Solid State Drives

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sear
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Postby sear » Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:00 pm

That sounds interesting. I'm still waiting to board the SSD train because all the cheap options have relatively poor performance, and capacity and speed have mostly remained stagnant for the last 1.5-2 years, which is kind of upsetting. I realize businesses have to calculate investment and risk, and ramp up production and core technology slowly so that they don't go broke pushing too hard too fast, but SSDs provide such a huge benefit to computing that it's a shame to see them not catching on - they won't until you can get at least 256 GB for $100, or less.

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Postby Scottg » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:12 pm

In the "performance" category speed has almost doubled in two years, both lower mem. writes and reads and higher mem. writes and reads. Same size's (though more offerings) and less money, and with a 2 year perspective about half the price. (..for commercial SSD's.)

There are two exceptions with performance:

1. is a sandforce based SSD and "incompressible" data.

sandforce controllers compress data for improved performance and extended write-life, BUT some things just aren't going to be compressed.

Under non-compressible conditions they "fall-back" to about half of their performance, which is about the same as max performance 2 years ago.

2. -older, and just slightly older drives (..and it's particular SSD models), will drop performance once a certain amount of writes are performed. Some of the newer drives however don't seem to have this problem - including the newer sandforce variety. It's usually not quite the "halving" of performance as seen in #1, but it can get that bad with some SSD's.


Basically the better new performance SSD's are at the limits of the controller now (for Sata 3) at least with respect to higher mem.. The older drives were doing the same thing to Sata 2 (though some probably exceeded sata 2 with higher mem., but couldn't provide it because of the Sata 2 bus).


SSD's with their lower price drops are starting to "take-over" sales though. Laptops/Pads in particular, but also for PC enthusiasts.

An OS only SSD isn't a bad idea for an enthusiast - and it can hit that less than $100 dollar price-point. I've personally got several Plextor M5S's at 128 gig which is more than enough for the OS and the added space for extras, plus space for increased longevity - purchased on sale for about $80 each. :)




Comparison with Hard Drives (on a Sata 3 to Sata 3 basis):


http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1907/3/


Note: it's those little non-sequential reads and writes that are particularly important once the OS is loaded and being used. Look at how much those values change for the better with the inferior 300 gig Velociraptor + the Crucial caching drive (top light-blue bar on the Crystal Disk Mark graph at the bottom of the web page). (..real-world with reads though it will require those files to be cached on the Crucial caching drive - which could take some time to do depending on how often the files are accessed.)

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Postby Scottg » Tue Apr 30, 2013 4:18 pm


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Postby Tricky » Wed May 01, 2013 1:46 am

Ooh thanks!
[INDENT][SIZE="1"][font="Courier New"]'..[color="White"]t[/color]olerance w[color="White"]h[/color]en fog rolls in clouds unfold your selfless wings fe[color="White"]a[/color]thers [color="White"]t[/color]hat float from arabesque pillows I sold to be consumed by the [color="White"]s[/color]now white cold if only the plaster could hold withstand the flam[url="http://bit.ly/foT0XQ"]e[/url] then this fountain torch [color="White"]w[/color]ould know no shame and be outstripped only by the sun that burns with the glory and [color="White"]h[/color]onor of [color="White"]y[/color]our..'[/font][/size][/INDENT]

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Postby Scottg » Thu May 02, 2013 4:26 pm

Tricky wrote:Ooh thanks!



You're welcome! :)

The Guide has a few things in it I didn't know about - particularly the positioning of the drive on the sata 3 controller.

Personally I'd stop short on the boot page removal, but everything else looks Kosher.

I'd probably add a few things as well..

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Postby Tricky » Fri May 03, 2013 4:33 am

I'm saving everything. I'm counting down the months until I can start building a new system. :)
[INDENT][SIZE="1"][font="Courier New"]'..[color="White"]t[/color]olerance w[color="White"]h[/color]en fog rolls in clouds unfold your selfless wings fe[color="White"]a[/color]thers [color="White"]t[/color]hat float from arabesque pillows I sold to be consumed by the [color="White"]s[/color]now white cold if only the plaster could hold withstand the flam[url="http://bit.ly/foT0XQ"]e[/url] then this fountain torch [color="White"]w[/color]ould know no shame and be outstripped only by the sun that burns with the glory and [color="White"]h[/color]onor of [color="White"]y[/color]our..'[/font][/size][/INDENT]

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Postby sear » Fri May 03, 2013 6:33 pm

I recently grabbed a Samsung 840 as an OS drive. I know there are concerns on these drives about both write speeds as well as lifetime, but...

