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SSD for OS: which SSD to use?

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September 19, 2009 11:46:29 AM

hello all,

IF i can find a SSD i can afford, which SSD is preferred? shouldn't 80Gb be OK?

BTW: would most of you include the appz (Programs) in the OS drive?

since i am considering RAID1 for the OS a 80Gb SSD is not that much more $$? of course the data has to go somewhere else.

you know, there are a lot of SSD on the market already. which brands are preferred?

thanks,
Billy

More about : ssd ssd

September 19, 2009 1:48:18 PM

Intel X25-M is the most complete drive. It has excellent read speed, decent write speed and excellent multi thread write performance. The next best thing is probibly the Corsair X64 or X128 drives. They have very high read and write speeds but could sometimes slow down with the multi thread stuff. Have a look on Ebay and you will se the intel drives for less than $300 US. I'm waiting for for one to arrive.
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a c 415 G Storage
September 19, 2009 6:53:35 PM

I agree that the Intel drive is the one to get if it's within your budget.

80GB is certainly for the OS and probably good enough for your applications as well, unless you have a lot of large applications to load. The OS itself takes somewhere around 8-12GB plus the size of the pagefile and hibernation file.
September 19, 2009 7:26:18 PM

^depends on the OS....with a Vista install you could use as much as 30gb, and its important to keep in mind that only things on that drive will see an increase in speed. For the average user, SSD are still not worth the price. They really only become worth it for editing professionals who are moving large files around on the drive all the time. You'll gain a few seconds in load times for games and apps, but that is not worth the cost per gb compared to other quality HDDs.
a c 415 G Storage
September 19, 2009 8:45:08 PM

belial2k said:
For the average user, SSD are still not worth the price.
I guess it depends on what you mean by "the average user". If you're talking about the "average Joe" who uses his computer for web surfing, e-mail and music then I'd agree. But if you're talking about the average person who visits this forum then I beg to differ.

When people are shelling out $300-500 for a Core i7 system and motherboard in order to get the "best performance", they're being short-sighted if they don't also take a hard look at their disk subsystem. Whether or not an SSD is worth the price depends entirely on the individual and their workload, but for many of the folks who are seeking help here they're certainly worth considering. I've seen a lot of folks here talking about pairs of RAIDed Velociraptors, but an SSD is cheaper and far, far faster for random I/O - it's biggest drawback is simply lower capacity.
September 19, 2009 9:35:22 PM

As others have stated, the Intel X25-M (G2) is one of the best. The G2 version is made with 34nm and has TRIM, so if you go with Intel be sure to get a G2 (they're silver instead of black)

BTW, if you do get the Intel I'd avoid getting it from Newegg -- they're price gouging with the drive. I found a site the other day that had the (G2) Intel drives for SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper.
a b G Storage
September 19, 2009 10:59:12 PM

+1 for the X25-M (MAKE SURE it's the G2). And yes, Newegg seem to have a very high price on that drive. Look elsewhere for it. As for the 80GB site, that depends. I'd eat through that very quickly. Even only if I just install programs (CS4, SolidWorks, Inventor,Crysis, Win 7x64) can go through that 80GB quick.


Also you need to understand more about SSDs (ie not defragging, TRIM, disabling prefetch,etc)

For more info see:
http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.aspx?catid=83&t...
http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?...

a b G Storage
September 19, 2009 11:03:11 PM

sminlal said:


When people are shelling out $300-500 for a Core i7 system and motherboard in order to get the "best performance", they're being short-sighted if they don't also take a hard look at their disk subsystem. Whether or not an SSD is worth the price depends entirely on the individual and their workload, but for many of the folks who are seeking help here they're certainly worth considering. I've seen a lot of folks here talking about pairs of RAIDed Velociraptors, but an SSD is cheaper and far, far faster for random I/O - it's biggest drawback is simply lower capacity.

