Installing a SSD as new primary hard drive

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Installing a SSD as new primary hard drive

  • Dear All,

    I hope you'll allow me to think something through with you and can spot any silly ideas I have and correct me.

    My computer is an xps 420 and I am considering replacing my exist HD for a solid state device (for its speed). Currently stored on my HD in addition to the programme files are music and picture files.

    The idea is to remove the HD and fit the SSD in its bay and then use the HD as an additional HD in the secondary bay.

    The SSD would contain all the programme files and the HD the data (after formatting it) and rewritting the files to it.

    Is this sensible? I think I will only need a relatively small SSD if this arrangement works, do you agree?

    The computer works very well and I think has quite a few years of use, particularly with much of our work being done on cloud sites.

    Thanks

     

  • Yes that would be a big performance gain,60gb is about minimum now and prices falling daily I've seen ssd at less than 1 dollar per GB,they were just 4 per Gb a few months back.Just see if your motherboard has sata 2 or sata 3 the latter is faster and a bit more costly,well worth the speed,I run 2 sata 3 samsung 830 dell models in my Alienware laptop and WOW how about 1gb read and writes and iops so high the chart  couldnt show exact number over 100m.There are new faster cashe ssds out and even faster coming soon.Good luck.Ps I have another pc with a 120gb boot drive and a 2tb 2nd for all non everyday use apps and programs.

     My everyday laptop=M18X dual 580gtx/16gbRam/sata3 ssd/killer 1103/wi-hd AWESOME! My everyday home PC=Custom 3960SBE ocd 5.27 on custom H2O/ tri sli 680gtx reference/dual Samsung 840 PRO ssd raid0/32GbHyperX OC Ram/Blu ray writer/Cosmos custom aluminum case.Ready for IVY BRIDGE when I get an Extreme edition CPU!

    Every Alienware from M11X to M18X and still want more power!

  • realize SSD longevity/reliability does NOT equal that of a typical HDD.  So, rather than re-formatting, I'd recommend re-partioning your HDD with a C:\ drive equal to the formatted size of your new SSD, and the rest a data partition.  This presumes your HDD is large enough to spare the area I'm recommending to use as a backup. Then you can hide OS/boot/system partion ( C:\ ) on the HDD when not in use.  You could occassionally back up the SSD to that partition just in case.

    If you backup to an external drive/other, or don't mind complete re-installs if required, then no need for the above.

    The other option to your approach, if you don't want to maintain different drive letters is a SSD cache solution, where your OS sees the HDD as the space available, but uses the SSD for fast read/writes.  There are pros/cons to each approach.  Search for other posts on SSDs in this forum for more info, or I recommend anandtech.com 's SSD articles on this subject.

    Lawrence

    XPS 9100 24GB RAM with 60GB SSD boot drive, 120GB SSD for VM, 1TB OEM drive for data, WD 10k Raptor HDD for misc VM (used before SSDs for VMs)

  • zenpi2000

    . . .  My computer is an xps 420 and I am considering replacing my exist HD for a solid state device (for its speed).  . . . 


    I basically agree with JoeGreen.  Your machine is older and Western Digital WDVelociRaptor 10,000RPM hard drive may be a better solution for you.  Speeds are close to the SSDs.  Price is less than the same capacity SSD.   The WD VelociRaptor will out last your PC and can be transfered to a new PC and may outlast it also.  When you upgrade to a new PC, have it setup with an SSD.

    You should consider all the problems with SSDs.  Some SSD controllers can cause problems.  Some impact the life of the SSD.  So getting the right controller is an important consideration.  SSDs are faster, but not that much different than the WD VelociRaptor.   Also the SSD must have a SATA connector in your existing PC.   A good place to find out more about SSDs is ANANDTECH ( http://www.anandtech.com).   

    SSDs have saturated the SATA interface as fast as new standards are introduced.  Intel has introduced the SSD 910, a PCIe SSD which takes advantage of the higher speed PCIe interface.   Prices run near $5/GB right now.   That will drop as more become available and are accepted in the marketplace.  A new PC after your XPS 420 end-of-life will likely have the PCIe SSDs available as an option. 

    I suggest you opt for the WD VelocityRaptor hard drive.

    Tacoslammer - eating too many tacos too fast: - slammin'  'em down Ick!  

