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SSD/HD Setup; Performance?

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April 19, 2011 5:31:15 PM

I am looking at building a new rig in the coming months and am doing some R&D to find exactly what I want in it. I am all for SSD as it seems they provide very snappy boot-up and loading of software. The issue is i don't have enough money to make an all SSD system and if i make a SSD/HD combo system i would have to put my games on the HD as i currently have 120-130GB and growing collection of games and the 500GB SSD are just not in my budget :pfff: 

So the question really is if i set up a system with a SSD in the 100GB range for OS, drivers, and essential software and have another HD with basically everything else on it including games will i see any real increase in the load time of my games or anything else on the HD? It seems to me there would theoretically be some performance gains as the HD does not have to do read/writes for the OS, drivers, etc although i imagine this is minimal. Would i be better off to just bit the bullet and go for the 300+ GB SSD so i can put my games on them as well?

More about : ssd setup performance

a c 302 G Storage
April 19, 2011 6:30:49 PM

A bit of a warning: Most games don't prompt for where you want to install them, just do it under C:/Program Files. I haven't seen many reports of success in doing what you want, installing bulky programs on a separate HDD.

And, since they are on an HDD, they will load at HDD speeds. The system as a whole may be snappier, but the game loads will stay pretty much the same. So will game play.

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a b G Storage
April 19, 2011 6:34:49 PM

64GB SSD are enough for OS and commune programs.
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a c 302 G Storage
April 19, 2011 6:38:11 PM

saint19 said:
64GB SSD are enough for OS and commune programs.

True, but I don't think that it's relevant. OP stated that he has 120 GB+ of games installed, and I stated that few people have had success installing selected programs to another drive. So OP would need OS space plus 120 GB for game software, and that will not fit on 64 GB SSD.

If you know how to install games so they put most of their files on a disk other than the OS drive, I'm all ears. (That would be a strange sight, probably like a portrait by Picasso.)
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a b G Storage
April 19, 2011 6:56:17 PM

I think it's.

1- 64GB for OS and commune programs NOT GAMES since we know that games don't get any benefit of it except faster times load. $129

2- 120GB for OS, commune programs and games knowing that you won't get any benefit of it. ~$220

Twice price.

Just IMO.
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April 19, 2011 7:11:33 PM

WyomingKnott said:
A bit of a warning: Most games don't prompt for where you want to install them, just do it under C:/Program Files. I haven't seen many reports of success in doing what you want, installing bulky programs on a separate HDD.

And, since they are on an HDD, they will load at HDD speeds. The system as a whole may be snappier, but the game loads will stay pretty much the same. So will game play.


Thanks for the reply, pretty much what i expected in the way of performance on the HDD. I must point out that i have had no issues with installing games under another HDD/Partition up to this point however as my current system has 3 partitions and i install games on the 2nd. I guess i'll need to just need to build my next system with a 300GB+ SSD and HDD for media and backup. This rig might be worth more then my car when i am done :ouch: 
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a c 115 G Storage
April 19, 2011 7:59:24 PM

Quote:
I am all for SSD as it seems they provide very snappy boot-up and loading of software.


Just did a test yesterday:

HD - Seagate Barracuda XT 2GB - 21.2 seconds booting from BIOS boot page to Windows Password Logon
SSD - OCZ Vertex 3 120G - 15.6 seconds booting from BIOS boot page to Windows Password Logon

OS on SSD and Hard Drive ... SSD sees 64 GB boot partition on HD as X:\

$300 to cut boot time by 26.4%.....another way to look at it is if you boot ya machine once a day, 7 days a week, over three years, you will save 102 minutes or 1.7 hours ..... that's about $176.12 an hour :) 

Loading software and games, I haven't timed as yet (son too busy playing games on his new box :)  but subjectively, I'm not really wow'ed.

If the 26-ish percent increase is something you see as a benefit, then install your games to the SSD on C:\ Create a partition on your HD for "Swapped Games". Keep the games your actively playing on the SSD; the ones that you don't play frequently, ya can cut / paste the entire folder to the "Swapped Games" partition. When ya wanna play one of those games again, swap the folder back. It's a huge help if you decide where ya wanna install the games and stay away from ProgramFiles directory.
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April 20, 2011 7:14:54 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
Quote:
I am all for SSD as it seems they provide very snappy boot-up and loading of software.


