Performance concerns of having an SSD and an HDD in the same PC

rricheson
rricheson used Ask the Experts™
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I'm running my OS on an SSD drive will installing a HDD for addtional storage effect the performance of SSD
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Systems Administrator & DST
Commented:
As long as the programs you are running and the operating system are on the SSD and the HDD is just used for storage you should be fine. This kind of configuration is used a lot as SSD drives are quite expensive and the speed of storage is not usually a concern. Things like movies and such will only run so fast so those are great to put on a HDD. However if you are gaming or running programs you want to try and install all of them on the SSD. That being said I think have two drives of any type generally speeds up a computer in some respect. This would be because the computer tries to find something on both drives at the same time. Well a normal HDD will have to physically move to location on the disk on one side to get what it needs the other drive doesn't have to wait "in line" it can just proceed and find something else at the same time on the other Drive. I hope that wasn't to confusing but if it was the simple answer would be no it should not effect performance.
Agree with Aaron. Having additional HDD will not slow down your SSD. In some cases you could get minimal performance gain.
Commented:
Adding an HDD will not affect the performance of the SSD at all if:
- You are using asynchronous IO on both drives (SATA / SAS)
- You use the AHCI mode of operation (it's the recommended one for SSD anyway)
- Your HDD support NCQ (not sure if this is really a requirement).
- Your HDD is not defective.

However, even if all those condition are met, on a Windows system it may impact negatively the system performance but with easy workarounds:
- It will impact the shell if the drive is allowed to power down.
This will also affect both the open and save dialogs. You can prevent the disk spin-down to avoid that.
- It will impact execution speed on low memory situation if you do not disable the swap file on the slow drive.

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Commented:
Thank you all for the quick reposnes.  This isn't a gaming PC at all just a clients who wants quick reponse time and place to alot of family pictures and videos.
AaronSystems Administrator & DST

Commented:
If all they are putting on the secondary drive is pictures and videos it should work great. I would just keep in mind when they install anything to put it to the C Drive but that is generally the default.

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