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Have we gotten to the point that SSDs are worth it yet?

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November 4, 2009 7:53:56 PM

5 Months ago, I built my own PC, and included the two Hard Drives you see below. The PC is super fast, don't get me wrong, but now that I'm digging more space (746GB used on the WD) I think about how maybe getting that OCZ Vertex wasn't such a wise move. Here's the graph, tell me what you think.

I mean, the SSD has at best 2x better performance, but the cost per Gig is around 41x as much.

More about : point ssds worth

November 4, 2009 8:08:51 PM

Almost there. When you see one in my system specs, you'll know the time is right! :) 
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November 4, 2009 9:43:03 PM

The only people I really recommend them to are design and editing professionals who are constantly moving large files around. The speed really helps there, but for other "normal" users all you will see is slightly faster boot and load times....the value just isn't there. That money would make a more noticeable performance improvement in almost any other part of your computer for most people.
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a b G Storage
November 4, 2009 10:14:35 PM

raybob95 said:
5 Months ago, I built my own PC, and included the two Hard Drives you see below. The PC is super fast, don't get me wrong, but now that I'm digging more space (746GB used on the WD) I think about how maybe getting that OCZ Vertex was such a wise move. Here's the graph, tell me what you think.

http://i361.photobucket.com/albums/oo57/RayBob328/HDDCompare.jpg



You might consider the new Kingston 40 GB SSD due to be released on 11/09 for $115.00 -$40.00 MIR just for your OS. Tom's Hardware just recently announced the soon to be released product and indicated it was an Intel version SSD. I also saw another article (don't remember where), indicating that Kingston had been working feverishly with JMicron to improve their controller. Personally, I'm going to wait and see what the reviews have to say.

If you do get an SSD, I suggest that you relocate your swap file, TEMP: folder and Internet temp files to your fastest HDD. SSD's have been known to have problems when writing and re-writing lots of small files which caused the SSD to slow down. This has been discussed several times but I can't immediately document where. And another thing, NEVER, EVER, EVER defragment your SSD. BAD, BAD, BAD.
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a c 127 G Storage
November 5, 2009 5:23:41 AM

Swapping is not used anymore on modern systems, as they have enough RAM. You can disable swap altogether or put it on the lowest HDD in your system as it won't be used.

The small-write problem affects early firmwares of modern SSDs, it shouldn't be a problem if you updated your firmware and the TRIM feature is designed to mitigate this issue over long periods of time. Good SSDs like Intel X25-M G2 are still about 40 times faster (4000%) than any 10.000rpm HDD with random writes.

Quote:
The only people I really recommend them to are design and editing professionals who are constantly moving large files around.

For large files SSDs should not be used; they are often even slower than normal HDDs in writing. The real speed benefits from SSDs comes when reading/writing in non-sequential patterns which happens alot on your system disk with applications installed; not for large files. Here's a benchmark to display such extreme differences:





SSDs were worth the money the day Intel launched their X25-M product. People are crazy to buy high-end Core i7 systems while still having a slow HDD to do all the work. HDDs are extremely slow compared to SSDs for the task of being a system disk. That's the reason an Intel Atom + SSD feels faster than a Core i7 + HDD setup. Be smart, invest your money where it counts.

If you don't need a fast system; you should be buying a $40 CPU. Anything higher also demands for a fast I/O setup or you wasted your money in hardware that won't be used. CPUs waste virtually all their cycles for waiting on disk I/O on every common usage on the world. The day HDDs are gone in casual computers will be the day computers stop being slow. Be smart, invest your money where it counts.
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November 5, 2009 10:26:29 AM

That's a slight exaggeration - what most people here use their computers for (gaming) is almost never HDD limited, and due to the amount of RAM in modern computers, most truly CPU intensive tasks such as video encoding are also not HDD limited. I use my computer extensively for Solidworks and Matlab, and neither of those is HDD limited either - they will happily chew through CPU cycles with relatively little disk activity (and heavy RAM use).

The main thing an SSD is good for is to make your system feel faster. It won't actually go much faster once a task is started, but it will start new programs and switch between them faster by a significant margin than a system with a slower HDD.
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a c 127 G Storage
November 5, 2009 12:20:15 PM

Video encoding... that's like 0.01% of the tasks all PCs are used for. Many people list things they want to do, but maybe they do this on two days in a year or so and others never do this. Its a very 'specialised' task. When they do this, its not that bad that it might take awhile. The same with compression tasks: if you're going to have to wait for it; does it really make a difference it takes 1 minute 30 seconds instead of 2 minutes? Maybe it does if you do it regularly, but most people minimize the task and continue doing something else like webbrowsing. I for sure am not going to just stare at the screen whenever i'm burning a cd. :) 

Instead, its the minor annoyances that make the difference - at least for me. When i want to do stuff; look at some webpage, boot my computer or whatever, i want it to happen NOW. I don't want to wait even just a second for each thing i click.

