How large an SSD if it's your C:

Started Jul 21, 2012 | Discussions
Cerumen
Senior MemberPosts: 1,722
Like?
How large an SSD if it's your C:
Jul 21, 2012

Planning a custom build with and Intel 520 SSD and 2 TB mechanical disc.
I'll be loading Win7 Home with LR, PS, Office, and that's about it.

C-drive: Contains Win7 Home, LR (app, catalogs and thumbnails), PS, and MS Office.
D-drive: Pictures and music
My questions are:
1) How large do I get the C-drive

2) If my OS, apps, and critical page file, scratch file and thumbnails are all on the C, am I taking any sort performance hit, considering the primary reason for getting SSD in the first place is for smoother performance with large files in PS and LR? Historically, I've understood that you always want to physically separate page files and scratch discs from the OS or app, providing better throughput for each's task. Is SSD such a game-changer that this is no longer an issue?

Thanks for your thoughts on this.
--
Eric
http://www.pbase.com/cerumen
http://www.insectography.com

Michael Firstlight
Senior MemberPosts: 2,898Gear list
Like?
Re: How large an SSD if it's your C:
In reply to Cerumen, Jul 21, 2012

With SSDs it really doesn't matter anymore - I have my entire OS, apps, swap/paging file etc all on my C drive and I keep all of my images on a conventional HDD and use another HDD drive for archiving.

My C: (system) drive is 300GB comprised of two 160GB Intel X25M drives in RAID 0 . Since no critical data is on the C drive or is otherwise backed up, I don't even worry for a moment about the minor additional risk running them in RAID 0 adds. There is no automatic Win 7 SDD garbage collection when running two drives in RAID 0, but I've not noticed any performance degradation in over two years.

The 520 drive is nice if you have SATA 6 ports to take advantage their their R/W speed, but they are a lot more expensive than the 320 series. I just read that Intel is about to ship a new 240GB drive in their 320 Series priced at about $200USD and perform at 500MB/s for read and up to 450MB/s for write. A pair of those configured in RAID 0 would provide a screaming system at a very good price.

Regards,
Mike

 Michael Firstlight's gear list:Michael Firstlight's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM +12 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
malch
Forum ProPosts: 10,322
Like?
Re: How large an SSD if it's your C:
In reply to Cerumen, Jul 21, 2012

80GB is workable. Over time you may have to take some care to minimize the accumulated crud. I've been working with a 80GB Intel SSD for a couple of years. I have most of my software, swap, temp, cache etc on the SSD. Right now I have 26GB free.

I could free up another 12GB without too much hassle.

Generally, I would not go below 80GB. And if your budget would cover something in the range 120-240GB that would be perfect.

I'm planning to buy a 128GB SSD next month as a system drive for my laptop.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
malch
Forum ProPosts: 10,322
Like?
Re: How large an SSD if it's your C:
In reply to Cerumen, Jul 21, 2012

Cerumen wrote:

2) If my OS, apps, and critical page file, scratch file and thumbnails are all on the C, am I taking any sort performance hit,

The hit is fairly insignificant.

The reason for using multiple spindles with HDD's was to allow parallel i/o during all of the dead time while the heads were seeking and the sectors were rotating under the heads.

With SSD's, average access times are reduced to something like 0.1ms which is next to nothing.

And that's how SSD's can provide large throughputs even with a single device. About 250MB/sec for my device but the newer ones are significantly faster. Many go up to 500MB/sec. That's as fast as you need for the typical workstation scenarios.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
photopia
Regular MemberPosts: 187
Like?
Re: How large an SSD if it's your C:
In reply to Cerumen, Jul 21, 2012

Hello,

Here is my setup...

  • C:\ Crucial M4 256GB - Windows/Apps

  • D:\ Hitachi 1TB - Picture Archive

  • F:\ Western Digital 500GB - External USB 3 HDD Backups/Images

As far as the page file, I am not sure that there is a real benefit for dedicating an entire SSD on say a 60GB INTEL SSD. Although I have heard people indeed do this.

An INTEL 520, Crucial M4 or a Samsung SSD would be the best three on the market from what I have read on computer forums, and from much respected members of this forum.

My Crucial M4 256 GB drive is unbelievable! I cannot believe how fast Windows 7 and Apps load in comparison to mechanical HDD.

