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Should I buy an SSD?

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November 18, 2012 8:49:45 AM

Just seeking a bit of advice please :

My current system is a Dell Studio 1749 with the following spec :

Core I5 M540 @ 2.54Ghz
8Gb RAM
Win 7 64 bit
Radeon HD6500M
Seagate Momentus XT ST95005620AS Hybrid 500Gb SSD/HDD

The system, although a laptop, is used connected to 2 external displays, a keyboard and mouse - It is very rarely used actually AS a laptop.

The main use is as follows :

Graphic editing with Fireworks CS5
Recording / Rendering instructional videos using Camtasia 7
Software development with Visual Studio
PHP develeopment (but using Notepad++ so no real load here lol)
FTP & Amazon S3 uploads/downloads
Playing SWTOR, WOW and Skyrim.

Sorry if that's too much info but I thought it best to give it all.

Anyway, I am think about purchasing an SSD (and correct caddy) to install in my Dell's 2nd bay. The SSD I am thinking of is the OCZ Agility 3 240GB (AGT3-25SAT3-240G).

I would install the OS and the apps (Fireworks, Visual Studio, Office, SWTOR etc etc...) on the SSD and use the 500gb drive for data.

My question is, would I get any REAL WORLD benefit over my current config? Boot times aren't important as the machine tends to be booted up once in the morning and then shut down at night. Would I get a noticeable performance difference in my day to day work from the investment?

Any help MUCH appreciated.

More about : buy ssd

a b G Storage
November 18, 2012 9:15:39 AM

Definitely worth it.
You'll notice a notable difference in boot/shut down times and apps/games loading times.Overall it'll make your system much more snappier
a b G Storage
November 18, 2012 9:25:33 AM

yes
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November 18, 2012 3:04:18 PM

Thanks for the answer guys - much appreciated - That particular SSD is available new for £99 - is that a good price?

Also, obviously I will use it as the OS drive and for app install but what about data? Is there any real benefit to using it for data as well ?
November 18, 2012 3:17:22 PM

Also, I have found this drive : OCZ Technology 256GB Octane SSD SATA 3 Solid State Drive - OCT1-25SAT3-256G available for a few pounds more (£113) - is there any appreciable difference apart from 16Gb ?
a b G Storage
November 18, 2012 6:56:40 PM

That's a good price but I personally prefer Crucial M4 devices(I actually have one) because of the marvel controller
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD...

But for £99,definitely go with the Agility 3 because I couldn't find it lower than £180 anywhere
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD...

As for the apps,well you can easily install your OS along with some necessary apps/games on a 240GB drive but for data,you won't notice much of a difference
November 18, 2012 8:19:57 PM

it will make every thing faster to launch.
a b G Storage
November 18, 2012 8:29:37 PM

IMHO, you've been attracted to an SSD for the wrong reason. Most people are. The quicker boot and launch times are apparent for a few days at best. Then they become "normal". The real reason to invest in an SSD is reliability. No moving parts. As such you have chosen the wrong product. OCZ has a very checkered past for reliability especially the Vertex 3. The only thing they offer is quoted speed (always inflated) and price. For me, a bargain isn't what you pay but what you get. An unreliable SSD is not a bargain at any price or speed. You must live with what you buy long after you have forgotten what you paid.
a c 119 G Storage
November 18, 2012 8:29:52 PM

I do agree wt everyone that posted here but if your using the SSD for productivity and what looks like some work programs I would be more apt to get a better grade of SSD.

Samsung 840 pro
Sansung 830
Intel 335
Intel 520
Intel 330

Also the 256 gb version is a good SSD size for the operating system drive. It allows you to put the OS a few programs and a few games , with the rest going on the secondary drive.
November 18, 2012 8:44:46 PM

I'm listening guys :) 

Reliability is a MAJOR factor for me! I'm a self-employed software developer. my machine operability is paramount! My code is backed up but I need to be able to work.