Also with gaming, i don't want to wait to long when i switch realms for example; i'm gaming so LET ME GAME! Ofcourse during the gaming itself HDD performance is not that important (though WoW loads textures even while gaming!).

Some things about 'performance' are not directly measurable, but you can feel it. With an SSD you just have the experience of instant response. Ofcourse things like rendering, cd burning, compressing, etc. still takes time and won't be instant; but if you're going to wait for it you probably can do something else in the meantime.

In alot of stuff i do, when i had an HDD, i got frustrated whenever things were going slow. Even the start menu back in the days i used Windows were disk-bound; i don't even want to wait half a second to open one of the start sub-menu's; why is stuff not pre-cached in memory anyways? Especially with some background tasks any user-performed actions will probably be delayed due to slow disk access.

All these things you can solve with SSDs. Sure the SSD is expensive. But hey; what does a Core i7 'fix' for you? If you're a gamer, if you are a video editing professional or other CPU-intensive tasks then SURE. But casual people do casual things: email, web-browsing, Picasa, Music, etc. Operating the applications can sometimes be slow which is an annoyance to me. Disks still are the major bottleneck in most modern PC's; not the CPU.

The only common bottleneck not attributable to disk performance is for gamers: they really need the CPU + GPU muscle power and it makes sense to invest in those areas instead. But for all casual people doing casual things a modest $40 dualcore + SSD would make a lot more sense in my opinion.

Comments are welcome, of course. :) 
Keep in mind that i'm an impatient user - others may be more patient. But then; would they really need a Core i7? Do they need a fast PC anyway?
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November 5, 2009 2:27:07 PM

That's true. I've long told my friends that for normal use, the two best things you can do to make your computer fast is to get a faster hard drive and more RAM.
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November 5, 2009 2:35:59 PM

can you say "psychosomatic" ?
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November 5, 2009 2:47:33 PM

I guess I should elaborate....as cjl pointed out, most of the stuff you are describing is more RAM related than HDD related. And in practice moving large files around on a SSD is much faster than on a normal HDD, so if you are into editing and often move large files from one place to another on your SSD drive it can benefit you. I have an ancient 5200 rpm HDD on a machine and I have no lag on the start menu, surfing the web, or anything else you mentioned would benefit "normal" users. Boot and load times are faster with SSD, but not by the huge margin you describe. Your machine still does not boot "instantly", and most programs don't load that much faster if they are commonly used programmed in Vista or 7. I think it feels faster to you doing all that other stuff because you expect it to feel faster.
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a c 127 G Storage
November 5, 2009 2:58:36 PM

Put your drive in PIO mode and see what happens. You'll notice many tasks will significantly slow down; because the disk is being used for almost everything. With some I/O monitors this can be clearly seen. Linux has easy "IOwait" monitors that can tell whenever disks are becoming a clear bottleneck. Whenever i have to wait for something; its the disk not the CPU, as seen by the resource monitor which gives a sharp rise to IOwait.

Ofcourse lots of RAM helps, but only for the second time you access something, and even then you have to hope that the RAM is big enough not to 'overwrite' previous file caches. Launching a major game will wipe all the filecache, as games can be larger than 10GB and not many users have 10GB+ RAM in their machines; anything that was in the filecache will be gone.

Some technologies like Vista/Win7's SuperFetch are kind of interesting though. They keep a record of what apps/stuff you use and pre-fetch it right after booting. It will add to boot times but decrease the time required when you actually launch the apps, which benefits general and common usage.

I maintain however that disk performance is underestimated. Everyone only looks at the fastest CPU and fastest memory, even though memory speed has very little influence on overall performance; its very fast already the quantity of RAM is like 100 times more important. People buy ridiculously expensive rigs and equip them with HDDs, cause SSDs "are not worth it". I think they are making wrong judgements.
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November 5, 2009 4:19:22 PM

What do you folks think about setups using an SSD for the OS only and having all apps game ect.... on a regular hdd? Is there any benefit other than load times?

I ask because I am on the fence and thinking about picking up one of the 40gb kingston units when they are released. If that works out well, then I will probably take the full plunge and get a 120gb+ unit and use a regular hdd for storage only.
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a b G Storage
November 5, 2009 5:22:26 PM

Lavacon said:
What do you folks think about setups using an SSD for the OS only and having all apps game ect.... on a regular hdd? Is there any benefit other than load times?

I ask because I am on the fence and thinking about picking up one of the 40gb kingston units when they are released. If that works out well, then I will probably take the full plunge and get a 120gb+ unit and use a regular hdd for storage only.

