SSDs, best way to utilize them?


Firstly, if this has been done, or a similar guide linked, if you can post the link that would be great. So far I don't see QUITE what I'm looking for. 

With most things I like to post, I'll go on a possibly longer than needed, and more detailed than wanted, story, and then I post a TL;DR, so feel free to skip to the TLDR. 

So right now, I have this, it's pretty decent and I notice whatever that 8gb smart cache does seems to have windows booting up faster. 

Now, how to best use an SSD. Firstly, I know you should put the OS on it....however, will it be worth it to do that with my current drive that I have? From what I've seen, it's best to have around 16GB for win8, therefore I'm sure it would be beneficial to have it on the SSD, instead of the HDD, since that 8GB cache doesn't seem like it's QUITE enough, and on top of that, I can never truly know what the HDD is doing with those 8GBs. 

So, for the OS, should I really move it over if I get an SSD?

Now, the bulk of it. Games. I love games. I can never install my full steam library, and my old 1TB HHD that died was constantly full, of games. Therefore, I know I can't put EVERYTHING on an SSD. So what's the best way to go about that? I rationalize that I can make a "Games" folder in the SSD, and when installing steam games but them there. However, what about if I want to easily move a game to or from the HDD? For instance, say I want to play Bulletstorm for fun. If I have it on the HDD, is there a simple way to put it on the SSD, and have steam pick up on that? Or the other way around. Beaten a game that was installed on the SSD, but I want to move it to the HDD since I don't feel like I will play it in a while.

Lastly, media. Assuming I install win8 on the SSD, do you guys usually just make pictures and whatnot shortcut to a folder on the HDD? I feel like that would work, and can't see any issues with it, but maybe there is a better solution. Also for browser downloads, and app installs of stuff that don't need to be loaded quickly, I assume I just point everything to the HDD instead of the SSD. 


TL;DR. Better to install win8 on the SSD? What's the best way to move steam games from HDD to the SSD, or the other way around. Any tips or tricks with managing media? Or is that as straight forward as it seems?


Also, any recommendations on SSDs? My budget should be less than $100, but doesn't have to be. The less I spend the better, but if spending more is worth it, I would rather do that. Size really only depends on how easy it is to transfer games to and from the HDD. If it's quick and easy, I wouldn't need more than 120gb I would think. Have at least 4 games on there. If it's a bit longer maybe 250GB+ is where I should look, especially since I can't always decide on a top 4 most played. 


Thank you all in advance and keep being awesome!

Yaaaaaaaaay wall of text! I know you apologised in advance, and I am going to do the same thing. I've only picked the "best bits", sorry! :P

Yes, you want to put your OS on the SSD. It will make your entire system feel snappy and responsive. You can reinstall your OS using a disc, USB, or migration software. Migration software is available from some SSD suppliers e.g Samsung.

~250GB is recommended. That's enough for your OS and a handful of choice games.

No, you don't need to put your top played on the SSD. The SSD should be used for games with long loading times. You don't need to place games like Trine 2 on there; as a HDD is fine for smaller, simpler games. In fact, you will find that most games belong on an HDD.

Not sure why you want to keep your entire Steam library installed at one time, you weirdo. Just delete games you don't play, install them when you do.

You can get a decent enough 250GB SSD for $140, maybe a little less. Not too far off from your $100 budget. Check out the Corsair Force LX, maybe the Samsung Evo.

Whoa I take offense. Having all steam games installed is very convenient if you have the HDD space, and even moreso if you have relatively pathetic internet.

Personally I would recommend the Crucial MX100 256GB. In the US it's onl $110, and in terms of speed is pretty fast and competes with the 250GB Samsung Evo.

It would mean stretching slightly above $100, but the 256GB Crucial MX100 drive is what I would look for today at that price point. It's a brand new model that is a lot faster than any of the truly low budget drives, and provides a decent amount of storage space at the same time. Run the whole operating system off it (installing fresh is always a good idea) and some of the games that you currently play the most. I haven't moved games around much lately but Steam appears to have built in support for moving individual games now.

Going for a much smaller drive today might not necessarily save you a lot of money, but would be slower while a larger drive will also be easier to find a secondary use for some time in the future. SSD technology is evolving quicker than most any other kind of component in recent years, and it's possible that there will be 1TB SSD's at a fairly affordable price some twelve months from now, or certainly so within two years. So whenever you do get another much bigger one down the road you can still have plenty of ways to use an SSD around the 250GB size.

Oh migration software would be great. As long as there is no downside. I JUST reinstalled Win 8 and had to do a whole fun ton of updates since I wanted a fresh install when I switched drives. 

Why do I want it all installed.....? For fun! :D

Honestly I really don't want/need/care to have it all installed. 1TB was actually working fairly fine once I got used to, and accepted the fact that I really don't need a bunch of the game I had installed. I cleared up all the games I knew I wouldn't touch any time soon and I got about 200GB+ of free space, it was just coming to realize that I don't need all the games installed just because I "might" play them sometime this year. 


250GB sounds good. I am not sure which games I will put on it yet. Certainly Guild Wars 2, I feel that will help quite a bit, and I just assume as I come across games that take a while to load I'll move them over. I'm still not sure how steam handles moving games, but my net is certainly a low slower than drive to drive transferring. 

How about the Crucial MX100? Two other recommended it, and I really have no idea why one would be better than the other. Corsair makes my beloved k70 (THANK YOU LOGAN FOR SHOWING ME BY FAR MY FAVOURITE MECHANICAL KEYBOARD) and my newly liked mouse (forgot this letter/number it is), so I do like them as a company, while I've yet to buy a Crucial product. However two others recommended it, so it would be nice to see why you would recommend the corsair of the crucial.

Thank you for the tips!

Can confirm, have shitty internet and all steam games installed all the time. 

The Samnsung 840 256s are going down in price quick with the 850s out. 

Judging you

Too. Many. Choices. D:

Or....I mean, :D?

Migration or backup your os to a separate partition then reinstall to the new ssd via restore function. No need to do a fresh install unless something fails.

Use steammover to move any steam games from hdd to ssd depending on which ones have coffee break load times. eg modded skyrim or watchdogs

Use defraggler on mechanical drives to keep em in good stead.

Large capacity ssds for dirt cheap imho are just around the corner - i picked up my 512gb mx100 for $230 AUD. I'd dare say this time next year 500gb+ ssd's will be as common as what the current 120gb drives are now.

My gaming PC only has a 240GB SSD and no HDD. What I do is create a virtual disk and install a game to that. I do this for each game. When I'm done with the game or need to make room for something else (240GB is actually a lot of space if you're not storing stuff) I just move the virtual disk over to my file server, and bring it back if I want to play it again.

You could do the same thing with a HDD rather than a NAS and it would be quicker, plus you could just mount the virtual disk from the HDD instead of moving it to the SSD first if you don't want to wait for it to copy. 

This picture.....

My Crucial MX100 arrives today!

I cannot wait! Thank you guys so much for the input. Yay finally adopting new technology!