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SSD vs. HDD discussions.

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September 6, 2009 1:08:55 PM

SSD vs. HDD discussions.

Is it the right time to invest in SSD or still it’s too expensive, costing between $2.50 to $4.37 per GB depending on make and models. While the HDD cost between $0.08 to $0.15 per GB, that’s a whopping 2000% price difference. Is speed is everything, does the speed of SSD justify the cost?

Is SSD more prone to errors and lose of data than HDD? Does it have sufficient ECC protection? Does it have balanced read and write performance? How long an SSD can write data before the NAND flash stops working? Does it have data security problems?

Do SSD manufactures give the longest Warranty or HDD ? As long as the flash is reliable, do you care who makes it?

Who makes the fastest and most affordable flash drives ? Intel, Indilinx, Toshiba or Samsung. (OCZ, Patriot, Super Talent, Corsair and G.Skill uses flashes made by above manufactures and others).

Many published SSD specs fluctuate - can we reply on benchmarks ?

Who's going to dominate the SSD market, can you predict?

How fast are flash SSDs going to be in 2010,or 2011?



More about : ssd hdd discussions

a c 415 G Storage
September 6, 2009 4:58:12 PM

Is it the right time to invest in SSD or still it’s too expensive, costing between $2.50 to $4.37 per GB depending on make and models. While the HDD cost between $0.08 to $0.15 per GB, that’s a whopping 2000% price difference. Is speed is everything, does the speed of SSD justify the cost?
The secret is to take advantage of the 80/20 rule which is: "80% of the performance depends on only 20% of the files". The 80/20 rule is a general rule and the 80% vs. 20% is not meant to be accurate but to merely suggest the general principle, which is that only a small percentage of files on your drive are the ones accessed so often that they have a major performance impact.

It's impractical to use an SSD for everything, so you buy one with relatively small capacity and put those performance-crititcal files on it. This gives you 80% of the performance gains for 20% of the cost (again, general rule for illustrative purposes only). For most people, buying an SSD that's just large enough to hold the OS and installed programs is a pretty good way to do this.


Is SSD more prone to errors and lose of data than HDD? Does it have sufficient ECC protection? Does it have balanced read and write performance? How long an SSD can write data before the NAND flash stops working? Does it have data security problems?
The issue of ECC is a very good one. I'm not too concerned if an SSD has occasional errors if they're in the same order of magnitude as a hard drive. But what I'm really concerned about is that when the errors occur I want to know about them. Without ECC in the device this would have to be done at a higher level. As a result, for myself anyways, I don't think I trust them quite enough yet to store my data. But for an OS I think they're adequate, since the most likely effect of bit errors in the OS are to cause program crashes and since the OS is easily recovered by reinstallation (as opposed to data errors which will probably never be recovered if not detected before cycle of backups have been exhausted).
September 7, 2009 12:46:25 PM

ibnsina said:
Is SSD more prone to errors and lose of data than HDD?
This does not really matter, you should backup your data anyway.

ibnsina said:
Does it have data security problems?
What exactly do you mean by "data security"? Anyone who can gain physical access to an HDD or SSD can read everything stored on them. There is no "security" here.

And let me add some twist to all this "HDD vs SSD" story. While good SSD will definitely improve system performance in some aspects, you can do a lot of things to make a system with "regular" HDD work quite fast. Even Windows XP supports prefetch which helps system boot faster and accelerate application launch a little. Windows Vista and Windows 7 also support SuperFetch which tries to keep file cache in RAM filled with something useful, so if you computer has enough RAM there is a good chance that application you launching already has its files preloaded into memory and will launch much faster than any SSD will ever allow. So it is a good idea to have a lot of RAM and use Vista/7 instead of XP.

However, you can do even more. Some time ago I had an idea how to make Windows (or any other OS for that matter) to boot faster on regular HDD (while the same approach can be used to accelerate application launch that is still theoretical). This idea has been successfully implemented, today you can download my program and use it - even "clean" Windows typically boots 5..10 seconds faster, the difference becomes much larger if there are some applications installed :-). While current implementation is (probably) slightly slower than SSD, it is better than nothing - and it is free. The bad news, however, it that it is still beta and can contain serious bugs, so I would not recommend it to novice users (and in any case please do not forget to backup your data). If this has not been scary enough - www.bootcooler.com. I would appreciate any feedback (although this would probably be slightly off-topic so better use e-mail or PMs).
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September 7, 2009 3:08:34 PM

Quote:
What exactly do you mean by "data security"? Anyone who can gain physical access to an HDD or SSD can read everything stored on them. There is no "security" here.



The flash memory of an SSD can be accessed directly with a special “clip” in the hands of a skilled technician, unlike a HDD with rotating media. The key here is Encryption.

Quote:
This does not really matter, you should backup your data anyway.


We know we have to performs regular back ups, however what We would like to know from those who use SSD as main OS drive, for general usage which is more prone to errors. Share with us your experiences, did you face a particular problem with a particular SSD drive?
September 7, 2009 4:44:46 PM

ibnsina said:
Quote:
What exactly do you mean by "data security"? Anyone who can gain physical access to an HDD or SSD can read everything stored on them. There is no "security" here.

The flash memory of an SSD can be accessed directly with a special “clip” in the hands of a skilled technician, unlike a HDD with rotating media.

HDD is no different (and commercial data recovery services are available for many years). And you do need skilled technician in both cases, data structures on SSD are quite complex to achieve wear leveling while obtaining high performance using several flash channels.

I still fail to see your point - why would we disassemble HDD/SSD in the first place?

ibnsina said:
The key here is Encryption.

Like I said, there is no difference.

ibnsina said:
We know we have to performs regular back ups, however what We would like to know from those who use SSD as main OS drive, for general usage which is more prone to errors.

Why SSDs would be "more prone to errors"?

And you will not see "real-world" statistics for several years - "mass-market" SSDs are "too new". Even then it would be useless because these models are no longer being manufactured...
September 8, 2009 12:04:38 PM

Obviously if you do some proper research you find there are lots issues with SSD.s, Intel recently confirmed data corruption bug in their new SSDs (X25-M and X18-M ) and halted shipments.

According to Intel, the data corruption problem occurs only if a user sets up a BIOS password on the 34-nanometer SSD, then disables or changes the password and reboots the computer. When that happens, the SSD becomes inoperable and the data on it is impossible to find or recover. They working on a fix.

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9136200/Intel_co...

September 8, 2009 12:21:43 PM

ibnsina, Intel has fixed this problem some time ago. And it was greatly exaggerated by mass media - almost no one uses mentioned "protection" feature (apart from the fact that it was catched before mass shipping). Latest Seagate firmware SNAFU had been much more serious (and we are talking about HDDs).

Both problems are not related to physical media and are simply caused by firmware bugs.
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