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SSD Q & A

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November 19, 2010 2:00:33 PM

Hello Tom's Hardware,

I will be coming up to another build this winter,( when I get a dang job), and I would like to start to enter the Solid State Project. Basically, I would like to know what SSD you use, the specs, and the initial cost and tell me why it is great. I would also like to know what SSD you would reccomend.

Thanks,

Dogman_1234

More about : ssd

a b G Storage
November 19, 2010 10:42:53 PM

  • 30GB OCZ Vertex
  • I'm too lazy to post the specs so here's a link :) 
  • $0. I won it in a competition, but at the time (September 2009) it would have been approximately $320 AUD.
  • It's great because it makes Windows usable. I normally get tired of waiting for the sluggishness of Windows, but I don't have that problem now. I can't stand using a system running Windows on a HDD any more, it's thoroughly frustrating (yes, that includes Windows 7).
  • The OCZ Vertex 2 series is faster, more durable (both in life span and in maintaining performance thanks to Sandforce) and cheaper than the original Vertex series so it's pretty sweet. Crucial's C300 is pretty good too, especially if you want high sequential rates. It is very poor at maintaining performance if you don't have TRIM working on it regularly though, so make sure you've always got data being deleted as the drive begins to fill up. It's idle-time garbage collection is quite pathetic so that won't save you.

    Note that there are newer drives coming out in the not-too-distant future, so they are probably worth waiting for.
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    November 19, 2010 10:52:39 PM

    60GB OCZ vertex
    285 MB/s read 275 MB/s write
    bought for $150 recently on Amazon for new build
    an ssd makes your system boot so much faster and makes vital applications boot in split seconds.
    if your looking for more storage get two in a raid array. The speed of that would be too good :) 

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    a b G Storage
    November 20, 2010 2:49:49 AM

    I have a couple of little kingston ssd now 30 gb drives and a corsair f80.

    If you're waiting for the bank account to grow a little I would also wait for two things. 25nm ssds and intel's sandybridge. See what shakes in the new year and make an informed decision at the time. Sure, today's research is valuable and keep up with things so you are 'in the know' when the time comes but honestly, you need to purge what you thought you knew every once in a while and take a step back. I generally like intel products but I'm careful not to get married to it.

    As of today I would probably build an intel 950 with a 6870 (or sli 460s) vid card and a 120 (or so) gb ssd with sandforce 1200 or 1500 controller. Other than that...
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    a c 353 G Storage
    November 20, 2010 3:46:01 AM

    Laptop 1 - 128 Gig WD (work) swap with 80 Gig intel G1 (work/General purpose)
    Laptop 2 - 128 Gig Patriot Torqx Personal For travel
    Desktop - 120 Gig Phoenix pro (win 7 64 Bit) replaced 80 Gig Intel G2 (still has win 7 on it, plan on reformating and use for most often used files)

    Desktop also has a 3 gig ramdisk
    For sh%# and grins comparision, Phoenix Pro to RamDisk (Blue)

    Seq reads ..... 202 MB/s ......... 4714 MB/s
    Seq writes .... 134 MB/s ......... 4967 MB/s
    4 K Reads ..... 23 MB/s ......... 440 MB/s
    4 K writes ..... 80 MB/s ......... 856 MB/s
    Rating ........... 473 ................ 4614
    Just Did the Ramdrive last night, Need to figure out best use.
    Really only did it for the He%# of it. Nead to pay the 10 Buck, replace ram with 4 gig modules and increase ramdrive to say 10 gigs for video
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    November 20, 2010 3:57:08 AM

    Question:

    What architecture do you guys recommend?

    MLC or SLC?

    ...or does it really matter?
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    a c 353 G Storage
    November 20, 2010 4:09:50 AM

    If you don't mind lighting your Cuban Cigar with a $100 bill then go for the SLC,
    Otherwise join us ordinary folks and go with the MLC.

