SSD vs Norm SATA HDD

I am quite murky on the subject of the speeds of a regular magnetic disk HDD, and the new SSD's.

There are articles glorifying the speed of the SSDs. But when I look on new egg, I see things like 50Mb/s read.

w.t.f....?

Am I reading that wrong? Is that a different measurement, not megabytes?

Sata supports 3gb/s or 6gb/s, so does that mean there are hard drives that feed you information that quick?

I am very confused in all of this, and I would be glad if anyone could give me any advice on the subject. Thanks!
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  1. There are two ways to measure hard drive speeds: transfer rate and access time.

    The big, big, big advantage of SSDs is that they have access times that are about 100X faster than a hard drive.

    If all you're looking for is higher transfer rates, SSDs aren't as good a deal.
  2. sminlal said:
    There are two ways to measure hard drive speeds: transfer rate and access time.

    The big, big, big advantage of SSDs is that they have access times that are about 100X faster than a hard drive.

    If all you're looking for is higher transfer rates, SSDs aren't as good a deal.



    Thanks!

    So what is all this stuff about increasing your PC's speed by putting Windows on an SSD and leave the rest on the regular HDD?
  3. SSDs have very fast random I/O performance and access times. This is especially important for things like booting, launching applications, swapping, application data and most server I/O purposes.

    For large files, however, HDDs are just as good. They can transfer large files very quickly and the SSD is only marginally faster than the HDD. Since that doesn't justify the much bigger cost, storing large files is preferable on HDDs instead.

    But, when doing heavy random I/O, the HDDs performance totally crashes to sub-zero temperatures; lower than 0.02MB/s is possible with the latest 7200rpm/10.000rpm disks; though that's an extreme scenario. Yet here is where the SSD shines; it can do up to 200MB/s of random I/O (given enough queued I/Os). That's especially important for your system drive, but not really relevant when storing large files.

    So use an SSD to store only your Operating System(s) and installed Applications/Games. Keep all your personal documents and data like movies, pictures, music, etc. on harddrives instead, preferably 5400rpm ones as these are still very good at sequential I/O - which is what you use when dealing with big files, and 1MB is already big.
  4. To expound a bit on what sub mesa said, access time is the time needed to FIND a file, transfer rate is the time needed to READ it AFTER it's been found.

    The reason that SSDs are great to put the OS and applications on is that starting Windows or firing up applications requires reading a LOT of files. When you read a LOT of files, especially if they're not particularly large, access time is by far the most important because you have FIND every one of those files before you can read it.
  5. Quote:
    sminlal said:
    To expound a bit on what sub mesa said, access time is the time needed to FIND a file, transfer rate is the time needed to READ it AFTER it's been found.

    The reason that SSDs are great to put the OS and applications on is that starting Windows or firing up applications requires reading a LOT of files. When you read a LOT of files, especially if they're not particularly large, access time is by far the most important because you have FIND every one of those files before you can read it.


    A question for sminlal and/or sub mesa: does the entire operating system (in my case, Win 7 Pro-64 bit) need to go on the SSD, or can System Restore and similar, lesser used stuff go to the HDD? I purchased a 64 GB SSD and want to optimize it for the OS and applications I use the most.
  6. My vote is for storing System Restore points, Outlook Personal Folders (.pst) and other large data files on an HDD, not on the SSD.
  7. Yes, I see the logic in doing this but don't know how to go about directing restore points to a HDD that doesn't contain the OS, or if it's even advisable. Any thoughts?
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