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Z68, SSD and HDD

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May 17, 2011 8:47:33 PM

Hi all, when I build my machine in the next couple of months, I will buy a Z68 motherboard. Is it true that if you use an SSD in your machine as your main drive, that if you put in a traditional HDD for extra storage, it will slow the SSD? If using an SSD as your main drive, should it be the only drive in your system (other than optical of course)? What if I put the SSD on one controller and the HDD on another controller?

More about : z68 ssd hdd

a c 143 G Storage
May 18, 2011 12:10:34 AM

I'm not sure where you heard running a SSD and a hard drive will slow your SSD down?

I'm running two hard drives and a SSD without issues. Granted it isn't on the Z68 board but the board controllers should act the same for the most part from a LGA 1366 and LGA 1155, in that regards.
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May 18, 2011 12:19:28 AM

I read it in Tom's article once. I remember reading something about SSD's want to be alone. I'll try to find the article
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a b G Storage
May 18, 2011 12:29:15 AM

No. The SSD will not slow the hdd. They can coexist happily.

The thing about z68 is the ability for an ssd to help an hdd as a hybrid. But this is not automatic. You can have a 120gb boot drive and a 3tb storage drive. No problem.
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a c 283 G Storage
May 18, 2011 1:33:45 AM

^5 +1 what tecmo34 and adampower said.

I've read half a dozen articles about the Z68 chipset and half a dozen reviews about z68 motherboards. If you already have a P67 motherboard, then it does not make much sense to upgrade to a Z68 motherboard.

Your comment about slowing down a solid state drive refers to the Tom's Hardware Review of the Z68 chipset published on May 11th. The comment only applies to the old Intel X25-V ssd. Here is the actual comment:

"If ever there was a graph that visualized why you should spend $100 on 20 GB of SLC NAND instead of the same sum on 40 GB of MLC, this would be it. Intel's X25-V can only sustain sequential writes of up to 35 MB/s. This cannot keep up with the Barracuda's maximum outside-diameter data rate of 138 MB/s. So, the SSD actually slows down performance dramatically. Consider this a worst-case scenario for Smart Response Technology."

Here is a link to the web page with the information:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-z68-express-s...

BTW - According to Intel the X25-V was a "value" ssd designed for netbooks and notebooks. The ssd only came in a 40GB version. It was never meant for gaming or enthusiast pc's.
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May 18, 2011 12:02:28 PM

no this is not the article I read. it was well before May 11. It was probably Tom's first article about SSD cacheing. I think the article was written during the P67 recalls. I'll try to find it later today.


JohnnyLucky said:
^5 +1 what tecmo34 and adampower said.

I've read half a dozen articles about the Z68 chipset and half a dozen reviews about z68 motherboards. If you already have a P67 motherboard, then it does not make much sense to upgrade to a Z68 motherboard.

Your comment about slowing down a solid state drive refers to the Tom's Hardware Review of the Z68 chipset published on May 11th. The comment only applies to the old Intel X25-V ssd. Here is the actual comment:

"If ever there was a graph that visualized why you should spend $100 on 20 GB of SLC NAND instead of the same sum on 40 GB of MLC, this would be it. Intel's X25-V can only sustain sequential writes of up to 35 MB/s. This cannot keep up with the Barracuda's maximum outside-diameter data rate of 138 MB/s. So, the SSD actually slows down performance dramatically. Consider this a worst-case scenario for Smart Response Technology."

Here is a link to the web page with the information:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-z68-express-s...

BTW - According to Intel the X25-V was a "value" ssd designed for netbooks and notebooks. The ssd only came in a 40GB version. It was never meant for gaming or enthusiast pc's.

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May 18, 2011 1:31:46 PM

ok I found the article here: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/z68-express-lucidlo...

it says this:

"Power users buying larger, faster SSDs will want to use them on their own, manually deciding where to put each application or piece of user data. After all, an SSD unencumbered by a disk is significantly faster".

so there you have it, it says that an SSD likes to be on its own. but what if I put my SSD on a 6Gbps sata controller and my 2TB HDD on a 3Gbps sata controller? will the HDD slow down the SSD?
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a c 353 G Storage
May 18, 2011 4:27:19 PM

You are reading more into the quote (or between the lines). What it is saing is that if you bought an SSD and put EVERY thing on it, it would be faster than a SSD + HDD. This in itself is true. The problem is cost vs practicality. A 250 (give or take a little) gig SSD is approx $500+, and that is still small in todays needs.

