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Best 200 GB+ SSD drive?

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April 4, 2011 7:07:42 PM


I am looking into buying a SSD drive to use as data disk with Windows 7-64 bit. Size should be somewhere around 200 GB. My motherboard is Asus P7P55D-E LX and supports only SATA-2.

The disk should be of good quality and have as good read and write performance as possible. I have been looking at the following, could you make any recommendation between those?

Links to Newegg, but purchase will be done locally, prices below in Swedish Krona (SEK).

CORSAIR FORCE 2.5" 180GB SSD MLC -- 3300 SEK

OCZ AGILITY 2 2,5" 200GB SSD MLC -- 3800 SEK

OCZ VERTEX 2 2,5" 240GB SSD MLC -- 4000 SEK

CORSAIR FORCE 2,5" 240GB SSD MLC -- 4400 SEK

KINGSTON SSDNOW V100 256GB SSD MLC -- 3900 SEK

More about : 200 ssd drive

a c 235 V Motherboard
a b $ Windows 7
a c 143 G Storage
April 4, 2011 11:03:47 PM

I would go with the OCZ Vertex 2 240 GB out of that group. I'm running the same drive as I type and I'm very happy with it. It performs better than my Intel X25-M G2 80 GB, plus more storage :)  It is a 25 nm drive (well mime is at least), but doesn't show the performance hit as the lower capacity drives did.
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April 5, 2011 9:22:41 AM

tecmo34 said:
I would go with the OCZ Vertex 2 240 GB out of that group. I'm running the same drive as I type and I'm very happy with it. It performs better than my Intel X25-M G2 80 GB, plus more storage :)  It is a 25 nm drive (well mime is at least), but doesn't show the performance hit as the lower capacity drives did.



Thank you for your reply!

Besides your recommendation for OCZ Vertex 2 drive I am also looking at the Corsair at the same size. Both seems to have very impressive (and identical) performance:


OCZ Vertex 2 240 GB

4k Random Write (Aligned): 50,000 IOPS
Sequential Access - Read up to 285MB/s
Sequential Access - Write up to 275MB/s


Corsair Force 240 GB (around $40 more)

Random Write 4K: 15,000 IOPS / 50,000 IOPS (Aligned)
Sequential Access - Read up to 285MB/s
Sequential Access - Write up to 275MB/s


However, on the reviews for both drives on Newegg there were plenty of angry customers because of failed SSD devices. It is of course natural that the ones who got a bad unit will write a negative review, but how is the stability of a modern larger SSD today?

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April 5, 2011 3:51:36 PM


Thanks. Is it correct that the drive will be SATA-3 only?
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a b V Motherboard
a c 283 G Storage
April 5, 2011 4:29:33 PM

The OCZ Vertex 3 ssd's are SATA III (6 Gb/s). SATA III (6 Gb/s) solid state drives are backward compatible with SATA II (3 Gb/s) motherboards. When a SATA III (6Gb/s) ssd is connected toa SATA II (3 Gb/s) motherboard the ssd performance is reduced.
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a c 235 V Motherboard
a b $ Windows 7
a c 143 G Storage
April 5, 2011 4:36:56 PM

^+1...

As to you question on the OCZ Vertex 2 failing, I've had my 240 GB drive for about 2 months now and have it "HAMMERED" it with benchmarks/testing and it is still kicking. Basically, I've probably written over a 1/2 years worth of writes / reads on this drive in a very short time. I've seen/experienced the issues with the drive throttling from testing and rebound back after a Secure Erase. It is a very good drive but if the Vertex 3 is available, it is well worth it even on a SATA II port.
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April 5, 2011 7:40:03 PM

tecmo34 said:
It is a very good drive but if the Vertex 3 is available, it is well worth it even on a SATA II port.


Interesting! Why will it have such a performance increase over the Vertex 2, even on SATA-2?


As for my motherboard, I do have the option to enable SATA-3 ports, but if I understand it correctly that would put my PCIe x16 slot into half the speed, which could harm the graphic card. However, if I would to that, I am unsure how much this will affect me as I hardly play any games?


Motherboard: Asus P7P55D-E LX
GPU: XFX RADEON HD5770 XT 1GB GDDR5
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a b V Motherboard
a c 283 G Storage
April 5, 2011 8:01:48 PM

When a PCI-e x16 slot is reduced to x8 operation, a video card in that PCI-e x16 slot will take a performance hit of about 5% to 8%. For the typical user it should not be noticeable.
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April 5, 2011 8:14:07 PM


It seems that the Vertex 3 will be available here in about 10 days, for around 5000 SEK, which is 1000 SEK more than for the Vertex 2, as same capacity 240 GB.

It is an interesting choice of course..!
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April 5, 2011 8:57:43 PM



If looking at those impressive scores for the 240 GB Vertex-3, it seems that most of the tests still is lower or around 300 MB/s, and with some of them quite higher. But that might mean that it should still perform very well on SATA-2.