Agreed. Taking in to account all the innovation for GPU/CPU, heck even PSUs,etc the HDDs are "slowest" evolved component in a system. SSDs are changing this but their price is still too high for most. As for the Velociraptor comment: yes, SSds can be cheaper/faster but it depends on the amount of storage a user needs and their budget.
September 19, 2009 11:08:14 PM

The OCZ Vertex would be my choice. The Intel one is way too expensive and gives the same physical results.
September 20, 2009 7:30:59 AM

My comment about the "average" user was qualified by saying if you are someone who moves large files around on the drive a lot it may be worth it...but it seems the general public has this idea that a fast hard drive makes EVERYTHING faster, when it will really only help them on boot and load times, and file movement. It won't make your apps or games run any faster. I would say most people on this site would need at least a 120gb drive if it is going to be large enough to serve their needs, and that is going to cost $300 or more. That $300 could be better spent on a faster processor or video card that will actually show more of a real world everyday improvement on the computer. All that being said computer geeks are always going to buy way more computer than they need, so if you have the cash and want to impress your friends, go ahead and spend that $300 on a SSD...it certainly won't hurt your performance any and you wont have to leave the room when your computer is booting.
September 20, 2009 11:59:21 AM

ocz vertex +1
September 20, 2009 12:09:43 PM

The new Corsair X series looks quite good but to get two X64 drives is still costly. I should have an Intel ssd arrive on monday so I will see how much of a difference it makes in Photoshop batch file conversion. If it makes a big difference I'll put up some figures. I think 80gb is an absolute minimum and 256gb would be perfect for a boot raid but it's all about cost and how much you want to spend to get that extra performance. I'd love to have an SSD in every machine but it's not going to happen in a hurry. The longer you wait the cheaper it will be.
September 20, 2009 12:22:37 PM

BTW Billy I find the best way to protect your boot drive data and programs is by making a clone with Acronis true image. For a while I had a lot of motherboard reliability issues and it's an absolute bastard contacting Adobe to get a new product key so I could reinstall Photoshop. I now keep a clone of the boot drive on a standard drive and it doesn't matter if something happens or windows craps itself, I just clone it back. It's very cheap insurance and you can download a free trial version of Acronis. At the moment I'm running a raid 5 for the boot drive but I won't be able to do this with SSD drives because of cost.
a c 415 G Storage
September 20, 2009 4:20:05 PM

Malcolmk said:
I will see how much of a difference it makes in Photoshop batch file conversion. If it makes a big difference I'll put up some figures.
Either way, let us know how it goes!
Anonymous
a b G Storage
September 20, 2009 10:01:14 PM

xaira said:
ocz vertex +1


Agreed, I have installed the 60GB one in my Rig (for the OS and key applications - documents and media are on another drive).

Having also upgraded from XP to Win 7 RTM, my windows boot time has fallen from 2 minutes under XP to 11 seconds under Win7. Also apps load almost instantly - sub-second for Word etc.

SSD's Rock :) 
September 21, 2009 1:10:37 AM

The intel one is wayyyyyyyyyy better then vertex for os and apps, vertex is better for storage if it were big enough.
September 22, 2009 12:19:42 PM

Hey Billy, Please ignore my previous comments about the Intel X25-M. I got my X25-M non G2 on Monday and it's a complete dissapointment. The only thing going for it is the load times and in my case opening 4gb folders of RAW files it's only on par with two 7200 drives in raid 0. The bad news is the write speed and internal file copy speed. Where talking 70mb/s write and 40mb/s copy. Yes the drive isn't a G2 but it's still an overated, massivly overpriced and under baked product. At least the Corsair X series has a decent write speed.

If it was in a laptop and your only looking at stuff and not doing any file copying then it would be ok but it's useless compared to desktop drives and raid. I have several Areca raid cards and after trying the SSD I definitely think the raid card with a few 3.5"drives is a lot better way to go. It's much better value and gives better overall performance. I honestly think the SSD is worth no more than $50. It comes in a little brown cardboard box with ,Made in China with partial foreign content. That's when you realise it cost Intel $5 and you have been completely screwed. Just hold off on the SSD thing and wait another year when they have something decent.
September 22, 2009 2:17:05 PM

Actually if you had the money to run a raid with 2-4 ssd drives then it would have a big lead over a raid with 3.5"drives. It's just not financially viable considering two 1tb drives connected to a raid card will give very similar performance but with 60x the storage capacity. One thing I did notice while testing Raw file conversion in photoshop is the effect speeding up the boot drive makes. The speed of the boot drive seams to be more important than the speed of the storage drives. This also changes with different file output sizes. Anyway I would really like to try two Corsair X drives in RAID 0 but that isn't going to happen anytime soon.
September 22, 2009 2:22:10 PM

BTW with Windows 7 Installed and Photoshop CS4 there is only 35gig left on the 80gig SSD. Doesn't leave much room.
September 22, 2009 2:39:57 PM

Based on what i understood on these TH Forums i went ahead with this package:

