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I currently have one 2TB HDD. In about a week, I'll have 2 SSDs; one that is 60GB and the other that is 128GB. I would like to setup Windows 7 and some Linux operating system. I am also a pretty big gamer, so that is where a lot of my space will be getting used. So what would be the best way to utilize all three drives? Should I put Windows and the games on the 128GB and Linux on the 60GB and use the 2TB HDD for files and other data? Or split the 60GB into two partitions and put Windows and Linux on it, then the 128GB just for games?

Also, when I install Windows on one of the drives, will I be able to easily delete it off my current HDD just by removing the Windows folder?

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You write that you are a pretty big gamer. Based on that: How much disc space do your games consume?

If that is less than 100 GB I would put them all on the 128GB SSD and enjoy the extra speed while loading. That would also leave you with a logically clean system. E.g. GNU/Linux on the 60GB SSD, win7+games on the 128GB SSD (with TRIM enabled), the rest on the 2TB disk.

(Possible with two partitions on the 2TB disc: One formatted with FAT32 so you can safely write to it from the Linux side. One formatted with NTFS for mass storage. The first is because I do not trust writing to NTFS under Linux.

If you games do not fit in 128GB then put the ones you plays least on the 2TB drive.

Regardless of the games all fit on the 128GB SSD:

  • You do want the win7 OS on a SSD.
    Windows 7 plus common applications (firefox, mail client, some office apps, media players, ...) uses about 20GB. That leaves at most 100GB for the games.
  • You want some free space left after installing games (updates, save files, ...)
  • You want some free space left to the SSD has an easier time keeping things fast. (This should not be needed with TRIM and might be an other sign of an early SSD user giving old advice. Still, leaving a few GB of free space will not hurt.)
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I'm sorry if this is a dumb comment, but what is TRIM? My games do take up quite a bit of space (currently 200GB from steam) but I would have no issue with uninstalling ones that I am not playing at that the time (they are all mostly steam games, with a few exceptions). What about applications such as Visual Studio, or SQL Server? I use my machine for developing personal applications as well - should these be put on the SSD? Or will they be taking up too much space? – Andrew Backes Aug 4 '12 at 17:19
Fully explaining TRIM would take a few pages of text. The very short version is that TRIM is a way of telling the SSD that a sector is no longer used. This helps the internal block administration in the SSD and keeps it in top condition. Without TRIM most SSDs will slowly loose speed. --- For the rest, I would put whatever programs you use most on the SSD (regardless weather it is a game or another application). ---- Steam: no need to delete. NTFS supports links, so you can put the entire steam folder on the 2TB drive, then move a folder to the SSD and make a link or a junction. – Hennes Aug 4 '12 at 17:25
Alright, perfect. I will most likely keep the Steam folder where it is then. Also, will I have to completely reformat my 2TB HDD (currently has Windows 7 installed)? Will it let me change the drive letter when booted from my SSD - or will there still be an issue because of Windows being installed on it? – Andrew Backes Aug 4 '12 at 17:38
You might be able to move an existing windows installation, but I would go for a clean fresh install. This also configures windows for your SSD (e.g. windows is smart enough to detect a SSD during install and does not enable a periodic defragmentation. (which is a good thing to have enabled on a HDD, and very bad for a SSD)). Also, before you install the SSDs check if AHCI is enabled in the BIOS. It has some minor advantages for a HDD, but you really want it on for a SSD) – Hennes Aug 4 '12 at 17:59

Split the 128GB for both OSes seems reasonable if games have a high priority. Bear in mind that Windows 7 creates two partitions (one hidden - 100MB) and Linux probably also creates more than one partition so this disk gets a little messy in this termns.

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