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Help please regarding mSATA and SATA III SSDs
07-06-2013, 06:14 AM,
#1
Help please regarding mSATA and SATA III SSDs
Could someone please explain some basic questions I have regarding the function of an mSATA SSD and what impact installing an mSATA SSD into my motherboard mSATA slot since I plan to use much faster SATA III drives for my desktop build.?

With my new Desktop build, my plan has been to use fast SSD III drives - one for my boot and (some) programs and a 2nd SATA III drive for some of my other programs as well as (some) storage of some of my secondary programs data storage requirements.

I will be using a non-SSD SATA drive for my onboard storage needs.

Since my motherboard had a built-in mSATA slot, I bought an mSATA drive for it, however, I have no idea how an mSATA SSD works - or how it will work with my 2 SATA III SSDs. What is the purpose or function of an mSATA SSD (installed in my motherboard mSATA slot)? I realize now that it was a bonehead move on my part to buy an mSATA SSD since I have no idea on how it works, what it does or if it will drag down the speed of my much faster SATA III SSDs. I really could use some help with this. Also, if I would take a performance hit by using the mSATA SSD in conjunction with my Primary and Secondary SATA III SSDs, should I just not install the mSATA SSD?

These are the SSDs I have:
1. mSATA Drive: Intel SSDMAEMC080G2C1 310 Series 80GB 2.5 SATA/300 3.0GB/S Gen2 MLC Internal SSD

2. Boot/OS & Primary Program Drive: Samsung 840 Pro Series 512GB SATA III MLC, SSD

3. Secondary Program and (some) Programs Data Drive: Samsung 840 Series (non-Pro) 500GB Internal SSD.

4. Onboard Data Storage SATA Drive(s): Seagate 2TB Barracuda Green SATA drive and or an WD 1TB Caviar Black SATA drive.

I also have a Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5-inch SSD that could be added to this build in some way. I could always use this drive in my laptop - if it would not make sense to use it in this build.

What would be the best drive configuration for my power Desktop computer build - using the above available drives I have? I'm at a loss as how to use what drives (and how) in order to make this Desktop be all that it could be. Thanks in advance for any help that I might be able to get with this problem.

JR

My other components are:


Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H-WB (with an onboard mSATA drive slot).
OS: Microsoft Windows Ultimate 64-bit
CPU: Intel Core i7 3770K Processor
CPU Liquid Cooler: Corsair Hydro Series CW-9060008-WW H80i Extreme Liquid/Water CPU Cooler
Graphics card: GIGABYTE GV-N670OC-2GD GeForce GTX 670 Windforce OC 2048MB GDDR5 256-bit PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready, SLI Support
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB DIMMs) DDR3, 1600MHz, CL9, XMP Ready
SATA 3.5 inch HDDs not listed above:
1. WD 300GB Velociraptor
2. WD 74GB Raptor(s) - 2-each
Power Supply: Seasonic PLATINUM-860 860W 80Plus Platinum EPS12V / ATX12V (Single Rail +12V @ 71A, Modular cabling)
Case: Cooler Master HAF XM Mid Tower with USB 3.0 Ports and X-Dock

I've been assembling my own Desktop computers (5 over the past 7 years) using conventional IDE then SATA HDDs. This will be my first build using SSDs, and frankly, I'm at a loss regarding how best to use my Drives (as you can tell).
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07-06-2013, 09:03 AM,
#2
RE: Help please regarding mSATA and SATA III SSDs
Hello Randolphjo,

Well I'm no expert, but I have been recently looking into mSATA drives recently for my laptop. What I understand is this.

mSATA has a smaller form factor, fewer NANDs, and in some cases is slower than SSDs but not always. Your's is a 3GB/s - SATA II drive, which is still very snappy.
When I was looking for mSata speeds, I found this article which talked about the new Plextor M5M: http://thessdreview.com/our-reviews/plex...iew-256gb/
Here it's clear that this little mSATA SSD can hold it's own vs other SSDs which are 2.5" drives... it's SATA III (can ramp down to SATA II if need be).

They can be used as cache drives for your HDD, or even used in RAID with your other SSDs of the same size.

The biggest two differences I see between mSATA and standard SATA III drives is the small form factor which makes it easy to put into devices like laptops, and the variety... both in who manufactures them and the sizes - rare to see above 256GB.

So all depends on how you want to use it.
------
For your build, if you want to make it snappier, would recommend you use it as the cache drive for either your 2TB or 1TB drive. Those who have no SSD report significant improvements, but I have not done so myself.

Also in general, what I see the trend in SSDs is that typically larger SSDs are better than smaller ones for speed. Unless you are looking at a RAID 0 setup with the two 520GB SDDs, but then if one of the SDDs dies, you lose them both.

