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Recycling a drive

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April 27, 2012 7:43:53 PM

I'm building a new ultra-budget (sub-$400) gaming box, and would like to keep costs down by repurposing an HDD from an old build. I have two choices:

Maxtor 7200rpm SATA1, 250GB DiamondMax 10
Hitachi 5400rpm SATA2 640GB laptop drive.

Both are currently hanging out in external devices, although the Hitachi is in an eSATA enclosure and the Maxtor is just in a USB2. However, I've been using the eSata as a backup, so it has a bunch of data I'll have to find a new home for, whereas the Maxtor is pretty much clean.

Probably most important, the system is a Z68 board, and I have a new OCZ Agility3 coming to serve as a boot drive/SRT cache drive.

I'm pretty sure, because of areal density & interface, the Maxtor is a slower drive, but it's much more convenient to use (and the eSata is much more convenient as an external drive). Will the SRT significantly mask the performance delta?

What say ye?

Build specs:
Asus P8Z68-V LX
XFX Radeon HD-6770
OCZ Agility3 60GB SATA3 SSD
Corsair XMS 4GB DDR3 1600
Intel Celeron G530 2.4Ghz Dual-core
OCZ ModXStream 600W Modular PSU
Raidmax Tornado ATX case
LG 22x DVD Super-Multi burner
I work for a Microsoft partner, so my windows is free (and legal)

All in, from Newegg with shipping, promotions & rebates: $387.75 !!!

More about : recycling drive

a c 353 G Storage
April 27, 2012 7:52:06 PM

When you say the Agility III SSD will serve as a OS/SRT drive, are you partitioning it and installing OS on half and using the other Half as part of a SRT configuration? If so I HIGHLY recommend you reconsisder.

In every review I've read on SRT, the Buttom line is if the SSD is large enough for the OS + Programs, use it for that.

Just today I've read where two people are having problems with their SRT setups on Gigabyte MB (primarily when hibernation is enabled).

Just re-read your post, I see You are only getting a 60 gig SSD and will be using it for SRT, Not OS + Programs.
The SSD will cache mostly windows OS that is normally loaded on start up, then it will cache programs and files that you most often use.
You will have to set your BIOS to Raid and follow the instruction on how to set up SRT closely.

And Yes, although a 60 gig is the recommended MININIUM size for a OS + Program, I recommend a min size of 80 gigs. Which is a much preferred method than using SRT.

Bottom Line, My recommendation would be to return the agility 3 and get an SSD that is 80 gigs or larger, and usit as it was intende - OS + Programs. You will be HAPPIER in the long run.

PS. The Agility III is cheaper than many other SSD for a reason, Higher number of users are unhappy with it (I think that may be do to past problems with the firmware, which mostly have be resolved), and it is on the lower end in terms of performance. ie You can stick it on a slower Intel sata II port and will not see any difference in real life than if it was on a sata III port.
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April 28, 2012 6:09:15 AM

Thanks, I'll take that under advisement. I missed today's ShellShocker, the Mushkin 120GB drive for $100. :( 

I think one reason I'm leaning toward SRT is that I'm reading a lot of reviews of dead SSDs, not just with the Agility3. With SRT, if the SSD goes dead, nothing is really lost. I "limp along" on the mechanical drive until the RMA replacement comes in. I am currently using a Momentus XT partitioned into a 75GB OS and 400GB Data drive, and while I eventually got hard links pointing all the User directories into the Data partition, it's kind of a PITA. All the reviews of SRT have been of a 20GB or 30GB partition; I'm thinking with a 60GB partition, I'm going to be LIVING in the cache for the most part.