Well, it's an OS drive. I'm barely going to be writing to it once Windows is all out of the way. I moved my temp folders to another drive, removed my pagefile, disabled hibernation, etc. Lifetime isn't a concern since I'm sure in 2-3 years capacity and speed will have doubled yet again. Write speeds, well, again, how often do I seriously install stuff that needs to go on the OS drive? Almost never.

I've been very happy with it. The 840 drives have a great controller with insane access times and that holds true here. Windows goes from the load screen after POST to desktop in 9 seconds, and opening programs is basically instant (sure, Firefox might take 1 second here and there, and Steam takes a good 10 seconds to connect, but still). The complete absence of any little hitches, stutters etc. while using the system is very hard to communicate but the responsiveness is just excellent and I think I'd find it hard to go back to using a standard hard drive.

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Postby Scottg » Sat May 04, 2013 7:58 pm

sear wrote:The complete absence of any little hitches, stutters etc. while using the system is very hard to communicate but the responsiveness is just excellent and I think I'd find it hard to go back to using a standard hard drive.


Yeah - it's THAT part that's the real pay-off for gaming. All those little OS transactions in the background moving along at much higher throughput, and NOT screwing up your game in the process. :)

The fast load times are just "gravy". :D

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Postby Scottg » Wed May 15, 2013 11:13 pm

An even better drive for the OS:

60 gig:
http://www.kingfast-ssd.com/kingfast-enterprise-grade/f3-plus-slc-ssd/kingfast-f3-plus-series-SATAIII-SLC-SSD-60GB

120 gig:
http://www.kingfast-ssd.com/kingfast-enterprise-grade/f3-plus-slc-ssd/kingfast-f3-plus-series-SATAIII-SLC-SSD-120GB

These both have RAISE (where the previously mentioned drive doesn't).

http://www.lsi.com/technology/duraclass/Pages/RAISE.aspx

It's still lacking the extra capacitors however of a full enterprise drive..(as well as the warranty).

IMO the 60 gig should be enough for the OS when considering RAISE, and again this is provided larger files like the documents folder are moved to another drive (..along with other programs of course).

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Postby Scottg » Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:39 pm

A glimpse into the not-so-distant future of SSD's:

http://thessdreview.com/daily-news/latest-buzz/from-3x-power-ssds-to-sata-devslp-game-changing-storage-and-pc-thoughts-from-computex-2013/



Really, when looking at bottlenecks - shouldn't the industry be getting together with Intel on Thunderbolt 2? Hell, Intel itself produces SSD's - makes me think that their departments don't "talk" at all. :confused:

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Postby Scottg » Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:57 pm

Now this is somewhat faster..

http://thessdreview.com/daily-news/latest-buzz/mushkin-announces-official-launch-of-scorpion-deluxe-pcie-ssd-up-to-2150-mbs-reads/


EDIT: with a review:

http://www.thessdreview.com/our-reviews/mushkin-scorpion-pcie-ssd-review-480gb-wicked-performance-great-price/

..and no mention of being a bootable drive (..which isn't surprising). :oops:




..For those not well endowed (..err, financially speaking of course), there is also the new ASUS RAIDR Express:

http://thessdreview.com/daily-news/latest-buzz/asus-republic-of-gamers-announces-raidr-express-pcie-ssd-830-mbs-reads-810-mbs-writes-and-100000-random-4k-iops/

Note: this drive isn't really any better than a good pair of SSD's in a RAID O configuration. (..TRIM is now supported for RAID O with new hardware.)

Actually in many respects it's substantially worse:

http://us.hardware.info/reviews/4263/asus-raidr-express-240gb-pci-express-ssd-review-is-this-the-future

Pricing:

https://www.google.com/shopping/product/15354025691258450316?q=ASUS+RAIDR+Express&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.52164340,d.b2I,pv.xjs.s.en_US.CQsooEYev9Y.O&biw=1052&bih=568&dpr=1&tch=1&ech=1&psi=WWc3UqrTK-qW2QXdk4CwCQ.1379362639410.3&sa=X&ei=XGc3Ut3tCamN2gXl3ICQCw&ved=0CFMQ8wIwAA




Despite either product, my personal preference would be for the Kingfast SLC drive along with Fancy Cache + system UPS as an optimal solution. (..speed, stability, longevity, and only moderately expensive). (..though I'll not be upgrading from the Plextors anytime soon, having already purchased them.)

