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SSD or HDD

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February 8, 2010 4:14:35 PM

I'm looking at getting a Sager desktop replacement laptop. Should I get a SSD (which is Intel's newest 160GB solid state drive) or HDD. I understand the price difference and speed difference, but is it wise since the computer will be doing a lot of read/write operations. Will be used for 3D applications, animation, rendering, you name it when it comes to intensive computing. I heard about some issues with freezing and corrupting on the SSDs. Should I stick with HDD?

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a c 415 G Storage
February 8, 2010 5:45:24 PM

Some of the older non-Intel SSDs had some issues where they could freeze for up to a few seconds while writing. The Intel SSDs have never had that problem, and I believe that the newer non-Intel drives have solved it.

I wouldn't be concerned about the amount of writing you expect to do - Intel claims their SSDs will last for "at least" 5 years even if you write 20GB to them every day.

Be sure to get a drive that supports TRIM and use Windows 7 - that helps to keep the drive performing at it's best over time. For the Intel drives this means one with "G2" in the model number, although older stock may require a firmware update.

You may be interested in this YouTube video I posted comparing the times needed to boot Windows 7 and start Firefox on a WD Green HDD vs. a 160GB Intel drive.

An SSD is a great fit for a laptop not just because it's fast, but also because it's almost invulnerable to shock and uses less power from your battery.
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a c 127 G Storage
February 8, 2010 9:28:39 PM

The freezing problem was from the JMicron JMF-602 flash controller; which had very high write latencies causing 'lock ups' because of the lack of proper threading in Windows. As far as i know, no other controllers other than the 'hated' JMicron controller have this problem. So any SSD with SandForce, Samsung, Indilinx or Intel controller should be fine. The Intel controller still leads I/O performance for system disks as they remain the highest IOps-capable SSD in the desktop segment.

Like sminlal suggests, the Intel X25-M G2 80/160GB is the best buy right now, as it supports trim and features the fastest/most advanced controller right now.

Generally, you should use the SSD as system drive (C:)  and a larger HDD for mass-storage/backups.
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February 8, 2010 9:42:10 PM

I highly recommend the SSD. sminlal pointed out the shock resistance which is probably one of the most critical things for a laptop unless you plan on being extremely diligant in backing up. Unfortuntately portability leads to greater failure rates due to various user errors ranging from simply the day to day jostle to dropping to liquid spills. Given the stated lifespan on SSD's they are likely to outlast the useful life of the laptop (if not the actual life), the performance will be higher, and if it is in your budget and you can live with the capacity then you shouldn't think twice.

That being said, your work sounds more CPU,RAM, and Video Card intensive than hard drive intensive, make sure to get a good CPU, an ssd really isn't going to speed render times, nor screen redraw rates.
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February 9, 2010 12:11:36 AM

jlspartz said:
I'm looking at getting a Sager desktop replacement laptop. Should I get a SSD (which is Intel's newest 160GB solid state drive) or HDD. I understand the price difference and speed difference, but is it wise since the computer will be doing a lot of read/write operations. Will be used for 3D applications, animation, rendering, you name it when it comes to intensive computing. I heard about some issues with freezing and corrupting on the SSDs. Should I stick with HDD?


What system do you have or what are the specs of the one you are getting. In my opinion I would first see if that certain system deserves an SSD or if its just a plain system. I see yours is a laptop. Pls specify the exact specs because it might not make much of a difference as you can just load your files and OS a little bit faster. You cannot even have a second drive for storage and this will severely limit your storage options. External storages are always an option but sometimes a hassel. You can find some 10,000rmp 2.5 drives or even 7,200rmp 2.5 hdds if you want slightly better preformance from a 5,400rpm hdd. Are you even considering a desktop?

In my case, I currently have an:

e7500 c2d
Sapphire 5850
DG35ec
4 gigs of ddr2 RAM
550W Coolmaster RPower 80Plus
500Gig HDD Master
320HDD Slave
Gigabyte Gpowerlite CPU cooler
Gigabyte I-Solo 210 Case

I dont think this current system deserves an SSD even though it is still pretty decent considering Ive had some of these parts since 2007 and have upgraded it several times to make it finally look like this. My next build however will be an SSD so it really depends if you want a high end system on the get go or if you are simply upgrading. Also depends on what kind of apps or games you will be using your system for. I see you will be rendering and using it for 3d apps, I would suggest you get a Nvidia quadro GPU and your chip should be an i7920 at the very least with an X58. The SSd you should be getting should be AT LEAST the 160GB from Intel as they have released a SSD great in the X25 E. Its good to know you wont use a MAC as PC parts are easier and better to build/upgrade. What programs will you use? 3dsmax? Magix3d?

Its possible to get an SSD for your primary drive and a 1TB HDD for a backup.

SSDs are still overpriced due to slow demand but the industry and consumers are picking up on the tech. In my case I am still waiting for prices to fall just a bit, then im building a new system and will use this current system for apps, docs, music, web browsing, downloading and multimedia while my next build will be build solely for MONSTER gaming and Videos.
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