I think it's worth it - that's similar to my setup. I have an Intel x25m 80GB as a boot drive, a pair of vraptor 300GB in RAID for apps/games, and a caviar black 1tb for music/pics/videos/document. There was a noticeable gain going from the vraptors as the boot drive to the x25m, even in program loading time (despite the programs not being on the ssd).

Oh, and a faster hard drive will never give any benefits aside from boot/load times. You'd be surprised how everything feels snappier though. It's like you're on a different system in some ways, although gaming and computational performance is relatively unchanged.
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November 5, 2009 9:14:08 PM

How do you folks feel about the Kingston 40gb boot drive? I have read a good 6 reviews on it and all say it is great for what it is.
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November 6, 2009 5:12:16 AM

belial2k said:
I guess I should elaborate....as cjl pointed out, most of the stuff you are describing is more RAM related than HDD related. And in practice moving large files around on a SSD is much faster than on a normal HDD, so if you are into editing and often move large files from one place to another on your SSD drive it can benefit you. I have an ancient 5200 rpm HDD on a machine and I have no lag on the start menu, surfing the web, or anything else you mentioned would benefit "normal" users. Boot and load times are faster with SSD, but not by the huge margin you describe. Your machine still does not boot "instantly", and most programs don't load that much faster if they are commonly used programmed in Vista or 7. I think it feels faster to you doing all that other stuff because you expect it to feel faster.

Oh well since i moved to windows 7 and SSD, my booting times improved at least 4 times (15 seconds instead of minute) and so do application starts. Gone are short freezes in games when its waiting for data from hdd, loading times when zoning are also much faster, even fps are better. I am heavily using my PC and its running 24/7.
And no its not just feel thats everything runs faster because it really do. I had few friends visiting me and just after 1-2 mins using my pc they asked how so its so fast.
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a c 127 G Storage
November 6, 2009 5:17:42 AM

Your FPS should not be better. Though as a gamer myself, i did notice the minimum FPS improved; as with HDD accesses the game freezes for a fraction of a second; losing frames. This can be annoying, but if the disks are not used it should not have any effect on the framerates.

However i concur with your experience; the PC just feels more modern with an SSD.
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November 6, 2009 12:14:03 PM

When you can buy a 100GB SSD for $100 I'll buy one. That is MY price for performance acceptable number for an SSD. The average disk performance of a decent drive right now is fine for me, so buying an SSD right now does not make sense for me.
I am certain other people feel they need to have the absolute fastest possible and what you pay to get it will be quite different.
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a c 127 G Storage
November 6, 2009 2:20:17 PM

Alright, but do you also have a sub-$40 CPU in your system? If you have a CPU over $100, how does that compare to your SSD price point? I mean, its all about priorities isn't it? CPU cycles are wasted; CPUs idle 95%+ of the time, i dare to say even more if you look at all PCs on the planet earth. How is that fast CPU worth the money? For gamers, OK! But for casual desktop work? Nah.

If you want luxery and snappy performance, the first part you should invest in is the biggest performance bottleneck; and that's not the CPU for casual desktop tasks. Just my 2 cents. :) 
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November 6, 2009 4:13:05 PM

^^^
The mans got a point.

I would have to say that my HDD is the biggest bottleneck in my overclocked system, hence my motivation to move to ssd.

I wish I could call my case a bottleneck :-( I really want Corsair 800D :-)
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November 8, 2009 3:13:44 AM

For data? No, not at all. For the O.S/Games/Programs? Yes, definitely!
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November 8, 2009 6:14:01 PM

I'd put the overall performance of two 2tb WD caviar blacks in raid 0 up against any SSD for a similar price, plus I'll have 4tb of storage and the SSD will have what...maybe 300mb? I think part of what some people are attributing to their SSD could be simply explained from the fact that they have usually just done a clean install on that drive, and might be upgrading from a older drive that was underperforming compared to today's best HDDs. I don't dispute boot and load times are faster, but you can get similar gains for less price and more storage by raiding high performance HDDs. All this frames per second nonsense is urban legend and is the result of something else. I have not seen one credible benchmark that shows SSDs speeding up any in-app or in-game performance.
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a c 415 G Storage
November 8, 2009 10:51:03 PM

belial2k said:
I'd put the overall performance of two 2tb WD caviar blacks in raid 0 up against any SSD for a similar price, plus I'll have 4tb of storage and the SSD will have what...maybe 300mb?
You don't buy an SSD for capacity, you buy it for speed. While RAIDed hard drives can compete with an SSD for sequential transfers (especially for writes), they can't hold a candle to one for random I/O performance. RAID essentially does squat for the long latencies associated with hard drives, whereas the latency of an SDD is about 100X faster. This means that SSDs are miles ahead of hard drives (even in RAID arrays) for small random I/Os - that's the type performance that most people benefit from.

