Advice on new SSD

I'm looking to finally take the plunge to an SSD drive for my OS and replacing my raptor's that have served me flawlessly for 5 years +. I have looked at a lot of different articles, benches, forums, and reviews. I have narrowed down my choices to the following:

Intel X-25M 160 GB - Proven performance but over $400 initial cost may be a little steep for me, slower write speeeds.

Crucial C300 128 GB - somewhat future proof for new Sata 6 board next year, slower write speeds than 256 gb version, good balance overall, still kinda pricey at almost $400 just over $.50/gb higher than other two drives.

Corsair Nova 128 GB - Good balance performance wise, cheaper initial cost on par with per GB price of intel though. Could use as a drive in another computer when I upgrade to new board next year.

The real question for those that have any of these drives is will I see a significant performance difference between them. Benches are one thing but real world. I primarily use my computer for basic stuff, gaming, some video/photo editing.

thanks in advance.
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  1. Quote:
    I primarily use my computer for basic stuff, gaming, some video/photo editing.

    Your games and OS/apps will load faster and feel a bit more smoother. Since you aren't doing any read/write intensive things (ie encoding/rendering vids,etc), you really won't benefit much from it. If you are doing vid editing,etc you will benefit quite a bit.

    My recommendation:
    Get the Intel X25-M G2 80GB and use it as boot drive for OS and a few games.


    Also list full specs including current HDD.
  2. Thanks for the reply Shadow.

    I held off for a while from upgrading to an SSD because I don't feel comfortable with a system drive that small and pricing for the bigger ones, well it just doesn't seem to be falling like we all expected. Currently I stay in the 70 - 80 GB range on my system drive with the apps and few games i have installed. The other reason I haven't bought is because I have Vista and have a hard time justifying giving microsoft more money for Vista 2.0 just to get OS Trim for an SSD :).

    I really don't want to go under 128 GB for the OS drive on my main rig as programs don't seem to be getting any smaller. By your post, I take it you are saying I should not worry about the lower speed writes on both the C300 128 GB and X25-M.
  3. Write speeds, particularly sequential write speeds are the least important metric for a system drive. By far the most critical thing is the random read speeds. The Intel holds up very well in that department.

    Technology is always changing and if you wait you'll always be able to buy more for less - maybe not next month but certainly next year. My experience is that the money you spent is soon forgotten but if you've purchased something that doesn't quite fit your needs then you'll regret it for a long time.

    I bought a 160GB Intel X-25M G2 in January. I wanted a drive of that size because I expect it to last for 5 years or more in a new system I put together. Right now I'm only using 55GB of it, but I'm extremely happy and I have no worries about running out of space for a long time.
  4. So, setting the current C300 issues with firmware aside, a lot of benchmarks point to this drive over the Intel X-25M G2. Which would you buy now, if you were building?
  5. I haven't spent a lot of time checking out the Crucial drive so I can't really say whether I'd choose it over the Intel right now. If I was forced to buy a drive today without being able to do any research I'd buy the Intel because it's got a good track record.
  6. I think I would hold off on the C300

    On size: Intel 80 gig = 74 Gig, Most 128 Gig drives are 120 Gig. OCZ vortex 120 gig = 120 Gig. Need to factor that in when looking at size/cost.

    For My desktop I opted for the Intel G2 80 gig w/pair of 640 gig WD Black HDD for storage.

    For my laptop I opted for the Patriot Torqx - NOTE: there are still some from the BAD batch in the pipline. My laptop does not have a 2nd HDD bay. So traded some performance loss for increased size. Use a SSD card (16 Gig) and external esata HDD for storage (only connect when plug in to wall and need the storage).

    For Size need, my rule of thumb is 10 -> 20% for new programs (don't count Upgrades) and 20% that I want as "Free" space. IE if current Operating system + programs = 50 gigs, then add 10 gigs +10 gigs for a total min size of 70 gigs.

