Question NVME for OS and games

Bob1nba

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I am building a new PC and I just bought a Samsung 970 evo plus 1tb that I plan on putting my OS on. I know windows doesn't take up that much space so is it safe to install games and other applications such as discord, steam, etc.? I hear mixed opinions that you should have a nvme strictly dedicated to your OS but don't understand the reasoning behind it.

If so, would you recommend that I buy a 500gb nvme just for my OS and use my 1tb nvme for games and applications? I also have a 860 evo ssd that I can put games on as well. Just want some input from people that know what their talking about. Thanks
 
Hi Bob1nba.

A Samsung 970 Evo Plus provisioning is probably pretty good. So you could probably full up that SSD and the performance would still be pretty decent because it already has extra space you can't use for that reason. Some SSD doesn't have that and when you full the SSD it will crawl slower than a HDD speed.

Me I use around 80% of my SSD even If I don't have to do it. That's me. It's a recommendation that you don't have to do if you use a good SSD.

And playing a game or using a software on the boot drive is totally ok.

Not saying using a 500GB boot drive + 1TB SSD is not good but if it's only for the reason of playing games from the 1TB it's not needed. Your 1TB 970 Evo Plus will be perfect to install some games and softwares. Have fun with it :)

Here is a discussion about leaving free space on a SSD.
https://www.reddit.com/r/hardware/comments/dm2xpa View: https://www.reddit.com/r/hardware/comments/dm2xpa/is_the_ssd_20_free_space_rule_bullshit/
 
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BogdanH

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NVMe SSD is storage like any other, so use it without restrictions.

I hear mixed opinions that you should have a nvme strictly dedicated to your OS but don't understand the reasoning behind it.
Reason is simple: NVMe used to be quite expensive (and still is compared to mechanical HDD). And so, usual advice was "get NVMe at least for OS" -for what 128GB (or even 64GB) is enough, and use separate HDD or SATA SSD for the rest (games, archive, etc.).

Next reason is overview. As long there's only Windows (and installed apps) on main drive, you can clearly see what files "belong" to Windows and so you won't make a damage by mistake (by deleting or moving such files). That is, on drive C are "sensitive" files, and on other drives are your personal files.

And finally, ease of maintenance. If all your data (OS and archive files) is on single drive and something goes wrong with Windows (fresh install needed), then you first need to save all your personal files on some external drive. In worst case (Windows doesn't load anymore) you can lose all data on that drive.
You realize, if only OS is on main (C) drive, then you just make fresh Windows install and that's it -your personal files remain safe on other drives.
If 1TB NVMe is your only storage in your PC, then I recommend you make two partitions: one smaller (say.. 128GB) for OS, and the rest for your personal data (archive, games, etc.). By doing that, you get two logical drives (C and D) on single physical drive -from users perspective, that's the same as having two drives inside PC.

Just my 2c
 
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USAFRet

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There are advantages and disadvantages with either configuration.

Some people like the simplicity of one single drive.
Other people like to split things up. OS and applications on one drive, personal files and projects on other drives.

Whatever works for you.

Contrary to the above comment, I would not partition a single drive into two. Especially not a 128GB for Windows.
Just like a 120/128GB physical drive, that is right on the edge of TooSmall.

What you also need to consider is where your backups are, and how they are created.
 
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BogdanH

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I would not partition a single drive into two.
-that's your personal preference I assume. Some might be interested on what's bad with partitioning?
Especially not a 128GB for Windows.
Just like a 120/128GB physical drive, that is right on the edge of TooSmall.
..ok, then maybe 256GB?
Anyway, I can't imagine average user having installed 50GB(!) of apps -and even in this case, there would still be half space left. Of course, working projects (video, audio, docs, CAD, etc.) are NEVER saved on OS drive.
 

Bob1nba

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-that's your personal preference I assume. Some might be interested on what's bad with partitioning?

..ok, then maybe 256GB?
Anyway, I can't imagine average user having installed 50GB(!) of apps -and even in this case, there would still be half space left. Of course, working projects (video, audio, docs, CAD, etc.) are NEVER saved on OS drive.
I mean for me, this is strictly a gaming/streaming PC. If I install my OS on my 1tb nvme, all I would have on there would be game launchers, discord, Google Chrome and maybe a few games to where I will still have a lot of space left where its not full. I also have a 500gb sata ssd and a 2 tb hdd for other games/files.

So if anything went wrong and I had to reinstall my OS, I wouldn't need to really back anything important up. It would just require me to download games and applications again, no biggie.

With that being said, for 80 dollars I could get a 500gb evo plus and use that as my boot drive if I wanted anyway.
 

USAFRet

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-that's your personal preference I assume. Some might be interested on what's bad with partitioning?

..ok, then maybe 256GB?
Anyway, I can't imagine average user having installed 50GB(!) of apps -and even in this case, there would still be half space left. Of course, working projects (video, audio, docs, CAD, etc.) are NEVER saved on OS drive.
Partitioning a single drive, one or the other partition almost always ends up too small.

120GB space for Windows?
Daily, we see people here with a physical drive that size, running out of space. And all their "stuff" on other drives.
Every day.

My wifes system has a single 500GB 850 EVO.
Current consumed space is ~60GB.
This is a system that is used for facebook, email, cruising the interwebs.
Any 'data' is saved off on our NAS.

You also have to factor in the semi annual Windows update. Which will want, at least temporarily, 30GB or so free space on that C drive or partition.

Can it work in a 120GB space?
Sure. If you want to spend more time than is needed managing that space.
 