If you put thoes 100 x 10Meg jpeg photos on the SSD, yes you could load and edit, and save them much faster. You could work with the 1 Gig Video file(s) faster if everything was on the SSD. - Just not practible in terms of cost.

Boot time and program loads performance will not be affected by using an SSD with a HDD.

Ideal - a 1155 Z68 MB, you can use a SSD for Progams and operating system and a 2nd small SSD as a cache for a large HDD. The HDD with a small SSD (Z68 MB) can provide up approx 4x performance boost of a seperate HDD.
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May 18, 2011 5:12:40 PM

that's what I'm asking. so if I were to use an SSD as my C: drive and install the OS and all my apps on it and use a 1TB HDD to store all my files, that will make my machine slower than if I were to only have an SSD in the machine. I know its expensive, but right now I'm only asking about performance. So another question is: in terms of percentage (approximate), how close is the performance of an HDD with SSD caching to having only an SSD in the PC?

RetiredChief said:
You are reading more into the quote (or between the lines). What it is saing is that if you bought an SSD and put EVERY thing on it, it would be faster than a SSD + HDD. This in itself is true.

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a c 353 G Storage
May 18, 2011 5:48:26 PM

Read the Full quote you linked to - as I said you are miss interpreting it - They are NOT saying SSD and NO HDD, they are saying that What is placed on the SSD will be faster than if using a SSD as a cache to a HDD.

W/Z68 MB, the performance increase when using a smaller SSD (40-64 gig) to cache a Large HDD is from 2 to 4 x faster than using just a HDD. An SSD is 20-> 40 x Faster than a HDD!!! In every one of the articals describing this - their recomendation is, if you can afford a larger SSD and put your operating system and programs on it and your data/files on a seperate HDD then THIS is the way to go. SSD caching HDD is only recommended if you CANNOT afford the larger SSD.

Quote From: http://www.guru3d.com/article/asus-p8z68-v-pro-review/2...
The new Intel Smart Response Technology is something interesting but we feel will be very limited to a small group of enthusiast users that understand and know what they need to do before getting it setup properly. The idea is simple, use an SSD to cache the most used data of the operating system HDD. The downside here is a fairly complicated setup and an investment of an SSD. And though we feel once you purchase an SSD you will not want to compromise with the HDD injected into that core data, it might end up as a sound solution. The performance increases are impressive none the less and combined with a small cheap SSD, this might be an excellent alternative for the budget minded that dream of SSD performance.

From Best to worse (performance wise) and Z68 MB;
(1) Very Large expensive SSD
(2) 120 Gig SSD (for programs and operating system + small SSD caching your large HDD.
(3) 120 Gig SSD (for programs and operating system) and large HDD for your files and programs.
(4) Small SSD (40->60 gig) caching your large HDD. Your Operating system, your Programs, and all your files on HDD.
(5) Large HDD.

Edetted it # (2) should have been (2) 120 Gig SSD, NOT (2) 120 gig HDD


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a c 143 G Storage
May 18, 2011 6:14:25 PM

RetiredChief said:
From Best to worse (performance wise) and Z68 MB;
(1) Very Large expensive SSD
(2) 120 Gig HDD (for programs and operating system + small SSD caching your large HDD.
(3) 120 Gig HDD (for programs and operating system) and large HDD for your files and programs.
(4) Small SSD (40->60 gig) caching your large HDD. Your Operating system, your Programs, and all your files on HDD.
(5) Large HDD.

Well stated... IMO!!
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May 18, 2011 9:30:50 PM

what's the difference between (1) and (4)?
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May 19, 2011 1:00:49 AM

sorry I mean to ask what the difference between (2) and (4) is? both have an HDD as the main drive and an SSD as the cache drive.
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a c 143 G Storage
May 19, 2011 1:07:05 AM

No... 2) has a SSD as the OS drive, a hard drive for storage and use part of the SSD to cache the HDD. Where 4) has a HDD as the OS drive and a small SSD to cache it. The difference is one has SSD as OS with is the much quicker / faster option.
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May 19, 2011 1:12:33 AM

to me 2 and 4 sound the same. so if i go with the option to have a 1TB WD Caviar Black and an SSD as the cache drive, what SSD would make a good cache drive?
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a c 143 G Storage
May 19, 2011 1:17:50 AM

