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Got $250, what should I get for my new system?

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  • Storage
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May 8, 2012 6:25:32 PM

Hey guys, I just bought all the new parts to a system Im building Including an i5-2500k, GTX480, and more importantly as far as storage goes, this board:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Now since I only had limited money before, I decided that I'd keep using the 2 x 350GB 7200rpm Seagate drives I have from back in 2007, but I just came into an extra $250 just now, and seeing as how that's the weakest part of my system, I believe thats where I should spend the money upgrading.

So can anyone here help me out? I don't use a lot of drive space ever, had these 350GBs for going on 5 years now, and I've never even came close to maxing the first drive, never even touched the second, That being said I figure the most space I'll ever need is 500GB (maybe 1TB with my recent discovery of Steam, Lol).

So can someone point me to a super Reliable, Quiet and FAST (that's the key, faster tech) 500GB - 1TB drive? Or if you can think of some sort of SSD solution at that price, it would be even better (I assume?). I hear about people who put their OS and a few other priority files on an SSD and use the HDD for everything else, so whats that about? Anyways any help would be appreciated, my other parts are already being shipped as I type this, so I wanna get on this ASAP.

Thanks again :) 

More about : 250 system

May 8, 2012 6:32:46 PM

I think an SSD should be your high-priority item.

An Intel 520 SSD goes for $200 for 120GB. You get 5 years of warranty, speed of a SandForce and the reliability of Intel's cherrypicking process for that price.

Otherwise, a $130 Crucial m4 128GB is a favorite. Marvell controller reliability, little speed loss (compared to SandForce) and attractive price.
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May 8, 2012 6:49:12 PM

eddieroolz said:
I think an SSD should be your high-priority item.

An Intel 520 SSD goes for $200 for 120GB. You get 5 years of warranty, speed of a SandForce and the reliability of Intel's cherrypicking process for that price.

Otherwise, a $130 Crucial m4 128GB is a favorite. Marvell controller reliability, little speed loss (compared to SandForce) and attractive price.


Well maybe I don't go ever 300, But I will definitely go over 120GB. I mean win7 takes up what, 20gigs? And I play quite a few games that take up 15-20gigs each. So is there a better solution that this? maybe a SSD with more storage for around the same price? Or a super fast HDD?
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Related resources
May 8, 2012 7:01:36 PM

With the board you've purchsed, you can use Intel Smart Chache. This will allow windows to write your most frequently used programs onto your SSD (i.e. your OS, popular games, Browser...) and once you stop using them, they'll be replaced with your new favorites. This way, you can have basically everything you use on an SSD, and the rest on your 2 HDDs.
I would get the crucial M4, the difference is nuts
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May 8, 2012 7:02:14 PM

I should have mentioned, Intel smart Cache will automatically write your favorite programs to your SSD. You never have to do anything beside the initial (easy) setup
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May 8, 2012 7:13:43 PM

Steelseries said:
With the board you've purchsed, you can use Intel Smart Chache. This will allow windows to write your most frequently used programs onto your SSD (i.e. your OS, popular games, Browser...) and once you stop using them, they'll be replaced with your new favorites. This way, you can have basically everything you use on an SSD, and the rest on your 2 HDDs.
I would get the crucial M4, the difference is nuts


Really, it does that automatically? Thats awesome. But how do you go about doing that? You install everything to your SSD? and it sorts them out automatically later? Or do I just install the OS to the SSD and the rest to the HDDs and the comp sorts the rest out? Also that being said, do I need some sort of fancy setup for this, like a RAID card, or any other addition hardware I don't know of?

Also your saying the Crucial M4 is faster than the Intel for 70$ less? so what makes it so much cheaper then? also does it support Intel smart cache? And what do I even have to do to set up Intel Smart cache? Is it a BIOS thing?

Sorry about all the questions but this concept is completely new to me, and if it really does all that and writes the most used stuff to the SDD then I will definitely be investing in this. and maybe into a newer faster HDD as well.
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May 8, 2012 8:03:53 PM

Im basically at the same place you are I upgraded my hardware to an I 5 2500K and a Z68 MB,, after some time and a few questions I decided to go with a Samsung 830 series 256 GB SSD. My old HDD was also the weak link in my new system. Ive decided to use a External 2 Tb WD Element hooked up on my Home network to store Media files and anything that eats alot of space. Someone also suggested that I could just hook my old HDD up later and copy files over if I need them. This is the route Im taking. I think i went about 30 bucks over your budget for that model SSD.
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May 8, 2012 8:05:55 PM


thanks for the link :D 

So i see you can use ANY SSD as a cache then correct? That being said, Wouldn't it be best for me to get a super fast low storage SSD, like a super fast 80gig? and spend the rest on a super fast 300gig HDD? Cause I'm assuming that the faster the HDD is, the faster it can cache TO the SDD, and in retrospect I'm assuming that I wont ever have more than 40-50gigs cached if I only ever play 1 or two games at a time, So less storage + faster speed would be better right? seeing as even though its a "cache" its power is still based on the SDDs speed right?
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May 8, 2012 8:54:50 PM

