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Old October 16, 2011, 08:53 AM
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Default Crucial M4 128GB

I wanted to get a Crucial M4 128GB SSD for my relatively old PC. I am hoping it will speed it up a little bit, both with booting up and applications. I will use it for my Windows 7 and programs and games. I got another 750GB HDD for files etc.

Now I am having a problem determining whether it is compatible with my mobo. I have this one Motherboard Specifications, IPIBL-LB (Benicia) - HP Customer Care (United States - English). I am not sure which SATA version it is, the specs say it has 6 SATA connectors.

Is my mobo compatible with the Crucial M4?

EDIT: also is it true that OCZ has a lot of bsod issues?

Last edited by Sevada; October 16, 2011 at 09:00 AM.
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Old October 16, 2011, 02:09 PM
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The issue with OCZ isn't an issue with OCZ. The problem is that OCZ, like most SSD manufacturers currently, uses Sandforce controllers and Sandforce controllers are...tempermental. If they get along with your system, a SF controller is the fastest thing on the market and reasonably stable. If they don't, an SF controller is the fastest thing on the market until your machine crashes. Unfortunately, what exactly causes this incompatibility is unknown -- and compatibility cannot be predicted from component brand, model, chipset, etc.

OCZ sees a lot more of these complaints because it is by far the largest SSD manufacturer using Sandforce controllers.

As for compatibility of SSDs, they're (at least when the controller co-operates) just like hard drives -- as long as you can hook them up they'll work, and are backwards compatible with older SATA specs. I'm running an M4 on SATA II now. Your G33 chipset supports SATA II, so you won't get the full benefit of the M4 but in terms of day-to-day use the additional bandwidth of a SATA III matters much less. The jump in OS and application responsiveness is almost entirely due to small file speeds which by their nature don't stretch even SATA II's bandwidth. The effect on your computer, however, is incredible. I won't go back to an HDD-based OS if I can at all avoid it.
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Old October 16, 2011, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galcobar View Post
The issue with OCZ isn't an issue with OCZ. The problem is that OCZ, like most SSD manufacturers currently, uses Sandforce controllers and Sandforce controllers are...tempermental. If they get along with your system, a SF controller is the fastest thing on the market and reasonably stable. If they don't, an SF controller is the fastest thing on the market until your machine crashes. Unfortunately, what exactly causes this incompatibility is unknown -- and compatibility cannot be predicted from component brand, model, chipset, etc.

OCZ sees a lot more of these complaints because it is by far the largest SSD manufacturer using Sandforce controllers.

As for compatibility of SSDs, they're (at least when the controller co-operates) just like hard drives -- as long as you can hook them up they'll work, and are backwards compatible with older SATA specs. I'm running an M4 on SATA II now. Your G33 chipset supports SATA II, so you won't get the full benefit of the M4 but in terms of day-to-day use the additional bandwidth of a SATA III matters much less. The jump in OS and application responsiveness is almost entirely due to small file speeds which by their nature don't stretch even SATA II's bandwidth. The effect on your computer, however, is incredible. I won't go back to an HDD-based OS if I can at all avoid it.

Just to add to that, the Crucial M4 doesnt use the SF2281 controller. It uses the MArvel controller. So its a moot point and nothing you have to worry about if you get the M4. M4 (and Intel 510) is the drive I recommend for all first time SSD users. You really cant go wrong with it no matter what OS, what mobo or what drivers you are using....it can take care of itself like no other in its price range.
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Old October 16, 2011, 04:27 PM
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When you guys talk about controller, you mean like a processor that drives SSD, makes it work etc?
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Old October 16, 2011, 05:28 PM
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Yup.

The name on the outside of the case doenst mean much. Its the NAND and the CONTROLLER inside that matter. ;)
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Old October 16, 2011, 05:39 PM
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The M4 is defiantly a solid drive. As I am also a first time SSD user, it was the one I decided to go with, many thanks to AKG and the other's here at HWC for the recommendation. I have to say, I couldn't have asked for a better experience in the world of SSD's.
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Old October 16, 2011, 06:33 PM
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The controller in an SSD is akin to the processor in a computer -- if you will, equate Dell and OCZ or Corsair. Dell puts an Intel or AMD processor in its computers, while OCZ or Corsair (or any other manufacturer) put Sandforce or Marvell controller in their drives. Of course, there are other controller companies and other SSD manufacturers
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Old October 17, 2011, 12:08 AM
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OK makes sense, thanks guys. Now where is my piggy jar....?
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Old October 20, 2011, 04:05 PM
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Im in the market as a first time buyer for an ssd and have learned a lot in a few day's. Its sounding like the Marvell controller is the way to go correct? I'm looking for something reliable but fast enough to run win 7 and games off the same ssd. I'll be using WD Black drives for storage. It's sounding like these m4's from Crucial is the way to go. My only other question right the moment is I have heard that ssd uses up like 2:1 storage. meaning if I install windows which really only uses like 10 gigs on a hdd it will use 20 on an ssd. I'm hoping I can get by with the 64 gb. Anyone have any comments on this or experience?
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Old October 20, 2011, 04:40 PM
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The m4 series is the one I recomend for first time customers. I usally try to steer peeps towards the 128 version but the 64 is decent for a first timer. :)

The 2:1 you heard refers to write amplification. Write amplification is a tricky subject. BUT it refers to the LONG term nand write usage NOT the acutal amount of space required. Its usually higher than 2:1 to; but, it doesnt actually take up twice or eight times the amount of room on a ssd compared to a hdd... it takes up the same amount of room. Its just that as the wear leveling alogarithms move data around data gets re-written...using up NAND life. 64GB is decent size. You wont fit many games on it after you have installed your OS and main apps but its a good starter size. ;)
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