How to properly utlize an SSD?

DarklordKyo

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Nov 22, 2009
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The general consensus is that one of the best ways to approach PC storage (if you can afford it) is to get an SSD for your main stuff, and a standard HDD for general storage.

How should that be handled?, should I just run my OS through the SSD, and keep my Steam library attached to the hard drive? Should I put Steam on the SSD with the OS, and put Steam games I'm not playing as much in the hard drive? Should I download stuff to the HDD & move it to the SSD as needed? (if one of the last two, how would I be able to have Steam access two different download locations?, considering a lot of Steam games uses the client itself as DRM).

Also, what about games that take up more than 50gb for some reason? (like GTA 5 with the Redux mod, or an extremely heavily-modded Skyrim), what about if there comes a time where games start exceeding 100gb, but SSD technology hasn't gotten to the point where terabyte SSDs are affordable?

Also, while I'm not really interested in Assassin's Creed nowadays, how would I tackle those? (considering there's apparently a weird bug with a number of them where you can't even play the games if they're not in the C drive).
 

DoPo

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Jan 30, 2012
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Yes, install OS, and any software you want on the SSD, and then HDD for other stuff - especially media, since you don't need fast read speeds for them.

I personally have all of my games and software on me 250GB SSD. I never had any of them on the HDD, because I've always had enough space on the SSD.

DarklordKyo said:
(if one of the last two, how would I be able to have Steam access two different download locations?, considering a lot of Steam games uses the client itself as DRM).
You can set up multiple locations for games in Steam go to Settings -> Downloads -> click on Steam Library Folders and you can set up multiple directories for games. When you install a game you get a choice which of the pre-set directories it goes to.

DarklordKyo said:
Also, what about games that take up more than 50gb for some reason?
*shrug* it's not a problem for me, personally. I do keep lots of games installed but that's mostly because don't really care about uninstalling them. If I do need more space, I just clean up and done.

DarklordKyo said:
what about if there comes a time where games start exceeding 100gb, but SSD technology hasn't gotten to the point where terabyte SSDs are affordable?
You can still also get a 500GB SSD or even two 250GB ones, if need be - I expect that would be enough for quite a long time.

DarklordKyo said:
Also, while I'm not really interested in Assassin's Creed nowadays, how would I tackle those? (considering there's apparently a weird bug with a number of them where you can't even play the games if they're not in the C drive).
I've played AC 1, AC 2, Brotherhood, Revelations, and Black Flag and I've not seen the bug. In general, I have never seen a problem with a game not being on C. And I've never had games installed on C. Then again, it wouldn't really surprise me if there was such a bug. Let's say that I've not been thrilled about some of Ubisoft's programming.

Anyway - if there is such a problem, then you can install just those games on C.
 

aozgolo

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Mar 15, 2011
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To be frank, for 99% of games, it isn't going to matter because they aren't designed to take advantage or SSD's quick access times, or to be be more accurate, they are designed to load more of the game into memory in the background so that reading from the hard-drive doesn't slow it down. You probably won't notice any difference.

Where it could potentially have impact are certain games that are modded (again this depends on the game and how mods work for it) but there's a chance that mod files might be loaded more independently into memory than the rest of the game. So if you do want to divide up your game library, I'd only bother putting the modded games on your SSD.
 

VarietyGamer

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You need to be strategic about it. To add to DoPo's post, some games benefit greatly from an SSD, but not all. Do your research. Total War games for example can have their load times during battles (happens frequently) shaved off greatly vs a mechanical drive. In a typical campaign you save hours of just sitting there staring at load screens. Quality of life improvement indeed.

Other games that load the entire world at once then stream in objects consistently don't benefit much if at all beyond the initial load screen (eg GTA/Watch Dogs 2). 7200RPM drives with their modern buffers are more than adequate, considering these games manage just fine on consoles with 5200rpm drives without stuttering.

As has been mentioned (and it needs to be stressed again) the biggest upgrade an SSD affords you is when it comes to your OS. That is what you use most of the time, and installing your OS on an SSD is a MUST. So many little things become so much quicker to deal with.

I have the following setup:

128GB SSD for Windows 10 install
256GB SSD for temp game and app installs that benefit from SSD.
512GB SSD for permanent game installs that benefit from SSD's the most
2TB 7200RPM Mechanical for all other Games.
2TB 7200RPM Mechanical for Media and Applications, partitioned 70/30
2x4GB external for backup of media and other stuff. I keep a copy of everything I want to keep long term in these 2, sometimes 3 (see drives above) locations.
 

kurupt87

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Mar 17, 2010
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I've got a 256GB SSD as my main partition.

OS and normal software (browsers etc) on it, as well as all the various DRM clients.

No problem installing what games I want on there, it does however require some small discipline. You can't have your entire library installed. But, I can quite comfortably have 5 or so AAA games alongside one another and ready to go.

---

Both aozglow and VarietyGamer are correct. For the vast majority of gaming, the SSD makes no difference. Where it does make difference however is load times, and fuck me but does it make a difference.

I have just got a new XBOne to play FF15, and while I don't know if the load times in that game are indicative of regular console load times, I can tell you that it was incredibly painful gaming on that platform compared to my PC purely because of the load times.

The SSD makes everything Windows work like HAL.
 

kurupt87

Fuhuhzucking hellcocks I'm good
Mar 17, 2010
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DarklordKyo said:
kurupt87 said:
The SSD makes everything Windows work like HAL.
It makes Windows work like a homicidal space station AI?, lol
Edit: Heh, I meant works like a super-computer. But, I do try to keep on good terms with mine; you never know...
Thanks for the input doods, but what about that Assassin's Creed question I had?
You can create a symbolic link to hoodwink your PC into thinking things are on the partition you want it to think they're on.
http://steamcommunity.com/discussions/forum/1/864973577834127904/

Or if it is for Steam, you'd do as DoPo suggests and have more than one Steam library.
 

popa_qwerty

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Dec 21, 2010
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I would suggest changing your User data Folders location like Download, Music, Video, etc onto a secondary HDD so it does not fill up. If you need help here is the site I used to do this.

http://www.digitalcitizen.life/how-change-location-folders-such-documents-or-downloads
 

votemarvel

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I may be a tad hypocritical here since I have two SSDs in my PC but if you are building a PC on a budget then I find them very hard to recommend.

Boot up time is a non-issue in my mind. With Sleep/Hibernate any PC can be back up and running near instantly. If a few extra second when restarting is an issue then I would be questioning just what problems you have with your PC. The same with applications, how often are you opening and closing them for a second or two to matter?

I would honestly recommend a SSHD. You get a smaller performance boost that is true with the traditional mechanical/solid state cache mix but you get far more storage space for the same price as a smaller SSD.