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post #61 of 96
That should work. Just remember you don't have to.
post #62 of 96
Thread Starter 
I'm close to pulling the trigger on a Crucial M4 128GB SSD for $85 (going with one of the recommendations from earlier in the thread), unless anyone can think of any reasons this isn't the best direction? I was looking at the Intel 330 and Samsung 830 mostly, but saw a Kingston SV200 special at Staples, just $50 for the 64GB. While looking up [mostly unfavorable] reviews, I remembered I have a $25 off $75 local business coupon at Staples... Looking through what else they carry, the Crucial M4 looked like the best bet. Their price is a bit higher to start with, so the coupon only makes it $5-10 cheaper than the comparable Samsung at Amazon/Newegg. I could also get the Crucial M4 64GB for $52 with the coupon, but the speed difference sounds fairly significant in favor of the larger drive.

Dan
post #63 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkap View Post

I'm close to pulling the trigger on a Crucial M4 128GB SSD for $85 (going with one of the recommendations from earlier in the thread), unless anyone can think of any reasons this isn't the best direction? I was looking at the Intel 330 and Samsung 830 mostly, but saw a Kingston SV200 special at Staples, just $50 for the 64GB. While looking up [mostly unfavorable] reviews, I remembered I have a $25 off $75 local business coupon at Staples... Looking through what else they carry, the Crucial M4 looked like the best bet. Their price is a bit higher to start with, so the coupon only makes it $5-10 cheaper than the comparable Samsung at Amazon/Newegg. I could also get the Crucial M4 64GB for $52 with the coupon, but the speed difference sounds fairly significant in favor of the larger drive.
Dan

Speed difference of 64GB vs 128GB is not significant for the HTPC platform. Both are very/plenty fast. If you need the increased size it would be a reason to buy the 128GB. Or if you can get it for a marginal increase over the 64GB. But increased speed is a bonus and probably not even noticeable in real life for HTPC use.
post #64 of 96
The Samsung 830 64GB is better, although the 840's have (or are) been/being released. I have the 830 in my HTPC, great SSD. Have a 256GB on my office box too and its flawless.
post #65 of 96
I'd get the 120/128 GB just because 64 can get tight. I have old Intel 80 GB SSDs in 2 laptops. Ok in my netbook-type one, but in my main laptop it only works because I have a second 320 GB drive in it - and that is before I put any media on it. Start installing playback software and several windows service-packs... a few extra $ is worth it for the headroom.
post #66 of 96
Thread Starter 
Combining the three responses: I don't need the extra capacity of 128GB (I've always been fine with a 40-60GB main drive on Windows boxes, and I expect this setup to be even more streamlined), so if the speed difference isn't noticeable other than on paper, 64GB makes sense. In which case, it's comparing the $53 Crucial M4 against the $75 Samsung 830. Everything I've been able to find says that it's pretty much a coin flip between the two, with an ever so slight edge to the Samsung because of faster specs (which brings us back to point A ... not attainable differences). Several opinions stating to go with the Crucial if the price difference is more than 10%.

Sound reasonable Tiddles88, or do you have that strong of a preference for the Samsung?

Dan
post #67 of 96
In this case, given the prices, the Crucial.
post #68 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkap View Post

Combining the three responses: I don't need the extra capacity of 128GB (I've always been fine with a 40-60GB main drive on Windows boxes, and I expect this setup to be even more streamlined), so if the speed difference isn't noticeable other than on paper, 64GB makes sense. In which case, it's comparing the $53 Crucial M4 against the $75 Samsung 830. Everything I've been able to find says that it's pretty much a coin flip between the two, with an ever so slight edge to the Samsung because of faster specs (which brings us back to point A ... not attainable differences). Several opinions stating to go with the Crucial if the price difference is more than 10%.
Sound reasonable Tiddles88, or do you have that strong of a preference for the Samsung?
Dan

I bought 2. Rock solid, plus Tom's Hardware agrees with me. Crucial's M4 is getting long in the tooth. Plus, Samsung's drives are internally designed, they use ARM cores as part of the controller. I'd prefer that over straight up Marvell tech.
post #69 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkap View Post

Just out of curiosity, has anyone checked their computer's load under start-up? I've been told to expect significant surges there, in which case the higher capacity of new PSU's may be of real value. Also that some systems require larger PSU's in order to increase the RAM capacity. Whether that's an indication of the power draw of such additions, or just an assumption that running more memory means more overall demands, is tough to say.
Dan

Actually I did when I first built it & before I installed any cards. It does have an HDD and an optical drive & the Kill A Watt meter peaked at 70 watts. I don't know how fast the meter responds to peaks, IOW it might be higher, I don't know.

Next time I have it powered off I'll try to remember to connect the meter & see how much difference the cards make on start up power.
post #70 of 96
PSU debate and sizing efficient

600w PSU lets say is 70% with a low load of 200watts that will have a outlet wattage of 285watts My bet is it is actually better then 70% efficient.

305w PSU lest say is a 80 % cert over 20% load that will have a outlet wattage of 250watts for the same 200watts.

That means by having a smaller PSU you save a wapping 35watts and that is on the high side likely be more around 80% with the 305w and 78% with the 600w but even at 35w you get billed by the 1000whr or 1kwh if you pay 10cents per kwh you really are not saving much. 10cents you get 4 hrs with the 305w and 3.5 hrs with the 600w and again real world they will likely be closer in cost then that. I wouldn't worry about it but maybe you will.
post #71 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkap View Post

Wow, lots to catch up on overnight.
Where did you find a 128GB SSD for $70-80? (edit: I see the Samsung 830 is $89 on Amazon, but it's another $20 if you want the 3.5" bracket and cables, which are somewhat essential to a new build.)

Check all the Newegg daily deals/shell shockers and Techbargains.com. Just be patient, and you can get that price.
post #72 of 96
Thread Starter 
Sorry, didn't mean to ignore everyone. The forum's notification system must have gotten confused and thought I hadn't checked in after one of the replies, so it never sent me new notifications until I checked this morning.

lespurgeon, I like your suggestion. Tiddles88, you just don't like making decisions easy for me, do you? smile.gif I do acknowledge your "long in the tooth comment" as being echoed in many reviews, but a lot of people consider that a good thing given their track record and reliability, with performance being nearly as good despite the age.

Mike99, good info, thanks. That's not much of a surge, in the grand scheme of things!

man4mopar, thanks for trying to inject some quality of life into the PSU issue, but I can't honestly say I understand all of your numbers... Wouldn't the 600W PSU be much lower than 70% efficiency at the low loads being discussed?

StanF, I get the Newegg daily newsletter, but I haven't followed Techbargains.com. I just checked it out and see the [expired] $80 Samsung 830 price.

Dan
post #73 of 96
Thread Starter 
Well, as dumb luck would have it, I just won a 3-pack of PCI-Express SCSI cards for $50 shipped (sells new for $340 each on Amazon), which brings me back to square one on the decision making... rolleyes.gif I figured for sure I would get out-bid and didn't plan on going any higher, but eBay froze up on me in the last minute of the auction (couldn't tell if I had won for a bit; still can't get in to pay), so the other people that had bid on it may have been similarly locked out. I should be able to flip the extra cards pretty quick once I test them and pay for a decent chunk of the overall build. (I may still go with the SSD regardless.)

Dan
post #74 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkap View Post

man4mopar, thanks for trying to inject some quality of life into the PSU issue, but I can't honestly say I understand all of your numbers... Wouldn't the 600W PSU be much lower than 70% efficiency at the low loads being discussed?

It is possible but unlikely in my opinion. A call or e-mail to manufacturer would likely get a more solid answer. Testing is the only way to know as it depends how they did their circuitry. Transformers and diodes are very efficient, transistors to regulate voltage or make sine waves can add to power use as they shunt to ground.
post #75 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Speed difference of 64GB vs 128GB is not significant for the HTPC platform. Both are very/plenty fast. If you need the increased size it would be a reason to buy the 128GB. Or if you can get it for a marginal increase over the 64GB. But increased speed is a bonus and probably not even noticeable in real life for HTPC use.


Aside from speed increase... There is reliability issues.

128GB is in theory more reliable as chips get less writes and reads.. and use is spread over more.

While it might be argued if a novice or normal user would notice the difference in speed between a 64GB and a 128GB of the same brand and model drive- there is indeed a difference in benchmarks showing the larger drive is faster. I would agree that for pure HTPC it's probably not a significant difference but it does exist.

The real difference however is in the headroom - as the larger will stay faster longer.

Additionally- there is a significant performance penalty for SSD drives often that are near full. A scenario that is much more likely with a 64GB than a 128GB.

I prefer to keep my SSD's with 20% unused space as I find that a near full SSD is slower.

Please don't suggest it's not "real world" because it certainly is. It's noticeable by anyone who is alive. Sometimes as much as 50% difference in speed for a near full SSD drive.

