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  1. #1
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    SSD recommendations for a SATA 2 system

    Mate wants an SSD - needs 80Gb+ but his system is resolutely stuck in the SATA2 era and so I'm wondering if someone would care to recommend a drive, bearing-in-mind that he's not going to see the absolute most tip-top performance anyway??

    Budget is 80 tops which rules out the latest drives - tips and recommendations for drives which don't die too quickly (as I'll be the mug installing and replacing the bugger)??

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Scan has a 120 GB Sandisk Extreme for 74.57. It's a bit overkill for a SATA II controller, but it's more reliable than the cheaper options (OCZ Agility 3 eg.).

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakkura View Post
    Scan has a 120 GB Sandisk Extreme for 74.57. It's a bit overkill for a SATA II controller, but it's more reliable than the cheaper options (OCZ Agility 3 eg.).
    More reliable is the music I want to hear because EVERY SINGLE PERSON I KNOW who's bought an SSD has had the bloody thing fail within 6 months!!

    Are there any tips at this point for keeping SSDs in good nick? Settings to adjust, defragmenters to disable/not run etc. etc.?

    Is it OK to copy an HDD to an SSD or are there things to consider when it comes to the layout/way you write stuff to them (I generally use Easeus DiskCopy to move system partitions/upgrade HDDs)??

    Reading generally people seem to like Samsung 830s but I despise Samsung and avoid their kit as much as I can (because there will be some software which goes with it which is bloated/doesn't work - it's guaranteed!!)

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Well, definitely disable any defragmentation. Windows should recognize it and disable its own defrag service for SSDs.

    Make sure you set it up in AHCI mode. If you're using it as a boot drive, do that before installing Windows. You may want to get the newest firmware too, especially with these Sandforce-based drives.

    Other than that, not much. Just use it pretty much as you would a regular HDD.

  5. #5
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    Hell, I might even cave on an SSD myself at this rate - that Sandisk is the same price as the 1TB drive I was gonna pick-up and there's an Intel 330 180Gb at 90 (if you must have Sandforce at least be an Intel still applies??) :)

    1TB you say - tiny and not cost-effective!! - but I don't need anything bigger. I reckon adding 180Gb would get me all the extra space I'd need - but it would need to be 90 or less so there's a limited range of options (that Intel and - errr - that's it!!)

  6. #6
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    Well here's a pisser - SSD acquired and installed and - the performance wasn't quite as amazing as I'd have expected (tho better than an HDD). Owner is happy enough but I ran some tests and the SSD is reporting as SATA 1!!

    Quick Google and I find this is a known issue with pretty much all nForce motherboards (and that's a LOT of motherboards!!) - the oft-stated solution is to disable the nVidia SATA drivers and use the Windows ones, which also enables TRIM and other niceties.

    BUT

    Using the MS SATA driver is what caused my PC (and this PC uses a similar Mobo/CPU to mine) to randomly 'freeze' for 2-20 seconds. Whilst it's 'frozen' the HDD shows 100% 'usage' but no 'transfers' - the HDD LED is on solidly - nothing much happens...

    Sure enough - switching the drivers causes this to start happening pretty much straightaway - Fuck - that means resorting to the nVidia Drivers and living with no TRIM and SATA 1 speeds (feels a bit pointless and it will hasten the death of the SSD?)

    I'd sort-of planned to get an SSD for myself but I've binned that idea as I'll be in the same boat - hey ho, one less sale to an industry unable to sort it's shit out properly...

    and people think nVidia would be better without AMD breathing down their neck - it's hard to imagine they'd be worse, but...

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Lack of TRIM doesn't shorten its lifespan, it just lowers performance. But it'll be hugely bottleneck by SATA1 anyway, so that's not going to make much difference.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakkura View Post
    Lack of TRIM doesn't shorten its lifespan, it just lowers performance. But it'll be hugely bottleneck by SATA1 anyway, so that's not going to make much difference.
    Whole thing is just a pain in the ass - I reckon it was 'freezing' with just the SSD installed too (tho it was for much shorter periods) - and there's no lack of people who report the same issues (HDD light on solidly, no activity but 100% 'usage' in the resource monitor - goes away after 2-20 seconds - repeats randomly) so clearly the default MS sata driver does not play well with a range of mobos...

    Worse still (or better - depending on your point-of-view) with the MS driver enabled the performance isn't THAT much better either. All-out benchmarks are faster (obviously, as it then reports as a SATA 2 device) but everyday usage (system startup/running apps) feels about the same (startup timed unscientifically was 4 seconds quicker with the MS driver).

    With 180Gb to play with almost all his stuff is on there at least - only a few 'big install' games are on the HDD along with his music and videos - so I guess he'll see benefits even in SATA1 mode (he knows the score and can switch it as he sees fit).

    I'm just 1 step closer to needing a new PC tho - which is depressing :(

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Yeah the random I/O performance isn't degraded, just the sequential. So it's still better in some ways than a SATA3 HDD. It's still ridiculous though. I know Intel had some motherboard problems regarding SSDs too, but nowhere near as bad as this.

  10. #10
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    Well now he knows it's slower than ideal he's turned to the idea of upgrading EVERYTHING else - so a third thread shall be born... ;)

  11. #11
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    Got a Crucial SSD in Feb. Had to update firmware before installing anything.

    I had one bad windows install right away with a few days, at least that seemed to be the problem. 2nd install no problems since.

    What I really need is to update my old old HD. Few games I notice some side effects due to them loading slow. (And part when some steam game decides to patch while playing a game on the same partition.)

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