HighPoint Hardware RAID RR4320
Port 1 (JBOD): (1) Seagate Cheetah 147Gb SAS 15k.5 16Mb cache for OS/Appz
Port 2 RAID10 (1+0) with (4) Fujitsu SAS 74Gb MAX 15k 16Mb cache for data

with my ASUS M4A47T Deluxe mobo + Phenon II X4 955 + 4Gb Corsair memory + Sapphire HD4890 1Gb hopefully I will be happy for a few years.

when SSD become completely of age (next year?) i will look at replacing the Cheetah 15k.5 with a SSD.

what do y'all think in a workstation environment with small DB I/O and A-V recording & editing?

thanks,
billy
a c 415 G Storage
September 22, 2009 5:19:41 PM

Malcolmk said:
The bad news is the write speed and internal file copy speed. Where talking 70mb/s write and 40mb/s copy.
Sequential write speed is the achilles heel of the X-25M, and if that's what you're depending on then I certainly agree that it's not the best choice. But it's still extremely good at random I/Os and that will certainly speed up things like booting and loading.

A combination of an X25-M for the OS drive and some configuration of hard drives for high-throughput data is likely the best way to go for someone in your situation.
a c 415 G Storage
September 22, 2009 5:21:20 PM

GrievousAngel said:
when SSD become completely of age (next year?) i will look at replacing the Cheetah 15k.5 with a SSD.
I wouldn't expect SSDs to change all that much from what's currently available. Write throughput is still going to be their biggest challenge, and prices will probably come down 30-50% as they did this year.
September 22, 2009 9:00:53 PM

If the price came down it wouldn't be so bad because you could afford to run four SSD drives in a raid and that would fix the write/file copy speed issue but at the moment a single drive is too rich. As for SAS drives I haven't tried them and to be honest I think normal 7200rpm drives in a larger raid would be better value. Maybe you could go for two SAS drives in raid 0 for a boot and four 7200 drives in a raid 5 as storage. Just an idea.
September 22, 2009 10:26:58 PM

i found (eBay) the SAS 15k HDs for $75 (x4) & $95 (x1) > all 5 were new! that's almost as cheap as most 7200 SATA HDs on NewEgg.

usually there are many HDs on eBay when a product is discontinued. most SAS manufacturers are developing SAS that run cooler and quieter so some deals can be found now. everybody wants to be GREEN. i sure am glad as it generates good deals on not-green items. right?

later,
billy
September 23, 2009 8:10:59 AM

I'll have to take a look at that. And to think I just sold a TYAN opteron board with a LSI logic SAS raid controller to a friend. When you get a raid card make sure you get at least the 8 channel card so you have room for expansion. The SSD is proving to be a good boot drive but it's still slow at some things. I'm looking for a second drive to speed it up.
October 26, 2009 8:12:20 PM

sminlal said:
I guess it depends on what you mean by "the average user". If you're talking about the "average Joe" who uses his computer for web surfing, e-mail and music then I'd agree. But if you're talking about the average person who visits this forum then I beg to differ.

When people are shelling out $300-500 for a Core i7 system and motherboard in order to get the "best performance", they're being short-sighted if they don't also take a hard look at their disk subsystem. Whether or not an SSD is worth the price depends entirely on the individual and their workload, but for many of the folks who are seeking help here they're certainly worth considering. I've seen a lot of folks here talking about pairs of RAIDed Velociraptors, but an SSD is cheaper and far, far faster for random I/O - it's biggest drawback is simply lower capacity.



What do you think about using a 30GB OCZ Vortex Turbo ($157.99 @ thenerds.net) just for the OS to increase boot-time and then putting applications and data on two 300GB WD Velociraptor in RAID0?
a c 415 G Storage
October 26, 2009 10:38:41 PM

I personally would pay the extra for the 80GB Intel drive, but a 30GB SSD will probably get you at least 80% of that performance for well under 80% of the price.
October 26, 2009 11:25:44 PM

Isn't the write speed of the OCZ Vertex Turbo at 145 MB/s twice as fast the Intel X25-M?
To get about the same write speed from an Intel unit you'd have to go to the X25-E.
For a 32GB SSD the intel X25-E costs more than twice what the OCZ costs and still does
not offer the 64 MB cache the Vertex Turbo comes with.

By the time you're getting a larger E series Intel SSD, I'd be spending $450-550 more.
a c 415 G Storage
October 27, 2009 4:36:11 AM

If what you need is a drive that writes large files as fast as possible, then yes - perhaps OCZ is a good bet. But that's a pretty unusual requirement. In terms of write performance small random writes are usually what really counts, and the Intel drives are pretty much unsurpassed for that.
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