SSD – Not for my OS, but for my frequently used programs

I previously wrote that I wasn’t sure what I should do with my 120GB SSD. Should it run the OS? Should it hold the pagefile? Should it hold the TEMP folder? Well, everyone has an opinion and no one agrees. But I do have an idea.

So here’s what I did.

The main OS, Windows 7, is on the 3TB Barracuda. The pagefile (all 16MB of it) is on the secondary 3TB Barracuda. The SSD now holds my most frequently used apps. I didn’t put anything as clunky as Office on there, instead I install apps like Notepad++, Firefox, CCleaner, Irfanview, FastStone Image Viewer, FastStone Image Resizer, WinRAR, FocusWriter and XYPlorer. I run these every day and multiple times a day. It makes sense to put them on the fastest drive in the system. And they do start up amazingly fast. I’m sure there will be other small utility apps I’ll install there as I continue to get this machine set up.

Many people debate Firefox on an SSD. But it makes sense to put it there due to the speed. But what about all the cache files? Well, there is a trick for that. Following these steps I moved the cache to memory.

1. open up about:config (type it into the url bar)
2. type browser.cache into the filter bar at the top.
3. Find browser.cache.disk.enable and set it to false (by double clicking on it).
4. set browser.cache.memory.enable to true
5. create a new preference by right clicking anywhere, hit New, and choose Integer.
6. Call the new preference browser.cache.memory.capacity and hit OK.
7. In the next window, where it asks for the number of kilobytes you want to assign to the cache, just enter -1 to tell Firefox to dynamically determine the cache size.

I’ve just made the adjustments so it’s too early to tell what the gains will be. I will say Firefox does load faster than normal. The fact I only have three plugins doesn’t hurt either.

Moving the graphics apps is a good choice. The constant opening and closing will work well on the faster drive. The main apps like Office that I use, but not all that often will be fine on the main drive.

But it leads me to another question, what about apps like Corel Paint Shop Pro or Adobe Lightroom? Better on an SSD or better on the main drive? Not necessarily used all the time, but will their processing performance be improved by running them from an SSD?

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