    For me, I also look at power consumption. Although not a problem for desk top it does indicate that the internals will be hotter.
  7. RetiredChief said:
    On size: Intel 80 gig = 74 Gig
    I can't speak for the 80GB Intel, but my 160GB Intel X25-M G2 has 159,934,050,304 bytes of capacity, which is pretty d@mn close to 160GB. That's capacity usable by the OS, any space reserved by the SSD for internal use is over and above that.
  8. I'll check my 80 gig G2 (also my 128 gig Torqx) when I get Home. Never checked, just read some review comparing cost on diff SSDs that mentioned that. Back of my mind it's the same as For HDDs - it depend on which math (binary vs decimal) you use for calculations and the many question on "why is my HDD space less than advertized.

    Added (quote form Patiot (same statement on OCZ)
    *Consumers may see a difference between the physical capacity and actual capacity of SSD drives. The storage industry uses a decimal system to report the capacity while operating systems use a binary format to calculate the actual capacity. This difference causes the SSD drives to show a lower capacity. SSD��s, also is reserved a portion of the capacity for formatting and wear-leveling. This can amount to up to 5% of the drives capacity.

    Added :
    159,934,050,304 bytes / 2 ^ 30 = 148.95 GB (160 -12 = 148 Gigs same as 80 - 6 =74 Gigs)
  9. RetiredChief said:
    Added : 159,934,050,304 bytes / 2 ^ 30 = 148.95 GB (160 -12 = 148 Gigs same as 80 - 6 =74 Gigs)
    Yes, but ALL drive manufacturers quote capacity using decimal multipliers, don't they?
  10. For HDDs I think so, For SSDs at least some of the OCZ use the "correct" method.
    Reaso is for marketing purpose same-same as saying 1.99 instread of $2.00 - Who really wants the peeny back, worth more sold for copper (But not legal)

    OCZ Vortex 120 gig = same size as Patriot Torqx 128 gig (formated).
  11. Vertex2 50GB is actually 64GB; 100GB is actually 128GB. So these have reserved space; though it can be reclaimed. I prefer at least 20-25% spare area. That's the point where you avoid internal (erase block) fragmentation, especially on Intel SSDs.
  12. now that everyone has had there two cents about how marketing chooses to label storage devices...back to the question at hand:

    Assuming Crucial gets the bugs worked out of the C300 128 GB firmware, is it really better than the Intel X-25M 160 GB as a Boot/app drive? C300 went way up in price this week on the egg...Awfully hard to find any real data on the C300 128 all the review samples seem to be the 256 version and it looks like there is a speed difference between the two (internal raid maybe)
  13. The C300 is a fast SSD, but it comes at a cost; the costs per GB are way higher than Intel SSDs. The random IOps performance is slightly to moderately higher depending on which benchmark you look at. Whether it is worth the price? I rather get multiple Intel SSDs. :)

    The best thing you can do if you really want high performance, is to wait until end this year around christmas, and buy one of the great Intel 25nm 6Gbps controllers that will come out at that time; the third generation of SSDs. I also suspect other controller designs to pop up that use the 6Gbps alot better than the Micron controller in the Crucial C300 can. In that respect, it might be an expensive choice to buy an early 6Gbps SSD, with relatively few gains; though sequential write is definitely higher.

    The Intel gives you a higher degree of reliability; they designed a good controller early on while the SSD controller market is very new and only a few designs have made it to actual SSDs lying on the shelves. Later on, there will be better and/or cheaper controller designs that seriously rivals Intel's controller.

    At that time there might be more competition, right now i think the Intels are on the low side of the price per GB and still deliver excellent random I/O performance; which is what you need from an SSD. The Micron 6Gbps does slightly better and much better at writing large files, but at increased cost per GB. There's also the question if the complex design of the Micron controller and any new firmware as it is still evolving might put your data at risk. The Intel SSDs are out in the wild and used in mass numbers; any obscure bug would likely trigger long threads on forums like these. I haven't seen such reports, which makes me trust the Intel SSD above anything else right now.
  14. Kl2amer said:
    Assuming Crucial gets the bugs worked out of the C300 128 GB firmware, is it really better than the Intel X-25M 160 GB as a Boot/app drive?
    If it's as good as the benchmarks suggest, then yes it's probably a good choice if you're willing to pay the price premium. The downside is that it's a new design without much of a track record. The reason sub mesa likes the Intel drives is that they're good drives that have proven themselves to be very reliable. And I'm pretty much with him on that.
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