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Boot disk dilemma - SSD or VelociRaptor?

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September 23, 2009 10:41:56 AM

Hi all,

I’m speccing up a new rig and could use some advice on my choice of boot disk(s) as my hardware knowledge is rusty and well out of date these days. I want my new baby to be very high performance but just shy of the bleeding edge. On that basis I’ve decided to go with the Intel i7 860 cpu and P55 mobo. I’m thinking this should be good for 2-3 years, after which I will most likely get a whole new rig once again, I rarely upgrade components.

The system will be dual boot and my usage will be as follows:

Boot 1:
Windows 7 (possibly 64bit, more likely 32bit for app compatibility reasons)
Semi-pro music production (Cubase SX3, Reason 4.1, lots of FX) – this is a very important consideration for me
PhotoShop CS3 processing
Media Center
Some light gaming (though I’m not a big gamer, I’d like the option of a good experience)
General web/Office duties

Boot2:
Windows Server 2008 64bit
SQL Server 2008 64bit
SharePoint Server 2010
Visual Studio 2010
A few Hyper-V servers

I may well use Win7’s boot-from-VHD feature to virtualize Boot2, that’s still to be decided, but in that case the VHD file would still reside on the same boot disk as Boot1. I still can’t quite believe boot-from-VHD, it sounds incredible!

So I am mulling the choice between:
1) 1 x 128GB solid state (e.g. http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173958) £180 GBP
2) 1 x 300GB VelociRaptor (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/149435) £170 GBP
3) 2 x 150GB VelociRaptors in RAID0 (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/149434) £228 GBP
4) 2 x 64GB solid state in RAID 0 (e.g. http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173956) £193

The raptors are attractive in offering twice the storage - if I go for this I would most likely use 50% as boot and %50 as a scratch disk for Photoshop and the music apps, which would come in very handy and improve overall performance for those apps. But due to the music production noise levels are fairly important to me, so I have some reservations about using one raptor, let alone two. As I understand it they are fairly noisy during operation, plus they’re more power hungry and kick out much more heat than SSD adding yet more noise from a more powerful PSU and fan. I don’t know if these concerns are valid.

Is RAID0 likely to offer any noticeable improvement when using drives that have such high native speeds? Is there a likelihood of hitting a bottleneck elsewhere which would make the more blindingly fast speeds redundant? (e.g. I’ve read some stuff about Lynnfield using DMI not QPI but must confess I don’t understand the implications).

Is there any disadvantage to using SSD? I've read conflicting estimates of their speed vs the velociraptors, and am a bit confused.

Thanks in advance for any help,
Poolio
September 23, 2009 12:29:11 PM

^ Have you checked the benchmarks of those Raptors ?
The WD Blacks (640GB and 1TB) drives have comparable performance...

SSDs are the best option...And the ones that you have chosen might not perform as good as other SSDs out there...If you can I would suggest you change to this one...
Corsair Extreme Series X128
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/169568
But even those SSDs would outperform the Raptors by a good margin...
a b G Storage
September 23, 2009 4:50:03 PM

gkay09 said:
^ Have you checked the benchmarks of those Raptors ?
The WD Blacks (640GB and 1TB) drives have comparable performance...

Definitely not. The Velociraptor has a slightly higher sequential, and just over half the access time, and will feel quite a bit more responsive under heavy load (and yes, I own a pair of velociraptors in RAID, and the difference is noticeable).

The SSD will be faster of course, but you do have to ask yourself whether you are willing to pay the price premium. If you do go for the SSD though, the best SSD on the market for normal users is the Intel X25-M though - I'd get that if possible. It will be quite a bit faster than both SSDs listed above. If you want to get incredibly fast storage, this is the way to go.
Related resources
September 24, 2009 3:53:47 AM

@cjl but why do people suggest otherwise...
And is it that they dont have that kind of performance lead as the old raptors had ?

