Thoughts on a small ssd for speed.

LBJ

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I'm doing a lowend i3 build for a relative and I'd like to include a small ssd for windows 7 x64 and the most used apps (office and itunes basically) with a seagate 7200.12 for storage. I think this will be a better use of funds rather than going to a core i5--visible speed improvements in day to day use. I'm planning on moving c:\Users to the spinner but I'd like to keep program files on the ssd.

These are all about the same price and I'm a little worried about the two "3" models. Is it worth giving up 20 gb to go with intel?

Intel 320 40gb
vertex 2 60gb
solid 3 60
agility 3 60

I've got an older 34nm vertex2 120gb and it's been completely flawless going on 8 months. I've been reading about all the turmoil surrounding new models and while I don't want to make blanket statements I'm a little concerned. Something like flashing the firmware of the ssd or dealing with bsods will be beyond the capacity of the person who will have this system.

I'm not really sure what to choose(or should I abandon this plan) and would appreciate any thoughts.
 

john4200

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For a small SSD, your best choices are the 64GB Crucial m4 or the 64GB Samsung 470.
 

Forceman

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I would think carefully about getting a drive as small as 64GB if you intend to put anything other than the OS and some very basic apps on it (and I would stay away from 40GB completely). Unless you routinely use very few programs, you will probably find yourself spending a lot of time managing drive space. Plus, the 64GB drives are often (always?) slower than the larger counterparts.
 

john4200

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64GB is plenty for Windows 7 and a few office apps and itunes. If you disable the hibernation file and have a small (or no) page file, Windows will easily fit in 20GB. If you use another 20GB for applications and data, that still leaves more than a third of the SSD free if you want to increase reserved space.

And the 64GB Samsung 470 is very fast -- sequential write speed of 170+ MB/s. The 64GB Crucial m4 sequential write speed is lower, about 100MB/s, but that is still quite fast. And the 4KiB random speed of the m4 is higher than the Samsung 470.

I don't recommend the 40GB SSDs, though. Not because they are too small necessarily, but because the performance is less than half that of the 64GB SSDs I have recommended here. No reason to spend $90 on a 40GB SSD with half the performance, when you can get a 64GB m4 or 470 for $100-$110.
 
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Forceman

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No, 64GB is plenty for Windows 7 and a few office apps and itunes. If you disable the hibernation file and have a small (or no) page file, Windows will easily fit in 20GB. If you use 20GB for applications and data, that still leaves more than a third of the SSD free if you want to increase reserved space.
As I said, it really depends on what you plan to use it for. With a game like Witcher 2 taking up 15 GB you need to think about what you install/use before you go with a 64GB drive. If all you use is Office and mail, then sure 64GB is enough - but for those uses why bother with an SSD at all?
 

john4200

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As I said, it really depends on what you plan to use it for. With a game like Witcher 2 taking up 15 GB you need to think about what you install/use before you go with a 64GB drive. If all you use is Office and mail, then sure 64GB is enough - but for those uses why bother with an SSD at all?
Did you even read the OP? He said what he was using it for.
 

Abula

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For a small SSD, your best choices are the 64GB Crucial m4 or the 64GB Samsung 470.
+1, samsung 64gb comes with very good speeds, and bearly lower than its bigger versions, its also one of the more reliable ssds, has been in the market since last year, so its a good bet, if you want sata III then i would go with Crucial M4.
 

Forceman

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Did you even read the OP? He said what he was using it for.
So then the second part of my statement is the relevant one - for Office and iTunes, why even bother with an SSD on a low-end build? I stick by my opinion that, for most users, 64GB is not worth it - too small to be really useful and too expensive to justify.
 

john4200

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So then the second part of my statement is the relevant one - for Office and iTunes, why even bother with an SSD on a low-end build?
A system with an SSD feels more responsive than with an HDD. Even if it is just for Windows OS and a few applications.

I agree with the OP. For about $100, an SSD is a better choice than a faster CPU. The SSD will make more of a noticeable difference.
 

Forceman

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A system with an SSD feels more responsive than with an HDD. Even if it is just for Windows OS and a few applications.

I agree with the OP. For about $100, an SSD is a better choice than a faster CPU. The SSD will make more of a noticeable difference.
Opinions vary. For that small number of apps, and the likely future hassle of managing the small SSD size, I'd say just pocket the money.
 

Forceman

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There is no hassle! There is plenty of room.
Maybe. Today. But this system isn't for you or me, or even the OP, it is for a relative who isn't as computer savvy as the rest of us (based on the OPs comments about bsods and flashing firmware) - and over time drive bloat can become a factor with a 64 GB drive. So is it an upgrade that will make the system faster? Yes. Noticeably faster? Maybe (although for their likely usage pattern, probably not so much). Worth the cost/potential hassles? In my opinion, no. The OP asked for thoughts - and my thought is that a 64GB SSD is a false economy. Either get a bigger one, or save the money.

Although that new 90GB Corsair might hit the sweet spot for a build like this one.
 
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gjs278

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Maybe. Today. But this system isn't for you or me, or even the OP, it is for a relative who isn't as computer savvy as the rest of us (based on the OPs comments about bsods and flashing firmware) - and over time drive bloat can become a factor with a 64 GB drive
no it's not. people who have Users mounted onto a different partition will never fill the 64gb of data on the ssd. they won't be installing anything and windows will default save any large files they download to the Users area.

