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SSD Upgrade

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September 2, 2011 7:20:41 AM

So I built a fairly decent rig last year:

CPU: i7 860
GPU: XFX Radeon 6870 Black Edition
Audio: SupremeFX X-Fi
RAM: 8 GB G-Skill DDR3 1600
PSU: 850 Watt Azza PSU
HDD: 1TB Samsung 7200 RPM

But as you can see I'm running the basic 7200 RPM HDD. I would like to upgrade my harddrive to the Crucial M4 64GB for games and OS. However, it runs on a SATA III interface; while I know that SATA III is backwards compatible with SATA II, would it still be suggest to invest in a SATA III pci controller? I do have an extra PCI 4x slot still open. Also, will there be much of a performance hit by going with the SATA II interface? I am also keeping in mind that I may want to increase the storage space by adding another SSD in the future to store more games on. I don't generally use an optical drive when I run my games, I run them straight from the drive itself, so the faster Random Reads are presumably in my best interest. I'm not poor, but I'm not filthy rich, so please do not suggest an overly expensive Raid 0 pci express card like the RevoDrive. I'm a college student who lives mostly on top ramen.

If investing in a 2 SATA III 6Gb/s pci card is something that would be worth looking into, can anyone suggest a decent manufacturer for them? From the reviews I've read on newegg, it's pretty hit and miss. Then again, their selection is also rather limited, so I figured I'd ask here to see if I can catch a true pro :) .

Thank-you for your time. I appreciate the help.

More about : ssd upgrade

September 2, 2011 7:47:48 AM

Yes you will get twice the read/write speeds going with SATA III. The only benifit of the SSD with games is the begining of each level will load faster (if playing online you have to wait for the other slower loading HDD players anyways), SSDs will not improve you framerate. They are very expensive, i would wait until prices come down more. If you have to have one now then i would get at least 120gb for OS and a few games, 64gb might fit OS and 1 game.
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September 2, 2011 7:55:12 AM

Thank-you. I was a tad considered about the capacity, thought about buying one now for the OS, and a few choice applications, and then a second one for games. Buying 128GB over two installments appears less intensive than buying a full 128GB in one bulk. Since SATA III will greatly increase my performance, have any suggestions for expansion cards allowing SATA III over PCI?
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a b G Storage
September 2, 2011 8:19:58 AM

JoMo87 said:
Thank-you. I was a tad considered about the capacity, thought about buying one now for the OS, and a few choice applications, and then a second one for games. Buying 128GB over two installments appears less intensive than buying a full 128GB in one bulk. Since SATA III will greatly increase my performance, have any suggestions for expansion cards allowing SATA III over PCI?


So the thing about SATA II speeds and SSDs is-its still gonna be a hell of a lot faster than your hard drive. By quite a lot actually. If you want an SSD, but don't want to pay a fortune the m4 SSDs look pretty good right now.

I used a 40GB boot drive for a year and a half, SATA II. Its not just boot times that are faster, overall system responsiveness is the big thing. If you really want to see the difference between SATA II speeds and SATA III go browse some articles over at Anandtech. They pretty much test them all. Here's a link to an article.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4421/the-2011-midrange-ss...

You won't necessarily get twice the read and write speeds, its very dependent on the SSD you choose, the controller, and even capacity as the smaller drives are never as fast as the larger ones. Also dependent on the software you are running.

As far as windows goes, you can expect a normal WIN7 installation to be 20GB. You can cut that in half by getting rid of your system cache ( I move it to my data drive), the UAC and a few other settings. I ran with a 10GB install. I typically put my browsers and MSoffice on the boot drive. I also put a few games on there, but really it depends on what kind of game, some of them have huge installations. I think a 60GB drive is a nice size for a boot drive, but I am also much happier with my 120GB.

I just installed my Vertex III 120GB with my new mobo, and it flat out flies. WEI is 7.9. Other benchmarks I'm running about 20% faster than my old SSD, that's overall system performance. Lots of folks will tell you that you'll just load windows and levels faster. I submit to you that those folks don't own an SSD.
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a b G Storage
September 2, 2011 10:39:26 AM

The SSD is just about the only piece of hardware that can use the bandwidth of the SATA 6.0 standard. If you but a SATA 6.0 SSD and use it on a SATA 3.0 interface, you will still have killing speed over a HDD. I'd recommend that you look at something like the Revo drive as a solution: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... It is more elegant than taking a SATA 6.0 and buying a seperate interface card.
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September 4, 2011 8:30:47 AM

chesteracorgi said:
The SSD is just about the only piece of hardware that can use the bandwidth of the SATA 6.0 standard. If you but a SATA 6.0 SSD and use it on a SATA 3.0 interface, you will still have killing speed over a HDD. I'd recommend that you look at something like the Revo drive as a solution: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... It is more elegant than taking a SATA 6.0 and buying a seperate interface card.


Hehe... That's a life-times worth of lunches of Top Ramen. I mentioned in the first post something about ridiculously overpriced PCI cards ;) .

The 64GB version of M4 just dropped to $89.99 on newegg.com [http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...]. Think I'm going to get one of these now, and pick up another one later if I run out of room.

Thank you, again, everyone. I really appreciate the input. However, I'm still up in the air about a decent SATA III pci card... Any thoughts there?
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