But anyways I would still be suggesting the SSDs over them...
a c 415 G Storage
September 24, 2009 4:39:22 AM

gkay09 said:
@cjl but why do people suggest otherwise...
The thing with disk drives is that there are several different aspects to their performance - access time (latency), sequential read and write throughput, ability to support concurrent I/Os, etc. Some folks have applications that work best with disks that maximize one of these aspects, and other folks have applications that require something different.

As an overall general statement, random I/O performance (which depends on fast access times) helps most when you're booting the OS or starting up applications, while sequential read and write throughput helps most when you're copying large files or running applications like video editing which do a lot of bulk I/O.

So drives like Velociraptors with fast access times usually benefit everyone because everyone has to boot their OS and start applications. SSDs excel at this because their access times are about 100X faster than even a Velociraptors'.

On the other hand drives with high sequential transfer rates for the most part don't provide that much noticeable improvement unless you happen to be someone whose applications do a lot of bulk I/O.
a b G Storage
September 24, 2009 10:02:56 AM

gkay09 said:
@cjl but why do people suggest otherwise...
And is it that they dont have that kind of performance lead as the old raptors had ?

But anyways I would still be suggesting the SSDs over them...


A lot of people suggest otherwise because they look at transfer rate alone, and don't realize that there's more to it then simply that. I agree that SSDs are better than velociraptors, but they are also more expensive. They are getting better, but you still pay as much for 64-80GB of SSD storage as you would for 300GB on a Velociraptor.

Here's one comparison - in this test, the velociraptor outperforms all the standard drives by ~50%, but is flattened by the single SSD in this review:

September 24, 2009 10:44:04 AM

Thanks for your thoughts guys.

I'm willing to pay for better performance, but at the same time I don't want to be a sucker to the law of diminishing returns. Option 4 feels like the best price/performance point to me, but that is based on those cheaper SSDs. The X-25M are 50% more expensive on a £/GB basis - are they 50% faster?
September 24, 2009 11:02:56 AM

I can say this - I have been using the Intel X-25E and my boot time is 15seconds flat (from the moment I press the power button to being on the desktop. And shut down is sick - 8 seconds from the moment I press the power button to everything off, no fans, lights, nothing. And I haven't I'm still using DDR2 and a Core 2 Duo processor (in a SD365P2 Shuttle)...so if you want FAST, I'd go with the SSD - believe me you won't be disappointed. I installed Windows 7 Pro in 3 min. FLAT. Launching apps is literally - instantaneous. By the time I've finished clicking all my apps are already up - Office 2007, Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro, Quicktime, etc. all up in an instant. You're going to love it.

PS - I've yet to encounter any studdering at all on the Intel X25-E. I'm constantly burning ISO's of blu-ray movies and watching them on this PC and I've never had a problem with that...but do remember that Intel just released a firmware that improves (if it's even possible) these SSD's performance over the long term (should you decided to break the bank and buy one of these babies!)
September 24, 2009 12:25:57 PM

reading your aimed workload, you need to remember that SATA is half duplex, if you plan to run plenty of VMs you should go with SAS (full duplex) and hadrware PCI-e . SATA especially on the ich10 carries at least 3x more overhead (instructions and calls to the hub) than the PCI ( that's why SATA's clock is 100 Mhz vs PCI's 33Mhz) If you plan to run VM's these call s will take a toll on the host os and the hub from reasons above.
PCIe based hardware SAS will eventually in the long run be more useful/faster. MS Server 2008 (enterprise) that I'm running with 8 VMs and VMs within VMs beats W7 any minute, b/c it was designed to do so, but again I'm talking about production environment.
However, for home , ssd would do much better ( my ws's bootup is 30 sec b/c of the spinup time required by the SAS disks (4x147gb 15K) and energy efficiency)
September 24, 2009 3:43:22 PM

Thanks for all your replies, very helpful. I think I’m going to go with SSD – I’m happy to pay a little extra for higher performance and lower noise. Having half as much storage is acceptable – these will be purely my boot disks and I will sacrifice the idea of using the extra capacity for scratch disks. 2 x X25-M seems like a good idea but I’ll do a bit more research before deciding.

mjohns09: lol that is crazy, 15s boot, 8s shutdown… and did you really install W7 in 3m!? Wow…. I’d love some of that but the price tag is unattractive right now, it’s pretty much double the X25-M. How does X25-E compare to X25-M in terms of performance?

