Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tech Suckitude

I've been thinking about going to an SSD to replace the hard drives in my main computer. I'm using fast mechanical drives in raid 0, and they're fast for what they are, but I could get 2 fast SSD's and put them in raid 0 and it would be silly fast. I'm just not sure how noticeable it would outside of video rendering and such, which I haven't done much of lately.

Anyway.. I work for a very large tech company, that does not have a 2 letter abbreviation for it's full-length name. Said company has an employee discount program for lots of different kinds of products, from cars to household products. I've been terrible at actually checking to see what I can buy for cheaper than retail.

So I went looking for an SSD, and GO doesn't make or sell SSDs. If I wanted to buy a monitor, a printer, or a laptop, I'd get hooked up. But - GO partners with other companies for discounts and one of them is Kingston. Most of their SSDs are shitty, but the "Hyper X" models are okay... so.. I start clicking around and looking at the prices, which are slashed out and have a lower price in red, just for the special people like me that work for GO. Being clever, like I am, I went to Newegg (the online retailer I buy most stuff from), and check the price for the same exact models. Turns out, and I know this will be shocking, the prices at Newegg for the exact same SKU is less than the GO employee discounted price.

Fuuuuck.. get.. the fuck. out

That should be fucking criminal.. and I hope that the "employee discount" is reciprocated for Kingston employees.. so they get a special shopping portal to GO's online sales site, and fucked up the ass on the price of GO products.

I did, however, just use a GO coupon to buy a key for Microsoft Office 2010 Professional for 10 bucks. That's the $400 version. Unfortunately, the shitbags at Microsoft keep track of who they give keys by tying it to my xxx.GO email address so I can only get one key. I wanted to get some more for John and his colleagues, and maybe some to sell on Ebay for 50 bucks each or something.. but nooooo.

Being a somewhat devious fuck, it did occur to me that there are many thousands of people who work for.GO, and I could just look through the global contact list for email addresses and buy the keys using one per person. I kinda doubt ones I select at random would also be buying the same thing.. but if I got caught doing that.. bad things would result. It's probably safer to warez it.

Which reminds me.. the very first copy of Windows that I actually paid for was Windows 7. It's a fantastic operating system.. and I figure the price for it was worth the money when I roll in the previous MS operating systems (and copies of Office) I'd ever used going back to DOS. I'll be using Windows 7 until they pry it out of my cold, dead, computer.

Back to the SSDs.. looks like I'm going to have to pony up 700 or so for 2 250gb SSDs. I'm not seeing the price of that being worth having much less drive space on my main partition and maybe double the speed... err.. maybe triple the speed. It's not like I'm screaming at my monitor when it takes Windows 15 more seconds to boot. I'll use the money towards new video cards in a few months.


Just occurred to me that the devious method to get extra Office keys is monumentally stupid because MS sends a confirmation to the .GO email address before you can buy the key. Duh.

Not like I'm that kind of person anyway.


Kor said...

Intel 520 drives are the hot new jam in SSD land at the moment. Your rewards program sounds similar to mine... although I'm not about to walk into a BMW or Merc dealership any time soon.

Tom said...

I'll check them out.

What do you use Kor? Also - what do you think of the cost/benefit of my going to something like 2 256gb SSDs in raid 0?

I'm almost at 500gig on my c: partition already and I worked a bit at cleaning up but only got it down to 445gb. There's 23 gb of music I could move to the mechanical drive, but that's not much.. plus the windows install directory is 32gb and I can't figure out how to shrink that. I think that's just the normal size for an x64 install.

Just don't know if it would be worth the money, or wait until my next build.

Kor said...

I'm just using a single 120gb Corsair Force GT for my C:\ at the moment. I still run a lot of my games from mechanical drives so there's not a lot on the SSD, however I use about 100GB of it. Mainly just the OS, Program Files and my podcasts directory. I have BF3 installed on there for a bit of extra juice in the game, although I'm not sure it's making a huge difference in that game. Some games like Assassin's Creed make better use of it by allowing the game to stream in the world a lot faster.

I've never really bothered with raid but I can say that the overall desktop usage experience on an SSD is fantastic just thanks to the raw speed boost for your normal desktop applications (no waiting on anything to happen). I've got a friend who runs raided SSD's and he loves it, however I'm not sure it's worth loosing TRIM over. A larger SSD is already pretty damn fast (larger the capacity the more memory channels) and it would probably be a bit annoying having to zero out the drives and rebuild ever 10-12 months.

Tom said...

Ya.. I can't see the cost/benefit right now over what I'm using. If I were on a single slow drive, it might be a different story.

Saw this bit;

As of November 2011, Intel has indicated in the release notes for RST 11.5 Alpha that they intend to add support for TRIM on RAID 0 volumes in the next version of RST.

My P67 will never get the 11.5 RST as it's pretty much abandoned already by Asus I think.. so in the next full build it might be worth going back to that again. By then capacities and sizes should be a bit less crazy. If the raid controller takes care of the trim, that should work out pretty well.

Tom said...

errr.. capacities and prices.. rhymes with sizes... sort of.