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Help: do I need a SSD boot drive?

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August 31, 2011 5:18:41 PM

I have ordered pieces for a new build. I am NOT A GAMER at all, but will do some video editing (Premiere) and photo editing (Photoshop). I have completely overspent what I intended, and have zero $$$ left, but after plowing through many articles on Tom's and some other sites I cannot help but feel like I should really consider a SSD for boot drive and media editing programs. I am going to overclock the processor of course, maybe the graphics card (not sure about that). I am also thinking of using an external HDD as a scratch drive for my media editing.

The whole caching/raid thing is too much for my tiny brain! I want the fastest/efficient build I can get at this point.

I LOVE this site, but I am such a neophyte, I am having great trouble following a) the pros and cons of a SSD vs. just relying on my HDD; and b) whether a mediocre SSD is better than none. Check out my build, what do you think I should do? (And, no--I cannot swap out any of the already bought parts at this point)

I have read pretty clearly here that at below $100. spending point, the SSD are pretty mediocre. And, the newegg rebate/discount item http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... is $65. after rebate. (I realize this is a mediocre drive, but is it worth $65?)

Basics (Z68 w/i5-2500K, plenty of memory) -- details below...

Thank you VERY much for your help, I am indebted to you for your passion/knowledge


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motherboard ASRock Z68 PRO3-M http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

cpu Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

graphics card GIGABYTE Radeon HD6570 1GB

psu antec vp 450 http://www.amazon.com/Antec-Cost-Efficient-Tower-Case-V...

cabinet Antec Mid Tower Case VSK-2450 http://www.amazon.com/Antec-Cost-Efficient-Tower-Case-V...

hard drive WD Caviar Black 1.5 TB http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004CSIFG2/ref=olp_pro...

ram Corsair Vengeance 16GB DDR3 (12800) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

monitor 23" SAMSUNG 2333T http://www.quill.com/samsung-widescreen-monitors/cbs/24...

dvd drive LITE-ON 22X DVD±R DVD Burner http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS Windows 7 home 64bit http://trinitysoftwaredistribution.com/mm5/merchant.mvc...

cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-Sleeve-RR-B10...

More about : ssd boot drive

August 31, 2011 5:50:15 PM

Do you need one? No. Would it make things faster? yes, since the cheapest SSDs are faster than the expensive HDDs. Using this as a boot drive and a scratch drive for video editing would be beneficial.

Now, is it worth the $65? In my opinion, no if you already blew through your budget and don't have any money left. However, if you have the money later would be a great upgrade to your PC.
a b G Storage
August 31, 2011 5:58:29 PM

No you don't "need" a SSD. It is a "want" and a great upgrade, but not a "need". If you should ever want to upgrade then there are some measures that you should take to prepare to clone the boot disk to a SSD, but it is a want not a need.
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a c 353 G Storage
August 31, 2011 6:46:22 PM

(1) Good price on 64 gig sata II SSD. Orignal Kingston V (V for value) were not all that much faster than a HDD, Believe the improved.

(2) what you get:
.. Faster boot time. How often do you boot the computer
.. Faster shut time. Who cares, you tell it to shut down and walk away.
.. Faster reboots. How often do you reboot.
.. Faster program load times.

.. Once in the program, what you do is generally not improved. Exception is like your video files and encoding/editing - will only be faster if the your data is located on the SSD.
Example. I have two SSDs, one for operating system and one for a work disk where I keep the files that I most often use. If I click on a recent link to a spreedsheet, Excel loads and the spreed sheet is loaded BEFORE I can drag the mouse to a cell to edit it.

You need to evaluate if the benefits = scrapping the money together.

Minor disagreement with Chesteracorgi, I always recommend a clean install to a SSD, not to clone a HDD to an SSD. Has to do with partition alignment and you also have to edit the registry to enable trim, and Possibly some HD driver issues.
August 31, 2011 7:12:47 PM

I was in your shoes a week ago when ordering parts for my custom build. I am a gamer, but that really isn't relevant when talking about SSD's in my opinion as they will improve the performance of anything booting from them.

I found a good deal on an OCZ that came out to around $65 after MIR and I couldn't be happier. My boot times are literally around 15 seconds. The PC is incredibly snappy. It is definitely a worthwhile investment.
a c 311 G Storage
August 31, 2011 8:57:55 PM

Others have already mentioned that you do not need a solid state drive. I agree. You certainly can make do without one. However, an ssd does improve some photo and video editing tasks. I know, because I used to work as a professional digital imaging editor. I still do some part-time work and I use the same software you mentioned plus some additional applications and utilities.

I have a suggestion but it will require you to be patient. The Kingston SSDNow V+100 96GB ssd is a better performing drive:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I have one in my personal/work pc. I bought the ssd when newegg had it on sale for $99.99 and free shipping. Newegg periodically has the ssd on sale. It will show up as one of their email specials, daily deals, or shell shocker specials. I strongly suggest you sign up for newegg's email notices and check newegg everyday in order to take advantage of the sale price. The 96GB capacity will allow you to install Windows 7 and all of your photo and video editing software on the ssd. That's what I did. Waiting for the sale price will allow you to save a few more dollars for the ssd.

BTW - You do not have to install the ssd when you build your pc. You could install Windows and your software on a hard disk drive for now.

!