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Discussion Starter #1
I'm debating between these two...

http://www.microcenter.com/single_pr...uct_id=0344222

http://www.microcenter.com/single_pr...uct_id=0345740

This is going to be my first SSD, but I've done a bit of reading on them (so jumping in only half blind).

The first order of business is that my system is ~4-5 years old now (Athlon 64 and a Radeon 9800 Pro). The most critical aspect is that I had to force my current SATA hard drive's into 1.5gb mode (motherboard doesn't support 3gb).

Is this going to be an issue with new SSD's?

The next question is, with an eye on the future, which SSD is the one to get? I'm not TOO concerned with size at the 60gb mark because I can make it work. I'd prefer it to be between those two because I can get it in store (and indulge my impulsive impatience). However, feel free to toss up an even better recommendation through Newegg.

My intention is to keep the operating system, installed programs (fanciest program is probably Visual Studio), and World of Warcraft on the SSD with everything else on standard hard drives.

1) Will there be a noticeable difference with World of Warcraft? Will this overly task the SSD (IE: akin to defragging it with all the activity)? If the answer is no, is it because WoW is doing reading and not much writing?

2) What's the sweet spot for keeping hard drive space free? I'll be pretty close to 80-90% full in this setup with the 60gb SSD.

Finally.. a general question that doesn't need an immediate answer..

Do I need to manually run a trim process on my own? I read about Windows doing it during idle time, but I don't know what Windows considers to be idle time.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Asrial View Post
I'm debating between these two...

http://www.microcenter.com/single_pr...uct_id=0344222

http://www.microcenter.com/single_pr...uct_id=0345740

This is going to be my first SSD, but I've done a bit of reading on them (so jumping in only half blind).

The first order of business is that my system is ~4-5 years old now (Athlon 64 and a Radeon 9800 Pro). The most critical aspect is that I had to force my current SATA hard drive's into 1.5gb mode (motherboard doesn't support 3gb).

Is this going to be an issue with new SSD's?

The next question is, with an eye on the future, which SSD is the one to get? I'm not TOO concerned with size at the 60gb mark because I can make it work. I'd prefer it to be between those two because I can get it in store (and indulge my impulsive impatience). However, feel free to toss up an even better recommendation through Newegg.

Both of those you linked are good Sandforce based SSDs. I believe that the Crucial C300 is a bit superior, as the OCZ Agility 2 is slightly slower than the Vertex 2 due to some firmware differences. But don't take my word for it. However, they will both be fast enough where you will never know the difference.

My intention is to keep the operating system, installed programs (fanciest program is probably Visual Studio), and World of Warcraft on the SSD with everything else on standard hard drives.

1) Will there be a noticeable difference with World of Warcraft? Will this overly task the SSD (IE: akin to defragging it with all the activity)? If the answer is no, is it because WoW is doing reading and not much writing?
WoW should load drastically faster. Don't worry about wearing out your SSD.

2) What's the sweet spot for keeping hard drive space free? I'll be pretty close to 80-90% full in this setup with the 60gb SSD.
Do you mean what is the best way to reduce your OS drive space usage? Or are you referring to free space for SSD performance?

Finally.. a general question that doesn't need an immediate answer..

Do I need to manually run a trim process on my own? I read about Windows doing it during idle time, but I don't know what Windows considers to be idle time.
In Windows 7 the TRIM command is initiated when you delete a file, and normally performs the action right away. However, Sandforce based controllers are different and much more complex. From what I have gathered, they have something called Duraclass which acts to preserve the life of the NAND at the cost of some performance. Apparently this causes TRIM to not be carried out immediately. The controller also has some sort of write throttling when the drive reaches some level of heavy write usage such as benchmarking. It then recovers performance over time. The whole thing is very complex. You could spend days (I have) reading into it and still not really understand. But everything is automated.
 

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ACTUALLY NO the C300 is NOT sandforce based, it has its own special marvell controller. Micron makes the memory, and the marvell controller, they own marvell as well as crucial, thats why they can bring you such a fast drive for so cheap and also why they have sata3 capabiities.

First off i boguth the agility2, its not a good sandforce drive and i felt it to be slow. If you really want those high write times then get the corsair force its also avaible at microcenter. I ended up going to with 64gb c300 and im not oging to look back, if you have sata3 its very very fast. I would just stay away from agility2. Im in your boat i only buy from microcenter, and i got the c300 its just a superfast drive, but yes you cannot use trim with it in sata3 mode b/c the current sata3 controllers will not alolow it, theoretically you would need to do 2 special secured ata formats every year to keep speeds up, but id rather do that and keep my performance.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I ended up going with the Agility 2.

The main reason is that I don't even know if IT will work on my system let alone something that's looking for SATA/3.

Anyways, I can spend 25 days researching this stuff more while getting a feel for it and then making a final decision on what I want to do.
 

