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Replacing HDD with a new SSD - Advice needed

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September 22, 2011 9:27:40 PM

Hello,

My X58 based system runs Win 7 64 bit Professional and includes:
MOBO: Asus P6T SE, ICH10R, JMicron JMB363 controller, BIOS v. 0704 (3 or 4 newer versions are available)
PSU: Corsair 750HX

I would like to replace one (system) of two HDD with an SSD, likely a 120GB capacity.

Questions:
1. Are newer SATA III 6Gb/s SSD drives fully compatible with SATA II 3Gb/s systems?
2. Given my system only supports SATA II 3Gb/s should I NOT look for the newer SATA III 6/Gb/s drives?
3. Having to reinstall the OS and apps is a major headache. Can this be bypassed? Safely?
4. Any thoughts about OCZ Agility 3 120GB or ADATA S511 120GB, or other 120GB capacity drives?
5. Is the OCZ RevoDrive (PCIe) a smart choice for my SATA II system?
a c 283 G Storage
September 22, 2011 10:49:38 PM

before answering your questions I have one for you. Is there any chance you will be upgrading your motherboard within the next 12 months?
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September 22, 2011 11:14:29 PM

JohnnyLucky said:
before answering your questions I have one for you. Is there any chance you will be upgrading your motherboard within the next 12 months?

Not likely to upgrade my MOBO in the next 12 mos.
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a c 283 G Storage
September 22, 2011 11:40:07 PM

OK!

1. A SATA 3 6Gb/s ssd is backward compatible with SATA 2 3Gb/s. It will work when plugged into a SATA 2 3Gb/s connection on a motherboard. However, performance will not be as good.

2. You can look for either a SATA 2 3Gb/s or a SATA 3 6Gb/s ssd. The choice is yours. If you get a SATA 3 6Gb/s ssd, then you will be prepared for a future motherboard upgrade.

3. Doing a fresh install is the preferred method . It does not take long to install on an ssd. In addition, a clean install eliminates a lot of unncessary odds and ends that Windows has accumulated. You could use cloning software like Acronis to transfer Windows to the ssd. It works well for the majority of users but there is a tiny risk involved.

4. For a SATA 2 3Gb/s ssd I recommend the Samsung 470 series. The ssd is very good and there are no major issues or problems. For SATA 3 6Gb/s I recommend either the Crucial M4 or the Intel 510. Both have been relatively free of any issues or problems. Intel commands a premium price so the Crucial M4 would be a better value, expecially if it is on sale.

5. For a good PCI-e based ssd your motherboard would need to have a free PCI-e 2.0 x4, x8, or x16 slot. The OCZ Revo ssd's are PCI-e 2.0 x4 based but will definitely work in an x8 or x 16 slot. The Revo drives will not work in a PCI-e 2.0 x1 slot.
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September 23, 2011 12:19:59 AM

JohnnyLucky said:
OK!

1. A SATA 3 6Gb/s ssd is backward compatible with SATA 2 3Gb/s. It will work when plugged into a SATA 2 3Gb/s connection on a motherboard. However, performance will not be as good.

2. You can look for either a SATA 2 3Gb/s or a SATA 3 6Gb/s ssd. The choice is yours. If you get a SATA 3 6Gb/s ssd, then you will be prepared for a future motherboard upgrade.

3. Doing a fresh install is the preferred method . It does not take long to install on an ssd. In addition, a clean install eliminates a lot of unncessary odds and ends that Windows has accumulated. You could use cloning software like Acronis to transfer Windows to the ssd. It works well for the majority of users but there is a tiny risk involved.

4. For a SATA 2 3Gb/s ssd I recommend the Samsung 470 series. The ssd is very good and there are no major issues or problems. For SATA 3 6Gb/s I recommend either the Crucial M4 or the Intel 510. Both have been relatively free of any issues or problems. Intel commands a premium price so the Crucial M4 would be a better value, expecially if it is on sale.

5. For a good PCI-e based ssd your motherboard would need to have a free PCI-e 2.0 x4, x8, or x16 slot. The OCZ Revo ssd's are PCI-e 2.0 x4 based but will definitely work in an x8 or x 16 slot. The Revo drives will not work in a PCI-e 2.0 x1 slot.

Thanks, JohnnyLucky.

1) Looking at the Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 128GB SATA III, Intel 510 Series (Elm Crest) SSDSC2MH120A2K5 120GB SATA III, it is hard to ignore the price/value of the OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-120G 120GB SATA III, OR should I?

2) Had they all been priced equally, what would your choice be?

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a c 283 G Storage
September 23, 2011 12:43:35 AM

1. I normally do not recommend OCZ ssd's. OCZ has had more than their fair share of problems and issues. In the past 6 months OCZ has issued 5 firmware updates to try and solve a variety of problems. What is not clear is the cause of the problems. It is difficult to tell whether it is OCZ, SandForce which makes the Controllers for the OCZ ssd's, some sort of motherboard or chipset compatability issue, some sort of installation glitch, or something else that nobody can identify. Similar problems occured with other ssd brands that use SandForce controllers. To be fair there are a lot of satisfied customers with OCZ ssd's.

2. If they were all priced equally and I had a motherboard that was SATA 3 6Gb/s capable, then I would not hesitate to purchase the Intel 510. Of course, that is my personal choice. Other individuals will have their own personal favorites.

BTW - My motherboard does not have SATA 3 6Gb/s capabilities but I do have a PCI-e 2.0 x8 slot available for a PCI-e based ssd. Intel and two other companies announced brand new PCI-e based ssd's. They will be released for sale sometime between October 1st and the end of the year. That's what I'm waiting for. If the PCI-e based ssd's are okay, then I can avoid a motherboard/cpu/memory upgrade.

Time for a break. :) 
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September 23, 2011 8:19:51 PM

Best answer selected by uelazar.
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