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First Time SSD Buyer Insall and buying questions

Last response: in Storage
December 1, 2011 12:56:40 AM

OK Guys,

I've recently seen my hdd basically go to crap; random boot issues, random blue screens, etc, etc. Checked all the other components, and it is the HDD and RAM. So I've been eyeing SSD's for a long long time, but I've always heard rumors of wierd Drivers, back ground programs, bios settings, and other things that are needed to install and run these SSD's.

Now as for my knowledge of SSD's, the only thing's I know about are the internals of it, and I know the basic concept of what "Trim" is. How to enable trim, and other SSD settings / install proceedures / background programs I have NO CLUE about.

SO Here's my questions:
1) What would be a great SSD I could get? Budget really isn't really that much of an issue. Not to say I'd buy a 500 buck SSD drive, but I understand I'll have to shell out for a proper and good SSD. I'm looking for something in the 100-120gb range, and I need to know what brands I should trust. I've always had great luck with OCZ on the memory side and was leaning in that direction, but then again like I said above, this is new territory for me, so I dont really know.

2) Special Install process? I have looked all around the web including some vlogs on youtube to see what I'd need to do in order to install an SSD.... Needless to say, I've gotten 5000 different answers for 5000 different techs. Some say I don't need to do anything, just install windows 7 and "Trim" will be there waiting. SOme say I need to install drivers that come with the SSD, and others say I have to go into the BIOS and change a specific setting to get TRIM to work. Since I know there are a GAZILLION different mobo's out there with a number of different BIOS out there, I'll include my mobo so hat hopefully someone with my mobo who's already gone SSD could help me with that specific setting if it is indeed there: My Mobo is "MSI 790FX-GD70 AM3 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard"

3) Special background programs / WIndows drivers needed after install? Are there any OCZ / Brand programs or Drivers that are ABSOLUTELY needed after install the SSD & windows?

I appreciate all the help guys! Thanks!
a c 175 G Storage
December 1, 2011 2:30:29 AM

1) Today, I would trust Intel, and perhaps Samsung for a ssd. Intel seems to have had fewer issues and returns:

2) 120gb is a good size for the os and perhaps a dozen games. Prices were $2 per gb, but they are coming down. Intel recently had a promotion on their 320 series drives, 80, 120, 160gb that brought the price close to $1 per gb. I think that is clearing out stock in anticipation of some new drives this year.

3) Don't pay too much attention to synthetic benchmarks. In real use all ssd's perform about the same.

4) Current ssd's are sata drives, and are installed the same way. Most are 2.5" form factors, so the vendors usually supply a 2.5>3.5 mounting kit. No big deal to mount; use duct tape if you have to. There are some fast pci-e based drives that need special drivers, I would avoid them.

5) I would do a clean install with windows 7. Set the sata mode to ahci(not ide or raid) and you will get windows drivers which is all you need.

6) Post installation, enjoy. Don't bother with any tips or micro managing, it really is not needed.
December 1, 2011 3:36:29 PM

Thanks for all the good info!

I love the fact that it seems to be like just a normal hdd (Except for the Bios AHCI setting) In regards to AHCI, is that only on the more recent motherboards? My mobo is around 2 years old, so even though I'm gonna go home tonight and try to find that setting, I'd like someone to re-affirm that it should be on my mobo as well.

I have been looking for the normal SATA SSD's none of those PCI express ones, which seem to be extremely quarky as it is right now without even the driver installs and w/e.

As for Intel... well.... I'm with AMD for a reason :(  All of my intels I've ever had either fried, overheated, or just smoked lol. So I really hope they are both cheaper and run better than the competition :)