SSD And My Experiance.

So I made the jump and forked out for a shiny new SSD hard drive as I was getting increasing frustrated with the amount of time that windows was taking to startup and I thought that the decrease in-game loading times would be nice.
So after doing some research on a couple of websites mainly SSDReview.com. I finally settled on the 120gb ocz Vertex 3 Which I purchased from Ebuyer.com now this ssd is sata 3 compatible and although I don’t at this time have a sata 3 port on my motherboard the price and performance the disk was showing was good and its also fully compatible with sata 2.

 

One of the Important things to rember about SSD’s contrary to more traditional hard drives is that the larger the storage capacity the faster they tend to be. There are cheaper options around with smaller capacity but the general consensus seems to be to go for no lower than 120GB.

 

Installation

Now this particular ssd is a 2.5″ drive but thankfully comes with an adaptor that allows it to fit into desktop cases. The drive just screws in to the adaptor with the screws that are provided and that adaptor is screwed into the case.

This is where I hit a slight snag.

The drive fitted into the adaptor absolutely fine as you would expect however, I have a Antec Nine Hundred Two and the screws to fit the adaptor to the case were too small for the thick walls of the drive bay. The adaptor has rather small bolt holes that have a fine thread and I was unable to find any that were over an inch long that were thin enough and had the correct thread.

I ended up screwing a couple of the screws from the inside out and for the ones that were too tight using some sandwich bag ties to make sure it was secure. Not ideal but it works and because the ties are plastic coated perfectly insulated.

That minor problem out-of-the-way the rest of the installation of the SSD went fine and it was onto installing windows and restoring backups.

 

Performance Tweaking AKA Getting The Best From The SSD

Thankfully installation of windows went pretty well as did the restoration of backups the next job on the list of things to do was to see what the windows experience score was the first run was  7.1 up from its previous 5.9 however the score was still limited by the hard drive score. So I googled to see if I could optimise the windows installation a bit more and prehaps clear some space off my already filling SSD.

I came across this Guide [Click Here]  From a forum post at this website surreystore.com

The first step was to turn on ahci mode on as i had installed windows already the first thing i had to do was to make some registry changes and then change the setting the bios Next parts were reasonably simple and consisted of;

Disabling System restore,

Disabling Drive Indexing,

Disabling Defragmentaion,

Turning off / moving  the page file to save space,

turning of hibernation again to save space,

Enabling faster booting and adjusting power settings.

Now I actually discovered that windows had actually done some of these steps itself which was nice, but I would suggest going through them anyway to check. I also skipped some of the steps listed on the website as I didn’t think that they met my requirements, for instance disabling recycle bin don’t be afraid to use your own judgements of your needs

I reran the windows experience test and received a new score of 7.3 the lowest score now being my graphics card the hard drive score had actually move to 7.4 so by just doing those steps id increased performance by .3 who knows what that actually means in real terms but an improvement is an improvement.

My final job was to move My Documents off of the SSD and onto the other Hard Drive another google search and a couple of rather complicated solutions later I actually found this [Click Here] posted by a guy called Headstrongfarm And discovered that its much easier than you would have thought. Windows does all the hard work for you all you have to do is tell it where you want to move the files too and it will move them to the folder you specify.

 

Conclusion

So overall the installation and setting up was pretty simple and problem free. Windows definitely starts faster and the computer is more responsive, Time will tell how worthwhile it was and we will see if the speed keeps up especially as the windows install gets older.

If your thinking about going the route of SSD I would definitely recommend it spend what you can afford but don’t go lower than a 120gb and as a friend of mine suggested don’t go by the specs the manufacture says go by what the benchmarks have to say a quick google search will bring up lots of review sites and most retail sites now also have a review system in place.

Good luck

 

 

 

Is PlayStation Plus A Good Deal? My View

As you may or may not know as of this week Playstation plus has been released on the Playstation network.

Playstation plus is a premium service that you can subscribe to similar to xbox live gold. If you want to find out more i recommend that you read the blog posts on the official Playstation blogs. which can be found

Europe http://blog.eu.playstation.com/2010/06/28/ps3-system-software-update-v3-40-and-playstation-plus-available-later-today/

US http://blog.us.playstation.com/2010/06/24/playstation-plus-your-questions-answered/

Now there has been some questions as to weather its worth the cost or not. I personally think it is as do some of my friends however some people don’t see the value in it which is fair enough.

Now i came across a very interesting ongoing article on IGN which you can find linked to below

Is PlayStation Plus A Good Deal? – PS3 Feature at IGN.

It asks the question Is Playstation Plus a good deal? And goes on to say that two of the Playstation writers Greg Miller and Colin Moriarty will keep a list of what they spend/save using Playstation plus over the year seeing at the end how much each one saves or loses out having Payed for the year subscription.

Now i think this is an awesome idea and will really help people decide whether its for them or not so i thought that i would also try and do the same.

So following the rules they have set out.

For the next year, IGN PlayStation Executive Editor Greg Miller and IGN Guides Guru Colin Moriarty will track their PlayStation Plus PlayStation Network purchases every Wednesday. If they buy a full price game, it won’t be logged here. On the chalkboards below, we’ll track what the “free” content would have cost them as well as the discounts they’re receiving. Now, these figures will only include new stuff that the boys have downloaded. If they already own a piece of content, it won’t be included just because it has been discounted or marked as free. This is strictly what they’ve downloaded under the PlayStation Plus umbrella to date.

I will trace how much i actually save assuming that i actually save anything.

So this is how it stacks so far after week one.

All price are from the UK store and in Pounds and pence (£)

Playstation plus -39.99
Wipeout HD +13.99
Destruction Derby +3.99
Field runners +3.99
Age of zombie +3.99
Steel & titanium pack +4.79
Sackboy on the run theme +1.59
Grand Total -7.65