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Storage Is it worth getting an SSD?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Tigernos, 5 Apr 2012.

  1. Tigernos

    Tigernos Resident Roman Soldier

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    I'm eventually gonna ask so many questions I'll be everyones favourite newbie.

    Got a new system all planned out my first ever build. I was planning on carrying over the old HDD and DVD drive from the old system as a gap stop while I recover from spending most of my months wages.

    What I would like to know is; is it worth getting a small SSD just for windows etc for quicker boot times and having a HDD for everything else?

    Also is there a way to make windows default to saving everything to the second drive without having to manually set it each time. I have the annoying issue (probably newbie related) where I formatted the old system a while ago and set up a partition just for windows and the rest as my normal day to day side with all my games and whatnot installed there. Each time I try to download something it bitches at me that the drives full but its simply because its trying to squeeze it into the tiny window partition and I have to change it each time. Am I just being stupid?
     
    Last edited: 5 Apr 2012
  2. Deders

    Deders Modder

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    It is if you like things to be snappy.

    Here's what I do to get all my programs to auto install to a different drive:

    First I copy (not cut, just in case the programs already installed by default still need to refer to this folder) the entire program files and program files (x86) folders from the windows drive to the drive/folder I want them to be in. (note 32 bit users will only have program files so ignore any references to x86 folders)

    Then I open regedit, search for all instances of programfilesdir one by one. the first page that is shown should have 6 (for windows 7 64, off the top of my head Vista shold have 4 and 32 bit versions should have 2, maybe 4 for win 7, but make sure you are thorough) entries:

    CommonFilesDir
    CommonFilesDir (x86)
    CommonW6432Dir
    ProgramFilesDir
    ProgramFilesDir (x86)
    ProgramW6432Dir

    All you have to do is change the value (double click and type or paste) with the Path of where your newly copied directories are. So for example C:\Program Files becomes D:\Program Files - C:\Program Files\Common Files becomes D:\Program Files\Common Files - etc.

    Remember that the W6432Dir entries just point to the same directory as the program files and common files entries.

    Do this for all of them. the reason I've included the common files is because we've copied them over already.

    Once your done press F3 to find the next instance, there should be one more page pretty much identical to the last one, do exactly the same for this and this time when you press F3 it should reach the end of the registry.

    Last thing to do before you start installing programs is restart, just in case.

    A few (2 that I've noticed, Fraps and Cryostasis) will still try to use C:\program files by default, which can be changed if you go to advanced install but 99% of them will automatically go to the new path.

    Grid will also drop a 2GB file for replays onto your C: drive, I've yet to find out how to change this but just bear it in mind when partitioning if you intend to play the game.

    The best way to move My Documents in Win 7 is to locate the actual folder in explorer which will be in C:\Users\(your logon), right click on my documents and select properties, then in the location tab you click move and it shoud ask you where you want to move it. the rest should be self explanitory.
    This also works for My videos - My Downloads - My music and My Pictures.

    I've been doing this for years and have had no issues with programs not being able to find themselves.

    You could also experiment with junctions
     
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  3. PocketDemon

    PocketDemon What's a Dremel?

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    Are you really rebooting *that* often for it to make a difference?

    SSDs are certainly great, but it's the combination of pagefile usage (your system link doesn't work so do not know how much you might need this) & when you're using them for bunches of speed limiting r/ws that makes the big difference irl...

    ...okay, the boot speed will be quicker, but it's probably the least consequential aspect for a desktop machine once you've installed the windows updates & drivers.


    Now, i've no idea what you're counting as "a small SSD", but for i really wouldn't go below 60/64GB - however the 120/128GB 6Gb/s SSDs are much faster.

    Okay, the 240/256GB ones are faster still, but it's about the best 'bang for the buck' when money's tight.


    Otherwise, i would agree completely with Deders selective relocation of user folders where there's not going to be a tangible real life speed increase - a SSD's not going to make your downloads quicker or mp3s play any better or...

    (& this is a much better approach than moving the entirity of the user folder)

    ...but i do think that your premise of altering the default installation path is a mistake.

    Much better to buy a SSD that's at least big enough to install the OS & your apps + have a decent amount of free space (& manually alter the location when installing games if you can't afford one big enough for them as well) than to have a setup that's too much of a compromise.

    A 60/64GB SSD 'should' be more than enough for a Win7 install & reasonable array of things - well, i've underpartitioned the SSD in this machine by >50% & there's space for Win7 & the bits of Office 2010 i use & a partial install of Adobe CS5.5 & bunches of apps for quick functional tasks... ...& i'm using less than 33.5GB atm.

