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Best SSD for boot drive plus programs

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June 5, 2011 1:47:47 AM

Hey guys. Requesting your awesome help yet again. I am looking for an SSD to use as a boot drive and storage for all my main programs and games( Photoshop, lightroom,Dreamweaver, tons of stuff etc). So close to 120 gb? mb more?

I'm not going to limit it with a budget, just as long as i get great value.

I really couldn't care in the slightest what my write speeds are, but i'm looking for a very premium read speed. I have a motherboard capable of SATA III. So the newest ones are fair game.

Thanks in advance guys! These forums never let me down.
a c 143 G Storage
June 5, 2011 2:35:40 AM

I would look at either the OCZ Vertex 3 240 GB or OCZ RevoDrive X2 120 GB.

I really won't look at anything under 120 GB range but for your uses / plans, a 240 GB would be the better option.
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June 5, 2011 3:10:11 AM

I've got a revodrive x2 120 and while it is 100% worth it i find myself wishing i got more storage.
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June 5, 2011 6:20:21 AM

I would RAID 0 2 Vertex 3 120GB

You can always buy one now and the second down the road if your low on funds. You can get the regular Vertex 3 120GB for $250 w/ free shipping this weekend on newegg with the promo code EMCYTZT512 until midnight on Sunday.

The only difference between this and the MAX IOPS vertex 3 is that the MAX uses 34nm Toshiba NAND and the regular one uses 24nm Intel NAND and the MAX handles moving very large incompressible data (e.g. very High Def and very large videos) from one file to another a little better. If that is worth another $70 then go for it, but in the real world you should not see that much of a difference, if any. You should keep things like that on a HDD anyway. Also you can still run the programs you use for those files from the SSD and keep the files themselves on a HDD.

You can safely RAID these drives, from what I understand, and there guides out there. If you want to be super safe, when you partition it leave %10 or %15 unallocated and you can fill it all the way up and still be guaranteed room left for garbage collection or just wait on getting your second one until TRIM is supported in RAID, which should not be all that much longer I think.

Hope it helps.

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June 5, 2011 7:36:28 AM

All of these are great responses.

The Revodrives are getting a little to expensive for the capacity , thanks tho.

@techmo you suggested the vertex 3 240, but what do you think of the vertex 3 120? I know SSDs are better with more storage capacity. I wish i knew more about it. Is there a different drive you would recommend at 120?

@Metawin If i ran out of space on the SSD and needed a second drive how easy would it be to RAID them? RAID 0 is the one that increases read performance...and backs up? i think im wrong. Maybe thats RAID 1.

Thanks! and sorry for my somewhat utter cluelessness.
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a b G Storage
June 5, 2011 6:33:46 PM

I think the Vertex 3 or M4 would be a good choice. I would not use a RAID 0 array for a boot drive, the decrease in reliability isn't worth the slight speed increase.

You said you don't care about write speed, so I assume your scratch disks and swap files will be on a separate drive or RAID array. You really don't want these files on an SSD.
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June 5, 2011 9:09:42 PM

FullmetalCowboy said:
All of these are great responses.

The Revodrives are getting a little to expensive for the capacity , thanks tho.

@techmo you suggested the vertex 3 240, but what do you think of the vertex 3 120? I know SSDs are better with more storage capacity. I wish i knew more about it. Is there a different drive you would recommend at 120?

@Metawin If i ran out of space on the SSD and needed a second drive how easy would it be to RAID them? RAID 0 is the one that increases read performance...and backs up? i think im wrong. Maybe thats RAID 1.

Thanks! and sorry for my somewhat utter cluelessness.



As long as your Mother Board supports RAID, which if it supports SATA III as you said, then it should, setting up a RAID 0 is fairly easy even for a novice and there are many many guides out there.

As far as backing your drive up, that is called a RAID 1, where one drive mirrors all data on the other drive.
Raid 0 turns 2 drives into one drive with twice the speed and space of one individual drive which is then able to interleave the data on them which will make them last longer and have more space for garbage collection.

