Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 19th Oct 2012 20:07 UTC
Windows Interesting little tidbit from the Reddit AMA session with Microsoft's Surface team. One Redditor wondered just how much disk space Windows RT takes up - in other words, if you buy the 32GB Surface RT tablet, how much space is left for your stuff? It turns out that while Windows 8 RT is considerably smaller than its Windows 7 x86 predecessor, it's still huge by mobile standards.
Thread beginning with comment 539208
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Not quite true
by Nelson on Fri 19th Oct 2012 20:17 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

The "12GB" number is AFTER installing the full version of Office and numerous apps, to quote the source.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Not quite true
by WereCatf on Fri 19th Oct 2012 20:22 in reply to "Not quite true"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

The "12GB" number is AFTER installing the full version of Office and numerous apps, to quote the source.


That still way more than it should be. I wonder what it actually is there that's taking so horribly much storage space. Even worse when the OS takes a third of all storage on the whole system. Curious.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Not quite true
by marcp on Fri 19th Oct 2012 23:03 in reply to "RE: Not quite true"
marcp Member since:
2007-11-23

I wonder what it actually is there that's taking so horribly much storage space

It's probobly their "shared libraries" folder [It's called WinSxS in Windows 7, IIRC], or some RT counterpart of it.
These guys surely don't know how to write the code that is both compact and portable.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Not quite true
by UltraZelda64 on Sun 21st Oct 2012 05:23 in reply to "RE: Not quite true"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

That still way more than it should be. I wonder what it actually is there that's taking so horribly much storage space. Even worse when the OS takes a third of all storage on the whole system. Curious.

It is? Come on, this is Windows we're talking about here. It has a longtime reputation of being joked about due to the fact that with every release comes even more bloat and in turn higher system requirements. Clearly that's still the case--either Microsoft is lazy, the chip manufacturers are paying them to keep specs high, or both (I'm betting on both...). I'm not saying that Mac OS X or Linux is any better (well, there are some exceptions in Linux with certain window managers...) , but seriously... the fact that Windows for traditional PCs is a pig is well-known.

I just think it's highly ironic that what Windows 8 is is basically a tablet/cell phone-type OS designed with traditional PC hardware in mind, yet its x86 version requires even *more* memory and hard drive space than Windows 7. With the extreme drop in functionality provided by Metro, I'd expect an equivalent drop in specs... but I guess this is Microsoft we're talking about. The fact that the ARM version is so heavy doesn't surprise me the least bit... it's from the same damn code base. It would be different if it was actually a separate OS like Windows CE was, but it's not.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Not quite true
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 19th Oct 2012 20:27 in reply to "Not quite true"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The "12GB" number is AFTER installing the full version of Office and numerous apps, to quote the source.


Uh, my article states that quite clearly.

EDIT: ah, you mean the title. Fixing!

Edited 2012-10-19 20:32 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Not quite true
by tanzam75 on Sat 20th Oct 2012 01:22 in reply to "Not quite true"
tanzam75 Member since:
2011-05-19

And it's not even 12 GB. It's actually 9.8 GiB.

I can't believe nobody has pointed this out yet.

What Microsoft actually said on that Reddit thread was that "After the OS, OfficeRT and a bunch of apps, you will still have more that 20GB." Thus, they did not say that disk usage was 12 GB. They said that free space was 20 GB.

Ah, but how did he get that free space figure? Probably in Windows Explorer -- which reports free disk space in binary gibibytes, even though it uses the "GB" abbreviation. Yet flash memory is sold using decimal gigabytes. My "128 GB" SSD is reported as "119 GB [= GiB]" in Windows Explorer.

A 32 GB flash drive = 29.8 GiB. If you have "more than 20 [GiB]" of free space remaining, then that means the entire running system takes up 9.8 GiB of space, not 12.

Now let us dissect the 9.8 GiB still further. What do you get on Windows RT that you don't get on iOS?

- Office RT. My x86 Office 2013 is 2 GiB, but Office RT includes fewer applications. Assume Office RT takes up 1.0 GiB.
- Drivers. My x64 Windows 8 install has 0.8 MiB of drivers, but Windows RT has a reduced driver set. Call it 0.5 GiB.
- Fonts, many of them bundled with Office. My install has 0.3 MiB of fonts. Fonts don't shrink when ported to ARM.

If you accept that these are worth the 1.8 GiB they take up, then we're now down to 8 GiB that can really be attributed to Windows RT and "a bunch of apps."

That includes the pagefile (about 1 GiB on a system with 2 GiB RAM), IMEs for a whole boatload of languages (the dictionaries for simplified Chinese alone are about 60 MB), etc.

Edited 2012-10-20 01:25 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: Not quite true
by Laurence on Sat 20th Oct 2012 01:37 in reply to "RE: Not quite true"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

And it's not even 12 GB. It's actually 9.8 GiB.

I can't believe nobody has pointed this out yet.

What Microsoft actually said on that Reddit thread was that "After the OS, OfficeRT and a bunch of apps, you will still have more that 20GB." Thus, they did not say that disk usage was 12 GB. They said that free space was 20 GB.

Ah, but how did he get that free space figure? Probably in Windows Explorer -- which reports free disk space in binary gibibytes, even though it uses the "GB" abbreviation. Yet flash memory is sold using decimal gigabytes. My "128 GB" SSD is reported as "119 GB [= GiB]" in Windows Explorer.

A 32 GB flash drive = 29.8 GiB. If you have "more than 20 [GiB]" of free space remaining, then that means the entire running system takes up 9.8 GiB of space, not 12.


AFAIK SSDs do actually report the space correctly. What actually happens is not the entire SSD volume is available to fill; some is always reserved for load wearing (thus extending the lifetime of the unit).

The reason being that SSDs use a CoW method (copy-on-write) and if you had a full SSD, then there's less free block to write each fs update too. Thus you're forced to recycle the same blocks (which is very bad for the lifetime of solid state drives). However as modern SSDs keep a little bit of space back, it means there's a greater pool of free blocks to balance the writing across.

So a 120GB SSD does actually have 120GB of storage but you're only allowed to fill ~120GB as the remainer is there purely for load wearing.

I hope that makes sense, i should have been in bed 2 hours ago so it's probably not the clearest post I've made lol

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Not quite true
by HappyGod on Mon 22nd Oct 2012 03:10 in reply to "RE: Not quite true"
HappyGod Member since:
2005-10-19

The whole "ibibyte" nomenclature should be dropped as far as I'm concerned.

It may be syntactically correct in terms of the metric prefixes v binary etc. But all their introduction has done is cause massive confusion as different storage units utilise the term in different ways (i.e. HDD use metric GB, while RAM uses binary).

The "ibibyte" usage was just a result of HDD manufacturers adopting it to enable them to sell a 1TB drive, that was "technically" 1TB, but was actually about 92GB less than that, according to Windows, and pretty much everyone else that studied Computer Science up until that point!

When I studied, a gigabyte was 1024-cubed bytes. Metric system be damned.

Just ask Google:

http://tinyurl.com/93y3m4b

Edited 2012-10-22 03:17 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2