Exq that is interesting, I didn’t know about the half duplex thing. PCIe SSD is a lovely idea but $5+/GB is just insane.

PsychoSaysDie: Yep that’s my plan, small boot disk and a much larger data drive (plus external backup drive)
September 24, 2009 4:08:03 PM

The Intel x-25M is the way to go. Do grab the second generation ones. Right now Tankguys.com has the cheapest price.
a b G Storage
September 24, 2009 7:06:26 PM

gkay09 said:
@cjl the main reason why I asked about its performance is because of the WD Blacks...The raptors dont seem to have that edge over these drives...and that too for that price difference...
http://www.techreport.com/articles.x/15363/5
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

That all depends on the workload. Velociraptors win by a huge margin in randoms. This is from that same review:

http://www.techreport.com/articles.x/15363/9

And another review, where it even beats the brand new 2TB Caviar Black and RE models:
http://www.pcper.com/images/reviews/775/pcm05-os.jpg

I own a Caviar Black and a couple velociraptors, and there is definitely a noticeable performance difference. I also have an X25-M on order. When it arrives, I'll use it for OS and keep the velociraptors as app drives. It'll be interesting to see how much of a difference that makes in everyday use...
September 25, 2009 5:53:57 AM

@sminlal Just noticed your comments... Thanks...it helped :) 

@cjl I have to accept that at heavy work loads, they do have a upper hand...
But dont you think when using the WD Black 640GB in RAID 0, even that would go away ?
I still cant justify the price premium those drives command taking their performance into account...
a c 415 G Storage
September 25, 2009 10:15:43 PM

gkay09 said:
But dont you think when using the WD Black 640GB in RAID 0, even that would go away ?
Again, it depends on whether you're looking for fast access times or fast transfer rates. RAID 0 can increase transfer rates because two disks can be reading at the same time. But it does NOT improve access times AT ALL. If it takes 10ms for an individual drive to respond to an I/O request, it's going to take the same 10ms if the drive is in a RAID 0 set.

So for tasks that do a lot of random I/O (like booting or loading applications), RAID 0 won't help as much as having a drive that's naturally faster to start with. Velociraptors win because of their higher spin rate, and SSDs trump everything else because there's no mechanical delay whatsoever.

(RAID 0 can improve random I/O throughput if there are a lot of simultaneous read requests because it can be doing reads on multiple drives simultaneously. But each read takes just as long as on a non-RAID disk, and if there's only one task issuing I/Os one after the other, then you don't get any parallelism and the performance is no better than a non-RAID disk.)
September 26, 2009 3:13:35 AM

I don't see this mentioned much, but if memory serves this type of storage has a limited lifespan when it comes to read/write operations on the same address. It might wear out faster the more you use it.

Mean time between failures is NOT the same measurement I am talking about, but I'm going off memory here so if somebody is fresh on it, please correct me :) 

---Brian
a c 415 G Storage
September 26, 2009 6:13:37 AM

bn_hot said:
I don't see this mentioned much, but if memory serves this type of storage has a limited lifespan when it comes to read/write operations on the same address. It might wear out faster the more you use it.
You're referring to SSDs (Solid State Disks), right? The flash memory used in these drives has a limited number of write cycles, typically about 10,000 or more depending on the quality of the chips. Read cycles are unlimited, but the flash cells do loose their static charge over time (about 10 years or more).

All SSDs use a technique called "wear levelling" to distribute writes to different memory cells in order to minimize the impact of repeated writing. So even if the OS writes to the same sector number repeatedly, under the covers the SSD firmware actually stores the data in different flash memory cells so that no one set of cells gets excessive wear. Intel claims that you can write something like 20GB per day to their Solid State Drives and expect them to last at least 5 years.
September 29, 2009 10:19:04 PM

Having decided on SSD for the boot disk I now find myself with an additional unexpected dilemma!

