$550 SSD Build

Max Budget: ~ $550, less is better

Absolute minimum space: 240Gb, more is better

Rig this will be going in:
6Gb Gskill 1600
Win 7 Pro

Usage: All purpose: gaming, workstation, 3d rendering, etc...
Everything except large file storage.

Current prices from my point of view:
Crucial C300 256gb: $550
Vertex2 120Gb: $240 ea - $30 rebate
Agility2 120Gb: $230 ea - $30 rebate
Solid2 120Gb: $180 ea - $30 rebate

3x Intel X25-m 80Gb Raid0 - over budget

Sub mesa gets to vote twice.
12 answers Last reply
More about build
  1. Quote:

    Sub mesa gets to vote twice.


    Seriously, this is the time to wait for the newer SSDs! You're only stealing your own wallet by buying now!

    Why? Well two reasons:
    - newer and better SSDs are coming. Not only faster but also safer, have better firmware and most new SSDs of the third generation have a supercapacitor; so they are the first SSDs to be able to write safely!
    - if you don't care about these newer SSDs then still wait for them! The existing second generation SSDs on the market now may drop by as much as 50%. We've already seen the X25-V getting price cuts, likely in preparation of the new Intel G3.

    Because when the newer SSDs come out; nobody wants the older ones EXCEPT if they are alot cheaper. 1GB SSD = 1 euro, that would be the trend. So 80GB = 80 euro; right now this is too good to be true, but i think we'll end up here for low-end SSDs in early 2011.

    So all the reason to wait. If you really can't wait i would opt for a small 30/40GB SSD only for the OS.

    3d rendering; is that something your SSDs can be of help? Possibly that's very hard on the CPU but not that hard on the disk, and would work with large files only; correct? I'm not sure whether you could use a cheap SSD which focuses only on sequential performance (Indilinx, JMicron, Samsung) but does much worse on random I/O workloads. The better SSDs (Intel, Sandforce, Micron) clearly distinguish themselves from the cheaper SSDs when looking at random I/O. But for most simple windows tasks the cheap SSDs do surprisingly well; the better SSDs are only marginally faster here.

    There might be a consideration to use more spare space; like the 100GB models instead of 110/120/128GB models. All these models have 128GiB physically; which is 6.8% more than 128GB; note the difference between GiB and GB! But as you say you value SSD capacity the most; so something like an older Sandforce SF1200 would be great value.

    Either way, the SSD market will get alot more interesting after the first quarter in 2011.
  2. Is there any news of OCZ's plans for gen3? All I have seen so far is Intel's 25nm shpiel. If all manufacturers have their own plans for gen3, then it would cement the idea that prices will come down. If it's just intel that has plans, there is not enough competition. I have no knowledge of the industry at this level though.

    The purpose of this poll is to find out if people think that the deals that I can get now are worth taking. The OCZ Soild2 is at $1.50 per Gb, $1.25 with the rebate, which is practically at the level of an intel drive if you halved it's price.

    It is a worse drive... I believe it uses an Idilinx controller, but it does have good iops, faster write, and with a generous application of RAID, and maybe a little rapid storage driver to help it along, I could get something competitive today and not have to wait the 4 months or so before gen3 truly comes out.
  3. I'd rather go for :
    1 120gb vertex 2 +
    RAID 1 2tb drives for data.
    raid 0 if you really wants speed but who cares about speed on an HDD when you have an ssd.

    It's like willing to boost your volkwagen Golf City when you've got a supra Twin Turbo.
  4. Quote:
    1 120gb vertex 2 +
    RAID 1 2tb drives for data.

    I already have a storage drive

    120gb is not enough to hold my OS + programs
  5. OCZ uses Sandforce, and will use SF-2000, which is going to be a great NAND controller! Not before early 2011 though.

    Indilinx Jetstream is another contender, but on the value side since Indilinx has always been very bad with random I/O relative to other controllers; but they do very good in sequential writes particularly.

    Micron C400 will continue the successful C300 controller present in the Crucial C300.

    All by all; many new designs in early 2011 and interesting time for consumers to start getting their first SSD. 2011 will open up SSDs to the mainstream public; even people who don't know what an SSD is will use it; that's the threshold for mainstream. This also should make them cheaper, since price often depends on the production volume; make one and it costs a billion, make a billion and it costs a dollar. Basically. So we consumers interested in SSDs will have alot of interesting choices and OCZ surely will ship at least the SF2000 and who knows other controllers will emerge as well from new company startups.
  6. Hi.

