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dklynn
26-02-2012, 11:42 AM
I have at least two desktops which could use some performance improvement and have been looking at adding an SDD to each computer. Before I buy any SSD, though, I'm concerned about compatibility with the SATA installed on each desktop vs SSD versions.

My question is: "On Win7 boxes, how can I determine the version of SATA installed" (so I'm not buying SATA 3 SSDs for a SATA (1) controller on a desktop)?



One Device Manager shows IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers with an Intel(R) 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset Family 6 port SATA AHCI Controller - 3B22. The other box is older but it shows Intel(R) 82801EB Ultra ATA Storage Controllers 24D1 and 24DB. Unfortunately, my searches have proven futile.


The obvious follow-on question then becomes: "What are the recommendations on how to use an SSD upgrade drive." Is it preferable to move/reinstall Windows and Program Files to a 64 - 128Gb SSD (with the swap file) and leave the 500+Gb HDDs for data files? The March 2012 issue suggests using Smart Response Technology (what is it and how would this help?) on a 120Gb SSD without much explanation. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,

DK

Speedy Gonzales
26-02-2012, 12:01 PM
Do a search in Google for the brand / model of the desktop / mobo. That should tell you if it supports SATA 1 2 or 3. Do you know what the mobo is?? If its old, its probably SATA 1. Get something like PCwizard, or speccy. That'll tell you what the mobo is. And maybe tell you whether the SATA onboard is 1,2, or 3

dklynn
26-02-2012, 12:11 PM
I'll give that a shot, thank you!

Regards,

DK

Speedy Gonzales
26-02-2012, 12:16 PM
No probs

dklynn
26-02-2012, 01:00 PM
Intel has a short video on Smart Response Technology at http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/solid-state-drives/ssd-smart-response-video.html if anyone else is interested.

Regards,

DK

Chilling_Silence
26-02-2012, 01:55 PM
My question is: "On Win7 boxes, how can I determine the version of SATA installed" (so I'm not buying SATA 3 SSDs for a SATA (1) controller on a desktop)?
I'll echo Speedys sentiments, find your motherboard make / model and search for the spec that way, that's the easiest :) Try Speccy from piriform.com/speccy if you're unsure about your mobo details.


The obvious follow-on question then becomes: "What are the recommendations on how to use an SSD upgrade drive." Is it preferable to move/reinstall Windows and Program Files to a 64 - 128Gb SSD (with the swap file) and leave the 500+Gb HDDs for data files?

Yup, just remap your Documents, Downloads, Pictures & Music folders so they point to your regular HDD. I do a clean "from-scratch" windows reinstall personally.

Also make sure you're using AHCI not IDE Emulation in your BIOS for your SATA drives :)

dklynn
26-02-2012, 03:44 PM
Intel has a short video on Smart Response Technology at http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/solid-state-drives/ssd-smart-response-video.html if anyone else is interested.

Good points - thanks! The Gateway MB doesn't have any information online but PC Wizard shows that the drives are at 300 so that's a clear signal for Sata 2 for the newer box; no time on the older one yet but I'll bet it's SATA (1).

Regards,

DK

dugimodo
26-02-2012, 05:37 PM
Don't put the swap file on the SSD, set it to your data drive. Also disable prefetch and defrag services on the SSD. If you google setting up SSD's there are some good guides around.
The best and easiest thing is to just use the SSD as your main OS drive and as you've suggested use a data drive for other programs etc. A recent article on Tom's hardware testing whether using SATA3 SSDs on SATA2 motherboards was worthwhile concluded that although it's not as good as it would be on SATA3 the drives are still generally better than the slower models even when used on SATA2.

You can get 120GB drives under $300 now which is getting better than it was. I'm still waiting for the 240GB ones to come down enough so I can dispense with my program drive as well.
My OS drive is currently sitting at 45GB used and 22GB of that is world of warcraft so I guess windows 7 doesn't need too much but I wouldn't be comfortable dropping under 120GB for my C: drive personally.

dklynn
26-02-2012, 05:55 PM
dug,

I'd think that the swap file would be good on the SSD as it would be blazing fast (like a slow RAM) but agree on the prefetch and defrag. Thanks for the Google info - I'll have to have a look at those guides.

Your comment forced me to look at my C:\ drive so I found 217Gb there (okay, old and new versions of Windows but just a lot of Program Files and even more Program Files (x86). Obviously, I'll have to relocate a lot of things off there before I make the move.

At this point, I've also got to wait for the prices to come down so I have time to gather information.

Many thanks for your input!

Regards,

DK

dklynn
26-02-2012, 05:58 PM
Strange: I've attempted to thank for first few contributors and post a link to Intel's Smart Technology video and it's awaiting moderation. Just remove the spaces if you can't wait (www. intel. com/content/www /us/en/solid-state-drives/ssd-smart-response-video.html). It's a good sales pitch for SSDs that are about 25% more expensive than the AData ones but keeps me interested.

Regards,

DK

dugimodo
26-02-2012, 09:07 PM
Generally guides recommend you don't put the swap file on the SSD for 2 good reasons, Space and wear. If you have sufficient RAM the swapfile won't affect the performance significantly, but it does seriously increase the read/write operations and therefore reduce the lifespan of the drive. They should last many years but there's no need to shorten it. SSD's will eventually fail to write and become read only, it's just part of they way they work but they tell us in average usage it will take a very long time.

I have 8GB of RAM so it's really not important to me where the swapfile lives, but between that and my steam folder I could not have fitted windows on my SSD. I had to migrate Steam to the data drive and move the swap file.