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Windows 7: Optimum ssd/hdd configuraton that doesn't require a huge ssd?

View Poll Results: What configuration should I use
Small SSD as Intel SRT cache 1 8.33%
Medium SSD with games moved to hdd 6 50.00%
Large SSD 3 25.00%
other (comment below) 2 16.67%
Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

26 May 2013   #1

Windows 8 Pro (32-bit)
Optimum ssd/hdd configuraton that doesn't require a huge ssd?

Basically I have a lot of steam games, and I'm looking to build a proper gaming pc (well, many not proper by your standards, but it'll be better than my laptop). But I'm a little bit hesitant to get a 256GB ssd since I'll have a hdd, and my laptop's 128gb is pretty full with only a fraction of my collection.

Here are what I think my options are:

1. Get a smaller SSD and use it as a SRT cache. This way I won't be limited and it won't cost as much, but it may be slower than a pure ssd (I have never used SRT)

2. get a 60-128GB ssd and move my steam library to the internal hdd. it would be faster for most of the system, but games won't benefit from the ssd.

3. suck it up and get a larger ssd. that way I won't have performance issues, but I really don't want to do that as it would be pretty expensive.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2013   #2

Windows 10 Pro x64

Get a 128GB - 256GB SSD in my opinion. You would actually have more than enough room with a 128GB SSD with your OS/Programs and a few games but of course if you can get a 256GB one then go for it as they are said to be slightly better in speeds and performance.

Then of course have a secondary HDD (Say 1TB+) for other games/Music/back ups etc. Yes the games on this HDD wouldn't benifit from faster loading times as the SSD but that is basically all it boils down to. You get nothing else from running games on a SSD other than load times. If you can wait that few seconds longer for your games to load then all will be fine.

I have a 120GB SSD with my OS, all programs and ARMA II:CO and DayZ with a few mods on it. Still have just under 70GB left on it. And then i have just a 500GB HDD for everything else. Also have a external HDD for back ups etc.

Basically it's entirely up to your own usage requirements.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2013   #3

Windows 10 Pro

I'll try to answer this way...

On my desktop PC where I game, I have a 256 SSD drive that hosts my OS and other programs. For gaming (and data) purposes though, I have a 2TB Western Digital Caviar Black hard drive which contains a 600GB game partition. This is where all my games (including Steam based ones) gets installed and played from. I have absolutely no performance issues related to the "slower" hard drive.

And I haven't seen or read anything to suggest you gain that much more performance by using an SSD drive over a spinner HD in terms of gaming. You "might" see it on paper, but you want see it in everyday real world use.

With regards to my laptop - mine came with a 256SSD drive, but I also purchased a 2TB Western Digital Passport (USB 3.0) for data not necessarily needed to be kept on the Laptop. On it I have my entire iTunes collection (60+gig). This saves me space on the SSD drive for the files and programs that really do need to stay with the laptop.

Anyway I personally would get a good "spinner" drive for gaming, and leave the SSD drive for other tasks. Especially when you consider storage space to price – my 2TB hard drives were cheaper than the 256 SSD drive in my desktop.

My two cents.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

26 May 2013   #4

Windows 8 Pro (32-bit)

I am kinda-sorted limited in space, so I have to use 2.5" notebook drives - which only go up to 750GB for 7200rpm drives but 1TB for 5400rpm drives. Not sure if the slower drive would be as noticeable though

(don't worry, I'll be using Haswell's Iris Pro Graphics, which should be equivalent to a Nvidia 650m)
And has anyone ever used Smart response technology and can say if it is goo enough?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2013   #5

Windows 10 Pro

Maybe I'm not understanding you. Is this for a notebook or desktop?

Either way you could always use an external drive. For the notebook I use a WD Passport, which I linked to in my earlier post. Here you can see the size comparison to the notebook...

Optimum ssd/hdd configuraton that doesn't require a huge ssd?-notebook-wd-passport.jpg

If this is a small desktop PC, you can get something like this high performance drive - Western Digital Scorpio Black WD7500BPKT 750GB 7200 RPM RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 2.5" Internal Notebook Hard Drive - It's a 750 GB 7200RPM drive. And if you still need added space there are all sorts of external drives. But for gaming, I'd stick with an internal drive.

My two cents.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2013   #6

Windows 8 Pro (32-bit)

It's for a desktop. I'll be building a custom case (see picture above), but I'm still tweaking the design. I do have a version with a 3.5" hdd, but I am unsure if it has enough venting.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2013   #7
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

I run my desktops with 60GB SSDs for the OS and all OS files and put my user files on the HDDs. My SSDs are half empty so I can even run a virtual Linux partition in addition.

At the current price levels, I would recommend to use a 128GB SSD. Gives you more options especially if you have games and/or want to run virtual systems.

My laptops have 90GB SSDs plus additional large USB sticks for rarely used data - most of the data is on the SSDs though.

A Windows 7 with an average number of programs should not need more than 25GB if properly setup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2013   #8

Win 7 Pro x64, Win 10 Pro x64, Linux Light x86

Intel 320 Series SSD (OS and programs) WD Caviar Black 1TB (games, photos, music etc)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2013   #9

Windows 7 x64 (Ultimate)

Which such a small case, I would be more worried about temp issues than I would on speed limitations caused by and ssd or hdd... also, unless you play common games, having a limited GPU may yield negative results?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2013   #10

Windows 10 Pro

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
A Windows 7 with an average number of programs should not need more than 25GB if properly setup.
I don't really see that unless you're installing a basic bare bones nothing OS.

Anyway I might suggest at least a 250 seeing you as say, prices are dropping. You should be able to find them for under $180 USD now.

With that, I really can't see why you wouldn't install all your base programs like office & say Photoshop on the SSD drive. Heck I've got a lot of stuff on my desktop SSD drive, and it totals less than 85Gig...

Optimum ssd/hdd configuraton that doesn't require a huge ssd?-capture.jpg

Anyway for less than $180 buck a 256gig SSD drive would be nice and roomy. And if you need more space, go with a internal or external spinner drive. I personally see no need for such a small drive, especially with prices falling. And at the bare minimum, I wouldn't recommend anything less than a 120gig.

My two cents

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Optimum ssd/hdd configuraton that doesn't require a huge ssd?

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