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Postby Tricky » Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:37 am

Sweet. :)
[INDENT][SIZE="1"][font="Courier New"]'..[color="White"]t[/color]olerance w[color="White"]h[/color]en fog rolls in clouds unfold your selfless wings fe[color="White"]a[/color]thers [color="White"]t[/color]hat float from arabesque pillows I sold to be consumed by the [color="White"]s[/color]now white cold if only the plaster could hold withstand the flam[url="http://bit.ly/foT0XQ"]e[/url] then this fountain torch [color="White"]w[/color]ould know no shame and be outstripped only by the sun that burns with the glory and [color="White"]h[/color]onor of [color="White"]y[/color]our..'[/font][/size][/INDENT]

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Postby Scottg » Thu Jul 11, 2013 9:27 pm

'Tis time for another update! :)


The importance of System RAM generally as it relates to system "paging" vs. overflow onto the SSD drive (particularly with intensive applications):

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-ram-endurance,3475.html


Perhaps the important thing to note here is that IF the system is configured properly with the page file turned *off then this shouldn't be an issue (as per #6 of the guide):

http://thessdreview.com/ssd-guides/optimization-guides/the-ssd-optimization-guide-ultimate-windows-8-edition/3/


In any event - the more System RAM the better. ;) (..and some of the newer games that are out there probably could use a fair bit of extra RAM "head-room" - particularly those that are designed to run on a native 64bit OS; Note: not *as* 64 bit games, but rather games that are designed around more than 2 gig max of system memory, like Crysis 3 which can use 4 gig if on a 64 bit Windows OS. In fact, it won't be long before there will be games that ONLY run on 64 bit OS's as "native" 64 bit games.)


Here is a Crysis 3 32 bit vs. 64 bit youtube (it changes a bit after 2 minutes):

[media=youtube]qF36xDhk420[/media]

Presumably the 32 bit is getting up to 2 gig of system memory, and the "64 bit" version is getting up to 4 gig of system memory.

For a 64 bit system, IF you factor-in system process programs and low-level programs (like anti-virus) in the background + the OS's own requirements along with the 4 gig for those games, then at a *minimum* it should be 8 gigs of System RAM, but preferably 16 gig.



*Of course if you only have a 32 bit OS then you probably shouldn't turn off the paging file.. :confused:

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Postby Tricky » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:01 am

Scottg wrote:'Tis time for another update! :)


Yaaay! :D

Presumably the 32 bit is getting up to 2 gig of system memory, and the "64 bit" version is getting up to 4 gig of system memory.

For a 64 bit system, IF you factor-in system process programs and low-level programs (like anti-virus) in the background + the OS's own requirements along with the 4 gig for those games, then at a *minimum* it should be 8 gigs of System RAM, but preferably 16 gig.

*Of course if you only have a 32 bit OS then you probably shouldn't turn off the paging file.. :confused:


Now there's a matter I've been actively trying to avoid. 64 bit systems seem to cause so much trouble, especially for older games, but I guess I can't avoid the issue for much longer. It's good to know it ties in directly with the amount of system memory, it will really help me plan this beast of a new pc. Thanks!
[INDENT][SIZE="1"][font="Courier New"]'..[color="White"]t[/color]olerance w[color="White"]h[/color]en fog rolls in clouds unfold your selfless wings fe[color="White"]a[/color]thers [color="White"]t[/color]hat float from arabesque pillows I sold to be consumed by the [color="White"]s[/color]now white cold if only the plaster could hold withstand the flam[url="http://bit.ly/foT0XQ"]e[/url] then this fountain torch [color="White"]w[/color]ould know no shame and be outstripped only by the sun that burns with the glory and [color="White"]h[/color]onor of [color="White"]y[/color]our..'[/font][/size][/INDENT]

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Postby Scottg » Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:46 pm

Tricky wrote:Yaaay! :D



Now there's a matter I've been actively trying to avoid. 64 bit systems seem to cause so much trouble, especially for older games, but I guess I can't avoid the issue for much longer. It's good to know it ties in directly with the amount of system memory, it will really help me plan this beast of a new pc. Thanks!



:D


For the 32 bit OS:

There is *sort* of a "work-around" to this problem, at least with respect to the paging file.

1. Move it to another drive (the paging file).
2. Remove low-level background programs (..antivirus of course, and sadly like Window's own system backup - which I really wouldn't recommend removing in most instances ..even though it is recommended in the "SSD guide" .)

Particularly there are memory programs that will "unlock" system memory above 4 gig so you can use it as a RAM drive and then allocate it for a paging file and/or other uses. (..ex. 8 gig of system memory and a 32 bit OS.)

http://www.romexsoftware.com/en-us/knowledge-base/invisible-memory.html
http://www.romexsoftware.com/en-us/knowledge-base/unified-invisible-memory-management-interface.html


While this method can lower the overall system RAM use, it's still not going to free up the quantity of RAM that some games are going to want to otherwise use in their "64 bit" versions, BUT it should provide a fair bit of help with getting the max of 2 gig.