Just did a test yesterday:

HD - Seagate Barracuda XT 2GB - 21.2 seconds booting from BIOS boot page to Windows Password Logon
SSD - OCZ Vertex 3 120G - 15.6 seconds booting from BIOS boot page to Windows Password Logon

OS on SSD and Hard Drive ... SSD sees 64 GB boot partition on HD as X:\

$300 to cut boot time by 26.4%.....another way to look at it is if you boot ya machine once a day, 7 days a week, over three years, you will save 102 minutes or 1.7 hours ..... that's about $176.12 an hour :) 

Loading software and games, I haven't timed as yet (son too busy playing games on his new box :)  but subjectively, I'm not really wow'ed.

If the 26-ish percent increase is something you see as a benefit, then install your games to the SSD on C:\ Create a partition on your HD for "Swapped Games". Keep the games your actively playing on the SSD; the ones that you don't play frequently, ya can cut / paste the entire folder to the "Swapped Games" partition. When ya wanna play one of those games again, swap the folder back. It's a huge help if you decide where ya wanna install the games and stay away from ProgramFiles directory.



Thanks for the numbers on the boot up, should come in handy when i come to make a discussion on the topic. Although not the only source but one of the things that pushes me toward the SSD is the NCIX tech tip video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lR0XoHFU6Y

The thing that impresses me the most and i feel i would benefit the most personally from is the quick ALT-TAB in and out of games but as you mentioned on the other hand the price tag is very steep for that convenience so i just don't know. I guess i could find a performance HDD and have a little of both worlds but i honestly don't know how much HDD read/write speeds have progressed since my last build. Anyone got any advice as to which route to go?
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April 23, 2011 2:32:46 PM

venom4u said:
I am looking at building a new rig in the coming months and am doing some R&D to find exactly what I want in it. I am all for SSD as it seems they provide very snappy boot-up and loading of software. The issue is i don't have enough money to make an all SSD system and if i make a SSD/HD combo system i would have to put my games on the HD as i currently have 120-130GB and growing collection of games and the 500GB SSD are just not in my budget :pfff: 

So the question really is if i set up a system with a SSD in the 100GB range for OS, drivers, and essential software and have another HD with basically everything else on it including games will i see any real increase in the load time of my games or anything else on the HD? It seems to me there would theoretically be some performance gains as the HD does not have to do read/writes for the OS, drivers, etc although i imagine this is minimal. Would i be better off to just bit the bullet and go for the 300+ GB SSD so i can put my games on them as well?




I'm in the same boat you are. So here is what I'm doing. I'm buying 2 60Gb SSD drives (OCZ Agility), running them in RAID 0 which will give me insanely fast boot times and 100+ gigs of HD space. This is enough for my main game Bad Company 2, Dead Space 2 and Silent Hunter 5 plus MS office and some other things. Altogether I'm using about 93 gigs of space so I'm safe. I have tons of games but won't install them unless I know I'm gonna play them. I recommend you do the same. Seriously, you're not gonna install ALL your games are you? Because realistically you will only end up playing 3 of them
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April 24, 2011 3:31:56 AM

pabloottawa said:
I'm in the same boat you are. So here is what I'm doing. I'm buying 2 60Gb SSD drives (OCZ Agility), running them in RAID 0 which will give me insanely fast boot times and 100+ gigs of HD space. This is enough for my main game Bad Company 2, Dead Space 2 and Silent Hunter 5 plus MS office and some other things. Altogether I'm using about 93 gigs of space so I'm safe. I have tons of games but won't install them unless I know I'm gonna play them. I recommend you do the same. Seriously, you're not gonna install ALL your games are you? Because realistically you will only end up playing 3 of them


That is something I have thought of and indeed I typically only play about 3-4 games regularly anyway. I particularly like the idea from JackNaylorPE on the swapping of games as sometimes I like going back and playing stuff I haven't touched in a while so this would theoretically work out. After some number crunching I figure a SSD equivalent of 120GB or so should do the trick. The concern I have about doing two SSD's it in a RAID0 config as you have is 1) Lose of data; RAID0 cuts your reliability essentially in half on a drives that are (last I checked) not nearly as reliable as a conventional HDD and 2) Negligible speed increase; Although 2 SSD's in RAID0 gets me excited thinking of it it would seem that you would not get a very good speed increase over a single SSD due to the already quick speed and fact that you now have to do the extra RAID computations on read/write. I haven't seen any real data on a RAID0 SSD setup so I could be totally wrong but this is just my intuition on the subject.

From what I have seen overall I think I will be looking at a single 120-200GB SSD to install the OS, drivers, essential software, and the games I am currently playing on then have a swap file on a large HDD for other games, media, etc.
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April 25, 2011 4:49:08 PM

Venom,


Thanks for looking into this. After reading how a Raid 0 setup does not increase performance I started to research it and realized that a lot of other people are saying the same thing. Glad to see that you found solid proof to the contrary.

Cheers and thanks again :) 
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