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Which SSD for ASUS P7P55D-E?

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May 13, 2011 2:10:17 PM

Hi there

First off, here's the hardware I have:

Intel 1156 Core i7 860 @ 3.4GHz
ASUS P7P55D-E Motherboard - One of the first SATA6G boards out, it can only run at PCI-E 16x, USB3 OR SATA3 (i.e. one at a time)
Graphics - Sapphire HD6970 2GB running at 1920 x 1200 on a 26" LCD, with all games set to max (provided they stay above 30fps)
Hard Drive - Seagate 1TB SATA3 HDD

Now my plan is this. I have upgraded my PC several times since first installing Windows 7 x64, and every time my HDD WIE score caps out at 5.9. I have now decided I want to get past that and get myself a 60 or 80 GB SSD for Windows/Programs/A game or two, while storing my files on the old 1TB.

The question comes with which one to get. At the moment I am looking between the OCZ Agility 2 (SATA2) and the new Agility 3 (SATA3).

My issue is that if I get the SATA3 one and set my board to full SATA3, my PCI-E will drop to 8x, which I'm afraid may severely impact my gaming performance, but wil get me HDD read/write speeds of around 500MB/s. If I get the older SATA2 drive, I can get an 80GB instead of a 60GB, but if I ever upgrade my MB to a full PCI-E/SATA3 one I'll be stuck with an old drive. Or I could get the SATA3 drive and leave it running at SATA2 until I upgrade my MB.

So I ask you guys this...which SSD should I go for: they newer 60GB SATA3, or the older 80GB SATA2? If I run it at full SATA3, what kind of graphics hit will I take if I drop to PCI-E 8x? What do the WIE scores look like with a 275MB/s SSD and a 500MB/s SSD?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated :) 

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a b G Storage
May 14, 2011 12:58:48 AM

You want to get a SSD just to increase a stupid number in an irrelevant benchmark.

My advice to you would be stop buying into benchmarks and realise that if your machine is playing all your games and running programs without an issue then leave it as is. Save your cash for your next upgrade.
May 14, 2011 5:08:26 PM

Perhaps I didn't explain myself properly, as the WIE thing was more a sarcastic jib :) 

I've read various articles (including one or two here at Tom's HW) that say that switching to a SSD can increase base performance of all applications, including installation and booting of operating systems, speed at which programs such as Office start up, as well as loading times in games.

Fair enough that once a file has been loaded into RAM the disk drive speed no longer plays any part, but I feel that increasing the transfer rate of the HD to the RAM from something like 75MB/s of a mechanical HDD to 275MB/s (SATA2 SSD) or even 500MB/s (SATA3 SSD) would be beneficial in every day work/play. I just feel like my HDD is currently the biggest bottleneck in my system and would like to overcome it :) 

So basically my question is this: do I go for speed (60GB @ 500MB/s) or capacity (80 - 100GB @ 275MB/s) for the same price?

At the moment the rest of my system is fine, as upgrading it would be extremely expensive as I would need to replace the MB and CPU to go from socket 1156 to 1155, so that will only happen in a year or more :) 
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a c 143 G Storage
May 14, 2011 5:32:08 PM

Based on your attended uses, I would go with at least a 120GB drive... IMO

Going with a 60Gb drive will to a point defeat your purposes. You'll get the OS speed, but with the size of the drive you'll be limited to the # of applications and games you can install. You'll be basically running them all off of the hard drive (so defeats the purpose).

With a 120GB drive, you can install more applications & games and get the benefits you are looking for. Anything you don't use very often, you can run from your hard drive, as well as storing your USER folders and files there.
May 16, 2011 2:24:13 PM

@tecmo34

You make a lot of sense, but the big issue here is that in my country, any SSD over 80GB scales too rapidly in price compared to storage space. A 120GB is like 2.5 - 3 times more expensive than a 60GB.

With that in mind, would it work if I were to raid 2 x 60GB? In theory that should give me better speed than a sinlge drive? Plus with only 120GB I could go for a maximum performance raid without worrying about data redundancy, as I can make an image and back up the entire drive on my 1TB in case things go south.

What do you think?
a c 257 G Storage
May 16, 2011 9:53:46 PM

I can answer the question about the reduction in graphics performance. If the PCI-e x16 slot for the video card is reduced to x8, then graphics performance will be reduced by about 8%. For typical everyday users, that is not a problem. It might be a problem for serious gamers who are not willing to sacrifice graphics performance.
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