Having built quite a few systems as a hobbyist, I am a little intimidated in asking this question. Still, no matter how I try to rationalized it in my own mind, I do not have it nailed down.
I am interested only in speeding up my load screen times in games (be it WoW, or whatever). It is my understanding that, provided one has sufficient memory and reasonably high-end processor and vga, installing an SSD, will help to increase performance in this particular area, due to the ability to seek much faster than a mechanical drive. I have researched several opinions and configurations, each of which recommend only installing the OS on the SSD and all the remaining programs on the old mechanical drive.
That being said, wouldn't that only decrease the boot time? I mean, wouldn't only programs installed on the SSD load faster? Sure, I like the idea of my systems booting in mere seconds. However, that's pretty lackluster compared to the luxury of not knowing every artistic detail of a load-screen backdrop
Therefore, would I be logical in concluding that any program I expected to be snappier would need to accompany the OS on that SSD?
To get the "speed" benefit of the SSD, you need to install the app / game on the SSD. The sweet spot for SSD's is 120GB. It gives you plenty of room for the OS, Apps and your most used games (one or two), without sacrificing needED space. I currently have a 80GB Intel, that I run OS and Apps and run my games off of a WD 300GB Velicoraptor. I plan to upgrade to a 120GB + drive soon, so I'll look to install some games on my SSD.
I bought the Intel X25-M 120gb, based on your recommendation.
I realize that the things I'm about to post are those to which most true enthusiasts have been privy for quite some time and are old news, but they have me crackin' out, so I'm going to vent a bit...
After studying and cross-referencing what are considered to be best practices for configuring the new drive, I installed the unit and have been literally COOKING!
As you suggested, the 120gb provided sufficient space to load the OS, the one or two games and music files I use most frequently, and Internet security. In addition, I have approximately 50gb or so for game patches and other forms miscellaneous flexibility.
The difference is, at a minimum, night and day from my WD Blue, which houses the bulk of my data and files. Prior to the addition of this SSD, my boot time, starting from the moment I powered on my tower, until the time I was at a fully navigatable desktop with wireless connection was usually better than a minute (sometimes significantly longer than a minute). Now, however, though there is only a marginal boost with regard to the time interval between power-on and Windows 7 load screen, the interval starting from the point at which the Windows insignia is formed by the four little globes, up to the point that I can actually work, has been reduced from about 30-50 seconds to about 4.....FOUR!!! Furthermore, game loading times are off-the-map prompt.
Take World of Warcraft, for instance. Prior to upgrading to the SSD, average time from login to full-environment population in Orgrimmar on raid night was about 1 minute 15 or so. Now, however, from login (providing good latency), to full draw-in, is never more than 15 seconds. Game play has also benefitted from less occasional stutter or tears for which the gpu was not previously compensating.
Finally, software installs happen so quickly that I am tempted to go behind the installer and ensure that no errors have occurred. Not one yet. It's just that fast. In a nutshell, I could not be happier with my purchase. Furthermore, I hope my ranting today in some way serves to help encourage anyone on the fence with regard to whether the lofty premium is justified...THERE IS NO QUESTION HERE! If I were financially able, I would buy another one today--no careful consideration necessary.
Again, I thank you for your prompt response, Tecmo34, and I also appreciate tomshardware.com for providing an avenue by which technology enthusiasts can share their perspectives in efforts to help elucidate the, otherwise, elusive 8D