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Old 01-14-2013, 04:00 PM   #1
jungario
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Default SSD decision for Htpc machine

Hi,
Trying to decide between the samsung SSD's that will fit in an htpc, I read that the 830 is the better choice but it is almost the same price here in Canada for a 64GB drive as the 840 120GB.
Samsung 840 120GB $94.22 shipped
Samsung 830 Series 64GB w/ Desktop Upgrade Bundle Kit $92.10 shipped
I will be fitting in windows 8, media programs and may be a game, all the storage is elsewhere.
Other "ingredients":
Asus F2A85-V PRO $109.99
AMD A10-5800K $127.49
Patriot Black Mamba 8GB $34.99
Coolermaster Elite 360 $38.17
Which would be a better choice or any other recommendation that will save me on the built for a snappy htpc.
Another question please, what would be the least expensive cpu that can play 3D (not games) for a friend's build .
Thanks
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:24 PM   #2
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Honestly, worrying about SSD performance for an HTPC seems kind of silly. The 840 will be perfectly fine for your needs.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:26 PM   #3
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I gather from your response that I can even go with a cheaper priced ssd and not worry? any advice?
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:25 PM   #4
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I don't even think you need to bother with an SSD. I tossed a 60gig OCZ something or other into mine because I had it laying around. I'm sure it makes about zero difference in user experience. I could test my theory but I'm too lazy at this point. Given the system has enough ram and decent cpu it really should be a non-issue. I would not spend money on one specifically for a HTPC.

Where are you storing your media? Or is this a pure streamer?
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:33 PM   #5
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I just bothered when i read this as a comment from Assassin:

While SSDs aren’t mandatory I highly recommend them for the OS and programs for your HTPC. The performance upgrade is substantial especially with loading large libraries or media guides.

hence my asking, i will go with his free hardware guide for his ssd recommendations.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:08 PM   #6
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If it was me, I would try it with magnetic storage first since you'll need it anyway for your media library.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:17 PM   #7
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Got 8 TB of those already, ready for the htpc , I am using the bench utility on this website to compare between ssd s was wondering when reading from a magnetic media ( media are on the magnetic hard drive) what is the most important factor? reading, writing, transfer....speeds?
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:19 PM   #8
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to be more specific this is from the SSD point of view, will it be reading from the HDD or writing from it or any transfer to it involved..not sure if I am explaining correctly..
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:49 PM   #9
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With a relatively stable library already built, I'd guess you will normally be working mostly with random reads.

I'd take the larger SSD...
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:54 PM   #10
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Thank you all
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:08 PM   #11
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I have my new HTPC up and running on a partitioned-down 500GB HDD... it's OK. As soon as I get a bigger one for my desktop, the old 64GB SSD is going into the HTPC.

In any case, I would have a separate drive for the OS and programs, and the rest as non-system media storage... might as well make it an SSD.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:17 PM   #12
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i would pretty much forget everyones suggestion. they clearly dont use their htpc's everyday, if they have one.

you want the fastest ssd you can afford, for the same reason everyone else buys ssd's. over time, your htpc will load up with games, programs and internet junk. your spindle drive will slow down. you WILL be waiting for that program guide to pop up while your friends sit there thinking "i just want to watch tv".

that new samsung pro line drive looks good. buy the best you can realistically afford. you wont regret it. spindles are still great for media storage, but any os drive you want ssd.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:24 AM   #13
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Honestly, an SSD is only going to provide a few advantages for pure HTPC use. The system will boot faster, it will resume from sleep more quickly, and media center menus will be snappier. That's pretty much it.

Personally I use a Momentus hybrid drive for my HTPC. imo, it provides the best of both worlds. The SSD portion is enough to make for a quick boot, fast resume, and snappy menus. And it has the benefit of enough storage for DVR recordings, if you will be recording live TV. If you like to keep DVR recordings there are utilities that can transfer them to an NAS.