Noticeably faster? Maybe (although for their likely usage pattern, probably not so much).
not maybe, it's a definite yes. there is not a soul on the planet who can't tell when their 900 applications they left on startup boots up quicker because of the ssd they just got.

at no point will there ever be a hassle

I stick by my opinion that, for most users, 64GB is not worth it - too small to be really useful and too expensive to justify.
every family members in my house is getting along fine with windows xp on 40gb drives for applications and then a normal hard drive for games. go check a "non-savvy" computer users hard drive sometime, their OS is barely taking up any space at all. factor out my documents and you won't find anyone with a 64gb problem.
 

john4200

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no it's not. people who have Users mounted onto a different partition will never fill the 64gb of data on the ssd. they won't be installing anything and windows will default save any large files they download to the Users area.
And even if the Users area were on the SSD, most home users who only use a few office apps and such (i.e., not gamers) will not be close to filling a 64GB SSD.
 

plugwash

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And even if the Users area were on the SSD, most home users who only use a few office apps and such (i.e., not gamers) will not be close to filling a 64GB SSD.
Presumablly the reason for moving the users area off the SSD is to stop the SSD getting filled up with music/movies.
 

Computurd

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i have had a vertex LE 60 gb in this machine for over a year...much longer. i am a power user, for sure. i just have spinners with everything else on them. i have never had any issues with space constraints, i have 23 gb free, and office, adobe, and many other programs on here.
 

Forceman

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not maybe, it's a definite yes. there is not a soul on the planet who can't tell when their 900 applications they left on startup boots up quicker because of the ssd they just got.
Why do people keep harping on the boot-up speed gain? Do you people reboot your computer three times a day or something? This isn't the XP days - with Win 7 and sleep I reboot maybe once a week. Once Win 7 is up and running, and has Superfetched the common apps the speed difference between a decent hard drive and an SSD is much less noticeable for normal users. Sure you can do more things at once without a slow-down, but how many parents/uncles/whatever really multitask their system anyway?

In any case, there is no point left in continuing to debate this - my opinion is that the OP would be better off saving the $100 rather than getting a small SSD to match with a spinning drive for a system he is building for a less-computer-literate family member. Feel free to advise him to spend his money however you wish.
 

gjs278

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Why do people keep harping on the boot-up speed gain?
the boot-up speed gain also has its effect on everything you run. superfetch does basically nothing to make sure applications that are accessed often are in ram, that's why people install additions like fancycache. and besides, now you've just contradicted yourself.

you first claimed that people use too much space and 64gb would limit them. okay. but now you're saying people use so few applications that they are able to cache their entire workload into ram with superfetch... one or the other please. either people use too much data, or not enough. superfetch doesn't take that much memory from you, you would need more ram and something aggressive like fancycache to fetch better.

In any case, there is no point left in continuing to debate this - my opinion is that the OP would be better off saving the $100 rather than getting a small SSD to match with a spinning drive for a system he is building for a less-computer-literate family member. Feel free to advise him to spend his money however you wish.
save all the money and just buy them a piece of garbage, completely ignoring that the processor in the laptop and the amount of ram in the laptop are completely bottlenecked by the hard drive
 

Forceman

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save all the money and just buy them a piece of garbage, completely ignoring that the processor in the laptop and the amount of ram in the laptop are completely bottlenecked by the hard drive
It's not a laptop he's talking about.

My point has been consistent throughout, if you've been paying attention. If you are a user that only uses the computer for normal household tasks - like web surfing or email, then you are probably not going to notice the difference between an SSD and a normal hard drive (and even if you noticed you probably wouldn't care). If you are the kind of user that does the things that make an SSD worthwhile (encoding, heavy gaming, etc), then you are better off saving your money for a larger SSD so you can fit all your apps on it. Since the OPs use case is the first one, I think he is better of just saving the money - there is obviously some price sensitivity here (he states low-end build), so why spend $100 on an SSD that the users won't even notice.

I have an SSD in my machine and love it - in fact I just bought a larger one. I had an SSD in my wife's machine, but for what she uses her machine for - email, web, office - she never even noticed the difference (because of a fast spinning HDD and Superfetch). I was able to see a difference when I used her machine - but she couldn't, and since she is the primary user the extra speed was wasted. Kind of like my 75 yr old neighbor down the street with the Z06 Corvette - do you really think he sees the difference between that and a regular Corvette? Of course the SSD is faster, that's obvious, but for the OP, faster just for the sake of faster doesn't sound like what he is looking for.
 
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gjs278

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It's not a laptop he's talking about.
doesn't matter

My point has been consistent throughout, if you've been paying attention
no, you have two points that aren't consistent with each other. one is that the user will use too much space. the other is that they will use so few applications they can all fit into ram and be launched with superfetch (which isn't aggressive at all)
 

Forceman

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doesn't matter



no, you have two points that aren't consistent with each other. one is that the user will use too much space. the other is that they will use so few applications they can all fit into ram and be launched with superfetch (which isn't aggressive at all)
It does matter - the disk subsystem on a laptop is normally much inferior to that on a desktop (5400 RPM drives versus 7200 RPM, for example).

It seems like you are willfully missing my point (I'll allow that it wasn't completely clear from my very first post, but I feel like I've stated it pretty clearly since then). If you are such a light user that you can fit all your apps in a small SSD then you are probably a user that won't notice the difference anyway. If you are a power user that would get the benefit from a SSD, you probably need more than 64 GB of app/game space. I never implied that you could fit all your apps into Superfetch - I was merely pointing out that a fast 7200 RPM drive, coupled with SuperFetch, will provide a user experience that the casual user would find completely acceptable - at least acceptable enough to make the $100 expense unwarranted for a low-end build.

I don't know why I let myself get pulled back into this - the OP was asking for recommendations for a low-end build and my recommendation is that, for that use case, a SSD is probably not a good use of the money. Feel free to recommend anything you want.
 
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sc3252

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Every time I go to a relatives house and they have a small C drive and a big D drive, well the C drive is full and the D drive is empty. Most people are very poor at managing multiple volumes, so I wouldn't bother even with a 128GB SSD, just make sure they have a nice fast 1TB drive.
 
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