Questions on where to install programs on new PC (SSD or HDD?)

  1. Posts : 40
    Windows 10 Home 64-bit (Version 1909 - OS Build 18363.778)

    Questions on where to install programs on new PC (SSD or HDD?)

    Hi all, I'll be getting a new gaming Desktop PC in a few days time, and I've never had a computer with both a SSD and a HDD (the one I have now is nearly 11 years old! And it's all installed on a single HDD [though a lot of my files are on an External HDD to save room]).

    The reason I'm asking this is, as I don't know how modern computers deal with having Windows 10 installed on the SSD, and having programs such as Steam installed on the HDD - or can it be installed on the HDD and still work just as well?

    What I mean is, should I install [in particular] Steam - and all my games on Steam - on my 120GB SSD (as it's faster, though it would take up room on there), or do I install Steam + games on my 2TB HDD (where there's loads more room, and it saves space for the SSD to be used purely for Windows 10)?

    Also, what about the rest of my programs? I guess the ones that go in c:\Program Files (etc.) - eg. Mozilla Firefox - will have to be installed on the SSD?

    Ps. It's a pre-built one, not a custom-made PC

    Thanks in advance :)
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 34,926
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)

    Hi, 120Gb is not so large for your SSD, but should be plenty for Windows + some inevitable 'extras'.

    I suggest your priority is
    a. All personal data on your HDD as far as possible. (Data should not be on the same partition as the OS so you have some separation of data from OS maintenance (think 'clean install').
    b. For consistency and because installed programs are so deeply intertwined with the OS (registry, drivers, %appdata% etc install smaller progs on C:
    c. Install large progs on your HDD - although this is less desirable from a backup and maintenance point of view. Games would be a good example.

    As far as speed considerations are concerned you will notice the difference when using a SSD in the much reduced boot time. That's mostly related to the OS of course. It is less likely you will notice the difference in the load time of a program installed on a HDD compared to it being installed on a SSD.

    Note: even if you choose to install a program on your HDD, elements of it will still be created on and take up room on your SSD - e.g. %appdata%, C:Programdata etc etc.
      My Computers

  3. Posts : 40
    Windows 10 Home 64-bit (Version 1909 - OS Build 18363.778)
    Thread Starter

    My main question is if I should install Steam on my SSD or on my HDD?

    I know my games will take up most of the room on there, so I guess most of the largest games will be installed wherever Steam is installed...

    So is it even possible to install Steam outside of Windows Program Files? I could do with someone who knows more about how Steam interacts with Windows to get the best answer for this.

    Would someone know in the Gaming forum about this do you think?
      My Computer


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