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Upgrade question - SSD vs better CPU/MB/RAM

Last response: in Systems
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January 8, 2012 11:35:02 PM

Hello,

Just a quick question about planning a new build.

Current build: Wolfdale E8400 @ 3.0 Ghz (overclocked to 3.6, still not comfortable playing with RAM timings yet ;) , 4 Gigs RAM, ASUS P5QLE motherboard, AMD 6950 HD

Looking to upgrade to Ivy Bridge when it comes out (gonna need new motherboard, CPU and RAM)

Budget not set in stone at this point but not looking to break the bank.... ideally $500 ish (or less but don't want to lessen performance dramatically by saving a couple bucks either).

I went to a local computer store on boxing day and picked up a Seasonic X series PSU (760 W) - was looking at picking up a 120 Gig SSD but the guy at the store talked me out of it, saying that they aren't that much faster and they wear out quickly, that they have had people returning them. I had read good things about SSD on here, but given that a salesperson was trying to talke me OUT of buying something at his store, it made second guess my decision to buy one.

Mostly I use my PC for gaming - WoW, looking forward to D3, might pick up Skyrim. Other than that, pretty much just web browsing and the odd use of Word / Excel.

So, basically, a two part question:

1) Has anyone else had issues like this with solid state drives? From what I've read on the web to date, based on my limited disk writing operations (not moving around large movie files frequently or anything like that), I thought a SSD would be good for 10 years or more for me....

2) Would it be worthwhile in getting one or am I better off investing more into a better quality motherboard / more ram / faster CPU? (the SSD purcahse would be on top of my $500 budget for CPU/MB/RAM)

January 8, 2012 11:55:56 PM

SSD is not as important as GPU/RAM/MOBO. I'd get those before SSD, especially at 500$.
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a b à CPUs
January 9, 2012 12:09:11 AM

Your GPU is great. I would upgrade the CPU before dropping in an SSD, but I would really recommend you give the SSD some thought.

I bought a 40GB Intel SSD 3 years ago and it never gave me any problems. And even with that being a first gen slow SSD, it made my system faster and more responsive than ever before. My upgrade this year to a Vertex III 120GB was an even better investment, it is blazing fast.

The latest Sandforce controller went thorough some growing pains, but since October those problems have been resolved. I used to be one of those folks that said SSDs just aren't worth the premium in price. As an owner, I've changed my tune and I can attest to the fact that an SSD upgrade is the single most significant improvement to overall system speed and responsiveness that one can do.

I can recommend the OCZ Vertex III without reservation.
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January 9, 2012 12:09:22 AM

So better to up my CPU/RAM/MB budget to $700 instead of $500 plus $200 for a SSD?
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January 9, 2012 12:15:00 AM

How much storage do you want in a SSD?
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a c 227 à CPUs
January 9, 2012 12:19:43 AM

I have to agree with Buzznut. I have had my Vertex 2 for a year and a half now and it was the single biggest improvment to overall speed I have ever put in a PC. Hell my Vertex 2 is a second generation ( old tech ) SSD and my computer loads Windows in under 15 seconds.
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a b à CPUs
January 9, 2012 12:40:05 AM

Just a humble question; how is booting to Windows in 15 or 20 seconds as compared to my current 35-40 seconds going to improve my overall computer experience? As pointed out in a recent review in Tom's, ssd's do little or nothing to increase FPS or much else about the game except maybe map loading. Which brings me to ask, how many of you have Steam games and wait for what seems like an eternity for a game to load???
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January 9, 2012 12:43:10 AM

That's not why people get an SSD. Who likes waiting for Windows to load after a shutdown? SSD will load the OS faster so you spend more time playing; SSD does make loading games faster as well.
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January 9, 2012 12:52:15 AM

azeem40 said:
How much storage do you want in a SSD?


At least 120 Gigs... I'd love to get more than that but I'm pretty sure I would be over $200 as soon as I go over 120 Gigs, but right now I have a few options for 120 Gigs at under $200...

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January 9, 2012 1:38:27 AM

Are there any brands I should try and avoid? or basically, is anything of the Tom's SSD heirarchary chart a safe bet?
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January 9, 2012 1:49:14 AM

Yes, follow their list. :) 
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January 9, 2012 1:51:00 AM

Ok, thanks for the advice!
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January 9, 2012 1:52:53 AM

Best answer selected by hubbs_67.
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a b à CPUs
January 9, 2012 1:53:58 AM

@ azeem40 - Have two 120 gig Agility III's - They would best be placed where the sun does not shine of the OCZ managment. They WILL be replaced by a pair of Samsung 830's. My M4's run circles arounf the Agiliuty III's

SSD's DO:
Speed up boot time, Speed up program l;oad times, Speed up reading any files that are ON the SSD.
DO NOT:
speed up game play, do not speed up programs that are runing. Do not speed up down loads, do not speed up surfing the great web.

I have 9 ( 6 different brands) SSDs dating back to Intel's G1. I've had no problems outside of the Agility III.

As to reliability: - go with Intel or Samsung, 3rd choice is M4.
Although I'm like many others here that have had no reliability issues and would not think about going back to a mechanical HDD for OS + programs: I've seen some indications that there may be problems when used just like a HDD, Ie OS = Programs + files (Not sure what percent they are filling the drive. This is not just from forums as also from a corporate level.
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January 9, 2012 2:27:35 AM

DelroyMonjo said:
Just a humble question; how is booting to Windows in 15 or 20 seconds as compared to my current 35-40 seconds going to improve my overall computer experience? As pointed out in a recent review in Tom's, ssd's do little or nothing to increase FPS or much else about the game except maybe map loading. Which brings me to ask, how many of you have Steam games and wait for what seems like an eternity for a game to load???


Its not about loading windows faster, although thats a benefit. Its about overall system responsiveness. If you don't have an SSD then you don't understand. It makes EVERYTHING faster. Everything. period.
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a b à CPUs
January 9, 2012 2:36:32 AM

I wouldn't save a few bucks by going with the Agility. Cheaper drives use asynchronous nand which isn't favorable over the long haul. Also synchronous nand does a better job of handling uncompressible data like movies and music files.
The M4 is a good buy also in that price range.

I like the Chronos Deluxe drives from Mushkin, I believe they are worth the price premium. That will likely be my next drive.
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