An 80 GB works fine, but there isn't really such thing as a small, super fast, reliable SSD. As long as you get a good brand, they're all give or take the same speed. I would personally get an 80-120GB one.
You'll always have the full amount of the SSD cached by your most used files.
Also, files rarely have to write from a HDD to an SSD, so i wouldn't worry too much about your HDD as long as they are 7200 RPM and 32 MB cache
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a b G Storage
May 8, 2012 9:00:16 PM

You can:
1) get the 64GB-ish SSD and a Caviar Black or Spinpoint and be good for SRT

2) get the 256GB Crucial M4 for nearly everything (no SRT) and use your old drives to store things like photos and word docs
-- you could run the two old drives in RAID 0 if the board allows you to set raid on one set of SATA ports and AHCI on the one for the SSD (this would improve the performance of the old drives)

3) like 2) but not RAID and use one of the old drives to backup your critical files from both the SSD and the other drive

It really boils down to what you're comfortable with.
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May 8, 2012 9:03:56 PM

If I were you, I'd get an 80GB SSD (120$) + a 500GB HDD (Caviar black for 100$). i recommend getting the HDD since yours are old, and the typical lifespan of HDDs are only a few years. This will hit your 250$ mark and get you a nice speed boost at the same time
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May 8, 2012 9:13:00 PM

Steelseries said:
If I were you, I'd get an 80GB SSD (120$) + a 500GB HDD (Caviar black for 100$). i recommend getting the HDD since yours are old, and the typical lifespan of HDDs are only a few years. This will hit your 250$ mark and get you a nice speed boost at the same time


Sounds like a good plan, can you recommend any reliable SSDs that fit that description? and HDDs too? I know you said Caviar Black, so im searching newegg.ca for that now. Keep in mind when it comes to prices, that im in Canada, and if your searching Newegg.com and not Newegg.ca, it will be more expensive for me than you think.
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a b G Storage
May 8, 2012 9:16:34 PM

It's more expensive there, but I hear you have natural aquifers that produce Molson right up out of the ground.

Oh, and custom national bacon.

That's a +1.
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May 8, 2012 9:24:21 PM

J_E_D_70 said:
It's more expensive there, but I hear you have natural aquifers that produce Molson right up out of the ground.

Oh, and custom national bacon.

That's a +1.


Yeah yeah yeah >.>

So can you suggest some SSDs/HDDs (Referring to my previous post)
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a b G Storage
May 8, 2012 9:47:18 PM

HDD - caviar black and samsung spinpoint (7200 RPM ones)
SSD - crucial M4, Intel 330, heard good things lately about Mushkin Chronos
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May 8, 2012 9:58:53 PM

Do the 10,000 RPM ones really have much of a performance boost? or are they just Louder? lol

Do you have any experiences where 10,000 RPM are much faster or does it even matter if I'm using an SSD for this Intel smart memory thing
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May 8, 2012 10:19:44 PM

Ok so i read the reviews and such online of SRT, and it seems to me that most people are saying 64gigs is not enough. but with a 128 I could configure any ammount of memory > 64gigs for cache memory. Does that mean with a 128Gig M4 crucial, I could put the OS on the SSD permanently, while leaving the rest as cache data? and if that is possible would it really matter? Cause the OS is the most used program of all, so logical conclusion would lead me to believe it would automatically get cached to the SSD as soon as I turned SRT on.

Also here is what I had in mind, let me know your thoughts.
SSD: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
HDD: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Good deals too, $50 off the SSD and 35$ of the Caviar black.

So yeah, let me know what you think. Wanna get these ordered ASAP :D 
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Best solution

May 8, 2012 11:47:52 PM

I don't recommend you go with a 10,000rpm drive. The cost isn't worth the performance increase, even with the latest Velociraptor:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5729/western-digital-velo...



Keep in mind the Intel 330 is their lowest-end SSD.


I personally would recommend a 128GB m4 + current drive for any misc. programs and files

-or-

256GB m4 for everything and current drive for files (like another poster said).

10,000rpm drives are a "kind-of-both-but-not-good-at-either" sort of solution in my eyes. Sure, it's faster than 7200rpm drives but you're also paying $50 or more for less than half of the performance of a cheapest SSD.
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a c 102 G Storage
May 9, 2012 12:26:45 AM

Two drives:
Drive #1: 120GB OCZ Vertex
Drive #2: 2TB Western Digital Green

Points:
- 120GB (111GB usable) is my recommended minimum. 80GB might do some people, but Microsoft Updates, System Restore points etc can eat a lot of space. I also have a couple non-Steam games installed to the SSD because I don't want to reinstall those in case of drive failure (I make backup IMAGES using Acronis True Image)

- Make a backup IMAGE using Acronis True Image periodically and store on the 2TB drive.

- update the SSD firmware if needed

- my STEAM games are on the hard drive (E-Drive) and that works great.

- so the goal is that the Windows drive is nice and fast (SSD) and the hard drive which is much cheaper is used for:
Downloads, Videos, most GAMES (Steam), Backups etc
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May 9, 2012 12:45:59 AM

Best answer selected by JeremyHill.
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