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Ask the Experts Question: Do I need to leave storage space free on my SSD for best performance?

Do I need to leave storage space free on my SSD for best performance?

Leifur has some questions about leaving storage space free on his Samsung 860 QVO SSD for the best performance

Question by Leifur from United States | Answered by Tyler Bernath in Storage on Mar 6, 2020 at 07:35 pm CST

I have a Samsung 860 QVO SSD 2TB as a secondary drive with my OS on another SSD. I use the 2TB drive to store games and it makes sense to me that as such it is used mostly to READ as it is loading games and very little WRITE going on. I have it filled with about 40GB left and showing red in My Computer.

I assumed I could fill the SSD space as there is no need to defrag and have all that space free to do it. I searched the web and came up with many views on forums many said you need 10-30% disc space left blank or performance drops badly. Others said some modern SSDs have a 16GB hidden partition that takes care of this need and you can fill disc. I think I should be able to mostly fill my 860 as it should be just reading game data in loading and playing with no reason to write much as OS is elsewhere.

Do I need to leave 450GB blank??


Hi Leifur,

Unfortunately, there is no way around this "feature" of solid state drives. Due to the way the drives handle data as the drive fills up, it will lose performance - typically more so in write operations, but you will lose some read performance, too.

Do I need to leave storage space free on my SSD for best performance? 1 | TweakTown.com

Samsung does still have a factory over-provision on the drive at 7% so you can technically fill the drive and it will run without issue. That said, with Magician software installed, you can increase the OP of the drive to 10% or higher if you want to leave additional space to combat performance loss.

With this being a secondary drive, I wouldn't focus too much on it unless it really feels like load times in games are getting slow, then you could run a quick performance test yourself with ATTO or CrystalDiskMark and see where the drive is running. Marketing performance of the 2TB QVO is 550/500 MB/s.

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