What should I use The SSD for? I cant afford one now when I am first building but I want one down the road. Should I Install windows on It? If so how would I do that because I already have it on the HDD? Should I Put BF3 and my other games on it so maps can load faster? I am not so concerned about starting up times for windows.
The value of a SSD is primarily the fast random i/o times. perhaps 50x faster than a hard drive. That is what the os does mostly.
The benefit is not just boot times, but everytime you do I/O Under the covers, windows does things like logging, pageing, catalog search, etc.
Everything you do seems quicker. The SSD is best used for the windows drive.
The sequential performance is 2-3x faster than a hard drive. Yes, it can make level loads faster. Virus scans go quicker.
The easy way to convert to a SSD is to use cloning software. It will make an exact image of your hard drive on the SSD. If your hard drive is sufficiently small, this is an easy way to convert. Intel provides a free ssd migration tool based on the Acronis true image cloning software. If your hard drive space fits on the SSD, great. After migration, clean off the hard drive, and use it for overflow storage.
If it does not, then you are best advised to just do a reinstall on the ssd. Windows easy transfer will export all of your settings and files, and you can import them all, or selectively to the ssd. Apps will have to be reinstalled.
It sounds like you are contemplating a new build. If so, I suggest you consider deferring a hard drive purchase, and build initially on a SSD. A 120gb ssd will hold the OS and a handful of games. Buy a SSD later when or if you need more space for overflow or large video files.
I think I would pick one with the most issue free reputation.
From a performance point of view, all modern SSD's have remarkably comparable performance when used in a desktop environment (VS. synthetic benchmarks)
My normal recommendation is the Curcial M4 or the Samsung 830. Both are very close in real life performance and both have a good rep as a reliable SSD. Which one, the one that is cheapest when bought.
Sata III SSDs I have.
2 Agility III 128 gig - Only recommend if that is the best you can afford.
2 Curcial 128 gig M4s and one 256 gig M4
2 Samsung 128 Gig 830s and Just ordered the 256 Gig Samsung 830 (should be here Monday).
Both the M4 and the 830 have recently been on sale for $180 @ Newegg. So Just wait and catch on sale.
The 128 Gig M4 or 830 are often onsale for right around $100 and are excellent OS + program drive.
All My systems usa about 35 gigs for windows 7 + my programs so that leaves about 60 Gigs free for games.
128 gig - 9 gigs (Because of way manuf count) = 119 Gigs. Then need to leave a MIN of 10 % free for Wear leveling, Garbage Collector, and Trim to work their magic to keep the SSD close to manuf Performance Specs. = 107 Usable space
120 gig = about 100 Usable space.
I prefer clean installs instead of migrating from a HDD -> SSD, UNLESS there is a problem such as missing activation keys for programs.
As to the HDD:
.. Disconnect HDD, Connect SSD
.. Verify that bios is set to AHCI
.. Install windows on the SSD
when done, Reconnect the HDD., set boot priority in bios to the SSD
Copy your favorities over from the HDD OS to the new OS on the SSD
Untill you wipe the OS from the HDD, You can daul boot to either the SSD or the HDD.
When powering on you will boot to the OS on the SSD. Should you want to boot to the oS on the HDD, Just hit the "F" Key that brings up a boot menu During POST and select the HDD. If you reboot it will again boot to the SSD as this DOES NOT change boot priority. On My Gigabyte MB it is F12, on My Asrock MB it is F11
Yes, when doing a clean install, You install windows, lett windows do it's updates, install needed drivers (obtain from MB manuf suppoert Website), then Load Your programs.
Once done and tested, Then go to control Panel, System & Security, select Backup.
Image your SSD (C-Drive). Then If you ever need to re-install windows, takes about 15 minutes. You just pop in the windows disk, select repair, repair using image file. and 15 Minutes later you boot to exactly as your system was when you made the image.
You DO NOT have to Re-installwindows Nor wait for all them updates, reload drivers nor re-install programs