For a home machine, I would avoid the RAID... SSD is plenty fast. And for an extra bit of juice, use the mSATA drive to cache either of your HDDs, and you'll be a happy camper.

Good luck and let us know what you go with.
CPU: Intel i7-2600K @4.2GHz Mobo: ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3 RAM: Corsair Vengence 8GB 1600Mhz DDR3 GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB
SSD: Samsung 830 Series 256GB SATA 6.0Gb/s HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB PSU: SeaSonic Platinum-1000 80 PLUS Modular ODD: SONY DVD 24x
CPU Cooler: Thermalright SilverArrow Sound: Creative SB X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty PCI-E Case: CM Storm Trooper
Reply
07-08-2013, 05:29 AM,
#3
RE: Help please regarding mSATA and SATA III SSDs
Thank you for your post. Since I already have SATA III SSDs, I'll be using the Samsung Pro 512 GB SSD as my primary boot drive. Your post did address using the mSATA SSD as a cache drive for my HDD. I was curious if I could use the mSATA drive as a cache drive for my Boot drive - the Samsung Pro SATA III 512GB SSD.

I think that if I use the Samsung Pro SATA III SSD as my boot drive that I won't be able to use the mSATA SSD as a cache drive for it. That was my primary reason for posting - to see if I could use the mSATA SSD as a cache drive for the Samsung Pro SSD III.

Thanks for your post. It did help.

JR

(07-06-2013, 09:03 AM)pedwards Wrote: Hello Randolphjo,

Well I'm no expert, but I have been recently looking into mSATA drives recently for my laptop. What I understand is this.

mSATA has a smaller form factor, fewer NANDs, and in some cases is slower than SSDs but not always. Your's is a 3GB/s - SATA II drive, which is still very snappy.
When I was looking for mSata speeds, I found this article which talked about the new Plextor M5M: http://thessdreview.com/our-reviews/plex...iew-256gb/
Here it's clear that this little mSATA SSD can hold it's own vs other SSDs which are 2.5" drives... it's SATA III (can ramp down to SATA II if need be).

They can be used as cache drives for your HDD, or even used in RAID with your other SSDs of the same size.

The biggest two differences I see between mSATA and standard SATA III drives is the small form factor which makes it easy to put into devices like laptops, and the variety... both in who manufactures them and the sizes - rare to see above 256GB.

So all depends on how you want to use it.
------
For your build, if you want to make it snappier, would recommend you use it as the cache drive for either your 2TB or 1TB drive. Those who have no SSD report significant improvements, but I have not done so myself.

Also in general, what I see the trend in SSDs is that typically larger SSDs are better than smaller ones for speed. Unless you are looking at a RAID 0 setup with the two 520GB SDDs, but then if one of the SDDs dies, you lose them both.

For a home machine, I would avoid the RAID... SSD is plenty fast. And for an extra bit of juice, use the mSATA drive to cache either of your HDDs, and you'll be a happy camper.

Good luck and let us know what you go with.
Reply
07-09-2013, 01:46 AM,
#4
Help please regarding mSATA and SATA III SSDs
(07-08-2013, 05:29 AM)Randolphjo Wrote: Thank you for your post. Since I already have SATA III SSDs, I'll be using the Samsung Pro 512 GB SSD as my primary boot drive. Your post did address using the mSATA SSD as a cache drive for my HDD. I was curious if I could use the mSATA drive as a cache drive for my Boot drive - the Samsung Pro SATA III 512GB SSD.

I think that if I use the Samsung Pro SATA III SSD as my boot drive that I won't be able to use the mSATA SSD as a cache drive for it. That was my primary reason for posting - to see if I could use the mSATA SSD as a cache drive for the Samsung Pro SSD III.

Thanks for your post. It did help.

JR

Well regarding using the mSata as as a cache for your boot drive. No, not really. It's already an SSD, and its even a SataIII, so your mSata II drive might even slow it down. Besides the idea of a cache is to make your frequently used files faster. An SSD can already access your files faster, so supplementing it with another SSD gains no performance

The HDD however is much slower than this technology, thus how the cache provides the boost.
CPU: Intel i7-2600K @4.2GHz Mobo: ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3 RAM: Corsair Vengence 8GB 1600Mhz DDR3 GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB
SSD: Samsung 830 Series 256GB SATA 6.0Gb/s HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB PSU: SeaSonic Platinum-1000 80 PLUS Modular ODD: SONY DVD 24x
CPU Cooler: Thermalright SilverArrow Sound: Creative SB X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty PCI-E Case: CM Storm Trooper
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