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Thread: SSD Options for SPEEEEEED

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    SSD Options for SPEEEEEED

    I've read that the price point for SSD drives is becoming a more viable option, and after having a quick look I've decide to make the jump. I'm going to install one for my OS and programs and current working photos and maintain my 1TB drives for long term storage.

    I'm after any recommendations on what to look for, brand, capacity, price, tricks etc?
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    make sure you system recognises it as an SSD. SSD's should not be defragmented.

    Get one with over a 500 read/write speed.

    Be prepared to a complete new install if you want to run one as your boot drive. Be able to edit your BIOS. SSD's should be set to AHCI for best performance, not IDE or RAID (set in BIOS). Note that changing the type here will result in any previously installed Windows failing to boot. There is a fix here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976

    So I would recommend, if you are adding an SSD to an existing system as the boot drive, be prepared to completely reinstall windows after installing the drive and setting the BIOS correctly.

    Size. I would say at least 128GB. With Windows 7, photoshop, lightroom, office, and a few other programmes I use, my 128GB SSD has about 30GB free.
    Last edited by ricktas; 21-06-2012 at 9:50pm.
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    Rick summed it up nicely. With the prices coming down the 240GB OCZ is quite good value through PC Case Gear.

    I started with a 60gb (full and needs to be copied) and have another 120gb in another work machine.

    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post

    SSD's should be set to AHCI for best performance, not IDE or RAID (set in BIOS).
    Correct for a normal single drive setup but I've just built a new machine with 2 x 120gb in Raid 0. Sure you lose Trim but gee does it fly.
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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    There are quite a few options these days and the price point is considerably lower. 2 years ago a 500GB SSD would have cost about $2k, now it's $500.

    The first thing to consider is the capability of your current machine. If it is SATA3, then you definitely want to look at a SATA3 SSD. They are backwards compatible but SATA3 us double the speed so no point in running a slower drive if the price differential isn't that great. If your current machine is SATA2, then you have both options available depending on whether you intend upgrading in the near future.

    From a brand perspective, there are quite a few and the likelihood of having issues are much lower. If you're running a Mac, you probably want to pick up a solid state that has built in TRIM because Mac isn't TRIM compatible. A large number of the drives do have this these days.
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    Thumbs up My SSD Experience

    Thanks for the advice everyone, time for me to report back for the benefit of others thinking of going down the SSD road.

    Well I did a fair bit of research into types and what to look for and settled on a Sandisk Extreme SSD which was up in the top three of many reviews and bench-marking I read but was also at a good price. I got the 240GB version as I wanted to have enough space to put my working files on it as well, and then use my internal 1TB as storage for stuff I don't access all the time. Cost for the SSD was $249 which while still much dearer than a bigger HDD, I thought was ok.

    Installation was very easy (although I have had a bit of experience with building PC's and built this one from scratch last year. Simply find a home in your case for him, plug in the power and a SATA cable. Make sure you pick a fast SATA3 port if you have them. I then started my PC and went into the BIOS (hit delete key during initial start). The SSD was recognised and all the settings were correct (just as Rick suggests above).

    I booted my computer up using the normal HDD install of Windows and it could see the drive too. So I did another final backup of all my files to another external drive (you can never have to many backups! ) So now, all good to go.

    As suggested I went with a fresh install which I like to do periodically anyway, so insert the windows disc, boot from it, select the newly installed SSD for the install place and away we go.

    Once windows was installed it was just a matter of re-installing all the programs I use, which took a little while but worth the time to have things nice and clean.

    The result...... .....my already fast PC is now AMAZING!!!

    I timed the boot time as a bit of an indicator before I started. From off through to having Lightroom open ready to edit a photo was 3:20 (1:04 to get to windows desktop). With the SSD in place, I can boot the machine and have Lightroom ready for editing in under 1 minute!

    My wife pointed out "sure and an extra two minutes wait was an eternity", trying to pop my bubble; anyway, it is an indication of the improvement in speed. I've set it up to have my Lightroom catalogue and current years photos on the SSD as well, and it flies along. Switching photos and zooming etc is just about instant. The speed for exporting photos has increased noticeably. I've got about 80GB of photos and files on the SSD and have around 90GB left still to play with. The Windows performance index (for what it's worth ) went from 5.9 (out of 7.9) due to the old HDD, to 7.6 being the lowest score for the processor.

    I'm a very happy little tog tonight, for anyone thinking about going for SSD, now's the time, the price is right and it couldn't be easier.


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    Glad you are enjoying the experience. It will (hopefully) only be a couple of years off and 1.2.3 TB SSD's will become available at good prices.

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    Having been on SSD for two years I could never go back.

    Here is a comparison I did a while back showing an example of opening about 6 adobe apps at the same time.


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