replacing hdd w/ssd, size/controller q's

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I bought a dv7 pavilion with a 320.0 GB SATA-300 7200.0 rpm hard drive,
and I'm reading about SSD drives to see if the price will justify the
improvement in speed.

A buddy of mine recommended that I get an SSD that uses a sanforce
controller, and avoid indelinix controllers because they've had some
problems. I read that the Cruzial v4 256GB SSD uses a Phison controller
which is significantly slower than other same sized drives.

Does anyone here have any recommendations on which driver to go with for

Also, will I have any problems cloning my 320 GB hdd to a 256 GB SSD? I
have less than 200 GB of files, including the hidden restore partition.
In the past IIRC the target drive had to be at least as big as the
source drive, is that the case when cloning an hdd to an SSD?


Re: replacing hdd w/ssd, size/controller q's

On 12/9/2012 4:20 PM, Mike S wrote:
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 > Does anyone here have any recommendations on which driver to go with
 > for  SATA II

That should have read, "which controller to go with"...


Re: replacing hdd w/ssd, size/controller q's

Mike S wrote:
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Your best source of advice (first order approximation), is
to read the customer reviews on Newegg or Amazon. If customers
note "mine died after three weeks", then you know there
are potentially firmware problems with the unit in question.

If the one you're interested in, passes the "smell" test,
then, you're off to the review sites, for more info. For
example, a recent Samsung, died in the hands of reviewers,
and the reviewers now claim, only the review units had
a bugged version of firmware. The release ones (the ones
end-users buy) had an OK version. The review sites can
help you a bit in that regard.

And looking at the reviews, you can see how many IOPs
an SSD achieved in testing, and decide whether that
really makes a difference to you. The zero seek time,
is responsible for a lot of the improvement you see
in an SSD. Whether it's 10,000 or 40,000 IOPs, maybe
that is more apparent if all you do is benchmark them
all day long.

If a unit has bad firmware, stutters or slows down
after you've done a 4KB random write test, those are
actually corner conditions that can arise in the real
world. If you're doing something that does a lot of
small writes, and at high speed, that can uncover
garbage collection or TRIM issues. But if this
SSD is being used for more ordinary things, like
reading an email every ten minutes, browsing with
your web browser, you might not notice anything like
that (drive performance stays consistent). The drive
has time to wear-level and clean up behind the scenes.
But if you pound the thing with synthetic benchmarks,
some drives need all night to clean up (or, you run
"secure erase" and give them a chance to clean up
the "fast way").

Every controller has "had some problems". It's the
ability to fix them via firmware, and preferably
before product is in the hands of users, that
makes the difference. And it's true, that some
architectures are better than others, have a
faster control processor or whatever. And that
should show up in the IOP rate, which you can
get from actual, detailed reviews.


The SSD is a storage device. If you clone from
one hard drive, to another hard drive which is smaller,
the same issue arises with respect to size. So there
must be cloning tools which can handle a size difference
in a partition. The SSD doesn't change that.

What does change with an SSD, is the "preferred alignment".
You could use an ignorant cloning tool, one only
designed for hard drives and CHS alignment. That
gives an SSD with a non-preferred alignment (slight
speed penalty). And then, you use a separate
"alignment tool", to move things to one megabyte
(1MB) boundaries. So there's certainly more than
one path to getting the job done.

An SSD could report a non-standard CHS value, one
intended to encourage an older tool, to use a better
alignment. But I don't think that is guaranteed,
and deserves verification by the user.

If you install an SSD in a computer, and install Win7
or Win8 to it, the installer already "prefers" 1MB alignment,
and can handle that detail for you. (Even Linux does
that now.) But when it comes to mixing and matching
OSes and tools, you could end up with either a
CHS (63 sector) or 1MB alignment, and in the 63 sector case,
use an alignment tool to fix it up.

If time is more important than money, you can find
a tool that handles things like that. Or, waste
more time (like I would), looking for a free
solution :-) I bet there's a way to do it. I
might even boot a Linux Live CD and try GParted,
or use one of the dedicated distributions, and
get it done that way.

If you put a blank SSD in a computer, and installed
Win7 or Win8 to it, then you wouldn't need a tool
like that.

Maybe the tool to look for, is a reporting tool,
which can document the state the thing is in ?
You might waste less money buying tools that way.


Re: replacing hdd w/ssd, size/controller q's

At this point, I just buy Intel. I'd had installations fail in midstream
with other SSDs. If you read intel reviews on Newegg, the main complaint
is the price.

My suggestion is to first install your favorite flavor of linux on the
SSD and run it for a while. [A windows install phones home these days,
and you may find yourself calling MS to explain that you are not a
crook. Hence use an opensource OS. ] Don't put your personal data on a
SSD that may not be totally functional, because you don't know how the
factory will handle the RMA. In theory they will wipe your data, but you
never know.

I cloned with Ghost for linux off the Parted Magic CD. However, my SSD
was bigger than my hard drive. I have no idea if the clone is optimal.
All I know is I boot in under 10 seconds.

I don't even aggravate myself with SSD speed benchmarks. SSD is so much
better than a hard drive that the differences in speed will not be
noticed in human perception. Maybe benchmarks, but not real life.

You need to read up on the OS settings to use SSD. I had used AHCI on
the hard drive and didn't change when going SSD. I don't do any disk
caching, not even for the browser. I don't index the drive. You want to
set up the OS not to overuse the SSD. Never defrag.

I suggest while you are upgrading this PC, put in as much dram as it
will hold.

Re: replacing hdd w/ssd, size/controller q's

On 10/12/12 19:11, miso wrote:
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and if everyone is like you, it will only get worse. Intel charges what
the market will pay and they can whne all they lie, but they will pay/

Re: replacing hdd w/ssd, size/controller q's

On 12/10/2012 2:10 AM, terryc wrote:
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I wish you luck with other SSD brands. Maybe Samsung has it together.

I've got two years on this small Intel SSD I'm using as a logging
device. Just 80Gbytes in an Atom D525. Thus far, zero problems. I only
have 6 months on the notebook SSD. No problems either, but I don't run
it 24 and 7 like the Atom PC.

Note that warranties on the retail Intel SSDs is 5 years as is Samsung.
OCZ seems to have the most complaints.
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I suspect Intel will track the market, but always get a premium in the
near future.

Re: replacing hdd w/ssd, size/controller q's

On 12/9/2012 8:58 PM, Paul wrote:
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Thanks Paul, you gave me a lot to think about.

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