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Abraxus#
10-10-09, 11:16 AM
Just thought i'd let you all know about the new SSD I just ordered and how I get on with it when it arrives. I'd also appreciate any input on how I should set it up.

It's an Intel X25M G2 160GB and it'll replace my horrible noisy Raptor X, it should arrive on Wednesday.

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD-005-IN&groupid=701&catid=14&subcat=1427

I only have about 80GB on my current drive so I reckon the 160GB should help with the degradation over time plus give a bit of room to breathe.

I plan on cloning my current drive using Acronis Migrate Easy - it worked pretty well for me when I transfered to my current drive.

I'm also going to tidy the Raptor up and defrag it beforehand.

At the mo' i've only got 2GB of RAM so i've ordered this:
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY-039-KS&groupid=701&catid=8&subcat=817

so that I can turn off page file and do the various tweaks on here:
http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=43460
with relative safety. Also I think my Corsair Dominator is a bit knackered - I get problems like the pc not switching off properly so i'll be glad to be rid of it. I know I wont see all 4GB

So any other tips/ things I should do? I'm a bit nervous about messing something up especially given how expensive it all was.

Roliath
10-10-09, 08:04 PM
I would suggest just moving your pagefile to another drive, instead of keeping it on the SSD. I disabled superfetch, indexing, and defrag off on my Vista/SSD setup.

Abraxus#
10-11-09, 05:34 AM
It looks like I disabled indexing already, which is nice.

I've read about AHCI in a few places - is this something I have to set in the bios? I can set 'sata configuration' to IDE, RAID or AHCI. Is there anything else I should check in the bios?

Apologies for being clueless.

Abraxus#
10-11-09, 07:17 AM
What about write caching? I've been reading about it here:

http://www.accucadd.com/TechNotes/Cache/WriteBehindCache.htm

and it seems like something I should turn off normally.

Also has anyone with XP turned off prefetcher? I guess that's like superfetch so should go off.

As an aside, does anyone think calling them solid-state drives is pretty dumb? It's not like they're going to be sloshing around in liquid state.

Bman212121
10-11-09, 10:04 AM
Just thought i'd let you all know about the new SSD I just ordered and how I get on with it when it arrives. I'd also appreciate any input on how I should set it up.

It's an Intel X25M G2 160GB and it'll replace my horrible noisy Raptor X, it should arrive on Wednesday.

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD-005-IN&groupid=701&catid=14&subcat=1427

I only have about 80GB on my current drive so I reckon the 160GB should help with the degradation over time plus give a bit of room to breathe.

I plan on cloning my current drive using Acronis Migrate Easy - it worked pretty well for me when I transfered to my current drive.

I'm also going to tidy the Raptor up and defrag it beforehand.

At the mo' i've only got 2GB of RAM so i've ordered this:
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY-039-KS&groupid=701&catid=8&subcat=817

so that I can turn off page file and do the various tweaks on here:
http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=43460
with relative safety. Also I think my Corsair Dominator is a bit knackered - I get problems like the pc not switching off properly so i'll be glad to be rid of it. I know I wont see all 4GB

So any other tips/ things I should do? I'm a bit nervous about messing something up especially given how expensive it all was.

Unfortunately you can't clone the drive if you want the partition to be aligned correctly. There is an offset that aligns each physical "block" with your partitions virtual block. By default its set at 63 in by Arconis. If you do a fresh install with Vista or Windows 7 and repartition the drive they will align it correctly to 1024. Even if it's aligned now Arconis won't respect the alignment and set it back to 63.

What it means is that you'll lose some performance for small reads / writes.

Abraxus#
10-11-09, 11:19 AM
Thanks for the info but I don't really understand.

On my current HDD I don't have different partitions - just the one, is that the issue?

Is there another program that will do it properly rather than Acronis?

Lots of the sites i've read suggest that cloning is a good idea becuase it reduces the amount of work for the SSD (or something).

Bman212121
10-11-09, 01:21 PM
Thanks for the info but I don't really understand.

On my current HDD I don't have different partitions - just the one, is that the issue?



Nope, the issue is just how far into the disk the first partition starts. There is a small buffer of empty data at the beginning of the drive that is left unused. It's used to push the beginning of the partition back far enough to where the it aligns correctly with the block of flash on the SSD.


