a partitions, is to separate the system from the Doc. files, so in the case of corruption on the system drive, u don't loose the files, so that's the main reason to partition.

    Move Your Libraries off of the system drive...
  2. Whats your CPU+RAM+Page size?
  3. nikorr said:
    Whats your CPU+RAM+Page size?

    16GB RAM
    Page Size? Not sure what you mean?

    Thanks for the info on partitioning.

    I also have a 2TB USB 3.0 external HDD that I was going to set up for pics and's already partitioned...
  4. I consider 120 GB the minimum size for a SSD.....that being said, ya need to manage ya SSD and windows so that it doesn't fill up ya space:

    1. Get user files off SSD. E-mail alone can take up 50Gb per account after a few years if ya save e-mails.

    2. Listen to Nancy Regan and "Just Say No" when windows wants to install programs on C:\ . Pick "custom" when so prompted and install stuff where ya want.

    On a typical 1 TB drive, I might create for example the following partitions (depending upon user needs) .....things I need to go fast go on the outside portion of the platters which are twice as fast as the inner portion.

    C:\Boot - 128 GB
    D:\Games - 512 GB
    E:\Programs - 128 GB
    F:\Data - Balance

    Then I install the SSD after disconnecting HD data cable and install Windows in it......I like having a Windows Boot on the HD in case the SSD craps out I can still boot off the HD. On the SSD, I then map D through F as before and I map the "old C:\" drive as X:\ under the SSD boot.

    You can change the default location to install program files, but as I have been telling Windows "No" for 20 years now when it wants to install things where it wants, I don't find this step necessary. Just select the custom install (for advanced users) and change the install location

    Default is C:\Program Files and as you said C:\Program Files (x86) for 32 bit apps.....many vendors liek Adobe, also install "Common Files in there where they have various programs that share common files.....those common files are a PITA

    To manage ya stuff further ya can play some storage cut / paste......ya get a new game and want to play at at fastest possible settings so ya install it to the SSD......then ya get a new game and hmmmm..... ya running outta room on the SSD. So.....

    Highlight the "old game" folder in Windows Explorer and "Cut" it from the SSD...... now paste it on the HD games partition. Lotta games won't run from there because registry says it's on C:\....some will (because they are self contained and don't make registry entries). You now have room to install "new game" on the some time in the future, ya wanna play the old game again, ya just cut the new game off the SSD and paste it on the HD and do the reverse for the game you wanna play again.
  5. gutmaw said:
    16GB RAM
    Page Size? Not sure what you mean?

    Thanks for the info on partitioning.

    I also have a 2TB USB 3.0 external HDD that I was going to set up for pics and's already partitioned...

    I know this is old thread but I am answering this for some other poor soul that needs help who might stumble upon this.

    First thing you always want to do if you have your boot disk as SSD and second internal HDD get the Windows paging file off of the SSD. Reasons are that SSDs are expensive, the page file takes up some space but that is neglegeable, the paging file is constantly changing and parts are over written which is bad for an SSD because SSD has shorter life time of rewrites then HDD so the page file is needlessly eating away at parts of your precious SSD.
    To do this click start>right click computer>properties>on left side tab click "advanced system settings" you need administrative rights>Performance>go to advanced tab>under virtual memory select "change">uncheck "Automatically manage" at top>now all your partitions should be listed, in this order select a partition on your HDD. Easiest to select system managed because if you don't know what your doing you can degrade windows performance>Now select you SSD partition and pick none.
    Remember you did this because later if you want to format and repartition that drive it won't let you until you go back in and re/move page file to a new partition. Forgetting and having to figure out errors causes headaches and I speak from personal experience.
    It opens page file up to fragmentation. I just make partition only for page file and if fragmentation is a problem, ill just reformat the partition. No harm done to anything else. If you choose to make partition for page file make it atleast the size of your ram, 1.5 x ram is better go no bigger than 2 x ram or your wasting space, especially if you have a lot of ram and windows doesn't do much paging.

    Second follow the link on above post and move your user data/file to a partition on HDD.

    I prefer to have my drivers, games and bulk of my most used programs on SSD with windows because of performance, I opt for 120 GB SSD for computer that you expect to be installing a lot of programs.

    Third is to check for Windows restore points because they can take up lots of space, move them off of your SSD or delete them/disable new ones from being made if you don't need them. I only keep until a little after a windows update or installing new drivers until I am pretty sure everything is running fine, and I typically only keep one. My preference though! I make my own drive images and backup. Google for a tutorial dealing with those restore points, there are tons.

    It wouldn't hurt to check your systemroot for the hyberfile.sys. Even though you have a SSD and the computer should not be hybernating, the file might still be there and can be pretty big. Just to be sure, run an administrative command prompt and type "powercfg -h off" even if hybernate was already disabled, but the file was there, that command will get rid of it.

    These little things will go a long way
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