Help With Basic SSD Issues

I really want to try a SSD for my boot drive. I do a lot of work with Adobe Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects, Microsoft Office, AutoCAD, etc., the speed would be greatly appreciated. I've been researching SSDs and installation but I still have some questions before I spend over $200 on a 120G drive. I love fooling around with my computer, but I have work to do.
I've been leaning towards an OCZ Vertex2; seems like good performance for the price. I've had good luck with Intel stuff so the X-25 is also a consideration, but not quite as fast as the Vertex2, but Intel has always meant reliability, if not breakneck speed? The Vertex2 seemed to have some SMART issues with my P55A-UG4P ver. 1 mobo, but I'm assuming that was with an older SSD firmware version.
I need to clone or image my 60-70G worth of OS and programs to the new 120G SSD. To do a fresh install of the OS and all the software would be a nightmare. I am hoping to clone or image my boot drive using Acronis True Image. Since the only OS installed has been Windows 7 Pro 64 bit, I'm hoping the cluster sizes will be OK and not cause alignment problems during any cloning/imaging process? Will I need to download and install AHCI drivers? When the OS was installed, the BIOS was in IDE mode. I know I can switch to AHCI using a registry edit, I'm hoping that won't do anything to my 5 TB of files on 5 SATA drives.
If I can get the SSD installed on Windows 7, I assume I can work out any issues with TRIM, alignment or disc maintenance settings?
I've tried to get info on all these issues but if there is someone who has firsthand experience and wants to share advice and insight, it would be greatly appreciated.
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  1. Several things:
    (1) You can image your C drive using win 7 Back-up. You can then use either (A) Your installation disk to restore this Image to a 2nd HDD, or (B) using win 7 backup, when you do the "C" image when completed it will prompt you to make a bootable repair disk.
    (2) If you are getting an error "Failed Smart test" during post - I believe it is an issue with the motherboard. Some MBs have an updated firmware to fix the problem. I have the Pheonix Pro, same issue, P55-UD4P.
    (3) If you go with a SF-1200 SSD (And yes it's faster than the Intel G2s) you will want to use the Intel Ver 9 ahci driver. Instal is normally done using the OLD F6 method.

    I would highly recommend that you bite-the-bull and do a fresh install. Others may be able to help with trim/partition alignment/changing from an OS installed using Bios set to IDE to AHCI - BUT if you use the SF1200 SSDs then you do not want the msahci driver, you want the intel ahci (ver 9.6) driver.
  2. Thanks Chief-That is some helpful info.
    I'll have to take these things into consideration.
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