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Does having a separate SSD for booting, holding the OS, and using core software/games impact performance?

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Topic

ragnar-pwninskjold 1 month ago

I'm a bit new to the space, but essentially what I'm asking is whether or not maxing the storage of an SSD impacts noticeably the speed of retrieving contents that are already on the SSD? I guess it makes sense that it would have to crawl through a lot more "spaces" in the SSD to find what its looking for, but is this really noticeable? Would it make sense to have a 250 of 500 GB SSD that has just my OS, some core software, and 2 games I play (to boot from), while maintaining a separate SSD for simply storing things?

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Gilroar 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

but essentially what I'm asking is whether or not maxing the storage of an SSD impacts noticeably the speed of retrieving contents that are already on the SSD?

Yes. All SSD slow major to massive slowdowns when full depending on how they are built.

Would it make sense to have a 250 of 500 GB SSD that has just my OS, some core software, and 2 games I play (to boot from), while maintaining a separate SSD for simply storing things?

Depends on price as these days you can often pick up a 1tb for cheaper then two 500gb so you want to look at pricing.

ragnar-pwninskjold submitter 1 point 1 month ago

Good point regarding the 1TB drive. Thanks for the input

Rin_Itoh 1 point 1 month ago

If you get a quality SSD, then no you should not have a performance impact. This will be due to the controller that is on the SSD. It keeps track of where information is so that it can be retrieved quicker. The SSD also has a built in buffer for writing data due to the way that it writes it. This is why you will see something like '480 GB usable' on a fresh 500 GB SSD. If you have a low-end SSD that has a poor controller (or none at all) then you will see decreased performance because it will have to fish through a bunch of stuff to get to your data.

Most people will combo an SSD and a HDD. That way the OS gets the speed boost of the SSD and they get the mass storage of the HDD. If you want to use two SSDs then that will work similarly.

If you have any other questions let me know!

ragnar-pwninskjold submitter 1 point 1 month ago

Appreciate the reply. Would you say there would be a major downside to having things stored on an HDD vs. an SSD? I don't imagine I would be transferring back and forth between the two very often at all, if anything it would be just so that I don't have to re-download games I've already downloaded, or perhaps storing some media files.

Rin_Itoh 1 point 1 month ago

The largest difference you will see if loading times. If you have heavy programs like Adobe Photoshop then you will want that on an SSD. If you have large games like Skyrim, where every time you walk through a door you get a loading screen you will want that on an SSD. It will most likely be a few seconds difference between the two drives, but since you will have so much loading you will notice it over time. If you have a game that is open world and has very few loading screens like GTA 5 you should be fine to have that on a HDD. You will not notice an FPS difference between the two however.

Using the HDD for mass storage of games like mentioned above is a great idea. It is also a solid idea to use it for media files and other documents like that.

Gilroar 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

The controller has no impact on performance when you run out of room that is the overprovisioning and DRAM buffer if applicable.

Controller just handles the transfer of data and all drives have one.

Rin_Itoh 1 point 1 month ago

My bad, I was thinking of the wrong parts since a lot of things are being put under one chip and labeled "Controller"

xbiker12 1 point 1 month ago

The main time I noticed problems with having the OS and games on the same SSD was when they would start auto-updating when I turned the pc on. sometimes the auto-update can peg the disc and your $1200 gaming beast feels lame until the update is done. But after getting another SSD for games, cuz I was running out of room anyway, this hasn't been an issue even though the 2nd SSD can get pegged during an update.

Also, having them separate makes reloading or upgrading your OS WAY easier if you ever need to do that. :)

Billy-Bob_Kenobi 1 point 1 month ago

Also, having them separate makes reloading or upgrading your OS WAY easier if you ever need to do that. :)

This is why I've only got the OS, drivers, and such on my SSD right now; I had to reformat the drive to fix a problem, and it was painful having to reacquire the 500GB or so worth of games that were on there.

Aside from updates, virus scans and the weekly backup will also result in a noticeable performance hit.

GeorgeReorgeRartinMartin 1 point 1 month ago

Would it make sense to have a 250 of 500 GB SSD that has just my OS, some core software, and 2 games I play (to boot from), while maintaining a separate SSD for simply storing things?

Well you don't need to try and maintain 50% free space. I'm not sure where the exact limits are where you expierence the performance penalties you're worried about (I've never worried about them) but I would expect it to be above 90% usage, probably somewhere in the 95-100% range. But with that in mind you could research when you would start to see performance issues. And then ask yourself do you typically run HDDs that full, have you ever filled a drive up to capacity really? And if the answer is no in all cases, maybe this is an issue you don't need to worry about really.

That being said, having more SSD storage is a plus in my book.