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Need some advice on a SSD for my laptop *Asus G73*

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hey guys!

I'll get right to it. I really like my laptop (Asus G73) but I'd like to upgrade this system with a solid state drive. Currently, there are two 500gig hdd's and they are fine. I get damn good performance with this machine. I'd like a more 'zippy' experience in Win7 though. So what I'm thinking about doing is getting a SSD for the primary/OS drive and then upgrading the 2nd drive to something larger (I'm eying this WD 750gig 7200rpm for the game/data drive) the thing is that I can't pick one.

This would be my first experience with a solid state drive. Besides speed, my main priority is reliability. I know that's not saying much as many are not all that great in that regard. I've done some research and it seems that the Intel ssd's are the most reliable. What do you guys think?

There are four that have caught my eye on Newegg.

Crucial C300 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820148348

Samsung 470 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820147063

Intel 320 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820167050

Plextor PX-M2 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820249010

They are all pretty close in price so that's okay from one to another, although it appears the Samsung just dropped in price and is now the cheapest but I don't mind spending a lil more for a really nice one if that is the case. Also, I am 99.9% sure that this laptop only supports SATA2 so I won't really gain anything going to SATA3 but I know those are backwards compatible so either way that shouldn't be a problem.

Anyway. I know some of you guys know more about this stuff so I'd like to hear what you think. Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 28
The current Intel SSDs do seem to get the best reviews for reliability, even with the rarely occurring 8MB glitch looming over the 320 series. The 320 series also seems to have the best warranty for a consumer level SSD.

You can get any one person's anecdotal experience for any particular SSD, but the Intel 320 seems to be the best bet if you aren't looking for the fastest SATA 3.0 drive.
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I'll look into it some more.

I haven't heard of this '8MB glitch' you mention though. What's that about?
post #4 of 28
The 8MB glitch is apparently when the SSD shows only 8MB of storage after a sudden shut down in power, which effectively makes all previously stored data inaccessible. Intel is reportedly very close to releasing an update to fix this.

Of course, sudden power loss is much less of a concern with a laptop and it is always important to have a desktop connected to a good quality UPS.
post #5 of 28
The Intel 320 firmware update to address the 8MB glitch was just released.

http://communities.intel.com/thread/24205
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
Ahhh. Yeah, that would really suck if that were to happen. But you're right, prolly less of a problem since this has a battery. I never really use it, always have it plugged in. Good to know though. Thanks!

Still reading up on stuff. Looks like the Intel 510 series is their newer SSD but the reviews don't seem as good for them when I go searched around. Too new, maybe.
post #7 of 28
IMO, if your looking for reliability, it's the intel 320/510 series or the crucial 300 or M4 series. They've stood up over everything else (the M4 is pretty new but it's quite similar to the 300) I have 4 SSD's in the house and they are all "now" 1 intel 256 gig 320, 1-265 510 and 1- 120 gig crucial 300 and a 256 crucial M4. All have worked without a hitch since day 1.
That cannot be said for the older OCZ vertex 2 and 3 max iops, corsair force 3, kingston v+. All those drives have failed numerous times and I'll never buy any of those brands of ssd's ever again.
Marvell controllers are more stable than sandforce controllers though the sandforce controllers are faster in benches. Real world, os and gaming. I've never noticed a difference between my sandforce vs marvell in day to day os use or gaming.
post #8 of 28
I put an older model Intel 160 in my G73. HUGE difference, 100% worth doing it. I also upgraded the 2nd 500 gig drive to a 750 to regain at least a bit of the space. Now that 1TB 9mm drives are out, I'd go with one of the newer intels and a 1TB.
-Trouble
post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hey, N8! Wow! You've got a lot and some large capacity ssd's too. Damn. That's the kind of size I want but can't justify the $4-500 price tag.

You did mention something I'm not familiar with and that is the internal controllers. You mention Marvel and Sandforce. I have heard of those but I don't know what they mean and what the difference is.

Google search time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Troubleshooter View Post

I put an older model Intel 160 in my G73. HUGE difference, 100% worth doing it. I also upgraded the 2nd 500 gig drive to a 750 to regain at least a bit of the space. Now that 1TB 9mm drives are out, I'd go with one of the newer intels and a 1TB.
-Trouble


Oh cool! See, I can't find any decent (and cheap enough) 1TB drives for the data. It looked like a 100% price increase going from 750gig 7200rpm to a 1TB 7200rpm. I'll check out the 1TB hdd's again.

Thanks guys!
post #10 of 28
I just bought a sandforce Corsair F3. Stay away from it. Firmware issues, BSOD issues...no fix in sight yet.
post #11 of 28
Ya my corsair force 3 was a disaster. The Marvel controllers are know for being stable but not the fastest in 4K. The sandforce controllers are faster in the 4K but far less reliable in terms of quirks and down right bsod's.
They also differ in the way they manage garbage collection, which isn't as important as long as you've got win 7's trim. It's built into win7 and should be active when you install your ssd under AHCI. They will work with ide-sata but you loose performance.
IMO a 256gig is as big as I'll get unless some sort of crazy deal is to be had. It's a HUGE improvement over mechanical HDD's. Once I bought 1, it was all over
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
Heheh, cool.

So how do I know what has Marvel and what has Sandforce?

I figure going to SSD from a 7200rpm hdd, I'll get the speed and snappiness I want either way. If I had a choice, I'd take the slightly less fast but more reliable ssd.
post #13 of 28
Around 120GB is the sweet spot for an SSD if you are working with a reasonable budget. That is plenty of storage for your OS and programs.