Or is there other differences between SATA-2 and SATA-3 than raw throughput? Is there lower latency or similar that I would lose if I would connect it at a SATA-2 port?
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a b G Storage
April 5, 2011 9:29:10 PM

When comparing Vertex 2 240GB to Vertex 3 240GB on sata2 the incompressible write speeds will be doubled due to the fact that last gen Sandforce drives suffered in this respect and came no where near saturating sata2 ports at around 130-140MB/s on the larger models. V3 will reach 230+MB/s on a good board. Deeper q-depths are also much stronger on V3 as well even on sata2.

My biggest perceived gain with V3 is the reduced throttling tendancy when using heavy vid/pic data streams. With my curent V2 array, I typically SE/reimage about once every 5-6 weeks(depending on usage) to avoid throttling altogether. I'm no major lifespan advocate either though, so there's that.

If you do go with the V2 it would be wise to allow extra overprovisioning(OP) as well if using larger amounts of incompressible data(vids,pics,music,zips,rars) as it can help reduce throttling and aid recovery/stamina with Sandforce drives. Out of 280 gigs, I stripe my array for 80 gigs as I would never fill it to that point without first deleting other data before moving on to the next project/data set. Easy enough to extend the array with a raid mgr app(or extend the volume in disk mgmt on single drives) if more space needed down the line.

Any way you decide to go there, a Sandforce controlled drive is very nice due to ultra low latency and huge small file preformance which an OS volume will thank you for. Good Luck on the hunt.

PS. V3 controller shortages have slowed the release and numbers shipped but 240GB Sandforce drives are now showing up in stock at a few vendors and a few more weeks will help with market saturation/pricing stability.

as for sata2/sata3 latency differences?... they would be the same for the V2 and the V3's have slightly higher latency regardless of where you put them as well. I couldn't really tell much difference in use though as it's still Sandforce in nature. They're really snappy drives.
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April 5, 2011 9:39:52 PM

groberts101 said:
When comparing Vertex 2 240GB to Vertex 3 240GB on sata2 the incompressible write speeds will be doubled due to the fact that last gen Sandforce drives suffered in this respect and came no where near saturating sata2 ports at around 130-140MB/s on the larger models.


Thanks a lot for your answer. So this Vertex 3 seems like a very good candidate, and if buying I have not yet decided if it should be worth to "mess up" the GPU with lowering the PCI-e speed - to be able to use SATA-3. As have been pointed out I should probably not notice the graphic difference, but it should be nice to get every single bit of performance out of the disk.

groberts101 said:
V3 will reach 230+MB/s on a good board.


What will be the criteria for a good board in this context? What will be the features/limits that allows the highest form of disk IO?

I have a Asus P7P55D-E LX with SATA-2 and with the option to enable two SATA-3 ports.
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a b G Storage
April 6, 2011 1:43:20 PM

first off that was specifically related to the write speeds using incompressible data. Once the compression algorithm is allowed to kick in on more easily compressed data it will be MUCH faster. Is the biggest benefit of this drive as it supports compression. All others are WYSIWYG and Sandforce can speed up through compression which is highly beneficial to lifespan and speed. A "floating point of performance", I like to say.

any premium board using the ICH10R will not be saturated on the write side with incompressible but would easily be bottlenecked from maximum potential due to sata2 limits on the reads. The AMD SB850 would be better all around due to sata3 capability and the P67 boards would be tops in all aspects.
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a b G Storage
April 7, 2011 2:56:00 PM

Quote:
using the vertex 3 on sata 2 is murder as the perfromance gets effectively halved.

i would happily give ~4% of my pcie bandwidth for the added sata3 speed.

4% less on pcie = no visible change
sata2 to sata3 on vertex 3 = helluva change.


while sequential speeds using easily compressed data would be halved(actually not quite), only the read speeds would be affected when using incompressible data. Also considering that scores in typical benchmarks is not halved either(AS SSD only drops about 100 points and PCMark Vantage does'nt take that large of a hit) it's not accurate at all to say that overall performance would be halved.

In typical desktop usage it would only be about a 25% overall loss, most of which would be only when dealing with larger amounts of incompressible data.
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April 7, 2011 2:59:33 PM


Thanks a lot for your answers so far!

groberts101 said:
most of which would be only when dealing with larger amounts of incompressible data.


Just a quick question, what really means with incompressible data in this context?
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a b G Storage
April 7, 2011 3:19:01 PM

Incompressible/partially incompressible data is typically going to be video, pics, music, zips, rars, and is where Sandforce suffers when writing the data. Reads aren't affected which means once it's ON the SSD you're all good. Is well known by now, BUT the strength in other areas is where it more than makes up for this weakness.

With Sandforce it's all about the averages and since an OS does not consist of larger amounts of incompressible data and benefits from such ultra low latency/large small file performance, this controller is very strong. However, if using large amounts of incompressible data such as vid/gfx work would entail, you may be better off with controllers that don't suffer from it. With any SSD, capacity is always the best defense against degradation. Good Luck
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April 9, 2011 7:02:44 PM

Quote:
if planning to go the sata 3 route, make sure that you have the intel controller on your mobo.
other sata 3 controllers perform worse than intel's.


