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New ITX build, SSD, thoughts/suggestions?

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New ITX build, SSD, thoughts/suggestions?

Postby Kurosen on Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:08 am

Boy, its been a while since i posted here... 2010 maybe? How's it been guys?

Anywho, so I'm currently in the very late planning stages of a new mini itx computer i want to build. Up until a couple months ago, i was pretty much only looking at intel stuff. But around the start of december, i decided to see what AMD had been up to in the CPU market, and within a day, i was set on one of their new Trinity CPU's. the high end chips only cost ~130$, and the integrated GPU can actually run modern games at a playable framerate. Well color me impressed.

So now that my entire world has been turned upside down, I start looking at motherboards. There are basically 2 ITX motherboards on the market for the FM2 cpu's. One by ASRock, which boasts the ability to set itself ablaze, and one by MSI, which has been scarce at best. I'm waiting to purchase anything until I see the ITX boards that have been promised by Gigabyte at the end of January. I think there is one other brand that is supposed to drop something as well, but i forget. I know i'll want the A75 (or A85 if it happens to be reasonable) chipset because of its better support for SATA 3.

Speaking of SATA 3, this is where my current stopgap has appeared. I would really like to get a solid state drive for this machine, but I dont know a ton about them. I would like to get one that is at least 160Gb's, preferably i would want one in the 250gb range. This would ensure enough space for me to install the games I'll be wanting to play on it. Another thing that pretty much has me sold on a SSD is seeing just how fast one can boot. At work we got some Lenovo ultrabooks with Windows 8 and some SSD's, and they boot up in about 5 seconds.

So far the only thing i can really go on w/ SSD's are reviews. From what i've been reading, Kingston HyperX 3k's are pretty good, Crucial M4's have gotten some praise, and the Samsung line is highly rated as well. I've heard its best to go for the Pro line if you go with Samsung though. One thing i've been told is that SSD's come down a lot to the controller used for the drives. I sadly cannot find what i previously read about certain drives and their controllers, so this is partly why im posting.

So all in all, my main question is, what should i look for in a SSD past my storage requirements? Also, has anyone used windows 7 on a SSD? How fast does it boot?

If anyone is curious about my current planned build:

CPU: AMD A10-5700
Mobo: TBA
RAM: also TBA, but most likely will be 16 gigs, because ram is so cheap right now. Apparently ram speed here really effects the CPU's performance, so ill be getting the best the motherboard can support.
PSU: PicoPSU, probably in the 150watt range
Case: Currently looking at the Travla C292. It seems tall enough to support a good heat sink (for more awesome silence), and has a PCI expansion slot, which I might use for a capture card of some sort.
OS: I'd really like to use Windows 8. since getting to play with it and figuring it out, it seems like it'll be a nice experience on a TV screen. not sure yet though. I'm thinking ill be using Steam Big Picture a fair bit though.

As always, information is greatly appreciated. I need to try and hang around more.
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Kurosen
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SSDs are one of the few areas of computing that is still moving fast. Pick something that works for you now, because if you wait for the best point to buy, you're just going to be out of a computer for that much longer.

Windows 7 does show significant improvements when loading from an SSD. It's not as good as Windows 8, but the latter has some changes to its boot sequence that improves time to desktop. You'll want to look at max read and write speeds for SSDs because even as fast as they are, they still can't saturate a SATA3 bus. (SATA3 max speeds are 600MB/sec, the best SSDs are about 500MB/sec reading at the moment.)

Kingston and Crucial make good stuff, and so does OCZ. SanDisk makes some good things but others...not so much. Intel also makes some really good stuff. Check out StorageReview for way more information than you ever thought you didn't want to know about it.

Other than that, you look to be in a decent range. I'm not as into building custom rigs as I used to be; I have stock cooling on CPU and GPU because it works well enough (though it might be getting dusty as a few games have recently triggered unexpected fan use). I can't fault you on the AMD CPU choice as they have the strong edge on price/performance.