Anyone that has a 85% or more full SSD should be able to see a performance penalty as compared to a near new SSD drive or one that is only 50% full.


For this reason... a 128GB SSD offers a serious advantage IMO since it's likely someone who thinks they use 40GB could swell to near the 60GB size limit ... I have had this issue with every 60GB SSD I ever owned. Even with attempt at management it seems the drive fills fast with odd stuff.
post #76 of 96
I have used both. A lot. No noticeable speed difference for htpc. For desktop maybe but we happen to be inside a htpc forum.

The read issue has largely been debunked as well unless you are planning on using your htpc for about a decade.
post #77 of 96
I concur that I don't notice a speed difference between the 64 and 128GB SSDs. I also rarely reboot my PCs - S3 sleep mode is great.

However, I generally keep my hardware for several years, so the SDD in the HTPC today might be in the kids laptop tomorrow. The small increase in price for the 128GB now gives you a lot of flexibility down the road.

On another note, the Samsung 830 is one of the most power-efficient drives, so it would be best for laptops for extending battery life. Not all SSDs are equal in their power consumption, so for laptop use, check the reviews first.

For anyone reading this who is building a mini-ITX HTPC, also consider the Msata drives, which plug into a mini-PCIe slot. Haven't used one yet, but they are cool! And somewhat expensive at this point.
post #78 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanF View Post

IThe small increase in price for the 128GB now gives you a lot of flexibility down the road.

Totally agree on this point. I am not saying not to buy a 128GB SSD. In fact I think they represent the biggest bang for your buck currently. However, I have 3 HTPCs with 64GB SSDs and none of them are close to being full (and I do a lot of testing and have a lot of random stuff installed). To say that the 128GB SSDs drives are going to give you a noticeable performance boost in real world HTPC use (note I did not say a difference in benchmarking) and are somehow much more reliable than their 64GB brothers for this platform just isn't accurate in my opinion from everything I have read and experienced.
post #79 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

I have used both. A lot. No noticeable speed difference for htpc. For desktop maybe but we happen to be inside a htpc forum.
The read issue has largely been debunked as well unless you are planning on using your htpc for about a decade.

Well I was not being clear enough perhaps..

Lets say you have two PC's identical and one has a 60GB and one has a 120GB SSD as the only difference.


Now- Lets assume that the SSD volume grows to about 55GB (it's pretty reasonable with a few programs and downloads, updates, pictures- music or such even if you use a home server for media storage and content)

In this scenario there is certainly a very real world difference in speed with the 60GB being 90% full and the 120GB being only 45% full.

There is already a speed difference between 60GB vs 120GB- and everyone knows the larger SSD is faster/higher performance because the writes and reads are spread across more NAND chips so the speed of the chips is not as much a factor as in the small SSD size.

But- When you add a performance penalty of a near full SSD which can be as much as 50% then you can certainly see a real world difference.

If your certain your volume would never exceed 40GB then it might make sense. Personally every volume I have used has exceeded this.


Your 100% right assuming a half empty drive in both cases. But as the volume swells the smaller SSD will fall behind in performance to the point it's obvious when near full.

I know for me 60GB is just not enough. I can get a 120GB for $60-$80- and usually most 60 or 64gb variants will run $50-$70 so we are talking perhaps $10 -$20 difference. That's a pretty small price to pay IMO>

I can spend $10 at a fast food joint, or on a couple drinks.

So given my monetary value system (and I am not wealthy) it's a no brainer for the bigger drive. For $50 I might consider the smaller SSD- but today the difference is much less and the bigger drive makes sense.
post #80 of 96
There is a difference sure. Its just not noticeable with htpc applications and programs even when used as you describe. You have to get away from benchmarks as for the slow moving turtle that is htpc there is little to no noticeable difference.

With that being said I already stated that a 128gb is a better value unless you are on a shoestring budget.
post #81 of 96
I went with a 64GB SSD in my HTPC, nothing is installed on it but drivers, Win 7, and 2 or 3 bits of software. All playback is from USB or Ethernet. More than enough for my needs. You need to buy according to what you'll be using it for.
post #82 of 96
Thread Starter 
Newegg has the 128GB Samsung 830 SSD for $80 today ($10 off with EMCYTZT2332). They've also got the MSI P67A-GD55 motherboard for $50 ($110 off after EMCYTZT2333 immediate discount and rebate) ... sounds a bit on the old side despite the new hardware specs, but could be a great price on a new build for someone who doesn't have a motherboard arriving today like myself.

