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Advice on SSD purchase needed

Last response: in Storage
March 30, 2010 3:41:52 PM


I was about to buy a SSD 1 month ago but then my graphics card suddenly broke and I had to send it to the retailer (since it was still under the warranty). Since they have been quite slow, I delayed my purchase of the SSD as well.

At first I settled on buying an Intel X25-M 160GB but I am a bit in doubt wether I should stick to this or go for the newer Crucial C300 128GB instead? Or maybe some other alternative?

I am also a bit in doubt whether or not how important the extra capacity of the Intel drive is gonna be. I plan on installing Windows 7 and other programs aswell like Photoshop, Premiere Pro and some 3D programs - also a game or two.

I dont have a motherboard that supports SATA 6Gbps, but I would like this drive to last through my next new PC as well :-)

What would you advice me to do ?
a c 415 G Storage
March 30, 2010 5:40:41 PM

I have 64-bit Windows 7 ultimate, Microsoft Visio 2007 & Office 2007 Pro, Adobe Web Premium CS4, and a bunch of other smaller programs installed on my Intel 160GB drive. I have a hibernation file that's about 10GB in size and no pagefile. That all comes out to about 55GB.

I too, expect the drive to last for at least 5 years or so, which is why I bought the 160GB drive vs. Intel's 80GB one. No regrets so far.
March 31, 2010 5:45:07 PM

Okay, thanks for your reply. Guess I just gotta think about exactly which programs I need and see how much that's gonna take :) 

But no one got any comments about what drive to buy? The C300 128GB, Intel 160Gb or maybe a third option ?
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a c 127 G Storage
March 31, 2010 5:49:25 PM

I would bet on the Intel ones; its still very fast in random I/O; the other SSDs are faster in sequential write; but that''s not really what you need on your system drive.

Intel SSDs generally have no particular weakness and are good to excellent across the board; they also should have good support, and higher quality firmware releases; particularly OCZ has a bad track record.
a c 415 G Storage
March 31, 2010 6:55:28 PM

I'm not that familiar with the Crucial drives so I can't really comment. All I can say is that I've been very satisfied with my Intel drive.
April 2, 2010 12:13:53 PM

Im mostly thinking about the benefit of the Crucial drive being SATA 6Gbps so that I might get a good performance boost compared with the Intel drive when I get my next PC ? :) 
a c 415 G Storage
April 2, 2010 5:43:22 PM

SATA 6Gbps won't give you any benefit unless the drive itself is capable of transferring data faster than the SATA 3Gbps limit. So check the transfer specs of the drive - if it's transfer rates are beyond about 300MByte/sec, then it'll run faster with 6Gbps SATA. There are one or two SSD drives out there that are faster than 300MByte/sec, but most aren't.

Don't use transfer rate as the sole basis for your decision, though. Access time is really where you generally get the biggest boost. A drive with significantly shorter access times is probably going to work better for you than one with slightly higher transfer rates.
a c 127 G Storage
April 2, 2010 6:47:45 PM

For SSDs perhaps the best benchmarks are:

- random read/write with queue depth of 1
- random read/write with queue depth of 32/64

Then you can see the effect of NCQ/AHCI and how fast the SSD can issue I/O in parallel. That would give a reasonable performance indication for many system disk related tasks.