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Best SSD boot drive. Cache vs Traditional? Help.

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August 29, 2012 11:20:29 PM

Hello. Building a budget PC but have little experience with SSDs and do not know what I should get.

I know what parts I want except for the storage... Will either go for the Seagate momentus XT 750GB hybrid HDD. Or a 1 TB Seagate HDD + 64GB SSD combo. The SSD can not be larger then 64GB or I break my budget (can spend up to $80 on the SSD). In that case, is it better for me to buy a CACHE SSD or traditional SSD, and why?

Cache SSDs
http://www.ocztechnology.com/ocz-synapse-cache-sata-iii...
http://www.corsair.com/en/ssd/accelerator-series-ssd-ca...

Traditional SSDs
http://www.ssdreview.com/ssd-solid-state-recommendation...


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Considering a OCZ Vertex 4. But it is a marvell controller and MLC. I read on a tweaktown review that SandForce firmware is universal, same for all SSDs. But marvell is up or the individual company to update it, so I assume you might end up with a fast drive in 6months or a slow one, depeding on if the company lays down effort to update.


This is from tweaktown if you care to read...
"It's been said that performance comes from an SSDs firmware and after testing new, higher speed flash on current generation SandForce controllers, we'd say that's pretty accurate. Just slapping higher speed flash on a drive doesn't mean you're going to see any gains in performance at all. With SandForce based drives like the Vertex 3 all of the firmware comes from SandForce. Companies pick and choose features and the package. We suspect each of these features has a dollar value assigned to each one, but very few are willing to talk about the ordering processes.

Marvell controllers on the other hand appear to be 180 degrees in the other direction. Manufacturers seem to have a lot more wiggle room when building firmware and the underlying programming. We can take ten different drives based on Marvell silicon and get ten different benchmark results in each test conducted. Firmware actually matters and the company with the ability to best extract performance from the dual-core ARM SOC architecture will be the one in the best position to take on the Team SandForce mob producing very fast SSDs."
http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/4811/ocz_vertex_4_256...

Here I read that SLC > MLC, is that true?
http://enterprisefeatures.com/2011/06/the-difference-be...
August 29, 2012 11:35:34 PM

SSD application drive + HDD storage drive is the best option. If you buy a drive large enough to put your OS on, I don't see much reason to use it as a cache drive.

I wouldn't worry about SLC vs MLC. Nearly all SSDs are MLC. Newegg has 4 SLC drives and they're all low-capacity SATA II drives that are much slower than modern SATA III drives.
August 29, 2012 11:57:03 PM

"If you buy a drive large enough to put your OS on, I don't see much reason to use it as a cache drive." What is the point of cache drives then? They cost about the same.

Either way what SSD would you recommend? OCZ Vertex 4 or something with a Sandforce controller?

Edit: No idea if it matters but the mobo will have a. Marvell 88SE9172 chip, on the Storage Interface.
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August 30, 2012 1:01:56 AM

irlwizard said:
"If you buy a drive large enough to put your OS on, I don't see much reason to use it as a cache drive." What is the point of cache drives then? They cost about the same.

Either way what SSD would you recommend? OCZ Vertex 4 or something with a Sandforce controller?


A cache drive is small SSD used as intermediate storage. It's a feature with Intel's z68 and z77 chipsets (there may be others, I'm not sure). Basically your most used files get put on the SSD for quick access. Your write speeds and initial read speeds are still going to be limited by your slow mechanical hard drive. Hybrid drives work on the same principal, but the flash memory is built into the drive and you don't require a specific motherboard chipset. I don't recommend either methods.

It's a great concept in principal, but you can do the same thing with more control using the junction command in windows -- without wasting space by putting stuff like your most listened to music files on your SSD. Junctions are just file pointers. For example, I have my Steam install setup on my SSD because I want it to load quickly, but I have a junction where the actual game install directory is on my mechanical hard drive so I have enough space (it's a short-coming of Steam where everything has to be in the same place, Origin gives you more control over your files). If I wanted to move a game to my SSD, I'd just copy it there and create a junction. If you want to move it back, you just delete the junction and copy it back.

You may be trying to think about this too hard. What budget do you have for a SSD? Capacity is your primary concern, then speed, then controller (although I don't even worry about the controller).
August 30, 2012 2:23:17 AM

Hey I don't want to hijack the thread or anything but I'm planning to use a Vertex 4 as an application drive too.

A couple of questions for hapkido, if Steam is on your SSD how do you move games to the storage drive and how can I use these junctions you talk about cause they sound great?

Thanks
August 30, 2012 2:26:47 AM

wow... did not know that "junction commands" existed. I use steam as well and what you explained sounds so good. I have to read up on it and learn how to do that myself.

Newegg has posted the Vertex 4, 128GB (their most stable version) for only $80. Going to buy that, it would be stupid to pass on. $0.625 per GB for a SSD of that caliber is a great deal. That should be enough for the OS and all non-game programs to be installed on it.

Already past what I wanted to spend ($1,100). But I can´t sacrifice any of these parts or there is no point to even build a new system. http://pcpartpicker.com/p/g1Vj Glad with those parts. =)
August 30, 2012 3:35:56 AM

LilDeamon said:
Hey I don't want to hijack the thread or anything but I'm planning to use a Vertex 4 as an application drive too.

A couple of questions for hapkido, if Steam is on your SSD how do you move games to the storage drive and how can I use these junctions you talk about cause they sound great?

Thanks


First you move your games folder to wherever you want it on your storage drive. Then open a command prompt and use the mklink command with the /J flag.

mklink /J destination source

For me, I used --

mklink /J "D:\Games\steamapps" "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps"

That maps the steampps folder to my storage drive where the games are actually stored. If you want a game to run on your SSD, you can use the same procedure -- just move the directory and create a junction. If you want to delete the junction, just delete the folder that has the shortcut arrow icon and move your files back.
August 30, 2012 4:00:44 AM

irlwizard said:
Already past what I wanted to spend ($1,100). But I can´t sacrifice any of these parts or there is no point to even build a new system. http://pcpartpicker.com/p/g1Vj Glad with those parts. =)


I bet you could shave $50 off your system price by choosing a cheaper single-PCIe x16 3.0 mobo and lower wattage PSU. gtx 670 is only a 170w card and IB chips are only 77w. But if you plan on adding a second card, I think you have a good setup picked.
a c 311 G Storage
August 30, 2012 5:27:57 AM

The SandForce firmware for ssd's is not universal. SandForce does offer different versions. Companies can choose which firmware they want for their ssd's. For example, the new SandForce 5 Series firmware comes in several different versions. One of the 5 Series versions has an issue with recognizing the Windows based TRIM command which will be corrected with a firmware update.

There is something you should know about the OCZ Vertex 4 ssd. OCZ released the drive prematurely last April. There have been 4 firmware updates during the past 4 months and a 5th update is in the works. What is not clear is why OCZ released the drive if it wasn't ready for prime time.
August 30, 2012 1:26:34 PM

JohnnyLucky said:
What is not clear is why OCZ released the drive if it wasn't ready for prime time.

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Does it even matter since they seem to be giving it a lot of attention with firmware updates? I mean it´s not the hardware that is bad, right? They should just have stress tested it more perhaps?

What other SSD would you recommend?
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