If i'm not building a server of any sort, just for a pc for gaming and normal use, would I need the crazy IOPs that Sandforce drives offer?
the main thing I want is to speed up boot up and shut down times and application load.
Also, would I see a difference in real world between budget drives like the kinston V series and the intel drives and the sandforce drives?
You need to tell us more of what your intentions are, if you are looking for a faster boot drive with most of your less important apps and files on another drive then you want at least a 64gb or 128gb drive. If you are working with much larger files and need to be able to do more of the usual without having to worry about space then a cheap 30gb ssd will do for the virtual memory or page file. Either way you will notice some nice gains in your daily activities.
I dont really use much taxing applications.
Perhaps those that require the most from the hdd/ ssd is some casual video editing, converting, photoshop and BT
I want my pc to be more responsive (and i know the bottleneck is the hdd)
Bigger is better, but then the best SSD I can afford now is the a-data 64gb S599 they use in the system builder marathon
I was wondering if cheaper previous generation SSDs can give me bigger storage space with a level of performance that satisfies my needs
Am I right to say that as a normal user and gamer, what I am looking for is streaming performance and not so much of 50000 IOPS?
And do I need strong random read and writes for booting and shut down and app loading?
If it's not a server or workstation, then, you are building a gaming rig.
As I said up, you won't see any performance increase in games using an SSD except for the faster load times. The OS in the other hand, the load times and shutdown times will be much better that with a mechanical drive, plus you will open "normal" applications almost instantly.
So which one? Do a price per GB and go that way. If the v100 is $1/gb on a price/performance level it beats the Sandforce v3!
Also, if your rig does not have sata 3 (6gbs) than you will not take advantage of anything greater than an intel 320.
Unfortunately, there are some pitfalls in a performance world BUT ANY SSD is head and shoulders better than ANY HDD. (go ahead hit me for that). My feeling was that I set price points in the early days and bought some Kingston ssdnow v30 drives for something like $80. They were great (refer to previous statement). Now I have a corsair f80 and its greater.
I would say buy something with at least 60gb for your os and 'main' drive and plan on having spinning storage drives somewhere near by. Stick with the old rules. Sandforce (ie Corsair f series, etc. not ocz v2). Intel is solid G2 drives still rock. 320 and 510 are ok. Marvel controllers (ie c300, c400, intel 510 for that matter).
Try and stay away from older indelinx controllers (ovz onyx, etc), toshiba, samsung, etc. imho.
The 'normal user' should have an ssd. Enjoy it. But you are not normal... NOOOO you are here!
This link is to his conclusions page. Read it. It very eloquently sums up what I was trying to say AND it puts the intel 320 at $1.75/GB which, imho is a buy. For three reasons. First, its solid at OS activities and carries intel's rep. Second, it has enough capacitance to carry it through a power outage (for some this is huge because it could be writing your last will and testament when the lights go out.. intel 320 will not lose it... others will). Third, intels G2 drives use the lowest power/performance and generally use the least amount of power across the board so I like them for laptops and all around.
^ great advise from adam power.
In refer to the IOPS, this is the most important as it relates to the 4K random reads which will govern the boot times and program loads. Do you need th 50 K, or would 20K be the best. You will see a great boost with the 20K, the 50 K might cut boot time over the 20 K by 10 Sec (my guess). For Games - no difference in play, very little diff interms of game program/map load. PS - For games over internet - probably no see a difference.
For Desktops My min recommended size is 80 gigs, for laptops with single Drive bay, 120 gigs. The Intel 80 G2 or the 310. It's sligthly higher cost (approx $180) lower 4K random read/write performance, but it's reliability is the Highest.
A 2nd review of 320: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4244/intel-ssd-320-review
The SSDs with the SF12xx controllers SATA II) should be coming down in price (currently around $230 for Phoenix pro and Mushkins) - I have the Phoenix pro. I am currently shying away from the Vortex -2 which is cheaper.
In terms of Video editing and editting Photos - You are probably not going to put these files on a small SSD (80->120 Gig) they will be on a HDD. These tasks do benifit from High sequencial read/writes as they are LARGE files and are normally placed sequencially on the HDD. Ex a 1 gig dot VOB (a DVD movie file) will take up 250 K clusters, a 10 meg Jpeg = 2500 clusters (Cluster = 4K unless changed)