If you plan on using the HTPC for other duties a decently sized SDD migh be a better alternative. It all comes down to what your specific requirements for an HTPC are.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:42 AM   #14
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Upgraded my (i3-2100\z68 based ) HTPC to a Samsung 830 256gb and have no regrets
Came from a WD black.

256gb - OS
2 x 1TB WD black drives for media\steam library\files.

No benefit with most operations in XBMC but I do use this box for other things.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:51 AM   #15
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Both my htpc's have ssds in them. I had to convince the wife that the htpc was a good thing so I knew I needed one for a quick boot. My wife has no patience when it comes to pc stuff and when I built it and fired it up for her she was impressed. Now she knows how to turn everything on, and navigate through xbmc in very little time.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:12 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wirednuts View Post
i would pretty much forget everyones suggestion. they clearly dont use their htpc's everyday, if they have one.

you want the fastest ssd you can afford, for the same reason everyone else buys ssd's. over time, your htpc will load up with games, programs and internet junk. your spindle drive will slow down. you WILL be waiting for that program guide to pop up while your friends sit there thinking "i just want to watch tv".

that new samsung pro line drive looks good. buy the best you can realistically afford. you wont regret it. spindles are still great for media storage, but any os drive you want ssd.
I use mine a lot but I should caveat its almost exclusively running WMC/Media Browser. There are no games installed, I do only very light web surfing and I only install a few programs concerning media organization, etc. Plus I don't even bother allowing the computer to sleep/hibernate. I figure it uses so little power it doesn't matter.

Again, I have an SSD for my OS but only because it was laying around unused so I threw it in there. I would not have one otherwise.
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:24 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wirednuts View Post
i would pretty much forget everyones suggestion. they clearly dont use their htpc's everyday, if they have one.

you want the fastest ssd you can afford, for the same reason everyone else buys ssd's. over time, your htpc will load up with games, programs and internet junk. your spindle drive will slow down. you WILL be waiting for that program guide to pop up while your friends sit there thinking "i just want to watch tv".

that new samsung pro line drive looks good. buy the best you can realistically afford. you wont regret it. spindles are still great for media storage, but any os drive you want ssd.
Of all the primary computer types, a dedicated HTPC gains the least from an SSD upgrade. Large libraries of music and/or movies will obviously gain a lot from an SSD but many of the typical HTPC uses will see very little or no benefit.

Now...with the prices of SSD's being so low, it's hard to suggest a regular drive. But if there is a budget constraint for the build, dropping the SSD is one of the first things that I would suggest.

Oh, and I do have HTPC machines and I do use them every day - three HTPC boxes and a WHS server to be exact. My HTPC machines all have SSD's, but I notice very little difference from the couch. It's just not nearly as perceptible as it is on a gaming, general desktop, or office-use machine. My HTPC boxes are just that - dedicated HTPC boxes. They play movies, music, and picture slide shows. They don't (ever) play games, they only browse the web when required, they generally don't go to sleep and they are never totally off, and they use a remote control as the input device 99% of the time from a distance of 8-12 feet.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:12 PM   #18
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I have an ssd in my htpc now, which is a 256gb Samsung 840 Pro. I bought the non-pro version, and after it took over 1 hour to install windows I returned it. Don't know if there was anything wrong with it or not.

The main reason I went with it- Silence. Coolermaster hyper 212 with the fan removed on an i3-3225, Seasonic ss-400fl Fanless, Asrock z77 pro mb, 8gb ram, & a pair of Hauppauge 2250 tuner cards all on win8 pro with media center for dvr.

I have a slew of spinner drives installed in the case but I just keep the power unplugged on them unless I need them. Kind of inconvenient but the system wakes up to record tv and it is right near my bed so I was willing to pay nearly $300 for the ssd to achieve silence and so far it has been great. The sound of even one or 2 spindle drives spinning up was enough to annoy me in the middle of the night when I'm sleeping.
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:04 PM   #19
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lolz, so the people who said you dont need one, have one in their htpc's. pretty much what i figured. i have done it both ways too, and the htpc's i put ssd's in are always better in every way. the downsides dont even include cost anymore- as 120gb ssd's are less then $100 for good ones. room isnt an issue either as they can be stuck anywhere in a case.

the real question is, why wouldn't you want an ssd in your htpc? is there any real reason not to?
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:16 PM   #20
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Its optional.