    Paid $300 for three 8 gig SLC PATA SSDs for work.
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    a b G Storage
    November 20, 2010 5:01:02 AM

    dogman_1234 said:
    Question:

    What architecture do you guys recommend?

    MLC or SLC?

    ...or does it really matter?

    You'll find it hard to find SLC drives anyway. Many enterprise drives are going MLC as well just because it's so much more cost-effective.
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    November 21, 2010 3:58:18 PM

    Hey, I just installed the Crucial SSDReal 64GB SSD drive yesterday after trying and returning the low-end OCZ and mid-end Intel X25 SSD and it is really fast. Win7 x64 boot times on a fresh install is approximately 16 secs and the 350MB/s read speed is definitely a sigifnicant advantage. The Win7 x64 boot times of the other 2 SSD drives were approximately 30-45 secs.

    The Crucial SSDReal 128 and 256GB SSD drives have significantly faster write times, too, for more benjamins, but I felt the 64GB's slower write times and lower price (~$130 w/ shipping) was a fair trade off.

    After doing an install with Win7 x64 updates, I still have approx 24GB left, which is plenty for any games or frequently used programs. I started with a 30GB OCZ SSD drive, but had a hard time putting everything on there that I wanted.
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    November 21, 2010 6:31:25 PM

    64 GB is a little too small for me in capacity. I need at least 60 GB's loadable with another 24 for head room of other software I may get down the road.
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    a c 127 G Storage
    November 21, 2010 6:55:04 PM

    Assuming you Windows is 15GB, do you really have more than 35GB of applications? If you're a gamer then i can understand, but normally apps are 0.2GB so that would be hundreds of apps installed.

    Even just storing your OS gets you most of the benefits. The HDDs you still use in your system won't be overburdened with system I/O requests; the HDDs can focus entirely on dedicated application/user I/O, which increases the speed of the HDD as well.

    Anyone considering to buy an SSD; i would wait. Prices will fall by 25% and better SSDs which write safely (first safe SSD generation) using a supercapacitor instead of unprotected DRAM.

    Still very interested in early 2011 offerings and their prices; but 2011 will be the breakthrough year for SSDs.
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    November 21, 2010 8:11:32 PM

    I am a gamer.

    Also, to add to your protected SSD comment, I believe the next-gen SSD's would become faster to read and write over times and have a better rewrite-corrosion resistance.( meaning one can rewrite as many times without degrading the transistors so fast.)
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    a b G Storage
    November 22, 2010 3:11:37 AM

    That would be nice, because so far write endurance has only gone down, not up. The transition to 34nm NAND heavily reduced the number of program/erase cycles that could be done on a block before it had to be retired. Fortunately they improved things in other areas to compensate, but an improvement to raw write endurance per block would be great.
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    November 22, 2010 3:20:35 AM

    ^

    Like I said, I believe...therefore...I am.
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    a c 127 G Storage
    November 23, 2010 10:09:25 AM

    randomizer said:
    That would be nice, because so far write endurance has only gone down, not up. The transition to 34nm NAND heavily reduced the number of program/erase cycles that could be done on a block before it had to be retired.

    While erase cycles per cell are decreasing, the total write endurance is increasing instead. Total write endurance could be stated as "up to 4PB of random writes".

    With the cells themselves having a lower maximum erase cycles before it loses its write ability, we indeed have to look elsewhere to increase or maintain the total write endurance. This can be done by:
    - lower write amplification by more spare space or improvements to firmware
    - simply add more flash cells (twice the cells = twice the write endurance)
    - 25nm eMLC with 30k+ write cycles per cell

    The second option, adding more cells, is the most attractive. Each time we go to smaller production process (34nm->25nm) we will have smaller cells, but very likely also MORE cells. Twice the cells means twice the write endurance. So simply having bigger SSDs means it has higher write endurance.

    The Intel G3 can write much more than the Intel G2, even though the G3 (25nm) has much less write cycles per cell than the G2 (34nm) they managed to get this problem under control. For all but the most write excessive environments, SSDs would be a suitable storage device now.
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