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I have just bought a new PC and seperately bought a new SSD drive (crucial C300 real SSD 128GB) and wanted to know whether it was better to have the SSD as my primary OS drive with some critical apps or to have it just for critical apps. I am a programmer so when i say critical apps i mean eclipse, tomcat, firefox eg. I may also want to install some games on there, but that is secondary.

What is the install size of windows 7 home premium?

I would also consider having Ubuntu on the SSD and i would do my programming in linux.

Is faster boot time the only tangible benefit from have your OS on an SSD?

What else do i need to consider?

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Make it your OS drive. Your critical apps may load quicker, but there's little benefit once it's all in memory. Where you'll see the benefit as OS drive is your temporary files, swap file usage, startup time, etc. – user3463 Jan 24 '11 at 23:54
up vote 4 down vote accepted

In Windows, a large part of any application is all the libraries, dlls and system functions it uses, which are within the OS or installed in common folders. Therefore reserving your SSD for the App installation will greatly reduce your potential speed increase.

Install the OS in priority, and if you have space, the applications. Not the other way around.

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I installed Windows 7 to a 30GB SSD, plus some key programs. Currently I'm occupying 20GB. I'll start to sweat once I hit 25GB used. – Rolnik Jan 25 '11 at 20:02
@Rolnik Don't forget, if you don't use it, to disable Hibernate! hibernat.sys can be quite large. Also consider limiting the pagefile size to 2GB or so (this one should stay on the SSD, however.) – mtone Jan 25 '11 at 22:19
Actually, I put the pagefile on a spinning disk. It gets used next to never (doesn't 100% of the RAM have to be in use first?). So that frees up another 2-4GB. – Rolnik Jan 27 '11 at 2:20

It's not so much the install size of Windows 7 as how big it will be after 6 months of updates.

Having said that, I would say you have more than enough space for the OS and your applications. I have had an 80GB Intel X-25M in my laptop for the last year and I have Windows 7 Ultimate, Eclipse and Visual Studio 2010, Office and tons of other stuff installed. I do have a 500GB usb drive for backups, VMs, music and other bulky stuff but pretty much everything fits into the 80GB SSD.

One other benefit to putting Windows on an SSD is that doesn't seem so susceptible to the long term slow-down you used to get on the old rotating disks. I still get fast boot times, and I just timed launching Visual Studio 2010 with a large project and plugins at 9 seconds. That might be partly due Windows 7 too of course.

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