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Old 10-11-2012, 09:09 AM   #1
dshah37
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Smile Pata/ide ssd?

Hey,

I've got a really old Dell Optiplex GX150 Small Form Factor PC and I'd like to upgrade a couple of things on it so that my grandma can use it for basic things. Since SSDs are known to improve performance drastically, that was my first upgrade to consider.

I know SATA is the way to go but my motherboard doesn't have SATA (yeah, it's pre-historic). There's a handful of PATA SSDs out there. Something like this one. Do you think it'll give the performance boost I require considering that it's IDE? Also, how do I make sure that it'll work with my motherboard?

Or would using a PATA to SATA converter be a better option than buying a PATA SSD altogether?

Thanks in advance for the help

Last edited by dshah37; 10-11-2012 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:16 AM   #2
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No experience with IDE SSD's, but IDE is IDE, so it should work. That being said, I'd just as soon get a cheap < $20 PCI SATA1/2 card (bunch on newegg for like $15) and get a same-price better, bigger 64GB+ SATA SSD that you can then also use in a better PC if you ever upgrade her. Performance will be the same (not great because of old PC, but much better than the slow HD she's probably using).

Last edited by mrpiggy; 10-11-2012 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:16 AM   #3
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It'll give you a boost - but without TRIM support and stuff, it'll probably end up sucking after a few months of use.

And if you're going to sink that much money in such an old machine, you're probably better off getting something a leeeetle bit newer.

Like so.

The performance advantages of an SSD vs. HDD aren't going to be too important to somebody who'd be otherwise happy using a Pentium III. They'd be better off having a C2D and a platter disk.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:27 AM   #4
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Actually for IDEs, i wouldn't bother.. the slow transfer rate doesn't do well. it'll still top out at 33/66mb.

I upgraded a few laptop desktops with ide ssd and they were just as slow as before. I thought it was defected ssd, but I tried the ssd on various computers, and the speed is just slow from the ata bus
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave_the_nerd View Post
It'll give you a boost - but without TRIM support and stuff, it'll probably end up sucking after a few months of use.

And if you're going to sink that much money in such an old machine, you're probably better off getting something a leeeetle bit newer.

Like so.

The performance advantages of an SSD vs. HDD aren't going to be too important to somebody who'd be otherwise happy using a Pentium III. They'd be better off having a C2D and a platter disk.

Grandma (who usually gets the handmedown PC's)or OP aint going to need trim. The PC is probably going to be in idle a LOT as I'm sure grandma or the OP is isn't busy downloading TB's of torrents on an old ass PC, so GC in the SSD is going to be able to keep up just fine. SSD's ARE the perfect match for old setups for breathing some life into them. Ask anyone who has put an SSD in an older laptop or netbook. Sure it aint gonna turn an old Pentium into an 4core i7 in performance, but it will be MUCH snappier than any HD/older CPU combo for regular usage. Grandma or the OP with an old PC is gonna be happy with their internet browser or e-mail client popping up much faster so they can see their pics faster and an SSD will do stuff like that much better than a HD even with an old CPU.

Oh, and grandma being given as the kind of regular use person for an old PC who has been happy with their old hardware for a long time :-) Had grandma on the mind as I recently did the same (upgrade ancient hardware to have a SSD)!

Last edited by mrpiggy; 10-11-2012 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:30 AM   #6
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Do not get an SSD that uses an obsolete interface, because you can simply upgrade the computer to have a modern interface. Especially since the IDE SSD costs more - instead buy an SSD with SATA and spend the extra money leftover on a SATA card for the computer. Or use an inline SATA-IDE adapter.

That will let you get a good SSD with modern interface, good resale value, and open even more options for the upgraded computer.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:41 AM   #7
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Do not get an SSD that uses an obsolete interface, because you can simply upgrade the computer to have a modern interface. Especially since the IDE SSD costs more - instead buy an SSD with SATA and spend the extra money leftover on a SATA card for the computer. Or use an inline SATA-IDE adapter.

That will let you get a good SSD with modern interface, good resale value, and open even more options for the upgraded computer.
Does the PCI SATA card allow me to use SSD as Master and just not have any drives connected directly to the motherboard?
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:48 AM   #8
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You don't need a SSD. Just do a fresh install of Win98 and defrag it. Don't be surprised if you find yourself booting in under 10 seconds.

If this is for internet browsing at all, that processor is going to have problems, though. You'll want XP for security but it's WAY bloated compared to 98, and web pages are content heavy. Dave's suggestion of a $90 C2D system is great. (and damn, that thing's better than what I'm on.)
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:24 AM   #9
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Does the PCI SATA card allow me to use SSD as Master and just not have any drives connected directly to the motherboard?
It should, I have upgraded many older PCs from PATA to SATA in the past. It depends on the BIOS...

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You don't need a SSD. Just do a fresh install of Win98 and defrag it. Don't be surprised if you find yourself booting in under 10 seconds.

If this is for internet browsing at all, that processor is going to have problems, though. You'll want XP for security but it's WAY bloated compared to 98, and web pages are content heavy. Dave's suggestion of a $90 C2D system is great. (and damn, that thing's better than what I'm on.)
What year is this?. Are you seriously recommending the OP installs Win98?...