But I certainly do agree that for a lot of applications disk speed is largely irrelevant once you get them loaded and into memory.
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November 8, 2009 11:25:35 PM

Right...I'm not arguing about what SSDs do well...my argument is about the OP question. For most users the price/performance of upgrading to a SSD is a bad investment when you consider all you are getting is faster boot and load times.
And my point about the overall performance on the modern high performance HDDs is the HDDs will actually do some things better, don't need all the TLC tweaks, and offer tons more storage for the price. Plus, raiding good HDDs will also increase your boot and load times (still not as fast as a SSD, but I have NO lag when opening most apps and games in vista or 7) So unless you have a highly specialized need outside of the "normal" gamer or home PC, AS OF NOW, in my opinion, SSDs are a bad investment. I also strongly disagree with some of the things some of the posters have claimed about their SSDs. Claiming you get more fps and other gains once games and apps are opened, and that HDDS are the biggest bottleneck in any system contradicts every test ever done on the subject. I'm not saying they are lying, but either it is because they think is faster because they expect it to be, or the gains can be attributed to a fresh install or upgrade from a poor example of a HDD. With all of that being said, if I was building a "price no object" computer, I would include a SSD. But that does not change the fact they still have a poor price/performance gain over a good HDD ratio for the typical user.
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a c 127 G Storage
November 9, 2009 6:49:32 AM

If HDDs do 100 random read IOps and modern SSDs do 80.000 IOps, we can compare price/performance ratio:

HDD $50 @ 100 IOps = 2 IOps per dollar
SSD $250 @ 80.000 IOps = 320 IOps per dollar

Still some 160 x faster, or 16000% performance difference per dollar invested.

You also claim striping RAID improves boot times; thats one of the few things RAID cannot improve performance since its very limited in queue depth. FPS can increase with gaming, as games have ZERO fps if they need data from the disk and will become unresponsive until they have that data. This happens with games like World of Warcraft which i play myself, and cannot cache the 16GB data files it has on disk. Everytime it needs to load some random texture which it cannot predict in advance, it needs to access the disk. Until that data is present in RAM, the FPS will be zero. WoW clearly states the minimum FPS and this will drop under 1.0 and its also very noticeable when it needs to load textures on a HDD. Its no big deal however, but its not that FPS and disk I/O are *totally* unrelated.

I wonder if you used a modern SSD yourself yet belial2k, else you can hardly compare. This isn't just a thing you can express in numbers; its something you can feel as well. As said; if you don't care about waiting times buy a $200 computer. If you buy an expensive computer instead, i would assume you would want it to be fast, and if you're no gamer the first thing you should invest in - in my opinion - is an SSD. Since that's your biggest bottleneck.

If you don't care about bottlenecks and rather have a slower pc, then don't buy an expensive computer AT ALL.
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November 9, 2009 2:15:45 PM

sub mesa said:
If HDDs do 100 random read IOps and modern SSDs do 80.000 IOps, we can compare price/performance ratio:

HDD $50 @ 100 IOps = 2 IOps per dollar
SSD $250 @ 80.000 IOps = 320 IOps per dollar

Still some 160 x faster, or 16000% performance difference per dollar invested.

You also claim striping RAID improves boot times; thats one of the few things RAID cannot improve performance since its very limited in queue depth. FPS can increase with gaming, as games have ZERO fps if they need data from the disk and will become unresponsive until they have that data. This happens with games like World of Warcraft which i play myself, and cannot cache the 16GB data files it has on disk. Everytime it needs to load some random texture which it cannot predict in advance, it needs to access the disk. Until that data is present in RAM, the FPS will be zero. WoW clearly states the minimum FPS and this will drop under 1.0 and its also very noticeable when it needs to load textures on a HDD. Its no big deal however, but its not that FPS and disk I/O are *totally* unrelated.

I wonder if you used a modern SSD yourself yet belial2k, else you can hardly compare. This isn't just a thing you can express in numbers; its something you can feel as well. As said; if you don't care about waiting times buy a $200 computer. If you buy an expensive computer instead, i would assume you would want it to be fast, and if you're no gamer the first thing you should invest in - in my opinion - is an SSD. Since that's your biggest bottleneck.

If you don't care about bottlenecks and rather have a slower pc, then don't buy an expensive computer AT ALL.


I would have to disagree with some of your points, as an SSD would be a great buy only if you have the cash to burn and like you said, want a super fast PC. A big % of the population does not have that cash to burn and most are willing to wait that extra 2-3 seconds on boot and load times. An SSD is a commodity and not a necessity unless you are among the most impatient humans on earth. I have dual 640's in Raid0 and they benchmark higher than any 10k Raptor (single drive). My point is that you can build a super fast PC w/o having to recurr to an SSD. If you have the cash and want the BEST OF THE BEST than yea an SSD makes sense, but just because I am using a platter driver does not mean my system is bottlenecked. A bottleneck would only occur if my games and programs started to lag/stutter due to the drives poor performance. If the game or app runs without a hiccup then I see no bottleneck. Faster response time might be a must for some, but for many a regular 7,200 or 10k RPM is more than enough.

