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Is it worth upgrading to an SSD with a sata II mobo?

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July 16, 2012 4:44:44 PM

Hello, I am planning on buying an 256 SSD but my mobo is old and can only support sata 2. Here it is: http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=A780GXE/128.... Am I missing too much by using an ssd sata 3 on a sata 2 mobo?

Also, could you recommend to me a reliable 256 ssd for under 200? I was going to buy this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... but it is out of stock now =(

Will there be any compatibility problems with my system specs?

Processor: AMD 3.82ghz X6 1090T

RAM: 8GB DDR2

Video card: Radeon HD 5770 video card.

Motherboard: Asrock A780GXE/128M

Case: NZXT Phantom PHAN-002OR Newegg Exclusive Black Finish w/Orange Trim Steel / Plastic Enthusiast ATX Full Tower Computer Case

Thank you very much in advance!
a c 523 G Storage
July 16, 2012 5:03:37 PM

Yes, it's still worth buying a SATA 3 SSD even though your motherboard only has SATA 2 ports. You will definitely notice the difference in performance compared to using a HDD.

The Crucial M4 is $10 over your budget but it's definitely worth it: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Whichever model you buy make sure that the SATA port it is connected to on your motherboard is in AHCI mode for best performance. Your motherboard manual will show you how to change SATA modes.
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July 16, 2012 5:23:45 PM

Personally I think that adding an SSD is one of the single best performance boost you can do to any system. Since there really is not seek time with an SSD and much faster transfer rates you are going to see your system performance improve greatly by adding a SSD.
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July 16, 2012 5:36:25 PM

I did it with mine and I love it, and mine is a SATA II board as well. Easily worth the money, and I just got a small one solely for the operating system.
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July 16, 2012 5:45:59 PM

Thank you for the quick replies both of you :) 

I have 3 more questions though:


1. What's so especial about the Crucial M4 that would make it worth my while? Is there a significant performance difference between between brands?

2. I read long ago that SSDs tend to have a much shorter life spam than regular HDs and that I should set my OS to write virtual memory to a regular drive in order to extend the life of my ssd. Does this still hold true?

3. Are the speed differences between ssds under Sata II or Sata III quite noticeable?

Thank you. :D 
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July 16, 2012 5:50:27 PM

1. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-benchmark-revie...

2. I don't know for sure the answer to that

3. Getting almost any SSD will be a noticeable jump in performance over a HDD, but if you're using it for everyday stuff, the performance difference between SATA II/SATA III wont really be noticed all that much I wouldn't think.
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a c 523 G Storage
July 16, 2012 6:07:29 PM

sugetsu said:
2. I read long ago that SSDs tend to have a much shorter life spam than regular HDs and that I should set my OS to write virtual memory to a regular drive in order to extend the life of my ssd. Does this still hold true?


No, that's no longer true. Firmware upgrades have greatly increased SSD longevity.

The only thing you really need to do with current generation SSDs is have them connected in AHCI mode and run WEI (Windows Experience Index), which will automatically disable disk defragmenting on all SSDs it detects.
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a b G Storage
July 16, 2012 6:27:23 PM

sugetsu said:
Hello, I am planning on buying an 256 SSD but my mobo is old and can only support sata 2. Here it is: http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=A780GXE/128.... Am I missing too much by using an ssd sata 3 on a sata 2 mobo?

Also, could you recommend to me a reliable 256 ssd for under 200? I was going to buy this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... but it is out of stock now =(

Will there be any compatibility problems with my system specs?

Processor: AMD 3.82ghz X6 1090T

RAM: 8GB DDR2

Video card: Radeon HD 5770 video card.

Motherboard: Asrock A780GXE/128M

Case: NZXT Phantom PHAN-002OR Newegg Exclusive Black Finish w/Orange Trim Steel / Plastic Enthusiast ATX Full Tower Computer Case

Thank you very much in advance!



