Solved: To SSD or not to SSD

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jethro.t

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Our LGA 775 Win7 based system does everything well that I need even though I am due to build a new box.:)

Would simply replacing the primary boot and program HDD with a cheap first generation SSD offer any real performance boost.:rolleyes:

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Tech Support Guy System Info Utility version 1.0.0.2
OS Version: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate, Service Pack 1, 32 bit
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU 6600 @ 2.40GHz, x64 Family 6 Model 15 Stepping 6
Processor Count: 2
RAM: 3070 Mb
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT, 256 Mb
Hard Drives: C: Total - 100929 MB, Free - 81407 MB; E: Total - 81427 MB, Free - 64553 MB; F: Total - 294577 MB, Free - 77547 MB; I: Total - 238472 MB, Free - 71793 MB; X: Total - 953750 MB, Free - 400194 MB; Z: Total - 1907726 MB, Free - 1002547 MB;
Motherboard: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd., G31M-S2L
Antivirus: None
 
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Yes, you should notice a marked increase in performance due to the higher transfer rates that come from an SSD.
 

Noyb

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For W7U, You'll probably need a 120Gig SSD or bigger for the operating system.
The practical speed increase I see (feel) is that heavy programs load really fast.

A HDD boots faster that I can pour my morning coffee .. So bootup time is not important to me
They should come with a warning label ... A SSD can be addictive.
 

crjdriver

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A ssd is the single biggest boost to performance you can give to a system.
Here is a 120gig drive that will do the job for you.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227706

I have two of the older vertex2 drives in raid0 and it is incredible how fast the system runs; ut2004 loads in a little over 1 second. UT3 takes about 2 seconds to load. Apps like outlook, word, excel, etc load almost instantly.
 

jethro.t

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Thanks for that. 120 gig seems seems a little large at the moment considering my boot drive consumes less than 20 gig so even when I put the desktop and swap file on the ssd I think a 60 gig Patriot Inferno I am looking at buying should do the job? I gather levelling? is beneficial but what if my older motherboard does not support it? It is a Gigabyte EP35-DS3R
 

Noyb

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W7 can get a little large ... And the more room it has .. The more it can "Level" out over for a longer life.
60-64gig will almost not hold my W7 system .. I'd have very little room to work in and would constantly have to worry about it.
 

Noyb

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Your Mobo only supports SATA II (3GB/Sec).
CRJ recommended a SATA III ( 6gb/sec) .. it would be backwards compatible ..
But I'm wondering if he has a SATA II recommendation ?? ..

I've been looking at the SanDisk for my W7 Computer ?????

I'm Ready .. All I have to do is move my OS to a SSD
 

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jethro.t

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I did not realize Sandisk made ssd. Will look at that myself
For some time now sandisk has been my first choice for usb sticks, mp3 player and sd/sdhc and reader.
I have nothing but praise for the Sandisk products I have.
 

Noyb

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CRJ has a reason for his OCZ recommendation .. I'm waiting on his input ..
He doesn't know that I've been watching him :D :D
Lurk65.gif
It might be worth the extra money
 

Snagglegaster

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Thanks for that. 120 gig seems seems a little large at the moment considering my boot drive consumes less than 20 gig so even when I put the desktop and swap file on the ssd I think a 60 gig Patriot Inferno I am looking at buying should do the job? I gather levelling? is beneficial but what if my older motherboard does not support it? It is a Gigabyte EP35-DS3R
With an SSD, you are going to want as much capacity as you can afford, because the performance boost even for software that isn't drive intensive is really surprising. Also, it's a good idea to leave a little headroom on the drive, so don't fill it past 80%. Windows 7 should (but won't always) detect that you are installing to an SSD and disable Defrag. You can do that manually if needed.

Functions like leveling depend on the controller used on the drive, and the firmware version. Of all the variables related to SSD longevity and reliability, it looks like firmware is the dominant factor, so you should install the most current version before you put the drive into service. Most of the firmware updaters can't update the firmware if they are run from the SSD, or if the drive is your boot drive, so that's why you want to do this first. Window 7 also supports the Trim function, which is important for maintaining SSD performance.

SSD drive life is likely to be comparable overall to a HDD. In theory, even MLC memory should outlast a conventional drive, but I think the weak link in the chain is the electronic components used in the controller; which is essentially the same issue you see with most HDD failures.

If you pair a decent second gen SSD with a high performance hard drive, and use the HDD for storage and installation of secondary programs where performance isn't your top priority, I think you'll be amazed at what an SSD can do for your system. Windows 7 also makes it easy to redirect Library folders to a location other than the default C:
 

crjdriver

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The older vertex2s that I have are still being sold by the egg. On big thing though; they seem to have more problems with the intel chipset mb. With an amd build, they are really almost bulletproof however it seems the older sandforce controller and the intel chipset have some problems. Specifically there are issues when the system goes to sleep.

For an intel system, you cannot go wrong with an intel ssd.
 

Snagglegaster

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The older vertex2s that I have are still being sold by the egg. On big thing though; they seem to have more problems with the intel chipset mb. With an amd build, they are really almost bulletproof however it seems the older sandforce controller and the intel chipset have some problems. Specifically there are issues when the system goes to sleep.

For an intel system, you cannot go wrong with an intel ssd.
I'm running a 180 GB OCZ Vertex2 on a fairly old Socket AM3 Gigabyte MOBO, and it's a great match. Of course my first drive lasted exactly 1 month and 10 days, but the replacement has performed flawlessly for 3 months. If you have a board that supports SATA III, the OCZ Vertex3 drives deliver incredible performance. They can saturate the data bus. Pair one of these puppies and something like a WD Caviar Black drive and the performance is spectacular. Otherwise, with a board that only has SATA II support, I'd stick with a second gen drive, and give the first gen drives a miss, even if they are cheap.

Now, if anybody thinks my comment about the 3 months of "flawless performance" from my current Vertex2 is facetious, let me say that I have had any number of conventional HDDs from Western Digital, Seagate, and Hitachi that haven't done as well. WD holds the record for flaky behavior, having shipped me a Raptor that worked for 15 minutes followed by 2 DOA replacements, then a drive that's worked for 10 years.
 

crjdriver

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My two vertex2s are about 1yr old now and they have been flawless. In raid0 they get around 480mps or so on a benchmark. I have updated to the 1.33 firmware on both drives. 1.35 is out however they are running fine so.....
 

jethro.t

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Thanks for that.
I will continue to use big ol green seagate for most storage as you suggest, and ssd for boot and programs. Or at least that is the plan. The PCI-E drives look interesting but way to expensive for a while yet I am guessing.
 

jethro.t

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The OCZ recommendation has merit I believe, but may not be my best option.

If I am correct, its sandforce controller only operates at its best when the drive is used in AHCI mode.

As near as I can tell my Motherboard: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd., G31M-S2L does not support AHCI

On that basis I perhaps should be looking at either changing to a better motherboard or looking at Intel or Sandisk SSD with controllers which seem not to require AHCI?
 
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