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a c 415 G Storage
November 9, 2009 3:27:09 PM

OvrClkr said:
My point is that you can build a super fast PC w/o having to recurr to an SSD. If you have the cash and want the BEST OF THE BEST than yea an SSD makes sense, but just because I am using a platter driver does not mean my system is bottlenecked.
Everyone's different, and it depends on how you use your system. IF you find yourself being annoyed because you're having to wait while your system boots and when you start programs, an SSD can be a great investment. You can buy SSDs for less than the cost of most quad-core CPUs, so the costs really aren't particularly prohibitive for the people in that market segment.
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November 9, 2009 4:20:09 PM

true, but IMO it is not wise to spend more than 200$+ on a drive that barley holds any space compared to a platter drive. I just find the price per GB is not justifiable vs. the space you get no matter how fast the drive is. It is understandable that some might even need an SSD for their daily tasks but I don't think it is a MUST have for every PC owner. Maybe later on a in a year or two when prices come down then it would be a wise investment, as of now I see no need for them.
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a c 127 G Storage
November 9, 2009 4:20:31 PM

SSDs are a commodity and not a necessity - sure - but same thing goes for expensive CPUs like a Core i7.

My point is that i see many 'high-end' builds especially here on this forum, and almost always they are equiped with an old HDD. People do look for some 'fast' "BLACK EDITION" HDD with X MB cache etc - while that simply does not matter. HDDs of the same generation differ only a few percent in performance while SSDs can really transcend any performance level and blast away any pack of HDDs.

If you don't need performance and can do with a slow pc - sure go buy a second hand or $40 cpu + $50 mobo + $40 memory - etcetera. But if you go for expensive rigs, i would assume you want performance. Unless you're a heavy gamer and need your budget for CPU/GPU which is a necessity for gaming, its all about having a fast pc that responds quick to user input.

For that group of people an SSD is the best investment they can do - an investment that can last for many years and multiple computer generations. Plus it will prolong the service life of the computer system - as many old computers become 'slow' not because the CPU is becoming slower (it can't / shouldn't) but because disk accesses are more frequent and more non-sequential, which HDDs truely suck at. So here an SSD would instantly solve all the 'slowness' of a slightly old computer and prolong its life.

So i would argue SSDs are the best investment you can do in computer technology for the majority of people. Not only do you get performance, you also get the other benefits of solid state technology:

1) low power consumption (0,1W idle means virtually no power consumption)
2) low heat production (0,1W idle means virtually no heat production)
3) no vibrations (no moving parts)
4) no sound production (no moving parts)
5) extremely high reliability (no moving parts and no heat generation equals high reliability)
6) lower space requirements (making tiny computer casings possible)
7) longer (usable) product lifespan

Especially 'casual' computer users would need the benefits of SSDs, as they would have a "problem-free" product that instantly solves their performance and reliability needs, and the no vibration/noise and power requirements are true benefits to them. Power users tend to care better for their backups but also use their computer more. Servers would love the benefits of SSDs as its exactly what they need; (high) capacity is largely irrelevant to them they can replace whole arrays with a few SSDs. For them its a true miracle product. They also tend to be more informed than casual users and look at IOps performance instead of MB/s.

The only category of users that would benefit less would be gamers, as they would prefer to spend their money on other computer components that still make a (huge) difference: CPU/GPU performance is still low enough to warrant faster hardware in this area, and they would have limited benefit from an SSD. Though still there are exceptions, like online gamers who want to be quicker in the game than their opponents.

All in all, solid state technology is the best innovation to computer technology i've seen in awhile. Though its not accessible to everyone yet - it will solve people's problems and prevent alot of headaches in the future. Finally people are liberated from the grasp of mechanical technology!
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a c 415 G Storage
November 9, 2009 6:50:17 PM

OvrClkr said:
I just find the price per GB is not justifiable vs. the space you get no matter how fast the drive is.
That's like saying a sports car is useless because it hardly has any cargo capacity. You buy sports cars for one thing, delivery vans for something else. The same is true of SSDs vs. HDDs.
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November 9, 2009 6:58:18 PM

Well if you have the cash for a sports car you shouldnt be complaining in the first place. Same point as If you have cash to burn then go ahead, if not then settle for something cheaper. I'm just saying that the pricing on the SSD's is rediculous compared to other options. How can you justify a 250GB SSD at 850.00$+ compared to what you can get for 150.00$? That's my point...

