840 Evo SSD on SATA 2, RAPID or Not?

Hello and thank you sincerely for reading this post, and for providing any assistance! I also appreciate your time/effort, and to keep this short, I'll get straight into it. Thank you. :)

I'm looking to upgrade my father's 3 year old laptop once more. I've upgraded it to an Intel Core 2 Duo (T9300, socket P), and 4GB RAM running on Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit (other GB RAM is currently going to BIOS, graphics etc.) At the moment the laptop has a WD 140GB Hard Drive.

I'm going to install a Samsung 840 Evo SSD, with 120GB storage. The SSD supports SATA 3, however my fathers laptop only supports SATA 2 (3Gbit/s); so already the SSD is going to be handicapped/bottlenecked. Now my question is, should I also enable RAPID mode?

I understand that the RAM's temporary memory (25% or 1GB, whichever comes first) will be utilised prior to using the SSD. So when booting up, the RAM will be contacted first before the SSD. The purpose of RAPID Mode is to enhance the performance and overcome the limitations of SATA 3, and most likely SATA 2 too; however would this be the case if my RAM slower?

I currently have installed on my father's laptop two Kingston 2GB PC2-6400 memory sticks, running in dual-channel; total of 4GB RAM. According to CPU-Z the RAM is running at "DRAM Frequency: 399.0MHz."

Should I enable RAPID mode? Would this reduce the life-span of the SSD? I currently have 4GB RAM on a 32-bit OS, so would RAPID mode utilise the 1GB RAM not accessible by Windows? Would RAPID mode increase performance or decrease, as I have DDR2 RAM with 390MHz frequency (the Kingston sticks say they operate at 666MHz however, but I've not looked into that)?

P.S. If I install the 840 Evo SSD with 120GB, will I get the full 120GB or will it be slightly less?

All the best, and thank you sincerely. Please feel free to ask if you need more information. :)
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. I would install rapid mode. It will make no difference to the SSD's lifespan.
    It will use 1gb ram leaving 2gb for windows & apps.
    The drive will be 120GB. Overprovisioning will reserve 12 to 24gb of space for the SSD's firmawares maintenance tasks. (ie - 10 to 20%: user settable) Leaving you with 89 to 100GB of actual space. (unless you forgo overprovisioning)
  2. Wow, thank you sincerely for your detailed answer and hitting all the points I raise. I've researched into over-provisioning and it sounds good; but unfortunately the less storage space is off putting. I've noticed major performance differences with RAPID mode enabled, compared to without RAPID mode on SATA 2. So enabling it sounds great, however I don't want to lose that additional GB RAM, and I'm unsure if all my laptop components are compatible with 64-bit or not; plus I already have a W7 Home Premium 32 bit key.

    Instead of a 840 Evo, would it be better if I got a Samsung 470 SSD 256GB? The 470 only supports SATA 2, and is only a little more expensive than the 120GB 840 Evo, but has a higher storage capacity. Unfortunately however, I don't think the 470 has RAPID mode and generally is slower (i.e. poorer in performance over the 840 Evo.)

    To be honest however, I don't want to spend too much money on an old laptop; but since it's my fathers, I definitely want to give him a good experience with it.

    All the best, and thank you sincerely. :)
  3. Best answer
    If you are considering losing rapid mode then yeah, might as well grab the larger drive since you will still have the same performance.

    Add in that your Dad hasn't experienced rapid mode, he will only have the old slow drive to compare with and still be WOW'd :-)
  4. Thank you very much for your assistance popatim! I can't thank you enough, the assistance you have provided is the type you pay for! Seriously, I appreciate your replies sincerely. :D

    I have purchased the Samsung 470 SSD 256GB from eBay. I was nervous upon purchase, but on checkout I had to think twice and do additional research, as the costs had become higher than expected (don't you just hate those moments? Haha.) I'm in England, United Kingdom and the SSD is coming from Texas, United States. For the SSD and delivery charges turned out to be £59.38 ($99.99 USD) and £6.48 ($10.88 USD) respectively, a total of £65.86 ($111.17 USD) which I think is still a good deal, no doubt. However additional delivery charges and customs/import costs £16.32 ($27.55 USD) which appeared only on checkout, which summed the overall total to: £82.18 ($138.71 USD.)

    SSD: £59.38 ($99.99 USD)
    Delivery: £6.48 ($10.88 USD)
    Additional Delivery + Customs/Import: £16.32 ($27.55 USD)
    Total: £82.18 ($138.71 USD)

    I hope I didn't pay too much for a SATA 2 SSD, but I did do some research before purchase. I couldn't find any SSD's around £82.18 ($138.71 USD) which had a capacity of 256GB, and were decently branded; from research I seem to find that Samsung and Crucial tend to be favoured by people. Looking back on my bank account, I don't know if I should feel down, or think positively, haha.

    P.S. I've never tried a SSD myself, let a lone RAPID mode; so I hope the performance gain is decent for my father. No doubt it will be though, as his laptop's hard drive is as old as the laptop; almost 4 years, plus I've read so many great reviews about SSD's. I'd put a SSD in my desktop, but I'm happy with it's performance at the moment; my desktop boots in 40 seconds, I can't complain. I know SSD's boot way faster, but they come with a hefty price tag and lower storage capacity.

    Sorry for going off topic, but seriously thank you so much popatim! I love the assistance you have provided, I can't thank you enough. Thank you. :D

    All the best.
  5. Anytime :-)
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