    If you really want buy the SSD now, I'd go with the C300. Keep in mind that as the HD with plates, the SSD don't comes with the full space, so, with C300 or OCZ in RAID you will not have the full space.
  7. Does anyone have any hard facts on what OCZ is planning?
  8. sub mesa said:
    Because when the newer SSDs come out; nobody wants the older ones EXCEPT if they are alot cheaper. 1GB SSD = 1 euro, that would be the trend. So 80GB = 80 euro; right now this is too good to be true, but i think we'll end up here for low-end SSDs in early 2011.

    Then why are current mainstream models priced $10-$20 less than the performance models, and not at half the price? I really find your logic more easy to follow than real-world SSD pricing!


    SSD will probably benefit your "workstation" usage the most, with some benefit to gaming - depending on which games you play. If 3d rendering is anything like raytracing, it's all about the cpu... limited benefit from SSD.

    Your budget doesn't seem too constrained, so I'd buy one SSD now. Don't go overboard, just get enough to hold the OS and some applications/data. Get a 2nd SSD in the spring when you can get more speed and more capacity for the same money - makes little point to buy two at the same time. Make sure your mobo has SATA III = 6 Gb/s bus for the future SSDs.
  9. I thought I'd bump this (I don't know if I'm allowed to do that, but w/e) The poll will expire soon.

    Thanks for the input guys.

    I think the best point made so far was by sub mesa - that gen3 is coming out soon and thus it would be prudent to wait. This is very reasonable considering the information released about Intel's upcoming gen3 ssds. I am going to make an assumption here that intel's ssds will drop in price by about 50% (which seems to be in line with what is said).

    About the crucial drive, I will agree that it is the best single drive you can get. If you can't do raid and want awesome performance on 1 ssd, the C300 256gb can't be beaten... (355Mb/s? ... pure win right there).

    Now to business, in light of a sale (likely related to black friday), I can now reliably get a Vertex2 120gb for $180. I think this enough of a difference for me to re-consider. I can now afford 3 of these, (although the raid will max out my ICH10R, which caps at 600; is this true?)

    I have these arguments to counter sub mesa, as to why it's better to buy now (in my situation):
    - Gen3 is released in 1st quarter 2011, which means the project is delayed by 3-4 months.
    - The price in my situation is $1.50/gb (~1.1EUR), which is about half as expensive as the current intel drives, and this is for an SSD that has a "good" controller - AND has very nice write speed.
    - I have seen no upcoming OCZ gen3 talk. If I did, I would be more open to waiting. Right now it looks like intel is the only one with plans for Gen3, if intel is the only one releasing gen3 in Q1 2011, then it can afford to charge more for them, with no competition. I will have to either pay more or wait longer until other manufacturers go gen3.

    You will have to forgive my basic knowledge on SSDs, despite all the questions I have asked here on Toms, For example, I know the controller is obviously important, but I am only willing to go so far as to ask "which controller is better?", I have to draw the line of "more research than this and I am looking into it too deeply, it's not worth what it costs" somewhere.

    You could say gen3 will be safer, but then I consider the gen2 ssds to be safe already. Millions of hours of MTBF seems quite safe to me.
    Power consumption & durability are moot.

    A side question: As I understand it, a raid card handles read/write operations to the SSDs, improving speeds in raid, taking load off the cpu - which seems essential if you have a large number of SSDs or HDDs in a complex raid structure like raid5 or something. If I was to get 3 ssds of any sort, would I need a raid card for them to run effectively in raid0? Keep in mind the setup - these will be paired with an i7-930 (which can be overclocked), also, consider when the SSDs are used the most - during loading operations - not the most CPU intensive situations IMO.
  10. RAID 0 takes basically 0 processor load with today's processors.

    Gen3 will be safer, not because of MTBF but because it will not scramble writes during a power outage.

    Not that I'm against buildling a super stripe with OCZ sandforce based drives. Good luck, and good computing.
  11. Double your RAM
  12. RAID 0 don't support TRIM in any chipset, so, you will get a lot of garbage in you SSD if you use that array.
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