But not in my house. My HTPCs will always have one.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:17 PM   #21
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Assassin:
"Its optional.
But not in my house. My HTPCs will always have one."
Pretty much says it all not to disregard the other comments of course thank you
Ksyder for sharing your experience with the non pro version of the 840 I will be going with the 64 gb 830 (budget range) , it is more than enough for the htpc applications, the 830 seems at the top of the charts in quite a few benchmarks.
Thank you all for sharing you own experiences and your helpful insights.
PS: I was amused by your situation wirednuts: I imagined you surrounded with friends trying to be casual at the fact the tv guide won't start while secretly cursing all the spindles .... just for laughs
Peace
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:04 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wirednuts View Post
lolz, so the people who said you dont need one, have one in their htpc's. pretty much what i figured. i have done it both ways too, and the htpc's i put ssd's in are always better in every way. the downsides dont even include cost anymore- as 120gb ssd's are less then $100 for good ones. room isnt an issue either as they can be stuck anywhere in a case.

the real question is, why wouldn't you want an ssd in your htpc? is there any real reason not to?
Those who have said you don't need an SSD have stated that for HTPC use they provide nearly an imperceptible advantage. They are correct, though on a tech forum you are likely to find that a lot of users are employing the latest and greatest whenever possible. As far as any real reason not to use an SSD, it depends on the specific HTPC build and the intended use(s). For those with mITX systems, where internal storage is at a premium, an SDD can take up considerable space. For those where economics are a primary consideration leaving out an SSD can shave off a few bucks as well. Plus, as I already mentioned, with hybrid drives there are alternatives to using an SSD with an HTPC.

Personally, I have SSDs in my laptops and desktop systems. I think there are better solutions for HTPCs though. While SSD are great in specific situation, in an HTPC they aren't mandatory and not having one isn't any great loss. ymmv.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:44 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wirednuts View Post
the downsides dont even include cost anymore- as 120gb ssd's are less then $100 for good ones. <snip> the real question is, why wouldn't you want an ssd in your htpc? is there any real reason not to?
Cost is the only issue. There's no question any computer is better with one. IF you need more space too (i.e. need 1TB+, so SSD and a regular HD), it's not as easy to say that the SSD is mandatory in an HTPC box. The same computer without the SSD might be identical to some people. It's all about the allocation of monetary resources.

If the system can live with 120GB or less, there's very little reason to not get the SSD.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:29 PM   #24
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My first HTPC had a 1TB WD Green drive in it. I don't think an SSD is anywhere near manditory in a HTPC. I did throw an 80GB X25-M G2 into my new LLano-based HTPC. It certainly boots faster than the old one did, but other than that, I don't notice much of a difference.

I will say that I think I recall reading in one of Anand's articles that watching online streaming HD video, say off of the internet, could benefit from an SSD. Surely it would also help recording/watching multiple streams from different tuners as well.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:42 AM   #25
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The other benefit is that when you're just browsing/streaming, you have no mechanical storage running because your bulk storage can spin down, and just the SSD is active. Then once you need to watch a local movie or listen to ripped music, let the drives spin up. It helps with noise especially if you've tuned your machine to be very quiet. As quiet as today's drives are (even the 7200rpm ones), they are not silent and you'll potentially be blown away by how much quieter your machine is with all spinning drives off.

While I don't think you need the fastest SSD around, you need one that is reliable and capable of handling the background writes from the OS gracefully if you plan to run 24/7 like I do (my old OCZ got hammered with high WA, but my old X25-M G1 that replaced it is going strong, and I couldn't care much for something faster)
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