If the OP needs another OS I would go with something *nix based like Ubuntu. Win98 does not even support a halfway modern browser, the highest you can install is apparently Firefox v2.0.0.20, which is 8 YEARS old...
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:47 AM   #10
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If the OP needs another OS I would go with something *nix based like Ubuntu.
Sure, if he wants to write his own drivers.
And Ubuntu certainly doesn't free him from bloat.
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:03 PM   #11
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Sure, if he wants to write his own drivers.
And Ubuntu certainly doesn't free him from bloat.
Are we in the same century...?

I am almost willing to bet that Ubuntu supports such old hardware "out-of-the-box"...

If you -really- want to get rid of bloat you could try this;

http://www.menuetos.net/

Written in assembly and fits on a floppy...
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:35 PM   #12
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It should, I have upgraded many older PCs from PATA to SATA in the past. It depends on the BIOS...
Thanks for that info..How do I check if my BIOS supports this?

Also, since my grandma is using this computer, I'd want to stick to WinXP
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:57 PM   #13
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Thanks for that info..How do I check if my BIOS supports this?

Also, since my grandma is using this computer, I'd want to stick to WinXP
This is getting complicated...

According to the manual, the BIOS -should- check for a primary controller on the expansion bus. But with these "locked" OEM BIOSs you can never be completely sure until you have tried it...

Your next problem will be installing a driver for the controller during boot. The "Press F6 to install driver for 3rd party controller" line. WinXP ONLY supports floppy disks for this. So you will need either a floppy disk or slipstream the driver on the windows install disk...

I am starting to think it would be easier for you to use something like this;

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16812119257

That way you do not have to worry about anything but connecting the cables and installing windows...
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:29 PM   #14
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I had a PATA Transcend 32GB SSD based on a fixed version of the JMicron controllers back in 2009-2010. It along with Win7 completely revived a Pentium M based laptop. However it's cost back then $120 was borderline expensive and was purchased from newegg. I can't even find any PATA 2.5" SSDs on newegg now.

What Insert_Nickname suggest would probably be best. I myself would try a PCI SATA controller, if you can find a low profile one that fits the chassis. Otherwise go with the inline SATA-PATA adapter. I tried a cheap $10 one before. It throttled speeds to I think 66MB/s but as long as you run it to a SATA SSD it'll still be miles better than PATA HDDs. And as usual, whenever your grandpa upgrades, you'll still be able to use that SATA SSD. Best of luck.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:30 PM   #15
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This is getting complicated...

According to the manual, the BIOS -should- check for a primary controller on the expansion bus. But with these "locked" OEM BIOSs you can never be completely sure until you have tried it...

Your next problem will be installing a driver for the controller during boot. The "Press F6 to install driver for 3rd party controller" line. WinXP ONLY supports floppy disks for this. So you will need either a floppy disk or slipstream the driver on the windows install disk...

I am starting to think it would be easier for you to use something like this;

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16812119257

That way you do not have to worry about anything but connecting the cables and installing windows...
haha yeah this sounds like a much easier option, thanks a lot But is there any chance that the motherboard won't identify the adapter or the SSD altogether? And how much is it worth to have a SSD without TRIM? Any other tips/things that I should keep in mind would be appreciated
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:47 PM   #16
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haha yeah this sounds like a much easier option, thanks a lot But is there any chance that the motherboard won't identify the adapter or the SSD altogether? And how much is it worth to have a SSD without TRIM? Any other tips/things that I should keep in mind would be appreciated
I don't think so, but again no guaranties...

TRIM is not really important for this kind of application (webbrowsing etc.). I don't think you will notice any performance degradation. Remember that you are bottlenecked by the UltraATA-66 controller anyway, even if your SSD in the worst case is only capable of transferring 100MB/s you won't be able to tell. Because you are limited to 66MB/s...

If it bothers you, get an Intel SSD, they have a great toolbox. You can just set it to manually TRIM once a week, and forget about it. Any competent drive should also do its own garbage collection...
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:11 PM   #17
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I still say you shouldn't be inflicting a GX150 on anybody you like.
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:08 PM   #18
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I've used PCI add-in SATA controllers before (a few 2port Syba's of the same model), and they worked fine on the very old PC's I used them on. Just make sure to not play around with the BIOS files out there for the chipset they used. Flashing once with one version worked, flashing again with a newer version and then the same older version bricked it. Just stay with what's on there if you go that route.

It's not like you'd be out the SSD anyways, so it's pretty cheap to try, given the price of them (at least when I bought).

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Old 10-12-2012, 10:06 AM   #19
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There are IDE SSD's??

Isn't that kinda like getting a Lambo to drive through a 25mph speed limit your whole route?
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:20 AM   #20
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There are IDE SSD's??

Isn't that kinda like getting a Lambo to drive through a 25mph speed limit your whole route?
No.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:25 AM   #21
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Wouldn't even a smallish SSD cost more than the entire computer on CL? o.O
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