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I want to buy SSD and I have A LOT OF questions.

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May 4, 2011 9:25:35 PM

Hi, guys, I consider buying SSD. I've done some research but I still have questions. Let's start with this one - my mainboard is Asus P5K/EPU and I found out that my chipset doesn't support AHCI. What negative consequences could this have?

More about : buy ssd lot questions

a c 99 G Storage
May 4, 2011 9:29:51 PM

Non-optimal speeds, but should be better than any HDD.

TRIM won't work, so you need some type of "garbage collector" from the SSD manufacter, to manually optimize the drive.

IMHO, I'd stay away for now, unitl you get at least a P6/X58 mobo or better.
a c 415 G Storage
May 4, 2011 9:37:02 PM

fashion_m said:
Hi, guys, I consider buying SSD. I've done some research but I still have questions. Let's start with this one - my mainboard is Asus P5K/EPU and I found out that my chipset doesn't support AHCI. What negative consequences could this have?
According to page 4-14 of this manual, the Southbridge SATA ports can be configured as IDE, AHCI or RAID. As far as I can tell the P5K EPU uses the same chipset and should have the same options.
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May 4, 2011 9:39:29 PM

I found out that the SandForce 1200 controller has Idle Time Garbage Collection. Does that mean thet I don't have to do TRIM manually?
Just one more thing - I use Windows XP.
May 4, 2011 9:58:50 PM

foscooter is correct here, your board has an Intel controller and the drivers will work ok, but at reduced speeds when compared to ACHI. Still WAY faster than current SATA HDD's. I have a Crucial C300 (128GB) on a Rocket RAID 2310 controller, using Marvell driver and get consistant AS SSD benchmarks scores over 500. At some future point my SSD will interface as SATA III, but this is down the road a piece. I started out with SSD more or less as an experiment, but will tell you that I will never buy another HDD for anything but storage. TRIM only works on AHCI at the moment, but Garbage Collection is on board the controllers of most SSD selling today. I run my OS (7 Pro) and the most used games and programs on the SSD and I'm totally happy with it.
a c 143 G Storage
May 4, 2011 11:24:20 PM

I would like to add a few comments...

1) TRIM doesn't work in XP, so AHCI vs IDE is mood point. You will rely on GC no matter what.

2) A very common misunderstanding is the TRIM requires AHCI. This in fact is not true. It will work within IDE mode but is more efficient in AHCI. The benefit SSD's get from AHCI is more from NCQ, which improves the speed of the SSD.
May 5, 2011 8:18:35 AM

And if I don't do TRIM so what? I'll have lower write speeds? I am OK with that, because for me the read speeds are more important.
Also, the TRIM operation add more write cycles, right?
a b G Storage
May 5, 2011 3:53:47 PM

You are asking some good questions but they are mostly irrelevant. You say you arent using AHCI or Win 7 so no one really knows what performance is going to be like for you - this is generally an enthusiasts site where we hang out on the bleeding edge.

My advice (and thats all it is) is the same as BigDav's and that is a crappy SSD is 10x better than a good HDD, but I sure wouldnt run XP any more either...but many still do. I have SSD's in everything I own thats how good they are...

If I were you I would read the latest SSD comparison charts, then decide on what you can afford and go for it. Thats it... The charts wont truly apply to you but so what? We can ask what happens if Trim is off but no one really spends a lot of time measuring it... the SSD will be at least 10x faster on disk accesses... and thats what you are trying to solve right?
May 5, 2011 4:04:41 PM

I've reviewed some comparisons till now... The SSD chart in this site is from 2010. I also found this site: http://www.ssdreview.com . Any other suggestions for comparisons/charts?
In the meantime, please tell me which SSD brands are the best in terms of low malfunction rates and less returned devices?
btw why can't I edit my posts?
May 6, 2011 2:22:13 AM

"In the meantime, please tell me which SSD brands are the best in terms of low malfunction rates and less returned devices?"

Failure rates and RMA stats are the private information of each manufacturer, to release this information to the public would be business suicide.

Just read some reviews, pick something that fits your needs, then hit on-line retail sites and read feedback/ratings for the product. I use this method to buy all my computer components. I recently looked at the new OCZ V3 SSDs, so far it sounds like OCZ may have some higher rates of failure with this new product.

