How do you properly install Windows 8?
Simply follow my install guide: Sean's Windows 8 Install & Optimization Guide for SSDs & HDDsHow do you properly install Windows 7?
Simply follow my install guide: Sean's Windows 7 Install & Optimization Guide for SSDs & HDDsHow do you physically install one in your system?
Just like any other drive you have ever put in your computer. You may need a 2.5" to 3.5" adapter to fit it in your PC's normal drive bays, but that is not needed. Here is the cool thing though, since SSDs don't have moving parts you can just stick them where ever you like. For example, you can take some Velcro and stick one to the side of your case, you can hide them in the back of the mobo, you can even just let them dangle in the middle of your PC if you like.
)Laptops & SSDs:
Usually due to hardware limitations and power saving features in laptops SSDs will perform slightly slower than in their desktop counterparts. But the difference is usually only seen in benchmarks.SATA Cables:
Whether they are plain old SATA, SATA 2, or SATA 3 cables they all have the same though put. The only difference b/w any SATA cable is the quality of the material used in the cable. (Read the testing results and more info here
)SATA vs SATA 2 vs SATA 3
For the most part all SATA connections are forward and backwards compatible. Only very few old chip sets with SATA connections cannot accept newer SATA 3 devices.Native vs. Non-Native SATA ports:
Native Ports are better than the non-native SATA ports in your mobo.
Marvell and third party SATA Ports:
Add-on SATA 6Gb/s controllers vs Native SATA 3Gb/s:
Try to refrain from the Marvell ports as they are not that good, I never recommend using them. They also usually give lower 4k reads and writes as well which affect the OS the most. They can cause system instability such as freezing/stuttering and longer boot times when enabled because it is a 3rd party addon, has a limited bandwidth of ~or below 400MB/s for both of the ports total (even in RAID 0 while the SATA 3Gb/s ports can reach higher speeds), higher latencies, and from what I have found still do not support TRIM.Edit from Tator Tot:
They make a SATA 6Gb/s chip that does now support TRIM, but as far as I know, all of the boards out right now all use the old "laggy" controller. (the 9123 & 9128 are what most boards have on them)
Here is the PDF for 88SE91XX Controllers: (link
Only the 88SE9130, 88SE9220, 88SE9230 series Marvell controllers support TRIM. (The 88SE9130 is still to be avoided though as it will most likely have the stuttering issue, as it's still based on the older 91xx designs.)
Page 5 here: (link
Note: Inbox drivers enable users to take advantage of OS commands like TRIM to extend the life of SSDs for
More info on the 88SE92XX series Marvell controllers here: (link
However, an interesting thing to note: When a TRIM enabled SSD is plugged into a SATA connector controlled by any of the versions of the 91XX, and the drive highlighted and looked at in the OPROM, the "feature set" for the drive will typically show the TRIM feature. This by no means is a true indicator that the Marvell controller supports the feature, but it is an extremely strong indication that since the OPROM recognizes the function, that the controller does in fact pass the command.
I suggest you use the onboard SATA instead of using a PCIe card. PCIe cards add latency and are not really worth it just for SATA 3. You will hardly even notice the difference in use b/w SATA 6Gb/s and SATA 3Gb/s honestly, even 2 SSDs in RAID 0 there is hardly a difference in real world use.
If you do end up getting a a card you need a card that is at least PCIe 2.0 x4 and it needs to be bootable if you want it for the OS drive. Like this: (link
Also, with a add-on card your boot times will be lengthened, stuttering, and other issues can occur as well.Intel vs. AMD SATA:
Most of the time SSDs will deliver higher scores in benchmarks on Intel systems than on AMD systems. One thing to remember when comparing scores is to make sure the system you are comparing is similar to yours.Types of SATA modes:
These are the dfferentways you can set up your SATA mode in the BIOS/UEFI.
- IDE - Old, slower, it is simply a compatibility mode. TRIM does work in IDE mode.
- AHCI - AHCI stands for Advanced Host Controller Interface. It makes Native Command Queuing (NCQ) along with hot-plugging or hot swapping through SATA Serial-ATA host controllers possible. NCQ is one of the important features of AHCI for SSDs. SSDs can process requests faster than HDDs. It can process so fast that the SSD could end up waiting for work. NCQ allows the OS/controller to request up to 32 simultaneous requests at once. So you basically get more performance from your drive over older IDE mode.
- RAID - RAID stands for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks. It is a means by which your PC uses multiple disks as if they were one, either to increase performance, safeguard against disk failures, or both. RAID mode has all the advantages of AHCI mode. There are four main factors of a RAID setup: striping, which spreads data across multiple drives, mirroring, which copies the data to more than one disk, space efficiency, which is how much of the total space is available to use, and fault tolerance, which is a measure of how well protected the RAID array is against disk failure.
There's no real benefit in RAID0 SSD for most people since it just boost sequential performance. You generally do not need to load massively large files into memory nor have another storage device fast enough to transfer from/to.Pros:
- 2X faster sequential reads/writes of the slowest drive (not really noticeable with SSDs).
- 2X space of the smallest drive.
- No TRIM support for SSDs part of a RAID 0 array for the most part. TRIM only works for RAID 0 arrays on Intel 7 and newer series chipset motherboards with the 11.2 RST driver and above. (link)
- RAID 0 only improves sequential performance which is generally not that useful and it also almost doubles your failure rate. (1 drive goes the array is lost and all data is gone, you need to have a backup of all the data on the array in case of a failure)
- Slightly slower boot time (The RAID controller needs to initialized after the BIOS does and that adds time to your boot time, usually 3-5 seconds slower)
- If you have a AMD RAID array make sure that you can NCQ enabled in RAIDXpert. If not you may lose performance that you can easily gain back.