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I currently have a 10,00RPM 150GB Raptor that I use for Vista. I'm about to upgrade to Windows 7, and while doing that I thought I'd buy another drive and install Ubuntu 9.10 on it. I don't want to partition the current drive I have, but I don't need 150GB for another OS.

So, I'm having trouble deciding whether its worth it to buy a 64 GB SSD at the same price point as the 150GB WD VelociRaptor? Or should I just get a 7,200 RPM drive for really cheap (around $50)?

Would it be better to use an SSD for the OS than a mechanical drive? I could always get a 32GB SSD too...

Oh, and I don't want to virtualize Ubuntu because I'm going to be testing to see the differences in networking and overall performance.

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If you do end up getting a SSD for Ubuntu as others have recommended, it may be a good idea to make a 2-3GB partition on the raptor for the swap partition. SSD space costs a premium and there isn't a gigantic advantage to having swap on it. Not to mention it helps keep the wear down on the SSD, though many newer SSDs don't have the extreme wear problems that early models did. –  MDMarra Oct 26 '09 at 17:53
    
Thanks do you have a link on how to do that? I can search but if you know of a good guide that would be awesome. Also, do you think it there would be any performance costs since the swap partition is not on the same drive as the OS? –  GiH Oct 26 '09 at 20:36
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There won't be a performance cost, in high performance applications they recommend swap to be on a separate volume (assuming both volumes are equal). To make space on your Vista drive go into diskmgmt.msc and right click on the drive and click shrink and tell it to shrink by however much space you want. Then do a manual install of the ubuntu partitions and tell it to put swap on the free space that you created by shrinking. This is a basic partitioning guide to get you familiar with it if you arent - help.ubuntu.com/8.04/switching/installing-partitioning.html –  MDMarra Oct 26 '09 at 21:27

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You should definitely use an SSD for the OS(s) you use the most, if you can afford to. As Drake mentions, the various drives differ in speeds, so it's worth checking the reviews to make sure you are getting decent value for money. Also, smaller SSDs will tend to be slower because there is less free space for the controller to manage the drive.

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Look, these types of questions are very general and hard to answer.

First, that's great that you're running Vista on your Raptor and upgrading it to Win7.

As for a second OS HDD, if you like your Raptor, stick with it and grab another.

Having said that, many of the higher-end SDD's are fantastic and lightning fast. However, the lower-end ones may leave you wanting a lot more. You just need to do your research on different drives and see what fits your needs/budget the best.

Check out newegg reviews and tomshardware for starters.

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So, I'm having trouble deciding whether its worth it to buy a 64 GB SSD at the same price point as the 150GB WD VelociRaptor? Or should I just get a 7,200 RPM drive for really cheap (around $50)?

Would it be better to use an SSD for the OS than a mechanical drive? I could always get a 32GB SSD too...

Well, since you really didn't supply us with intent or how you plan to use the drive, SSD is far superior than mechanical drives. But these days, unless you're in dire need of some serious I/O, I'd stay away from SSD as the technology isn't quite as mature as good ol' spinning plate hard drives. From micro controller issues to write heavy wearing, there are numerous stories of issues with SSDs, granted they could be in the minority of all SSD owners.

So storage size seems less important to you so I'd say if money is no object, another Raptor wouldn't hurt. If money is a factor, any 7200rpm drive with 16/32MB cache should do just fine.

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intent: "I'm about to upgrade to Windows 7, and while doing that I thought I'd buy another drive and install Ubuntu 9.10 on it. I don't want to partition the current drive I have, but I don't need 150GB for another OS." In other words I'm going to be installing Ubuntu on it. –  GiH Oct 26 '09 at 17:49
    
That's not intent; that's what OS you'll be using. Are you just using the computer for simple word/spreadsheets and internet browsing? Databases? Gaming? Video-editing? Programming? Saying you're using Windows 7 and Ubuntu isn't informative as you think. –  osij2is Oct 27 '09 at 14:51
    
got a point there... yeah not for gaming or high end video-editing. It will be used mostly for casual stuff, web browsing, word processing, and serving media through my network. –  GiH Oct 27 '09 at 22:21
    
Casual stuff? Then don't add more $$$ where it's not needed. Save yourself some money and just get a 7200rpm hard drive. Anything more will probably be overkill. As far as hard drive recommendations go these days, I personally stick with Seagate/Western Digital. Warranties are pretty good and I haven't had a problem with either (others may have horror stories). –  osij2is Oct 28 '09 at 12:46

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