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yea i did what you just did, went with the agility2 against everyones sugesstions, thats why i buy from microcetner, so i can return or exchange it, and i neded up exchanging it. Actually the Sata3 install is very easy if you have an sata3 motherboard. Oh and if you dont and want a much faster and better drive, and you have 30 bucks more, then go get the corsair force, your drive has IOPS limited to 10k, the corsair is 50K, IOPS is how many 1/0 instructions per second your drive can do.
 

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Good choice, nice write speeds you'll enjoy that sucka.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well.. the verdict is in.. and my computer, once elite, needs to be put out to pasture


If you want the long version feel free to ask.

The short version is that Windows sees the drive just fine, but BIOS doesn't and so I can't use it as a boot drive (which means I can't boot the operating system from it).

Oh well.

Does anyone know of any PCI cards that can function as BOOT devices? Most of them that I've ever played with required you to be in Windows with an installed driver before it started working.
 

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you dont have a gigabyte X58A board do you? They could not see OCZ sandforce dirves without a bios update.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
ASUS K8V SE Deluxe (http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=65HeDI8XM1u6Uy6o).

I went out and bought this (http://www.syba.com/index.php?contro...on=Info&Id=716) and the great news is that immediately, without any configuring or troubleshooting, BIOS shows the SSD as bootable!

Crossing my fingers there's no issues with Windows 7 support (it says to use the Vista driver so we'll see). Wish me luck on getting the OS onto it and booting!

As for the Agility 2 itself.. I decided I'd look at the prices on the Vertex (to get the 50k IOPS) today, but it appears that yesterday was a one day sale. The price on the Agility 2 jumped from the $180 (after MIR) I paid to $270 (after MIR). Looks like I'll be hanging onto this one for now!

I'm glad I got the Agility 2 over the C300 for a few reasons...

1) I have so many issues already that trying to dumb down a SATA3 drive is just adding to the list of things I need to watch out for.

To give an example of what I'm working with here...

I have to use a PCI-X card on a PCI slot to connect a SATA2 drive to a motherboard that can only natively use SATA1.

2) ..because of how I have to connect the drive.. I like the idea (though this is an after the fact decision) of SandForce giving strong performance even if the drive isn't trimmed (just in case something is screwy with my system and it doesn't do it automatically). I haven't explored this addon card.. but my BIOS has NO options for IDE/AHCI.

Does that matter when it comes to trimming? Or is the only important aspect Windows 7 and the drive itself?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Installed the drivers (this is inside Windows treating the drive as a secondary drive) without any fuss.

I'm excited guys!

With such an old system.. I'm looking forward to being able to hack together some performance increases (and especially with a component I can take to a new computer and get BETTER performance).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Meh. These results are depressing...

Again, the reason I need this addon card is because my built in SATA controller doesn't detect the SSD at boot. However, I've noticed it see it a couple of times.. very strange. I think if I boot it up, and it fails, and then I restart the computer, it'll detect it.

Anyways, here's the results...
LL
LL
LL
 

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Discussion Starter #14
..and here I am with Windows 7 installed on the SSD


Now we just see if I want to keep it this way...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Quote:

Originally Posted by TheDreadedGMan View Post

I would imagine that an SSD would really help out such an old system, where you're often waiting on the HDD?

how does Windows feel? fast and responsive?
As my system got older (and I wasn't going to replace it).. I stopped paying attention to things. I imagine everything is a bottleneck these days, but for the most part, I've always had a pretty streamlined system.

Windows definitely feels a lot smoother starting up and shutting down, but it's hard to determine what's the SSD and what's a fresh install with nothing loaded yet.

However.

World of Warcraft DEFINITELY feels more responsive
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Asrial View Post
As my system got older (and I wasn't going to replace it).. I stopped paying attention to things. I imagine everything is a bottleneck these days, but for the most part, I've always had a pretty streamlined system.

Windows definitely feels a lot smoother starting up and shutting down, but it's hard to determine what's the SSD and what's a fresh install with nothing loaded yet.

However.

World of Warcraft DEFINITELY feels more responsive

It's my personal opinion that the older system and memory-poor systems that will notice the biggest improvements... from SSDs, like older laptops and such...

Of course because of the price of the SSDs, then they end up being mostly installed in systems that were already quite fast with huge-RAM and fast quad cores...

That's the way the world works I guess lol
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Asrial View Post
How do I tell that my drive is being trimmed? What can I look for?
1. are you running Win 7?
2. what storage controller are you using for the SSD?
3. what driver is that storage controller using?

3 can be answered by looking at the main window of AS SSD Benchmark (it shows the storage driver name)

IF 1 is Win 7
IF 2 is (SATA controller that support pciide.sys or msahci.sys)
IF 3 is (pciide.sys or msahci.sys)

Then TRIM is active.

What to look out for:
If it's not a Sandforce drive, then you're looking for performance degradation if you fill the drive and write only random small files to it for a while...

If it's a Sandforce drive... there is not really any way to tell.
 
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