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What do I need to get SSD in my desktop

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June 21, 2011 12:04:39 AM

Probably a pretty basic question, but SATA I, II, III, etc. confuses me. My MB is a ASUS P5Q SE. I have open space in my tower for a drive. I have open PCI slots.

My objective is a "snappier" machine for basically office use. SSD sounds like the way to go. I assume 128GB is the right size.

What do I buy?

More about : ssd desktop

June 21, 2011 12:20:51 AM

Most current SSD's are 2.5" sata drives, and are installed just like any conventional hard drive.

Since sata 1 2 3 are all backwards and forwards compatible, do not worry about it.

Any ssd will be very satisfactory . Differences in benchmarks can be significant, but that is not we do. In normal desktop environments, you would be hard pressed to notice any difference in performance among them all.

128gb is a good size. If all of your current data can fit on a ssd, your migration can be as easy as cloning it with something like acronis true image.

Some ssd's will come with a 3.5" to 2.5" adapter so you can install it in the same way as any other hard drive.
A ssd uses the same sata cable and power connector as your sata hard drive.

I would look at the Intel 320 series as a reasonable value and a trouble free choice.
This 120gb comes with an adapter, cable, and cloning software:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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June 21, 2011 12:41:52 AM

Hello,

Couple more points to add to geofelt's nice discussion.

Your MB has 6 SATA 3Mb/s (SATA II) ports directly off the Southbridge controller, so a nice SATA II SSD would be very nice.
Didn't say what OS you are using but even Win-7 Ultimate takes up ~ 30GB, maybe less, and for general business use, you probably don't have anywhere near 70-90 GB of 'stuff'. But you should check to see how much of your present system HDD is used.

Since the newer SATA III SSD's are out and the prices have come down for the SATA II SSD's, one of my favorites would be the 120GB OCZ Vertex II.
128 GB is a nice size, at a reasonable (not cheap yet) price. Go for it!
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June 21, 2011 12:45:15 AM

Thanks for the excellent responses. I'm running Win 7 Pro 64bit. My existing HDD is only 64GB full right now. Any sense in buying a SATA III controller for one of my PCI slots, or is PCI to slow to take advantage?
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June 21, 2011 1:27:06 AM

If you are wanting to invest into a SATA III controller, I would just recommend going with a OCZ RevoDrive X2 instead, which is basically a SSD on the PCI slot. :D  (though I would recommend to check to make sure your motherboard is compatible with the drive first)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 21, 2011 4:25:12 AM

FuriousYachtsman said:
Thanks for the excellent responses. I'm running Win 7 Pro 64bit. My existing HDD is only 64GB full right now. Any sense in buying a SATA III controller for one of my PCI slots, or is PCI to slow to take advantage?


The big advantage of a SSD is the negligible access time. Small random reads and writes is what the OS does, and what the normal desktop user does. A task any SSD is very good at. You will see many ssd vendors and reviewers touting synthetic benchmarks, particularly sequential throughput and high iops(input/output operations per second). These benchmarks push the ssd to their maximum with high queue depths. This is nice, and measurable, but bears little resemblance to what we normally do.
High sequential throughput on a sata 3 port will not be limited by any single sata ssd out today. Even a sata 2 port will not limit the sequential speed. The sequential speed will still be higher than any conventional hard drive, and many times faster for random access.

My point is, that the normal desktop user will not be able to tell the performance difference between any of the current ssd's.
As an early adopter, I bought a 80gb Intel X25-M gen1, a 160gb X25-gen2, and am currently using a intel 510 120gb.
I really can't tell the difference in performance.
But... it is one heck of a lot faster feeling than a velociraptor.
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June 21, 2011 4:38:32 AM

geofelt said:
The big advantage of a SSD is the negligible access time. Small random reads and writes is what the OS does, and what the normal desktop user does. A task any SSD is very good at. You will see many ssd vendors and reviewers touting synthetic benchmarks, particularly sequential throughput and high iops(input/output operations per second). These benchmarks push the ssd to their maximum with high queue depths. This is nice, and measurable, but bears little resemblance to what we normally do.
High sequential throughput on a sata 3 port will not be limited by any single sata ssd out today. Even a sata 2 port will not limit the sequential speed. The sequential speed will still be higher than any conventional hard drive, and many times faster for random access.

My point is, that the normal desktop user will not be able to tell the performance difference between any of the current ssd's.
As an early adopter, I bought a 80gb Intel X25-M gen1, a 160gb X25-gen2, and am currently using a intel 510 120gb.
I really can't tell the difference in performance.
But... it is one heck of a lot faster feeling than a velociraptor.


Thanks for your responses and explanation. Looks like there's only $40-40 difference between a ii and iii. Since they'll both work, I ordered the Intel 320 you suggested and will forego the controller.
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June 21, 2011 3:05:03 PM

Hi again,

For business, that's a good choice. I would also keep it simple and stable, and connect it to one of the Southbridge SATA ports, rather than a secondary board controller chip or an add in PCI expansion board. The MB will always find it first.
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