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Considering a SSD

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October 20, 2011 9:05:35 PM

Hello all,

I am in the midst of slowly putting together a build and buying components for a major upgrade to my system. The list so far:

Asus P8P67 Pro mb

EVGA gtx 560ti video card (1G)

Intel i5 Sandy Bridge 2500k processor

8G Crucial 1600 memory

--undecided on hd, the one I wanted just sold out on newegg :( --

I'm thinking of picking up a small SSD to hold just the OS and maybe a couple important games (sc2 for starters). I'm completely new to SSD's though. I don't have much idea how big a drive I would need. a (very) rough tally of the size of the relevant folders on my current drive puts the number at about 24G, but how much wiggle room do I want? What are the good/bad drives? Bonus points for cheapness!

More about : ssd

a c 257 G Storage
October 20, 2011 9:37:55 PM

I have Windows 7 Pro installed. With all the updates, patches, and fixes from Microsoft my grand total comes in at 21 GB. Others have reported similar results give or take a couple of gigs. A 30GB or 40GB ssd is typical for a Windows only boot ssd.

Now, I have a question for you. You are considering purchasing an Intel P67 based motherboard, a cpu, and memory. Since you might purchase all three components have you considered an Intel Z68 based system?

What will you be doing with your computer? Business and professional work or gaming?
October 20, 2011 10:01:51 PM

wow, 21G just for windows? my windows folder was coming in at just shy of 12G. Does Windows take up more space than what's in the Windows folder?

I was very conflicted between Z68 and P67, see more here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/299237-30-help-choose...
In the end I decided on the P67 because the Z68 didn't have any features I had to have, and it had a $10 rebate

the computer will be used for gaming
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a c 257 G Storage
October 20, 2011 11:33:35 PM

That's Windows 7 Pro 64 with all the Microsoft downloads, updates, patches, and security fixes. I just did a clean install for my new Samsung 470 256GB ssd. Microsoft had over 90 of those downloads. There have been reports of some Windows versions tweaked down to 17GB.

For gaming you might want to consider the Crucial M4 which uses a Marvell controller instead of a SandForce controller. The M4 has been relatively problem free and performs well. There was a problem that developed. However, Crucial issued a firmware update that not only fixed the problem but also increased performance.

The SSD Database has links to technical reviews. Just scroll down to the Crucial section and click on the links to the reviews.
a c 257 G Storage
October 21, 2011 6:40:02 PM

What is your price range for a new ssd?
October 21, 2011 8:39:15 PM

I honestly don't have one, I'm not familiar enough with them to know a good price. but the cheaper the better
October 21, 2011 9:23:28 PM

the Crucial M4, Samsung 470, and the Intel 510 have the best reliability at the moment so I would try to get 1 of these.

(the 510 is more expensive but I put it in here because it is reliable)

Best solution

a c 257 G Storage
October 21, 2011 9:28:48 PM
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Your motherboard is SATA 3 6Gb/s capable. The smallest capacity SATA 3 6Gb/s that newegg.com carries is 60GB with prices starting at $94.99 and free shipping for the OCZ Agility 3 ssd:

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

There is a mail-in rebate which would bring the final price down to $69.99. You'd still have to pay the $99.99 up front and then wait for the rebate.

The Crucial M4 SATA 3 6Gb/s 64GB ssd costs $109.99 and shipping is free. There is no mail-in rebate:

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

I did a little research and found the M4 for around $90.00 to $95.00 but I don't know anything about the vendors and no indications what the shippping costs might be. I didn't want to create a user account and initiate the check-out procedure just to find out what the shipping costs are
a b G Storage
October 21, 2011 9:37:24 PM

execut1ve said:
wow, 21G just for windows? my windows folder was coming in at just shy of 12G. Does Windows take up more space than what's in the Windows folder?

I was very conflicted between Z68 and P67, see more here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/299237-30-help-choose...
In the end I decided on the P67 because the Z68 didn't have any features I had to have, and it had a $10 rebate

the computer will be used for gaming


21gb may be because of a large page file and hyberfil.sys file--seems the more ram you have the larger these get set by windows
a c 257 G Storage
October 21, 2011 10:52:11 PM

mcnumpty - I have page file set to 1024. I also did a few other space saving tweaks from the Tom's Hardware article. I skipped the performance tweaks becaause they are of questionable value.
a b G Storage
October 21, 2011 10:58:40 PM

JohnnyLucky said:
mcnumpty - I have page file set to 1024. I also did a few other space saving tweaks from the Tom's Hardware article. I skipped the performance tweaks becaause they are of questionable value.


did you do the delete hyberfil.sys file?

i only use sleep so deleting that gave me another large space back--i also lowered down the reserved space for system restore
a c 257 G Storage
October 21, 2011 11:31:41 PM

No sleep, no hybernation, no power saving. I'ver got it all disabled. However, I did not actually delete the file you referenced.

I did not disable or delete the restore function. Didn't think it would be necessary with a large capacity ssd. I've done some experimenting where the restore function came in handy.

In the past I experimented with slipstreaming Windows to eliminate unwanted Windows features and save space. Haven't tried it with an ssd.

