Bryan J Smith
2015-07-30 23:55:10 UTC
the horizon), and 500GB+ tends to be the best performing thanx to lots
of DRAM, for the average consumer, 240GB is the new NAND "sweet spot."
There have been several sales as of late that have brought the 240GB
down to under $0.25/GB, and that's getting too good to ignore.
Especially with the 240GB models usually having good performance,
especially over 60-128GB and their greatly reduced DRAM.
This includes the new, consumer-oriented OCZ Arc 100, which is better
than the Crucial's consumer-oriented MX100 in Benchmarks according to
Anandtech.  As long as you buy two (or three if you want), you can
get them for sub-$60/each at NewEgg.  I tend to buy NAND devices
in bulk, as I can always use them, especially since the light, 5-7mm
devices don't even need a bay (velcro to the side of the case works
too), just data and power.
That said ... 240GB is also the minimum size I'd use for Windows in a
dual-boot. I don't recommend Windows outright, but if you
infrequently dual-boot with Windows, I've started to "chance" putting
the C: drive -- 128GiB -- on them. Why? Simple reason ...
Windows Update and most Windows software installations are written so
freak'n poorly, lots of random I/O, using a NAND device speeds them up
100x fold because of the seek difference. I cannot believe how
absolutely horrendous the I/O spread is (yes, I've run utilities to
measure it), that on the few Windows dual-boots I have, where I boot
into Windows 10% of the time, I cannot deal with the Update non-sense.
Again, I don't know if I'd do it if I ran Windows a lot. I know it
will wear out the NAND much faster than Linux. And I *never* put
*any* page file on it, I turn off indexing, I set system and user
TEMP/TMP to the platter, etc... I still have a D: drive, and I do my
best to mitigate any writing to the C: drive that is NAND --
especially those temp files.
Just like I put swap, /tmp, /var and /home (or at least the .firefox,
.chrome and other cache directories) on platter. But for infrequent
use, I'm now chancing it after seeing freak'n much it mitigates
Windows Update and other install performance. I mean, no wonder
Windows users love their NAND devices! (at least before they fail 9
I still backup the NAND regularly ... for obvious reasons. Many times
this is Linux doing a 'dd | gzip" of the C: drive to the Ext partition
in D: It's so difficult to recover Windows C:, unless you dd it.
Also use "sfdisk -d" to backup your partition table -- essential with
GPT and those UUIDs. ;)
Just wanted to mention this deal, and that now I'm putting a 240GB
into every system I have (when it's not a 1TB+), aside with every
platter. At this price point, it's hard to best.
bjs Dual-Boot Partitioning Schemes:
MBR (3 primary + 2 logical)
- 1MiB - 512MiB type 27h (Hidden OEM) "RE Tools" [X]
- 512MiB - 768MiB type OCh (FAT32) "System" partition [A]
- 768MiB - 1GiB type 83h (Ext) /boot partition
- 1GiB - final GiB [B] type 0Fh (Extended) Logical partitions
- 1GiB+1MiB [C] - 129GiB type 07h (NTFS) Windows C: Drive
- 128GiB+1MiB [C] - last full GiB [B] type 8Eh (LVM) Linux Volumes
GPT (at least 128 partitions)
- 1MiB - 1GiB type 2700h (Hidden MS-OEM) "RE Tools" [X]
- 1GiB - 1.375GiB type EF00h (ESP-FAT32) "System" partition [A]
- 1.375GiB - 1.5GiB type 0C01h (MSFTRES) Microsoft GPT [D]
- 1.5GiB - 1.75GiB type 8300h (Ext) /boot partition (distro 1)
- 1.75GiB - 2GiB type 8300h (Ext) /boot partition (distro 2)
- 2GiB - 130GiB type 07h (NTFS) Windows C: Drive [E]
- 130GiB - last full GiB [D] type 8Eh (LVM) Linux Volumes [E]
[X] OEMs prefer this, so I just reserve the 511MiB or 1023MiB to start
the disk. If you don't want to, nix it.
[A] For MBR, if you create at least a 200GiB, FAT32 formatted
partition, the Windows 7 and 8 installers will see it as the "System"
For GPT, you must have at least a 100GiB (260GiB if 4KiB logical
sectors, most are still 512 logical, even if 4KiB physical), FAT32
formatted partition for the EFI System Partition (ESP).
I recommend pre-creating each, with a Live USB in Linux, before
installing Windows. For GPT, I continue to prefer Rod Smith's rEFInd
boot loader in the ESP, so I don't have to mess with any other entries
in the uEFI firmware.
[B] I _always_ leave the partial 1GiB of the disk left, unused. This
prevents overwriting some meta-data that some things put at the end of
the disk. I only use the final, full GiB. In the age of NAND, not
using the whole disk is ideal as well.
[C] For MBR Logicals in Extended Partitions, start 1MiB off to align
better. Aligning on the default, next 512B (if 512B is logical, let
alone 4KiB physical) is not ideal, and 1MiB is a good alignment.
[D] Don't dual-boot with GPT without creating the 128MiB Microsoft
Reserved partition so it can file away hidden info. OEMs also use
this. I recommend doing it regardless of whether you dual-boot it or
not, especially for external drives >2TiB using GPT. Windows wants to
[E] I actually create more partitions in GPT to make things more
flexible, so I don't have to modify the disk label when the kernel is
running (which is a PITA). I mean, I can always add partitions to
LVM. But Windows C: always gets the 128GiB on the NAND, and usually
around 256-512GB on an platter.
Bryan J Smith - http://www.linkedin.com/in/bjsmith
Bryan J Smith - http://www.linkedin.com/in/bjsmith