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Will I get good performance boost from SSD for OS and programs if my data files remain on slower mechanical SATA HDD?

Large SSDs are still costly; I was thinking of buying a 80gb for my OS and programs files while leaving all my movies and music on my slower SATA hard disk drive.

Is this strategy valid or useless? If it's valid what are the best bang for the buck in terms of smaller SSDs?

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Yes, that's generally the recommended route these days. That way, your OS and programs will start up and run much more quickly. You aren't accessing most of your data most of the time, and for the most part, you wouldn't notice much of a speed difference by putting your documents on an SSD, so there is no need to spend so much money speeding them up.

I don't have a specific brand in mind, but I read somewhere that, at their current prices, 80GB SSDs give the best bang for the buck--but this depends on what and how many programs you have installed.

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