New PC build for friend SSD caching tech

Discussion in 'Hardware Discussion & Support' started by blibbax, May 20, 2012.

  1. blibbax

    blibbax nahm8

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    Hi all

    So I'm building another PC for a friend later this year. It'll probably be in late August, so I'm a bit ahead of myself here, and given that prices etc. will change obviously I'm not going to get into any specifics yet.

    Something I do want to learn a bit more about is SSD caching tech. As a relative tech-illiterate, I think that this friend is a pretty good candidate for it. Now I know that SSD caching means slow writes but good improvements to read speed, but that's not so much what I'm worried about.

    I've read that the caching tech included on Z68 and Z77/H77 boards really rapes MLC-based flash drives, meaning that you have to buy one of the purpose-built Intel SLC cache drives.

    Yet solutions like the OCZ Synapse and Corsair Accelerator use MLC flash. Do they suffer from the same durability issues, or is their software optimised to avoid this?

    I'd appreciate any general use experience too. Does TRIM work well on cache drives? Is this a reliable solution, suitable for a tech-illiterate? etc.

    Thanks in advance :)

    EDIT: I've also heard from someone that the technology used by OCZ and Corsair does not get on with Steam. Can anyone confirm or quash this rumour?
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2012
  2. Transk53

    Transk53 New Member

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    With this one yeah. Google has some stuff, however, I saw this posted on the SI Forums that cater for the Football Manager 09/10/11/12 games. I'll try and find out for you, the forum has thousands og members, so the content is pretty vast and specialised. Wish I could help with the first. With TRIM, I have heard from friends that TRIM in W7 is issue free, but that is the extent of it. I'll ask for you anyway, may help.
     
  3. Takaharu

    Takaharu Unus offa, unus iuguolo

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    For the record, is the addition of an SSD going to make that much of a difference to this person? If you go with a SATA-3 drive and use something like ASRock's X-Fast RAM you'll see some pretty decent load speeds.
     
  4. blibbax

    blibbax nahm8

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    Asrock X-Fast requires the user to select what they want to cache, does it not?

    Whatever I go for, it needs to be exactly like a single HDD to use. Anything else and she'll not be disciplined enough to make use of it, and it'll go to waste.

    An SSD could have significant benefit in (bloated) Windows boot times, game launching, level loading, and general use.

    I'm anticipating smaller capacity SSDs being pretty damn cheap come August, which is why something like this which can really make a difference (especially down the line) is worth considering imo.
     
  5. Takaharu

    Takaharu Unus offa, unus iuguolo

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    In the loosest sense, yes. Set the options for them then remove all shortcuts to it. That way, they don't have access and you can gain access through the Program Files folder :)

    [​IMG]

    I tried it out and a colleague of mine has tried it out and in both occasions the Windows "Welcome" screen blinks before it's loaded.
     
  6. blibbax

    blibbax nahm8

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    No option to have it dynamically cache (like a cache SSD)?
     
  7. A Desire to Game

    A Desire to Game HardwareHeaven Hoosier

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    Just do two drives. Set up all the Music, Pictures, Video shortcuts to save on the HDD. I doubt she will be installing that many programs where you will have to worry about filling up the SSD. Make a backup image on the HDD in case she makes a boo boo.

    Or....just do a single HDD. Sounds like you want her to have a SSD, but does she really need it?

    Remember, its not like a chipset that goes out of date. You can always add a SSD later.
     
  8. blibbax

    blibbax nahm8

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    This would leave either Steam on the HDD, meaning that her game of the moment wouldn't be cached, or Steam on the SSD, filling it very quickly indeed.

    A single good HDD is certainly a strong option. Of course literally nobody needs an SSD, but they can make a computer much more responsive, especially one that isn't diligently maintained or reformatted every few years.

    This is true.
     
  9. Takaharu

    Takaharu Unus offa, unus iuguolo

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    I'd wager that the step up to latest-gen components will keep the client happy. Add something like X-Fast RAM to the equation and you've improved boot time for the price of an extra stick of RAM.

    On the flip side, if you have your heart set on SSD caching, whack in a 60GB, job's good. Check Hot UK Deals for some nice prices for SSDs (previous-gen 120GB SSDs, for example, are going around £65).
     
  10. blibbax

    blibbax nahm8

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    If you mean just using Intel caching tech, like I said in my original post, it has a bit of a reputation for destroying MLC-based SSDs, which those that are currently available cheaply all are.
     
  11. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    Playing around with the "cache" system available on those chipsets have left me with nothing but totally dislike.

    While the idea is fine, i find it totally counter productive in the longrun and prone to being problematic.

    I'd rather jump for a Seagate Momentus XT hybrid drive that does it RIGHT on the drive without issue than dealing with buying 2 seperate drives, then watching as the SSD basically runs at a crippled write speed rate as well as hamperred in other areas.

