Most helpful positive review
197 of 212 people found the following review helpful
With the right tweaking, this is a great drive.
on February 16, 2012
Firstly, I want to start by saying that I KNOW what I'm doing with technology as I've worked with it for well over 20 years now, so what I'm about to post doesn't need trolling from 16 year olds who think they know better. Secondly, this review is mostly for those who either haven't worked with SSD's before or are having trouble getting this drive to play nice on their SATA controllers.
The thing to understand about SSD's is that while they are VERY fast, they are also still in their infant stages. With this drive in particular, this is what you need to do to make sure that it performs the way it should.
1. Make sure that the cable you use to connect to your motherboard is at LEAST a SATA-2 cable. A vanila motherboard SATA cable is more than likely going to be SATA-1 and this drive will complain about it with failures and whatnot.
2. Make sure your motherboard has the SATA port you connect this drive to configured as AHCI in the BIOS and NOT RAID or Sata. The primary reason for this is that most motherboard built in controllers are not really well built to start with and were NOT built with SSD in mind.
3. On some boards (Gigabyte, MSI & a few others), you can NOT use RAID and SATA combos on the same controller with this drive. As an example, the GPA880FX-UD3H board sports two different controllers... 6xSATA-3 and 2xSATA-2. You have the option (BIOS updates) to set the 6 way controller to do a mix of RAID and AHCI. This is great for conventional HD's but the Corsair WILL pitch an absolute fit about it. The easy solution for this is to put the SSD on the 2nd controller by itself in AHCI mode while your RAID array sits on the first controller.
4. Some FACTS about marketing with SSD's. This drive, like many others is listed as a SATA-3 drive. Sounds impressive and fast, but the sad reality is that NO SSD ON THE MARKET CAN GO 6GB's PER SECOND. It will probably be a little while before the real need for SATA-3 is even realized. So basically, if you have a SATA-2 board, you'll be just fine. I have one myself so I can tell you that it's still super fast on SATA-2 and there would is no real improvement on a SATA-3 system, which I also have.
5. If you get an SSD, do NOT go crazy trying to put all of your applications, music, videos, games, etc on this drive. Make this your OS drive and leave it at that plus a few applications (MS Office, WinAMP, etc.) There is an actual reason for this. As SSD's get full with data, they try to spread the date out in a, for laymens sake, shower pattern on the drive itself. Conventional hard drives try to go in a straight line, as much as possible. Without being TOO technical, this is one of the reasons SSD's are much better for short term storage rather than long term archival. The problem comes in when the SSD is near capacity, it'll start to slow down since it has to recall these data block from different places in the storage chips. The general rule is to only use up to around 80-85% of the USEABLE space on the drive. This gives the drive the room it needs to clean itself up and keep your data fetch times very low (5ms or around there).
6. If you're going to use this drive for a Windows 7 machine that already has a partition in place, after you've gotten everything moved and working, MAKE SURE TO RUN THE SYSTEM PERFORMANCE TEST WITH WINDOWS AGAIN. This will tell Win7 that it's now using an SSD drive and turn on appropriate services such as TRIM (you WANT this) and turn off others like caching (you don't really need this with an SSD). You will probably also want to turn off the hibernate feature of your computer once you're using this drive as an OS drive. The truth is this drive (once configured correctly) is nearly as fast in startup/shutdown as conventional hibernate and in rare cases, it's actually faster.
This is probably the best starter advice I can give to anyone looking to plunge into the SSD pool. If this has helped anyone, I'm glad.