Most of my data (mp3s, static photos etc) can be stored on a humdrum drive which i can pick up nice and cheap.

However as I mentioned at the top I do a lot of music production and photo editing, both of which require fast disk read and write for optimal performance. For this purpose I need a very fast scratch disk. I'd hoped to use some spare capacity on the boot disk but having chosen an 80GB SSD there won't be any spare room, and larger SSDs are too pricey for my tastes.

So, I figure I have two choices:

1) A velociraptor
2) Use my existing boot disks (2 x 80GB SATA1 150GB/S 7200RPM) in RAID0 as the new scratch disk.
3) Buy a couple of new cheap SATA2 drives for not much $ and have them in RAID0.

My question now is, will one velociraptor outperform a RAID0 7200RPM array in either SATA1 or SATA2?
a c 127 G Storage
September 29, 2009 11:49:55 PM

You have to understand one thing:

An SSD is very fast in situations where normally the harddrive would have to seek alot, which can be well in excess of 10ms. In this time alone a good SSD could already have processed 300 random I/O operations, so here the SSD is going to give you a HUGE boost in performance.

A HDD however, is still quite fast when you're reading or writing sequentially. That means: in serial order. For example when reading a large file from start to finish in correct order. Your music/graphical applications are probably using sequential I/O mostly, at least when processing large files. Generally all image data is kept in-memory. But i'm certainly no graphics expert so could be wrong in your case.

But if the pattern is not sequential (often called a "random" pattern because it has no clear pattern a HDD can ever predict) a HDD will have a hard time and will be limited by hard physics which will never change. For example when you click Firefox or another application that requires tiny bits of data scattered throughout the disk. With a HDD you will hear it seeking and it can take several seconds to the point of frustration (in my case; i dont have much patience regarding pcs :p  ).

The moral of the story: use the SSD for your OS + Installed Applications where they can boost your performance. But seperate your DATA files and put those on large mechanical disks. You can even consider WD Green or similar drives, even though they run at lower rpm they are still very fast sequentially and use alot less power. If you team them in RAID0 you have very nice sequential speeds. Ofcourse you do need a backup. Generally i recommend large 1TB+ 5400rpm disks like the WD Green for this task.

So generally, i don't think you need to use SSD's do boost your Application performance handling data files. No that all system I/O is done by your SSD, the HDDs can focus entirely on large data files and they can do that very well. If it had additional reads and writes here and there because it also functioned as system disk the performance would drop considerably, because the HDD has to seek back and forth between two "I/O streams". So as long as the HDDs have only one task and its sequential, it has very high performance.
a c 127 G Storage
September 29, 2009 11:54:34 PM

Oh and don't buy any other SSD than Intel X25-M G2 at the moment, since its the best value for the money. They are alot faster than the competition in the random write scores, and generally are without any weaknesses. The SSDs only differ in the controller that is used; not the flash memory itself that has a lower impact. A smart multi-channel controller like Intel X25-M has, will beat any simple controller in real benchmarks. OCZ Vortex and others which have Indilinx controller do fairly well. But some other OCZ products which use JMicron controller are very bad. The third controller is the Samsung one which is decent but nothing special. I recommend the Intel one, one single 80GB disk should be enough for OS+Apps.
a c 415 G Storage
September 30, 2009 12:04:55 AM

antpoole said:
My question now is, will one velociraptor outperform a RAID0 7200RPM array in either SATA1 or SATA2?
Sub Mesa is right - what will work best for you depends on whether your applications do mostly random I/O or whether they do a lot of sequential access to large files.

Depending on your application, the scratch disk might be a complete non-issue if you have enough RAM, and in that case to get the best performance you'd be better off spending your money on more RAM rather than faster drives.

Do you actually have this system up and running? If you're just wondering what to buy, I'd stick with whatever hard drives you have for now and build the system to see how it performs. If it's not up to snuff then you can have a look at where the bottlenecks are and make a more informed decision as to how to address them.
September 30, 2009 8:02:22 AM

Submesa, many thanks for your comprehensive reply!! Great stuff. I am indeed getting the X25M G2. After doing a lot of reading following my initial post (including a fantastic in-depth article on SSD on Anandtech, can't find the link right now but it's great) it was clear that this is head and shoulders above any other disk at the moment, particularly in the degradation-over-time factor.

