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Old 11-13-2010, 02:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Looking for opinions on next step...

I'll have around $150 to dump into my box in the very near future, I'm just not sure which way I want to go here, I have a few options.

After finally reading up on SSDs and getting to understand them better, I'm thinking about jumping on the SSD bandwagon. However, my mobo supports SATA II. I know that I'll still see a nice performance bump with an SSD on SATA II, but not as high as I would on III. I thought about getting a SATA 6.0Gb/s controller card, however my motherboard is seriously lacking in expansion slots. We're talking one PCI-E 16x slot, a PCI slot, and a PCI-E 1x slot. Running a SATA 6.0Gb/s controller card through a 1x would be a horrible idea.

Besides wanting an SSD, I miss having a sound card. This onboard VIA sound is kicking my rear. So a sound card, like from ASUS, is also in my future.

A video card, like a 6850 would be nice as well. However, I'm stuck at 1280x1024 at the moment, and I'm counting on moneys from my birthday and christmas to get a nice 1080 or 1200 one, so that'll come with time. So I could get a 6850, but that doesn't change the fact I'll need a more versatile motherboard. Plus, I really only play L4D2, Fallout NV, SC2, and TrackMania, so I don't really need a power house GPU, my 8800GTX is HOT, but still chugging along just fine. This 8800GTX was actually payment from a buddy of mine for building him a box a couple months back, it served him well for almost three years and I'm hoping to hold onto it until a game I want to play won't get above 30FPS haha.

At the time of my last upgrade, I was on a very tight budget and the mobo I've got right now was on sale at a local computer store, so I had to grab it, but now I'm regretting it. As for what motherboard I would get, it'd be an ASUS and most likely a 890.

I'm definitely leaning towards the motherboard, as it'll give me more options to breath new life into my computer when it starts to show its age after the arrival of Bulldozer and who knows if it'll worth on AM3. And after this upgrade, I really don't know when I'll have enough money again to fuel my hardware habit.

What do you guys think the best way to go is?
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Old 11-13-2010, 10:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for opinions on next step...

I'd go with SSD. If I were to save up for a new mobo, I would wait until I had quite a bit more to spend ($200 or more) to look at the 4+ PCI-E x16 range (for someone who doesn't game, I sure like fancy equipment xD). The RevoDrive is also something to consider- sounds like a neat card. I think those are in the $200+ range, though.
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Old 11-14-2010, 02:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for opinions on next step...

Ended up going with a Gigabyte 880GA-UD3H and a Corsair F60, got them both on sale. Haven't ran a benchmark yet, but it definitely feels all around snappier, so far I'm happy with my purchase.
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Old 11-14-2010, 03:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for opinions on next step...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtis View Post
I'll have around $150 to dump into my box in the very near future, I'm just not sure which way I want to go here, I have a few options.

After finally reading up on SSDs and getting to understand them better, I'm thinking about jumping on the SSD bandwagon. However, my mobo supports SATA II. I know that I'll still see a nice performance bump with an SSD on SATA II, but not as high as I would on III. I thought about getting a SATA 6.0Gb/s controller card, however my motherboard is seriously lacking in expansion slots. We're talking one PCI-E 16x slot, a PCI slot, and a PCI-E 1x slot. Running a SATA 6.0Gb/s controller card through a 1x would be a horrible idea.

Besides wanting an SSD, I miss having a sound card. This onboard VIA sound is kicking my rear. So a sound card, like from ASUS, is also in my future.

A video card, like a 6850 would be nice as well. However, I'm stuck at 1280x1024 at the moment, and I'm counting on moneys from my birthday and christmas to get a nice 1080 or 1200 one, so that'll come with time. So I could get a 6850, but that doesn't change the fact I'll need a more versatile motherboard. Plus, I really only play L4D2, Fallout NV, SC2, and TrackMania, so I don't really need a power house GPU, my 8800GTX is HOT, but still chugging along just fine. This 8800GTX was actually payment from a buddy of mine for building him a box a couple months back, it served him well for almost three years and I'm hoping to hold onto it until a game I want to play won't get above 30FPS haha.

