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  1. #1
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    New PC advice (HDD vs. SSD)

    I will soon be in the market for a new PC. I have a ton of data stored on my current HD. I was trying to figure out if I should go with a large HDD (7200) or SSD. The problem is that I can't afford a very large SSD. Do you guys recommend both installed? The HDD for the data; then the SSD for the OS only?

    Any other suggestions? i5? i7? Move to Windows 10? Brand to look at or brands to stay away from?
    Purchase places? MicroCenter? NewEgg.com? BestBuy? Other?

    Thanks!
    KZ

  2. #2
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    I use two disks.
    SSD for OS, programs and My Documents (120GB).
    Big HDD for My Music, video files and other large or rarely used files.

    This give me a fast machine with plenty of storage.

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    I've just put a Sandisk SSD Plus, 120 GB, into a laptop, and starting Windows is now very fast - to the extent that ploughing through the BIOS processing now seems tedious in comparison.

    Fortunately there no need for an additional HD in this application - and no option for one, either!
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  4. #4
    3 Star Lounger JC Zorkoff's Avatar
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    My latest build uses an i7-6700K CPU in an ASRock Z170 Extreme 7+ motherboard with 16GB DDR4-3200 RAM. I use a Sandisk 240GB SSD for the OS and a Western Digital Black 500GB HDD for data storage. I also use the onboard video provided through the CPU.

    I had first tried a Seagate 1TB 64MB cache HDD, but found it too slow on write operations. The WD HDD is much faster, so I keep the Seagate as an internal backup/archive drive (its faster than a USB 3.0 drive).

    My observations allow me to conclude that there is little difference between an i5 and an i7 processor for normal use. Heavy graphics use or number crunching might justify the i7. The faster memory also does not add much for normal use.

    So for average use of the computer for browsing, word processing, spreadsheet, etc. an i5 socket 1150 in a z97 or z99 motherboard with DDR3 1600 memory and using the Intel onboard video should be more than enough. But definitely use an SSD for the OS and an HDD for your "ton of data".

    I expect to move to Windows 10 soon. I started with Windows 7, but there will be problems with the z170 and Skylake processor in another year.

    I used newegg.com to purchase all my components. They are a great source, reasonable prices and prompt delivery. I have been using them since 2001.

    I can't comment on any full system computer brands like HP, Dell, etc because I have built my own for the last 15 years.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    KZ,

    From your post I assume you're talking about a desktop (2 drives).

    My advice would be to buy the computer with a single HDD then add the SSD as an upgrade. Yes you'll have to do the work but you'll either get more SSD for the same money or the same SSD you'd get from the OEM for less money. You also have your choice of brands and don't get stuck with the OEM's save me some pennies brand!

    As for size a 120Gb SSD should be more than sufficient for the OS & Programs ( My desktop has a 240GB SSD with 72GB used by OS & Programs, 137 GB Free on the C:, haven't gotten around to killing the Win 8.0 recovery partition yet On my dual boot laptop a 256Gb SSE divided into C: 109Gb W10, E: W7, G: 60Gb Shared Data w/27Gb used, the C: sized at 109Gb uses 56Gb for Windows and Programs w/46Gb free.).

    Depending on your motherboard you could look at a NVMe SSD for really blazing speed!

    HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  6. #6
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    To add to retiredgeek's suggestion...once done and everything is sunning smoothly with your SSD as the boot drive, and the new HDD as a secondary drive, install the old HDD from your present setup and transfer your data, etc. to the new HDD.

    As for advice on what to get in a new PC it depends upon what you use it for. Most people never upgrade their PCs, but were it mine I would want 4 RAM slots, an x16 slot, if I were getting a Pentium or i3 I would want it upgradable to an i7 down the road, I would want at least four SATA 6mbps ports on the MB, probably a Realtek 1150 audio chip, and preferably an Intel LAN chip. DDR4 support would be great but an 1150 chipset MB with DDR3 support is fine if the price for the equipment was right. I would want an ATX form factor PSU in a microtower case. I'd want at least a 1TB HDD. And I'd spend the money on a 250GB SSD.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kzkz
    I will soon be in the market for a new PC. I have a ton of data stored on my current HD. I was trying to figure out if I should go with a large HDD (7200) or SSD. The problem is that I can't afford a very large SSD. Do you guys recommend both installed? The HDD for the data; then the SSD for the OS only?

