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Fastest SSD For My Computer?

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January 24, 2012 7:17:10 AM

I have an older desktop computer that I'm going to be upgrading soon.


My motherboard is an ASUS P4P800-E Deluxe

The specs are here:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/mainboards/display/asu...


I think it's speed for SATA harddrives is SATA 1 right? And can it hold 2 or 4 SATA harddrives?


I'm going to be installing the SSD for Audio Production with Ableton Live and my main goal is to make my computer as snappy as possible. I'm going to have a 2nd harddrive installed that will be a regular SATA harddrive where I save all my wavs and audio projects to. So basically my operating system (Windows XP) and Ableton Live + VST's will run off the SSD and everything will be saved to the other harddrive.


Ok so my main questions regarding an SSD installed on this motherboard are....

I guess my Sequential Read/Write Speeds will be capped to SATA 1 speeds around 130 - 140MB/s. But I think I will still get full benefit of Random Read/Write speeds? Is that correct? If so, I believe that the most important spec I'm looking for in an SSD considering what my needs are for the way I'm setting my computer up for audio production is the Random Read speed? So are my Random Read speeds capped for SATA 1 the same way sequential speeds will be? if I'm able to benefit fully from the Random Read speeds can someone let me know which SSD's are the fastest in that category?


I found 2 SSD's with good reviews that I'm interested in on Newegg.

The first is...

Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

I compared it to a lot of other SSD's on Newegg and it's one of the fastest for Random Read at 45,000 IOPS. The size is way more than I'll need because I'm going to be saving everything to another much larger harddrive. So I'm looking for SSD's that are 64 gigabytes or less. Is that the fastest Random Read SSD in the smaller gigabyte ranges? If I can get a faster SSD i'll jump all over it so any reccommendations will be really appreciated.


The second SSD is...

Corsair Force CSSD-F40GB2-A 2.5" 40GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

This SSD is amazingly affordable and has good reviews but it doesn't list the Random Read speeds, only the Random Writes at 50,000 IOPS. Does that mean Random Reads will be even higher than 50,000 IOPS? I tried googling that SSD for information about Random Read speeds but I couldnt find out what it was.


Thanks for taking the time to read my thread and help me out! I really appreciate any assistance and guidance.









More about : fastest ssd computer

a b G Storage
January 24, 2012 7:37:53 AM

The Crucial M4 64GB is the one that has the better outlook in the future if you upgrade your system otherwise at some point. It has the require space for Win7 + programs and Sata 6Gb/s support. But for your use case both of them will provide the speed increase you are looking for.
a c 257 G Storage
January 24, 2012 10:31:23 AM

There are some very major problems and compatability issues. You have an older motherboard from 2004. The first thing that should be looked at is the motherboard's System BIOS. I don't think the System Bios on the motherboard has an AHCI mode that can be enabled. AHCI mode is a typical ssd requirement. AHCI mode was introduced later.

The next things that need to be looked at are System BIOS, chipset, and driver updates. The Intel and Promise controllers on the motherboard were designed for hard disk drives. They were not designed for solid state drives.

I was going to mention a few other compatability problems but that is a moot point now.
Related resources
January 24, 2012 11:47:07 AM

The person in post #12 here has the same motherboard and uses an SSD and says it works fine. http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2054836


So can anyone help answer some of the questions I asked in my original post? I would really appreciate it. Thank you for any help!
a c 257 G Storage
January 24, 2012 1:50:19 PM

WOW! I just read the thread you linked to. What a hassle! Would have liked to see a variety of benchmarks.

The answer to your questions is sequential read and write performance and random read and write performance will all be restricted to SATA 1 levels. There's no way around that.
January 24, 2012 1:58:25 PM

What are the Random Read Speeds capped at for SATA 1?
a c 257 G Storage
January 24, 2012 2:33:08 PM

According to the official SATA 1 standards the theoretical maximum data transfer rate is 1.2Gb/s which is equal to 150MB/s. That's under ideal conditions. Actual performance will be lower for a variety of reasons.
January 24, 2012 2:43:56 PM

Is data transfer rate Sequential Read Speed or Random Read Speed?
a b G Storage
January 24, 2012 3:28:50 PM

Well your SSD should be able to saturate the Sata1 bus to it's full capacity on reads at least so the whole 150MB / sec, writes on the crucial are probably in the 96MB range. But the thing is that it doesn't matter if you are writing a sequential block or lots of small ones in either case the performance should stay close to the same. And to answer your previous question: Both Sequential and random will be at that level or close to it.
a c 257 G Storage
January 24, 2012 3:40:27 PM

The theoretical maximum data transfer rate is the rate at which data can be transferred between the ssd and the ssd controller on the motherboard. It is also referred to as the maximum burst rate. It can only be sustained for brief moments if at all. It is not very realistic. It does no reflect real world performance.

