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Build Advice Summer Clean-up

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Wira, 14 Jul 2013.

  1. Wira

    Wira Spoderman

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    I've had my desktop sitting on my floor for two years now, and while I used to clean it fairly regularly, this has gotten less and less frequent, but now it's finally time for an upgrade :rock:

    Bought a new case and an SSD, and it's going on the desk this time.

    As I'm going to be pulling more or less everything apart anyway I'm going to thoroughly de-dust it before I put it back together. I've used pressurised air before and while it works, I hate how it just disperses the dust into your room (though I guess you could try doing it outside).

    Any good tips on how to properly clean everything?

    While cleaning the Hardware, I'm also going to clean up the software and I'm putting most of my files and programs on an external HDD, and then wiping my old HHD. I'm going to reinstall windows to the new SSD. It's my first SSD, is there anything I should be aware of before I just go ahead and install the OS on it?

    Thanks.
     
  2. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Swinging the banhammer Super Moderator

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    As for cleaning an air duster would be best really - you could position a vacuum cleaner nearby to suck up the dust as it shoots up in the air maybe...

    Are you going to be installing Windows 7 on the SSD? If so it does all the optimisation stuff you'd need - just make sure you're set up for AHCI in the bios :thumb:
     
  3. MSHunter

    MSHunter Well-Known Member

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    I just use the couch brush on my dyson (with great care)

    -Knock on wood

    Never had a problem with it.
     
  4. PocketDemon

    PocketDemon New Member

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    i know i've written this before, but it's been a while so...


    As GeorgeK partially says, you need the controller to be set for either ahci or raid in the bios - & use the intel controller for it.


    Right, it's then your call entirely, but, for maintaining speeds (& increasing longevity), it's worthwhile considering over provisioning (ie under partitioning) the SSD by at least 25% of the total nand capacity...

    ...so, for example, with a 240/250/256GB SSD, they all have 256GB of nand, so you'd format to 192GB.

    This is the level that Anandtech have recently started recommending as a min - though i've been saying on here to aim for slightly more (~28%) for a couple of years or so.

    Obviously though, the heavier the program-erase cycles your usage involves & the less idle time the drive has to recover, the more important this will be - & with very heavy (particularly non-sequential high QD) usage, you'd certainly want to consider going higher...


    Then, from whatever you've got left over (whether you increase the OP or not), you ideally want to leave something approaching 20%+ of the formatted space unused - ~15% being a fairly hard minimum.


    The only real exceptions to these would be if you were -

    (a) using a second SSD solely for games (assuming you're not copying them on & off/installing & uninstalling them at a ridiculous rate)

    (b) or are using a second SSD solely for some highly sequential purpose - ie hq a/v capture/editing

    - in both cases since -

    (i) the data from largely static &/or large files is not going to end up being spread across partial blocks to anything like the level it would when there's also small random writes taking place

    (ii) & since the data would either (a) be relatively static for long periods of time or (b) be captured/copied on, have some function acted upon it that'll involve more sequential writes & then copied off/uploaded/burnt to disk/whatever, the drive won't need anything like the time to recover speed.

    Though leaving a bit of the formatted space free (maybe 5%) would still be sensible.


    Then, if, esp you're using Win7, it's worthwhile running the Windows Experience index thing, as it sets up a few things in the registry if it notes a SSD...

    i haven't seen anything about whether its still of use or not with Win8 but, given that it's takes less time to run WEi than it takes me to go downstairs & make a coffee, i do it anyway.


    & the only other things are to not deliberately hammer a SSD with unnecessary writes in situations where there is no gain from its speed...

    (so, for example, using it as the temp drive for downloading via p2p wouldn't be the best idea since there can be a foolishly high no of actual writes - & a HDD is way faster than your internet connection)

    ...& that, whilst you 'could' store you iTune libraries & whatnot on there, HDDs are much faster than is needed for that kind of usage - & there's bound to be better stuff that you could use the SSD for; yes?


    [Edit]

    Oh, & i should have said to use the appropriate intel irst driver, not the default ones - installing them before running wei. They're just a bit quicker.
     
    Last edited: 14 Jul 2013
  5. hamza_tm

    hamza_tm Well-Known Member

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    What could possibly go wrong :hehe:
     
  6. play_boy_2000

    play_boy_2000 It was funny when I was 12

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    I find air compressors work best, just avoid doing it on a humid day. One client I do work for has an office right beside a concrete crushing operation, and I have to pull the server every 6 months for a de-dusting.
     
  7. AlienwareAndy

    AlienwareAndy New Member

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    Everything :hehe:

    I had a mate used to use a hoover to clean his PC parts. What he didn't realise was that a plastic hoover tube with dust flying up it and rubbing against it will generate static.

    Some good memory was lost that day :hehe:
     
  8. MSHunter

    MSHunter Well-Known Member

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    Derp. yeah I always take the PC apart first and tbh only really clean the fan fins.

    back in the day when I lived at home used to use my dad's black and decker auto pump for compressed air. He has a racing bike and needed pump for over 6 bar, had to hold that sucker a bit away from the board so the bits don't fly off.... fun times.
     
  9. Wira

    Wira Spoderman

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    pressurised air it is.

    The SSD is going to be used solely for the OS and some more demanding games (quite static storage I'd say). So I suppose i'll just leave a smallish partition partitioned off.
     
  10. PocketDemon

    PocketDemon New Member

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    Simply for clarity, either the whole SSD is used for static data or, effectively, none of it is.

    Well, imagining, hypothetically (i know you're not proposing to do this), after the OS, you filled the SSD's nand up to 80% with mp3s, anything you then wrote to the drive would initially be to the remaining 20%.

    Now, if SSDs didn't wear level (ie automatically move data around from blocks with low write counts to those with higher ones), you'd then be looking at the lifespan being divided by a fifth as you'd be writing to that remaining 20% again & again...

    ...so, even though you may have data sat on there that remains completely unchanged for months/years, its physical location will not remain constant in a situation where you're writing & deleting more data to the SSD over time.

    This is esp likely to be the case since you're only using 4GB of memory, & so are going to be writing far more temporary data to the pagefile (& swapfile with Win8) than you would if you had, for example, 8GB.

    [NB it is not particularly sensible to move the page/swapfiles to be located on a HDD, as this will simply make your machine much slower. They're one of the best things to have on a SSD as a decent proportion of the writes will be sequential & there's bunches of small random reads - which is where SSDs particularly excel.]​


    Having said that, as said at the beginning then this is simply for clarity.

    Assuming your usage is as stated, what you're suggesting (ie some extra OP & ~20% of the formatted capacity being unused on a day to day basis) does sound fairly reasonable imho.
     

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