I don't know about Windows 8 on a TV screen, though. It really is designed for touch and if you don't have touch, you're missing a big part of it. I know few people who have stuck with Windows 8 for more than a couple of weeks before replacing it with its predecessor.
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New ITX build, SSD, thoughts/suggestions?

Postby Deacon on Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:12 am

We've had a number of issues with OCZ drives at work, but Intel seems to be pretty solid. Crucial also seems to be a top performer. I run a 180GB Intel 330 in my Core 2 Quad with Windows 7 and have been pleased.
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Martin Blank wrote:SSDs are one of the few areas of computing that is still moving fast. Pick something that works for you now, because if you wait for the best point to buy, you're just going to be out of a computer for that much longer.

Windows 7 does show significant improvements when loading from an SSD. It's not as good as Windows 8, but the latter has some changes to its boot sequence that improves time to desktop. You'll want to look at max read and write speeds for SSDs because even as fast as they are, they still can't saturate a SATA3 bus. (SATA3 max speeds are 600MB/sec, the best SSDs are about 500MB/sec reading at the moment.)

Kingston and Crucial make good stuff, and so does OCZ. SanDisk makes some good things but others...not so much. Intel also makes some really good stuff. Check out StorageReview for way more information than you ever thought you didn't want to know about it.


Wow, thats a pretty thorough review of SSD's. from the looks of it samsung has 5 year warranties, which is kinda comforting. ill have to see what others offer

Other than that, you look to be in a decent range. I'm not as into building custom rigs as I used to be; I have stock cooling on CPU and GPU because it works well enough (though it might be getting dusty as a few games have recently triggered unexpected fan use). I can't fault you on the AMD CPU choice as they have the strong edge on price/performance.

I don't know about Windows 8 on a TV screen, though. It really is designed for touch and if you don't have touch, you're missing a big part of it. I know few people who have stuck with Windows 8 for more than a couple of weeks before replacing it with its predecessor.


Yeah, i havent been building much either, my main box is a Q9550 core2 quad. its been sailing along nicely for a few years now. I mainly want a new mini build for easy travel. my old atom based on is a bit limited on what it can do. And its pretty insane what AMD is doing w/ their APU's.

As for windows 8, i've got a logitech K400 keyboard (has a touchpad on it for mouse), which i think might support some multi-touch functions, not sure though. I'll probably just go with Windows 7 for now, since its easy enough to install my personal copy of it.
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Not really what I meant by touch. If you don't have a touchscreen, you're going to be missing out on Windows 8 core functionality. I don't know if it will ever quite catch on, though, so you may not be missing much.

I'm a big fan of longer warranties. I won't buy a drive with less than a three-year warranty and I really want five-year warranties when I can get them. Similarly, I won't get a notebook with less than a three-year service plan and look for four-year service plans. It's not that the stuff is unreliable. I've just been caught unable to buy a replacement in the past often enough to be concerned about it in the future.
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Yeah. We've gotten some Windows 8 tablets at work as well. I think the main thing i dislike about not having touch is having to shove my cursor in a given corner for w/e i want to do. I do like getting to swipe over the right side to bring up the start menu and w/e else it has. I think for non-touch things they need a new layout for things though, but i found once i got the start screen set with all my stuff i used, i rather liked it. You dont have to go though a huge list of things you'll probably never use, and if you need something back, its a bit easier to get to than digging through the program files folder if you delete something from the start menu.

A I'll for sure be looking for at least a 3 year warranty on any drive i get... i dont think it'll be a big issue coming from any of the major manufacturers, I always recalled kingston being quite good with warranties, not sure how difficult any of them are with getting a replacement though, but ill cross that bridge when i get to it (which im hoping i just never get to).
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New ITX build, SSD, thoughts/suggestions?

Postby Deacon on Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:22 am

I used the warranty on a Seagate 4 years after I bought it. Good thing it was a 5 year warranty. Didn't need my receipt (which I didn't have) since they had the build number.
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