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  • Is this the year for a SSD?

    Well, I've been watching and waiting, and now that the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade is over, it's officially the Christmas season. And this year, I'm once again thinking about getting a SSD, the Intel X25-M SSDSA2MH120G2K5 to be specific.

    I'd also finally upgrade to Windows 7, installing it on the SSD, along with some of my games. The rest of my data would be on my 1TB Western Digital Black HD with a backup on my 1TB WD external drive.

    So this boils down to a few questions:

    1. I'm finally okay with the price of an SDD, is the one I've chosen fine?

    2. Which flavor of Windows 7 should I get? I'm thinking Windows Professional OEM.

    3. What is the best way to move my data from Vista to Windows 7? I want to do a clean install, but I want to make things as painless as possible.


  • #2
    Re: Is this the year for a SSD?

    How much performance boast will a SSD drive give -- vis a vis video editing and gaming?
    sigpic

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    • #3
      Re: Is this the year for a SSD?

      SSDs use flash memory without any moving parts. Normal HDDs work with spinning metal disks and a small reading/writing head.
      They have to spin, locate the memory fragments and read or write them.

      SSDs can be twice as fast as normal HDDs (More if you compare it to old school crap). But they're also expensive and small in comparison.

      I personally don't feel the urge to get a SSD as a system disk. Too expensive, not enough space... meh.
      I'll wait till 250 or 500GB SSDs are cheap.

      I guess it's like the question if to get a BluRay drive a couple years ago. They were not really fast, but very expensive.
      Now they're cheap, faster, more reliable.
      But yeah... one could always wait for components to get better, cheaper, faster. Sometimes you gotta make a decision.
      Go for it if you need/want it and the price seems alright for you. Why not?
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Re: Is this the year for a SSD?

        I picked up an OCZ Vertex2 64GB for under $100 after rebate, I'd been pitting it off for a long time but I just couldn't resist. I'd say they are in the range that giving them a try is viable even for budget builders like myself.
        |TG-6th|Snooggums

        Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

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        • #5
          Re: Is this the year for a SSD?

          1. There are ssd's that have faster writes for the same price as the Intel, but I've read the reliability of the Intel is worth it.

          2. Yes get Pro.

          |TG-12th| Troublesome4u

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          • #6
            Re: Is this the year for a SSD?

            Yeah why not as long as you're ok with the price. I have the 80gb Intel and it's starting to feel a little small. I wish the larger capacity drives would come down in price, but I doubt that's going to happen anytime soon.

            Just grab one. I have no doubt you won't regret it.

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            • #7
              Re: Is this the year for a SSD?

              the corsair F60 is a great price, and one of the fastest drives available. It is only 60gig, but that is more than enough for windows 7 and all programs. Now, I have the luxury of a Drobo with 5 2TB drives in it hooked up through esata, so space for data is not an issue... BUT, I wanted something internal that could hold day to day temp stuff. So I installed a 500gig drive to do the menial tasks like:

              cache files from every program (firefox, IE, audacity, Adobe premiere, Photoshop, After Effects, Indesign, Dreamweaver, Acrobat, etc.)
              downloads
              recordings from media center - also time shifting
              Itunes library (where it puts all the artwork and crap)
              temp files
              My Documents folder
              (I have no hibernation file or swap drive - since I also have 12gig of ram)

              This not only keeps my SSD uncluttered, clean, and light... It also takes a lot of the wear off the drive.
              I have installed windows 7 (~14gig total after the winsxs folder settles in), Adobe MC cs5 (~11gig), Corel Draw Suite (~3gig), Office 2007 complete (~2gig), and about 30 other programs totaling ~5gig. I still have ~22 gigs left free.

              the data drive has about 200 gigs used on it at any given time (though to be honest, only 40-50 gigs are temp and cache files) My drobo holds all my data long term - I've got 5.3TB used out of just under 8TB.

              While my circumstance is a little extreme, my point is that a small fast SSD is more than enough since - for the sake of the drive - you want to move files that are rewritten a lot to a regular HDD anyway. Even installing a bunch of massive games should not fill an 80 or 120gig drive.

              And an SSD DOES make a huge difference in performance. Premiere used to take almost a full minute (48 - 52 seconds) to load from cold - even with a core i7 960, 12gig ram, and a raid HDD setup. With a single SSD being the only difference, It now takes less than 8 seconds to be waiting on me. All office apps are open before I can move my cursor from the start menu. Windows boots in under 15 seconds - from the 2 minutes it took before. I know the WEI score is pointless, but seeing a 7.5 is pretty sweet too.
              Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -Albert Einstein
              The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. -Harlan Ellison

              If all else fails: "rm -rf /"

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              • #8
                Re: Is this the year for a SSD?

                I've been running off of an SSD (64GB OCZ Vertex) for a bout a year now. The benchmarks are great, but the actual performance boost is not huge. Getting an SSD more than likely means the hdd transfer rates will not be the bottleneck in your machine. The question then becomes how far you can get before you hit your next bottleneck.

                Also, 64GB is manageable but tight. I've gotten into the habit of installing core apps on a different drive, so that the most speed-sensitive stuff can live on the SSD (basically OS and FPS games :)

                I did much the same you're planning on, Beat, and went to Win 7 (64 bit) when I installed the SSD. Pro is my recommendation as well. 64 bit isn't necessarily my recommendation, however -- I have at least one problem with driver support that's been bugging me ever since then.




