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I often see SSD prices the same per GB, for example whether you buy 120 GB ($55) vs 240 GB ($110) (w/ same brand and model), so there is not a cost advantage. I would like fast performance for some of my games and apps so want to put them on an SSD, and put the OS on the SSD for sure. But I wonder if a larger one would take more wear and tear this way. I will also have a larger HD for data.

So would multiple SSD's or one large one with multiple partitions provide better performance and longevity?

  • for your use case I'd say multiple partitions and leave game data on the Data drive – linuxdev2013 May 4 '15 at 23:03
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    The larger SSDs usually have somewhat better performance specs. Whether that makes a difference in real life is another question. I would take a single larger SSD. – whs May 4 '15 at 23:10
  • while I don't always use ssd , even my hdd's are heavily partioned – linuxdev2013 May 4 '15 at 23:13
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Short answer: you will be fine either way, but I'd take the large SSD.

Longer answer:

Speed

The bigger variants of the same model usually have better read and (especially) write speeds. Now, depending on the performance/number/kind of your SATA-controller on your mainboard, it might be faster to have 2 SSDs working in parallel. Or you create a hardware-RAID0 out of the 2 SSDs which might increase speed a little.[1]
Whatever you do, most current SSDs will be fast enough[2]. While differences can be measured in benchmarks, but you should not notice a much difference in day-to-day use.

-> might be no difference in real life for desktop PCs

Durability

Modern SSDs have spare blocks that can be used in their wear-leveling algorithms to improve the durability of the drive. The amount of spare blocks is often proportional to the size of the SSD.
What that means to you:

  • If you have 2 drives and your write-operations are uneven (much more writes on one of the drives), then this drive might die earlier. But your other drive will be unaffected.
  • If you use a big drive, then it will have more spare blocks to distribute the writes to and it will survive longer. But IF it fails, all your data is affected.

Since you want to use the SSD mostly for gaming and apps, most modern SSDs will be durable enough for you. And you should have a backup of your important data anyway, so...

-> might be no difference in real life for desktop PCs

Future value

Say, in 2 years you want to buy a new SSD (since even the big one is now too small to hold all your games). If the old one was bigger, then it has better value for you, as you could use it to upgrade an old notebook that might have a smaller SSD (many notebooks can have only 1 SSD, so only one of the 2 small ones could not be used otherwise).

-> In this category, the big SSD wins outright.


[1] However, if one of the SSDs breaks for some reason, all data will be lost. Statistically, this is more likely to happen for the RAID0 than for a single drive. Also, the RAID controller might break.

[2] Compared to a regular HDD

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    I will be backing up all important data at least a few times a week to a server, so yes I know the importance of backups – Off The Gold May 5 '15 at 13:23
  • In that case, just go with one big SSD, it is the most straightforward solution – Slizzered May 5 '15 at 13:24
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If you were willing to set up RAID 0, it would be worth getting multiple larger SSDs to have a large performance gain AND longevity.

Say the 240GB SSD has a theoretical read/write speed of 500/380MB/s, if you added say 3 more SSDs into the mix, in a RAID 0 config, you would have a combined read/write speed of 2000/1520MB/s. The RAID config helps by spreading data over multiple SSDs, ensuring that the SSDs will last.

  • Thanks, but cost is an issue, and I don't quite need that much speed. – Off The Gold May 5 '15 at 13:20
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The memory cells are not the only component inside the SSD. Just because a SSD has double capacity, this does not automatically means it has all other internal components doubled. You just buy more hardware with two independent drives than you would have with the large one. This would result better performance in RAID 0 configuration, but multiple drives also increase the probablility of any single drive failing.

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