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Thinking of getting an SSD, have questions

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September 13, 2010 9:18:42 PM

Hi guys. I've recently been trying to decide on a good upgrade to my PC. You can see my specs in my signature, it's a loaded up P55 mobo lol. I have been tossing around the idea of Eyefinity but that's just $500 I don't really have right now, and then I did more research into SSDs and I feel like this is a great step to take.

I know that this fall we're expecting a new generation of SSDs, but it's already September and I haven't really seen anything about it other than rumour so I'm kind of thinking there's not much point in waiting right now... but anyway...

My real questions are, firstly, I have Windows 7 all set up and configured plus lots of games installed and media as well. If I put an SSD in there, I would want Windows on it for the faster boot up, plus some of the apps I have on start up (like my sound card software). Probably iTunes as well, GIMP 2 maybe (don't use it a ton but it's nice to have)... The thing is, there's no way in hell I can fit my games on an SSD, especially since I don't want to spend more than about $200 on one. Ok so, the real kicker is if I do a fresh install of Windows 7, I'll have to redownload all my installers, probably all my games (gotta have them in the add/remove programs menu) etc etc. I had to do this a couple months ago and I don't really want to do it again lol...

So, is there any way to maybe ghost my Windows over to the SSD, but leave the movies, pictures, and games on the HDDs? Or am I screwed and just need to try and fresh install everything?

Also, just thought of it, would it be possible to just copy the registry over?? What I mean is, install Windows on the SSD, boot onto it, then copy the registry, since it's already targeting the game folders on my current C: drive (and assuming I stick the SSD into SATA port 3, and call it D: ) might that work?

And for something like Steam, would it be possible to install Steam on the SSD but have all the game downloads targeted to my HDDs? I don't really know if there's an option for that, but currently all games go into the Steam folder.

Last thing, I know I need TRIM so I'll have the SSD set to ACHI. Does TRIM happen automatically via Windows 7?

As for SSD options, I'd like to get them from the local retailer Memory Express (Canadian) so my options are Corsair, Intel, Kingston, Mushkin, and Patriot. I was considering Intel X25 V (40gb), but right now they have Kingston SSD-Now V Series 128GB for $210 and the 64GB for $110... other options are here

I would really appreciate any and all help here. I've done a bunch of reading on them but so many focus on OCZ and Intel, I've seen little to no reviews on Kingston and Patriot, or Mushkin. (My favorite article was the anandtech one in the forum's sticky)

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a b G Storage
September 13, 2010 10:06:11 PM

I don't know the answer to all your questions but here's what I got.

1) I don't believe your Mobo has a SATA 6 Gb/s controller on it (right?) and I think the big deal w/ the new SSDs is that their actually supposed to be able to take advantage of the new interface, which you can't. So I think the newer batch up coming won't give you too much of a performance bost vs. the current ones w/ your Mobo. So just buy now IMO.

2) I don't know how much you play different games, but the transition was pretty smooth for me to a SSD because I usually only play 1 game at a time, so losing the old games was no big deal to me. I just did a clean install on the SSD then changed all the My Documents, Music, Videos etc. folders to be recognized as the one's from my old Windows instillation which was pretty easy. Then re-installed iTunes, browser, MS Word which didn't take too long either and I was all set. Of coarse you may want to do something different and I wouldn't really know the solution as far as just copying the registry over or if that would even save time vs. a clean install.

3) I believe you can separate your games from your SSD w/ Steam. Here's a thread that gives you a few options on another forum. I have no experience w/ this though because I usually just keep 1 game on my computer at a time really.

http://www.overclock.net/pc-games/771214-guide-how-inst...

4) If your set to ACHI TRIM happens automatically in Windows 7.
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September 13, 2010 10:58:19 PM

Cool thanks for the reply. You're right I only have SATA 2, but my main speed increase will come from the random read/writes moreso than the overall bandwidth increase. I don't so much think the new generation will be better for speed, but more that I've heard they'll have a better $/GB.