The major benefit of an SSD is not the speed but rather the reliability and that doesn't require a SATA III MB. Newegg has the Samsung 830 x 256GB on sale today for $220. A bargain isn't what you pay but what you get.
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July 16, 2012 7:25:41 PM

i vote no, save your money for a new build. sandy bridge , ivy bridge they are so great i love them both, i loved the core 2's also dont get me wrong. but i dont think the boost is worth the reload, .....
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July 16, 2012 8:59:21 PM

the great randini said:
i vote no, save your money for a new build. sandy bridge , ivy bridge they are so great i love them both, i loved the core 2's also dont get me wrong. but i dont think the boost is worth the reload, .....


And why you think so?
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a c 167 G Storage
July 16, 2012 9:24:43 PM

sugetsu said:
Thank you for the quick replies both of you :) 

I have 3 more questions though:


1. What's so especial about the Crucial M4 that would make it worth my while? Is there a significant performance difference between between brands?

2. I read long ago that SSDs tend to have a much shorter life spam than regular HDs and that I should set my OS to write virtual memory to a regular drive in order to extend the life of my ssd. Does this still hold true?

3. Are the speed differences between ssds under Sata II or Sata III quite noticeable?

Thank you. :D 


1. There is no real performance difference to the desktop user among different brands. It takes a synthetic benchmark to push the ssd to it's limits and high queue lengths. But that is not what we normally do. The crucial C4 would be third on my list of trouble free brands after Samsung830 and Intel 330 or 520.
You might find this older report on component return rates interesting: http://www.behardware.com/articles/843-7/components-ret...

2. A SSD under heavy desktop usage will not lose it's update capability for a long time, perhaps 10+ years. It will be long obsolete before then. In a server environment perhaps, but a normal, or even heavy desktop user should not worry. You can monitor the lifetime by reading SMART reports. If, by chance, a ssd does lose it's update capability, you can still read it allowing you to recover your data. You bought a ssd to improve performance, it is silly to move things off of a ssd to preserve it's live.
Keep your heavily used files on the ssd and enjoy the speed.

3) A ssd on a sata 2 port will have reduced sequential capability, perhaps 250 mb/s vs 500. That is still 2x what a hard drive will do. The real benefit of a ssd comes from small random reads and writes which are 50x faster than a hard drive. That is what the os does mostly.
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July 17, 2012 5:40:49 AM

Best answer selected by Sugetsu.
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July 19, 2012 6:38:46 PM

Hi again, I just wanted to give you guys an update.

I bought the Crucial M4 256gb about 10 hours ago. I did a clean install instead of duplicating my old HDD. I immediately noticed a huge improvement in speed. My old hard drive was rated 5.9 by windows experience index. This SSD is rated 7.7, now it seems my bottle neck is my video card which is rated 7.4.

In any case, I did some research of my own and found some info on this forums on how to improve the performance of my ssd, which I am sure most of you here know already. I followed each of these instructions as closely as possible:

http://www.computing.net/howtos/show/solid-state-drive-...

http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?...*-Windows-7-Ultimate-Tweaks-Utilities-*&p=442158&viewfull=1#post442158

http://thessdreview.com/ssd-guides/optimization-guides/...

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/e7/archive/2009/05/05/support-a...

However, I noticed that as soon as I applied all of those changes I got blue screen when I restarted the machine. The blue screen has not showed up again.

I did notice some stuttering while playing music and running as SSD Benchmark at the same time.

I ran a Whocrashed report and it says that cmudax3.sys caused the BSOD. The file seems to be a C-Media sound driver or something. Any ideas as to what could be the reason? Is it related to the changes I made? Or just coincidence?

I have not ran any video games from the ssd yet. Planning to play the Witcher 2 soon though, hopefully it won't encounter any problems.

I also downloaded AS SSD Benchmark, and I got an score of 455. How good is that for an SSD under sata II?

Thank you for your help :) 

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July 24, 2012 4:11:11 AM

^ You are under Sata III, so those scores seems appropriate.
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