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Question Old system upgrade advice

toetod

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Apr 18, 2008
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Trying to figure my options for moving to an SSD. This is what I have now:
Core i7-980X w/ 24 GB of PC3-10700 ram
GeForce GTX1070 graphics card
Win10Pro (1909)
Older Samsung & Maxtor 600 / 500GB hard drives
various other bits I've kept around for whatever reason.

I'm happy with it, except for start up times, and as it resides below my desk it keeps my feet warm in the winter. I have AutoCAD 2005, a hobby version of SolidWorks, older versions of MatLab, Office, and X-Plane11. Sometimes I get the bug and play some Call of Duty or such.

In reviewing SSD's I believe I can get one for this PC, but it would not be a boot drive. My understanding is that the MB and BIOS (or UEFI) would need to support NVMe. My MB is from 2008, it was originally an i7-920; the 980X was a $20 find in a thrft shop a few years ago! I'm wondering if there are any new MB's that support NVMe and use the DDR3 memory that I have.

Getting an SSD is one thing, getting a bootable one with a CPU/MB upgrade is another, stepping up yet again for new memory is just about a step too far. Once it's running, starting the big programs and sometimes playing games might get annoying. Just wondering out loud here. Thanks for the advice folks!
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Start times: about how long does the system take to start up?

How full are the hard drives?

For the most part a new SSD is likely to be the most benefit for the money. Get at least a 256GB SSD or better.

Make the new SSD the boot drive.

Clone your current boot drive to the new SSD and then swap in the new SSD.

Be sure that you do indeed back up all important data and verify that the data is recoverable and readable before doing anything.
 
Depending, your board may support sata 2.0 or 3.0. Even with only sata 2.0, a ssd will be a notable performance improvement, but you can get a sata 3.0(6Gbps)pci-e controller card. No real reason to get a nvme drive over a sata drive unless you're transferring large files often, a nvme drive will be only 1 second faster then a sata ssd on boot up.

240gb is the minimum, but a 500gb version is only a little bit more. Keep an eye on the warranty, a dram-less ssd will only have a 3 yr warranty(usually). Dram-less ssd' will have lower lifespans and will drop to slower speeds faster after the cache is filled up.
 

toetod

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Apr 18, 2008
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Depending, your board may support sata 2.0 or 3.0. Even with only sata 2.0, a ssd will be a notable performance improvement, but you can get a sata 3.0(6Gbps)pci-e controller card. No real reason to get a nvme drive over a sata drive unless you're transferring large files often, a nvme drive will be only 1 second faster then a sata ssd on boot up.

240gb is the minimum, but a 500gb version is only a little bit more. Keep an eye on the warranty, a dram-less ssd will only have a 3 yr warranty(usually). Dram-less ssd' will have lower lifespans and will drop to slower speeds faster after the cache is filled up.
 
Jul 12, 2020
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NVMe is for m.2 slots only. You can use an SATA SSD, same like your HDD is connected to.
Definitely make the SSD the OS drive.

slow start also can be that over time windows gets clunked up from residual old software etc. so if you can, a new OS installation is always a good idea regardless.
 

toetod

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Actually responding to both posts. I've recently read - or read and then misunderstood - that an SSD can only boot through the NVMe interface. My BIOS is American Megatrends 5.29, from 2010, and I wasn't sure whether it supports booting through PCIe. But as you mention SATA, my chipset does support SATA and that's how my HD's are connected.

So if I can use an SSD as a bootable SATA drive, then that's my answer.

Thanks guys.
 
Jul 12, 2020
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Actually responding to both posts. I've recently read - or read and then misunderstood - that an SSD can only boot through the NVMe interface. My BIOS is American Megatrends 5.29, from 2010, and I wasn't sure whether it supports booting through PCIe. But as you mention SATA, my chipset does support SATA and that's how my HD's are connected.

So if I can use an SSD as a bootable SATA drive, then that's my answer.

Thanks guys.
If you have a 2.5" SATA SSD, it will basically be installed and "seen" like a regular HDD.

Note that the m.2 port on the board often has an SATA and a PCIe option for the m.2 drive. but either version of the m.2 SSD also should be able to boot. for added speed, I would recommend a x4 PCIe NVMe m.2 SSD at a slightly higher cost. About 5 times the speed of SATA SSD. Obvioulsy this only works if your board has the m.2 port.....
 

toetod

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This machine has been through several iterations. The mainboard / processor was a rebuilt HP i7-920 that had the BiOS issues when first produced, but my Maxtor drive was from an even earlier PC from around 2003. As an OE Win7 install, I believe my Win10Pro license is likely tied to the MB, which along with the case and DVD are the only original items left.

The OS has gone from Win 7 to 8 and now 10, all Pro versions. Currently it's at the 1809 build - my first post was incorrect - and migrated from the OE HD which is gone, to the Maxtor and then the Samsung maybe nine years ago. If I boot from the Maxtor drive I still have Win7Pro on there and docs going all the way back to my first PC from 1990, which was a 386/387 system.

I still have that 386 processor / MB and it's RLL HD. Some days I think I should frame it and hang it an the wall. Or worse yet try to get it running again. I think it was Win 3.11 ...
 
Jul 12, 2020
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Someone with more experience than me may be able to help with the specific HP board. Just know that HP et al always throw in some proprietary wrenches that make upgrades for some reason not possible. Obviously they are not interested in you keeping the PC for long.....
 

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