Being a huge gamer and review for PC Exclusive, you can just imagine how much space I need now and for the future. Games are no longer small install sizes, they are huge, some over 100GB, the biggest one I have currently would be The Elder Scrolls Online, which is bloody huge.
Recently though I downloaded the new game Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, which had an install size of 60GB. I doubt games will start to become smaller as technology offers game developers more opportunities, to create truly immersive game worlds.
Before the upgrade I have a 128GB mSATA SSD, that was exclusively used for the Windows OS, which was half full after install and all drivers installed. I also have a 2TB 7200 Drive and a 250GB mSATA, moving an upgrading was always a must to give me more space.
The question was, how the hell do I move the OS to a different drive? Copy and pasting does not work, error, error, error, stupid windows. Now to browse the internet, damn there is so much written text on this, and all I want is a basic version, not a 10k word count to read through.
In the end. I found Casper, not the friendly ghost sort, and it has a trial, now many trials restrict you, so this was a risk and try and do it, but hey, if you do not try you never know. Downloaded, installed, skipped all crap that came with it, you know junk installs, some of these software companies wish to dump on your front door, a bit like junk mail, it’s not wanted or warranted, or cold call centers.
You can download it here https://www.fssdev.com/products/casper/trial/
It was so easy, just followed the instructions and it was done, I had a full backup of my OS, now I had to get the OS on to one of the other drives. This would mean moving all associated software, aka games that were on that drive to an external drive, piss easy. Copy/ paste done.
Using Casper again, using the backup I installed the OS onto the 250GB mSATA, now it was time to move around the drives, remove the 128GB mSATA and reboot with the new 500GB mSATA and the 250GB mSATA as the OS drive.
Warrenty for my MSI GS70 6QE would be void, but they never care, done it before, just told them a little white lie, they just came around and fixed the issue.
Unscrewed the bottom of my system, removed the old 128GB drive and the 250GB drive, moved the 250GB to the first bay then installed the new 500GB in the second bay. Now it was the time to reboot, will it work, or will I get a blue screen of death, or simply nothing.
Button pressed, the MSI logo appeared… booting, 5secs later, fully booted up, whoop, whoop, it was done, however the new SSD was yet to be allocated with space, this would mean accessing the disk management and setting this up. Not too hard, type Disk Management into windows search, and the option should appear, find the drive, should say un-allocated, roughly around the size of your new drive, format it and choose the size you wish and it’s done.
So installed was over and I was ready to copy and paste games back to the 500GB mSATA drive and simply game.
Before I even started doing any of this I wanted to know some info about my old drive, spoke to Kingston and MSI both had no bloody idea, in the end, I had to search old press releases and found this info about the old 128GB mSATA.
Kingston 128GB mSATA SSD
- Form factor mSATA > Interface SATA Rev. 2.0 (3Gb/s), SATA Rev. 1.0 (1.5Gb/s),
- Sequential read speed 128GB, – 480MB/s, 64GB, – 255MB/s, 32GB, – 135MB/s,
- Sequential write speed 128GB, 320MB/s, 64GB, – 170MB/s, 32GB, – 90MB/s,
Now checking this against the new Crucial MX200
- Crucial MX200, 500GB, SATA, 6Gbps, mSATA Internal SSD
- 555MB/s Read, 500MB/s Write
There is in increase within the interface from 3Gb/s to a massive 6Gbp/so there is also increased with the read and write speeds.
Old write speed max was 320MB/ now we have 500MB/s, the old read speed was 480MB/s now we have 555MB’s
Some will say, you will not see the difference, TBH your opinion is neither right or wrong, this is great, as we can say what we want, to an extent, for me though boot times did increase only by a few seconds, nothing to brag about, but it’s a nice little bonus, for me, more than anything else is more space.
PC’s are not the only systems that require damn upgrades of late, console do as well, so what are the benefits of this, why upgrade to SSD and How the hell do you do it, I reached out to Crucial for the advise as, I am no tech person, so please have a read below, of what they had to say.