On the other hand I wouldn't mind a small SSD for the OS and games, but for large files, movies, songs, etc you will need a deep pocket if you are going to store all that on an SSD....
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November 9, 2009 7:10:54 PM

Im going to give ya another example.... I have 2 netbooks at home, one has a 160Gb 5,200RPM drive and the other has an 8GB SSD. With the 160Gb drive I have the satisfaction of being able to store alot on the drive, while on the 8GB SSD I do not have that option. So basically I have a netbook that does boot faster but has limited storage space. Useless IMO....well not useless, I can surf the net, but that is about it... :pfff: 
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November 9, 2009 8:54:53 PM

Other examples:
1. Opening up SQL Server 2005/2008 and Visual Studio 2005/2008 near instantaneous, no matter how many instances I have open.
2. Installation speeds = 1/5 the time it normally takes on a 7200 RPM drive.
3. Laptop battery life with 5400 RPM at idle = ~ 5 hours
Laptop battery life with Corsair P128 at idle = ~ 8 hours

I have a HP DV4T using a spare 2.26 GHz Dual Core P8400 I got for free, undervolted it and applied Arctic Silver MX-2, and have the 12-cell battery. I also got 4 GB DDR3 I got for free (left-over parts from a previous laptop I sold to re-imburse my DV4T purchase), what I sold now has Windows XP 32-bit, and the 2 GB DDR3 memory I got with the DV4T.

The DV4T weighs about 5 pounds, has a 14.1" HD screen, full keyboard, and I bought it for $525 new after taxes (not including the Corsair P128). I also have Windows 7 Pro 64-bit installed.

That's why I don't like netbooks. My notebook's got speed, it's light-weight, and a long battery life for a great price.
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November 9, 2009 9:02:31 PM

Again the first point, useless unles you actually run those programs and again made for the impatient, second point is useless again since I can wait, again made for the impatient...third point, I have an AC adapter with me at all times just in case battery life is under 10% =). It looks like you didnt read above, If the user actually will benefit off of an SSD then it's an obvious choice, if he can get by with a regular 7,200 RPM then there is no point....
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November 9, 2009 9:20:45 PM

OvrClkr said:
Again the first point, useless unles you actually run those programs and again made for the impatient, second point is useless again since I can wait, again made for the impatient...third point, I have an AC adapter with me at all times just in case battery life is under 10% =). It looks like you didnt read above, If the user actually will benefit off of an SSD then it's an obvious choice, if he can get by with a regular 7,200 RPM then there is no point....

Useless?

1. Opening up SQL Server 2005/2008 and Visual Studio 2005/2008 near instantaneous, no matter how many instances I have open.

Try working on 3 different projects, and debugging them on a non-SSD drive and then a SSD drive. You're 25% more productive because you don't have to wait on applications to load. Yeah, for the casual user, there's no need for an SSD drive, but if time is money, I want both.

2. Installation speeds = 1/5 the time it normally takes on a 7200 RPM drive.

Again, time is money, and I want both.

3. Laptop battery life with 5400 RPM at idle = ~ 5 hours
Laptop battery life with Corsair P128 at idle = ~ 8 hours

The whole point of a netbook is battery life without an AC adapter. I have a notebook, 4 times as fast as the top-of-the-line netbook (including CPU and memory speed), for which goes around for just about $400, and just as long, if not longer battery life. Plus, it's got power enough to do my work on. Plus, it's got a 14.1" HD screen, not a 10", and a full keyboard plus optical drive. Weighs twice as much as a netbook, but 5 lbs is nothing.

3 extra hours of battery life isn't nothing. Of course, that's with it being idle. It's probably half that if I'm continuously working and accessing files.

Oh, and it's nice and quiet.
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November 9, 2009 9:42:52 PM

Again if you read where i stated that it is a good buy for the user that actually is going to benefit off of it then you would not have re-typed what you posted. Not everyone uses SQL Server 2005/2008 or Visual Studio 2005/2008, as a matter of fact most home users don't even know what that means. If you see that it fits your needs then good for you. If I was someone that used the software needed to run various programs and time is money like you said, then maybe I would have an SSD if I could afford it. Other than that I see no need ATM.

Of course if someone had the cash for a High-End PC, meaning they had a big enough budget to squeeze in a decent sized SSD then i guess it would be a no-brainer. SSD's should be bought by people that need them, if it is not needed then why not spend it on another part of the PC that can get more of a benefit like the GPU or CPU?
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November 9, 2009 9:57:37 PM

OvrClkr said:
Again if you read where i stated that it is a good buy for the user that actually is going to benefit off of it then you would not have re-typed what you posted. Not everyone uses SQL Server 2005/2008 or Visual Studio 2005/2008, as a matter of fact most home users don't even know what that means. If you see that it fits your needs then good for you. If I was someone that used the software needed to run various programs and time is money like you said, then maybe I would have an SSD if I could afford it. Other than that I see no need ATM.

Of course if someone had the cash for a High-End PC, meaning they had a big enough budget to squeeze in a decent sized SSD then i guess it would be a no-brainer. SSD's should be bought by people that need them, if it is not needed then why not spend it on another part of the PC that can get more of a benefit like the GPU or CPU?

I hear what you're saying, and I agree. I was under the impression that SSD's server no good purpose for any user, and that's not true.

I built my personal workstation/gaming rig with an i7 920 (overclocked to 3.6 GHz), GTX 275 (Overclocked), 8 GB Memory, etc. that I bought and built for $925 (thanks to living near Microcenter), which included my Crucial M225 128 GB. It was worth the investment for me because of what I needed to do.

I've built my gf's computer and another workstation at my client's office for around half that, but with 7200 RPM drives. What's done on those machines doesn't warrant the SSD in my opinion, and they're plenty fast for what they're used for.
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November 9, 2009 10:07:30 PM

El_Capitan said:
I hear what you're saying, and I agree. I was under the impression that SSD's server no good purpose for any user, and that's not true.

I built my personal workstation/gaming rig with an i7 920 (overclocked to 3.6 GHz), GTX 275 (Overclocked), 8 GB Memory, etc. that I bought and built for $925 (thanks to living near Microcenter), which included my Crucial M225 128 GB. It was worth the investment for me because of what I needed to do.

I've built my gf's computer and another workstation at my client's office for around half that, but with 7200 RPM drives. What's done on those machines doesn't warrant the SSD in my opinion, and they're plenty fast for what they're used for.


Yep ;)  .... Btw sweet rig :o 

My boss at work spends the whole day using the same programs you mentioned and a few others and he just cannot get by without an SSD so i understand your point as well. My argument is more towards the budget minded that does not use such programs. I can imagine us in a few years saying "Remember when the SSD was 225.00$ or 400.00$..?? " ... but then there will be a faster drive that will outpace a current-gen SSD..... it's like a never ending cycle...

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November 9, 2009 10:11:30 PM

OvrClkr said:
Yep ;)  .... Btw sweet rig :o 

My boss at work spends the whole day using the same programs you mentioned and a few others and he just cannot get by without an SSD so i understand your point as well. My argument is more towards the budget minded that does not use such programs. I can imagine us in a few years saying "Remember when the SSD was 225.00$ or 400.00$..?? " ... but then there will be a faster drive that will outpace a current-gen SSD..... it's like a never ending cycle...

Thanks.

Hell yeah, budget minded people, stay away from SSD's, 5400/7200 RPM HDD's from a price per storage per performance point is still way worth it. I still minimize my budget whenever I can. It's not worth it to buy a component that nearly equals the cost of your whole system.
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November 10, 2009 5:40:48 AM

Again I will point out what those of us "against" SSDs are saying to the original poster who asked "Have we gotten to the point that SSDs are worth it yet? "...and our answer is No based on price to performance gained over standard HDDs... UNLESS you have a specialized need. As I stated earlier, I put them in most of my builds for professional design and editing, because that is an area they really shine in. And yes, I have used and tested those builds, so I have lots of hands on experience with them. Sub Mesa, I'm happy for you that you love your SSD so much, my only issue is you are spreading a lot inaccurate info...and even other SSD enthusiast have pointed that out in this thread.
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November 10, 2009 8:27:37 AM

Care to explain what exactly is inaccurate?
Telling the performance gain over an HDD is not big enough is kind of strange, since never in history were the performance differences of two computer products so immensely huge.
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November 10, 2009 6:43:19 PM

Everyone knows the performance gains, but you have to put it in perspective about "worth". If you're building a $400 - $500 system (that's including a 1TB 7200 RPM drive), is it worth spending $125 on a 40GB boot drive SSD, or $250 on a 64GB boot drive SSD? That's 25% - 50% of the cost of the build.

Now, if you're building a $800 - $1000 system (that's including a 1TB 7200 RPM drive), you're more likely going to utilize the benefits of the high performance an SSD provides.

Anyone who uses an SSD is going to have a secondary storage HDD, anyway, so the justification of having an SSD is usage benefit and cost.
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November 11, 2009 5:44:30 AM

They aren't worth it yet, at least in my opinion. Sure, they provide for a decent boot drive, but the price per gigabyte is still outrageous. Plus, the storage for commonly used applications isn't high enough yet. Sure, you can spend a grand or so on a 512GB model or almost a grand on a 256GB, but unless you have some extreme fundage, your SOL. Prices will fall in the coming year or two, but until then, I like many others are going to wait it out.
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November 11, 2009 3:17:45 PM

belial2k said:
Again I will point out what those of us "against" SSDs are saying to the original poster who asked "Have we gotten to the point that SSDs are worth it yet?
Well of course the only possible answer to that is "yes for some, no for others". As prices continue to drop, they'll be "worth it" to more and more people. For the enthusiast crowd who spend money to buy high-end CPUs and graphics, they are likely very "worth it". It really doesn't make a lot of sense to spend several hundred dollars just for premium CPU and graphics equipment and then ignore the disk subsystem. But for someone who's buying a $300 system they're obviously still out of reach.
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November 11, 2009 3:24:14 PM

buwish said:
They aren't worth it yet, at least in my opinion. Sure, they provide for a decent boot drive, but the price per gigabyte is still outrageous.
If you're going to base your decision on $/gigabyte then it's going to be a long time before you ever get an SSD. Per-GB costs are dropping for hard drives too, and SSDs aren't going to be competitive in those terms for a long time, probably a decade or more.