I suggest that you use a HDD for back ups not a SSD, there are many free programs out there that will do it easily.
Basically they create a disk image of your 2 raided drives, then if one fails you can just replace the failed one and restore everything from the image saved on your HDD. If you want to be super cautious you could put two HDDs in RAID 1 and then have a back up of your back up.
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June 5, 2011 10:59:12 PM

@lord conrad

The m4 looks awesome, and its so much cheaper. and i just read pretty deep into it and it has the same real world performance as the vertex 3. the vertex kills it in benchmarks, but hey all i need is performance, not numbers.

@metawin

I dont think i would be able to get the cash together for two SSDs. Just a single one would be so incredibly faster than my hdd though. The m4 is looking great.

Im going to have a regular Hdd for music, videos, and generally space consuming crap. and also as a back up for the SSD(would i need to make a separate partition for the back up?)

Would there be a large performance increase with 2 500 gb drives in raid 0? or should i just get a 1 terabyte drive and be done with it?


Thanks so much!

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June 5, 2011 11:01:28 PM

or i may get the vertex 3 if someone can convince me, it only 50$ more on the egg.
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June 5, 2011 11:07:27 PM

Does anyone have any experience with the OCZ Solid 3 series? They seem pretty top notch on speeds but noone seems to know what their reliability is like.
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June 5, 2011 11:42:16 PM

FullmetalCowboy said:
@lord conrad

The m4 looks awesome, and its so much cheaper. and i just read pretty deep into it and it has the same real world performance as the vertex 3. the vertex kills it in benchmarks, but hey all i need is performance, not numbers.

@metawin

I dont think i would be able to get the cash together for two SSDs. Just a single one would be so incredibly faster than my hdd though. The m4 is looking great.

Im going to have a regular Hdd for music, videos, and generally space consuming crap. and also as a back up for the SSD(would i need to make a separate partition for the back up?)

Would there be a large performance increase with 2 500 gb drives in raid 0? or should i just get a 1 terabyte drive and be done with it?


Thanks so much!


The M4 does not have anywhere near the performance or quality of a Vertex 3 in the real world or otherwise, its like comparing apples and oranges.
The M4, while just released is not truly next gen as it still uses the same controller as the C300 with only some firmware tweaks.
The new M4 is just a rehashed C300.

The Vertex on the other hand is the best of the next gen, only falling behind the MAX IOPS Vertex 3 which is essentially the same drive.

Don't underestimate the difference having a Sandforce controller makes.

You can read what I am talking about here, which is also a good site to get some other good in depth SSD reviews.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4253/the-crucial-m4-micro...

I understand that you can't afford two right now (who can? lol) but I still say get one now and IF YOU NEED IT (or would just like to double its speed) you can get another one later. That is what I am doing on my new build right now and I doubt you will be able to get it for $250 again for long while and I have ordered mine today :) 

Just like your PSU, your main drive is NOT the place to cut corners on any system.

If $250 is still a little high, I recommend the Agility 3 as a second choice.

It has the sandforce controller and gets the same results in benchmarks as the Vertex 3 only lagging behind in incompressible data transfers, while coming in at a much better price point due to its use of different less expensive (and less quality) NAND than the Vertex 3.

It is also reviewed on the site that I linked you if you would like to know more.

I would just like to say that saving is good, (and you are saving by getting the Vertex at a discount and not the MAX IOPS) but where you choose to save can make a huge difference in how happy you are with your PC.
I would emphatically say that a good SSD is an upgrade that you can defiantly feel in everyday use and is an important factor in the performance of a number of things in your PC.

Hope it helps and good luck with your upgrade!
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June 6, 2011 12:58:01 AM

Ok wow, that website had some compelling numbers for the vertex 3. i think i'l splurge :p 

it sounds like this sandforce controller is whats doing all this magic.

Il take your advice with the vertex 3 :D .

So now i've got programs and windows 7/programs on my vertex 3 and now i need a good HDD for all my music, and extreme numbers of pictures. So should i go for a RAID 0 array or just get a regular hard drive? i need 1 terabyte of storage.


Thanks a ton! this forum is exceptional.
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June 6, 2011 12:58:32 AM

mekunekud said:
Does anyone have any experience with the OCZ Solid 3 series? They seem pretty top notch on speeds but noone seems to know what their reliability is like.


At the price point that the Agility 3 is at right now I would go for it instead of the the Solid series.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4346/ocz-agility-3-240gb-...

Look for a good review that lists the NAND types along with the controller used for the Solid 3.
NAND and controller are the determining factors in terms of reliability.
ONFI 1.0 NAND is last gen, slower and less stable.
ONFI 2.0 is the best current consumer grade NAND.
32nm is better than 24nm NAND giving 5,000 full writes as opposed to 3,000 for 24nm.
Sandforce works best with ONFI 2.0

The best NAND makers are intel, micron and toshiba with the toshiba NAND working with the sandforce the best.

The ONLY difference between the Vertex 3 and the MAX IOPS version is that the MAX uses 32nm Toshiba and the regular uses 24nm Intel NAND.
They both are ONFI 2.0 grade NAND.

The Agility 3 is the exact same thing as the vertex 3, only it uses ONFI 1.0 from Intel.

The OCZ pecking order (and pretty much the whole consumer SATA III SSD market right now) is..

Vertex 3 MAX IOPS
Vertex 3
Agility 3
Solid 3

Hope it helps!

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June 6, 2011 1:17:11 AM

FullmetalCowboy said:
Ok wow, that website had some compelling numbers for the vertex 3. i think i'l splurge :p 

it sounds like this sandforce controller is whats doing all this magic.

Il take your advice with the vertex 3 :D .

So now i've got programs and windows 7/programs on my vertex 3 and now i need a good HDD for all my music, and extreme numbers of pictures. So should i go for a RAID 0 array or just get a regular hard drive? i need 1 terabyte of storage.


Thanks a ton! this forum is exceptional.



I think you made the right choice and I hope it works out for your needs.

REMEMBER TO USE THE PROMO CODE I GAVE YOU AT CHECK OUT AND GET IT BEFORE MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO SAVE SOME MONEY!!!

As far as RAID 0 on your HDD, it depends.
If it is just for movies and pictures etc. (like most plp use them for) then don't bother it won't really matter.
Make sure you get one that is at least 7200 rpm and SATA III and you should be happy.
If you are deciding between two that are the same go with the one with the larger cache, 64mb seems the best.
Now with 3TB drives coming on the market, you should be able to find some good deals on 2TB drives, look around.
The most important factor on your HDD is reliability, make sure you read reviews by good sites and the comments from those who bought it before.

Try to look beyond the name and at the actual parts they are made of (and where they are made, not just the name of the company selling them).

Right now people like Seagate, WD and Spinpoints.

Happy hunting!
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June 6, 2011 2:36:15 AM

Quote:
I don't know how you can say the Agility 3 is exact same thing ad Vertex 3 in the same sentence. The Agility 3 uses much slower and cheaper asynchronous NAND while the Vertex 3 uses faster synchronous NAND.

And so what is wrong with an improved C300? Look at all of the problems the new Sandforce Corsair and OCZ are having. Sandforce is a lot of snake-oil - especially in their benchmarks. They do good with completely compressible data but poorly with compressible data. Real world is not very compressible.

What evidence do you have that the Crucial m4 is lower quality than the OCZ - especially with the quality history of OCZ/sandforce (including the recent issues)? The only negative things about the m4 that I have seen is its garbage collection is late so you really want TRIM. Well, in sandforce 1200 - TRIM and garbage collection were completely ineffective in restoring the write performance of the drive once all NAND had been written because of Duraclass write throttling. Not a great track record for Sandforce IMO.


You don't know what your talking about and I said "The Agility 3 is the exact same thing as the vertex 3, only it uses ONFI 1.0 from Intel. "

What evidence is there that the M4 is lower quality than the OCZ Sandforce?
Not a great record for Sandforce?
Are you trolling me right now?
You obviously have a internet browser, so you have to be trolling me right now.

So we have established that you did not even bother to read everything I wrote and I am not going to waste any more of my time educating you.

Good luck with your M4.


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June 6, 2011 2:52:23 AM

Quote:
No, you don't know what you are taking about. It has nothing to do with ONFI. Agility 3 uses asynchronous NAND which is slower than the synchronous NAND used in the vertex, and that is why it is a lower tiered SSD.

Trolling? What the heck is wrong with you?

I have read everything you posted here. I am afraid you obviously nothing as far as education to offer.



"I am afraid you obviously nothing as far as education to offer."

LOL
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June 6, 2011 3:59:51 AM

Quote:
Yeah, that is sooo funny. Are you out of high school yet? Why don't you come back with something to back up what you say.

So for your information ONFI 1.0 standard - Asynchronous NAND only
ONFI 2.0 standard and beyond Asynchronous or Synchronous NAND

What makes the agility 3 slower than the vertex 3 is that it uses asynchronous NAND, while the vertex 3 uses synchronous. The Agility 3 could be ONFI 2.0 and still use asynchronous NAND and it would still be slower than the Vertex 3.

The Crucial m4 uses synchronous NAND and is OFNI 2.2. So since it is a higher rev of the ONFI specification than the vertex 3 does that mean it is better and faster. No.



Of course I know about asynchronous and synchronous NAND, this post is not for you but for someone who does not know, but might now know because it was discussed, in great depth, in the link I sent him.

You are highjacking someone's thread in order to prove some non-existent point and being the opposite of helpful.
Stop.
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June 6, 2011 4:20:00 AM

Hey guys

From what I've been reading (and I'm sure you both know this) the sandforce controller compresses data and thats what makes it so fast among other things im guessing.

@Gene o You said that real world isnt very compressible. Do you mean that most day to day usage would be unable to be compressed?

Would that make the Vertex 3 lose its edge in situations where the data cannot be compressed? And are we talking Read/write here? or just write?

What kind of things cant be compressed?

Sorry for all the questions :p 

@metawin Thanks for the continuing help man, i'm getting smarter by the minute
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June 6, 2011 4:23:22 AM

@ lord conrad

If your still among us

What do you mean by "I assume your scratch disks and swap files will be on a separate drive or RAID array. You really don't want these files on an SSD"

what are scratch disks or swap files?

Sry for the total noob question but ive never even remotely heard those terms.

Thanks!
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June 6, 2011 4:47:12 AM

FullmetalCowboy said:
Hey guys

From what I've been reading (and I'm sure you both know this) the sandforce controller compresses data and thats what makes it so fast among other things im guessing.

@Gene o You said that real world isnt very compressible. Do you mean that most day to day usage would be unable to be compressed?

Would that make the Vertex 3 lose its edge in situations where the data cannot be compressed? And are we talking Read/write here? or just write?

What kind of things cant be compressed?

Sorry for all the questions :p 

@metawin Thanks for the continuing help man, i'm getting smarter by the minute



If you listen to Gene O you are making a mistake, he does not know more than Anand and the M4 is inferior in every way.
What he is telling you is that you won't notice a difference with much, much higher read and write speeds.

That is ridiculous.

Go back to the review for the Vertex 3 at the site I gave you and skip to the test called "Anand storage bench 2010" and it will list the results of the drive using various "real world usage" scenarios.
You will see that the 120GB Vetex is on par with the 256GB M4 (with SSDs the larger the size the greater the performance) and the 120 Vertex is as fast as a 256GB M4!!
Notice the 120GB M4 is not even listed.

You have to bear in mind in these tests it is NOT on a SATA III interface and that is where the new Sandfore really shines and the results would be even higher. It also shows results in IOPS, so look at the other benchmarks to get a more full picture.
For example the Vertex MAX IOPS would beat all of those drives in the IOPS catagory, look at all of the bench mark tests and read what Anand has to say.

The MAX IOPS on a SATAIII? Look around.

This is just to give you a basic idea of some real world usages so you can make a more informed decision.

It is also superior in terms longevity. You will enjoy the added benefits of having a fully supported flagship product which means frequent firmware updates, support etc. and tons of user guides and discussion on the net.

Did I mention the 3 year warranty?

I will save you some trouble and just link it for you.
Don't forget to look at the other benches in this review as well.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4256/the-ocz-vertex-3-rev...

Since you already missed the deadline on the promo code, take some time and do some research into SSDs then make a informed choice based on what you want.

Good luck!
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June 6, 2011 4:52:01 AM

Ok 2 more questions Gene O (thanks for the help)

I wouldn't have music or video on the SSD. it would just be programs(photoshop, lightroom, games) and windows 7. Are these very compressible?

And what is the reliability difference between the M4 and the vertex 3? i know larger nand has more reliability but that's about it.
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June 6, 2011 5:39:52 AM

Quote:
Yeah, I bet you knew. That is why you said I didn't know what I was talking about? And you think you are making anything clear to the OP with ONFI this and that?

OK first I am trolling you and then I am hijacking this thread. Right. I am responding because I disagree with the advice you are giving. I guess if someone disagrees with you they are a troll or Hijacker.

If you want to know the reliability track record of the various vendors, just do a little research. OCZ has the worst track record right now. For instance:

http://www.behardware.com/articles/831-7/components-ret...


You are trolling or really misinformed.

You did not bother to read the question the poster (mekunekud) asked about Solid series drives, which use asynchronous NAND and I told him the Agility 3 was the better of the two. Which it is.

I then sent him a link that gave a in-depth look at asynchronous and synchronous NAND (which of course I must not have read because I did not know the difference right? I must have just randomly typed in a web address?)

But of course you don't know any of that because you are a troll that just jumped in with bad opinions and insults without reading the post or even really trying to help, just M4 fanboy fanaticism.

I am done with you.
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June 6, 2011 6:15:19 AM

FullmetalCowboy said:
Ok 2 more questions Gene O (thanks for the help)

I wouldn't have music or video on the SSD. it would just be programs(photoshop, lightroom, games) and windows 7. Are these very compressible?

And what is the reliability difference between the M4 and the vertex 3? i know larger nand has more reliability but that's about it.


Compressible data is things like movies and pictures which you should not store on your SSD but on a HDD.
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a b G Storage
June 6, 2011 6:44:25 PM

@Gene O
If I read your post correctly, you're putting scratch files on your SSD. This will increase performance, but it will also thrash your SSD. Some friends of mine are heavy Photoshop and Premiere users, and they both burned through their first SSD in 6 months by having their scratch disks on their SSD (they both had intel SSDs). Most professionals use a HDD RAID 0 array for their large scratch disks since hard drives do not have limited Program/Erase cycles, and the lower reliability of RAID 0 is just fine for temporary storage.
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June 7, 2011 8:46:53 AM

FullmetalCowboy said:
0_o what is a scratch disk?


A drive other than your SSD to keep files that get written to allot, such as a your internet temp folder, swap file etc.

Read a couple of SSD optimization guides and they should explain more in depth.
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June 7, 2011 5:13:55 PM

Right now I would steer clear of any SandForce controlled SSD, with all the problems both OCZ and Corsair users are reporting. Both manufacturers have started forum threads on their respective sites to deal with all the complaints and offer [possible] explanations.

I had a Force 3 120GB working for a day before it crashed and burned (BIOS could not detect it). Many other F3 users are having the same problem.

I'm now leaning towards the M4 myself, and don't expect to see any real-world performance difference between it and the Force 3 (when it was working).

I can't comment on the OCZ products, but since they use SandForce it could be risky for you to go with their offerings.
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June 7, 2011 8:41:55 PM

gjtbackwards said:
Right now I would steer clear of any SandForce controlled SSD, with all the problems both OCZ and Corsair users are reporting. Both manufacturers have started forum threads on their respective sites to deal with all the complaints and offer [possible] explanations.

I had a Force 3 120GB working for a day before it crashed and burned (BIOS could not detect it). Many other F3 users are having the same problem.

I'm now leaning towards the M4 myself, and don't expect to see any real-world performance difference between it and the Force 3 (when it was working).

I can't comment on the OCZ products, but since they use SandForce it could be risky for you to go with their offerings.



Don't be so quick to blame the Sandforce.

It seems Corsair is recalling the force 3 and it was due to a problem with the PCB and firmware.

I don't know if they are offering a refund or just offering to fix the one you have though.

If you can get your money back look around when you do and you might find some good deals right now.
I just bought a Vertex 3 for the same price as the M4 with promo codes, so whatever you decide on be sure to look around for deals as they are all trying to out do each other right now and there are deals to be found out there!

LOL forgot to link :lol: 

http://www.legitreviews.com/news/10844/
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June 7, 2011 9:42:45 PM

FullmetalCowboy said:
0_o what is a scratch disk?


Not to overwhelm you with information right now, but something you may look into later.

How much RAM do you have?

If you have enough, you can make what is essentially a drive out of some of your RAM for temporary files and it will be much faster than any HDD.

I have 16GB and no one could possibly use that unless you are doing some really hardcore work, so I made a RAM disk that I use for the swap and temp internet files, I call a scratch disk, I don't photoshop allot but I assume you could do the same and point it at that for your photoshop scratch, but it will lose everything in it when you power down, so only use it for temp files.

Like I said I don't use photshop enough to worry about it, so I don't know for sure, but it may work and will be faster than any HDD will ever be, and speed is why you bought a SSD right?

Look into it first, I have never done it for photoshop but here is a good site to start.

http://photos4clix.com/?p=1601


You need to read up on SSD optimization because you are really going to want to either move or disable windows page file on an SSD, depending on your RAM availability, but if you disable it that may cause problems with some things that look for it in windows.

That is a favorite topic for augment is seems so be ready for a million opinions if you ask about it.
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June 7, 2011 11:17:25 PM

Quote:
Depending on what you do, Photoshop uses very large amounts of scratch disk (even if you have a lot of RAM) in addition to large amounts of RAM to run and edit images. So first you wouldn't be able to supply enough RAMDISK for a scratch space and second, by using RAM for the scratch disk, you are taking away from memory that photoshop is also a hog of. And when photoshop writes to scratch, it doesn't ever shrink (like when, say, closing an image), but continues to grow.

But like I said, I tested RAMdisk for some limited PS operations that wrote hundreds of megabytes to the scratch disk and it really didn't help - I think there is something else at play like compressing the data before writing it or something.

Ugh on Corsair and Force 3 SSD hardware changes. It is only on their CSSD-F120GB3-BK Force 3 120GB drive and they are doing a total recall and have stopped shipments. There are sandforce issues as well.



Your problems may be with the way you partitioned your RAM disk?

Here is a link that has a walk through and some benchmarks on a RAMdisk using photoshop and its seems like it would defiantly make a difference in terms of speed if done correctly.

He also talks about the way he partitioned it to make it work better.

http://photos4clix.com/?p=1601

Also as far as RAM usage goes, I should have mentioned, that it matters how much GDDR your GPU has, I have 2GB, soon to be 4GB with a crossfire setup and that would put much less strain on your system RAM and probably allow you to make the scratch smaller.

Also I should have mentioned to the OP that you only need one RAMdisk for everything you use it for not separate RAMdisks for each program, so you could benefit from having a large RAMdisk in areas other than photoshop.

How much is your RAM usage in photoshop at peak usages? I don't use photoshop enough to know, but is it really more than say 6GB at peak with some kind of monstrously large files? If you have 16GB and your windows page file on your RAMdisk then you should be able make a fairly large scratch and still have plenty of RAM for your system and PS.

I hardly use PS though, so maybe not?

I guess it all depends on your system configuration, usage, OpenGL settings, capabilities of your GPU blah blah blah, but if you use it allot and have a system capable of doing it, I would consider giving it a second look.
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June 8, 2011 1:03:26 AM

Quote:
I already explained it. With 8GB of RAM I have allocated 5 GB to Photoshop and routinely hit that 5GB while editing. I also explained that setting the scratch to RAMdisk exclusively for photoshop) doesn't speed up performing the operations that cost the most time and write lots to scratch disk. It is something else in Photoshop. It has nothing to do with Opengl or my GPU capabilities p- in fact the op[erations do nothing graphically. Got it?



I guess since you think you know more than Anand about SSDs it should not surprise me that you think you know more about photoshop than the people at photo4clix either.

