So I'm in the market for new storage hardware, and right now I'm trying to decide between an SSD or a VelociRaptor (if you couldn't tell by the thread title).
Obviously there are the basic pros and cons. The VelociRaptors are still cheaper per GB and are pretty fast, whereas the SSDs are more expensive but faster. The SSDs will probably wear out quicker but mechanical hard drives are starting to become obsolete (though it'll be a while yet before that actually happens). Plus there's the matter of SSDs wearing out faster than most mechanical storage drives.
Thing is, I already have an OCZ Vertex 32GB SSD that I'm booting my OS from, but my problem is that Windows 7 or the applications I'm running on it keep filling up the whole 32GB (I have less than 200MB free right now), and it'd be completely full if I didn't keep Junctioning things into my 1TB hard drive, which sorta defeats the purpose of having an SSD to boot things off of quickly.
So my questions are:
1) 64GB SSD or 150GB Velociraptor? (This will be my boot drive and I'll also be running some core applications from it, so it needs to be fast but also large enough to hold all my applications... The Windows core folders have a habit of growing substantially over time...)
2) Any suggestions for one or the other? (I've come to find that there is often a large difference between the advertised speeds of a drive and the actual ones... Anyone know any good drives from experience or hearsay? I'll buy anywhere, but preferably online.)
3) Is there anything else I should know before buying?
Hard drives are going to be with us for quite a while yet because they provide huge capacities at rock-bottom prices. But I have a feeling that "performance" hard drives like the Velociraptors may start becoming scarcer - they're really only useful for people who need good performance AND a lot of storage, which is a relatively smaller slice of the market.
SSDs are more expensive per GB, but instead of comparing them on that basis you should really compare their cost-per-performance. Since they have access times that are 50 to 100X faster than hard drives they are a real bargain in performance terms.
If performance is what you're after I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the SSD, but your budget is really the deciding factor. My personal preference would be to go for an 80GB or larger drive, partly to push away the possibility of filling up the drive and partly because SSDs wear out slower when you have more free space.
I'd stay away from the velocirapter too. Even though its a 10k drive, the only thing it can beat modern drives at is access time, but for read/write something like the spinpoint f3 or caviar black would beat it every time. Id do as sminlal recommended and get a ssd around 64-80 for your boot partition and programs you use a lot like internet, office, etc. then get another hdd to install games and large programs on. The benefit you get from installing games on a ssd is that they load in less time. Its not worth shaving a couple seconds off
n I have been considering getting an SSD for my main boot drive but I am concerned about the limited life of these drives relative to mechanical hard drives. I have been playing with the idea of using the SSD drive for simple static reads and pushing the higher IO parts of windows back to a fast mechanical hard drive like temp files, the page file and what not. The SSD drive would only have to do sequential and random reads fast extending its usable life and a cheaper SSD would work letting me buy a larger SSD drive for the creeping crud that would fill the drive. In this setup, I don't think I would install anything other than windows and utilities.
n Just a different approach for a fast boot and decent operational performing system but if you want the best performance, you would not worry about the cost of replacing your SSD.
There is no average yet, as it's pretty much theoretical at this point, but Intel promises something like 100GB/day for 5 years, which considering the average home user probably uses less than 10% of that (remember, it's writes only that count) should outlast the rest of your PCs components by a considerable margin.
In other words, unless you run a server or something like that on it, the expected life should easily be 10+ years, probably much more.
> Intel promises something like 100GB/day for 5 years...
That's for the "G1" (first generation drives), their claim for the "G2" drives was 20GB/day for 5 years. The G3 drives have improved on that.
> what is the expected life of an SSD?...on average
I have a Windows 7 system that I use for about 10 hours a day. The SSD has the OS, hibernation file (but I don't use Sleep mode all that often), all my applications, and my profile directory (which includes temp files, Internet cache files, etc.). All my documents, data and media files are stored on a separate hard drive. So far I've averaged a little less than 5GB of writing to the drive each day (most of which I suspect the Indexing service for). If Intel's claims are correct, that means my drive should last for 20 years.
For a typical user the drive will likely be long obsolete before it reaches it's write limit.
I have been considering getting an SSD for my main boot drive but I am concerned about the limited life of these drives relative to mechanical hard drives. I have been playing with the idea of using the SSD drive for simple static reads and pushing the higher IO parts of windows back to a fast mechanical hard drive like temp files, the page file and what not. The SSD drive would only have to do sequential and random reads fast extending its usable life and a cheaper SSD would work letting me buy a larger SSD drive for the creeping crud that would fill the drive. In this setup, I don't think I would install anything other than windows and utilities.
Just a different approach for a fast boot and decent operational performing system but if you want the best performance, you would not worry about the cost of replacing your SSD.
The thing is, I'm not really worried about the lifespan at the moment (though contrary to previous posts, SSDlife Free estimates that my drive's lifetime [based on current usage, which is 15.7GB over the past 7 days...wow, I need to keep track of these temp files..] is up to July 2, 2012. The problem I'm having right now is space. I've already used Junction.exe to move a bunch of folders (including those of Google Chrome, Microsoft Office, and Firefox) to my hard drive, but I'm tired of trying to hunt down large folders and temp folders and creating junction points for all of them. Which is why I want a new drive.
My plan is to use the new SSD for the OS and main applications and stuff, and then load games and other applications off my old SSD.