I want to use an SSD/HDD hybrid setup for my next PC build. The SSD for the OS only, and the HDD for everything else. In this case, what do you guys recommend as a decent size for an SSD, and what brand and/or model do you recommend? I've seen recommendations for 60 - 80GBs of space for a Windows 7 install. I currently have Windows 7 Ultimate on a 60GB partition of a 500GB HDD. I still have 10GBs free, even with all the most recent Windows updates. Any thoughts?
It really depends on what programs you plan to install and use on the new rig. In addition to the OS in the Windows folder, you will be installing your programs in the Program Files or Program Files (86) on the SSD for rapid access. Also on the SSD goes the MS Reserved Partition and an additional partition if you are considering Intel's Rapid Start technology, some SSD's small 10% partition for Trimming, etc. Your Libraries, App Data, and Data, BackUp Images and Intremental BackUp data, of course can go on the secondary HDD.
Personally I would buy a 256GB SSD which will hold everything you need for an efficient fast system (now more reasonably priced) and not have to worry about size limitation.
As to model, you will get as many recommendations as there are makers. Everything considered, including the software apps and firmware update package, and stability, I prefer the Samsung 830 or 840. Maximum PC's May Magazine reviewed SSD's and recommended the Samsung 840 Pro. It is faster, however more expensive and to date less time tested since it is new.
Recommendations are personal and biased by what all of us have used, but also backed by experience we've had with Win-7 and Win-8 builds.
If this were 3 or 4 years ago, then we'd probably be recommending a 32GB SATA 2 3Gb/s solid state drive providing the user manually tweaked Microsoft Windows to save space on the ssd and transferred some Windows features to a hard disk drive. Quite often veterans would recommend a 64GB ssd. The biggest problem was price. Things have changed quite a bit. We now have modern 3rd generation SATA 3 6Gb/s solid state drives that cost considerably less than the older SATA 2 3Gb/s ssd's. I just checked the ssd database I maintain. There are very few modern 32GB SATA 3 ssd's available. The few that are available are not from well known, recommended companies. In terms of price/GB they are expensive. The 64GB ssd's are available from well known, recommended companies but again the price/GB is high.
I have been posting that 128GB SATA 3 6Gb/s ssd's are considered to the "sweet spot". Sale prices sometimes get down to 65 cents per GB. Typically a user will install the operating system, software applications, utilities, and some games on the ssd. Data files, backups, and more games can be stored on a hard disk drive. As of last month that has changed. With the latest price reductions a 256 GB ssd is considered to be the new "sweet spot". We've seen 256 Gb ssd on sale for as little as $159.99.
I normally recommend Samsung ssd's due to their excellent performance and proven track record. Crucial, Intel, and Plextor are also worth considering.
I maintain the ssd database listed in the sicky at the very top of this forum section. Here is the lnk: