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Opinions on 120GB SSD

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May 20, 2011 12:05:37 AM

So I am thinking of getting a new SSD. I want a 120GB one since that would be enough space for most of what I need to put on it. I want to have Windows along with World of Warcraft and Steam on the SSD. Mostly I use my computer for gaming.

I am using a ASRock Extreme 4 which has 2 Sata3 ports from Marvell and 2 other Sata3 ports. Also has a bunch of other Sata2 ports. I thought I had read that Marvell Sata3 ports have some problems with SSDs.

My current budget is around the $200 mark. I was considering these :

Vertex 2 - I believe this is the 34nm version which I have heard is better
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

C300 - I've seen people say there is sometimes deals which bring this down under $200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I know there are other options and so I'm asking for opinions. I would mostly use my computer for gaming and would need about 120GB.

Currently I have my 500GB HDD partitioned. I have Windows on my C; partition and my other stuff on my D: partition. After I install the SSD...would I be able to keep that (in case the SSD fails or something I would still have a Windows install and could use my computer just like I am now) or would that cause issues and I should reformat?

More about : opinions 120gb ssd

a c 303 G Storage
May 20, 2011 1:16:03 AM

The Crucial C300 usually goes on sale at newegg every couple of weeks for $199.99. There was one or two times it went for $179.99 but that was quite a while ago. That's pretty much the best value for the money.

For gaming the C300 will do well. Just don't expect miracles. Games installed on your ssd will load faster. Levels, maps, charts, etc. etc. will load faster. The SSD will not improve FPS.
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May 20, 2011 4:43:22 AM

I've also read about the new Corsair Force 3 coming out and the 120GB is around the same price but it is a Sata3 drive. Is it worth waiting for those?
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a c 303 G Storage
May 20, 2011 8:11:10 AM

Preliminary information indicates the new Corsair Force 3 will be right up there with the OCZ Vertex 3. If pricing information is correct It is definitely worth considering. It should be available by the end of this month.
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May 20, 2011 2:38:11 PM

Man, I'm in the exact same position as you genjaguar... having a helluva time deciding on a 120gb ssd. Don't know about you but I don't need to get my ssd right now... I seemed to have controlled my need for instant gratification somewhat. I think I'm going to wait for the force 3 to come out and see some initial reviews before I make a pick. A 120 gb Sata III ssd comparable to a vertex 3 for $219? Now that seems like a steal... one that's hopefully somewhat future proof.
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May 20, 2011 5:04:13 PM

I got the crucial c300 120 gig and it rocks. After I installed my OS, office, and rift, I didn't have much free space left. If you have a lot of games on Steam or just self installs like myself (over 200 gig of games ) I would pick up a secondary drive, possibly a WD Caviar Black .
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a c 353 G Storage
May 20, 2011 5:12:26 PM

Your question "Currently I have my 500GB HDD partitioned. I have Windows on my C; partition and my other stuff on my D: partition. After I install the SSD...would I be able to keep that (in case the SSD fails "

Yes you can keep it. What you want to do is disconnect the HDD, connect your new SSD and install window. Once you have installed win 7 on the SSD. then reconnect the HDD. You will be able to dual boot by simply hiting the Key (On my gigabyte it's "F12) during the post. A screen will come up asking which drive you want to boot to. NOTE. You set the boot priority in BIOS to the SSD and only need to hit F12 if you want to boot to the HDD.
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May 20, 2011 11:47:00 PM

My best option is probably to wait for the Force 3 and some reviews and see how the drive fares against the rest...especially if it is comparable to the Vertex 3
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May 22, 2011 12:09:43 PM

I came to the same conclusion as you, then I saw the agility 3 on new egg for $235 with a $20 rebate. It should be plenty fast enough for my purposes. The force 3 looks like its going to be an awesome drive at an awesome price though. Hopefully the difference between 50000iops and 85000iops won't show up in my real world application.
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a c 353 G Storage
May 22, 2011 12:25:08 PM

^ Yes I caught that, and also went that route. Ordered one, changed my credit card to a newer one and it looked like it rejected it. Changed back to orginial card and order went smooth. Next morning My email shows two on the way. O'well can probably use two and wife is in England on a 3 week vacation. One is for New I5-2500k build.

Planning on a new laptop with daul HDD bays, but don't know if the SB laptops use Sata III interface or retained the SATA II inface for internal HDDs.
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May 22, 2011 4:34:09 PM

How does the Agility 3 compare with the Force 3 based on the specs the Force 3 should have?
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a c 353 G Storage
May 22, 2011 5:44:25 PM

My guess is that the force 3 and the Vertex 3 should be close to the same. The Adility 3, In real life should be slightly less. The diff in Seq is probably not going to boost day-to-day performance much. The diff is in the Random read/writes (See Link). Here is where the diff will matter - while the higher end SSDs are faster, I'm not sure how much (outside benchmarks) you will really notice. But then the Agility 3 is about 80 bucks cheaper right now @ newegg.
Good read.
http://thessdreview.com/ssd-guides/buyers-guide/the-ssd...
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May 22, 2011 9:35:15 PM

I also forgot to ask...I know I can leave my HDD how it is and then install everything I want on my SSD...like leaving my current WoW copy on my HDD and just do a fresh install on my SSD. However, will I also need to install programs like Firefox or AIM on my SSD to use them? Or will I be able to use any program off the HDD that was installed with the HDD Windows? Will this cause any issues?
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a c 353 G Storage
May 22, 2011 9:47:18 PM

(1) First I would recommend that you disconnect your HDD(s). Connect the SSD and complet the windows install. Once you have completed the win 7 install you can reconnect your HDDs. Untill you have the SSD completely set-up, programs all loaded, and your satisfied that every thing is great - You can daul boot.
In bios set your primary boot drive to the SSD, but should you need to boot to old Operating system all you have to do is Hit (on My gigabyte) F12, on my new Asrock F11. This brings up a boot menu and you just select where to boot from. This does NOT change boot priority in Bios.
This is the most recommend way to install a operating system on a new drive, be it an SSD or a New HDD.

(2) How ever you install new operating system it CAN NOT use any programs that were installed on old operating system and not installed on your new operating system, ie you boot to new system, have Microsoft word on Old - you can not run microsoft word until you install it on the new operating system. Programs write to the registry and use the registry to load - No registry entries, program no workee
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May 22, 2011 11:31:34 PM

I can understand unhooking the HDD and just installing Windows on my SSD. However, can I keep my HDD like it is now once my SSD is hooked up and has everything installed...so if I unhook my SSD later I can boot up my HDD just like I have my computer now...or would keeping my HDD like that cause problems.

I guess what I'm asking is do I need to reformat and clear my HDD once I have my SSD set up...or will keeping it with all my programs installed be ok and when I need to I can unhook my SSD and boot from my HDD and my computer would be the same as now. I'm asking this because you said until I have the SSD completely setup I can dual boot...do you mean after it is set up I should reformat it?

Also, since programs I installed under the HDD Windows will not work, I need to install everything (like firefox and aim and whatever programs I use) again correct? Can I install these on the HDD (I currently have 4 partitions on my HDD so I guess I should use a different one than what I use for the HDD Windows (c: ) and my games and files (d: )).

I do know that in the past...I could move my WoW from an old Windows install and it did work without having to reinstall. I just formatted my Windows partition, move my WoW folder to a clean partition and cleaned out my files partition, installed Windows (XP and 7), and then just went into the WoW folder and it worked fine. Not sure what else would act like this.
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a c 353 G Storage
May 22, 2011 11:54:35 PM

(1) If you follow what I said - Disconnect your HDD, Connect up the SSD and install win 7. Reconnect your HDD. The reason is having both connected screws up the install.

(2) with Both drives connected, you DO NOT need to disconnect anything to use either operating system. When you power up the operating system on the drive set in bios as #1 boot priority will allwas start, unless you hit the Key (F12, or F11 - Should show during post which key). So if SSD is set to boot first then it will always start and will be your "C" drive (Your HDD should be "D". HOWEVER; if you hit the key during post and bring up the boot menu you will see your HDD listed - SELECT IT and it will now boot to your HDD (all your old programs will work) This will now be the "C" drive and your SSD will be the "D" drive.
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May 23, 2011 12:06:15 AM

I can understand the dual boot...I was more worried about having to reformat or clear the HDD because the Windows and programs installed on it would cause problems when I boot up with the SSD Windows...but I know it would not with what you have said.
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May 28, 2011 11:26:28 PM

Best answer selected by genjaguar.
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May 30, 2011 4:34:39 PM

I do have one more question. I read that SataIII drives have problems with the Marvell controller...which two of my SataIII ports use. Will this cause problems?
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a c 353 G Storage
May 30, 2011 5:06:10 PM

What is your Motherboard - make/model?
You said you have 2 Sata II on a marvel controller. The new one is not to bad, but the older one is not so good. If the Other 2 Sata III ports are intel, use them.
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May 30, 2011 5:27:40 PM

I have an ASRock Extreme 4. It has 4 SataIII ports. It says two of them are by Marvell SE9120 and support NCQ, AHCI, and "hot plug." Also says Sata3_m2 connector is shared with eSata3 port. For the other two, it doesn't say what they are but just says support RAID(raid0, raid1, raid 10, raid 5 and intel rapid storage), NCQ, AHCI, and "hot plug."
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a c 353 G Storage
May 30, 2011 7:35:43 PM

I have the Asrock Z68 Extreme 4. I placed my Agility 3 (120 Gig SSD) on the Intel controller port. ?? Looked back thru, which SSD did you decide on?? I think the marvel 9120 is there new chipset. The other 2 SATA III should be the intel controller for P67/Z68 MB.

Here's a link on P67 MB for the C300 SSD (Show diff between Marvel and Intel controller)
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/motherboards/2011/05/2...
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May 30, 2011 9:11:30 PM

I am going to most likely go with the Force 3 once some reviews for it come out and show how it performs
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