SSD's

Greg Wak
Greg Wak
edited June 2016 in Hardware / Software Hell
So I'm thinking about getting one but I'm not sure how I would organize things. Would I move my OS over to the new drive? How difficult is that to do. And should it just be my OS or my OS and my current game. Obviously not room enough for all my games. Or should I leave my OS on the regular HD and just have my current game on the OS? Asking for opinions.

Comments

  • TheAtomicKid
    TheAtomicKid
    GT Member
    I currently use a 1TB mushkin reactor as a games volume. Finally got tired of the limited space on my dual raid0 setup. Still have the first raid as boot, but replaced the games volume a couple or three months ago. tons of space now... more after I make more modifications.... the reactor will, (probably) eventually get consigned to 'general storage'... aka anime, downloads, tax receipts, etc

    But before that can happen, I need a new, actual, games drive... been eyeing a samsung 950 pro, or somesuch, but undecided atm. Tbh, after a point, you won't notice the speed as much. Having a system setup with a boot drive and a dedicated game volume, already makes a ton of difference. Even more so if you have enough ram you can ditch the paging file (a different subject)

    And, eventually, I'll replace the boot raid. I don't really need a giant drive for that.... but a quick one, that's better at random access and small files. Games, on the other hand, mostly tend to be long periods of nothing, followed by loading tons of texture files, then more long periods of nothing... so a drive that excels at that is theoretically better.

    If you're running a single drive system, my recommendation... get yourself a small? fast, ssd, and make it your boot drive. dedicated your existing hard drive to your game volume. You'll gain a ton of responsiveness, both in games, and in general usage. You can add a large ssd later, when/if your game drive dies on you, or you just get tired of having moving parts :D

    (small = 240 GB or so... you'll use about half that on your windows install... get a bigger drive if you want, future usage, less wear, etc)

    Remember, like a hard drive, if you fill up an SSD, it slows down a LOT... also, you get more wear on the drive as it starts trying to move stuff around, delete currently unused cells to make room for new writes, etc. Basically, don't fill up your ssd, it's no bueno.

    Atomic

    PS: More physical nand literally means more ability to write data to the drive, if you worry about such things. Because the controller literally has more nand to spread the writes across before having to repeat.

    http://www.thessdreview.com/ (good place to check reviews)
  • Greg Wak
    Greg Wak
    GT Member
    Thank you AK for the good advice as always. So what are the best steps to proceed? This will probably seem stupid, but I have never done anything like this. I assume I have to take the OS(7pro) off of the existing drive and then reinstall from the CD onto the SSD? Am I close?
  • TheAtomicKid
    TheAtomicKid
    GT Member
    I've never done it before, but someone else here might be able to advise you on cloning the primary drive to the ssd. After that, it's a matter of tweaking the installaion.

    If you WANT to reinstall, then your way forward is clear :D

    You're still in the free upgrade period for windows 10. I've upgraded my primary box at this point, and other than microsoft being extremely interested in my personal information, no problems. There are guides around for putting the clamp on that stuff... and it's a lot, be warned. But the OS is running smoothly... I like the new explorer.exe, for instance.

    Anyways, you don't need to 'upgrade'... just download an install from microsoft (I prefer installing from USB, much faster), and leave the security key blank at install, assuming that still works. Disconnect the old windows boot drive so as not to confuse anything, and install clean to the ssd. Once you're sure you're happy, THEN you let it have your windows key.

    If you want to upgrade, I'd recommend cloning your installation first, then upgrade the cloned copy.

    If you want to remain with win7, which is perfectly viable, either clone or clean install, your choice. I definitely recommend disconnecting the old windows drive if you're clean installing, though, it saves on confusion. Once you're installed, you can re-add the drive (check bios for boot order, be sure you're booting the correct drive!), then do whatever you want with the drive.

    Atomic
  • TheAtomicKid
    TheAtomicKid
    GT Member
    You might want to take a peek at some options for your new boot ssd, and list what you're interested in here. I'll try to get back promptly with recommendations.

    These are all standard SATA connector units... aka hard drive replacements.

    Intel 730 series... (480 GB) not the fastest, but fast, and very reliable. Focus is more on small files, and consistency in performance, so should be optimal for a boot drive. (to be honest, good for either)

    Sandisk Extreme Pro... very fast, 10 year warranty!

    Samsung 850 Pro... very fast, 3d nand if it makes a difference...

    Three that I would consider, with real consideration for the first two.

    If you're not going to buy a 'super' ssd for the boot drive... consider the mushkin reactor I picked up for my temporary games volume. It's not the fastest thing in the world, but it's fast enough, and they're extremely light on the wallet. Got mine at a fairly common sale price of 209$ for the 1TB unit.