The reason my latop has a Seagate Momentus drive in it is because the original dell supplied HDD failed. No major issue in terms of cost but a MAJOR issue in terms of 3 days of downtime whilst I reinstalled and configured!

Are the OCZ Agility 3's really that bad?

a b G Storage
November 18, 2012 8:58:10 PM

The octane and vertex/agility 2 were bad, the 3 was more poor marketing and firmware, the vertex 4 are considered very good for the money

Look at the benches on Toms, especially Best for the Money

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-recommendation-...

"At the end of the day, the real-world differences between SSDs in a desktop environment aren't altogether very large. The most important jump happens when you go from a hard drive to (almost) any SSD. With that said, there are measurable attributes that separate one SSD from another. However, they have to be digested as a sum of many parts. Within individual apps, you'll hardly notice the difference between a Vertex 2 and Samsung's 830. But if you look at performance over an entire month, you will find the 830 to be a better performer."
a c 119 G Storage
November 18, 2012 9:03:05 PM

sp2011 said:
I'm listening guys :) 

Reliability is a MAJOR factor for me! I'm a self-employed software developer. my machine operability is paramount! My code is backed up but I need to be able to work.

The reason my latop has a Seagate Momentus drive in it is because the original dell supplied HDD failed. No major issue in terms of cost but a MAJOR issue in terms of 3 days of downtime whilst I reinstalled and configured!

Are the OCZ Agility 3's really that bad?



All the more reason to look at the list of SSDs that I posted and that's the reason I posted them, the SSDs listed are all reliable solid performing drives with no issues.
November 18, 2012 9:03:59 PM

How about this one at £90? Any better :

Intel 180GB 330 Series MLC 2.5" 25nm SATA 6GB/s Internal Solid State Drive 9.5mm
November 18, 2012 9:07:35 PM

BTW: The link for that one is :
a b G Storage
November 18, 2012 10:16:27 PM

don't buy ssd 's off ebay, ssd's can "go bad" if used incorrectly
November 18, 2012 10:45:25 PM

abbadon_34 said:
yes

a c 119 G Storage
November 18, 2012 11:23:05 PM

I know you want to save money but any time you buy oss ebay you run the risk of getting something that has been abused and not used the way you would use it. Some things are better bought new.
November 19, 2012 6:56:02 AM

Thanks for the feedback guys. I know where you are coming from with the eBay comments :) 

Ok - I have found the 240gb Agility 3 for £119 from Amazon (supplied by Amazon) here :



and the Intel 180Gb IS from eBay BUT it is from Dabs eBay outlet store so a reputable source here :



So - which one to go for ????
November 19, 2012 7:21:28 AM

Been looking at some more (all from reputable dealers) and my choice is now between :

Intel 330 180Gb at £89 delivered

Crucial M4 128gb at £77 delivered

Samsung 830 128Gb at £79 delivered

OCZ Agiliity 3 240Gb at £119 delivered

November 19, 2012 7:37:03 AM

Also, just found the Intel 330 on Amazon (supplied by Amazon) at £90 delivered
a b G Storage
November 19, 2012 8:14:14 AM

Intel is overpriced, and they cripple their drives via firmware to make you don't get a good deal, similar to overclocking

"Thus, we can be relatively certain that the SSD 330's lower performance comes from its firmware (a hypothesis made more probable by our discovery that the SSD 330 employs the same PCB as the 520)."

If someone else did that, say OCZ, do you think people who be so forgiving? In fact OCZ is constantly update their firmware for better performance.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-335-240-gb-benc...

PPS. I would have killed to own an Intel SSD 3-5 years ago, now, I could care less.
P.S. 256GB seems the current sweep spot for SSD performance
November 19, 2012 8:37:19 AM

abbadon_34 said:
Intel is overpriced, and they cripple their drives via firmware to make you don't get a good deal, similar to overclocking

"Thus, we can be relatively certain that the SSD 330's lower performance comes from its firmware (a hypothesis made more probable by our discovery that the SSD 330 employs the same PCB as the 520)."

