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Question about installing an SSD drive onto my PC


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xhaydenx's Avatar
xhaydenx xhaydenx is offline
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19-Jul-2012, 12:26 AM #1
Question about installing an SSD drive onto my PC
I'm thinking about getting one of those SSD drives. I'm looking at this one here: http://www.umart.com.au/pro/products...=159&sid=75947

Is it worth getting one for my system? And will it even work with my motherboard. I'm not that good with PC hardware, so I couldn't figure out how and where it installs if I did have one. Does it just sit in where my current HDDs are and use the same cables?

Is the normal approach to have my OS and programs and games installed onto the SSD and then have all my files and everything else on another internal HD?

I use the PC for playing games and game development.

Here are my PC specs:

Nvidia gtx 580.

I7 2600K

16 gb ram

Motherboard: P8 Z68-V PRO

Seagate 7200rpm 500 gb Hard drive.


Thanks.
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19-Jul-2012, 12:29 AM #2
I have been looking around for an ssd too. I not sure if I'm qualified enough to answer your questions, but I saw this really good one from Crucial. 20 second boot up time on windows 7 64 home premium. Sata 3 too. it's 128 GB, and cheaper.

http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-2-5-In...1&keywords=ssd
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C141 C141 is offline
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19-Jul-2012, 01:27 AM #3
Member xhaydenx appears to be located in Australia. Regardless, the OCZ drive has received good reviews.

The Crucial drive is at Amazon in the U.S. Currently $101.00 Australian is nearly $104.00 American. I don't believe Amazon US will ship down-under.
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19-Jul-2012, 09:26 AM #4
I have basically the same board as you do except I have the slightly newer gen3. Yes it will work just fine.

I am not a fan of ocz drives after having problems with older vertex2 drives. FWIW I would not go with a drive with a sandforce controller when you have an intel chipset mb. The sandforce controller seems to work fine with amd chipset boards however with intels, there seem to be more "Issues"

Some dos and donts regarding ssd drives;
1 Do a clean install if possible. While it is possible to clone the drive and apply the partition offset required by ssd type drives, the clean install is the better way to go.
2 Do not run defrag on your ssd.
3 Install windows with the sata controller set to either ahci mode or raid mode. AHCI is easier since you do not have to load a driver during setup.
4 Make sure you install the sata on gray ports on your mb. Those are the sata3 ports.
5 Prior to doing any install, check the drive maker's site for any firmware updates. Generally these should be installed since the firmware update often addresses problems. Each drive maker has a different procedure for updating so be sure you read the instructions before attempting this task.

Some people like to leave part of the ssd unallocated since they think it will enhance the life of the drive. I do not do this however if you want to, it is fine. Up to you. I have never seen any difference either way.

You will be amazed at the increase in performance with a ssd drive. Currently I run 2 crucial ssd drives in raid0 and get slightly over 1000mps read speed.
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19-Jul-2012, 07:53 PM #5
C141 - yeah, I'm Australian. I can get the Crucial M4 for around $140 though, so its not too expensive.

crjdriver - Thanks for all that info. Really helps clear some things up for me.

At the moment I've got Win 7 and all my stuff on a 500 gb HD. How will it go when I get the SSD? Will I have to format the 500 gb one again and load all my stuff onto it. I'm guessing there might be a problem with having win 7 installed onto both the SSD and the 500 gb hard drive.

Would I install Win 7 the same way that I'd install it onto a normal HDD?

For updating SSD firmware, is that something you have to do after the OS is installed, or can you do it anytime?

Is it best to just store the OS along with programs and some games only on the SSD, and have my separate 500 gb HD in there as well for holding files and everything else?

You said to plug it into the Sata3 ports.

I really have no idea about RAID, so I'm assuming I'll just set it up normally.


thanks.
crjdriver's Avatar
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19-Jul-2012, 08:06 PM #6
Quote:
For updating SSD firmware, is that something you have to do after the OS is installed, or can you do it anytime?
Depends. Crucial drives are updated from a boot CD; could not be easier. OCZ drives are updated either from within windows or from a linux boot disk.
Quote:
Is it best to just store the OS along with programs and some games only on the SSD, and have my separate 500 gb HD in there as well for holding files and everything else?
Yes, put data/work files on the mech drive. Put os, and apps on the ssd.
Quote:
Would I install Win 7 the same way that I'd install it onto a normal HDD?
Yes. There really is no difference in doing the install; it just goes faster I would pull the pw connector from your mech drive before you start the install. Once you are all done with the install, shutdown and reconnect. This will prevent inadvertently installing on the wrong drive.
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19-Jul-2012, 08:08 PM #7
Quote:
I really have no idea about RAID, so I'm assuming I'll just set it up normally.
SATA mode must be either ahci or raid. If you set the mode as native ide, you loose some of the benefits of sata ie ncq. SSD drives are designed to be run in either of the two modes above and not in legacy or native ide mode.
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19-Jul-2012, 08:12 PM #8
One other item. I would download all of the drivers you will need ie chipset/mb drivers, video driver, sound, nic, intel RST drivers, etc. Put these on your mech drive, flash drive, etc. This makes the install go much easier.
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19-Jul-2012, 08:14 PM #9
Ah yeah, I've seen in the BIOS that it has a an AHCI setting, and it always looks for drives in AHCI when I boot it up.

All sounds fairly straight forward. I think I'll get the Crucial M4 128. I can get the 64 gb one for $100. I'm guessing windows only takes around 10 gigs, and I probably don't use 50 gigs worth of programs, so I might get that one, though I heard the 128 is supposed to be a bit faster.
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19-Jul-2012, 08:16 PM #10
Quote:
One other item. I would download all of the drivers you will need ie chipset/mb drivers, video driver, sound, nic, intel RST drivers, etc. Put these on your mech drive, flash drive, etc. This makes the install go much easier.
Do you mean the drivers that came on the CD with the motherboard? Like the ASUS utilities and all that?
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19-Jul-2012, 08:18 PM #11
Oh, and so I should wipe the mech hard drive that has Win 7 on it at the moment?
crjdriver's Avatar
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19-Jul-2012, 08:19 PM #12
I have 2 of the 128gig drives in raid0 and they are extremely fast. A 64gig drive is enough for win7, office, and other basic apps. Games are going to take up a lot of space so you need to decide if you want those on the ssd or not. If you want to install more than say one game, then you might need some more space.
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19-Jul-2012, 08:20 PM #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by xhaydenx View Post
Oh, and so I should wipe the mech hard drive that has Win 7 on it at the moment?
Only if it does not have anything you need ie data files, etc. If it has a windows install on it already, then do make sure you remove the pw connector prior to starting the install. After you are finished, you can just connect it. It will not cause any problems after you are finished with the install.
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19-Jul-2012, 08:22 PM #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by xhaydenx View Post
Do you mean the drivers that came on the CD with the motherboard? Like the ASUS utilities and all that?
Get the updated drivers at the asus site. The support CD/DVD is very often out of date. I go to the intel site for chipset and RST drivers however you can get older ones on the asus site.
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20-Jul-2012, 03:41 AM #15
Well, like crjdriver, I had my share of problems with OCZ Vertex 2 drives, but all of the Vertex 3 and Agility series drives I've sold or owned have been flawless. As a rule of thumb, no matter how your SSD firmware is updated, you should do it before the drive is put into service. A clean installation of Windows will always give you the best performance from any SSD, and you should always select AHCI mode in the BIOS. Even with a clean installation, Win7 sometimes fails to disable automatic defrag, so you should verify this and manually disable if needed.

Last edited by Snagglegaster; 20-Jul-2012 at 12:09 PM..
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