Dan

edit: forgot the Samsung coupon code.
Edited by dkap - 10/10/12 at 3:08am
post #83 of 96
Thread Starter 
The build is starting to come together. Motherboard, CPU, PSU, and DVD drive arrived yesterday. I ended up having to use the new, over-spec'd PSU because of the motherboard's requirement for an 8-pin 12v power connector, with the old one being 4-pin. The only snafu so far has been the Kingston RAM (2x4GB) arriving as the wrong item (speed and size). Amazon/ReStockIt had the incorrect item listed, so I ordered some Team Xtreem (2x2GB) through Newegg and will have to wait for that in order to proceed...

Unfortunately, I just now noticed in the ASRock's pdf manual that it only supports 1600mhz for Ivy Bridge CPU's. Sandy Bridge CPU's are limited to 1333mhz, but it sounds like backward compatibility won't be a problem and there's no real difference in price.

I had totally forgotten I have two, lightly used 500GB SATA drives from an external USB RAID backup drive that failed a while back. (I think it was the controller; tested out and re-formatted one of the drives and it seems fine.) So, I'm putting one of those in the HTPC and delaying the SSD decision. With Newegg running two different specials on the 128GB Samsung 830 this week, I have a feeling there's a big price drop just around the corner. I toyed with cloning my main work station's drive from SATA to SCSI, but I couldn't get it to recognize the change in boot drive sequence. Maybe I'll update that one to SSD (i.e., SATA cloned to SATA) down the road for an easier transition.

I also ordered a wireless adapter (too far and too difficult to run a network cable, at opposite ends of the house and across a solid foundation), MCE compatible remote/receiver, and USB mouse since the motherboard only has the one PS/2 port and all my spare mice/keyboards are of that nature. Total cost is $183 with the only thing left to buy is a VGA/D-SUB to RGB adapter for when I get the Barco projector back up and running.

The only issue I've got with the old parts is the Dell Dimension 4700 case uses a flat 10-pin connector (only 6 wires) for the front panel audio (M1379: http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2195642); same as on the Dimension 8300 case. The motherboard expects a 2x5 type connector. Probably not worth the trouble to look for an adapter or re-wire it, given that I'll likely never use the headphone jack (I think that's all it powers ... hmm, or does it also power a chassis speaker in that little front panel bundle?), but if anyone has any quick and dirty suggestions, I'm all ears.

Dan
Edited by dkap - 10/11/12 at 5:34pm
post #84 of 96
Thread Starter 
Just found this in the ASRock manual: "Though this motherboard provides 8-pin ATX 12V power connector, it can still work if you adopt a traditional 4-pin ATX 12V power supply. To use the 4-pin ATX power supply, please plug your power supply along with Pin 1 and Pin 5."

Dan
post #85 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkap View Post

...I have a feeling there's a big price drop just around the corner...

In my experience, the big price drop will occur right after you buy one smile.gif

Glad your system is coming together!
post #86 of 96
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanF View Post

In my experience, the big price drop will occur right after you buy one smile.gif

In that case, my apologies to everyone waiting for me to buy one in order for the price to drop!

Dan
post #87 of 96
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkap View Post

With Newegg running two different specials on the 128GB Samsung 830 this week, I have a feeling there's a big price drop just around the corner.

64GB Samsung 830 SSD for $49.99 and free s/h with Promo Code: EMCJNJB74.

Dan
post #88 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkap View Post

Just for the sake of argument ... is something like this what you would recommend?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157256
That has the desired SPDIF optical output, which is a definite plus, especially at that price. (For $5 more, there's a newer one with USB 3.) Quality control and packaging sounds a bit sketchy, though.
Dan

At this point the H61 is an older more limited chipset and H77 or Z77 is newer.

Or look for a great deal on a Z68. They are newer/faster/better... and still available under $80 making them a good choice.

I have that exact motherboard ( a few of them) but for $65 I would spend another $10 or $15 for something newer now...
post #89 of 96
B75 is roughly the H61 equivalent.
post #90 of 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkap View Post

A quick search brought this up as the first result:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/337968-28-wattage
To summarize the opinions there, the PSU only supplies as much power as needed, 100W+ extra capacity is a good thing, and inefficiency concerns only set in at ~20% consumption.
Dan

Yup. SLight over on the PSU is not going to hurt much... but it's not needed either.

Usually any 400 watt PSU is a good choice. Don't think you should get 600 watt.
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