As for sequential vs random access, I have no idea about this I'm afraid. The key data use I'm considering here is 1) my music apps loading samples from disk (I guess these may thereafter reside in RAM but I'm not sure, 2) recording high definition audio, which again I'm not sure whether this is written directly to disk or not... guess I need to find that out!

PsychoSaysDie, thanks but I disagree actually. My boot disk is going to host both Win7 and Windows Server 2008, and possibly a small XP partition too, so 80GB is bare minimum for me. Also the cheaper drives are massively inferior in performance from all the data I've seen.

Sminlal, starting off with my current HDDs is a good idea - I'm moving up from a 5yr old XP3200+ 2GB DDR1 to i7 860 + 8GB DDR3 + SSD boot disk, so whatever data drive I get I know I'm going to be blown away! :o ) I'm just trying to work out my best options longer term, and I haven't bought any components yet.

One last consideration. I will be hosting a couple of VMs on this rig for development purposes, and the VHDs will probably have to reside on the large data drive as they'll be 50GB+ each. So that is a consideration here, as the OS of those machines will not be stored on my lovely fast SSD.
September 30, 2009 8:04:38 AM

Oh the 3rd key data use is photo editing in PhotoShop CS4. Again I don't know if it loads the photo into RAM during the edit but I guess it would have to.
October 2, 2009 1:30:03 PM

Christ these decisions are never ending!! I'd just decided to get my new 1TB+ data drive and use that for a while to assess whether I needed anything faster... when I read that the first SATA 3.0 drive has been released! :o $

So what's the deal with SATA 3.0, anyone know the details? Will a 2TB 7200RPM SATA 3.0 drive likely be faster than a SATA 2.0 10k drive??

My brain hurts.
a c 415 G Storage
October 2, 2009 4:20:10 PM

antpoole said:
So what's the deal with SATA 3.0, anyone know the details? Will a 2TB 7200RPM SATA 3.0 drive likely be faster than a SATA 2.0 10k drive??
Nope. SATA 2.0 can transfer data at up to 300MB/sec, and a 2TB drive won't be able to transfer data at anywhere near that rate, so there won't be a bottleneck.

Current SSDs are getting near the SATA 2.0 limits for sequential transfers, so SATA 3.0 is needed to allow for continued improvements in these kinds of high performance drives.
a c 127 G Storage
October 2, 2009 9:56:46 PM

SATA 3.0 is more for the SSD market than for the HDD market, as HDDs scale slowly but SSDs are currently limited by SATA.

The most modern consumer SSDs today go 200MB/s+ in read speeds, while advanced PCI-express SSDs go beyond 1000MB/s. So even the SATA 6Gbps will still be a bottleneck pretty soon. They never really anticipated the arrival of SSDs so quickly perhaps. Personally i rather have a PCI-express SSD as it offers both more bandwidth and probably has even lower latency, since its directly connected with the north bridge. But the current PCIe products are aimed at the server market with applicable pricing.

That said, SATA II - 3Gbps is fine for all normal purposes. Its IOps that are most important and those do not require very much bandwidth. Its only that with SATA 3.0 or 6Gbps the SSD market can transcend beyond their cradle, by bragging about very high MB/s scores of mostly read requests. The write speeds won't catch up so quickly is my estimate, so the new generation of SSDs may do 550MB/s read and 250MB/s write, for example.

The greatest advantage for flash storage is that it can be utilized in parallel, while harddrives are serial in nature. This makes their performance scaling poor in comparison with other computer components. Flash memory will solve this deficiency. Flash memory scales as high as your bank account allows. :) 
a b G Storage
October 3, 2009 3:45:57 AM

antpoole said:
Hi all,

I’m speccing up a new rig and could use some advice on my choice of boot disk(s) as my hardware knowledge is rusty and well out of date these days. I want my new baby to be very high performance but just shy of the bleeding edge. On that basis I’ve decided to go with the Intel i7 860 cpu and P55 mobo. I’m thinking this should be good for 2-3 years, after which I will most likely get a whole new rig once again, I rarely upgrade components.