As I stated previously we've had reports of Windows 7 using as little as 16 or 17 GB but 20 or 21 GB is a typical response.
a b G Storage
October 21, 2011 11:42:40 PM

the main thing is get an ssd you wont regret it

as johnnylucky says your board is sata 3 (6gbs) so get a sata 3 ssd

it all comes down to budget as always--but i started with an intel x-25m 80gb and have now moved up to a mushkin chronos 120gb

as your formatted size isnt the advertised size 40gb may only be about 35gb actually useable so personally i wouldnt go below a 64gb and would try to stretch to an 80gb
October 22, 2011 1:03:35 PM

I'm still trying to wrap my mind around this... my windows folder comes to 11.8G, and this is windows 7 ultimate (32 bit). I will be planning to step up to 64bit, but does it really take up that much more room? is there some other folder I need to add in to the size calculation besides the windows folder?
a c 257 G Storage
October 22, 2011 5:23:10 PM

Windows folder? That explains it. Windows also installs files in other locations.

Here is a link to the official Microsoft Windows 7 disk space requirements:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/products/sy...

Please note there is a very large difference in disk space requirements between Windows 7 32 bit and Windows 7 64 bit. Also take a good look at the additional space that might be required.
October 22, 2011 6:24:29 PM

there we go. so I"m up to 40G minimum or so, that would allow windows and sc2 with some wiggle room
a c 257 G Storage
October 22, 2011 6:49:19 PM

You may be up to 40GB minimum but the smallest capacity SATA 3 6Gb/s ssd for a desktop pc is 60GB.
October 22, 2011 7:06:51 PM

I see that... it would certainly get the job done. I like the look of that ocz agility you linked above
October 23, 2011 12:16:13 AM

I've been taking a deeper look at the two drive linked above. There is definitely a difference in performance between the Crucial M4 and the OCZ Agility. the Agility boasts max speeds of 525 read/475 write on the SATA3 connection, while the M4 is a piddly-sounding 415 read/95 write. Why such a huge difference in write speeds without a corresponding difference in price? from reading the reviews, I do see that the Agility seems plagued with BSOD issues while the M4 seems solid through and through. For what I want to do, use the drive for windows and starcraft, would I feel the hurt from the lower write speed of the M4? not too knowledgeable about these things
a c 351 G Storage
October 23, 2011 2:07:06 AM

Listen to johnny.
(1) reason for size diff (Reported vs real) is that when you look at the file space taken some files are "hidden" and not reported.

(2) I have Both, 2 120 gig agility III and 2 M4 128 gig SSDs. My M4 will run circles around My Agility III See My benchmark). Sequencial bench marks are a Joke.
..(A) Sequencial read / write performance is the Least important matrix for a OS +program SSD, what is imprtant is 4 K random reads followed by 4 k random writes.
..(B) Agillity III seq speads are for data that is COMPRESSABLE - this is not real life. If you look at AS SSD Sequencial performance you will see that the M4 is higher than Agility III. AS SSD used compressed data for running the bench mark (closer to real life. The benchmark that I normally look for in reviews is PCMark Vantage overall score
(3) My recommendations: For OS + program: Smallest, 60/64 gig with recommmended = 90-> 128 gig. You can use less than the 60, but that is for Just the OS. As mentiond size is reported in Dec, so really less. Also with an SSD you NEVER want ot fill it up - need to insure that you have a minumium of about 10 %
So for that 60 gig SSD: 60 Gig Dec is really approx 55 Gigs - 5 gigs (free space ) = 50 gigs usable.

@ johnny. If you disable hibernation, generally windows will delete the dot sys file when rebooted.

For others, when looking for this fille remember it is a Hidden system file.
This file is also the most common reason that users who want to shrink their "C" drive (HDDs) can not do it. Not only is it a hidden system file, it's phyicalo location is near the end boundry for the partition.

Added
Screen shot of My M4 using AS SSD.



a c 257 G Storage
October 23, 2011 5:03:22 AM

The benchmarks are called "synthetic benchmarks" for a reason. They are grossly exaggerated results. They were purposefully designed to exaggerate a very small difference in ssd performance. Manufacturers and vendors pick and choose benchmarks that make their ssd's look better than they are.

I first became aware of the problem with synthetic benchmarks last November. I was reading a review of an ssd that included comparison charts. For one particular benchmark the author of the review casually mentioned there wasn't much difference between the best and worst performing ssd and explained why. Since then I have run into several additional articles and reviews with similar information. The information is there but it only surfaces in little bits and pieces making it difficult to put it in perspective.

a b G Storage
October 23, 2011 10:38:10 AM

to make sure the hyberfil.sys file is deleted and not just disabled

check how much free space you have then

Open a command prompt with administrative privileges.
Enter “powercfg.exe -h off”
Exit the command prompt

then restart pc and check how much free space you have
October 24, 2011 2:15:44 PM

thanks, that clarifies it perfectly. I'll add the M4 to the list then :) 
October 24, 2011 2:16:08 PM

Best answer selected by execut1ve.
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