    Any other suggestions? i5? i7? Move to Windows 10? Brand to look at or brands to stay away from?
    Purchase places? MicroCenter? NewEgg.com? BestBuy? Other?KZ
    Is your current PC a custom or standard pre-built? Does it just use built-in hardware or do you have discrete components like replacement graphics or sound cards?

    What's your ton of data comprised of? For example, is it mostly video or music or photos?

    What do you use your current PC for? For example, editing home videos, listening to music, playing Solitaire?

    Quote Originally Posted by kzkz
    Move to Windows 10?
    In the UK, if you're going to be buying a new consumer PC (as opposed to business-class, where there's still a choice) then you won't get a choice. I assume this is the same in the US?

    Quote Originally Posted by kzkz
    Brand to look at or brands to stay away from?
    What research have you carried out or reviews have you read for potential PCs within your budget (which you haven't mentioned)?

    You'll note that I haven't addressed your question about HDD vs SSD. Without more information (current setup, data, usage, etc.) then, in my opinion, it's impossible to advise what's most appropriate and responders will just be shooting in the dark, offering generic suggestions or their own experiences that may not in fact meet your needs.

    Hope this helps...
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2016-04-29 at 16:42.

  8. #8
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    Thanks everyone for your suggestions!

    My current PC was a pre-built HP, but I've had custom items added to it. So the majority of the components are built onto the board (ie: sound card, etc.) of the The HDD is 596 gig and I've used 350 gig already! It's ALL work-related. No music, no games.

    I haven't done any research really yet. My budget is about $1,200.
    I am looking into the setup of a decent size SSD for the OS, then a very large data HHD (possibly a TB).
    I have used newegg.com several times, but have never custom built anything with them.
    The main thing needed on the PC is being able to multitask with many items open once and speed. I have a dual monitor setup and want to add a 3rd monitor now. My current setup is VERY slow.

    KZ

  9. #9
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    KZ,

    Per Chance a Costco Member? If so I'd recommend their deals on the Dell XPS 8900 series.

    I bought this machine when it was the 8700 and I'm extremely happy with it in a dual monitor setup. As stated I add the SSD myself it was a piece of cake.

    The current deals come with better graphics card (4 Gb) and more memory (32Gb) all well under your budget!.

    And buying from Costco you get an extended 2 year warranty an no additional cost!

    If not a member probably worth joining for the savings!

    HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    PowerShell & VBA Rule!

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  11. #10
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    I am not a Cosco member yet, but I may look at that. I have a Sam's account though.
    If using a SSD the RAM doesn't really matter.
    How would I buy a PC with a HDD and add an SSD but use that as for the OS? Wouldn't that be a pain?

    KZ

  12. #11
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    I looked at that Dell at Cosco's site and it appears like a great deal, HOWEVER, the reviews were not good at all.

    KZ

  13. #12
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    KZ,

    The Ram does matter:
    The main thing needed on the PC is being able to multitask with many items open once and speed.
    Yes, you'll get speed from the SSD but when multitasking (many open programs) you really want tons of RAM to avoid Memory Paging.
    Yes Paging will be fast with a SSD but not nearly as fast as having it already in memory. And then there are the wear problems with large paging demands and SSDs.
    If you are going with low memory I'd suggest a top quality SSD.

    HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    PowerShell & VBA Rule!

    My Systems: Desktop Specs
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  15. #13
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    So, you still do need lots of RAM with an SSD? I thought it was basically RAM itself thus not wearing out.
    I wasn't aware that SSD's had wear problems. Is that a known issue that I need to be aware of?

    Which brand of SSD do you recommend?
    KZ

  16. #14
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    No, you don't need lots of RAM with SSDs, you need enough RAM for your expected workloads.

    If you give us full details of your current machine plus details of the software that's in regular use, including up time ranges, and a screenshot of TaskMan's Performance tab whilst the machine is working at it's hardest, we'll be able to build a better picture of what's needed.

    Modern SSDs don't have any reliability/excess wear issues, they've become more reliable than HDDs.

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  18. #15
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    In a previous post you mentioned that you never reboot your PC. Is this still the case?

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