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  • Taco just fyi I paid less than 1 dollar per Gb for a new samsung 830 256gb ssd sata3 and right now in raid Im pulling over 1100 reads and 900 plus writes with over 100k iops,no mechanical drive comes close even a raptor which I love btw,and had 4 over the years and( ALL),"hi performance pcs" are going to have ssds even the dell xps 13 comes standard with an ssd for instant ons.Im not debating or saying anyones wrong but ssds controllers were problematic mostly with sandforce 22 series and it was firmware not hardware mostly.I hyave ssds in every single machine I own.At pax east it was stated even Dell said SSds and ultrabooks tablet etc all flash ram is the future and the future is here.I know the pci intel drive is crazy expensive but also not the market of regular guy upgrades yet,Just sata 3 intel 5 or new 7 series and dell uses Samsung some older Alienwares had lite on not many.Samsung makes specific ssds for Dell that can only be had from dell,firmware is also not samsung but Dell specific,even though its basicaly an 830ssd.Soon as the 1tb ssds come out Q4 2012 all ssds will be available and alot cheaper,also the floods that hurt hard drives didnt impact ssds.Right now with rebate on newegg they have sata3 550gb reads and 510 write ssds for 97 cents per Gb.After using an ssd I cant go back to spinning platter drives.And jared at anand and a Anand himself concurs.Again not disagreeing just stating the facts of HDD vs SSD.New controllers are coming and mlc nand at 18nm!SOON!

     My everyday laptop=M18X dual 580gtx/16gbRam/sata3 ssd/killer 1103/wi-hd AWESOME! My everyday home PC=Custom 3960SBE ocd 5.27 on custom H2O/ tri sli 680gtx reference/dual Samsung 840 PRO ssd raid0/32GbHyperX OC Ram/Blu ray writer/Cosmos custom aluminum case.Ready for IVY BRIDGE when I get an Extreme edition CPU!

    Every Alienware from M11X to M18X and still want more power!

  • tacoslammer:

    You raise some very good points I've often wondered about, specifically:

    >>Your machine is older and Western Digital WDVelociRaptor 10,000RPM hard drive may be a better solution for you.  Speeds are close to the SSDs.

    I have an XPS 9100 and have toyed the idea of upgrading to an SSD, but am a bit concerned about stability and longevity (points LawrenceSo Cal mentioned). I am not an "early adopter" by any means and since I use this machine for work, I cannot afford the possibility of downtime. Hard drives fail all the time, but if current SSDs present a greater number of potential isses, I'd opt for the VelociRaptor. I think I'd sleep better!

    The faster startup is meaningless to me. If when in use there isn't a huge difference, I'd tend to pass.

    dg

  • I am not here to debate ssd vs mechanical Drives.Go on Anandtech and hit the bench link the slowest old ssd is 10x faster tahn a raptor 10k,and a new 6bg sata3 ssd like samsung or crucial m4 pyro etc stomps the raptors so bad its off the charts.Now just startup???? How about programs and file transfers at speeds so far beyond ANY HDD it's not worth even showing,go on anandtech and then repost Anand says himself he doesnt even use a raptor to test against ssds anymore as it's redundant.I can traqnscode movies open programs even games load light years ahead.IAnyone who knows me knows I dont do this but I had to respond to that last post.Come on,any legit source would disprove everything said about a raptor against a hdd,I had both,No comparison,and Im using ssds for years in my Alienwares and had many Hdd fails with ssds so far 1 firmware issue and none with samsung since my 1st 470 from late 09.Also even Dell has to put ssds in all ultrabooks ,read Intels definition of ultrabook,.SSD is a main sales point for instant on and much faster performance from You guessed It SSDS!Acording to intel who invented the specs to be called ultra books has to have an ssd,and any power user worth his benchmark cred uses SSDS.Overclockers.net-NBR forums-Alienware forums-Anandtech-Maximum-pc power user everyone knows.And real worl performance or 4k on my raided 830s will DESTROY any raptor period! raided or not.

     My everyday laptop=M18X dual 580gtx/16gbRam/sata3 ssd/killer 1103/wi-hd AWESOME! My everyday home PC=Custom 3960SBE ocd 5.27 on custom H2O/ tri sli 680gtx reference/dual Samsung 840 PRO ssd raid0/32GbHyperX OC Ram/Blu ray writer/Cosmos custom aluminum case.Ready for IVY BRIDGE when I get an Extreme edition CPU!

    Every Alienware from M11X to M18X and still want more power!

