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Storage forum


SSD upgrade for an old machine worth it?

by bioforcer / March 6, 2013 8:54 PM PST

Hi all,

First of, thanks for reading my post and I appreciate your help if you can give some.

I have an AMD Athlon 64 3500+ desktop PC, with Windows XP Pro (SP2). Motherboard is ASUS A8V-MQ (not a well known motherboard, it was supplied as part of a barebone, A8V-MZ i believe is a close one to it). The machine's got 2 GB of RAM and an old (working since 2006) Maxtor 80GB HD.

Now, I would like it to be a sort of family machine, for just normal tasks (i-net browsing, youtube, word etc).
I was thinking of upgrading its HD to an SSD, like a 120 GB SSD would be more than enough.

So could you please help me pick a reliable one, cuz i'm so confused with all these sequential read/wrote or random, all this TLC hype and so on. All of it is mostly for those who are upgrading a reasonably new PC or running much more recent OS. And those support TRIM which is supposedly cleans up stuff on the drive so that it lasts longer.
But what about upgrading an old PC? which drive would you recommend for a PC that only supports SATA 3Gb?
how much of a boost will i see? Currently it takes like 2-3 minutes for my PC to totally load, from welcome screen to all the icons and etc. Don't get me started on PDFs and i-net browsing windows. I feel like the old HD is about to give up, seeing it's long life.

Please help with a good reliable brand, that will last another 3 years or more, that has good reputation and works with SATA3. Something that won't cost more than 80 euro (around $100)


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All Answers

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Maybe too late
by Willy / March 7, 2013 12:40 AM PST

First clue, if your setup provides only EIDE(PATA) type connection it's not worth the expense of installing a similar SSD as the cost is too much. Further, if you get a newer PC later, you may not with ease xfer the SSD to the new PC as I suspect you may want to. If possible, you could provide some adapter to accept the SSD for continued use, but generally its a PITA. But, it can be done.

If on the other hand the SATA connection is available on your old PC, you can use the newer SATA type SSD which generally are offered. As for cost, that stands on its own merit. If you buy cheap expect cheap, though it wouldn't hurt to get a baragain. But bargain buys tend to make sale to sell older SSD from stock less capable ones. So, once you compare see why one is more expensive besides the storage space provided. As for SATA brought SSD, you can later with ease install in a new PC as that's the std. connection now provided.

Sorry, no picks to supply but i do recommend vositing various online vendors and see what's out there. I suggest, Amazon, NewEgg and Geeks as a good source and vendor. Anyone else, that's on you. good kuck

tada -----Willy Happy

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pretty sure it's SATA 3Gbps
by bioforcer / March 7, 2013 5:52 AM PST
In reply to: Maybe too late

Thanks Willy,

I was just looking at youtube videos of ppl installing an SSD into their 5-6 yr old PCs and it was very speedy. Like 30 seconds compared to a couple of minutes on HD. I just need 120 GB, I mean i'm using an 80 GB drive for over 6 years, i just know i dont need more. I'm not a file freak, that needs everything stored and backed up at all times.

I'm in the netherlands, so no amazon or newegg etc for me, will simply use local websites. Samsung 840 series goes for 85 euros here. dunno about U.S.


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Don't do it
by samkh / March 7, 2013 6:43 AM PST

XP has no TRIM and without it, the SSD will slow to a crawl. Maybe not immediately but it will get there! BTDT
Buy a cheap 7200rpm HDD (even if it's PATA) and reinstall XP to get back your original speed.

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Up to you
by Willy / March 7, 2013 11:58 AM PST

Another poster mentioned the TRIM cmd. and that's important. In fact i should have mentioned it myself and since you've XP as the OS, it doesn't support TRIM as supplied to SSD. What this does in a nutshell is allow better I/O control of data so it doesn't re-use the same storage over and over again and cause the SSD to fail because of repeated access to a limited area. It spreads the load over the storage media, BUT XP doesn't do this.

Since it will SATA connected at least you can move to a new PC when the time comes. As for other mentions of hybrid and/or a newer std. HD of 7200RPM rating, that can be better and cost should be lowere than SSD yet still provide decent performance. the horrid is a good compromise and generally is a combo of std. HD and mini-SSD(huge cache) and cost is reasonable. As it stands it all on you, if SSD is going to make you happy, go for it. Just understand what been posted.

tada -----Willy Happy

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so what I understand...
by bioforcer / March 10, 2013 6:09 PM PDT
In reply to: Up to you

Thanks everyone, really appreciate all of your help, I learned a lot and had no idea there's this much to consider.

I never had any xp CDs, it was originally installed by an old aquaintance, who I think installed a pirate version, which is just stuck on the service pack 2 and I never receive no updates or anything.

What I got from all your advice is that basically for me perhaps it's best to get a new standard HDD OR A hybrid.
But someone also told me that since it's an AMD Athlon 64 3500+, I could run windows 7 on it, which will work nicely. So im assuming windows 7 supports TRIM? Does Vista support it as well btw??

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I'm going to pan the SATA 1, 2, 3, 6 issue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 7, 2013 12:49 AM PST

If you get real world benchmarks, you decide. Here if I can get SATA 2 speeds, I'm going to the next speed issue.

If you are booting Windows, my first question is WHY BOOT when you can resume from hibernation?

And my second question is Why not a nice Hybrid Drive and avoid all the discussion about XP and SSD?

Finally, the third and last question. What XP CD do you have? If it's "XP", you want a newer XP CD before we upgrade.

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good advice, Bob...
by porsche10x / March 10, 2013 6:44 AM PDT

Regarding getting a new XP disk... that is SO TRUE! I recently had to reinstall Outlook Express on an old PC. What a PITA. You see, I had the original XP disks, but I dutifully kept the machine up to date. So, the machine had service pack 3, but the disk was pre-service pack. I couldn't use the old disks to repair or reinstall. I had to find a newer disk or uninstall all the updates!

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Thanks for the reply.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 10, 2013 6:56 AM PDT
In reply to: good advice, Bob...

Folks are unaware of the issues with the old "XP" CDs. It's like the Enterprise without the letters. A bit of a marvel and you need Scotty to make it work.

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