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Old 11-05-2012, 08:02 PM   #1
Denis54
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Default Is it still complicated to install an SSD drive?

2 years ago I bought an OCZ Vertex 2 drive that I installed in my C2D powered computer. It was my first SSD install and it took me quite a bit of time to get it up and running optimally.

I was unable to install Win 7 until I discovered I needed to download an Intel RST driver. I also I had to tweak my BIOS to use ACHI.

I was also recommended several minor modifications to optimize system operation. I do not remember exactly everything I changed but I do remember that it was recommended to move the temporary internet files to a folder located on a HD instead of keeping it on the SSD.

Is it still as complicated to install an SSD? What are the main things I need to do?

Does Win 8 make things easier?

I plan to build a new machine with an i3-3225 processor. I am not a gamer and the i3 will be powerful enough for my needs.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:06 PM   #2
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Nah, same basic rules.

1) Align the partition.
2) Use AHCI if possible
3) Keep temp files and frequently rewritten directories (logs, caches) on a spinner. Win7 makes redirecting easy enough.

Haven't used Win8.
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Old 11-05-2012, 08:36 PM   #3
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I have installed two Sammy 830s and found nothing complicated. Just cloned the old drives to the new and replaced 'em. Yeah, we were AHCI. and Acronis TIO 2013 took care of alignment and everything else.
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave_the_nerd View Post
Nah, same basic rules.

1) Align the partition.
2) Use AHCI if possible
3) Keep temp files and frequently rewritten directories (logs, caches) on a spinner. Win7 makes redirecting easy enough.

Haven't used Win8.
#1 on the list is done automatically for you on win7 and 8.
#3 gives better performance on a modern SSD then on a spinner and the lifespan reduction is negligible enough for a home user as to not be needed.

So really its just enabling AHCI. Which actually you should do for a spinner as well as the performance improvement for a spinner is greater than it is for an SSD. (the reason for the performance improvement is NCQ)

TRIM driver support in IDE mode drivers used to be an issue early on but I am told they aren't anymore.
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:24 PM   #5
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Do you mean that I should always enable AHCI whether I use a SSD or an HD?

What about the Intel RST driver is it required with newer boards?

Last edited by Denis54; 11-05-2012 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis54 View Post
Do you mean that I should always enable AHCI whether I use a SSD or an HD?

What about the Intel RST driver is it required with newer boards?
I've never needed RST or RAID drivers with Windows 7, SSD or not. I usually install them anyways, as they are newer than the drivers Win7 ships with.

The drivers were needed for XP, but you needed them whether you used an SSD or not.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave_the_nerd View Post
Nah, same basic rules.

1) Align the partition.
2) Use AHCI if possible
3) Keep temp files and frequently rewritten directories (logs, caches) on a spinner. Win7 makes redirecting easy enough.

Haven't used Win8.
3) is a very stupid idea. That's exactly a scenario were the ssd shows it's main advantage. As was said write endurance is a non-issue for a consumer. I have my ssd for over 2 years and it shows like 99.99% lifetime left without having done any such "optimizations".
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis54 View Post

Does Win 8 make things easier?

I plan to build a new machine with an i3-3225 processor. I am not a gamer and the i3 will be powerful enough for my needs.
Just make sure AHCI is enabled in your BIOS and proceed as if the SSD was a spindle drive. A new SSD on new hardware on a fresh install of a new OS takes zero consideration or planning. Just lick it and stick it.

As for the i3 being powerful enough for your needs...we don't know what your needs are, so we can't say if'n it'll be powerful enough for whatever it is you intend to do with it.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:18 AM   #9
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I am retired and I use my computer 2 - 4 hours a day to surf the web, read emails and do some simple Word and Excel work. My needs are pretty basic but I want a FAST machine.

Do you think an i3 would be fast enough? Would I see a speed difference with an i5?
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis54 View Post
I am retired and I use my computer 2 - 4 hours a day to surf the web, read emails and do some simple Word and Excel work. My needs are pretty basic but I want a FAST machine.

Do you think an i3 would be fast enough? Would I see a speed difference with an i5?
i3 has plenty enough soup for your needs. Heck, it has plenty enough soup for a lot of needs.

Toss Windows 7 or 8 onto a new Core i3 box with a Samsung 840 and you'll be pretty pleased with it.
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:41 AM   #11
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There is no tweaking of AHCI in BIOS. It's enable or disable. And the driver is needed for mechanical drives in AHCI as well (Windows 7 comes with a compatible AHCI driver for most Intel and AMD chipsets, but not for many external controllers like Marvel or JMicron). So I think your 'complication' here was getting to know AHCI, not SSD drives, per se.
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Old 11-06-2012, 03:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis54 View Post
I am retired and I use my computer 2 - 4 hours a day to surf the web, read emails and do some simple Word and Excel work. My needs are pretty basic but I want a FAST machine.

Do you think an i3 would be fast enough? Would I see a speed difference with an i5?
I have an i3 Sandy Bridge with a good SSD and I can assure you that it is a very fast system for regular tasks. The most important component in your system will be the SSD as you want fast disk access. You will see no benefit at all having an i5 unless you play games or do tasks like encoding or professional work.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denis54 View Post
Do you mean that I should always enable AHCI whether I use a SSD or an HD?
That is explicitly what I said, yes.

Quote:
What about the Intel RST driver is it required with newer boards?
Its not required but you might want to install the latest version; again, regardless of what kind of drive you have
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:43 PM   #14
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Very simple to use an SSD if you've kept up to date on your other hardware. With a "current" SSD, motherboard and operating system, just hook it up and use it as you would any HDD. That is all.
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:27 PM   #15
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Hopefully, you're running Windows 7. Enable AHCI and take it from there. I've moved some Desktop items to a secondary mechanical hard drive, but that's it. Pagefile, temp files, etc.? If the SSD I have now(Samsung 830) lasts a couple years, I'll have gotten my money's worth out of it.
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