    Just my opinion perhaps...
     
  12. blibbax

    blibbax nahm8

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    Of course, but appreciated nonetheless. Have you tried the OCZ, Corsair or Crucial solutions (as opposed to the Z68/Z77/H77 one)?

    Thing is she already has a hard drive, so buying a fancy hybrid as well seems a bit inefficient. Could always sell the old one I guess.
     
  13. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    while i personally haven't gotten to play with ocz/corsair/crucials only isolated solutions, i have heard from my suppliers some "issues" that can result in bad things happening. Personally i, ever since getting my own few SSDs with the terrible sandforce controller, haven't been trusting any of the SSDs. They are still a relatively new technology.

    Meanwhile the largest hybrid hardrive i know of which seems to still be seagate only, and only in the 2.5" size and ONLY available in 500gb and 750gb sizes (the 750gb is SATA III 6gbps where as the 500gb is SATA II 3gbps).... my experience with now having sold and setup about 25 of them for laptop/desktops and used in replacement hardrives for other prebuilt machines, the experience is nothing short of perfect. It's still frustrating to know that one of those drives is booting into windows FASTER than my corsair and OCZ SDDs... which seems like it should be impossible.. but they do seem to be doing it. Plus the fact that i've yet to have a single customer call me about a blue-screen on bootup (which is prevailent on all the SSDs with sandforce i've tried out).

    I just think a balance of reliability/ease of use, less software/hardware to worry about screwing up for no apparent reason is the best thing.
     
  14. A Desire to Game

    A Desire to Game HardwareHeaven Hoosier

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    You can just install Steam to the HDD and move only the one or two games you want to the SSD via a symbolic link.

    This will require more work on your part initially. However, I think this solves your problem if you can show her how to do it the first time so you don't have to babysit.
     
  15. blibbax

    blibbax nahm8

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    She'll never do this. You know how some people just never bother to understand technology, and would rather let their computer grind to a halt than figure out how to stop 200 applications launching at startup? She's one of those. I've tried to educate. Didn't work.
     
  16. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    yup most of my customers are the exact same way blibbax...

    They don't want to learn... they don't care.. they are only using it because "they have to"...


    I've construction/union/heavy duty opperators and such that now have their corporate employers forcing them to use a laptop or computer to submit detailed reports.... and 99% of them either don't use a computer at all ever... or rarely ever did... and they just got this crap thrown at them to "improve" efficiency and shit. Only thing is they need people to teach them how to use it, and of course they REALLY don't care.... they didn't become a construction worker to sit around and do crap on a computer. And they aren't about to hire a secretary to do it for them.

    There are a lot of people with identical attitudes with only one difference, they WANT to play games on the computer or use it for everything, but they just don't want to learn how to avoid/prevent certain things that THEY are likely to cause from happen.

    I don't know how many times i've told this one customer to STOP installing everything that is thrown at him....

    Even more frustrating is some people refusing to accept that websites had banner ads, they are advertisements, YOU DO NOT NEED TO CLICK THEM...

    oh sometimes my mind wants to just disappear.
     
  17. blibbax

    blibbax nahm8

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    This is the case here. And it'll be my fault if the computer is slowed to a crawl after 12 months.

    It's even more frustrating as she's actually a perfectly intelligent and capable person. Just lazy and uninterested.
     
  18. A Desire to Game

    A Desire to Game HardwareHeaven Hoosier

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    ...poop, thought I could help.

    Those kind of people don't deserve SSD's. You're too nice blibbax. Build a new PC for me instead...on the house of course. ;)
     
  19. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    yup.. they really couldn't care less.... and it's totally mind boggling when they have a flipping crisis as they have a tendency to put it.... when things stop working.
     
  20. Takaharu

    Takaharu Unus offa, unus iuguolo

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    You could use the brownie point method. It's great for people who aren't tech-savvy and pretty much always works.

    Start: 0 points
    You're going to fix their PC: +1 point
    Their PC has the same issue: -2 points (fix for +1)
    Their PC has a different issue: +1
    A week passes without issues: -1
    You're going to upgrade their PC: +5 points or
    You're going to upgrade their PC with more/better than they need: +5 points
    PC's working well after upgrade is completed: +/- 0 points
    PC goes slow over time: -10 points
    PC is sped up using resources available (and a difference is noticed): +5 points or
    PC is sped up using SSD or other new addition: +10 points

    SSD in now, you should be at 0 points. SSD in when it goes slow with too much crap, you should be at 5 points.

    PC goes slow again over time: -10 points
    PC is sped up using resources available (and a difference is noticed): reset to 0.

    To clarify, "PC goes slow" is for any reason at all, even if it's user error.

    The way I see it, if you stick the SSD in now it won't be of much benefit to them. Stick it in when the PC starts running slowly a few months down the line and watch their face light up... until they screw it up again.
     

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