The system will be dual boot and my usage will be as follows:

Boot 1:
Windows 7 (possibly 64bit, more likely 32bit for app compatibility reasons)
Semi-pro music production (Cubase SX3, Reason 4.1, lots of FX) – this is a very important consideration for me
PhotoShop CS3 processing
Media Center
Some light gaming (though I’m not a big gamer, I’d like the option of a good experience)
General web/Office duties

Boot2:
Windows Server 2008 64bit
SQL Server 2008 64bit
SharePoint Server 2010
Visual Studio 2010
A few Hyper-V servers

I may well use Win7’s boot-from-VHD feature to virtualize Boot2, that’s still to be decided, but in that case the VHD file would still reside on the same boot disk as Boot1. I still can’t quite believe boot-from-VHD, it sounds incredible!

So I am mulling the choice between:
1) 1 x 128GB solid state (e.g. http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173958) £180 GBP
2) 1 x 300GB VelociRaptor (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/149435) £170 GBP
3) 2 x 150GB VelociRaptors in RAID0 (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/149434) £228 GBP
4) 2 x 64GB solid state in RAID 0 (e.g. http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173956) £193

The raptors are attractive in offering twice the storage - if I go for this I would most likely use 50% as boot and %50 as a scratch disk for Photoshop and the music apps, which would come in very handy and improve overall performance for those apps. But due to the music production noise levels are fairly important to me, so I have some reservations about using one raptor, let alone two. As I understand it they are fairly noisy during operation, plus they’re more power hungry and kick out much more heat than SSD adding yet more noise from a more powerful PSU and fan. I don’t know if these concerns are valid.

Is RAID0 likely to offer any noticeable improvement when using drives that have such high native speeds? Is there a likelihood of hitting a bottleneck elsewhere which would make the more blindingly fast speeds redundant? (e.g. I’ve read some stuff about Lynnfield using DMI not QPI but must confess I don’t understand the implications).

Is there any disadvantage to using SSD? I've read conflicting estimates of their speed vs the velociraptors, and am a bit confused.

Thanks in advance for any help,
Poolio


-I would recommend an SSD, they are much faster then hard drives.......HOWEVER! Look at this benchmark, there might some interesting results that might interest you:
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-3.5-desktop-har...
^Look at the samsung f3 spinpoint, i don't own one but it has good reviews and is the fastest 7200rpm out there since it has a single 500GB platter while other hard drives like the WD Black 500gb have 2x 250GB platters and the 640GB version has 2x 320GB platters...so do some research and maybe try one of these, its an awfully fast hard drive and a 500GB is only 50bucks on newegg.
a b G Storage
October 3, 2009 4:26:30 AM

blackhawk1928 said:
-I would recommend an SSD, they are much faster then hard drives.......HOWEVER! Look at this benchmark, there might some interesting results that might interest you:
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-3.5-desktop-har...
^Look at the samsung f3 spinpoint, i don't own one but it has good reviews and is the fastest 7200rpm out there since it has a single 500GB platter while other hard drives like the WD Black 500gb have 2x 250GB platters and the 640GB version has 2x 320GB platters...so do some research and maybe try one of these, its an awfully fast hard drive and a 500GB is only 50bucks on newegg.

True, but all Seagate 7200.12 and Barracuda XT drives also use a 500GB platter size, as does the 2TB caviar black.
October 3, 2009 5:25:56 AM

I agree with most here and given your statement 'I want my new baby to be very high performance' you should go with a SSD, at the very least for you boot drive. I personally use the raptors because I got them for cheaper and I have not been gaming as much as I get older.
a b G Storage
October 3, 2009 6:58:39 AM

blackhawk1928 said:
-I would recommend an SSD, they are much faster then hard drives.......HOWEVER! Look at this benchmark, there might some interesting results that might interest you:
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-3.5-desktop-har...
^Look at the samsung f3 spinpoint, i don't own one but it has good reviews and is the fastest 7200rpm out there since it has a single 500GB platter while other hard drives like the WD Black 500gb have 2x 250GB platters and the 640GB version has 2x 320GB platters...so do some research and maybe try one of these, its an awfully fast hard drive and a 500GB is only 50bucks on newegg.

