Need some advice on SSD.

#1 Posted by Spiritgod (210 posts) -

After much consideration, and the fact that Solid State Drives aren't as expensive as they used to be. I'm thinking of going the route of installing one. But, since I haven't had any experience on the subject, I had hoped to get a few opinion of those that have dealt with the hardware. First, what size should I go with? I was really only going to use it for Windows 7, but have recently discovered that loading a few games is doable. It would be nice to load a few Steam games. Which leads to my next question, the apps I've seen here and there, are they really that easy to use with swapping games from SSD to HDD? I would love to be able to have 2-3 games on the SSD but only if it's easy to swap those out for the next big gaming experience I want to have. Also, are there any other benefits of going SSD?

I'm thinking of going 128GB, but knowing PC hardware, I'm always under the impression that you go with the next highest up.

#2 Edited by Devildoll (909 posts) -

@Spiritgod said:

Which leads to my next question, the apps I've seen here and there, are they really that easy to use with swapping games from SSD to HDD?

you dont need to have an ssd to try the programs out, i dont even think you need two harddrives, all they do is link two directories.

try it out.

regarding the size, i think you are pretty dead on, go 120/128 or bigger, ive got a 120 myself, and i fit windows, a couple of games ( origin and steam ) and the adobe suite on mine.

i haven't looked into ssd's for a while now, and the market moves so quick, so im afraid i cant give you any specific models for recommendation.

you probably wont notice much difference between two different current gen ssd's however, the big difference is simply going from mechanical to SSD.

#3 Posted by mosdl (3258 posts) -

I use my 120 GB SSD to run windows and a few games that benfit a lot from fast HD access (Skyrim and Civ 5 for example). The rest is installed on my old HDD, I use SteamMover to move games/apps over to the HDD from the SSD.

The main benefit is really fast boot up times (under 15 seconds from boot to windows login screen) and windows in general running much smoother. I did use my SSD upgrade to go ahead and reinstall windows from scratch. My windows folder is at 18 gigs right now.

#4 Posted by Spiritgod (210 posts) -

@Devildoll: Thanks for the link.

I'm pretty much sold on getting an SSD. Now I'm just looking into which one. I've found some pretty cheap ones, but the read and write speeds seem pretty low. Of course I've found another that seems pretty decent. It's a 256 GB Samsung drive with 520MB read and 400MB write, which is the highest I've found so far. Is there a sweet spot for read/write speeds?

#5 Edited by Devildoll (909 posts) -

@Spiritgod: well.. of course high sustained read and write speeds are good to have.

but they are not really what makes ssd's so great. an ssd with high read and write speeds can feel more sluggish than one with lower sustained read and write speeds.

the lightning fast feel of an ssd mostly comes from its capability to incredibly quicky access files that are needed, and not just one, but several hundreds per second.

as opposed to a mechanical disk which has to move its read heads ( like a vinyl player ) around before it can access another file, which takes alot of time.

basicly what you are looking for, as well as high read/write is a drive that has alot of "iops" ( input/output operations per second )

for example when you are loading windows at startup, the drive is not reading some gigantic 7 GB file that benefits from having a 500 MB/s read speed, the drive has to access loads of small files.

and if it is capabel of doing so quick, the boot will be quick.

an older example of this is the intel x25-m's which had pretty low sustained read and write speeds, ( especially write speeds ) but still felt quicker than alot of the competition.

really, you arent going to be writing 500 MB/s that often if the entire disk is just 120 Gigs.

what i suggest you do is to look at a site like anandtech, and see if they have any recent ssd roundups.

they know what is important in an ssd and probably give out awards to the better ones.

here's one , not a roundup but a recent review of intels 330 drives, which seem to be pretty solid.

#6 Posted by Spiritgod (210 posts) -

@Devildoll: That link you supplied actually has the drive I was speaking about., the Samsung 830. It scored in the top 5 of every category and held number 1 in a good many. I'll assume 80K iop is decent, if not excellent, for a 256 drive, mainly since I haven't seen anything higher than that.

#7 Posted by Devildoll (909 posts) -

@Spiritgod:

yep, thats pretty good alright. ive heard some good buzz about the 830's as a matter of fact.

#8 Posted by Jimbo (9983 posts) -

I've had a 120 SSD for a while now. It's enough for me because I don't really dip in and out of games - I play a game until I'm done with it and very rarely go back to it again any time soon, so only having a handful of games installed hasn't been an issue. I also probably have about 30gb of shit on there which doesn't really need to be on there, and is only there because I was too lazy to put it on the HDD.

I highly recommend grabbing TreeSize Free, which clearly shows you what's taking up all the room on your hard drive/s. Very useful when you inevitably find yourself bumping up against the limit.

#9 Posted by Spiritgod (210 posts) -

Okay, thanks everyone. I've decided to go with the 128 Samsung 830. It has a slightly less write speed, but not enough to matter I think, but this will be my first steps with the hardware and though I'd like more space, I can always upgrade in the future...plus the drive is under $100 and that always helps. I do appreciate everyone's feedback, as I'd have been shopping blind without knowing of what to really look for. I did get lucky with the Samsung being one of my first picks, but that luck wouldn't have carried over if I decided to upgrade. Thanks again!

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