                Who needs a life when you can have a heavy bolter?
                --BlackMirror
                <23:03:38> "|TG|Smachin<BF Admin>" was kicked from the server by "|TG-70th| Zhohar" (UNDERAGE ban.)
                Anything over $600, and it would be pointless to try and reason with Grandma
                --Blackraven93

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                • #9
                  Re: Is this the year for a SSD?

                  DdogG, that is a *beast*. But are you saying that your boot took *two minutes* with these specs but no SSD? It doesn't take that long on my machine right now, and I'm currently on an OCed dual-core [email protected] with 6GB RAM.




                  Who needs a life when you can have a heavy bolter?
                  --BlackMirror
                  <23:03:38> "|TG|Smachin<BF Admin>" was kicked from the server by "|TG-70th| Zhohar" (UNDERAGE ban.)
                  Anything over $600, and it would be pointless to try and reason with Grandma
                  --Blackraven93

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                  • #10
                    Re: Is this the year for a SSD?

                    I think this is the year for SSD if you mean 2011.
                    With the Intel Gen3 drives about to be announced any day now, my paypal is ready and waiting for the order.
                    The Gen3 are probably going to be 2x the size for the same price as a Gen2 (just like Gen2 was to Gen1), so waiting should be a no brainer.

                    LINKS

                    * *


                    Stoop and you'll be stepped on; stand tall and you'll be shot at.

                    -Carlos A. Urbizo-

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                    • #11
                      Re: Is this the year for a SSD?

                      Originally posted by Cheburash View Post
                      DdogG, that is a *beast*. But are you saying that your boot took *two minutes* with these specs but no SSD? It doesn't take that long on my machine right now, and I'm currently on an OCed dual-core [email protected] with 6GB RAM.
                      the 1 minute 45 seconds it took to get into windows had a lot to do with having an 8TB hard drive hooked up over esata. apparently, the larger partition you have installed, the longer it takes windows to parse it or something... I actually used to only have a 4TB partition, but when I installed the SSD, I upped it to 8. I don't know what was wrong before, but when I first got the computer, before I installed anything, it took 32 seconds to get to the desktop - which is still 2x as long. my point is that now - even after everything is installed, I get to the desktop in 15. the only difference is installing an SSD and offloading temp and cache to a different drive as well as dropping the swap drive all together.

                      maybe an 18gig swap drive had something to do with start times too... I dunno... It is faster now.
                      Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -Albert Einstein
                      The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. -Harlan Ellison

                      If all else fails: "rm -rf /"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Is this the year for a SSD?

                        If you're interested today may be the day to buy if you're not waiting on the next generation drives. Cyber Monday sales are truly compelling.
                        Forewarned is Forearmed




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                        • #13
                          Re: Is this the year for a SSD?

                          I got the 80GB Intel X25 a few months ago. While it wasn't cheap, I feel it was worth the purchase. Load times were cut down significantly, averaging 50% reductions, up to 75% in the best case scenario. Like others, I try to keep major the SSD limited to OS, drivers, and some FPS games (although you'll need to use a small workaround with steam games using junctions).

                          Like jmaker said, Intel may not be the fastest, but it has a reputation for being incredibly reliable. I've had no problems with my SSD. Size is a bit of an issue, but once you get in the habit of installing most programs on your HDD, it shouldn't be a problem.


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                          • #14
                            Re: Is this the year for a SSD?

                            1. Like others have said, Intel SSD's are known for their reliability which to many people is more important than simply having the fastest drive out there. The only options I would even consider right now other than an Intel X25 are the other SSD's built on the Sandforce 1200 memory controller. There are many SSD's from various manufacturers that are built off the Sandforce 1200, but one example is the OCZ Vertex 2. If you read some reviews/comparison articles, I'm sure you'll be able to come to your own conclusion.

                            For SSD size, I would highly recommend going with the 120GB size you selected or even higher. The extra space and the flexibility to install more of the software you use on a daily basis is worth it to me. After all, if you can't fit all of the games/software you use on a regular basis or you have to spend significant time micromanaging the space on your drive then what's the point of even buying an SSD.

                            2. Not sure what the price difference between Win 7 Home Premium and Professional is right now, but here are the only differences between the two:

                            http://www.microsoft.com/windows/win...e/default.aspx

                            Also, I don't think there's any question at this point that you should be running the 64-bit edition of windows if you're using a modern gaming computer. 32-bit would restrict you to only 4GB of memory total on your whole system, including system memory, video card memory and more. That means if you had 4GB of memory installed on your computer, windows wouldn't even be able to make use of much more than 3GB of it.

                            3. Here are a list of places I always backup when I have to swap out of a system drive or reinstall windows:

                            *Documents, Pictures, Music: Basically everything in your personal folder under C:\Users unless you store that stuff elsewhere.

                            *Write down all the important software that you're going to have to reinstall under C:\Program Files and C:\Program Files (x86). Also make sure you have the CD's and serial keys for all the software that you're going to have to reinstall

                            *Sometimes programs will save files inside their own folder on C:\, make sure you copy all these.

                            *Save Game files

                            And finally, I like to download all the main drivers that I'm going to need before I actually reinstall Windows. Get your Motherboard, Ethernet, Video Card and Sound Card drivers ahead of time.
                            "Looking for brahs to come fight crime with me" - Unload



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