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Is upgrading to SSD worth it on a motherboard with SATA II?

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August 9, 2012 3:08:34 PM

i have an MSI 790FX motherboard, AMD 965 BE, and Velociraptor 300Gb primary drive. i'm considering upgrading to SSD since i work with cumbersome software and files (Autodesk Revit, Sketh-up Pro, etc.). The software alone takes awhile to load and some of the larger files, even sketch-up, take a long time to load. i can hear the drive spinning to load these, and even saves are slow to execute. Question: is upgrading to a SSD drive with limit of 3gb/s worth it in this set-up? Thanks!
August 9, 2012 3:43:09 PM

I'm using a MOBO with SATA III, but there were very few SATA III SSDs when I built my system so I'm using a SATA II SSD. The speed is awesome. SATA II SSD should still beat out a raptor easily.
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August 9, 2012 5:23:42 PM

Yeah, you'll definitely notice faster loads. I would still suggest getting a SATA 6gb/s (SATA III) SSD even though you only have SATA II ports. They are faster regardless of the SATA II bottleneck.

The Tom's guide gives great suggestions but you can usually shop around for lower prices: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/buy-ssd-recommendat...
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August 10, 2012 7:04:25 PM

What if my mobo is Sata2 AND doesn't support AHCI, is it worth getting an SSD or possibly upgrading the mobo?
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August 12, 2012 2:42:41 AM

VERY few SSD's can actually exceed the max communication rate of SATA II (3.0 Gb/s), so even SATA 6.0 Gb/s SSD's will work well with older SATA 3.0 Gb/s controllers and ports.

AFAIK, all SATA controllers support AHCI - you just have to be sure the SATA Port Mode is set that way. HOWEVER, Windows XP does NOT have "built-in" drivers for AHCI devices, so you can't BOOT from an SSD with Win XP unless you've installed the drivers as part of the original install process. This is NOT an issue for Vista or Win 7 - they both handle AHCI devices as easily as IDE devices.
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August 13, 2012 8:12:28 PM

thank you all kindly. this is a great help. i'll definitely be picking one up. it seems windows 7 marks my performance score as all above 7, with exception to the hard drive currently performing at 5.4 (in an overly-generalized nut shell).

to be clear, as i understand, i can install a SATA III drive on my SATA II port and it'll work as the primary/bootable drive? that'd be good news, as i can reuse it in the eventual event that i upgrade my system.

thanks again.
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