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I'd like to install windows 7 on it's own SSD drive (everything else would be on a standard hard disk) but I don't want to break the bank. I saw a 40GB one on newegg.com for $124.99 but i've heard that you get better performance with SSD drives if they have more free space on them.

On Microsoft's site it says that you only need 16 GB for the 32 bit version. Seems like having more than twice that would be enough... Thoughts?

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More free space makes your drive perform better, yes [credit sblair]. One thing you might want to keep in mind is that besides the operating system you will also have all of the files you put on your desktop on the SSD drive (unless you redirect that directory or use active directory, etc). As long as you install large programs to a different drive you should have any issue. I would go for the 40 just for simplicity sake. In most cases the frustration and time wasted on a smaller drive isn't worth the cost to just get the next larger one.

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The first sentence is not true. SSDs generally are faster the more free space that is available, because it helps reduce the write amplification ratio: anandtech.com/show/2829/8 –  sblair May 27 '10 at 18:34
    
Interesting, do you know much about "write amplification" and "spare area"? I'm having a tough time reading that graph. –  Abe Miessler May 27 '10 at 18:40
    
whoops, I'll edit my answer. –  Daisetsu May 27 '10 at 21:01

I wouldn't go less than 64GB for this, even though the OS is all that will be there. Even that is pushing it. Too many old programs break the rules and try put things directly on the c: drive, and windows 7 update history can get large over time.

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Windows 7 takes 16 GB, so a 24 GB SSD gives you 8 GB free space, a 40 GB SSD gives you 24 GB of free space, and a 64 GB SSD gives you about 47 GB free space.

As of July 30, 2014 a 64 GB SSD on Amazon costs about $50.

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