  • I transcode video, work in Pro Tools, and do a lot of Photoshop work. I was all ready to pull the trigger, but I have seen a lot of mentions of failures...even you wrote:

    >>>and had many Hdd fails with ssds

    That's the issue for me.

    dg

  • DG i said many hdd fails 1 ssd that was firmware update,Dell has proprietary firmware as dell sells samsung ssds, but you have to use dells firmware not samsung.I have 5 Alienwares, and all have ssds luckily no issues, no moving parts help.And as far as Mechanical failure it does have a claimed amount of write cycles, in the millions.Anandtech among about every other reputable site out there has so many benches,no one uses mechanical hdd against even slow ssds anymore and the new pci express for the Z77 and H77 with ssd cashed set ups are sick fast.I see you and taco all the time I am in no way trying a flame war,just stating facts in pc world they took a lowly macbook air and put it against a asus gaming rig witha 500gb 7200rpm sata3 Hdd and the tests where reads and writes 4k or real world iops use. The apple spanked the asus up and down,not ofcourse in gpu related benches, just saying ssds are in almost everything and will be in everything in a couple years if that.Again Dg the raptor was AWESOME I had them for 10 years or more.But I also wore crocks before i found out they were  obsolete! Just Kidding!

     My everyday laptop=M18X dual 580gtx/16gbRam/sata3 ssd/killer 1103/wi-hd AWESOME! My everyday home PC=Custom 3960SBE ocd 5.27 on custom H2O/ tri sli 680gtx reference/dual Samsung 840 PRO ssd raid0/32GbHyperX OC Ram/Blu ray writer/Cosmos custom aluminum case.Ready for IVY BRIDGE when I get an Extreme edition CPU!

    Every Alienware from M11X to M18X and still want more power!

  • PS,I didnt want to debate I just stated what most other forums already know.On overclockers no one with a new build puts a raptor or any thing other than a fast ssd in their rigs.NBR too.I was just telling OP what he asked about no offense to anyone.I used  to use raptors exclusively Dg.now it's the fastest ssds i can get,My raided 830s are crazy 1gbps across all day and with trim on every ssd since early last year they don't slow down ever!

     My everyday laptop=M18X dual 580gtx/16gbRam/sata3 ssd/killer 1103/wi-hd AWESOME! My everyday home PC=Custom 3960SBE ocd 5.27 on custom H2O/ tri sli 680gtx reference/dual Samsung 840 PRO ssd raid0/32GbHyperX OC Ram/Blu ray writer/Cosmos custom aluminum case.Ready for IVY BRIDGE when I get an Extreme edition CPU!

    Every Alienware from M11X to M18X and still want more power!

  • OK--thanks. I guess I have some reading up to...thanks.

    dg

  • Thanks for understanding Dg.Just look at Anandtech under benches the 1st 30 are all ssds the last is a 600gb 10k Raptor.There are a ton of others but i alway's trust Jared and Will  and of course Anand himself.I had both its a huge difference seriously! And pull that trigger and you will never go back.wait a few months the next gen are coming and they are faster and cheaper they are going to be crazy in an Ivybridge setup with new 28nm keppler Gpu.I already have a new Mobo Z77 for the new chipset and native usb 3.0 support quad channel ram,Insert Homer simpson drool here!

     My everyday laptop=M18X dual 580gtx/16gbRam/sata3 ssd/killer 1103/wi-hd AWESOME! My everyday home PC=Custom 3960SBE ocd 5.27 on custom H2O/ tri sli 680gtx reference/dual Samsung 840 PRO ssd raid0/32GbHyperX OC Ram/Blu ray writer/Cosmos custom aluminum case.Ready for IVY BRIDGE when I get an Extreme edition CPU!

    Every Alienware from M11X to M18X and still want more power!

  • >>And pull that trigger and you will never go back.wait a few months the next gen are coming and they are faster and cheaper


    Sounds good--thanks.

    dg

  • If your XPS-420 isn't an Intel quad core, not sure I would put any more money into it.

    For reliability, stick to Intel SSD. According to some articles I've read, the new Crucial is a close second.

    Keep it imaged or backed up ... but that's goes for any type drive. Smile


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  • Well, Joegreen, you make good points.  My main concern for ZENPI2000 was not installing a component that may have a short life when transferred to a new PC and expecting it to last as long as the new PC could (4 - 6+ years).   Maybe I didn't make that point as clearly as I should have.   I don't dispute that the SSD is faster than the VelociRaptor, but the new line of WD VelociRaptors are 10% - 20% faster than the earlier VelociRaptors, especially the 2.5" ones since the head does not have to move as far across the platter.  VelociRaptors in RAID0 will be speed demons, but suffer the same problems of RAID with the possible loss of data if one drive crashes. 

    And no question the SSD is faser than the VelociRaptor.  However the newer SATA 2 and SATA 3 interface are 2 -3 times faster.    So depending which SATA interface your PC has will determine the max through-put speed  (2GB/s with SATA2 and 6GB/s with SATA3 revision 3.

    Tacoslammer - eating too many tacos too fast: - slammin'  'em down Ick!  

    Signature now approved by Dell  Big Smile

    If you can read this, thank a teacher. 
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