It would still get crushed by any decent SSD as a boot drive.
October 3, 2009 8:58:25 AM

I have recently changed the boot drives in my workstations from a 3.5" raid 5 setup to the SSD drives and there is a significant improvement if you run two SSD drives in raid 0. My portable workstation has a single 80gb intel ssd and it works ok. The read speed is very good but the write speed and internal file copy speed is rather poor. 70mb/s write and 40mb/s copy. The single intel SSD drive gives a performance improvement similar to running two Samsung F1 or F3 drives connected to an Areca raid card in raid 0.

I do a lot of RAW file conversion in Photoshop and with a single 3.5"drive you can batch convert 40 images in 5 minutes while the intel ssd will do 67 images in the same time. The SSD is just used as the boot drive and the images are kept on seperate storage drives. My primary wrkstation now has two Crucial 64gb M225 SSD boot drives in raid 0 and their a lot faster than the intel drives. I'm getting 580mb/s read and 400mb/s write and an internal copy speed of about 200mb/s. The drives are connected to a Areca 12 channel raid card so that probibly helps a bit. It can now process over 100 RAW files in 5 minutes.

Either go for a good raid setup with 3.5"drives or use a SSD for a boot drive. Personally I would stay away from the VelociRaptors because their not much faster than a new 3.5"drive and tend to be unreliable.
a b G Storage
October 3, 2009 2:20:45 PM

randomizer said:
It would still get crushed by any decent SSD as a boot drive.


^Well of course, I completely agree with you. There are solid state drives with read speeds of up to 250mbps according to websites while hard drives like a spin-point have 110mbps according to benchmarks and such...however the SSD drive might crush a spin-point in speed, the spin-point or any fast hard drive crushes the SSD in dollars per GB. Personally, I am building a system for myself very soon however for now, my system has a WD 7200rpm and its read speed is around 60mbps...so even if i use a spin-point as my boot drive it will be massive jump, but I am using an SSD anyways.
a b G Storage
October 3, 2009 2:26:23 PM

You're quoting sequential reads which has almost zero importance for an OS drive. It's 4kB random reads that matter. You're looking at <2MB/s for most, if not all, HDDs for 4kB random reads.



Besides, the OP said he doesn't mind paying the premium.
October 5, 2009 2:12:09 AM

My Intel 80gb SSD only gets 14mb/s in Crystal Mark for the 4kb random read which is no better than any other SSD.
a b G Storage
October 5, 2009 2:22:02 AM

It depends on the condition of the drive. The above graph was done on a new drive, this was done on a "used" drive:



Obviously your drive is not in the same condition as theirs, so it's not directly comparable. TRIM would improve performance somewhat, but a proper garbage collector is needed to restore more performance. Indillinx controllers have this, not sure about Intel ones.
a b G Storage
October 5, 2009 2:24:31 AM

Ah crap, I just realised I was looking at the wrong graphs (random write) each time. This is the one I wanted:

October 14, 2009 11:52:22 PM

I'm going for a pair of Corsair Extreme 64GB in RAID 0 for my boot and scratch disk and a pair of Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB in RAID 0 for working data (video footage, etc.).

Sounds similar usage to the OP, if he's now bought anything yet could this be the way to go?
October 22, 2009 7:28:08 PM

i don't want to know how people test and the result of how fast mb per sec, intel and mtron in my desktop using to open game for 3 bar dekaron will lag until you gonna throw them in to the trash bin with velociraptor you can open until 10 bar for same system and same os, so .... i dont know what the result test for. many people dont know ssd with the best one still have disadvantage, use it at ur own risk.
for online gamer to make money from many boot i suggest don't ever use ssd that avaiable now, you will regreet for it.
October 23, 2009 1:38:09 PM

I went for Patriot Torqx 128GB, it have 260/180MB/s specs and 10 years waranty.
I read several benchmarks comparing it with several SSDs including intels x25-m and it was on top or par with others in most of tests (intel cost more and offer only 2 years waranty).