The key to SSDs is to take advantage of their speed by putting the most often-used files on them, while keeping everything else on an HDD so that you're not constrained by the SSD's limited capacity. It's the old 80/20 rule - use the SSD for the 20% of the files that get used 80% of the time (percentages not intended to be precise).

With that attitude, $/GB is irrelevant - the only issue is whether or not the cost of an SSD that holds your "20% of the files" is worth it to you for the performance improvements you'll see.
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November 11, 2009 4:05:10 PM

Let my try explaining this again a different way since you are not understanding the price/performance increase argument. Nobody here disputes boot and load times are faster with SSD...but that is the ONLY benefit over a standard HDD, despite all the voodoo claims that are being made by some people. I have my own 80/2 rule....I don't want to spend 80x more for something that will benefit me less than 2% of the time I'm on my computer. In fact, if you add up all my boot and load times per 24 hours of usage on my main computer, they would come to less than 5 minutes total....and that is probably a gross exaggeration, since it is going to come to MUCH less most of the time (since once I have a program open it tends to stay open, and I don't reboot more than once every few days). I see the benefit from my cpu, memory, ect. no matter what I'm doing in my games and apps because it makes them all run faster the entire time they are open. Storage is important and allows me not to worry about having enough space for whatever I want to add to my HDD, including 500gb worth of music and another 500gb of video. So, if you have a specialized need where you spend all day opening programs and files like design and editing professionals do, then the % of time you are seeing the benefit increases greatly enough SSDs become worth it....otherwise spending that much for something that will cut my load times from a few seconds to one second is simply not worth it for me, and for most people.
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November 11, 2009 4:53:52 PM

Its absolutely inevitable around here. People are defensive of their choices, they are in control and what they have chosen is the BEST value. But its only for them. I think ssd's are without a doubt the best single upgrade you can make. People that tell of raid 0 arrays and black edition HD are helping make the case. When do we decide that we need or don't need an extra 10% mhz in our processor choice for 30% more cost? Why do we all have at least 4 gig of system memory now? Even the average user might have two web browsers with 20 tabs going. A photoshop app, 3 sidebar apps. Word processing document open. A movie playing on one of two monitors. This is when your operating system is using your extra cores, extra ram and faster disk access, shifting in between these. Your o/s does a juggling act with your resources and disk access happens all the time. As mentioned above, on older computers you noticed this opening the control panel and sub menus of THAT. That is still taking place now, but less noticed.
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November 11, 2009 11:02:31 PM

belial2k said:
I have my own 80/2 rule....I don't want to spend 80x more for something that will benefit me less than 2% of the time I'm on my computer.
Perfectly reasonable. I notice that you didn't mention $/GB once in your justifications - good for you!
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November 12, 2009 12:07:53 PM

raybob95 said:
5 Months ago, I built my own PC, and included the two Hard Drives you see below. The PC is super fast, don't get me wrong, but now that I'm digging more space (746GB used on the WD) I think about how maybe getting that OCZ Vertex was such a wise move. Here's the graph, tell me what you think.

I mean, the SSD has at best 2x better performance, but the cost per Gig is around 41x as much.

http://i361.photobucket.com/albums/oo57/RayBob328/HDDCompare.jpg



This question is turning into a debate between all the responders.

Suggestion: Find someone in your area that has an SSD installed and ask them if they are happy with, regret making the purchase or would they be happier going back to an HDD!!! :o 
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November 12, 2009 12:22:33 PM

How do you cope with the fact that that person doesn't have enough reference to really tell if one solution is faster than the other?

Also, there's the placebo effect - people want to believe a solution is faster and believe in it. That's why doctors who proscribe placebo medicine ("fake pills") still get patients who tell them how their wonderful medicine worked to relieve their pain/suffering etc.

Any comparison either technical/objective or subjective is going to have advantages and disadvantages. The best approach would be a combination of both i think.
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November 12, 2009 7:25:21 PM

any thoughts on using ssd's w/ an ssd raid controller vs using software raid? My main interest is in running raid0...

what about a system with ssd's & an ssd raid controller (at raid0) and 1 backup hdd... i.e. one logical ssd drive running everything --OS, apps, games, file storage, etc.?

comments appreciated!

thanks!
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!