What is the "Intel controller"? That is, how do I know if I have it?
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a b G Storage
April 9, 2011 7:54:55 PM

ricno said:
What is the "Intel controller"? That is, how do I know if I have it?


If you have a H67/P67 mobo?.. then you have Intel 6G capability. AMD 6G is the next best chip after the Intel. Some tests are even showing slight gains over the Intel 6G.
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April 9, 2011 8:49:43 PM

groberts101 said:
If you have a H67/P67 mobo?.. then you have Intel 6G capability. AMD 6G is the next best chip after the Intel. Some tests are even showing slight gains over the Intel 6G.


I did some quick research and found that my motherboard (Asus P7P55D-E LX) has this:

Intel® P55 Express Chipset built-in
6 xSATA 3.0 Gb/s ports
Intel Matrix Storage Technology Support RAID 0,1,5,10

JMicron® JMB361 PATA and SATA controller
1 xUltraDMA 133/100/66 for up to 2 PATA devices
1 xExternal SATA 3Gb/s port

Marvell® PCIe SATA 6Gb/s controller:
- 2 x SATA 6.0 Gb/s ports (Gray)
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a b G Storage
April 9, 2011 9:09:29 PM

here's the difference I saw on my system in benchmarks. As mentioned even when working with gfx/vids,.. it's too close to see/feel any difference.

Intel 3G vs Marvell 6G


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April 9, 2011 9:28:43 PM

groberts101 said:
here's the difference I saw on my system in benchmarks. As mentioned even when working with gfx/vids,.. it's too close to see/feel any difference.

Intel 3G vs Marvell 6G
]http://img130.imageshack.us/img130/4306/inteltomarvellcompariso.th.jpg


Very interesting numbers. It seems like the Marvell has the edge on sequential reads, with more than 100 MB/s better than SATA2, but the SATA2 still delivers great (267 MB/s).

The marvell is somewhat less good at randow 4K writes (60 MB/s as to 85), but still great.

The access time is somewhat "lower" on the Marvell, but that is hard to belive it would be noticable.

This seems good! I am now thinking of getting one Vertex 3 240 GB to use as datadisk for highest performance files and put it on the Marvell controller, and a little later get another (perhaps Vertex 3 120 GB) to use for OS drive. Since I am not sure if the Marvell ports are bootable I could place this disk on the SATA 2 connectors and still get very good performance.
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a b G Storage
April 9, 2011 9:34:09 PM

you'd be much further ahead in the overall time saved(which is why we spend this crazy cash, right?) if you just used it as an OS volume since that's what they were designed for in the first place.

Make you OS volume and shrink it to the desired size in disk mgmt after the install. Create another data partition and enjoy.

Just be sure to leave at least 25-30% free space. Unallocated free space is best and is called over provisioning which Sandforce drives really like(especially with heavier writes). Good Luck with it all.
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April 9, 2011 9:44:00 PM

groberts101 said:
you'd be much further ahead in the overall time saved (which is why we spend this crazy cash, right?)


I am not really sure why I want to spend the crazy cash... It would be for both an improved performance and a bit of luxuary, but also because all of this is fun... ;) 

groberts101 said:
if you just used it as an OS volume since that's what they were designed for in the first place.


My primary "need" is to have a large volume for running virtual machines which involves some advanced setups with nested VMware vSphere ESXi and iSCSI targets and similar. Basicly many operating systems and many virtual OS volumes, not just the main one on the PC. It works quite good on mechanical drives, but it would be very nice to get all that on SSD storage.

groberts101 said:

Just be sure to leave at least 25-30% free space. Unallocated free space is best and is called over provisioning which Sandforce drives really like (especially with heavier writes).


Would that be 25% unpartitioned space or just that amount of space not allocated logically inside the partition?


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a b G Storage
April 9, 2011 10:21:43 PM

yeah,.. this stuff can be catchy.. that's for sure.

For your usage model the best scenario you could currently find with that setup would be to put it all on the SSD and use Fancycache by Romex. Many use it for that exact same setup and swear by it due to the speed of operation and defferral of writes.

and unallocated space is best since the controller makes much more efficient use of it over unused logical volume space.
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April 10, 2011 3:07:38 PM

groberts101 said:
.. use Fancycache by Romex.


Thanks, I have a look at that.

groberts101 said:

and unallocated space is best since the controller makes much more efficient use of it over unused logical volume space.


That is, just to clarify, that you shall only create a 100 GB partition on a 120 GB drive?
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a b G Storage
April 10, 2011 4:37:57 PM

100 gigs should be fine and would be the equivelant of the non-extended version 100GB V2. More OP generally helps more with stamina and recovery when using higher amounts of incompressible data. I use 80 gigs of 280 available since I hit it with a lot of video work.

Remember, you can always shrink/extend the volume in disk mgmt at anytime down the road without affecting data integrity. Good luck with it all.
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a c 235 V Motherboard
a b $ Windows 7
a c 143 G Storage
April 10, 2011 4:40:49 PM

@groberts101... Check your PM's, I sent you an offline / off topic question :D 
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