Thank you,

  • Photopia

-- hide signature --

And for one Moment, She's Beautiful again.

http://visualartistic.zenfolio.com/

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
skyglider
Senior MemberPosts: 2,676Gear list
Like?
Re: How large an SSD if it's your C:
In reply to Cerumen, Jul 21, 2012

Cerumen wrote:

My questions are:
1) How large do I get the C-drive

2) If my OS, apps, and critical page file, scratch file and thumbnails are all on the C, am I taking any sort performance hit, considering the primary reason for getting SSD in the first place is for smoother performance with large files in PS and LR? Historically, I've understood that you always want to physically separate page files and scratch discs from the OS or app, providing better throughput for each's task. Is SSD such a game-changer that this is no longer an issue?

I'll just give you my specs so you will have additional info to base your decision on.

Built a Win7 Home Premium PC with 8GB ram in December 2011. Installed a 64GB SSD for C: system and an internal 1TB 7200rpm spinner for D: data. I have an eSATA external docking station for backups and I store my movies on an external hard drive. I keep all of my data on the D: drive. The C: SSD is only for the Win7 OS and programs. Currently my C: SSD has 36GB used and 24GB free. I've always used 64GB for my WinXP and Vista system drives and never ran out of space on the system drive since WinXP first came out. It looks like I'll never run out of space on my Win7 C: system drive either.

I did move the Win7 page file to the D: spinner. With 8GB of ram, I think there should be little use of the page file so actually leaving it on the SSD should probably have been OK. But what the heck, moving it to the spinner drive is easy and it was mostly a mental thing for me to hopefully prolong the life of the SSD.

Be sure to disable any auto defrags of your SSD. Defrag is not needed and is harmful to the SSD. In fact that's one of the advantages of a system SSD, that no defrag is ever required and it still runs at full speed.

Hope this helps a bit,
Sky

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Birk Binnard
Senior MemberPosts: 1,646
Like?
Mine is 64GB also
In reply to Cerumen, Jul 21, 2012

Like previous poster I have Win7-64 and all apps on my 65GB SSD boot drive. I have put page, hibernate, temp, My Documents etc. on a 500GB HDD. Initially my C: was about 22 GB full but over time it has grown to 32.1 GB, primarily due to the constantly increasing size of the WINSXS folder.

With 27.3 GB free I too think the 64GB SSD will last virtually forever. (Forever means until I get a new PC which is at least a year or 2 away.)
--
Birk Binnard
http://www.birkbinnard.com/photography

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
dmartin92
Senior MemberPosts: 1,440Gear list
Like?
Re: Intel product specs
In reply to Michael Firstlight, Jul 21, 2012

Michael Firstlight wrote:

The 520 drive is nice if you have SATA 6 ports to take advantage their their R/W speed, but they are a lot more expensive than the 320 series. I just read that Intel is about to ship a new 240GB drive in their 320 Series priced at about $200USD and perform at 500MB/s for read and up to 450MB/s for write.

Please forgive me for nitpicking about unimportant details, but ...

As far as I know, all the 320 series drives are SATA II, so there won't ever be any Intel 320 that can do 500MB/s. You must be thinking of the 330 series, which is very much like the 320 series, except that it is "SATA 6". Or rather "SATA III".

And I'm not so sure the 520 drives are really that much more expensive than the 320 and 330 drives. A little bit, but not a real lot, I think.

But the product lines seem to be blurring at Intel, in terms of performance specs. I don't think they are still manufacturing the 320, but maybe they are still selling them. In any case, you can still find 320 drives in stores, but less so than 6 months ago.

 dmartin92's gear list:dmartin92's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Canon EOS-1D Mark II Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM Canon EF 35mm f/2.0 Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Denis247
Senior MemberPosts: 1,150Gear list
Like?
Re: Intel product specs
In reply to dmartin92, Jul 21, 2012

I settled on a 120gb (vertex 3). At the time of researching, generally smaller drives were not as fast in the same series. This may have changed in the last year, but although I only use a third of it's capacity, I didn't want to compromise on speed.

