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Member Since 18 May 2010
Offline Last Active Dec 30 2016 07:40 PM

Topics I've Started

Building a new PC - Dual booting Windows 10 and Linux Mint - SSD and HDD combo

27 December 2016 - 09:08 AM

Weird.. I just tried to post this, but the forum ate it.


Second attempt...



Hi everyone.


In 2010, I made a thread here about building a new PC and people were very helpful, so I'm back for more now that it's time for a new machine. A few upgrades aside, I have indeed been using the same rig ever since. I kept putting off the upgrade, mostly due to financial reasons.


I can no longer put it off. Yesterday, I took advantage of Boxing Day deals and bought my new parts. However, last time around, I was working with a single HDD and a Windows 7 installation. Years later, I wanted to try Linux out, so I set up a dual-boot with Mint. I eventually switched over to Windows 10 as well and would use the Windows partition for gaming and the Linux one for everything else. Today, many of my Steam games are available on Linux, but I still need a Windows partition for games like Rocksmith Remastered and a handful of others that have no Linux versions. My plan is to install every game I can on Linux Mint and to use Windows only for games that don't exist for Linux (and my little income tax program that's also Windows-based).


So now, I bought (still waiting for the items to ship) a 525GB SSD and a 1TB conventional HDD. I'm trying to sort out what is the best way to set up a dual-boot. I've been looking online and finding a lot of differing opinions. Also, most of the articles/threads I found were about setups that were quite different from mine (2 SSDs, for example).


Some people seemed to favour installing only the OSs on the SSD and everything else on HDDs. Others described something that was more like installing OSs and programs/applications on SSDs and keeping the HDD for file storage, a bit like a built-in external drive, if you will.


What I'd like to ask is if the following plan is viable, as well as a few follow-up questions on it:


-Partition my SSD, possibly a 50/50 split or a 60/40 favouring Mint;

-Install Windows and all my "Windows only" games and a program or two on one partition;

-Install Mint on the other partition, along with all its games and applications;

-Use the HDD for file storage for files I'd like to access quickly without having to plug in external drives.


Assuming this is viable, I then have the following questions:


-Should I only plug in the SSD at first, install everything, and THEN plug in the HDD?

-Is there a way to be able to access the HDD from either OS, like I can do with an external drive?

-If not, will I need to do anything with the HDD, like dedicate it to one OS or partition is for both?

-If my needs change over time and I need more space for games/programs/apps, is there a way to partition the HDD as well, so that it can also be used to install programs for both OSs on that? In this scenario, I'd basically have both drives divided between the two OSs.


Knowing myself and remembering the experience I had here with the kind posters and their wealth of knowledge, I expect I'll have many more questions after I get responses to this, but I suppose that this is a good starting point. :-)


Now for the obligatory computer info, here are the parts I bought. Keep in mind that I'm in Canada, so not only do we have the exchange rate to consider, but Canadians pay more for most things in life.  Also keep in mind that I was going for a mid-range-or-so build, because I can't really spend more and, y'know, remain happily married.  I compromised less on the case, however. I like large, sturdy cases with good airflow and room to work. Note: Edited to use a table. Canadian prices no longer apply, but it cost me $1,550 Canadian.



Motherboard: MSI Z170A SLI ATX LGA1151 Motherboard  ($133.98 @ Newegg) 
Storage: Crucial MX300 525GB 2.5" Solid State Drive  ($128.05 @ Newegg) 
Video Card: MSI Radeon RX 480 4GB GAMING X Video Card  ($229.99 @ Newegg) 
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Home Full - USB 32/64-bit  ($132.98 @ Newegg) 
Total: $1199.94
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-12-27 16:55 EST-0500


Linux Mint is free, so no need to link anything. :-)


For what it's worth, I'll also be taking my old optical drive from my old tower and moving it over to the new PC.


Thank you all for reading and big thanks to those who are able and willing to help.