I just happen to maintain historical archives containing hardware reviews that go back 12 years. I just took a look and found a SATA 1 ssd round-up that Tom's Hardware published way back in August 2008. When you get to page 13 you'll be really disappointed.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/flash-ssd-hard-driv...

Tom's Hardware threw in an OCZ SATA 2 3Gb/s ssd. Big time disappointment.

Historical Note - Back then ssd's were referred to as "ssd hard drives" and "ssd flash drives".
a b G Storage
January 24, 2012 3:49:16 PM

JohnnyLucky said:
The theoretical maximum data transfer rate is the rate at which data can be transferred between the ssd and the ssd controller on the motherboard. It is also referred to as the maximum burst rate. It can only be sustained for brief moments if at all. It is not very realistic. It does no reflect real world performance.

I just happen to maintain historical archives containing hardware reviews that go back 12 years. I just took a look and found a SATA 1 ssd round-up that Tom's Hardware published way back in August 2008. When you get to page 13 you'll be really disappointed.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/flash-ssd-hard-driv...

Tom's Hardware threw in an OCZ SATA 2 3Gb/s ssd. Big time disappointment.

Historical Note - Back then ssd's were referred to as "ssd hard drives" and "ssd flash drives".


But when you look at the Crucial read results on that page they seem to be quite high up there, obviously not in comparison to current SataIII but still a heck of a lot faster than a HDD.
a c 257 G Storage
January 24, 2012 4:52:57 PM

rvilkman - Correct but not that good overall. Take a look at the test platform. It was an enterprise level server with an Intel Dual Nocona Xeon 3.6Ghz Setup and Windows Vista instead of XP.

Darkstar2010 - Is Ableton Live memory intensive, cpu intensive, read intensive, or write intensive? You zeroed in on read performance but I am wondering if read performance is the primary consideration.
January 24, 2012 6:05:40 PM

Mostly CPU intensive I believe...But since I'm running a single core processor I need all the help I can get. And having a harddrive that spins and has latency and makes noise isn't the most awesome thing for music production. Everything about this system is limited...4 gigabytes of ram isnt optimal for Audio production either...but you can get by if you know how to stay within the boundaries of your workflow. I cant see how an SSD wouldnt drastically improve my performance...every thread I found googling for sata 1 motherboards with SSD's everyone noticed a huge performance increase. I do agree that my system might end up being sketchy because my motherboard doesnt support AHCI mode. So do you know if there are any socket 478 motherboards that have AHCI? A motherboard and an SSD will be an inexpensive upgrade for me. Having to build an entirely new system at the moment is impossible. I can just get by with my setup right now the way it is....But I'm looking to improve performance if I can for $150 or less..Like buying a new SSD which is $80 if I buy the Corsair one. Totally within my reach financially.
a c 257 G Storage
January 24, 2012 7:05:27 PM

I have a solution for you

A Socket 478 motherboard with the Intel ICH7 chipset would do the trick. The motherboard System BIOS supports AHCI mode and the ICH7 chipset supports SATA 2 3Gb/s ssd's. It also has some additional features that we have not discussed. Works with Microsoft Windows 7

There are two choices at newegg.com:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

NOTE - Newegg details for the Biostar motherboard indicates 2GB memory max but users report the board supports 4GB memory.

Here is a link to the Biostar product page for Version 7 of the board:

http://www.biostar.com.tw/app/en/mb/introduction.php?S_...

There's quite a bit of detailed information, BIOS updates, driver updates, and compatability charts.

You can also google for:

socket 478 motherboard + Intel ICH7

Important - Check form factor, cpu compatability, and memory type.
January 24, 2012 8:42:58 PM

Thank you. That upgrade sounds perfect for me! I really appreciate the extra effort you put in to help me out. I'm going to have to do a bit of research to make sure all of my old components are compatible so I'll probably have a few more questions tomorrow.

But just off the top of my head as I've been online the past few days before I posted here trying to make sure I had as much figured out as I possibly could before I asked questions.

I remember coming across someone that said that Windows 7 doesn't really handle single core Cpu's very well and it's better to stay with Windows XP if you have a single core processor..is that true?

Really appreciate you guiding me in the right direction. Thanks!!!!!!
a c 257 G Storage
January 24, 2012 9:16:04 PM

Good question. I don't have an answer off the top of my head. Best place for you to ask is probably somewhere the Windows 7 section of the forum.

April 21, 2012 10:46:32 PM

http://www.fastestssd.com/featured/ssd-rankings-the-fas...

FusionIO ioDrive Octal
Interface: PCI-Express x16 Gen2.0
Available Capacities: 5.120TB
Price: Contact FusionIO
6000MB/s read
4400MB/s write

Random 512B Write: 1.18M IOPS

Not only will be the worlds fastest commerical ssd but will also be the most exspensive

No prices yet but expect $50,000+
!