SSD noob, what EXACTLY do they do performance wise?

I keep up with all the other components' news and reviews but I'm still foggy on SSD's. I've seen people using 64gb SSD's for caching their SATA HDD and I've seen rigs with no HDD's but 2-4 SSD's instead. What is the performance increase using both solutions? Also, If I were to add an SSD to my rig what would be the performance increase or would it even be worth it?

Edit: I probably should layout my system particulars.
Asrock B75M-DGS is my mobo.
Seagate Barracuda 320gb 16mb cache SATA 6gb/s is my main HDD for OS and programs.
Simpletech 320gb USB 2.0 is my external HDD for movies, pics, music & random files.
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  1. Best answer
    I don't know if you can measure the actual performance increase but I will say that it's very noticeable, programs will open so fast you won't believe it , your whole computer will just be overall faster. The bootup time will be under 60 seconds and once you get one you will never go back. A good size SSD to get for the OS drive is 256 gb and that will be large enough for the OS and some programs and a few games without having to worry about space. The smaller the SSD to more you have to be concerned with what you put on it and you have to make sure that you put most things on the secondary drive. I'm one of those that don't have a regular hard drive in my computer , I have three Samsung 256 gb SSDs.
  2. I went from a 1tb boot drive to a 256gb boot drive. I now have my 1tb as my 2nd drive.

    Performance was VERY noticeable. I have all my programs loaded into the SSD and my music, movies and backups on my 1tb. Works great.
  3. So I'd be looking at reduced boot times, faster program & game launches. That about sums it up?

    I currently have Win 7 Home Premium 64-bit, Torchlight II, Skyrim & Black Ops 2 on my main HDD and I'm only using 65gb of my 320gb max. I'm thinking a 256gb would be overkill, a 128gb would be more cost effective in my case? It's Black Friday / Cyber Monday and I've seen a lot of 128gb SSD's for under $100, that's why I'm asking.

    Also, how would the configuration be on my mobo? I have one SATA 6gb/s connection on the mobo which is plugged into my Seagate. I have three SATA 3gb/s connections. One is used for my LG DVDRW.
  4. This is what i did.

    backed up all my suff to a external i borrowed

    I hooked my SSD to my 6gb/s connection and did a fresh boot of window to the SSD.

    Hooked up the original HDD as a 2nd storage drive and enjoyed :)
  5. There is another thing that you want to consider and that is you don't want to fill a SSD drive past 80% or it starts to slow down, so when your adding up your programs and games you need to take that into consideration. Plus there will always be Windows updadates and other updates that will be loaded on the boot drive. If you go with a 128 gb SSD then you will have to watch what you put on the drive. so that it don't fill up.
  6. Also, ensure you are running Trim. you can search google for "how to tell if trim is on ssd" and it will show you how to tell.

    It is on by default but i would make sure it was not disabled for some reason.

    Trim just cleans up the free sectors of a SSD so the performance stays high.
  7. Best answer selected by dscudella.
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