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Thread: SSD's?

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    SSD's?

    Hi guys,
    Am probably going to be building my first pc from scratch in a few months. Now i know what components i want more or less but my confusion lies in SSD's

    Essentially are they worthwhile getting, how is it best to use them and is it hard todo and if i choose just to get a standard HDD to start with is it still possible to get the benefits of an SSD if i were to install it later.

    thanks in advance

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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: SSD's?

    We can't answer the worth question unless we think like you do and know your exact usage of your computer and what worth means to you in terms of value/perceived gains.

    SSDs make a very noticeable difference to the way computers do some things. If you value 'snappiness' of an operating system in opening windows etc, use of temporary caches and/or have something with high number of I/O operations, especially random ones that are non-sequential then you will notice a difference with an SSD.

    The best way to use an SSD is to plug it in and install Windows 7 on it, then leave it alone and let Windows use it as it will.

    You can get the benefits on an SSD at any time, but it'll obviously only speed up data that's put on it, so you might want to install your OS on it when you do so.

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    Re: SSD's?

    thanks for your reply. Well my pc would mainly be used for relatively high mid range gaming (thinking BF3 on high settings) and then the usual word processing etc. Video editing and the like is of no concern to me. based on what you've said would it be a good idea to install a single SSD and install windows on there and then a 1tb sata 3 for other files/programmes.

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    Re: SSD's?

    SSDs... ahhh this old chestnut.

    Here is my sage advice based on several different levels of performance, all recent as I started buying SSDs in the last few months. Caveat: I keep a very tidy OS, my Windows is not bloated, and perhaps people who have loads of bloat notice more benefit.

    Slow Athlon Neo laptop, Intel 320 120GB - limited benefit seen over a 7200rpm 2.5" drive, it's a bit quicker to start and do AV scans etc but appears to be CPU limited on a lot of things. Battery life improved about 10%. Worth it? Probably not.

    Core i3 HTPC, initially a (cheapo) OCZ Onyx 32GB, then Intel 320 40GB - very fast to start, noticeably faster with the Intel, both drives made Media Centre much quicker, loading guide data etc. Worth it.

    New Workstation/Gaming (in sig), 256GB Crucial m4 - very fast to start/resume, games load faster, everything is near instant in Windows, was it worth the £330 entry price? Probably not but what the hell, I like it, this machine was all about spoiling myself. The 128GB version would have been better 'value'.

    In short - SSDs are great if the CPU/RAM can keep up. What size you need/buy affects the value for money equation, and if the rest of the PC is pants then you'd likely be better spending money on a faster CPU, more RAM or graphics than an SSD.

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    Re: SSD's?

    so if i were to install a single ssd into a gaming machine would I be installing my games into there as well or would i put them onto a standard hard disk?

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    Re: SSD's?

    If it's purely a gaming rig...

    Either, install the OS and your games on the SSD or don't bother with an SSD.

    You would need to have a lot of surplus cash to justify the windows bootup speed on a gaming PC.....and if you mainly play online games, you might get miffed anyway. Having £400 of SSD loading instantly, only to have to sit and wait for some random player with a name like "1pwnU" to load up on his ageing laptop, can really grate at times....
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    Re: SSD's?

    ok thanks v much for your help i think i've decided against an SSD for now. one last question though. if i were to upgrade the pc at a later point is it possible to transfer windows to a newly installed SSD?

    thanks

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    Re: SSD's?

    Yes you can but you may have to slim the install down before transferring it depending on what size you buy and what size you let your windows install get to.

    Best practice for a HDD is to partition it anyway, this helps you split your disk into "performance zones". First partition you create is the fastest, each successive partition is slower then the previous.

    So, you can even get into practice for managing SSD space and make the transfer job easier by making your windows install drive around 80-160GB.
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    Re: SSD's?

    is partitioning a drive something you do before or after you install windows? is it very complicated or do you know of any useful guides?

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    Re: SSD's?

    It's an early step of installing windows, but can be done before instead. It's easy with win 7.

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    Re: SSD's?

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    It's an early step of installing windows, but can be done before instead. It's easy with win 7.
    ok cheers. well i'm sure i'll figure it out when the time comes however money at the mo means it could be a couple months yet . however on the bright side of things i'll get more for my money in a couple of months

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    Re: SSD's?

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    It's an early step of installing windows, but can be done before instead. It's easy with win 7.
    Yeah it's so easy, just click "Custom" and then then "Drive options (advanced)" at the right time. Don't be scared of advanced, this is Windows 7 version of advanced, easy peasy compared to the old timer installers in XP and backward Linux :-)

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    Re: SSD's?

    Thanks for the info. I was thinking about buying one but seems pointless as I can only afford the smaller sizes. I think i'll make do with a VelociRaptor.

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    Re: SSD's?

    Each to their own, but none of my PCs or laptops have spinning OS drives anymore, the difference for me was so much that I changed all my drives,
    and just use HDDs where I need more storage (as external or 2nd drives in PCs)

    Not that expensive nowadays either at 64/128GB sizes
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    Re: SSD's?

    Been thinking of buying an SSD myself. Its the cost that makes me stop buying. I have my current drive split into 3 = OS, Data, Backups.

    Seems nippy but i still have SSD burning on my forhead.

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