replacing HD with SSD in old MB?

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replacing HD with SSD in old MB?

Postby Maikl on Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:49 pm

hello,

I'm thinking of replacing my only HD with an SSD .
My motherboard is an ASUS M2NS-NVM, built in 2006 .

I have never stored anything on my pc so I'd be fine with a small SSD...

What would I have to look out for, by way of connections and form factor and such, if I bought an SSD ?
Have run lspci 8) and attached the output as a screenshot.

Would it speed things up on booting ( now it's appr. 40 seconds, not that I coudlnt live with that...) ?

This is, of course, a dummy question that would probably better fit in the "newbie" section, not sure...
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Re: replacing HD with SSD in old MB?

Postby xenopeek on Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:53 pm

You should be able to figure out the SATA speed supported by your chip with:
Code: Select all
dmesg | grep "SATA mode"

On my machine this returns the following (note the bit I've highlighted in red):
[ 0.436264] ahci 0000:00:1f.2: >AHCI 0001.0300 32 slots 6 ports 6 Gbps 0x3f impl SATA mode

Common speeds are 1.5 Gbps for SATA-150 aka SATA version 1, 3 Gbps for SATA-300 aka SATA version 2 and 6 Gbps for SATA-600 aka SATA version 3. Confusing, so this may help: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_ATA#Revisions.

Now for the important bit; SATA versions are upwards and downwards compatible. So a SATA 3 SSD will work fine on a SATA 1 computer, though at the lower speed. And a SATA 1 SSD will work fine on a SATA 3 computer, though still at the lower speed. These days I think most devices are SATA 3 with some SATA 2, but SATA 1 is mostly gone if you are buying new.

So for buying advice I'd first set a budget, then see what you can get for that. Technology is sure to continue to advance and bring prices down of older tech, so I wouldn't recommend spending extra money now to get a SATA 3 if you computer doesn't support that, with the idea that on your next computer you'll use the higher speed of the SATA 3 SSD.

A good resource for reviews; http://www.storagereview.com/
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Re: replacing HD with SSD in old MB?

Postby bigj231 on Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:14 pm

You must make sure your motherboard supports AHCI. If it doesn't, you will have issues with TRIM and such. Since it has an nVidia chipset, that IIRC, doesn't support AHCI or SSDs, you should hold off on the SSD upgrade or get a new motherboard. I haven't ever had good luck with nVidia chipsets on motherboards.

You would see a speed increase, but you probably won't be able to utilize TRIM, and your speeds will not be as good as they could be.
Here's something to read, but it deals with windows instead of Linux: http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2106423
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Re: replacing HD with SSD in old MB?

Postby Maikl on Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:45 am

@xenopeek: bedankt, en leuke Paasdagen toegewenst. Groeten uit het Ruhrgebied.

have run

dmesg | grep -i sata | grep 'link up'

(the command you gave in your post didnt return anything)

and got:

[ 1.660035] ata2: SATA link up 3.0 Gbps (SStatus 123 SControl 300)

I think I should be fine with a budget of around 100€ for 64 GIG...

@bigj231:

I would probably not even dabble with TRIM, but just plonk my OS from a stick to the SSD.
Will check this AHCI thing ony my next boot-up.

Many thanks.
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Re: replacing HD with SSD in old MB?

Postby AlbertP on Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:34 am

Even without support for AHCI or TRIM, an SSD is still much faster than a harddisk and certainly worth the upgrade. You'll still be able to boot Mint at least twice as fast.

bigj231 wrote:Since it has an nVidia chipset, that IIRC, doesn't support AHCI or SSDs, you should hold off on the SSD upgrade or get a new motherboard. I haven't ever had good luck with nVidia chipsets on motherboards.

SSD is not anything the chipset needs to support. If a harddisk works, then an SSD works too. The SSD will be working slower than on todays Intel/AMD hardware, but certainly working much faster than a harddisk.
Also with newer NVIDIA chipsets (nForce 600 series and later) there is AHCI support. bigj231 is probably talking about nForce4 chipsets which had many SATA problems. This is a newer nForce 500 or 600 series one, those have good SATA support and shouldn't cause any problems using an SSD.
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Re: replacing HD with SSD in old MB?

Postby xenopeek on Sun Mar 31, 2013 7:49 am

AlbertP wrote:Even without support for AHCI or TRIM, an SSD is still much faster than a harddisk and certainly worth the upgrade. You'll still be able to boot Mint at least twice as fast.

Yup; I have an old SATA 1 SSD from Intel and it is plenty fast. Doesn't support TRIM, though I'm using AHCI. Average read speed is 260 MB/s and average access time is 0.18 msec. Try beating that with one hard disk.
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Re: replacing HD with SSD in old MB?

Postby Maikl on Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:30 am

the chipset according to the MB specs is MCP61S.

found this site:
http://writings.withoutfriction.com/ssd-buying-guide
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Re: replacing HD with SSD in old MB?

Postby AlbertP on Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:57 am

That buying guide linked is really outdated. All (!) SSDs mentioned in the article are no longer produced. They have been replaced by much better ones.

Kingston V300 is nowadays a good choice for a budget SSD. The Corsair Neutron is a bit more expensive but comes with 5 years of warranty.
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