    ...though i do move the desktop - which is also my default download location d.t. what i then do with the majority of the files - onto a HDD as (again) there's no gain for it being on the SSD.

    (Naturally, with the array in the 'proper machine' i'm using far more than that, but the 2 PCs are there for different purposes)
     
  4. Tigernos

    Tigernos Resident Roman Soldier

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    Yeah that links gone and messed up on me, although from what you have said there is no tangible bonus to having one for the use I'm going to put it. Thanks anyway!
     
  5. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Simply put: Yes! An SSD should be an essential component of any modern build! It'll make more difference in day to day use than an CPU, GPU or level of RAM will.
     
  6. Maximilian

    Maximilian WC Virgin

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    Yes! As stated above, an SSD is an essential part of a modern build. You won't regret it!

    I followed the same guide that Deders has given, it took quite a while but is well worth it.

    You need to be careful when changing those registry settings!
     
  7. Mimic

    Mimic What's a Dremel?

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    I held off on getting an ssd for ages until last week and I can now happily say that im gutted I didn't get one sooner.

    Its not even the boot times, its everything. Even just general fafing about with web browsing or opening any program is so snappy. I'd never not have one now and I almost loath using Photoshop on my work computer as its now so much more pleasant to work at home.
     
  8. damien c

    damien c Mad FPS Gamer

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    I started using a ssd with a Corsair Nova 64gb, and have never gone back to a normal hdd since apart from the times when I have had no choice.

    Now running a Corsair Force 3, and it takes about 30 second's from pressing the power button till I am in windows.

    Had to run on a normal sata 3gb hdd for a while and hated every minute of it, even when running on a sata 6gb hdd it was painfully slow.

    Games took ages to load the map's, video's took ages to convert etc.

    My next investment drive wise will either be a 256gb drive or a 512gb drive so that I can don't have to have some thing's installed on a normal hard drive.

    I won't even look back now.
     
  9. Stu @ MSD

    Stu @ MSD What's a Dremel?

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    Totally agree, have spend the wrong side of £6k on my PC and the BEST part of it are MY SSD's, best bang for buck any machine can be given without doubt.
     
  10. Nealieboyee

    Nealieboyee Packaging Master!

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    Not to hijack this thread, but was wondering the same.

    Are the differences in speed noticeable for things like

    1. Unzipping/compressing in Winrar
    2. Flash playback
    3. Movie playback (probably nothing)
    4. Opening folders in explorer.



    Edit: Look! My post count is my birth year. Yay.
     
  11. damien c

    damien c Mad FPS Gamer

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    Unzipping etc will show a difference I think but never really tried it to be honest.
     
  12. Tigernos

    Tigernos Resident Roman Soldier

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    I want to play games. EVE Online being the main on. Battlefield 3 being one I got bought but can't run on my current system.

    This is the intended system I'll be carrying over the HDD and DVD drive from my old system until I replace those bits. I'm just trying to get the main parts out the way first.
     
  13. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    1 - not really, no, this process is CPU instensive
    2 - no again, a CPU intensive task
    3 - No again, a CPU intensive task
    4 - Hell yes!
     
  14. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    :search:
    Also mate, definitely go for the 560ti over the 550 (in your sig?)
     
  15. User-sam

    User-sam "Rare!"

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    Hey

    Just had a quick look at your build and I like it! little of topic from the SSD, but if you intend on playing games such as battlefield 3 I would try opt for a GTX 570 (If you have an sufficient enough PSU) as they are dirt cheap atm and the extra VRAM will help in BF3. this one from scan is only £15 more than the 560Ti.

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1280...gpu-797mhz-shader-1594mhz-480-cores-plusfree-

    Thanks & best of luck!
     
  16. Tigernos

    Tigernos Resident Roman Soldier

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    Yeah I've already been told this a few thousand times :p what I might do (because my budget is tight) is buy everything BUT the GPU, use my old one for a bit while saving up for a 560ti
     
  17. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Sure, or you could go second hand? They are selling for about £120 now (maybe even less!)
     
  18. mrMonkeyChunks

    mrMonkeyChunks EVGA Cheesecake

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    If you want to play BF3 I would save up a little bit longer and get a GTX570.
    By that time I would not be suprised if they have dropped in price a bit more, especially if nvidia release more 600 series cards.
     
  19. Nazata

    Nazata What's a Dremel?

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    Sorry for partly hijacking the thread but where would you advise looking online as a good source of second hand pc parts?


    Also Tigernos, what PSU are you planning to use for your build?
     
  20. mrMonkeyChunks

    mrMonkeyChunks EVGA Cheesecake

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    Some retailers such as novatech have dedicated ebay stores, its worth having a look there.
     
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