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Old 10-23-2009, 05:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question My new PC - Worth the SSD upgrade? Money / Performance

Hey,
I've just built a new PC, I've made it with the intention of it being a little bit special, fast, but not the kind of extreme rediculous expensive fast. Here are the specs:

MSI K58M Motherboard
( crossfire/sli capable, micro motherboard ).

Core i7 920 ( 2.66Ghz d0 stepping )

OCZ Gold 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 PC3-10666C9 Low-Voltage Triple Channel (OCZ3G1333LV6GK)

ATI Radeon HD 4870 1gb GDDR5 graphics card ( may put another in eventually but not for now - that would in my eyes turn it into the "extreme, rediculous catagory".

1Tb HDD (7,200 RPM)

650W Corsair PSU

Win 7 64bit professional.

So...
I'm currently thinking about putting a solid state drive in with the OS on. I have a few questions and i'm sure this will start a good discussion amongst you all.

1 - How much will it actually affect my performance? I do play SOME games, but i'm not like a huge "gamer"... maybe in the future i will be as the reason I'm not is I have an xbox and a laptop ( or did before this new PC )
2 - Is it worth buying an expensive SSD or a cheap one?
3 - I know the performance decreases on them as they become used ( i heard of a program called sweeper i'm a bit unsure of )... but, are there any that will decrease less than others?
4 - What SSD would YOU reccomend? or none?

I know I will get asked about money.. so, i'll make it simple and let you see everything and decide for me;

I'm a student, but I just sold my car for £1,750. I'm in my first year, not into my overdraft yet ( most people are ) and have a fair bit of money. It's not money I want to just throw away, but I hope my PC will last a while so it's kind of an investment - I'm studying computing and it's something I will care about.
I am catered for in my halls so... don't really have any immediate need or use for my money. I could buy a SSD now, buy one later ( I know they will be big and I will do one day i'm sure )... or... not buy one or think about it at all and put the money in a savings account ( very handy for me ). Will the prices crash soon?
Would I be aswel buying another £100 1tb drive and setting them to Raid 0? Would that be at all comparable to SSD or,.. still slower?

I'm really looking for guidance and views, i'm totally on the fence and not sure if I should save, wait... or buy, and if I should.. what to buy.

Also, if you can think of any other good to have things or upgrades for my PC.. tell me. Next on my list is a new keyboard and mouse lol.
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Old 10-23-2009, 06:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My new PC - Worth the SSD upgrade? Money / Performance

Quote:
1 - How much will it actually affect my performance? I do play SOME games, but i'm not like a huge "gamer"... maybe in the future i will be as the reason I'm not is I have an xbox and a laptop ( or did before this new PC )
2 - Is it worth buying an expensive SSD or a cheap one?
3 - I know the performance decreases on them as they become used ( i heard of a program called sweeper i'm a bit unsure of )... but, are there any that will decrease less than others?
4 - What SSD would YOU reccomend? or none?
1. I wouldn't say it's especially beneficial to games, other than load times.
2. Rather unhelpfully I would have to say a mid-priced one :P
3. This happens a lot less with newer ones, which intentionally vary use around the SSD to slow the (now-decreasing) wearing-down process.
4. Mid-priced, look into an OCZ Vertex II (60GB IIRC is around £100). Higher-priced (and thus faster), look into the Intel X25-M series.

In summary, I would recommend getting a mid-range one, probably 60GB (or 120GB if you want to stick some games on it).

Quote:
Would I be aswel buying another £100 1tb drive and setting them to Raid 0? Would that be at all comparable to SSD or,.. still slower?
That's another option, however I don't know enough about RAIDing to compare speeds. Have a look around on the net, you can probably find some figures.

Quote:
Also, if you can think of any other good to have things or upgrades for my PC.. tell me. Next on my list is a new keyboard and mouse lol.
A fancy CPU cooler, to OC your CPU as far as possible
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My new PC - Worth the SSD upgrade? Money / Performance

A new cooler sounds like a good idea. I have had a look at them and although i've forgotten the name of it, apparently the one in your pic is one of the best - Will do in next few weeks.

I had the fright of my life the other day, putting in my graphics card, hadn't closed the case and started it up. Saw a few wires hanging out from the side of the CPU fan that hadn't been tucked in very well. Started clipping them back in ( you know around the edge of the fan ).... got one caught in it ( and my finger ). Hurt a bit... looked at it properly and saw the CPU fan dead still. AAAhHHh. Cables tangled in it, windows booting so CPU under some load.
Quick quick... turned the plug off at the back. Looool. Not good for my new rig but hey. Took the wires out and the fan is back to normal and temps are the same ( a little warm but not tropical ).

Thanks for your advice.. +rep.
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My new PC - Worth the SSD upgrade? Money / Performance

Quote:
Originally Posted by NutterzUK View Post
I have had a look at them and although i've forgotten the name of it, apparently the one in your pic is one of the best - Will do in next few weeks.
Mine is the Scythe Ninja 2, which I think is great (I am at 29C on idle without using the fan), but keep in mind there are plenty of other options.
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My new PC - Worth the SSD upgrade? Money / Performance

Quote:
Originally Posted by NutterzUK View Post
1 - How much will it actually affect my performance? I do play SOME games, but i'm not like a huge "gamer"... maybe in the future i will be as the reason I'm not is I have an xbox and a laptop ( or did before this new PC )
2 - Is it worth buying an expensive SSD or a cheap one?
3 - I know the performance decreases on them as they become used ( i heard of a program called sweeper i'm a bit unsure of )... but, are there any that will decrease less than others?
4 - What SSD would YOU reccomend? or none?.
1) A SSD is the single biggest upgrade you can do to a modern system. They don't just help with game load times, everything will be faster and more responsive.

2) That depends on the drive.

3) This isn't that big of a issue anymore. Windows 7 supports something called TRIM that keeps SSDs performing almost as good as new. There is still some performance loss but it's nothing like it used to be. Depending on the drive you get you may need to update it to the latest firmware for TRIM to work.

4) SSDSA2MH080G2C1 - 80GB Intel MLC-Flash, 2.5" SSD, SATA 3Gb/s, Read 250MB/s, Write 70MB/s, OEM - Scan.co.uk It's currently out of stock but it's just about the best SSD on the market.

No reasonable amount of hard drives in raid will match the performance of the X25-M and raid0 also has an increased risk of data loss.

This Anandtech article is pretty long but it contains a lot of great information about SSDs that might be useful to you.

AnandTech: The SSD Relapse: Understanding and Choosing the Best SSD
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Old 10-23-2009, 08:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My new PC - Worth the SSD upgrade? Money / Performance

I just installed Win7 on a new OCZ Agility 120GB drive and I'm impressed. It loads Windows in 15-20 seconds. NewEgg is out of stock and the price has skyrocketed. I paid $249.99 after a rebate and it's listing at $369.00 now.
Newegg.com - OCZ Agility Series OCZSSD2-1AGT120G 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD) - Solid State Disks
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