256GB SSD: Is it Enough for Windows 10?
SSD stands for Solid State Drive and it is the latest in storage technology. They are different from traditional Hard Disk Drives (HDD) as they use flash memory instead of spinning platters to store data, hence the name Solid State Drive (SSD). SSDs are more reliable, faster, lighter and run cooler than HDDs which means they use less power, produce less heat and have longer battery life on mobile devices such as laptops and tablets. But with prices dropping on HDD technology, are we reaching the point where 256GB SSD may be all that’s needed? Let’s take a look…
What does a 256GB SSD have to offer?
Before you can decide whether 256GB is enough, you should know what your computer will be used for. For example, if you’re just surfing online and checking email, then 256GB is more than enough. If you plan on working with graphic-intensive programs like Autodesk 3ds Max or Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator then a smaller amount of storage might not cut it. It may not matter either way because many users are opting to install a dual-boot setup to make use of their USB ports by storing data on an external hard drive or flash drive instead of using up storage space on their main drives.
A closer look at the Samsung EVO 860 Series:
For many enthusiasts, 256GB isn’t enough to install a new operating system. (Windows 10 Pro requires more than 100 GB of free space). If you want to play games and store media on your drive, you’ll likely run out of space quickly. And if you need to do any serious video editing, 256GB isn’t enough even if you have room left over. Some people keep one drive with their operating system and apps installed on it (an SSD is best suited for that purpose) and another drive with all their files saved on it (which can be cheaper but slower than an SSD). But even then, one 256GB drive might not be enough room to work with.
Testing PCMark 8 Work 2.0 and Storage Bandwidth:
The first test is pretty straightforward and tests PCMark 8’s ability to handle your storage. As one can see, there is not much difference between SSDs. Still, I went with numbers. For example, if you look at all tested drives in their default state we have 126MB/s read speed and 123MB/s write speed. These numbers are good enough to pass casual usage of any kind, but you may want faster speeds for multitasking or for some games like Crysis 3 that require about 440MB/s or more from your drive.
The second test shows how fast a storage device transfers data when it has no other applications running on top of it. Here, again, Kingston HyperX Savage 240GB was top performer with 478MB/s read speed and 459MB/s write speed. Overall, these two tests show us that Kingston HyperX Savage 240GB is a very fast SSD in terms of both reading and writing data without being affected by other processes running on your computer.
Now let’s take a look at CrystalDiskMark 5.0 benchmark results. Here, we will compare several similar SSDs such as Samsung 850 EVO 250GB and SanDisk Ultra II 240GB among others. Let’s start with random 512K (QD1) performance: Random Read Performance: We are dealing here with random reads where different areas of an SSD must be accessed simultaneously.
This makes QD1 an important measurement since it is closer to real-world performance than sequential testing (higher queue depths will make the drive work harder). In our case, we measured 4670IOPS for Kingston HyperX Savage 240GB while Samsung 850 EVO 250GB had 3569IOPS under similar conditions.
So as you can see, even if you have a 256GB solid state drive, that might not be enough storage space to store your programs and files. If you are still undecided about what size of solid state drive to purchase in order to run your operating system at optimal speeds, we recommend first looking into how much data you’ll be storing on your computer. You should also try and find out what other operating systems or applications you might install on your computer in addition to Microsoft Windows 10—if there are any. Remember, even though certain models of computers will come with sufficient memory built-in (usually 8 GB or 16 GB), that still may not be enough space once all is said and done. Be sure to do some research before purchasing anything!