Samsung Spinpoint F3 would be my main drive. I would use one of the SSDs, hopefully, as a boot drive and partition off 10-20 GB's to use for caching with Z68 chipset SRT. If budget is more than I expect by next month could possibly splurge on a 120GB SSD. So any advice/feedback on my choices is appreciated. Any advice given on another 60GB range and a 120GB SSD would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Caching is not necessary. There is a lot of misunderstanding about caching. Intel developed caching for clients and businesses that could not afford a large capacity ssd. Back when the concept was on the drawing board, Intel hoped clients and businesses would purchase a small 10Gb or 20GB for about $100.00. Microsoft Windows 7 and all software applications would remain on hard disk drives. The cache only produced a minor boost in performance. Intel hoped that once clients saw the slight performance boost they might be inclined to purchase a larger ssd.
Intel also researched the size of the cache. Intel determined that a 60GB ssd was the point where it made no sense to use the ssd as a cache for a hard drive. Instead if you have a 60GB ssd, then Windows 7 and software applications should be installed on the ssd to take full advantage of the ssd capabilities.
Since you are thinking of purchasing a 60GB ssd, it makes more sense to install Windows 7 and your software applications on the ssd. The ssd performance boost is much higher than the hard disk drive performance increase.
Windows 7 will use up a just a little over 21GB leaving some room for software applications.
As for gaming, I hope you know that an ssd will not improve actual game play and it will not improve FPS. The only thing that happens is that the game will launch faster and levels, maps, or charts will load faster. If you participate in online gaming, then the ssd will not improve anything. You'll still be at the mercy of your Internet Service Provider.
Five days ago Tom's Hardware published "SSD Performance In Crysis 2, World Of Warcraft, And Civilization V". It is an analysis of ssd's and gameplay. Here is the link:
I agree with most of what Johhny said. I think its silly not to look at the Vertex3 SSD. And as a 40GB user, I can tell you that real estate is precious. I just bought a Vertex3 120GB, because I hate installing and uninstalling games so much. The drive is for a new build so I haven't used it yet, but I can tell you its one of the fastest drives available for desktop use. Of course if you are stuck on SATA2, then you can save some money by going with a cheaper drive. But for SATAIII, you should really look at the Vertex3 from OCZ.
If reliability is more important though, you should also look at the Intel SSDs. Pretty good performers too.
SSD will assist you into loading online game maps faster than those with hard drives. In BFBC2 I was usually first in and rolling until the patch came out forcing me to wait 10-14 seconds until everyone else loaded in.
I consider Caching not necessary. 16 gig of ram, about 360 gigs worth of Raid 5 SSD and so on.
I stay away from the really small drives. Anything below 90 meg is not worth the effort. Heck the Intel SSD I am using now is 3/4 full on this computer. And that is with no games. I got a old style 500 gig drive as a backup and video storage. The machine I am building is strictly for gaming.
I agree with my fellow experts above and think that any caching on your SSD is not a very good idea. If you cah wait for the larger SSD it is a much better set up and less problems in the future. If you have to pull the trigger sooner then put the OS and all games you can fit on the SSD, the rest in storage.
Not mentioned previously is that SSD's degrade pretty quickly when you get over 75% capacity. Another reason to get as large as you can afford. I just saw the m4 120GB for $165 earlier today so thats pretty good.