W7 installed in less then 13 minutes and now i have startup 15 and shutdown 5 seconds (ofcourse if there are no applications running) so i am quite happy with it.
a c 127 G Storage
October 23, 2009 1:48:28 PM

xrodney: sequential speeds expressed in MB/s mean very little to actual performance, especially if we are talking boot disk performance, MB/s means little to nothing.

In these benchmarks it can be seen the OCZ Summit SSD delivers very high MB/s scores, but fails totally in the benchmarks that are important, like random read/write:



OCZ Summit gets 177MB/s sequential write and the Intel X25-M only 78MB/s - oh noes!



But look, MB/s isn't everything, and we see the OCZ Summit failing totally here. So its definately one of the slowest SSDs on the market, even though it has the highest MB/s score.

Conclusion: MB/s scores mean nothing to actual system performance.

You don't have a Samsung SSD tho, but an Indilinx SSD. Just look at the controller the product name is nothing more than the casing and the colour and the packaging; the actual product depends heavily on the controller used.
October 23, 2009 2:52:29 PM

sub mesa: you dont need to explain to me how SSD works, i have university degre computer sciences, including manufacturing processes and electronics and several years experience.

I know that all benchmarks tests are subjective (and this apply more for SSD as there is so far no special benchmark for SSD and those that exist were created for normal hdd), in each test same disk finish differently, but also same test in different benchmarks programs finished differently for same disk.

I could have opted for disk with higher writing speed but 95% of time disk with os is just reading data so i went for maximum readspeed.

Also 4kb random reed write for surem can make bottleneck, but n other hand most of files are bigger so sequential speed came in as well.

I hope you read whole test in link i posted before making lecture to me.

I didnt have time to run some benchmarks, but now my os is much faster then it was before with normal SATA disk and also much faster then when i was using 15k rpm SAS in raid.

I am happy with 15 seconds boot time and applications starting 4-5 times faster then i used to before and i will maybe make some tests later and post results, but right now i am short on free time.
a c 127 G Storage
October 23, 2009 3:12:55 PM

xrodney, sorry you feel 'lectured'; but isn't the whole purpose of online forums to get feedback on your ideas?

You wrote:
Quote:
I read several benchmarks comparing it with several SSDs including intels x25-m and it was on top or par with others in most of tests (intel cost more and offer only 2 years waranty).

I would like to state that this is simply not true.

Although the MB/s speeds (sequential throughput) can be very high, this doesn't tell anything about the actual performance which is expressed in IOps instead, or I/O operations per second. As you may know, IOps are key in I/O performance and not MB/s which is what consumers have been hearing from everyone. Truth is a HDD can't even get 1MB/s with very random I/O and this is why HDDs are slow, not because 75MB/s is not enough.

If you had a drive that did 75MB/s in any workload, it could be faster than a 1000MB/s storage device , that does only 1MB/s in random I/O workloads. As you also may have known, boot disk/application launch is very much like random I/O with a queue depth of just 1.

So in your statement i would disagree on the point the Intel X25-M is "on par" with other SSDs; there is no consumer-class SSD that performs better as a boot/system disk than Intel X25-M, even though it has a low sequential write speed of "just" 75MB/s.

Oh and i did read your article, its a very superficial article with mostly proprietary sequential benchmarks, nothing too fancy.
a b G Storage
October 24, 2009 1:03:42 PM

Although that is test designed for SSDs, I just ran it on all of my drives with interesting results. The first one here is a Caviar Black 1TB, the second is a pair of 300GB Velociraptors in RAID 0, and the third is a single Intel X25-M G2 80GB.

This really shows why SSDs have such an advantage over velociraptors (and why velociraptors have such an advantage over 7200s) - it isn't the sequentials that have the biggest difference, it's the randoms:


!