    There's also NVMe and U.2 units, with NVMe becoming very common... but unless your system is setup for those, there are steps before you can use one, and booting from one might be impossible. (it might be possible if your bios can boot an add-in card, and your solution is 'smart' enough)... I'm not advising this one, as I haven't even attempted it myself.

    Atomic
  • Greg Wak
    Greg Wak
    GT Member
    I think if I just want the OS on it the Intel 730 240GB should be fine, Yes?
  • Punisher
    Punisher
    GT Member
    I will say that if you are up for it, a clean install is better than a clone. Over time Windows gets all messy and a nice clean install helps. I generally try to do one every 2 years give or take.
  • Greg Wak
    Greg Wak
    GT Member
    punisher, that idea always scares me. Only time I ever do a clean install is when something breaks :icon_biggrin: Or this last time when I actually built my own rig. That was fun! Until the MOBO drivers that came on the DVD from ASUS were corrupted and loaded then turned off all of my USB's. Considering my keyboard and mouse are USB it took me a while to figure out how to get back in to fix it.
  • TheAtomicKid
    TheAtomicKid
    GT Member
    on 1466361243:

    I think if I just want the OS on it the Intel 730 240GB should be fine, Yes?



    edit: Actually, it would be more than fine. Sytem/boot drives aren't drastically affected by write speed... there are some writes, to be sure, and there's always installations, but outside of that it's mostly small files, which the intels are perfectly good at...and you get 'intel quality'... my boot volume consists of 2 x25-m/160's, and they're still going strong.


    It would be fine, though the 240 GB version isn't the fastest... might consider the sandisk or the samsung instead. (the intel write speed drops significantly between the 480 and the 240 versions)

    Atomic

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167190&ignorebbr=1&cm_re=intel_730-_-20-167-190-_-Product

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820171998&ignorebbr=1&cm_re=sandisk_extreme_pro-_-20-171-998-_-Product

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147360&ignorebbr=1&cm_re=samsung_850_pro-_-20-147-360-_-Product
  • Punisher
    Punisher
    GT Member
    on 1466371145:

    punisher, that idea always scares me. Only time I ever do a clean install is when something breaks :icon_biggrin: Or this last time when I actually built my own rig. That was fun! Until the MOBO drivers that came on the DVD from ASUS were corrupted and loaded then turned off all of my USB's. Considering my keyboard and mouse are USB it took me a while to figure out how to get back in to fix it.

    It can definitely be scary if you are not used to it. I've been in IT for over 20 years so it's old hat now, but I can definitely see a difference in performance. I know some people that will do a nice clean install, update Windows and all drivers, then make an image of the PC if they need a clean install later on..
    If you make sure to download and save the network card and video card drivers prior to the clean install it helps a lot. With those 2 you can get online and download other things you need and also look online for help.
  • TheAtomicKid
    TheAtomicKid
    GT Member
    This was quite informative, btw. I generally agree with them.

    https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/615233-optimizing-storage-hdd-ssd/

    Replace the boot drive with an ssd first... dedicate the hdd to games storage... (remember, mostly sequential texture loads for games, so hdd performance generally will hold up, although not as well as an ssd, obviously)

    (more info: they optimize the game/texture files for the way they expect the games to load textures, or at least they used to, specifically to improve performance on... hard drives... in order to minimize drive seeks, etc)

    Atomic
  • Greg Wak
    Greg Wak
    GT Member
    I must be an idiot. When you say replace your boot drive first, does that mean I install the ssd and designate it the boot drive and put windows on it? Or do I have to disconnect my HDD first then install my SSD?
  • TheAtomicKid
    TheAtomicKid
    GT Member
    I was referring to general procedure, not specifics. Particularly referring to purchase order.

    You get the most benefit from replacing a system/boot hard drive, with an ssd, in terms of overall performance. Everything 'speeds up' due to the system no longer having to wait every time it needs to access the hard drive that the system volume is installed on.

    So, in general, replace the boot drive with an ssd first, and then, if you have the money later on, consider replacing any separate games volumes you might have, which will mostly affect loading speeds... although if you have a game that has to load textures on the fly, some mmo's do this, as you move around... you'll experience less 'hitching' in games like this, as access to the new texture files will be much, MUCH quicker...

    But speeding up the entire system via the boot drive, is a much more noticeable, and much wider spread, benefit.