If someone else did that, say OCZ, do you think people who be so forgiving? In fact OCZ is constantly update their firmware for better performance.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-335-240-gb-benc...

PPS. I would have killed to own an Intel SSD 3-5 years ago, now, I could care less.
P.S. 256GB seems the current sweep spot for SSD performance



Even more of a dilemma then LOL!

My thoughts so far are as follows (please all correct me if/where I am wrong) :


The 128gb drives will probably be just a little tight in terms of size for my standard install which consists of :

Win 7, full Adobe CS5 suite, Office 2010, Visual Studio, WOW, SWTOR, Skyrim, Camtasia, Oracle Virtualbox and VMware running three other virtual OS images (LAMP Server, Ubuntu Desktop and Win XP)

The 180gb Intel 330 would offer that little bit more space for the above BUT is performance crippled by firmware to an extent that I would actually notice in real world usage?

The Agility 3 240gb seems to offer plenty of space for me but after all of the excellent advice given on here so far it would appear to be inferior to the Intel in terms of perfomance and, most importantly, reliability.

Essentially, I want a snappier system response but reliability is paramount - I really can't afford the downtime if I need to swap a disk out.

Also worth bearing in mind that this SSD will sit in a laptop drive bay so heat may or may not be an issue - Power consumption is not an issue as the system is rarely used on the battery.

If it's any help my typical working environment at any given moment is :

Firefox open with 5-10 tabs active. Chrome open with single tab. IE 9 open with single tab. Notepad++ running with maybe 5-10 documents open. Outlook open (with 12 mail accounts). Skype running (heavy Skype usage with calls and screen sharing). Fireworks CS5 running with, maybe, 5-10 images open. 2-4 FTP Clients open. Virutal LAMP server running. Camtasia or Jing running.

So... Bearing the price point in mind it now seems to come back to the 180Gb Intel 330 at £90 or the 240gb Agility 3 at £119 ????
a b G Storage
November 19, 2012 9:01:50 AM

If you can get the 180GB Intel 330 for L90 I'd call that a steal, but not being familiar with prices there, I can't say.
November 19, 2012 9:08:55 AM

Yup - it does seem to be a bargain - and that's direct from Amazon as well so no dodgy stock or warranty issues (free delivery too)
November 19, 2012 3:41:17 PM

Just to add some spice to the mix :

I have just found the 256Gb Crucial M4 for £115 delivered - Trying to decide between that and the 330 180Gb now!!!! HELP!
a b G Storage
November 19, 2012 4:15:01 PM

sp2011 said:
Just to add some spice to the mix :

I have just found the 256Gb Crucial M4 for £115 delivered - Trying to decide between that and the 330 180Gb now!!!! HELP!

I would go with M4
I've had M4 256GB for more about 2 years and it's been rock solid(Crucical firmware updates are mostly good too)
November 19, 2012 5:00:54 PM

The M4 does seem like a good deal at that price and the extra space would be handy! Are they considered as reliable as the Intel 330 and is there much in the way of real-world performance difference?
November 20, 2012 9:16:09 AM

One thing I would mention is that my laptop is only Sata II - I have heard that the M4 is one of the best drives for Sata II ? Thoughts?
a b G Storage
November 20, 2012 9:55:42 AM

Yep,they're as reliable as Intel models because like I said,they use Marvel controllers
And it'll work fine on SATA 2 devices(but it's slower compared to SATA 3)
November 23, 2012 10:21:47 PM

You might want to check out which is better for your application. http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage
Some "controllers handle different jobs better then another"
IE: SandForce Controllers do not handle non compressible files as good as Marvel or Lamb does. Lamb? I think it is....Samsung does good however the TLC has not been proven yet so that is why everyone is running to get an 830. However that 840 with the TLC triple lane if you will may be the cat's pajamas for all we know. To new to rate.
!