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Old 03-20-2012, 06:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Intel X-25 SSD or should I stick to the HDD?

I'm currently setting up an i7 box that came with a 1.5TB storage drive.

I have an Intel X25-M G2 from last year that has been sitting on a shelf (long story- was a gift for a laptop but I eventually decided I needed more storage > more speed).

I was thinking- wouldn't it be cool to use that as my boot drive, since I have it anyway? Until I googled it and found out that SSDs have more limited lifespan than magnetic spinning discs. I honestly didn't know that (that's how out of the loop I am).

Now I'm wondering if the extra boot speed is really worth the hassle. I mean, I know I should be storing everything off the SSD (80GB isn't enough for much anyway), so I'll be keeping the 1.5TB drive as well, but I plan to use this as a new media encoding station for work related projects so it is kind of critical that I avoid dealing with down time. In fact, I'd say its more important to not deal with down time than whatever speed benefits there might be.

Is it worth it? Is it perhaps not as bad and scary as the SSD reviews I'm reading?
If so, are there specific usage habits I should adopt to keep the drive functioning longer? Or should I just forget about this whole thing for now?

Open to suggestions...
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intel X-25 SSD or should I stick to the HDD?

All of them I looked at had a three year warranty and was listed as 1,200,000 hours MTBF (mean time between fails), while is as good as you would get for a mechanical drive.

I use a SSD for my OS and am tickled with it. It is worth the time of reinstalling and running through these two tutorials:

SSD Tweak Guide

Redirecting Program Files and Program Files(x86) in Vista/Win7.

Note: Install IE9 before doing the second one. While I don't use IE9 on a regular basis, I did find that it would not work if installed on a different drive than the OS (and it does not let you choose where to install it).
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intel X-25 SSD or should I stick to the HDD?

The MTBF (mean time between failures) of the X25-M is 1,200,000 hours.
Or, to put it another way, 50,000 days / 136.98 years (operating 24/7 I assume).

Western Digital specs their enterprise and AV mechanical drives at an MTBF of 1-1.4 million hours.

So unless there is another hassle involved, I don't see a reason not to use it.
Especially if it is just sitting on a shelf, thats like saying I don't want to benefit from it, I'd rather let it deteriorate on its own.

Other than that I'd Google "how to maintain an SSD", AFAIK the X25-M has TRIM support which helps quite a bit.


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Old 03-20-2012, 09:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intel X-25 SSD or should I stick to the HDD?

Cool- Maybe I should give it a try.

Meanwhile, I was about to start installing software on the new box. Should I migrate my current HD setup to the SSD, or should I stop installing stuff now, and start over on it?

Also, are apps like Adobe's creative suite better suited for installation off the SSD?
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intel X-25 SSD or should I stick to the HDD?

Install fresh, always.

While Abode's stuff would be great to have on a SSD, it will all depend on what size it is. Mine is a 60GB and with just Win7, its updates, and a small handful of programs on it I have 27.3GB of 55.7GB free. I have my page file and such on a different disk, and have the recycle bin set to the minimum on the SSD so I still have plenty of room, but I prefer to keep it as lean as I can.
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intel X-25 SSD or should I stick to the HDD?

Interesting.

What about page files and the like?

I see some manufacturers are recommending turning that off, as it adds extra wear and tear to the drive, however Adobe's suite (especially After Effects and Premiere running in tandem) can easily gobble up all remaining RAM. Or is this less of a problem because of TRIM, etc?
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Old 03-21-2012, 10:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intel X-25 SSD or should I stick to the HDD?

If you read through the SSD Tweak Guide you will see that he shows how to disable the page file on the SSD and set it up on a different drive. No sense in wearing out a good SSD on a page file, after all.
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default

Ok, dumb question (thanks for all your patience, guys)-

I'm doing this to a Gateway box that didn't come with any OS re-installation discs. I created recovery discs from the utility that gateway pre-installs, however that appears to be more like a disc image. There is no OS installation by itself as far as I can tell.

I originally was thinking I would install Windows from scratch on the new SSD, and use the drivers disc (also created with the gateway utility) to install what I needed. But it looks like they aren't really giving me that option.

Should I just restore the image from the recovery discs to the SSD?

Just verified with Gateway that they don't supply OS installation discs at all anymore. :/
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Old 03-21-2012, 04:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intel X-25 SSD or should I stick to the HDD?

That would make your Windows an OEM version. OEM is tied to the original motherboard and cannot be legally transferred. If you are just going to move your installation to the new drive then you can use any OEM media of the same type (Win7 Home Premium or whatever your copy is) in order to reinstall it. The hard part is finding a clean OEM disk that doesn't have all the crapware and custom drivers on it.
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Old 03-21-2012, 05:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Intel X-25 SSD or should I stick to the HDD?

Yes, its an OEM installation.

I don't have an OEM system discs, except for some Dell varieties. Are you saying that a disc from another OEM will still work as long as I use the serial number for this one? Because I was under the impression that ISN'T the case. Maybe I heard wrong, but I feel like a Dell OEM Windows 7 won't work.

Meanwhile, I *DO* have the gateway recovery discs, which claim to be able to restore an HD to factory defaults. If I'm not mistaken, I think that means I will have the computer exactly as it was when I took it out of the box (save for a faster drive). Its not exactly a fresh install of Windows, but I'm pretty used to spending a few minutes removing crapware from a new computer anyway, so that sounds good enough as long as there aren't any downsides that I'm unaware of.
All things being equal, the amount of effort I would have to put into trying to get a clean install of Windows on here might not be worth it.
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