At the time of my last upgrade, I was on a very tight budget and the mobo I've got right now was on sale at a local computer store, so I had to grab it, but now I'm regretting it. As for what motherboard I would get, it'd be an ASUS and most likely a 890.

I'm definitely leaning towards the motherboard, as it'll give me more options to breath new life into my computer when it starts to show its age after the arrival of Bulldozer and who knows if it'll worth on AM3. And after this upgrade, I really don't know when I'll have enough money again to fuel my hardware habit.

What do you guys think the best way to go is?
SATA 3 SSDs havent matured enough yet to make the cost worth it. The reads are barely over SATA2 spec on burst and the writes lack compared to sandforce based SATA2 drives. When the newest sandforce based controller comes out thats cranking speeds in the 500MB range then itll be worth it. I think the new motherboard was a good option considering the 8800GTX is still a capable card for those games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redfish View Post
I'd go with SSD. If I were to save up for a new mobo, I would wait until I had quite a bit more to spend ($200 or more) to look at the 4+ PCI-E x16 range (for someone who doesn't game, I sure like fancy equipment xD). The RevoDrive is also something to consider- sounds like a neat card. I think those are in the $200+ range, though.
The Revodrives are 400+ actually. I want one myself to get rid of SATA and extra power cables.
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Old 11-14-2010, 03:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for opinions on next step...

I got the Corsair F60 because of sandforce, I've heard good things. Ya, I was talking to a guy about that, he mentioned the same thing. About SSD's hitting 500MB/s relatively soon. Whenever I upgrade storage again, I'll go with a Revodrive or something like it. As with anything else computer related, time drops prices. Once I can get a 120GB to 256GB internal SSD that has mad reads like 500MB/s or higher for under $200, I'll jump on one.


EDIT: Wowza. Just ran Everest's Disk benchmark to compare my WD Black and my new SSD.

Corsair F60-

Linear Read (Begin)- 222.2MB/s
Linear Read (Middle)- 259.8MB/s
Linear Read (End) -259.8MB/s
Random Read- 274.0 MB/s
Buffered Read- 255.4MB/s
Average Read Access- .13 ms

WD Black 1TB SATA 3-

Linear Read (Begin)- 133.3MB/s
Linear Read (Middle)- 108.1MB/s
Linear Read (End) -62.9MB/s
Random Read- 104.5MB/s
Buffered Read- 429.0MB/s
Average Read Access- 11.64 ms

WD Green 1TB SATA 2-

Linear Read (Begin)- 103.6MB/s
Linear Read (Middle)- 83.7MB/s
Linear Read (End) -46.7MB/s
Random Read- 59.9MB/s
Buffered Read- 240.6MB/s
Average Read Access- 14.47 ms

Also, running ATTO, it benches 280MB/s read and 251MB/s write. Both just under the advertised read/write speeds, on SATA 3 and with AHCI enabled.

Wow. Ya know, it's one thing to read benchmarks online, but it's a whole new ball game when you're benching your own computer and you see the data.

My only concern is what Crystal Disk Info is showing me. It's running at a nice 25C, but it says my health status is only 94%, and it's only been powered on for four hours, and I haven't written much of anything to it. It says under Raw Read Error Rate my current is 114, worst is 100, and the threshold is 50. Retired block count reads 96 for current, 96 for worst, and 3 for threshold. It shows reported uncorrectable errors are 100 current, 100 worst, and 0 for threshold. And for SSD life left, it's at 94 for current and worst.

Now I haven't Google'd what these really mean, so for all I know I'm reading it incorrectly, but those numbers and what they mean, doesn't seem like a good thing. PP, I'm hoping you come back and read this, you seem to be the SSD guy.
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