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SDD + SATA combination. Bottleneck?

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September 21, 2010 12:08:25 PM

I am thinking of installing Windows 7 64-bit and then Microsoft Flight Simulator onto a 80GB Intel X25-M SSD.

I see from Process Monitor that during a flight, FS9.exe (the game's executable file) is accessed hundreds of times a second - but given that for cost reasons I would need to have all my 3rd. party FlightSim data (100s of GBs) on a conventional SATA drive, is there likely to be such a serious bottleneck as fsx.exe on the SSD reads scenery data from a separate SATA drive (Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB SATA-II 32MB Cache) that it would invalidate the whole idea of having SS drives at all?

May be that you have to know Microsoft Flight Simulator to answer this (perhaps some reading this do!), but comments appreciated. Thank you.

Martin
September 21, 2010 3:21:58 PM

Exacly. No RAID
September 21, 2010 3:25:36 PM

martinlest said:
I am thinking of installing Windows 7 64-bit and then Microsoft Flight Simulator onto a 80GB Intel X25-M SSD.

I see from Process Monitor that during a flight, FS9.exe (the game's executable file) is accessed hundreds of times a second - but given that for cost reasons I would need to have all my 3rd. party FlightSim data (100s of GBs) on a conventional SATA drive, is there likely to be such a serious bottleneck as fsx.exe on the SSD reads scenery data from a separate SATA drive (Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB SATA-II 32MB Cache) that it would invalidate the whole idea of having SS drives at all?

May be that you have to know Microsoft Flight Simulator to answer this (perhaps some reading this do!), but comments appreciated. Thank you.

Martin


fsx.exe may be on a sperate disk, but when it is read and executed, it is executed by the CPU. The CPU will then make a call to access whatever data from another disk, using a seperate pipe.

Is there a reason you're installing Flight Simulator on the SSD? Is this the main purpose of the drive?
I'd imagine if it is being called that frequently it would be held in RAM.
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September 21, 2010 3:36:46 PM

I am giving up the idea of putting FS on an SSD - there isn't enough space, unless I go way over my budget. I think 80GBs is about my limit. Maybe get a smaller 40GB SF-1200 SSD for Windows 7? Not sure any longer - my heads spinning now after 2 days of thinking about this! :-)

Martin
September 21, 2010 4:37:14 PM

OK, ignore what I just posted! Yes, the main idea of getting an SSD is to install Flight Simulator. Unlike many other 'games' (for want of a better word!), data is constantly read when flying FS, as I think I said earlier.

My thought snow are along these lines: a Corsair Force (SF1200, no?) SSD, 60GBs for the boot drive (Win7 x64) and another SSD, the same, buy 120GBs for Flight Simulator. 240GBs would be ideal, but brings the price way up!

I'd also have 2 x Seagate Barracuda 7200.12s - that's what overclockers offer as standard and they get good reviews from what I see online. I can put the very large folders of terrain data etc., that come as 3rd. party addons, onto one of those SATA drives - FS allows you to move those 3rd. party folders out of the main Flightsim folder.

How does that sound? Thanks again for the input, I appreciate it,

Martin
September 22, 2010 8:45:22 AM

well, first of all, lets look at why you're planning this (if that's ok), and see if there's a better solution? are you having trouble running FS at the moment?

an option may be to install your 2 barracudas in raid 0, one per sata channel. This could see a significant increase. Another option is RAM.

Installing the whole thing on SSDs may well make the data access faster, but if that's not the problem, that's a lot of money wasted.
September 22, 2010 11:46:59 AM

OK - it's ordered. Hard drive wise I have gone for:

1 x Corsair Force 60GB F60 SSD for Windows 7 x64
1 x Corsair 120GB Force SSD for FlightSim
2 x Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB

Hope this will be OK!

Thanks for the suggestions,

Martin
September 22, 2010 11:54:28 AM

whaa... how much did that lot cost!?

Well, I hope it works.
September 22, 2010 12:13:34 PM

Quote:
How did you come to this conclusion on what you needed.?


That's what I was wondering.
September 22, 2010 1:25:15 PM

As for cost, the F3s were about £45 each, the 60GB SSD about £75 and the 120GB SSD £195 (all UK sterling). With an i7 CPU that is clocked at 4.00GHz and an nVidia GTX GPU wuth 2GBs memory I think this should run pretty much OK..Got 6GBs of RAM, more than enough for Flightsim & the O/S...

Martin
September 22, 2010 2:17:03 PM

Well, whatever you're running, that setup sounds blisteringly fast. I can't imagine that Flight Simulator will have any problem running on that.
September 22, 2010 2:30:56 PM

Fingers crossed ...
!