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Intel SSD model and supplier recommendation request

Based on inputs to a previous question I now plan to upgrade performance on a Dell T7500 workstation by converting the two Western Digital Velociraptor 300GB drives to Intel SSDs. Each drive has about 130GB presently in use. For the system drive I have in mind about a 300GB SSD. For the data drive something more like 480GB to allow for expansion.

I'll need 2.5" drives and I'll get 3.5" to 2.5" adapters. The PC only has SATA-II but I figure to get SATA-III drives in case I want to move them to a new PC in the future.

The T7500 is used by a single user, not as a server.

Intel's site seems to recommend either 530, 335, S3500, or Pro 1500 series. I see very limited availability of these on Amazon, NewEgg, and CompSource.

Two questions:

* Do you recommend one of these (or some other) model line in particular? Why?

* Can you recommend a reliable supplier in the USA with good selection, quality customer service, and hopefully good prices?

Thanks,
Pete
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Peter Bye
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Peter Bye
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3 Solutions
 
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Definitely agree with your choice of Intel.   I've had outstanding results with all of their SSDs, from the X-25's through the 320's, 335's, 520's, and 530's.    I've got two 250GB 530's on the way as I write this (due Friday).

The 240GB 530's are currently only $179 at Newegg:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167177

A 480GB 520 series is $530.    If you have the SATA ports to support it, you could use 2 of the 240GB 530's and create a 480GB dynamic volume for $358.
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nobusCommented:
i can only agree with garycase; i use only intel drives also
they're very reliable
and you can use the toolbox for testing them : http://www.intel.com/support/go/ssdtoolbox/
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
I have two Intel 5xx 180GB drive working well since 8 months already. So also recommending them.
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Peter ByeRetiredAuthor Commented:
Excellent suggestions, thanks.

garycase - you mentioned creating a dynamic volume with the two 240GB drives. I have four built-in SATA ports, so it is possible. How would I do that? Any potential problems that it creates?

A related question: The workstation has four 3.5" cages so space is not an issue. I see 3.5"-to-2.5" adapters that allow two 2.5" drives in one 3.5" cage. Should I be willing to do that or is it better thermally to separate them since I have the space?

Any additional good sources beyond Amazon, NewEgg, and Compsource that anyone is aware of?

Thanks,
Pete
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Dynamic type is needed to let the TRIM work. If you build the hardware RAID then TRIM will not work.
As for the positive and negative sides of dynamic disk type - positive: it is easy to do. It does not block TRIM.
Negative: the dynamic disk is harder to deal with if the dataloss or file system corruption occurs. Means that backup is a obligatory feature for you.
As for the cages. I would keep one drive per cage. Especially when you have enough place for them.
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Peter ByeRetiredAuthor Commented:
Another aspect comes to mind: Protection.

Data protection is important on this PC. It runs Win 7 64-bit ultimate with Bitlocker enabled. Of course I'll disable Bitlocker before doing the SSD conversion.

Is Win 7 Bitlocker compatible with SSDs? Or are there specific Intel model lines with built-in encryption that I should prefer given the security aspect?

Pete
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Yes Bitlocker will work fine.   As for which is better (1 or 2 drives), I don't think it really matters.   It's true that with 2 spanned drives, that if 1 fails you lose all the data on both ... but on the other hand, if you had a single drive and it failed the same thing would be true.
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Peter ByeRetiredAuthor Commented:
Thanks very much all three of you. You've helped me think it through and given me some practical advice and great insights. I'll plan on two 240GB drives, probably the 530 series, for the moment since that is a price/capacity sweet spot right now and it more than handles current needs. I'll leave one of the WD Velociraptors in the workstation for data needs and plan to replace that with another SSD down the road if data needs grow. By then higher-capacity SSD drives will probably be more cost effective.

Per responses to the earlier question I'll get the Paragon software to help move the Windows system to a new SSD drive.

Pete
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