This drive is designed specifically for this feature (specially on the Z68 board)

Intel 310
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May 19, 2011 1:19:52 AM

this goes in your PCIe slot? do they have a 64gb version? with SSD caching, you can have upto a 64gb drive
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a c 143 G Storage
May 19, 2011 1:27:29 AM

They have an 80GB version but it is sold out on Newegg & yes... it is a PCIe slot
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May 19, 2011 11:47:29 AM

there is no point in an 80gb version cause SSD caching will only use 64gb.
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May 19, 2011 11:48:36 AM

plus i'd rather have a sata version, that way if I want, I can put it in another system later on, if I were to buy a bigger SSD to use as my main drive.
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May 20, 2011 1:05:39 PM

would the intel 320 be a better cache drive than the 310?
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a c 143 G Storage
May 20, 2011 2:03:59 PM

If you are wanting it for possible other uses, the Intel 320 is the better choice. If you only plan to use it for cache, I would go with the 310.
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May 20, 2011 4:02:25 PM

i see. the 310 doesn't seem to be available here. is this cause its still new or is it just hard to get?
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a c 143 G Storage
May 20, 2011 4:49:24 PM

I would say more since it is new but not sure where "here is" for you :) 
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May 20, 2011 5:29:04 PM

I'm in Canada.

RetiredChief, thanks for the article. I was actually considering either buying a 2TB drive or the WD Veliciraptor 600GB. I need to decide if i want size or speed. do you think the Veliciraptor with SSD caching would be alot faster than a 2TB HDD with SSD caching?
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a c 353 G Storage
May 20, 2011 7:40:11 PM

Based on the one chart: Raptor 600 Gig vs iTB drive, both using the F40, looks like about a 14 % gain ( (71-62) /62 ) but loose 40% capacity (70% decrease in capacity for 2 TB) . Couple that with the higher cost of the Raptor, myself I'd go with the 2 TB drive. 10 % or less is not normally noticed, 14% noice a small improvement.

PS I did not see how trim was affected on the SSD in this congiguration - But should be fine.
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May 20, 2011 7:56:12 PM

I also noticed in alot of the tests that when they use a 20gb cache drive, its faster than when they use a 40gb cache drive, even when its in the same series. why would it be faster if using a smaller cache drive?
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a c 353 G Storage
May 20, 2011 9:06:17 PM

The 311 is a slc (single level cell), the others are all mlc (multi level cell). SLC is faster than the MLC. SLC is faster than MLC, also The SLC can be written to more than a MLC before the cell "Dies" (this should not be a problem).

While the 20 gb 311 is faster it can only hold i/2 the data that the 40 gig can hold in the cache. Overall performance for a given user is going to depend on how the user use it. Remember the SSD only boost performance if the data that is being requested is in the cache. Overall performance will be a guessing game - How intelligent is the algorthim used to do the caching.
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May 25, 2011 5:04:44 PM

does the 311 come in both sata and PCIe? I've seen pictures of both.
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May 25, 2011 8:13:10 PM

the pdf says its sata. plus it only comes in 20gb? wouldn't 40gb be better? why did they make it so small?
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a b G Storage
May 25, 2011 9:23:17 PM

SLC nand is very expensive. I'm sure they ran some tests and figured 20gb was a good price/performance tradeoff. They want the price near $100 as a $200 'helper' drive would be cost prohibitive. Might as well buy a full sized ssd for a boot drive at 200 or $250.

In Tom's tests the 20gb 311 outpaced the 40gb f40 (sandforce 1200) almost every time. If you play one or two games regularly they will reside on the 311 and load super quick.
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a c 353 G Storage
May 26, 2011 2:40:23 AM

^ +1
Concur. I'm tempted to just stick a 120 gig SATA II (SF1200) drive in as a storage drive and put wwhat I most use on it.
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a b G Storage
May 26, 2011 4:03:41 AM

In Canada too.. NCIX has the 311 (not in stock though) it. $130... ouchish

http://ncix.com/products/?sku=61238&vpn=SSDSA2VP020G201...

