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SDD questions

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February 2, 2010 1:28:27 AM

i'm lazy, and I don't want to look through bunches of articles for answers to three questions so...

1. How long do SDD's last until parts of it start breaking down? Does it wear faster, or slower than HDD's?

2. What is your viewpoint on using a small SDD (i'm saying 60 GBish) as a boot drive, and for storing things you want to load quickly? I'm talking about Windows 7, games such as TF2, and adobe artsy stuff (photoshop, etc.). The tom's hardware article said that don't bother if you're only going to get a small SDD, cause you need 20% of free space for maximum performance and the space will fill up fast.

3. Stupid question, but just making sure, I can use a SDD and a HDD simultaneously on the same computer right?

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February 2, 2010 4:13:43 PM

I just installed a 128GB super talent drive on my W7 machine and u can use a SSD and HDD together. From what I have read the SSD's have a 1-1.5 Million MTBF.

If you are only going to get a 64GB drive, I wouldn't install anything other than the OS on the SSD.

Hope this helps.
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a c 415 G Storage
February 2, 2010 5:36:30 PM

SSD drives are limited by the number of write cycles they can sustain. Intel claims their drives will last for "at least" 5 years if you write 20GB/day to them. There really isn't anything else that's likely to go wrong with them, and 5 years is probably close to the "half life" of mechanical drives - so I'm thinking that in practical terms there's not much to distinguish in terms of overall reliability.

But I do suspect that more hard drives fail early than SSDs - if you buy an SSD and it works out of the box then it's probably a lot less likely to fail until it reaches end-of-life.

60GB would work for the OS and for a few small applications, but with the programs you listed I suspect you'd be on the edge.

And yes, you can definitely use SDDs and HDDs in the same system.
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a c 127 G Storage
February 2, 2010 5:44:38 PM

1) If you pick an SSD with a good controller (Intel) - they will feature advanced wear leveling. Also the Intel controller has a very low "Write Amplficiation" rate (~1.1) - while cheaper SSDs can go as high as 40. That means the SSD has to physically write 40 times the amount that was actually written by the filesystem. This has all to do with the fact that to modify a few bytes, a whole flash block has to be read, erased and reprogrammed - which takes alot of write cycles just to change a few bytes here and there.

So it depends - cheap SSDs like USB pendrives are very vulnerable here - they may not survive more than a year of system-disk usage even with modest wear leveling. But advanced controllers like Intel should wear very slowly even if you write alot to it - meaning it can last 10 years or maybe more. Even better - SSDs often have a predictable failure date - when it ran out of flash write cycles - while HDDs can fail at random. So i would say modern SSDs are extremely reliable, as long as you don't mistreat it. It can still burn out if your power supply gives way, of course.

2) This is actually prefered. The Kingston 40GB V-series has the Intel-controller with 4-channels instead of 8, but its still good and affordable. Or maybe the real thing: Intel X25-M G2 80GB - this is the best SSD you can buy now. Store all your OS+Apps+Games on here for performance increase. Then use HDDs for large data storage (Movies, Archives, large files basically). HDDs will read/write sequentially which will be very fast. So this is a good 'hybrid' storage setup.

3) Yes of course - SSDs are just SATA devices like HDDs.

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February 2, 2010 11:40:27 PM

sub mesa said:
1) If you pick an SSD with a good controller (Intel) - they will feature advanced wear leveling. Also the Intel controller has a very low "Write Amplficiation" rate (~1.1) - while cheaper SSDs can go as high as 40. That means the SSD has to physically write 40 times the amount that was actually written by the filesystem. This has all to do with the fact that to modify a few bytes, a whole flash block has to be read, erased and reprogrammed - which takes alot of write cycles just to change a few bytes here and there.

So it depends - cheap SSDs like USB pendrives are very vulnerable here - they may not survive more than a year of system-disk usage even with modest wear leveling. But advanced controllers like Intel should wear very slowly even if you write alot to it - meaning it can last 10 years or maybe more. Even better - SSDs often have a predictable failure date - when it ran out of flash write cycles - while HDDs can fail at random. So i would say modern SSDs are extremely reliable, as long as you don't mistreat it. It can still burn out if your power supply gives way, of course.

2) This is actually prefered. The Kingston 40GB V-series has the Intel-controller with 4-channels instead of 8, but its still good and affordable. Or maybe the real thing: Intel X25-M G2 80GB - this is the best SSD you can buy now. Store all your OS+Apps+Games on here for performance increase. Then use HDDs for large data storage (Movies, Archives, large files basically). HDDs will read/write sequentially which will be very fast. So this is a good 'hybrid' storage setup.

3) Yes of course - SSDs are just SATA devices like HDDs.



I got an AMD Quad 3.2GHz Deneb, will this work SSD's well?

So if I get a 60GB SSD, how much of it do you recommend me to use? Toms hardware says to leave 20% empty for maximum performance, so that leaves me with 48 to use comfortably. Adding windows 7, i get to use 34 gb. Is this enough for a game folder? In this case, would you recommend me getting a smaller, like 30GB for just the OS and maybe some really quick stuff?

THanks

Edit: I forgot, I've heard that normally, the bigger the SSD holds, the more likely that its of higher quality and speed. Is this true?
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a c 415 G Storage
February 3, 2010 1:58:18 AM

Leaving 20% free is probably a reasonable figure for a small drive.

I'm assuming you'd move the pagefile to a different drive - but don't forget that Windows will use up to your RAM size for a hibernation file if you enable "sleep" mode, and that 15% of your disk is reserved for restore points by default. You can adjust the size used for restore points, but the hibernation file can't be moved - the only option you have to get rid of it is to disable "sleep" mode, which you may not want to do.

Depending on the make, larger SSDs may be somewhat faster. The Intel 160GB drive is a bit faster than the 80GB, for example.
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a c 127 G Storage
February 3, 2010 9:01:06 AM

Please note that 60GB SSDs means its not powered by an Intel-chipset.

The only SSDs with Intel controller at this moment are:
Kingston 40GB V-Series (not the V+ series)
Intel X25-M 80GB/160GB G2

The second is the real thing - it has TRIM, excellent speeds for a system and should last at least a decade. Normally yes the bigger the SSD the faster it can be - but it doesn't scale as nice as possible. For example, both the 80GB and 160GB Intel SSDs have 8 parallel flash channels; while the Kingston 40GB has only 4.

Theoretically, a 160GB SSD could be twice as fast as a 80GB. But in reality, the controller powering the SSD is virtually all that matters regarding performance; as long as you good controller (Intel/Sandforce); the performance is good.
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February 3, 2010 3:17:30 PM

I bought 220/200 256GB Corsair SSD and ghosted (started ghosting) my old drive onto it to avoid the hassle of reinstall....

It died after 10minutes. The drive disappeared from the bios and everywhere else. I had to return it. I am not sure if SSD's are not compatible with ghost (14) or if the drive was just bad but I had to wait almost two weeks to RMA it back and get another one.

Fearing it was ghost I installed everything manually on new one which was a pain in my ass but it is big enough to use for boot and all my file installs and a couple of new games (on an Alienware m15x laptop w/8GB RAM, 9800mGTX)


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February 9, 2010 11:42:12 PM

Best answer selected by Tangerine.
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