I own and recommend Crucial SSDs, they (Crucial) are a sales division of chip maker Micron and use their own chips in the manufacture of their SSDs.
May 6, 2011 4:52:01 PM

1. I read that the newer 25 nm flash memory chips have less write cycles than the 34 nm ones. Is this true?
2. Is it possible to determine whether a SSD drive has been used before or is brand new?
a b G Storage
May 6, 2011 5:27:30 PM

It is true that 25nm NAND has fewer write cycles. However, this is the difference between a drive that can write 20GB/day for 5 years and 20GB/day for 3 years. If you are using it this intensively than this may be a consideration for you.

Pretty sure a new drive will ship with new nand as there is no market for used.
May 11, 2011 6:24:53 PM

Now most SSDs utilize SATA 3. My chipset supports SATA 2. Is it worth it to buy SATA 3 SSD? After all only the sequential read/write will be bottlenecked.
a b G Storage
May 12, 2011 3:09:06 AM

That's an excellent question.

imho, no. It is not necessarily worth it. Read this article from Tom's

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-ssd-price-per-...

So, it depends on your budget for storage. I am going to upgrade my system now that z68 is out and I'm chewing on the same question. The thing is that prices are not 'great' on older (ie sandforce 1200 or intel g2) drives as compared to sata 3 drives. BUT the 34nm vs 25nm comes into play. I will not buy a 2nd gen drive with less than 120 gb of 34nm NAND or a 3rd gen with less than 240gb of 25nm NAND. So, I'm pushed toward a 2nd gen 34nm drive due to budget.

Also, I think this 3d transistor project will be a significant game changer in the next couple of years with processor technology. Meaning another upgrade in the not too distant future.

What this all means for me is that chasing the latest and greatest dragon (ie vertex 3 max iops) is not necessarily the way to go. Maybe an intel g2 160gb or corsair force 115gb. hmmmm Or intel 320, 160gbish I'll probably grab the next one that I think is a great deal at the moment.

Good luck.
May 12, 2011 7:42:39 AM

The most important evaluation criteria for me is price per MB. I also considered Intel 320 as an option, but yesterday OCZ announced Solid 3, that has lower price per MB than Intel 320 athough it is SATA 3. Not to mention that Solid 3 uses SandForce 22xx and Intel 320 uses two-year old Intel controller and has no 2.5 to 3.5 inch adapter bracket.
With the new 25 nm technology we'll see price drop, so the question is what to choose: new cheap SATA3 drive or old and expensive SATA 2 one. For me, the answer is clear - SATA3, although I will be bottlenecked.
Any word on when the Solid 3 will be available for sale (not pre-order) ?
a b G Storage
May 12, 2011 2:06:53 PM

if you buy a sata iii drive but only have sata ii available then yes you could be bottlenecked. it all depends on if the drive actually surpasses the transfer limits of sata ii. just a little while ago only the fastest drives were able to actually benefit from sata iii and even they could not push the potential of sata iii to the max.

the price per gb of all ssd drives is outrageous. this is why people are commonly using them as boot drives but still rely on standard hdds for storage. the difference in price is somewhere in the realm of $0.09 compared with $1.60 per gb.

there is nothing wrong bad in choosing an older ssd. i bought two on a budget (vertex 2 80gb sata ii) recently and they perform great. the only thing that i had for a requirement was that it used a sandforce controller. it came with a bracket as well, but you can purchase generic brackets seperately also.
May 13, 2011 5:14:42 PM

OCZ Solid 3 60GB or Intel 320 Series 40GB - which is better? I have SATA2 mobo.
a b G Storage
May 14, 2011 4:09:08 AM

Wow, sandforce 2000 in the solid 3? Hard to beat that.

Three things the intel does better. Power consumption. Data security/integrity. Reliability. If any or all of these are prime motivators then take the small performance hit and grab a 320. Many will buy it only for the 'super' cap for data integrity in a power failure.

In your desktop power consumption is not an issue... if it's a laptop? If you're willing to risk a potential RMA with OCZ... reliabilty is not an issue. If you rarely write to your ssd during a power failure, and/or, you rarely write irreplaceable data then super caps don't matter to you. Now we're back to the solid 3. Which, unfortunately, seems to have superior hardware.
June 9, 2011 5:09:30 PM

Guys, I finally purchased SSD! Intel 320 Series :) 
I installed Windows XP Professional x64 Edition on it.
Any advices/recommendations?
!