a-power.com doesn't show it yet. Nor does bestdirect.ca

BUT NCIX has the intel 320 120gb version for $224. So, $100 more gets you a solid third gen boot drive. 120gig is a good size as long as you put all your media on storage somewhere else and don't get too carried away loading things you never use. This is probably the way I will go but I like the z68 for Lucid Logix too. I'm a little torn though... that hybrid thing is darn tempting.
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May 26, 2011 2:12:30 PM

I might just use my old WD Raptor 74GB for now and when prices drop, I can get either a WD Veliciraptor 600GB or a 2TB HDD along with the intel 311. I haven't decided yet.
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May 26, 2011 8:40:47 PM

is the 310 the only SSD that's designed to be used as a cache drive?
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a c 143 G Storage
May 26, 2011 9:16:48 PM

Yes.. the Intel 310 is the only SSD I'm aware of that was truly designed for cache.
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a b G Storage
May 26, 2011 10:03:13 PM

311
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a c 353 G Storage
May 26, 2011 10:54:33 PM

^ I'm sure they meant 311, just a typo
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a b G Storage
May 27, 2011 1:22:08 AM

Interesting development in SRT information. The 'dream' setup of having a boot ssd and storage based hdd/ssd is perhaps a waste of a caching disk.

PCSTATS reviewed a gigabyte z68 mobo and came up with this statement regarding SRT.

"Incidently, if you have more than one hard drive installed on your computer system, say for example with programs installed to the secondary non-OS drive, applying Intel SRT to accelerate the non-boot volume will have little impact according to PCSTATS' tests."

Here's the page from their review. http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=2594&p...

FYI this review also found that a mobo with no connection (vga or otherwise) to the onboard IGP will NOT ALLOW LUCIDLOGIX VIRTU TO WORK. Ouch. It will not load virtu and therefore will not use the igp to accelerate transcoding! Just sayin' it's something to watch for.
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a c 143 G Storage
May 27, 2011 2:05:31 AM

adampower said:
FYI this review also found that a mobo with no connection (vga or otherwise) to the onboard IGP will NOT ALLOW LUCIDLOGIX VIRTU TO WORK. Ouch. It will not load virtu and therefore will not use the igp to accelerate transcoding! Just sayin' it's something to watch for.

I post a thread on this subject on in the motherboard forum... Intel Z68 Motherboard Note:
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a c 353 G Storage
May 27, 2011 2:25:37 AM

@ adampower
Outstanding find !
Look's like the question about having a SSD for a boot drive coupled with the 311 SSD + HDD has been answered.

Have to bow to tecmo34 on virtu - I kind think it's a software issue that they may be able to correct downstream - but no guarentee
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a c 283 G Storage
May 27, 2011 3:10:15 AM

After following this thread and reading a few articles it seems to me it's a pain in the butt. It is definitely not a plug and play situation. It is starting to look like it would be much simpler to just get a 120GB ssd and be happy.

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a b G Storage
May 27, 2011 4:57:06 AM

^+1

I've always liked the idea of hybrids. I'm surprised the momentus xt didn't take over the world. But, there seems to be two camps. The 'enthusiasts' and everybody else. Enthusiasts won't go half way and nobody else cares.

There is a subcatagory, which I like to think I belong in, which is the enthusiast on a budget catagory. However, I'm terrible with budgets. :) 

I'll buy a proper ssd with a proper build this summer. I'll use z68 and lucidlogix and I haven't ruled out srt completly but I'm leaning the way of Johnny on this one.

Interestingly, the article that I quoted ended their SRT discussion by saying that SRT can always be turned off and the ssd drive used for regular storage so there is very little downside to trying it. Except you just bought 20gb of ssd 'storage' for more than 100 bones. Which brings us back to using a 'proper' ssd for SRT. Which brings us back to 'If I'm buying a proper ssd I'll use it to boot from.' And around the circle we go.
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May 27, 2011 2:22:52 PM

this is a great article, especially since I have a WD Raptor 74GB. I have a couple of questions:

1. since the 311 is only 20GB, how much of that would be used by by loading win7, launching a few IE windows, Jdownloader, and MS Live mail?
2. once you launch the applications a couple of times and it gets cached, then when you turn off the PC and turn it back on, the cached files are still there right? just making sure.
3. do you think that a slower 2TB hardrive with the 311 would have alot less performance than the WD raptor 74gb or the WD Veliciraptor 600GB and the 311 as the cache?


adampower said:
Interesting development in SRT information. The 'dream' setup of having a boot ssd and storage based hdd/ssd is perhaps a waste of a caching disk.

