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Tell me about SSDs

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January 3, 2011 12:47:01 AM

Hi, I've always had a HDD(s). I know next to nothing about Solid-State-Disks (SSDs), can someone explain this technology to me and what I must do to setup one for XP Professional 32bit.

Thank you,
Nathan.

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January 3, 2011 2:09:35 AM

Without getting much into it...

They're much faster than HDDs due to their very low access times, read transfer rates are also alot faster but they sometimes lack some in the write rates, though the purpose of a SSD is as a OS drive, along with drivers and apps, this'll contribute alot to the overall snappiness of the system, everything will open almost instantly, infact the most common reason of a slow system is either a slow or fragmented HDD.

And if, for example a pair of fast HDDs in raid0 can get get well over 250mb/s, you do notice a huge difference in the benchmarks, but your system will still feel the same, because in the end speed is limited to the access times. A meh-ish low capacity SSD that only reach up to 150mb/s will still feel much quicker overall than those two HDDs combined.

SSDs use flash memory cell intead of magnetic platters to store data, meaning they have no moving parts which is a HUGE plus for longevity, but each flash cell has a limited number of times it can be written to before it fails, as flash cell become damaged on a SSD they will apper as a bad sector would on a HDD, it'll inevitably fail after years of regular use as more and more flash cell wear out over time.

Life expectancy for a SSD is around 5 years, which is A LOT more than that of mechanical drives nowadays, but the difference is that it will fail around that period of time( maybe a little more) no matter how good you've taken care of it, while a well taken care of HDD can last a lot more ( I have a 12yo 20gb seagate drive from 1999 on a machine that's been used 365 days a year for all that time, and the thing even passes all the healh checks still!).

And finally, they're EXPENSIVE, and not yet viable as a storage method due to ridiculous prices and low capacities.
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January 3, 2011 10:18:30 AM

They double in capacity every 18 months, or halve in material cost every 18 months, or a combination of the two.

This is because they're just another semiconductor, like CPU, RAM, etc

They increase in performance every quarter!

Just make sure you get one with TRIM support, etc


In 18 to 36 months they'll be mainstream.


Windows XP would absolutely fly with an SSD.

A lot of enthusiasts that got Windows Vista then looked at Windows 7 and weighed it up with an SSD. There's not much point in them moving to Win7 vs the latest service pack for Vista.

With Google Desktop Search, you wouldn't need to worry about the 'new' features of Windows Vista / 7 so much either. Depending on what you're using it for that is.
January 3, 2011 10:21:19 AM

wiinippongamer said:

And if, for example a pair of fast HDDs in raid0 can get get well over 250mb/s, ...


There are hard disk drives that can sustain 125 MB/sec each? (you said pair).

Three or four very modern HDD's in RAID-0 would reach 250 MB/sec, but not two (not for another year or so I reckon).


What are the consumer/enthusiast 10,000 rpm HDD's doing these days?
January 3, 2011 2:44:16 PM

spinpoint f3's manage to get close to 120mb/s average read, velociraptors can go little over 200mb/s with lower acces times, but still high compared to SSDs
!