    It's also more economical this way. Spend a small amount of money at the beginning for maximum benefit... repurpose the existing hard drive to games, data, or whatever you want to stick on it, then see how you feel about it after that. If you're still wanting more space, you can add a second ssd, stick your games on that, and repurpose the original hard drive AGAIN to be data only, if you need such a thing. Data rarely needs high performance access for a home user, so if you're keeping the hard drive in use, that's the optimal usage for it these days.

    Atomic

    PS: 'Replace the boot drive with an ssd' means either get someone to show you how to clone the hard drive to the ssd, then put the cloned system drive (the ssd) in the drive chain... then change the boot order so that the UEFI/bios uses the ssd as your boot drive. OR, put the ssd in the drive chain (install it in the case, connectors, power, data, change the boot order, etc) and then clean install windows to the ssd. If choosing this option, it's best to disconnect the hard drive temporarily, to prevent confusing the windows installer (which will spot the old windows installation), or the user, whom will get confused when the installer spots the old windows installation, and or get confused about where to install the new copy of windows.
  • Greg Wak
    Greg Wak
    GT Member
    Thank you. The PS info is what I needed.
  • Greg Wak
    Greg Wak
    GT Member
    Well here goes, I ordered an OCZ Trion 150 480 GB. No offense AK, I just wanted to save a few bucks. More concerned with getting things set up correctly. 480 is nice and roomy though.
  • TheAtomicKid
    TheAtomicKid
    GT Member
    Well, you're perfect on the size IMO, as even with a windows install and some data, you'll still only have it half full til you start downloading the pr0n *coughs*

    However, the Trion 150 is a TLC budget drive... Anandtech did a review here...

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/10189/the-ocz-trion-150-ssd-review

    I should still outperform your hard drive by quite a bit... please let us know here how it 'feels' as a system drive.

    Atomic

    BTW: When you setup the drive, if you only use, say, 400GB of space, by deliberately shorting the main partition... aka the 'c' drive... it will help keep the drive less 'fragmented'... remember, as the drives fill up, eventually it has to start wiping old blocks that are marked for deletion, before it can write new blocks on the nand it needs, to keep wear levelling optimal... aka so any particular nand cell does not wear out early because it gets used more than the others. If you short the partition, it leaves a much larger empty space to work with that the default (which is the difference between your 480 GB drive size, and the next greater 'power of 2' ... aka 512 GB.

    You can always expand it later if you run short on space, and feel you need it.
  • Greg Wak
    Greg Wak
    GT Member
    Well, you sure talked me out of that! This is my monster gaming rig and now that I know about the differences in TLC and such I just wasn't up for putting a super bargain unit in. So, thanks to the ease of Amazon, I cancelled that out and ordered a Samsung 850 pro Sata 3 512 GB. It gets here Monday.
  • Greg Wak
    Greg Wak
    GT Member
    SOS!!! Help me Obi-Wan!!! So installation was a pain, mostly because I'm an idiot. To make a long story short, putting it in I made the video cable just barely loose. So when I fired it back up I could hear it post but the monitor never woke up. Then I had to start in BIOS to set the boot order. Finally, I'm up and it see's the drive. I put the OS on it. Man, this thing is blazing. However, none of the drivers are loaded and I have no idea how to get them from the old HD to the SSD. Can't get it to even see my router without the proper drivers so I can't pull stuff down from the web. Thought I would ask here first before my google search. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • Punisher
    Punisher
    GT Member
    You cant really copy drivers over from another PC unless you had the installers saved. You will need to download them from the Internet on another computer unless you have the driver disc for your motherboard..
    This is why I recommended above to download the network and video drivers before starting.. with those you can get the rest.

    Also, it's more work, but you can always put your old drive back in, boot to old OS, then download to flash drive, then take old drive out and put ssd back in.
  • TheAtomicKid
    TheAtomicKid
    GT Member
    It's going to be some work... I suggest network drivers first... you can either either use the cd that probably came with your motherboard if you still have it

    or you can download the latest from whomever made the network port... on the assumption that's Realtek, you could start looking here..

    http://www.realtek.com.tw/downloads/

    Find the drivers you need based on your hardware (device manager is helpful for this)

    Atomic

    PS:If you really can't stand your display, you could do that first... but since you're manually porting the drivers over until the network is up... yeah. Do the network first.

    PS2: You can do it! You'll learn a lot. It will hurt, at first... but learning is good, m'kay? :D
  • Greg Wak
    Greg Wak
    GT Member
    I have the old drive in. That's how I'm connected now. Just have to get the network driver on the SSD. Silly me thought the OS would have some basic functionality.
  • TheAtomicKid
    TheAtomicKid
    GT Member
    Depends on how new the hardware is versus the date the operating system was finalized to disc. Microsoft is pretty good about basic drivers for a ton of hardware, but if the hardware wasn't out at the time, there's not much they can do :)

    Atomic
  • Punisher
    Punisher
    GT Member
    on 1469015701:

    I have the old drive in. That's how I'm connected now. Just have to get the network driver on the SSD. Silly me thought the OS would have some basic functionality.