Karadjgne

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Windows is greedy. Seriously greedy. And narcissistic as well. Any drives that are actually installed, windows considers as extensions of C drive, hogs them all to itself. This is why it's advised to disconnect the data feed to all drives except the OS drive, so Windows only has ownership of C, any other drives being seperate, truly used as storage.

By partitioning physical C, you do nothing more than limit space available per partition, it's still considered by Windows as an extension of C, so any searches or indexing etc are all combined. What affects C affects the entirety of physical C.

Much better to have 2 seperate physical drives than partitions on OS drive. Partition storage any way you want to, but OS drive sees zero benefits otherwise and just creates headaches if you need to replace the OS drive as windows is spread across multiple partitions in various ways and links.

As to size, there's other benefits. 120/128Gb drives tend to have the shortest lifespan, the lowest performance. Unlike a hdd, an SSD is 'everywhere' in addresses, so if you use 60Gb of data for windows, everything and anything later used, added, deleted etc is all contained in the remaining 60Gb. Of that spare 60Gb, each key will see many more uses compared to a 1Tb with 940Gb worth of data keys to be potentially used.

It's like dinnertime and 4 ppl using the same 4 plates, every day every plate gets used. Having 40 plates, you can go a week and not use the same plate twice.
 
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BogdanH

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Much better to have 2 seperate physical drives than partitions on OS drive. Partition storage any way you want to, but OS drive sees zero benefits otherwise and just creates headaches if you need to replace the OS drive as windows is spread across multiple partitions in various ways and links.
Indexing/searching works the same way regardless if there are two physical drives or two logical drives. And in both cases user can decide if he allows indexing or not. And that has nothing to do with data loss (in case of fresh Windows install).
Again, installing fresh Windows on one partition has NO effect on second partition and so I really don't see what should cause "headaches" -especially because I'm practicing that for at least 20 years.
 

Karadjgne

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Because Windows 10 is unlike Windows 8.1 or anything prior. So 20 years of experience just went out the Window, literally.

Connected drives become extensions of C. Windows now sees every drive as C drive, physical or logical, and the actual drive letters are meaningless. Prior, a drive was a drive and E was seperate to C, that's no so now, it's all C according to windows. Libraries, pagefile, a bunch of stuff is all used across the entirety of the Virtual C, regardless of its actual drive designation.

It's like taking the family to get ice-cream. Previously, your wife's and each kids ice-cream was theirs, you had to ask if you wanted a bite. Now Windows claims ownership of all the ice-cream and you get to eat any of theirs at any time regardless of actual ownership. And they can't even take a bite of their own ice-cream without Your permission.
 
Windows 10 LOVES to keep stuff around. It's also difficult to clean up some old drivers and library files, even with proper DISM commands or disk cleanup. As Microsoft releases large-ish feature and regular updates, your drive will slowly fill up. Features updates become mandatory after 6-18 months (depending on how much you work to turn them off). Add Microsoft Office to the mix and you'll lose another 5+GBs. Add multiple users to the OS and each profile will take up space. Now let's think about the pagefile, hibernate file, add other programs - you should get the picture by now.

If I expected to be using the same OS 3+ years down the road I wouldn't budget anything less than 75GBs for just the OS. This doesn't include ANY programs - just growth space for the OS alone.

It's still good practice to keep your SSD drive usage below 80% as even good Samsung, Western Digital, Crucial, etc. drives slow down as they get closer to full and it's perfectly fine to install your games, programs, personal files all on one bigger drive. Just make sure you've got a backup.
 

TommyTwoTone66

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I switched to using a 500GB NVMe drive as a boot drive 2 years ago and have never looked back. Windows loads and runs like an iPad. I turn the PC on, there it is waiting for me immediately.

Samsung EVOs are fast but a cheaper brand like a Corsair Force series is pretty much as fast for half the price. I have the Force MP510 and it runs like a screaming banshee.

I would say if you're any kind of serious user which you probably are since you're posting on Toms Hardware, then you probably want at least 250GB as your boot drive, and ideally 500GB if you can afford it. Apps these days are getting bigger and bigger, and a free game like COD Warzone is easily 70GB installed, just for one game, so you really want to get as much space as possible.
 

Zerk2012

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Going by US prices I would get a WD 500GB for the OS and programs and a separate MX 500 1TB SSD for the games for the same price as the single drive.

My personal preference is the OS and programs on a separate drive from everything else.
PCPartPicker Part List

Type|Item|Price
:----|:----|:----
Storage | Western Digital SN750 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive | $66.98 @ Amazon
Storage | Crucial MX500 1 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive | $89.99 @ Adorama
Storage | Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive | $159.90 @ Amazon
| Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts |
| Total | $316.87
| Generated by PCPartPicker 2021-04-30 18:44 EDT-0400 |

EDIT another example of post then buy don't buy then post.
 
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TommyTwoTone66

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Going by US prices I would get a WD 500GB for the OS and programs and a separate MX 500 1TB SSD for the games for the same price as the single drive.

My personal preference is the OS and programs on a separate drive from everything else.
PCPartPicker Part List

Type|Item|Price
:----|:----|:----
Storage | Western Digital SN750 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive | $66.98 @ Amazon
Storage | Crucial MX500 1 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive | $89.99 @ Adorama
Storage | Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive | $159.90 @ Amazon
| Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts |
| Total | $316.87
| Generated by PCPartPicker 2021-04-30 18:44 EDT-0400 |
$70 is an astonishingly good price for that drive. If you have an NVMe slot and aren't using it, that's such a no-brainer of an upgrade.
 

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