-- hide signature --

Don't forget to smell the roses.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Simon Garrett
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,585Gear list
Like?
120G is more comfortable
In reply to Cerumen, Jul 21, 2012

I have 120G, and usage is currently 77G. Even then, some of my bigger less used apps are installed on drive D. I try not to keep any user data in \users, but some stuff goes there anyway. A 20G ACR cache (also used by Lightroom) is on C.

Even so, I find myself having to remove rubbish from C every couple of months as the size creeps up. Windirstat (free, google for it) is great for finding out what's taking space.
--
Simon

 Simon Garrett's gear list:Simon Garrett's gear list
Nikon D800
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Cerumen
Senior MemberPosts: 1,722
Like?
Re: How large an SSD if it's your C:
In reply to Cerumen, Jul 21, 2012

Thank you all for your specs and opinions on storage and performance. Really excited about SSD--I'm replacing a 5-yr-old Dell XPS, which has performed well over the years, but it's time to get current. Will likely be overbuying on the SSD for C: drive, but will spring for a 240 GB with a mid-tier I5-3570 K.
Thanks again.
--
Eric
http://www.pbase.com/cerumen
http://www.insectography.com

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Michael Firstlight
Senior MemberPosts: 2,898Gear list
Like?
Re: Intel product specs
In reply to dmartin92, Jul 21, 2012

Sorry, I mistyped - it is a new 330 series drive and is SATA 6:

http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/27979-intel-adds-240gb-model-to-its-ssd-330-series

The intel Intel 520 Series 480GB is running about $570 for one drive; with a pair of the new 240GB 330 series drives you are getting the same store capacity (480GB when configured in RAID 0) and twice the performance since RAID 0 just about doubles the R/W rates. Therefore, I see a pair of the new 240GB 330 series as steal by comparison.

Regards,
Mike

 Michael Firstlight's gear list:Michael Firstlight's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM +12 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
dmartin92
Senior MemberPosts: 1,440Gear list
Like?
Re: Intel product specs
In reply to Michael Firstlight, Jul 21, 2012

Michael Firstlight wrote:

The intel Intel 520 Series 480GB is running about $570 for one drive; with a pair of the new 240GB 330 series drives you are getting the same store capacity (480GB when configured in RAID 0) and twice the performance since RAID 0 just about doubles the R/W rates. Therefore, I see a pair of the new 240GB 330 series as steal by comparison.

You might be right, but I know that three weeks ago I bought a 240GB 520 series for 328 Euros, and I was looking at the 180GB 320 in another store, and they wanted 259 Euros for that.

So I paid 328 Euros instead of 259, and I got a 520 instead of a 320, and 240GB instead of 180GB. I was happy with that comparison.

The 520 series drives have 5 year warranties, and the 330 drives have 3 year warranties, and there are technical reasons as to why Intel has made that difference in warranties. The 520 drives will last longer. But even the 320/330 drives will last a long, long time, for a desktop user.

 dmartin92's gear list:dmartin92's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Canon EOS-1D Mark II Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM Canon EF 35mm f/2.0 Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
kelpdiver
Senior MemberPosts: 1,810
Like?
Re: Intel product specs
In reply to Denis247, Jul 21, 2012

Denis247 wrote:

I settled on a 120gb (vertex 3). At the time of researching, generally smaller drives were not as fast in the same series. This may have changed in the last year, but although I only use a third of it's capacity, I didn't want to compromise on speed.

Yes...typically the 256G class is the fastest, and the 60s are the slowest as they have half the data paths. The 120s and the 512s tend to be in between. That said, the difference in performance between the various current SSDs is tiny compared to the different in performance between hard drives and ssds. I'm come to feel that it's not too important to quibble over the differences and focus on the reliability and firmware front. For what nearly all of us are doing, the difference may not be observable.

There is a good sale at Newegg today on the Crucial M4 256 - $179. It's been eclipsed by the Samsun 830, but is still a decent blazer. The OP shouldn't get a drive smaller than 120...but for a new setup I'd prefer to put in the 2xx sized drive if at all possible.

I've never been a fan of raid 0, but it especially makes little sense now that a single SSD can do 400-500MB/s on reads...you can't double that due to the Sata III 6G limit. Only by going to PCI can you get more. So why take the risk?

