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Struggling to decide ssd vs hdd

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December 19, 2010 6:14:58 PM

im going to be building my first pc soon its going to be an i7-950 machine

i keep going back and forth on what to do about my main windows drive ssd or hdd..i know the benefits of ssd but what worries me is the lifespan issue

i know that if i do ssd i shouldnt have anything but windows and apps on it my documents will go to another drive and any downloads and what not as well but it still concerns me the lifespan of it



plus dont know to much about how to use it right..i know there a tweak utility out there dont know if its the same one everyone pretty much uses or what..and if it automatically does things or i have to manually do it..if im correct if the drive has trim then in windows 7 certain settings should be fine

then i see some people saying to change in your bios to go into AHCInot sure exactly what this means either but ive seen conflicting comments about doing things



also another thing that concerns me is i would like to back up my windows driver regularly into an image file most likely with acronis..will i be able to back it up to a hard drive fine and possibly restore it to a hard drive if my ssd does fail

if people could answer my questions and help me set my mind at ease and pick a drive type it would be greatly appreciated
a c 415 G Storage
December 19, 2010 6:34:00 PM

I've been using a 160GB Intel X-25M G2 SSD on my Windows 7 system. I have no pagefile, but a 10GB hibernation file is on the SSD (although I don't put the system to sleep all that often) and my personal profile (about 4.5GB) is too (i.e., the temp directory and all of the internet cache files, etc). My data files are on a hard drive. I typically use my system about 8-10 hours a day, and so far I'm averaging about 5GB/day of writes to the drive. Since Intel claims a lifespan of "at least" 5 years when writing 20GB/day to the drive, I'm confident that the drive isn't going to wear out until well after it's become obsolete.

Windows 7 is designed to handle SSDs properly and there really isn't anything special you need to do to get the most out of the drive.

For OS backups I use an external drive and the Windows 7 "System Image" backup utility. I've tested restoring a system, even to a completely different type of drive (HDD --> SSD) and it works perfectly. I recommend it for OS backups (although I don't use it for data file backups).
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December 20, 2010 5:19:34 PM

Interesting! I'm more worried about space and price. I read an article about failure rates and 1TB HDDs do best at 2.5% or so but SSDs had around the same rate which was interesting. 2TB HDDs did the worst at about 4%. What the article didn't do, however, is go into specifics. The SSDs might have had the older controllers, older firmware as there wasn't much specific. However, the Intel drives were the most reliable out of the SSDs, particularly the G2 drives.

The 2TB drives were probably 4-platter as well. I suspect the 3-platter 2TB drives will ultimately prove to be more reliable than the older versions. That's my hope, anyway, as I might be buying one! :) 
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December 20, 2010 5:51:33 PM

go ssd if performance is important... as they are much faster.

If size and price is your concern just get a plain old 7200rpm slow drive.

The extray money of SSD is beyond the price for a say 1TB drive.. since most users get that also...

You can't replace your big drive with SSD it would cost way too much...

best option is to have both... if your willing to spend the money
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a c 415 G Storage
December 20, 2010 10:07:40 PM

Canuck1 said:
I read an article about failure rates and 1TB HDDs do best at 2.5% or so but SSDs had around the same rate which was interesting. 2TB HDDs did the worst at about 4%.
I don't really worry about drive failures. ANY drive can fail at ANY time, so you NEED to make backups no matter what technology you use. Once you've got a good backup strategy in place failures are no more than an inconvenience at worst.
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