Building for brother, he wants "cheaper" but "fast", looking at SSD.

Brother wants a "cheaper" gaming rig - this is also his school/everything computer. He gave me the basic specs of what he wanted, so far here's the build:

Case: Cooler Master Elite 335
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400
Motherboard: ECS G43T-M LGA 775 Intel G43 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
PSU: Corsair 650TX
Video: Sapphire Radeon HD 4870

He already has 4 GB DDR2 800 OCZ memory, a DVD-RW and a HD. The problem is both the DVD-RW and HD are IDE, which I believe would bottleneck the system. I gave him his options, and he's now interested in a SSD, specifically:

OCZ Solid Series OCZSSD2-1SLD60G 2.5" 60GB SATA II Solid State Disk (SSD)

However, I believe you have to configure the mobo's BIOS to make the SSD be recognized, and the currently chosen mobo is kind of cheap (not sure if it will work). He's willing to spend more on a mobo, up to 100$ so he can have SSD.

If the current mobo is good, then okay, otherwise, are there any recommended Mobo's he could choose for 100$ or less? Is SSD that hard to configure to work (I'll be putting the system together)? Is the system still going to bottleneck somewhere that I missed? I plan to run XP Pro on the system, 64-bit probably.
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  1. This is about the best motherboard you can get for < $100 IMO:

    GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3L LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $98.99

    Edit: 650W is overkill for that system. I'd save $10 and get this one instead:

    CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail $89.99 - $20 MIR
  2. The motherboard doesn't care how the data is physically stored on the disk.
  3. Agreed. Don't SSD drives just plug into the SATA port?

    Depending on the age of the IDE drive, it might not be slow. Recent IDE drives are just as fast as their SATA counterparts. The interface might be capable of 150/300MBps, but the spinning media can still only do 70-80MB. If we are talking an older 40/80GB drive here, then any more recent drive is better. Due to the small size of SSD, I would just get a nice 500/640GB drive and not worry about it.
  4. So apparently, the mobo doesn't have any effect on the speed of the SSD, do I even need to bother upgrading it? My brother has an ancient IDE HD and DVD/RW btw.
  5. I've never used SSD, but from what I know, it just plugs into the SATA port like any other drive. As long as your motherboard has SATA plugs, it should be fine.

    If he has an ancient IDE drive and DVD drive, I'd get a newer harddrive. I wouldn't bother with SSD, not on a cheap build. Any modern drive will run circles around his older drive, and for most of us we don't need the fastest and best harddrives. If this is just a gaming/school computer, any recent 500/640GB drive will work fine. Seeing as adding a drive is pretty simple, you can even use the one he has right now, then upgrade to the new one once he has the $$$ again.
  6. Fast/quality drive for a good price. 580Gb more storage than that SSD
  7. ^+1 for the WD 640GB and the P45-UD3L (great OCing board).

    @OP: Unless you are going to RAID the SSDs and have a real need for read speeds, you DO NOT need a SSD. You will also have to configure your OS for the SSDs (ie disable defrag,etc). The motherboard will not effect the HDDs or SDDs.

    Stay away from ECS boards. They are pretty low quality.
  8. If you live near a Micro Center, they have Q9400(boxed) for $180.. Make sure you get a MB with P43-45/ICH10R. ICH10R give you option to raid your hard drive.
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