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Test System Details

Could An SSD Be The Best Upgrade For Your Old PC?
By , Achim Roos

Samsung's PM810 (470 series in retail) is our 2011 reference SSD, in part because it facilitates the balanced performance needed for testing processors, graphics, and motherboards, and also because we were able to get our hands on enough drives to distribute to our offices in France, Germany, Italy, and the U.S. This is the 256 GB flagship equipped with firmware version 0701.

Any discussion about picking the right SSD can quickly become heated. Some folks will tell you to spend as little as possible on a small boot drive, particularly if you're upgrading an older machine. That'd mean going with a 60 or 64 GB drive, and those generally aren't the best performers. Other folks look specifically for the latest features, like SATA 6 Gb/s support. Of course, that's not really a relevant qualification in our comparison, since most older boards lack 6 Gb/s controllers. While we could certainly use any other drive in this one's place, we really wouldn't see much of a difference between various SSDs on older platforms. It's much more significant to measure performance moving from a hard drive to an SSD and simply generalize about solid-state performance, rather than talk about this specific model.

System I (2005)
Motherboard (LGA 775)Gigabyte EP45-UD3P, Rev. 1.0, Chipset: Intel P45 Express, BIOS: F10
ProcessorIntel Pentium 4 660 (90 nm Prescott), 1C/2T, 3.6 GHz, 2 MB L2 Cache, 115 W TDP
Discrete Graphics
Nvidia GeForce 6800 GT, GPU: NV45 (350 MHz), Graphics RAM: 256 MB GDDR3 (800 MHz)
RAM
2 x 1 GB DDR2-800, Corsair CM2X1024-6400C4
HDD
Samsung Spinpoint T133, HD300LJ, 300 GB, 7200 RPM, SATA 3 Gb/s, 8 MB Cache
System II (2006)
Motherboard (LGA 775)Gigabyte EP45-UD3P, Rev. 1.0, Chipset: Intel P45 Express, BIOS: F10
Processor
Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 (65 nm Conroe), 2C/2T, 2.66 GHz, 4 MB L2 Cache, 65 W TDP
Discrete Graphics
Gigabyte GeForce 7900 GTX, GPU: G71 (650 MHz), Graphics RAM: 512 MB GDDR3 (800 MHz)
RAM
2 x 1 GB DDR2-800, Corsair CM2X1024-6400C4
HDD
Samsung Spinpoint T133, HD400LJ, 400 GB, 7200 RPM, SATA 3 Gb/s, 8 MB Cache
System III (2008)
Motherboard (LGA 775)Gigabyte EP45-UD3P, Rev. 1.0, Chipset: Intel P45 Express, BIOS: F10
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo E8600 (45 nm Wolfdale), 2C/2T, 3.33 GHz, 6 MB L2 Cache, 65 W TDP
Discrete Graphics
MSI GeForce N9800GTX-T2D512, GPU: G92 (700 MHz), Graphics RAM: 1024 MB GDDR3 (1100 MHz)
RAM
2 x 2 GB DDR2-800, Walton Chaintech Apogee AU2G732-12GH001
HDD
Samsung Spinpoint F1, HD103UJ, 1 TB, 7200 RPM, SATA 3 Gb/s, 32 MB Cache
System IV (2010)
ProcessorIntel Core i5-750 (45 nm Lynnfield, B1), 4C/4T, 2.66 GHz, 4 x 256 KB L2 Cache, 8 MB L3 Cache, 95 W TDP, 3.2 GHz max. Turbo
Motherboard (LGA 1156)MSI P55-GD65, Rev. 1.0, Chipset: Intel P55 Express, BIOS: V1.10
GraphicsMSI N280GTX, GPU: GT200 (602 MHz), Graphics RAM: 1 GB GDDR3 (1107 MHz)
RAM
2 x 4 GB DDR3-1333, Kingston HyperX KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX
HDD
Samsung Spinpoint F3R, HE103SJ, 1 TB, 7200 RPM, SATA 3 Gb/s, 32 MB Cache
Common Hardware
SDDSamsung PM810 (470 series), 256 GB, Firmware 0701, SATA 3 Gb/s
Power SupplySeasonic X-760 760 W, SS-760KM Active PFC F3
Benchmarks
Performance MeasurementsPCMark 7 1.0.4
Boot TimerĀ 
System Software & Drivers
DriverDetails
Operating SystemWindows 7 x64 Ultimate SP1
Intel Chipset DriversChipset Installation Utility
Nvidia GraphicsVer. 270.61
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