Should I choose an mSATA SSD drive over a SATA3 SSD?

Hey guys,

I decided to build myself a new computer and I need your advice on the hard drive that I should use as the system drive. I need the best solution in terms of data read-write speed. So here are the specs:

  • *CPU* - Intel Core i7-2600K link
  • *Mainboard* - Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX *with mSATA drive connector port onboard* link
  • *RAM* - Corsair Vengeance Blue 16 GB DDR3 SDRAM Dual Channel Memory Kit CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9B link
  • *HDD* - Seagate Barracuda 2.0 TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch Internal Hard Drive for PC and Mac ST320005N1A1AS-RK - Retail Kit link
  • *Graphics Card* - GIGABYTE ATI Radeon HD6870 1GB DDR5 2DVI/HDMI/2x Mini DisplayPort PCI-Express Video Card GV-R687OC-1GD link
  • *Power Supply* - Corsair Professional Series 650-Watt 80 Plus Certified Power Supply compatible with Intel and AMD Platforms - CMPSU-650HX link
  • *Case* - Corsair Carbide Series 400R Mid Tower Gaming Computer Case - CC-9011011-WW link

The 2TB classic HDD drive will be used for storage only, as I said in the beginning of the post - I need a 60GB SSD drive for the operating system.

I thought I’d buy an mSATA drive, since my chosen MB is mSATA compatible. This way I thought I’d free up one SSD bay inside the case, because the mSATA drive gets plugged directly on the mainboard, right next to the CPU socket. However, this mSATA drive features slower read/write speeds, that is, up to 280MB/s read and up to 260MB/s write, as compared to this SATA3 one (read: up to 525MB/s, write: up to 475MB/s).

What do you guys think? What are the benefits, other than the SSD bay which remains available for future use, of choosing an mSATA drive over a SATA3 one? Remember, I’m looking for the fastest read/write performance.

Please share your thoughts.

Thanks! :slight_smile:



I approve most of your config :slight_smile: My friend had a Corsair PSU die on him - I have a cooler master modular silent PSU @ 700W with no problems. And recommended him the same.

I would re-use my current or old HDD’s until the effects of the flood in Thailald vanish regarding HDD prices.

2-300MB/s SSDs are considered slow now and not worth the money. If you really want a traditional box looking 2.5" or 1.8" (m)SATA SSD, buy two SATA3 SSDs and put them in RAID0. They can be 2x64GB, 128GB should be enough for WIN, APPS and some gaming. And it’s not that expensive this way. And you get like 1GB/s. Or 2x32 for extra cheap solution if you can really survive on 60-64GB of space. Chances are you’ll have a harder time finding fast 32GB SSDs than 64GB ones.

I’d add that a fresh win7 install on a 64GB SSD with hibernation OFF, sys restore OFF and a 2GB pagefile leaves 40-42GB of free space. I don’t find that enough for my needs. Also you are on the edge of the ability to turn off pagefile completely due to the 16GB of ram, but apps can still quit if you start fill that up. I have just 4GB, and if I disable pagefile apps randomly quit at 75% utilization. E.g. Photoshop and firefox with lots (100+) of tabs (I use vertical tabs…) If you use hibernation that needs the same amount as your RAM. Which will kill the space on your SSD.

On the other hand I’d choose OCZ’s revodrive solutions. Those go into the PCIE slots. There is one that is hybrid with an 1TB HDD and 100-something SSD as CACHE. That means SSD speed and 1TB with an effective speed of around 6-800MB/s.

There is also a good solution but a more expensive one, at 240 or 480GB, and speeds around 1.2-1.5GB/sec.

And don’t forget to force-set your RAMs to 1.6ghz in the BIOS once you have your config because i7 2600K doesn’t officially support 1.6ghz just 1333mhz. I set a config with this CPU and with RAMs similar to these and this was the case. Aslo if you buy your CPU OEM that can mean 20% off the price. Then you buy a little cooler which is far more silent than the stock cooler for $10-20 :slight_smile:

I personally am very hesistant of buying an SSD because of their bad reputation of being unreliable, and OCZ drives with the Sandforce controller are especially notorious. Try looking for an Intel 320 or Crucial M4 instead.

And +1 about the CPU cooler, don’t bother installing the stock cooler. :slight_smile: