Solid State Drives: how much storage do you need?
I have bought and built several PCs in the past that had a Solid State Drive (SSD) as their main storage drive.Â The first drive that I built into a PC had a storage capacity of 64 Gigabytes, which was not a lot if you take into consideration that you not only want your operating system to benefit from the speed improvements but also your main applications and maybe even games.
The technology made big jumps in the last two or so years, not only storage size wise but also speed wise. While SSDs are still nowhere near the level of storage that platter based hard drives make available, they on average provide enough storage so that you are not left with the nagging feeling of a full drive after installation of the operating system.
As a rule of thumb: you get 128 Gigabyte SSDs for less than $100 these days, and 256 Gigabyte drives for less than $200. It naturally depends on the manufacturer and device that you pick, with some being more expensive than others.
But how much SSD storage do you need? The answer depends largely on what you need it for. If you want your operating system and some apps to boot and load fast, then a 64 Gigabyte may be all you need. If you want to install and play the latest games you need considerably more space with games often reaching 10 Gigabytes of storage or more. This is especially true if you are a Steam user and want to install Steam on the SSD. Since you can't selectively install Steam games on different drives, you are either stuck with installing and uninstalling games regularly, or using third party tools to move Steam games to another hard drive.
The same is true if you want to install multiple operating systems on the drive.Â Here you not only need to calculate the size after installation, but also leave room for updates and service packs.
My recommendation would be to buy a drive with at least 128 Gigabyte of storage. If you can spare the money, I'd pick a 256 Gigabyte drive instead. Want some recommendations?
- Crucial m4 256 Gigabyte for $199.99
- Plextor M3 Pro series 128 Gigabyte for about $160 (one, if not the, fastest drive)
- Samsung 830 256 Gigabyte for $210
- OCZ Vertex 3 240 Gigabyte for $200
Prices may vary and have been taken from Amazon.com. I suggest you search for the best prices using price comparison portals as you may save a considerable amount of money doing so.
Have another favorite drive? Let me know about it in the comments.Advertisement