PCSTATS reviewed a gigabyte z68 mobo and came up with this statement regarding SRT.

"Incidently, if you have more than one hard drive installed on your computer system, say for example with programs installed to the secondary non-OS drive, applying Intel SRT to accelerate the non-boot volume will have little impact according to PCSTATS' tests."

Here's the page from their review. http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=2594&p...

FYI this review also found that a mobo with no connection (vga or otherwise) to the onboard IGP will NOT ALLOW LUCIDLOGIX VIRTU TO WORK. Ouch. It will not load virtu and therefore will not use the igp to accelerate transcoding! Just sayin' it's something to watch for.
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a c 353 G Storage
May 27, 2011 2:46:44 PM

Decided to re-read the article.
Quote from PCSTATS
“Incidentally, if you have more than one hard drive installed on your computer system, say for example with programs installed to the secondary non-OS drive, applying Intel SRT to accelerate the non-boot volume will have little impact according to PCSTATS' tests.”
One thing that is missing – Any supportive data, and how the conclusion was reached - or did I miss that. I have a feeling that it may well be highly user dependent.
First off a quote from Anandtech: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4337/z68-ssd-caching-with...
“On the first run both the Corsair F40 and Intel SSD 311 manage to perform very similarly. On the second run however, many of the applications load slower on the SSD 311 as some data has apparently been evicted from the cache
Again this is using a SSD (Cache +HDD) with the operating system loaded on the HDD. The F40 (40 Gig was about 12% faster in this test after multiply passes?? What about a 64 gig SATA 2 SF1200 SSD (about $100 -> $120).
..(1) A 120 Gig Sata II (for Operating system + programs) plus a 1 Tb HDD for storage. SSD - $180->$200, HDD - $80->100. Total – approx 300, Go for a SATA III adds about $100 (agility 3 currently on sale for $240 would only add $40.
..(2) A 64 gig Sata 2 SF1200 SSD (Cache) and a 1 TB HDD approx $200. Option 1 best choice unless the you just cannot go the added $100

The real question that begs an answer: You have a system that has a SSD boot drive and a 1 -> 3 Tb HDD.
..(1) Do you add a SSD to cache the HDD? The statement from PCSTATS indicates – NOT. I think this would be true for a user that was very repetitive in what was opened. But for someone who performed a large mix of operations it may be a viable option. This is the reason that I now think the 64 Gig caches SSD would be a better choice than the Intel 311. The Intel 311 with only 20 gigs, remember a portion of that will always be the operating system and programs in the stat menu means that what is in the cache is quite possibly going to be in flux – and what is not in cache will be at speed of HDD = reason I think (strictly opinion) the 64 gig would be a better choice.
..(2) The other Option (remember this is based on system with a boot SSD and a storage HDD) is spend an extra $100 and just buy a 2nd 120 Gig SSD for a storage drive. You get to select what is on the drive, ie most often played games w/ their table and map, or in my case all my word docs, spreads sheet, and small files that I tend to use often. BUT adds $100 to above option.

This is the config of my I5-750 (does not support SRT). I20 Gig Boot SSD + 80 Gig Intel G2 + 1 Tb HDD. I will go this route on my I5-2500k – Up and running, but not final config – still need a gpu. Also I screwed-up (I know what’s new). Wanted the 120 Gig Agility 3, accidently order 2 and did not catch till the next day, so now have a spare agility 3. May use in a new SB laptop, but I think the SB laptops use Sata 2 for their HDD controller.

@ velocci
Made a comment on this above, better yet read the link that I provided from Anandtech
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May 27, 2011 5:13:52 PM

ya i read it, but i still don't know what setup I should use. there are so many options, I don't want to choose an option and then it doesn't perform how it should and i'm just wasting my money. not sure if i should go for the 311 or something a bit bigger and not sure if I should just keep my WD raptor 74gb for now or get either the WD veliciraptor 600gb or a 2TB WD caviar black.
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a c 353 G Storage
May 27, 2011 5:55:42 PM

Choices, Choices, Choices
You can only select, as best informed as posible, what YOU think is best.
But NEVER look back and kick yourself, just remember that at the time - You made the best choice.

I would not get the 311, I'd go for a good 64 gig. Try it as SRT, if not what you are pleased with - it will make a great scratch disk, so money is not really wasted.
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!