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Want to add SSD to Dell 630i

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I have a 4 year-old Dell 630i - 6gb RAM, 2.4GHz QuadCore CPU, etc.  Runs the original Vista Home Premium, 64-bit OS.

The motherboard is the original 0PP150 A00.

I am considering adding an SSD to enhance performance, putting the OS on this new drive.  Am specifically looking at the Samsung 840 Pro 128gb SATA III SSD.

It is unclear to me what level of SATA the onboard SATA ports have (II?, III?), and whether the PCI Express x16 slot supports Version 1.0 or 2.0.

My options would be to just plug it into one of the 4 SATA ports on the motherboard, or buying a SATA Controller to plug into the PCIe slot (I assume the x16 would be preferred).

Which would provide the best performance from this pretty 'state of the art' Samsung SSD?

If it would be best to buy a SATA controller card to plug into the PCIe x16 slot, which Controller would you recommend?  I imagine this would be determined by what version PCIe this slot really is.

Any information/advice appreciated.

Don

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Re: Want to add SSD to Dell 630i

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Hi,

To answer your question, XPS 630i has 4-channel SATA-II slot with a speed of 3.0Gbps. The PCIe slot on this model is a PCI 2.0 slot. The specification seamlessly extends the data rate to 5GT/s in a manner compatible with all existing PCIe 1.1 products currently supporting 2.5GT/s signaling. The key benefit of PCIe 2.0 is its faster signaling, effectively increasing the aggregate bandwidth of a 16-lane link to approximately 16 GB/s

I would not be able to recommend which one of the two slots (PCIe 1.0 & PCIe 2.0) to use as neither of them has been tested with SSD.

Thanks & Regards
Vishal S
#iworkfordell

 

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Re: Want to add SSD to Dell 630i

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Hi,

To answer your question, XPS 630i has 4-channel SATA-II slot with a speed of 3.0Gbps. The PCIe slot on this model is a PCI 2.0 slot. The specification seamlessly extends the data rate to 5GT/s in a manner compatible with all existing PCIe 1.1 products currently supporting 2.5GT/s signaling. The key benefit of PCIe 2.0 is its faster signaling, effectively increasing the aggregate bandwidth of a 16-lane link to approximately 16 GB/s

I would not be able to recommend which one of the two slots (PCIe 1.0 & PCIe 2.0) to use as neither of them has been tested with SSD.

Thanks & Regards
Vishal S
#iworkfordell

 

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Re: Want to add SSD to Dell 630i

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Thank you very much for the prompt reply and information - very helpful.

One follow-up:

If the PCIe slots are in fact 2.0, then would I be able to use a card such as the following one, to enable me to take advantage of the SATA III connectivity of the Samsung 840 Pro SSD:

www.amazon.com/.../B005HT7QT2

This one uses a PCIe-1x slot, rather than the 16x slot, but promises SATA III performance.

You indicate that the 4 SATA ports on the motherboard are SATA II; would using this card, and the PCIe slot, thus enable me to get SATA III speeds, or would the motherboard still limit me to SATA II?

Thanks again.

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Re: Want to add SSD to Dell 630i

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You may want to check around this site HERE to see if you would get any benefit or if it will work on your MB. 

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Re: Want to add SSD to Dell 630i

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Thanks for the link - I actually have browsed that site, with mixed experiences reported using the stock Dell MB.  I'll make sure I can return the SSD and/or accessories in case it doesn't, but hopefully the 'official' technical specs here will make it easier to avoid problems.

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Re: Want to add SSD to Dell 630i

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Hi,

Thanks for the response.

Unfortunately, we have not tested the above specifications; hence, I would not be able to comment on the speed. However, given some knowledge of computers and  specification mentioned by you, the system will limit you to the speed of 3GBPS which is standard for Sata II.

Thanks & Regards
Vishal S
#iworkfordell

 

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2 Bronze

Re: Want to add SSD to Dell 630i

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Thank you for the response and info.  I tended to think the system would be limited to SATA II, but hoped that somehow I could get SATA III, but as you suggest, this is probably not the case.

At least SATA II should give a reasonable performance boost, so will probably give this a try.

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Re: Want to add SSD to Dell 630i

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I installed a 256gb Samsung SSD in an Optiplex 960, and the boost in performance was huge.

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Re: Want to add SSD to Dell 630i

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Thanks for the note on the Optiplex.  Yes, it seems that adding an SSD can produce a pretty big performance boost, at relatively minimal cost and hassle.  That's the reason I've been looking into this.

Some users at NewEgg have reported achieving SATA III level performance by using a PCI-express 2.0 slot, even on a MotherBoard whose built-in SATA slots only support SATA II.  I'm skeptical, but will probably give it a try.  The Rosewill 225 at NewEgg seems to be reasonably well reviewed, and inexpensive.  Will likely go with this one.

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Re: Want to add SSD to Dell 630i

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Just wanted to report back that I finally got all this going and set up.

I put the Rosewill 225 in a PCIe 16 slot, and loaded drivers for it using the included CD (same version as available online).  No problems.

The Samsung 840 Pro SSD was recognized promptly, and only required Initializing and Formatting to be usable.

I used Casper 7.0 to clone my OS partition onto the Samsung SSD, then booted from it without any problems at all.

I don't think I'm getting SATA III performance, however - probably more like SATA II, but it's still an improvement.  Boot times are decreased significantly - probably a quarter to a third of the original time as a 'guesstimate.'  I can't say however that Photoshop and Bridge are running any faster.  They load quicker, but the real-time adjustments to my raw files are still somewhat laggy.  And this is after putting all the raw files and preview files on the SSD.  Probably a RAM or graphics card limitation.

Anyway, thought I'd follow up here and let people know that I was able to successfully install the Samsung SSD onto my aging 630i.

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