I play quite a few games at any given time, although I've now beat several of them so it's not as important to have them all installed. Still, I doubt I'd have room for more than 1 or 2 games on the SSD, since most of the newer games are 10+ GB. Regardless it's not much of an issue since my games tend to run fairly fast anyway. Might do what you're doing tho.

Thanks for the link, that's more or less what I was thinking about. I'm wondering if you can't just copy -> paste shortcut (folder) instead of using that junction stuff but anyway, good info :D 

I guess that answered most of my questions for now so thanks. I'm going to wait a bit longer to get the SSD, unless I can find a killer deal (price matching ftw :D ). I heard there's an Intel conference next week or something so maybe we'll hear info on the new SSDs then.
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September 13, 2010 10:58:35 PM

Best answer selected by Wolfram23.
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a c 100 G Storage
September 14, 2010 12:55:06 AM

I recommend:
1) 60GB SSD (OCZ Vertex 2)

2) 1TB or whatever for GAMES, Backup, Media

*You can NOT separate all your games. You will need to Uninstall all your games (you can often leave your SAVES though which are there upon reinstall of game).

The exception is STEAM. You can copy the entire folder to another drive and setup STEAM again so you need not download your STEAM games again. The STEAM site has instructions on this.

Steps:
1) Uninstall the games
2) Install the SSD
3) CLONE Windows to the new SSD
4) Format the HDD (make sure it's the HDD)
5) Reinstall games to the HDD (your secondary drive; probably called your "E" drive)

**Installing games:
I just change the "C" in the recommended install path to an "E" (in my case) to install the game to my second drive. I've found 60GB is enough for Windows 7 though I recommend pictures and even your Pagefile be on the hard drive. You can Google about the Pagefile; I recommend changing it not for space but to limit the WRITING to the SSD on a continuous basis (although in reality most people should be fine under even heavy use for five years or more.)
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September 14, 2010 2:37:53 AM

^Hmm that's an interesting idea, thanks for bringing it up. Never really thought about just uninstalling the games and then doing the drive clone... Well, worth considering.

OCZ is out of the question for me, just because I really like to buy my components at Memory Express. Mostly because it's really cheap to get warranty from them and then they have a no hassle in house replacement. Last time I was there the sales guy was telling me about a guy who had a 128gb SSD and since they replace with equal or better, and they were out of stock on a lot of SSDs, the guy got the biggest SSD they have like 300GB or something lol. Last time I had to bring an item in they upgraded my mobo from an MSI P55GD65 to the ASUS P7P55D Pro I'm now using so yeah, beats the *** out of newegg RMA. I'll probably get an Intel drive.
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a c 353 G Storage
September 14, 2010 3:21:29 AM

I think the Kingston SSD-Now V Series are cheap for a reason, ie performance. While the are still faster than a mechanical HDD, I think you will find them toward the bottem of the heap, along with the WD Blue's. The others, it's hard to say as their are several versions from a given company. Added - There was a post note long ago about "Why is my performance so bad - Kingston SSD. end added.

What I would do is (1) get the specific model and do a google search for "Make model perforance. Then select on of the reviews/bench marks (It may also give you (show you) some of the other models in your list.

Note: I have 1 ea 80 gig Intel G1, 128 gig patriot Torqx, 80 gig Intel G2, and a 128 gig WD blue (I know my bad on WD)
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September 14, 2010 2:54:05 PM

^ You have a lot of SSDs!
How is the Torqx?
I'm leaning on an Intel right now, possibly just the X25-V 40GB unless there's a sale on their 80gb (they're all G2 btw)
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a c 353 G Storage
September 14, 2010 4:38:16 PM

It's great for my laptop, Balance between performance/size. Bought before current crop. At the time it was tied with Vortex (NOT Vortex-2) and a little behind the More expensive Intel G2. They had a sale on it and a LIFETIME Warranty.

The Intel G2 is a great SSD, dated, and behind the newer Sata II SSDs in performance -Probably reason for sale). - But when compared to a mechanical HDD still Fantastic.
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