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Dipping my toes into the SSD waters.. need some advice!

I've been building computers for a couple of years since I retired and have done about 7 or 8 of them. I also trouble-shoot software and hardware for about half a dozen elderly friends. (Considering my age, I'm probably one of them myself.)

I've been tasked with putting together a computer for my 13-year old grandson for Christmas. He's been wanting to build one with Grandma for a long time. I've compiled a pretty fair pile of components including a 60 GB OCZ Agility 3 SSD (requested by his dad). I've been cruising websites and reading a lot, but I still have some questions.

1. Mount the SSD and the 1 TB HDD, but only connect the SSD, right?

2. Should BIOS be set to AHCI before we start the OS installation?

3. This will be a boot drive, obviously. Have a new 64-bit Windows 7 OS disk and this will be a fresh install. Install the MB drivers. Download and install the Windows Live Essentials they want on the SSD. Download and install Microsoft Security Essentials and install on the SSD. Install Malwarebytes Pro on the SSD. Cease and desist with software installation. Hook up the HDD and format with Windows 7. Install programs etc. on that drive. No Raid, right?

Please let me know if I'm totally off base here I don't want to mess up this build for the grandson. Thanks tons in advance! Pertinent (or not) info that might help:

Gigabyte GA Z68P-UD3P, four SATA III ports and four SATA II ports.
Core i7 2600
GTX 560 Ti
8 GB G-Skil RAM
Cooler Master 800 Watt PS
Seagate 1 TB HDD, SATA 6.0
OCZ Agility 3, 60 GB
6 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Thats a very nice build, but I would really suggest going with a 120g SSD and installing applications to it.

    1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. This is right based on what you are saying, but again I would really suggest going with a 120g SSD which should be enough from for Windows, apps, and a few games, and just using the 1tb drive for media storage.

    If you are set with those hardware specs go for it, but you could swap things around a bit to save on the processor and go for the larger SSD which is the more preferred route imo.
  2. Thanks, tomatthe. That's exactly what I needed to know. We're pretty much set with the configuration as it is for now. I will leave it to them to make upgrades down the line with things like a bigger SSD, more RAM etc. Thanks again!
  3. Best answer
    Your grandson is lucky to have a cool grandma.

    Your plan is good just ensure to plug the Agility 3 in to an SATA3 port.

    Since you'll have two drives and the OS drive is an SSD I would enable virtual memory on both drives because the benefit will be greater than having it on either single drive.

    I would install the majority of apps/games on the 1TB since he's going to run out of space on the 64GB and end up installing on the 1TB anyways. Some apps will get installed on the OS drive anyways and space will also be eaten up by user profiles.

    I wouldn't bother partitioning the 1TB.
  4. Ah, forgot about the User Profiles. There should be only 2 of them though. I agree with not partitioning the 1 TB drive and hadn't planned on doing it. Hope this build goes well! With all the deals right now, I also scored 2 free games for him - Batman Arkham City with the 560 Ti and Battlefield 3 with the CPU. Mom and Dad told him he's getting socks and new jeans and maybe a couple of new games for Christmas, so he should be quite shocked.

    Don't know if Grandma is cool or just a little weird....
  5. Best answer selected by Draclvr.
  6. If you install Steam on the system you can get TrackMania Nations Forever for free and some other games for free via this Steam thread:

    http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=851573
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