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The title says it all:

I wanted to make an upgrade to my old computer.

The motherboard only supports SATA 1 (Asus P5GD1 Pro).

Do you think that I can still have significant gains in performance (the computer is for browsing and text editing in Windows XP) if I buy an SSD for this computer?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Yes. Most performance is gained in an SSD from eliminating seek time, which the SSD would still do. The problem is going to be XP does not support TRIM, so you will see performance gains, but the drive will also wear out substantially faster on XP than windows 7. If I were you, I would buy an SSD and Windows 7 for the machine.

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Thank you! I didn't know about the TRIM support – cinico Mar 23 '13 at 18:19
    
@cinico, if you can and this answer is satisfactory, be sure to mark it as answered. – nerdwaller Mar 23 '13 at 19:18
1  
TRIM doesn't affect the rate at which an SSD wear out. – David Schwartz May 15 at 23:52

I can't tell you if you would consider any given performance gain significant; this is entirely subjective. Keep in mind that neither browsing the Internet nor text-processing are terribly disk-intensive, but an SSD will make a difference, yes.

Regarding SSDs and SATA I:

  • The maximum transfer rate of SATA I is 150 MB/s.

    Only the fastest conventional HDDs can max out that speed. Most consumer level drives (especially small and "green" drives) are well below.

  • The real difference between SSDs and HDDs lies in the IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second) it can perform.

    Modern SSDs can easily go over 150 MB/s when reading/writing random 4K blocks, but a conventional HDD probably doesn't even utilize 1 % of the interface's speed.

    This doesn't matter when reading a big file, but it does when reading several tiny ones (common when starting a program or booting the computer).

  • If you're going to invest in an SSD, you might as well buy a PCIe SATA controller.1

Compare:


1 Link provided for reference. Not a recommendation.

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Thank you so much for your clear explanation – cinico Mar 23 '13 at 21:48

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