What is the optimal partition size for Windows 8?

Dr.sunil V February 20, 2014
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How much partition space is most optimal for windows 8 installation?

  1. Hovsep A
    February 20, 2014 at 10:53 am

    System requirements
    Windows 8.1
    If you want to run Windows 8.1 on your PC, here's what it takes:
    • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2 (more info)
    •RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
    •Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
    •Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver

    Windows 8 Hardware Requirements
    http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/windows-8-hardware-requirements.html
    • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2 (more info)
    •RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
    •Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
    •Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver

  2. Jan F
    February 20, 2014 at 9:54 am

    There is no optimal partition size.

    Windows 8 has an installation size of about 20GB for 32-bit or 24GB for 64-bit.
    In addition you need space for the paging file (2xRAM), hibernation file (50-100% of RAM), temporary system and update files, all the software and applications you are going to install into the default location (e.g. Program Files) along with common files and prerequisites like the .NET Frameworks, Visual C++ Runtimes, etc...

    Last but not least you have the user files, the user profile which can be anywhere from a few MB to hundreds of GB.

    If you are going to move the entire profile(s) to a secondary partition, install software to a custom location and relocate things like the paging file to another partition or drive you can get away with probably 40-50GB for the partition.

    If you don't want to go through all the pre-configuration and keep everything in it's default location the partition should be as large as possible.

    Personally, I wouldn't go below 70GB for the system partition, that is if you don't use the system for games. Modern games have an installation footprint of 20GB and beyond, so just having 5 recent games installed might use up 100-150GB on its own.

    • Dr.sunil V
      February 20, 2014 at 4:28 pm

      Thanks. Please tell how come windows 7 is suggested by many blogs at about 20 GB? ( at about one-third for win 8 ).

    • Jan F
      February 20, 2014 at 11:09 pm

      I can't tell you why people suggest 20GB, 30GB or any other amount.
      There is no right size – there is only a minimum to fit Windows on it in the first place. And the difference between a Windows 7 and Windows 8 installation is maybe 1 or 2GB, not a third or whatever.

      Everything is different from machine to machine, from installation to installation, from user to user.

      For example a clean installation of Windows 7 will take about 8GB in size. However, in order to install it you will need more than that – probably around 15GB as the installation will copy compressed files to the drive, expand them and only later on delete the compressed ones.

      After a year or two, you will see the "Windows" folder itself has grown to probably 12-15GB duo to patch files, update backups, driver files, etc. which means with a 20GB partition you will slowly run out of space.

      Storage doesn't cost much these days so there is no point limiting yourself and be constantly warned about low disk space and having to regularly clean up files or move them to a different partition or hard drive.