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Postby Scottg » Sat Jul 27, 2013 2:21 pm

A superior method to Window's own integrated-OS backup system (from a fault-tolerance point of view), is:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/products/windows-home-server#T1=protect

When using a networked system with an integrated RAID (with enterprise level hard drives only).

This is basically another computer.. BUT it doesn't have to be an expensive (or powerful) computer, and it doesn't even have to be a new computer. The enterprise hard drives should be new, but you can get a pair of 2tb drives for less than $150 US each for a mirrored configuration.

The OS itself is pretty reasonable at around $50 US.

Of course if you don't care about a higher level of fault tolerance - it doesn't even need to have a RAID array, or even have enterprise drives. Heck, it doesn't need to even have a new hard drive. You can just use your old computer's hard drive IF it has enough space for backing-up the other computers it's networked to.


That would allow removing Window's own backup system altogether - which should further help with the 32bit OS "work-around".



And frankly, provided the funds/parts are available, it looks like a good idea for any build. ;)

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Postby Scottg » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:31 pm

Update:

The future of those NAND chips that provide the storage medium in SSD's:

http://www.engadget.com/2013/08/05/samsung-ships-first-3d-vertical-nand-flash/

Considering the potential for radical increases in capacity - easily into multi-terabyte territory, I think this is going to be the proverbial "nail in the coffin" for Hard Drives after about 2-3 generations of using these newer chips (..where the price has dropped sufficiently). Even with respect to reliability - the architecture mentions an improvement.

THEN factor-in improvements in the controller and its software (2nd page of link provided in post 50 above):

http://thessdreview.com/daily-news/latest-buzz/from-3x-power-ssds-to-sata-devslp-game-changing-storage-and-pc-thoughts-from-computex-2013/2/

..in conjunction with Samsung's recent "Evo" drives and their use of TLC memory as a caching mechanism (FIFO) in a quasi-SLC configuration - which can be read about here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/samsung-840-evo-review-1tb-ssd,3567.html

-and it's going to be "good bye" Mr. Hard Drive.

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Postby Tricky » Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:11 am

That's looking really good. Maybe I'll wait a little longer. :D
[INDENT][SIZE="1"][font="Courier New"]'..[color="White"]t[/color]olerance w[color="White"]h[/color]en fog rolls in clouds unfold your selfless wings fe[color="White"]a[/color]thers [color="White"]t[/color]hat float from arabesque pillows I sold to be consumed by the [color="White"]s[/color]now white cold if only the plaster could hold withstand the flam[url="http://bit.ly/foT0XQ"]e[/url] then this fountain torch [color="White"]w[/color]ould know no shame and be outstripped only by the sun that burns with the glory and [color="White"]h[/color]onor of [color="White"]y[/color]our..'[/font][/size][/INDENT]

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Postby Scottg » Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:36 pm

Tricky wrote:Maybe I'll wait a little longer. :D



Sadly that's exactly the conclusion I've come to with my new build.. :(

Not about SSD's, but rather advancements in CPU's and Motherboards - which on the "memory-heavy" side of things have grind to a near stand-still.

My core needs are for more ram for the Motherboard (for system RAM drives) with 8 system memory slots *and* SLI capability. (..and frankly I'd like to see it on a micro board - even if it is unrealistic. Mostly certainly though I'd want the upper power-draw from the CPU to be less than 100 watts.)

Note: AMD doesn't have any recent motherboards supporting more than 4 system memory slots, except for their server line of CPU's, and those don't have SLI (..plus those server cpu's are turtle-slow by comparison to Intel's).

That technology hasn't improved since Sandy Bridge "e" in 2011, and Intel still hasn't even come-out with its successor Ivy Bridge "e" yet (..due out around October). Meanwhile the 32 gb system memory capable CPU's have moved on to "Haswell" already.

And what is the performance increase for Ivy Bridge "e"? Almost nothing (perhaps a 5% increase). What's the drop in power use for gamers? Almost nothing (unless it's in a near idle state). That's waiting 2 freak'in years for nothing. :mad:


Oh well, screwed if you do.. screwed if you don't. :D

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Postby Scottg » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:03 pm

Yet another reason to delay any purchase:

-SATA 3.2 was just confirmed today.

http://www.engadget.com/2013/08/09/sata-3-2-ratified/#continued


Hopefully this standard will make it into the next gen. Intel motherboards that have controllers for SATA Express. (..the CPU designation is Broadwell - the successor to the latest Haswell).