SSD or 7200rpm or faster drive?

y2kgtp

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I have an older computer I built that uses a Gigabyte GA-G31M-S2L motherboard.
http://www.gigabyte.us/products/product-page.aspx?pid=2693&dl=1#bios

It utilizes Integrated SATA 3Gb/s interface

I currently have a 5400rpm drive installed inside, as when my last 7200rpm died, I simply took apart a spare external WD drive to use.

Would I see any benefit from a 64-128Gb SSD drive for the OS, or is the SATA 3Gb/s limit too restrictive and I just should get a 7200rpm or faster?

 

leo2kp

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I put a 120GB SSD in an older platform - Pentium 4 Prescott, 3GHz, 2GB DDR - and it runs great. I recommend SSD. But keep in mind if you're not running Windows 7, you lose TRIM support. Also the board probably doesn't support AHCI, so make sure you choose a SSD that has good Garbage Collection, which it will do regardless of OS/platform.
 
Nope, SATA2 is just fine and will only hold you back for large sequential transfers (like a video or music library) where the source drive is also faster than the 250ish MB/s limitation of SATA2... How often do you do that to your system drive? The main benefit of an SSD is the massive performance boost when reading (writing too) loads of small files. Exactly what happens when your system boots or programs load. For this, SATA2 is just fine.
 

groundrat

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Ideally a SSD should be hooked up to a SATA 3.0 port. But you don't have one. The data rate on SSDs are so much faster than on spinning hard drives that yes, you should still see a dramatic improvement, even on a USB 2.0 connection.

Possible fixes: if your MB has an unused PCIe 1X port, you can buy an adapter to change it into a USB 3.0 connection. I don’t know if these are bootable or not but It might bear a look on your part.
 


When you say USB, I assume you're talking SATA?
RE the benefits of PCIe card, I respectfully disagree. SATA2 is limited to 3Gb/s = 375MB/s. Of course, you might only get 80% of that in realityand sure, the best SSDs will read & write at over 500MB/s. But seriously, how often does this happen on a system drive? Remember that the source device also needs to be quicker than the 250-300MB/s cap on SATA2. The vast majority of people get SSDs for the IOPS boost, not the sequential transfers. As I understand it, when Windows boots and programs load, it's IOPS that matter and the actual amount of data is quite small. I'd like someone to test it, but I don't believe that even with a stop watch you'd be able to measure the difference in boot times or program launches with an SSD on SATA 2 vs 3. If there are differences, I beleive they'd be very small and nowhere near worth the hassle of buying and installing a new controller.
Like I say, I'd love someone to test this or point me to review/benchmarks. I'm theorising here and acknowledge I might be wrong. But I do stand by what I said above!
 
Just some comments:
.. A SSD will blow the doors off of a 7200RPM HDD for Boot time and program load time. Axcess time for a 7200RPM drive is around 12mSec while a SSD is measured in tenths of a MSec. The all important random 4K read/writes are MUCH higher than a HDD.
.. FORGET the pci-e sata III card. The 3rd party controllers are NOT to good and speed is limited by the X1 lane. Use the Intel Sata II port even for a sata III SSD
.. Performance diff for a SATA III SSD on Sata II vs SATA III port is dependent on the SSD. For example, the Agility III (which uses Asynchronous NAND) Does NOT perform any better on SATA III Port as compared to being on a SATA III port. Higher end SSD will provide a noticable boost in performance when on SATA III than when on SATA II.

My experience:
Laptop w/Samsung 840 Pro runing Windows 8. Boot time =< 10 Sec, this is from time I press the Power on to when IE is displaying welcome screen.
For Desktops runing Windows 7, from time of "loading OS" to opening first application. For Sata III approx 15 Sec, for sata II system around 20->25 Sec.
 

ThePlaneAddict

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It really depends on what your looking to do with it. Honestly SSD's are way overpriced ( 1Tb rocketing over 2000$ ) but I would just recommend a Caviar Black or Velociraptor HDD.
 

y2kgtp

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I was hoping to keep around a hundred or less. I have 2 500gb internal drives, as well as a TB external, and I don't grow that space too much. Thanks to all that answered so far.
 

starvinmarvin

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Even our entry level dual-core Pentium laptop runs MUCH faster, MUCH snappier since we replaced the original 5400 rpm drive with a modest performing SATA II SSD costing $100 on sale a year ago. Clone your Windows 7 or Windows 8 system onto the SSD (or do a fresh Windows install) then reformat the regular hard drive and use it to store data such as music and video or photos that you don't access all day long. Seriously, the SSD will make a HUGE difference and you'll wonder how you ever lived without it!
 
Bad News! :(

You have an older socket LGA 775 motherboard that was introduced in August 2007. Consumer oriented solid state drives did not yet exist. The motherboard supported SATA 2 3Gb/s hard disk drives and optical drives but not ssd's. There do not appear to be any updates, patches, or fixes that would help.
 

starvinmarvin

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I beg to differ! We have a Socket 775 motherboard of that same vintage, an ECS G31T-M (rev 1.0). Designed back in 2006/2007 (the Windows XP days) it can also handle Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. It currently has two Kingston SSDs connected and working perfectly. One runs Windows 7 and the other runs Windows 8. One has a Toshiba controller and the other, newer one has a Sandforce SF-2281 controller. Although the motherboard's BIOS setup does NOT have "AHCI" setting, it does have IDE or SATA choice, and for SATA it has "Legacy" or ""Advanced" choice. Either one will work, but the Advanced setting provides better measured speed. This PC is used by my girlfriend every day and she felt it was getting tired a couple of years ago and wondered if we should replace it. So, one day I cloned her Windows 7 setup from her old 320GB hard drive onto the Kingston 96GB SSD. She was amazed at the difference and has not complained since. So, I'll say it again - changing from a regular spinning hard drive to any good SSD gives a very pleasing result. Your old machine will feel new again. Note: I did once connect an Intel X25-M 80GB SSD and it was not recognised by the computer .... so I guess not every SSD will work on a G31-vintage board.
 

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