Finally, and only tangentally related to your points: what is with the obsession about OS Boot times? How often do you reboot? For me, it's maybe once every 15-20 days. If it takes 10sec or 40 sec, I really don't care.
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a c 353 G Storage
April 28, 2012 2:00:14 PM

Your point on "Boot Time" is very valid. The SSD's advantage is very much tied to how the user uses the computer. A good number of individuals leave there systems on 24/7 and may only cycle once a week, so here boot time such not be an issue. Program load times, again depend on the user but in general the computer will be more responsive and as you open and close these programs may make it worth it. One fact can be notted - The vast majority who have switched to an OS + Program SSD say - No way going back to a HDD.

On "problems" - looking at Newegg User ratings Some HDDs have VERY poor stats and some of the "More recommended" SSD have stats every bit as good as mostl HDD. I have 7 SSDs currently in use, not a single failure (SSDs are a mix of generation 1, 2 &3).

As to If it Fails, There is NO diff between a HDD and a SSD with the OS on it. If My OS + Program SSD fails, I will be up and runing in approx 10 Min, and that means booting to windows and runing all my programs!! O and their is a diff, if the Failure was a OS HDD it would take maby fifteen -> 20 Minues (so thats no biggy either) - But with the HDD you will also have to use your back-up to restore all of Your data.

Problems most often seen with SSDs Used as OS + Program drive is Because the USER did NOT properly install. It on of "Us" men things called "When all else fails, read the FUC**** Manual". SSDs used as SRT cache drives have the same problem, PLUS Additional problems.

The most recommended SSDs for LEAST user problems are the Intel 510, or 520, the Curcuial M4, and the Samsung 830. Of the three I always recommend buying which ever one is on sale (the Cheapest). Performance wise, not a nickels worth of diff in real life, And all three seem to have good enough ratings. I DO NOT include the Agility III as a recommended drive, ONLY buy if that is all you can afford, do Not buy just to save money!

In all Reviews of SRT, there bottom line wqas if you can afford a SSD large enought for the OS + programs, then SKIP SRT.
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a b G Storage
April 28, 2012 2:10:29 PM

If this is a gaming build, why are we spending $$$ on an SSD at all? Celeron CPU? 5770? Dump the SSD, use both of the hdds you have (2.5" drive is probably faster, put OS on that) and put the SSD money into the CPU and GPU.
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May 5, 2012 1:20:26 AM

4745454b said:
If this is a gaming build, why are we spending $$$ on an SSD at all? Celeron CPU? 5770? Dump the SSD, use both of the hdds you have (2.5" drive is probably faster, put OS on that) and put the SSD money into the CPU and GPU.



Probably shouldn't have called it a "gaming" build. I'll be playing Diablo III, and a 6770 is more than enough to run that at max settings.
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a b G Storage
May 5, 2012 3:55:43 AM

Then shovel the SSD money into a better CPU. You need a faster CPU (and GPU), not an SSD.
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a c 353 G Storage
May 5, 2012 12:46:07 PM

^ have to agree, a CPU upgrade to a i5-2500K would make more sense Than a SSD. The SSD ONLY improves loading OS (maybe once a Day) and when program is loaded.
SSD Does NOT improve Running any program while an SSD would - And This is what you do 98% of the time, the other 2% for Booting, and loading a program.
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May 8, 2012 2:17:24 AM

Upgrading to a 2500k is an additional $220. The SSD is only $60. That plus the $50 I spent on the Celeron gets me only halfway there.

When I build, I try to maximize future upgradability. Upgrading the CPU is a drop-in solution (and will be cheaper) in a few months, whereas the HDD is a (slightly) more permanent selection.

As an answer to the original question, I chose the 250GB drive as a main drive, mostly because I didn't want to have to find a home for the stuff on the 640GB external drive (when are those flood prices going to come down?). I'm having a great deal of difficulty getting the SRT working, but the system is fully built and runs like a top. I have yet to be CPU bound (admittedly in light usage and some burn-in benchmarking). In fact, most of the CPU tests are showing this Celeron within 90% of the Core i5 2410 in my laptop.
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a b G Storage
May 8, 2012 2:25:20 AM

I know you can't get a 2500k, but a 2120 should have been within reach.
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