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Which SSD for HTPC boot?

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December 23, 2010 4:05:34 PM

My HTPC has been coming together one piece at a time, and right now I'm taking a real hard look at replacing my 160 GB Hitachi with an SSD for a boot drive. I already have a 1 TB drive for data storage. I will be running the latest Mythbuntu version, which is pretty minimalistic and focused on media center functionality without the unneeded productivity software and such.

One of the drives I am looking at is the Intel X25-V 40GB drive. I figure that 40GB is a good enough size for what I need (though depending on how much tv I record, I may augment the rest of my storage). The Intel drives have a good reputation, but this particular drive has a particularly low write speed. It is consistent, however, and the write speed does not drop much, even for 4KB random writes.

I've also got my eye on some Sandforce-1200 SSD's, though. From my research it appears that SF-1200 drives are mostly the same as far as performance and the selection can be based on price and warranty. They are particularly good at random writes and usually even beat out the Intel X25-M drives.

My question is whether getting a drive with a lower write speed is going to affect me much if the drive is only being used as an OS drive. It would have the operating system and all applications on it, but pictures, music, movies and recorded tv shows would all be stored on the data drive(s). All other things being equal I would just go with an SF-1200 drive, but if there is a good deal on the X25-V, can I pull the trigger confident that it will give me a significant boost in performance. For me, that means faster boot times, application loading, waking from sleep and shutdown. I'm just not familiar enough with how the day-to-day operations of an OS and it's applications uses disk space, and if all the files are stored on a separate drive if much writing is needed.

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a b G Storage
December 23, 2010 4:25:47 PM
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I think you'd be happy with either Intel or SandForce SSD's. Hell, I'm using a Kingston (one of the slowest SSD's) in my HTPC and it's perfectly fine- much better than the platter drive I used to have.

There isn't much writing on the boot drive... reads are more important. The Intel 40GB does have a rebate making it only $70. That's very tempting.

There's plenty of SandForce 40GB drives in the ~$95 range, so you can't go wrong there either.

I say screw the rebate, and get one of the SandForce 40GB drives. I hate rebates.
December 23, 2010 7:25:20 PM

Thanks for a confirmation on writes not being important for a boot drive. This is what I suspected. And a big LOL on the rebates comment. I know what you mean, but putting it at $70, even if I have to wait on a rebate, may put this more within range of wife approval.

Now I just need to get her approval on that dual tuner I've been eyeing...
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a b G Storage
December 23, 2010 8:35:16 PM

HDHomerun, HVR-2250, or A188 duet??

Go for the HDHomerun and then you can tell your wife she can watch her soaps from her laptop over your home network. :lol: 
December 25, 2010 9:57:43 PM

Been looking at the 2250. My goal from the beginning has been to get as close to a one box solution as possible. If we just leave our media center up and running I can configure it so we can watch from anywhere on our home network anyway.

As for the SSD choice, if I don't make the decision before the rebate on the Intel is gone, then my decision is kind of made already, I guess. Picking up a SandForce drive is defnitely worth an extra $5 or $10.
December 25, 2010 9:58:08 PM

Best answer selected by BigBlueDart.
December 26, 2010 1:20:48 PM

SSD on a HTPC is plain waste of money u could get it for novelty honestly but it doesnot make practicle sense as Mythbuntu is fast enough u could put that all money for more storage so more movies music etc, its ur call
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