Movies and music are perfectly fine when stored on slow mechanical hard drives, and only open-world games significantly benefit when it comes to gaming due to the demand for faster loading textures whilst playing. On a 120GB SSD, you can fit Oblivion, Skyrim, GTA IV, Just Cause 2, Mafia II and the like on it just fine.
post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
That's exactly what I plan to do.

Sandbox type games are my favorite and imho they are the kind of games that benefit the most from the super read speed from an SSD.
post #15 of 28
You'll never notice the speed difference just zipping around the OS or gaming between say, an intel 320 and a Vertex 3.
As for knowing what controller they use, it always says in the description on the sites where you'd buy them.
post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 
Yeah. I'm not looking for every bleeding edge of a kb of speed but overall 'quickness' throughout Win7 over my 7200rpm hdd. I'd like programs to launch and update faster. I'd also like caching and prefetching of cached material on IE/FF to be quicker as well.

I'm wanting to order from Newegg and I could not find any mention of what controller they have in the product details. I'll look again.
post #17 of 28
If your looking at marvell controllers, the intel and crucials have them. Most if not all OCZ, corsair, some kingston use sandforce. Samsungs are also good, they have their own controller as well but they have no 6gbps controllers as of yet (should be a release before oct with their new 6gb ssd)

IMO as far as reliability goes, I'd go with either the intel 320 or 510 series or the crucial 300 or m4 series. I personally like the crucial M4 but thats just my own preference. Out of all the drives I've installed in builds, I've never had a intel or crucial drive come back.
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Ah. Okay. That makes a lot of sense cuz all the reading I have done on SSD's in general was that those with the Sandforce were the least reliable but many power users gravitated to them cuz they were the fastest.

Narrowing it down to the Intel 320 and the Crucial 300. As of today, on Newegg, they are within $25 dollars of each other. The Intel for $225 and the Crucial for $250. Both ship free. The Crucial has 8gigs more space. Heheh. Not a huge difference but I do know that, like harddrives, SSD's will have slightly less space (when formatted) than advertised. Not a huge deal but when one is dealing with 120/128gig capacity, every gig counts. In some cases, that could be one whole game right there. Prolly not me though as I'm sure the ones I would want to try on an SSD would be >8gigs. Heh.

SATA3 is a non-issue as my Asus G73 supports up to SATA2 so either one will be at SATA2 speed.

Hmmm.. tough decision.
post #19 of 28
With Windows Vista and 7, you can quickly and easily move the games you are currently playing onto the SSD, and move them onto a large hard drive when not playing.

Follow the Steam example in this link.
post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks. That looks like a useful guide for me. Though I'm going to try out Steam Mover as that has had lots of recommendations for just the thing I was going to do.
post #21 of 28
For the record, my G73JH with the X25M-g2 boots from power power button press to login prompt in 15 seconds. Don't forget to either make the recovery disks or grab the Asus ATK and audio drivers for a fresh install. You can check Notebookreview for all the pain in the neck glitch fixes and requirements you might want to resolve with a fresh install.
-Trouble
post #22 of 28
Scott, whatever choice you make will be a good one. those are 2 very good SSD. Most of the known bugs have been ironed out and you should be golden!
post #23 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Troubleshooter View Post

For the record, my G73JH with the X25M-g2 boots from power power button press to login prompt in 15 seconds. Don't forget to either make the recovery disks or grab the Asus ATK and audio drivers for a fresh install. You can check Notebookreview for all the pain in the neck glitch fixes and requirements you might want to resolve with a fresh install.
-Trouble

Yes. I will be sure to grab those. My plan is to replace both 500gig drives when I get the SSD (replace the 2nd 500 with a 750gig) so I will do a clean install and if anything goes wrong with either drive, I can just plop back in the two drives I've got now and be back in business. I've been wanting to do a clean Win7 install for a few months plus I wanted an SSD for a while so I figure this would be a good excuse to do both.

I'll take a look and see if there are any guides but I'm sure it will be a painless experience. Though this would be my first time using an SSD so we will see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by N8DOGG View Post

Scott, whatever choice you make will be a good one. those are 2 very good SSD. Most of the known bugs have been ironed out and you should be golden!

Awesome. Good to hear. I'm gonna look over the two drives and hopefully make a decision on which is the one to get in the next couple weeks.


Thank you, everyone, for all the help.
post #24 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hey guys. Hope you're still watching this..

Haven't ordered the drives yet but I had an SSD related question that I figure I don't need another thread for.

You know how a hard drive (or the whole computer) gets really slow when it gets cloe to full capacity? Well, maybe this hasn't happened to any of you but I know every hdd I've ever owned does this. Anyway, do SSD's do that when you fill them nearly to 100%? I figure they would not but I'd like to know for sure.

Thanks.
post #25 of 28
Ya, they don't like being filled anymore than a mechanical hdd does. I filled one of mine just to see and it was about 30% slower than empty. I've found that as long as theres about 10 gigs left on any sized drive that I have, it doesn't make much, if any difference in speed. IMO go for the 120-128 gig ssd. the 80's are just to small IMO.
post #26 of 28
Thread Starter 
Oh. Now I didn't think that they would be susceptible to the same thing that the disk drives do but I am glad I asked. Good to know.

I'm now leaning towards the Crucial C300.
post #27 of 28
But you should also note, that even completly full, they are still a hell of a lot faster than any mechanical drive
post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 
Goodtimes.

Thanks, N8!
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