    If you are booting into your old drive and can get on the Internet and you have your SSD as a secondary drive, just make a folder on the SSD called drivers and download the network and video card drivers there. It is good to do both because if you don't load the video drivers, some websites will be unusable.
    Also make sure to extract any zipped files that you download just in case you cant unzip them on the ssd.
  • Greg Wak
    Greg Wak
    GT Member
    I never thought I would need all my drivers. I guess I thought MOBO drivers reside on the MOBO. I figured I would need video drivers but not all the others. I have my MOBO disc somewhere but it has bad input drivers. I built this system and when I loaded these drivers they shut all my USB's off. My M/KB is USB. That was fun to get out of. So I brought my thumb drive to work and downloaded the ASUS tool. Should be able to get thing up and running when I get home. No anxiety because I can always just use my old HDD. I start jonesing pretty quick if I have no monster rig at home.
  • TheAtomicKid
    TheAtomicKid
    GT Member
    So, how goes the war? You get all the drivers banged into shape?

    Atomic
  • Greg Wak
    Greg Wak
    GT Member
    Yes. The stupid .net4 was tripping me up. I didn't want to use my ASUS disk because the USB drivers are bad. But the SSD wouldn't let me connect to the web. So I booted up the old drive and put it on a thumb drive and put it on the SSD. Then it wouldn't run it saying I already had it. ::) So I bit the bullet and used the disc. Sure enough, when it was done all my USB's were dead. But this time I was ready with a PS2 mouse, and set up a virtual keyboard, downloaded the updated driver and I was set. Then I updated everything because the MOBO is 2 yrs old and it's not like those drivers were fresh then anyway. Then I decided to roll over to Windows 10 because I want DX12, even though I don't need it yet. That went seamlessly, but I had to learn where MS moved everything :P I love the drive. It is a quite noticeable difference. Only thing, I thought switching between drives or dragging stuff over would be simple. I must not understand something. So if I can't do that, my storage went from 2T to 512GB, which after the partition and stuff I put on it is down to 360. It's still more than worth it, I just have to be somewhat careful.
  • Punisher
    Punisher
    GT Member
    on 1469493390:

    Yes. The stupid .net4 was tripping me up. I didn't want to use my ASUS disk because the USB drivers are bad. But the SSD wouldn't let me connect to the web. So I booted up the old drive and put it on a thumb drive and put it on the SSD. Then it wouldn't run it saying I already had it. ::) So I bit the bullet and used the disc. Sure enough, when it was done all my USB's were dead. But this time I was ready with a PS2 mouse, and set up a virtual keyboard, downloaded the updated driver and I was set. Then I updated everything because the MOBO is 2 yrs old and it's not like those drivers were fresh then anyway. Then I decided to roll over to Windows 10 because I want DX12, even though I don't need it yet. That went seamlessly, but I had to learn where MS moved everything :P I love the drive. It is a quite noticeable difference. Only thing, I thought switching between drives or dragging stuff over would be simple. I must not understand something. So if I can't do that, my storage went from 2T to 512GB, which after the partition and stuff I put on it is down to 360. It's still more than worth it, I just have to be somewhat careful.

    Moving files/docs/pics/etc.. are simple to move.
    Keep in mind though, that you can't move any programs and these need to be reinstalled from scratch.
  • TheAtomicKid
    TheAtomicKid
    GT Member
    I must admit, I like the new, extremely easily configurable windows explorer.

    I'm horrified at the level of invasiveness of windows 10 in general... but there are products out there (free ones!) that help clamp it down. I need to do more, to be honest....

    'Free' upgrade or not, I did not sign on for microsoft to make itself copies of everything I do and store on my computer. They've learned NOTHING in the last 20 years concerning consumer privacy.

    This one...

    http://www.winprivacy.de/english-home/

    Does more than any other tool I've found so far.

    Atomic
  • MonkeyFinger
    MonkeyFinger
    GT Member
    on 1469549174:

    Moving files/docs/pics/etc.. are simple to move.
    Keep in mind though, that you can't move any programs and these need to be reinstalled from scratch.


    I know in the past I've used utilities to move installed programs to new locations, ones that also update the registry entries at the same time so you don't have to reinstall. However, it's been a hellofa long time ago... do they not still exist?
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