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Choices for 2 x SSD system

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December 4, 2010 1:27:57 PM

My new system will be ordered on Jan. 10 come heck or highwater. I've been gabbing on and on about it in the CPU forum so no need to rehash everything here. My question on SSDs is this:

I've settled on a 2 x SSD system. I'm on a budget but not pinching pennies so I've allocated around $250 for SSDs total. I can stretch that a bit if necessary.

SSD1: OCZ Vertex 2 60 GB as boot drive.

SSD2: ??? as data drive.

Right now my current Win 7 system's 150GB Velociraptor boot drive has 45.7 GB on it.

Right now my 1TB data RAID has 36.8 GB on it.

I also have an external HD for archive and backup.

Here are my concerns:

SSD1 Boot Drive: Windows keeps slapping up System Restore points which make the boot drive burgeon and which I keep deleting weekly. Although I'm not anticipating using up the 14 extra GB in additional software installations, I am concerned that the System Restore points will get away from me and I'll max out the 60 GB. I have had the Disk Space Usage allocated at 10% 13.97 GB and have had several occasions where I've erased well over 30 GB of Restore points, so that function is pretty useless. I'm not going to turn off System Restore as it's saved my a$$ on several occasions.

SSD2 Data Drive: Given my accessible data requirements the OCZ Vertex 2 60 GB could work fine too. The problem is that I'm concerned about writes. I use the heck out of my data drive daily. There are days when I might write and erase a total of 50 GB to it. Everything I've read about TRIM, writes, and garbage collection on the current set of available SSDs is not encouraging. New types are coming out all the time, but I need to pull the trigger on Jan. 10 and can't wait another day.

Any suggestions would be welcomed! Thanks!

More about : choices ssd system

a c 748 G Storage
December 5, 2010 1:45:20 AM

I'd still keep the 1TB raid even if you got the 2nd SSD. Of course I would raid 0 the 2nd SSD to the first one being me. but then you still have the problem of no toolkit ofr the OCZ's to maintain peak drive performance. so you need to have a different boot option so you can secure erase the boot ssd and reimage it...

I almost bought one of these myself but the extra work involved isn't worth the extra hassle in my opinion.
December 5, 2010 1:57:03 AM

My system is gone in its entirety on Jan. 10 so I have to buy all new. If the OCZ doesn't have a toolkit to maintain the high level of performance I need, which SSD is more suitable? I'd like to avoid having a platter HD in there at all if at all possible.
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December 5, 2010 11:10:20 AM

halfcalf said:
I'd like to avoid having a platter HD in there at all if at all possible.


Why?
December 5, 2010 12:24:57 PM

I'm trying to build a rig with no moving parts! :)  Yeah, seriously! 100% fanless, etc. When I hit the switch I want to hear nothing!
a c 748 G Storage
December 5, 2010 9:19:18 PM

Since no SSD's support trim in raid what you end up doing is booting off another drive, secure erasing your SSD (basically it writes 0's to the entire drive), and then re-imaging it to get peak performance back. Once I found this out I did not research further.

And with the amount of data your say you go thru, you will be hitting these SSD's hard and as far as I know there is no utility that reads the SMART correctly for you to monitor the condition of these yet. I beleive this affects all the sandforce 1200/1500 controllers. Also the Vertex 2's have built in drive encryption but as of yet there is no way to password protect it, boot it and you have access...; if you were interested in that aspect that is.
December 5, 2010 10:43:07 PM

Sorry, ya lost me there. 60GB boot drive, 90GB data drive, so I sure as heck don't want to secure erase the data drive. How fast do you think I am going to lose performance on these SSDs with my "extreme" use?
a b G Storage
December 6, 2010 1:42:34 AM

halfcalf said:
I'm trying to build a rig with no moving parts! :)  Yeah, seriously! 100% fanless, etc. When I hit the switch I want to hear nothing!


