questionsis a ssd worth the money?

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I can't speak to reliability or symptoms of impending failure as I have not experienced using SSD's long enough. I have found them very useful in my primary machine. I use one SSD for Win7 and a second SSD for all of my programs. This way the machine boots quickly and all of my software loads quickly. My data is on a large HDD. I am very happy with the arrangement. After experiencing catastrophic failure of HDD's in the past, I now monitor everything with software that warns me ahead of time plus I try to keep everything backed up. I'm not sure how useful the monitoring software is for an SSD, but it has sure saved my bacon on some HDD's.

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Keep in mind that all SSDs are not created equal. There are slow ones that won't be appreciably faster than a fast HD.

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when i built my last one I reached this same decision point. I figured since I was not the super techy type anymore - or a first class gamer with sponsors, then I really didn't need the fractionally higher speed and a significantly higher cost (per gb).

Their speed is good, and they are supposedly stable (will really find out in five years). But anyone that does anything with coputers knows that you should always have a backup hardrive. I like to keep at least one outside of the system.

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They do fail, but in different ways - traditional hard drive data recovery is done by transplanting parts from a good HDD to your failed HDD in order to get it to work or at least be readable. SSDs are memory chips - usually just one printed circuit board with discrete components, which makes the process of recovering data much harder.

It's way easier and cheaper to simply do backups on a regular basis, either for traditional HDs or SSDs. Windows 7 and Vista have backup programs built in and can be scheduled, so there's no excuse anymore.

As for the question as to being worth the money, here's an article on building a comparably performing HDD setup with WD Velociraptors: http://www.techwarelabs.com/how-to-build-an-ssd-killer-with-an-hdd/

Personally, I have four 128 GB SSDs in a RAID 10 configuration. I have benchmarked my machine at 400 MB/Sec writes and 600 MB/Sec reads. I could probably do better with a RAID-0 configuration, but I too don't yet completely trust SSDs.

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I should add - The SSD drives that I have had fail have all been catastrophic failures. The ones that could be saved required a re-flash of their firmware using special tools to recover from, which destroyed the data on the drives.

As mentioned before, all SSDs are not created equal - newer drives are much more stable and some vendors produce higher quality than others (I like the OCZ products, but there are other great brands out there). Newer drives also suffer less from the write-wear problem. Under typical scenarios (i.e. a laptop or personal workstation) you should get a minimum of 5 years of useful life out of an SSD.

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It's also worth considering your rig as a whole. How is the strength of the other parts of your machine? It might be better to buy/build a new computer to get a speed increase, rather than add a SSD to your existing one (unless your slowdowns are all due to HDD read/writes). If you're buying top end, it would likely be worth it to add a SSD, even at the cost of other components, if you're pushing overkill.

I know that I'll definitely be getting a SSD when I upgrade from my laptop, in a year or so, they're only getting better and cheaper, so gage how soon you need one

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I've had one fail after 3 months. It was a major failure.

Having said that -- it very much matters that the drive supports trim and has a descent controller (read: sandforce)/firmware. Performance can degrade dramatically over time. Up until recently you couldn't go wrong with Intel.

Anandtech is your God when it comes to understanding and rating these drives.
http://www.anandtech.com/SearchResults?q=ssd

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I'll second the vote of confidence in anandtech's reviews on the SSD front (and in general). I personally haven't gone to Solid-state yet, though I would like the performance boost. As to whether or not it's actually "worth it" - that's up to you. It does make a lot of things faster, as I've seen from some family members' rigs, e.g. decreased time loading Adobe Suite, faster boot times, etc.

However, thus far there have been many issues with both failure and varied actual performance; not to mention the price. If you're going to use one, the simplest solution to use some sort of back-up, and do it often.

At this point I will probably continue to wait, and be satisfied with my alternative solution: a hybrid drive.

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Thanks all, very helpful info.

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My thought would be to get a small/lightening quick SSD for running OS/applications off of and then a large HDD for your data - best of both worlds type of situation, if your configuration will allow. Also should be easy-ish on the budget.

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@dcalotta: I agree on this, as I have a 90GB SSD for my OS and more-used applications, paired with a 1TB HDD for my photos, movies, and porn.

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@matthewjfazio: You clearly don't have enough porn if it all fits onto a 1TB HDD along with anything else.

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Here is the same ssd you picked on newegg. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227551&Tpk=OCZSSD2-2VTXE120G
It says there is a $20 rebate you can do. You can still do it through amazon, but newegg will link you to the rebate form to make it easier.

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@evestay: Thanks! That saves me $20 I can use over on shirt.woot.com...

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I don't see any mention of wear-leveling on this OCZ Vertex 2 drive. Is this just something that all drives have now so no need to mention? If not, beware of short life span as once one cell is used up and can't be remapped, the drive will be done.

hlx hlx
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@josefresno:

Good choice. Sandforce 1200 controller. Of course, if you want to wait a few more months you can much get faster (almost double) performance:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4100/ocz-vertex-pro-3-demo-worlds-first-sandforce-sf2000

Always a trade off isn't it? You'll like the drive you chose though.

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Definately not enough pr0n to fit on 1tb..

On a serious note. I'm just setting up my SSD and will be running Win7Pro with a 1TB WD 7200RPM on my Toshiba Qosmio X-505 Q888. I just installed 8gb of ram so it is maxed out.

Would going to a 10,000rpm drive help in performance much if I will be using the standard HDD for files, pictures, videos, misc documents?

I plan on putting the OS and programs only on the SSD. (BTW, I bought the 128gb Kingston SSD that was on woot the other day.)

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@zontor: heh... it is always a few months away from the next best thing.

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SSD's are the best thing to happen to PC in a long time in my opinion. I have upgrade three old laptops now with 64 gig models and love them now. They really fly. As for reliability that is kind of still in the air, but that is why you just need to back up your data. One nice thing is with a external USB hard drive and WIN7, creating a entire system image has never been easier. If I need to, I can restore my entire system in under 15 minutes with a SSD drive. Fresh installs are really fast as well. Like I said, if you are concerned, the key is just to have good backups.

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@durkzilla: No, you're wrong. He likes postage stamp sized pRon, like the ohcheri deal thumbnails. That's why he can fit it all on a TB drive.

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Don't know about recovery. Got a $110 / 64GB last week, winXP can't suspend anymore, but the speed is worth it. I love it.

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I got a cheap 64GB SSD for my laptop. Its AWESOME!
They're great for laptops - better shock resistance, lower power consumption and the smaller size usually isn't as big of a deal on a laptop. If you're using one on a desktop, i'd just get a small 16GB and use it just for the OS for a super fast boot \ response... My 2 cents.