Is there another program that will do it properly rather than Acronis?

Unfortunately I'm not sure if there is at this point. I know I was checking out some info at [H]ardforums when I came across a thread about it. Can't seem to find it again though.

EDIT: Here it is: http://www.hardforums.com/showthread.php?t=1419557


I'm not sure about the dual boot part, but at least for a single OS partition the answer is yes. You have to create an empty aligned partition on the new drive, and then use a drive imaging utility to clone the old partition over. The trick is to use program that can image into an existing partition without overwriting the alignment. I used DriveImage XML, and Drive SnapShot is supposed to work also. You then may have to mess around a bit to restore the MBR and make the new drive boot properly. On Vista/Win7 partitions you also have to tinker with something called the BCD, which DriveImage will do for you.


It sounds like DriveImage XML can do it. You need to first create an empty partition on your SSD then use the software to just copy over to the new partition.
http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?p=326753#post326753


Lots of the sites i've read suggest that cloning is a good idea becuase it reduces the amount of work for the SSD (or something).


In theory is does sound good. Basically instead of having to do multiple read writes to install and update all of your software, you are just doing 1 big write. It should have a few write cycles but I don't think it's going be that much of an issue.

Abraxus#
10-11-09, 02:04 PM
OK, thanks for the answers. At the moment I feeling a bit stupid for ordering the thing in the first place with all the issues.

I just spent an hour or so trying to figure out AHCI, which supposedly is good for SSDs, only to conclude that I don't have sufficient knowledge to set it up without reinstalling Windows.

I think the best solution at the moment is to just throw it in, clone my HDD over to it, do the few obvious tweaks (prefetching, indexing and maybe no pagefile) and use it as normal until Windows 7 arrives and then i'll do a proper set-up. It should still be faster than this horrible Raptor even if it's not optimal right? Most people seem to do this without trouble.

Roliath
10-11-09, 03:45 PM
I didn't disable indexing. It's one of the best features in Vista/7 IMO. I just moved the index location to another disk.

Even before my SSD's, I disabled indexing. Well at least on my gaming box, I keep that OS fairly clean.

Bman212121
10-13-09, 10:04 AM
OK, thanks for the answers. At the moment I feeling a bit stupid for ordering the thing in the first place with all the issues.

I just spent an hour or so trying to figure out AHCI, which supposedly is good for SSDs, only to conclude that I don't have sufficient knowledge to set it up without reinstalling Windows.

I think the best solution at the moment is to just throw it in, clone my HDD over to it, do the few obvious tweaks (prefetching, indexing and maybe no pagefile) and use it as normal until Windows 7 arrives and then i'll do a proper set-up. It should still be faster than this horrible Raptor even if it's not optimal right? Most people seem to do this without trouble.

Yes it should still be faster.

Abraxus#
10-14-09, 05:09 AM
Well, I just pre-ordered Win 7 Pro student for 30, so i'm looking forward to trying that out.
However, if I just clone my HDD to the SSD now, then do the clean upgrade install of W7 will it properly align with the disc? I know it does for a normal clean install but what if it's over a copy of XP?

I sure wish microsoft were clearer about how the upgrade process works.

Abraxus#
10-14-09, 12:25 PM
It finally arrived today and it's all up and running.

First impressions are:

1) There is no noise - it's funny how i've come to expect crunching noises everytime I click on something.

2) It is not all that much quicker when browsing the desktop - apps open faster but it's not obvious. I was always annoyed by how slow thumbnails showed up in my photos with the HDD but this isn't much better. Viewing and editing photos is only a little bit better too.

3) Again, boot times are quicker but it's not all that much quicker.

Overall it was worth it for the quiet, and if it's quicker in games i'll be happy.

I just cloned it over with Acronis and did most of the tweaks here: http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=43460

So it's probably not optimal but I used CrystalDiskMark and it all seems ok except for the bottom right, which is way worse that all the other examples i've seen. Any idea why?

Anyway i'll just have a play of Oblivion and see how that works...

edit: Oblivion with lots of extra textures etc was much better, way more immersive and less weird pop-up.