Right behind you moooo man
December 6, 2010 1:51:18 AM

Well, as long as you're not a horny bull, that's fine by me! :) 

So what do you think. Stick with platter HD for data or go SSD? :( 
a b G Storage
December 6, 2010 1:52:32 AM

A 120GB "C" drive is the right approach . . . it gives you the size you actually need as you have discovered. Having 2xSSDs in RAID 0 isn't worth the hassle. The Vertex 2 is a good choice for this 120GB "C" drive.

As for replacing the rest of your storage requirement with SSDs . . . that's a matter between yourself and your budget lol.
a b G Storage
December 6, 2010 2:23:39 AM

^+1 SSD
December 6, 2010 3:21:20 AM

OK, except I am not going to use RAID of any number in the SSD.

C drive 60 GB SSD
D drive DVD
E drive 90 (or so) GB SSD

Although I have a platter HD 1TB RAID now that works flawlessly, I'm not even going to think about that for the SSD. Straight up drives will be fine! :) 
a b G Storage
December 6, 2010 3:38:57 AM

I'd still recommend a *single* 120GB or larger SSD drive vs the configuration you plan. It will be cheaper per GB, and *far* easier to manage.
December 6, 2010 3:54:13 AM

I do a lot of Photoshop work and you really have to have a separate scratch drive. The performance takes a huge hit on one HD.
a b G Storage
December 6, 2010 4:15:40 AM

Not on an SSD.
December 6, 2010 11:40:38 AM

Thanks for the info... but...

http://help.adobe.com/en_US/photoshop/cs/using/WSfd1234...

>>>

The following guidelines can help you assign scratch disks:

For best performance, scratch disks should be on a different drive than any large files you are editing.
Scratch disks should be on a different drive than the one your operating system uses for virtual memory.

>>>

It doesn't say anything about SSDs, though. I'm going to post a question on the Adobe forum about it. I max out my 12 GB on a regular basis in Photoshop, so I can't take any performance hits. I'll post here when I get a reply from Adobe.
a b G Storage
December 6, 2010 4:22:28 PM

The reason SSDs are faster . . . they do not have to move an arm to reach a different data set.

The reason you use separate HDs for "scratch" disks is to avoid making the poor little arm go back and forth and back and forth and back . . .

Repeat: SSDs have no moving parts. The stuff you are reading does not apply to SSDs.

I applaud you for checking with Adobe, though. While you are there, ask them about free space needed on whatever disk you are using. You may be substantially underestimating the amount of total free disk space you need for Adobe to run well. THAT may cause a serious bottleneck.
December 6, 2010 4:45:42 PM

I just posted this on Adobe's Photoshop Forum on an existing SSD thread.

>>>

Hi, I've read all this, but am still not 100% certain I've got it all right. So please bear with me.

I'm buying an entirely new system in January.

I want to have a 60GB boot SSD and a 90 GB data SSD. I also have a large external conventional platter HD for backup and archive.

I currently have in my present system 12GB RAM and I'm maxing it out on Photoshop almost every time I use it. I open and manipulate huge files.

Here are my questions:

a) How much free space is used in either the boot or data SSD in order to not run up against any Photoshop barriers?

b) Do I need to set up a scratch disk at all, and should it be on a separate SSD as it is recommended for conventional HDs?

c) I'm going to be running 16GB of RAM on my next system (it's all it will take... or I'd put in more). Is that going to be sufficient or should I change my system configuration to one that allows 24GB RAM?

d) Strictly from a Photoshop performance standpoint, should I just go with one single larger SSD and plunk everything on it, boot and data?

Thanks in advance for your help!

>>>
December 6, 2010 9:20:46 PM

I'm getting several replies over on the Adobe Forum. I'll summarize everything here as soon as I get all the input! :) 
December 7, 2010 3:49:13 PM

How about RAID 0 on two SSD's for best performance and more space ???

Then use your old drives for storage?
!