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Michael Firstlight
Senior MemberPosts: 2,898Gear list
Like?
Re: Intel product specs
In reply to kelpdiver, Jul 21, 2012

I know for a fact that my pair of X25M/s in RAID 0 have a 500MB/s read speed under SATA II and I've seen demos and tests with up to 32 SSDs in RAID 0 - maybe they were on another controller.

Regards,
Mike

 Michael Firstlight's gear list:Michael Firstlight's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM +12 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
skyglider
Senior MemberPosts: 2,676Gear list
Like?
Re: Intel product specs
In reply to kelpdiver, Jul 21, 2012

kelpdiver wrote:

Yes...typically the 256G class is the fastest, and the 60s are the slowest as they have half the data paths. The 120s and the 512s tend to be in between. That said, the difference in performance between the various current SSDs is tiny compared to the different in performance between hard drives and ssds. I'm come to feel that it's not too important to quibble over the differences and focus on the reliability and firmware front. For what nearly all of us are doing, the difference may not be observable.

+1
Sky

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
bullet1
Veteran MemberPosts: 6,720Gear list
Like?
16GB RAM, 120GB or 240GB SSD - No Pagefile and Hibernation File
In reply to Cerumen, Jul 22, 2012

With 16GB RAM, the page file is turned off on my home desktop and work laptop running Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit. My work laptop has a 120GB with about 30-40GB free with some files relocated to D: with Junctions.

The home computer has pretty much all software installed on the 240GB SSD with about 100GB free for temporary RAW file processing and photo editing.

On a computer with 16GB RAM, enabling pagefile would consume about 24-32GBGB precious SSD space. The hibernation file takes about 16GB. Disabling both can save about 40-48GB SSD space.
--
Nelson Chen
http://pbase.com/nelsonc
http://NelsonChenPhotography.com/
100% RAW shooter with Capture One Pro

Colorado Renaissance Festival photos:
http://www.pbase.com/nelsonc/renaissance_festivals

 bullet1's gear list:bullet1's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Peter Rongsted
Senior MemberPosts: 1,641Gear list
Like?
Re: How large an SSD if it's your C:
In reply to Cerumen, Jul 22, 2012

Cerumen wrote:

Planning a custom build with and Intel 520 SSD and 2 TB mechanical disc.
I'll be loading Win7 Home with LR, PS, Office, and that's about it.

C-drive: Contains Win7 Home, LR (app, catalogs and thumbnails), PS, and MS Office.

My boot drive is a 120GB OCZ Vertex 3 that I installed late last year. Today I think I would go for a 240GB.

D-drive: Pictures and music
My questions are:
1) How large do I get the C-drive

2) If my OS, apps, and critical page file, scratch file and thumbnails are all on the C, am I taking any sort performance hit, considering the primary reason for getting SSD in the first place is for smoother performance with large files in PS and LR? Historically, I've understood that you always want to physically separate page files and scratch discs from the OS or app, providing better throughput for each's task. Is SSD such a game-changer that this is no longer an issue?

If you put all those I/O heavy files (mainly catalog and scratch file) on the same drive then make sure you get one with a high IOOPS rating.

Peter

 Peter Rongsted's gear list:Peter Rongsted's gear list
Canon PowerShot S95 Nikon D70 Nikon D1X Nikon D700 Olympus E-500 +35 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Cerumen
Senior MemberPosts: 1,722
Like?
Re: 16GB RAM, 120GB or 240GB SSD - No Pagefile and Hibernation File
In reply to bullet1, Jul 22, 2012

bullet1 wrote:

The home computer has pretty much all software installed on the 240GB SSD with about 100GB free for temporary RAW file processing and photo editing.

Thanks. I'm set on getting the 240-size.

On a computer with 16GB RAM, enabling pagefile would consume about 24-32GBGB precious SSD space. The hibernation file takes about 16GB. Disabling both can save about 40-48GB SSD space.

Great ideas. Thanks. I will have 16GB.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Cerumen
Senior MemberPosts: 1,722
Like?
Re: How large an SSD if it's your C:
In reply to Peter Rongsted, Jul 22, 2012

Peter Rongsted wrote:

If you put all those I/O heavy files (mainly catalog and scratch file) on the same drive then make sure you get one with a high IOOPS rating.

That's a new term for me, I'll research. I was planning on the Intel 520.
Thanks,

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads