1. I am reading articles about them and most mention that it will give a significant boost to older computers, but if I am building a new computer with core i7, 8MB RAM, would an SSD give me any significant boost in performance (BESIDES BOOT TIME*) compared to a 7200 rpm?
2. Do SSD's offer any other advantage besides boot time and application start up time? For example, if I am working in Photoshop or After Effects, after the amazing 3 second load time, will it give me any benefit while working in the application? What about other programs?
3. Do SSD's have that issue like HDD's where the capacity is actually less when formatted? In other words, if I get a 60GB SSD will I have 60GB of usable storage or no?
4. Will 60GB be enough for Windows 7, CS4, and other applications? Internet caching, etc. etc.
Btw I am considering a Samsung F3 or a OCZ Vertex SSD as the OS drive, and 2x F3 as secondary drives.
1) Everything will feel snappier with a ssd. The OS does lots of small random reads and writes, a task at which a ssd excels.
2) A ssd is also silent and shock resistant, and runs cool.
3) SSD's will reserve some of their nand chips for spares . This may or may not show up in the advertised capacity. My Intel X25-Mg2 160gb drive shows 148gb capacity for instance.
4) I loaded windows-7 on a 40gb X25-V, along with microsoft security essentials. It took up about 15gb. I made no effort to prune it down. I would think that a 64gb or 80gb drive would normally be fine.
But... I would wait a bit. The ssd market is very competitive, and 25nm based gen3 units are nearing launch. The will be faster, larger, and cheaper. In the interim, allocate a 160gb or so os partition on your large drive, and install the os and ssd type stuff there. Plan on cloning it to a ssd later. To prepare for a ssd, set the sata mode in the bios to AHCI, (not IDE or raid) before installing windows-7. Then it will use the windows7 drivers which can pass on the trim command.
Thanks for the info guys. Considering the SSD's in my budget are small and not the best controller, I believe you are right about waiting a bit. So I'll just get regular drives for now and put in a SSD in the future as you said.
I'm just confused about the partition and setting the AHCI.
So if I get a 500 gig drive, I should partition 160gb for Windows and leave the rest. Is that only for making sure the drive is small enough to fit onto SSD's in the future? I always thought if you partition a drive the performance decreases.
I'm also not sure about AHCI and TRIM, is that safe for regular drives? I never read anywhere about setting that for regular drives. Of course I'm no expert I just want to make sure.
Oh, and also, when I'm buying the motherboard, do I absolutely have to get one with Sata III capabilities.
I'm building a P55 system so a non-SATA3/USB3 MB is significantly cheaper, but if SSD's in the near future would work better with Sata III would it be worth it?
The partitioning will exercise the HD's arm more. If you are sure you want to go SSD in the future, the suggested approach is the "only" way to do it without a fresh install of the OS. The partition creates a 160GB "C" drive, the rest is "D", and when you get an SSD you move the "C" to it and expand the "D". Its your call.
AHCI activates some features you may not use, but is safe for all HDs. Trim is SSD's super-equivalent of "defrag", necessary for SSDs, but would never be applied by the OS to a regular HD. So its safe, too.
No, you do not absolutely have to get a mobo with the latest SATA nor USB 3.0. Maybe there will be devices that will interest you when its time to replace this system. You cannot exceed current SATA data rates with an SSD.