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It will be my first SSD, which one?

Discussion in 'General Hardware Issues' started by jkat7, May 3, 2013.

  1. jkat7

    jkat7 Techie7 New Member

    Win 7 Ultimate ( Retail Version ) MB is an Asus M3A78-EM 350GB HDD, 6 gig of Ram.

    I built my home/office PC about 4 year ago and with the usual PC maintence regime it's been a great rig and still going strong.

    It's taken me a long time to be almost convinced on the merits of an SSD, firstly because my machine as it is, from boot up, gets to the desk top in about 35 seconds, which I consider not to bad, there was also the SSD capacity, which in the early days wasn't that good and of course there was the price.

    Also, in my case, most of my HDDs have been pretty damn reliable and they can be rewritten to over and over again, ( until a death screen rears it's ugly head ), whereas I believe this is not the case with SSDs, am I correct in thinking they have an expected life span of only three years +?

    Still I am going to install an SSD but am unsure which one to purchase and be OK with my MB, also unclear of the set up/bios procedure once installed?

    Also my existing HDD has Windows OS on it, do I need to reformat this HDD before re-installing my Win 7 disk/OS on the new SSD?

    Taking into account my MB do I purchase a Sandisk Ultra Plus 256GB, ( I like Sandisk as a brand ), a Samsung 840 series or a Plextor M5 Pro,--or something else, I don't want a hybrid.

    Once purchased and installed, can I partition an SSD? I would like to make a small partition and posibly install a Linix-distro for me to play with, ( but that is another question ).
  2. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    No. Today's SSDs do not suffer from the limitations of earlier SSDs.

    With your computer 4 years old, and working great, I personally would not mess with it. And you right, 35 seconds to desktop with HDs is excellent - if not outstanding - though boot times are NOT an indication of performance once the system does fully boot. For example, your low 35 seconds may be more an indicator of just a few things loading at boot where my 1+ minute boot times may reflect the fact I have many things loading at boot (security stuff, dual-monitor utility, my But once fully booted, my 3.15GHz i7 with 8Gb of RAM screams. Since I only reboot once every couple weeks (generally, only when an update forces it) boot times have little significance to me, unless excessive.

    That said, my nearly 4 year old W7 systems (with HDs) run great too. But I am building a new main system with SSDs only using Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB SSDs and so far, am happy.

    See Tom's Hardware, Best SSDs for the Money, March 2013.

    As long as that HD remains in the same computer, no. But if planning on using that HD in another computer, the terms of the Windows license would require you uninstall (or format drive) Windows first.
  3. jkat7

    jkat7 Techie7 New Member

    That's good to know.
    My desk top PC is a low power build and deliberately so and has done everything + I have set it to do.

    I've just looked at the specs' cos' I'd forgotten, it a AMD dual core 5050e CPU, 2.60 GHz with 4 gigs of ram, ( orignaly 8gb ), The MB is a ASUS M3A78-EM, I use on-board sound and graphics and run large dual monitors, one an ASUS the other a Hanns-G.

    There is very little heat produced within the case and the only recent mod' undertaken was to install an internal 4 port USB 3 hub to the front.

    Using Viper and other methods I have trimmed the the boot/start up to the minimum so that does help load times.

    If I was building a new machine from scratch I would probably decide on the 840 Pro series SSD.

    But my MB is old and I don't think the budget outlay for an 840 pro is worth it in this instance.

    The 256GB 840 pro is around £165, whereas the Sandisk Ultra Plus 256GB is about £125.

    And because of the age of my MB I won't get the full benfits, ( speed/write) of any SSD I install irrespective of brand/performance.

    With that in mind I have decided on the Sandisk, I need the extra storage capacity and SSDs are the way to go and as a matter of course will format the existing HDD anyway.

    Apart from the drive adapter, what else might I need, cable/connector wise?

    Are there any bios settings I need to alter prior to installing the SSD?
    From that do I understand you are an exponent of leaving your machine on 24 hours day in/out and just reboot after any updates.

    I note you run your rig with 8gb of ram, whereas 8gb hindered my machines performance, 4 gb does nicely.
    Thanks for that, understood.

    Should I install the SSD first and load Windows then format the HDD or format the HDD first?

    Can I create a small partition on the SSD, is it the same method as creating a partition on a HDD in Windows 7.
  4. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    I have never seen that. I suspect there was something wrong with one of the sticks. You did not specify if running 32-bit or 64-bit Windows.

    Sure. There is no need to fully shutdown and startup every time you use your computer. If you feel you must shut it down, I recommend shutting down at night, and booting up in the morning, then let it sleep during idle times in between.

    Formatting the HD would be the very last thing I do, and then only when I was sure I had retrieved any data I did not want to lose.
  5. jkat7

    jkat7 Techie7 New Member

    No, there was nothing wrong with the sticks, it was just 8GB slowed Window's benchmarks performance down in this instance and I never did work out why.

    There was a time when I use to leave my PC on day in/out and agree with you, it's not necessary to shut down after use.

    But a few years ago I developed an energy conscious habit another reason the build spec of my PC is about low power but maximum performance as far as posible but I now turn my PC off at the end of day.

    Ultimate 64 bit.

    As for back ups, I have two encrypted external ADATA 500GB HDDs, identical in the data they hold and am reasonably strict with myself to keeping all data current----and boy they saverd my bacon a couple of times.

    What I have never learnt to do is how to sinc' the operation?

    Taking into account my logic do you think the Sandisk Ultra SSD is a bad choice?
  6. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    That still points to RAM to me.

    As for being energy conscious - unless you unplug from the wall, or flip the master power switch on the back of the PSU (if you PSU has one) you save the same amount of energy by turning off as you do to allow your system to go to sleep.
  7. jkat7

    jkat7 Techie7 New Member

    I never knew what the issue was they were identical sticks, the other 4 GB are working happily in someone elses PC.

    It is an age old argument but it is eaiser and more energy efficent to keep a kettle warm and boil again.

    I guess if you are using your PC every day, for long periods, hibernation is the best bet but for those that only use their PCs occasionally or just a two-three hours a day it makes sense to turn off, especially older machines.

    BTW can I partition an SSD?
  8. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

  9. jkat7

    jkat7 Techie7 New Member