P.S I asked for basic non tech information, even I hate reading technical waffle.
So how does SSD technology work?
Solid state drives work because they are just that, solid. They do not rely on moving parts or spinning discs like hard drives do. Instead of storing data on magnetic plates, SSDs store data on flash memory, just like the memory used on USB memory sticks. Because of this, SSDs doesn’t need to spin to access data in different parts of a spinning disc. As a result, SSDs are much faster, because they can access data quicker. It also makes them more energy efficient, less noisy, more reliable and much lighter. For these reasons, SSDs are becoming favored by gamers who desire faster performance gaming systems without being shackled by slower hard drives.
So how do you install an SSD in popular consoles?
You can upgrade PlayStation or Xbox consoles from a HDD to SSD, just bear in mind that you will most likely void your warranty, so weigh that choice up before you do anything. SSDs are up to 13 times faster than a hard drive, ensuring that your console boots quicker, accesses data quicker and, most importantly, gets you on the battlefield faster. For any upgrade, a screwdriver is vital for removing any screws that might hold the drives in place.
To upgrade PS4s and PS3s you will first need to back up your data, so that you don’t lose your saved games. Once this is done, you can proceed with the upgrade. On both consoles there is a hard disk cover that you need to remove. Under this is where the hard drive lives, and it’s a simple case of removing the hard drive and plugging in a new SSD. However, once this is done, you’ll then need to reinstall system software. You can download that from the PlayStation website and store it on a USB drive. The reinstall MUST be done in safe mode, with the USB drive plugged into the console.
Xbox 360 users should also find it fairly easy, with a removable slot for removing the hard drive, but this varies from model to model. Just remember to back up your data and download the system software on a USB drive. More recent Xbox 360s have a slot where you can easily unplug your hard drive. The older models require a bit more DIY to get to the hard drive.
Microsoft encourages Xbox One owners to use external hard drives to boost disc space, which wouldn’t void your warranty. Using a USB 3.0 cables, you can hook up an internal SSD. The Xbox One will notice the additional storage and ask how you would like to configure/format the drive. The console will still take the same amount of time to boot, but will be much faster when downloading and loading games because it is using the external SSD to do that. This is because it utilises the fastest storage first.
The Xbox One is very hard to get into, so to replace the internal hard drive, you’d need to take it apart a fair bit to reach it.
So did you understand the benefits of getting an SSD and how to install, I hope so, otherwise, if would just go to YouTube and watch a video or two. Now I had more space, and I knew I could bring back over those high end games with huge open worlds, from the likes of Witcher 3, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Just Cause 3 and a few new games, Far Cry primal and Assassins Creed: Syndicate.
Just Cause 3 is the worse of the all, just for loading into the actual game, takes forever on an STD drive, moving to the SSD instantly gave the game a much faster load time. If you have Just Cause 3 and still not got an SSD or the power in your RIG, do not worry, Square Enix has announced that a patch is coming soon, that will increase load times by, up to 40%, which will benefit us all.
I understood in the past where someone says, I can not afford to get an SSD, times have changed, SSD’s are now cheaper, more variety and many sizes. Well sizes to an extent, there are still no SSD cheap as an STD drive, with a high capacity, this will undoubtedly change as we move away from the old and into the new.
I can promise you a few things, if you were to upgrade, no need to defrag your drive, fast boot times, if you were to put your OS on the drive, faster load with ALL games, no stupidly long load times, something that is a benefit for all gamers.
Now for something all new, and a shocker for some of our readers, I am going to add some tech geek information, well just an image that shows the new drives read and write speeds, techy peeps, how proud of us are you.
Welcome the benchmark, we used Crystal Disk Mark, a few to download application.
mSATA drives are primarily found in Laptops, but you can also get yourself a USB attachment that allows you to use them as an external drive if you wish. My partner is using the old 128GB drive now as a USB Pen Drive for work, it’s a little bigger, but packs a punch.
There are no cons with these drives, exceptional performance, great quality at a great low price, what are you waiting for.