I was trying to help you, but by all means just keep doing what your doing, I don't really care. Got it?
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June 8, 2011 1:58:34 AM

Quote:
This is not even a problem I am trying to solve now. I didn't ask for help. But if I were, I wouldn't ask for your help because I know what kind of value it would be.

And for Anand - at least I can reason and think for myself.



:sleep: 
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June 8, 2011 9:13:16 AM

metawin said:

You can safely RAID these drives, from what I understand, and there guides out there. If you want to be super safe, when you partition it leave %10 or %15 unallocated and you can fill it all the way up and still be guaranteed room left for garbage collection or just wait on getting your second one until TRIM is supported in RAID, which should not be all that much longer I think.


Not trying to hijack the thread but what is meant by this?
If you leave 15% of a drive unallocated, you can fill up the other 85% worry free?
What do you mean by garbage collection? Like deleted files, or just a generic term for extra help?
Is the extra 15% a page file?

Tks
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June 8, 2011 9:05:00 PM

timothy2180 said:
Not trying to hijack the thread but what is meant by this?
If you leave 15% of a drive unallocated, you can fill up the other 85% worry free?
What do you mean by garbage collection? Like deleted files, or just a generic term for extra help?
Is the extra 15% a page file?

Tks



Hey timothy, without being technical about it, garbage collection is an internal function of SSDs that basically tells them what files should be deleted and when your drive is idle it deletes the files that have been flagged. That is called background garbage collection and all SSDs have some form of it. Some also have programs that you can manually run and perform other maintenance tasks on the drive with. Remember this is flash memory, so you can't simply write over it, the cell must be erased first, but your controller has no way of knowing what should be erased on its own and that is where garbage collection comes in.

In order to do this though the drive needs some extra empty space available to work in. Most drives already do this by what is called "over provisioning". Generally speaking the more space you have free the better garbage collection can do its job, less so on the new controllers which have gotten allot better than the last gen at this function.

Over provisioning is why when you buy an SSD drive not all of it is available to you to use, because some is kept solely for the purpose of garbage collection. That is the reason I said "super safe" because since you already have some over provisioning, then leaving another 10 or 15 percent unallocated will pretty much guarantee that you will never overwhelm your drive. Like I said the new gen are much better than the last gen at doing this though.

The other part will most definitely NOT be used for a pagefile, which you should never have on an SSD, or any other file that preforms allot of write operations for that matter. The drive simply claims any unallocated space on a drive for use with garbage collection.

TRIM is a whole other story and you should read up on it before you buy an SSD, especially if you want to use them in an RAID0, which currently is not supported with TRIM. Remember though the new gen of controllers are definitely able to function fine without TRIM and just rely on their own garbage collection to do the job, provided you set them up correctly.

Hope it helped.
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June 9, 2011 8:38:55 AM

metawin said:
Hey timothy, without being technical about it, garbage collection is an internal function of SSDs that basically tells them what files should be deleted and when your drive is idle it deletes the files that have been flagged. That is called background garbage collection and all SSDs have some form of it. Some also have programs that you can manually run and perform other maintenance tasks on the drive with. Remember this is flash memory, so you can't simply write over it, the cell must be erased first, but your controller has no way of knowing what should be erased on its own and that is where garbage collection comes in.

In order to do this though the drive needs some extra empty space available to work in. Most drives already do this by what is called "over provisioning". Generally speaking the more space you have free the better garbage collection can do its job, less so on the new controllers which have gotten allot better than the last gen at this function.

Over provisioning is why when you buy an SSD drive not all of it is available to you to use, because some is kept solely for the purpose of garbage collection. That is the reason I said "super safe" because since you already have some over provisioning, then leaving another 10 or 15 percent unallocated will pretty much guarantee that you will never overwhelm your drive. Like I said the new gen are much better than the last gen at doing this though.

The other part will most definitely NOT be used for a pagefile, which you should never have on an SSD, or any other file that preforms allot of write operations for that matter. The drive simply claims any unallocated space on a drive for use with garbage collection.

TRIM is a whole other story and you should read up on it before you buy an SSD, especially if you want to use them in an RAID0, which currently is not supported with TRIM. Remember though the new gen of controllers are definitely able to function fine without TRIM and just rely on their own garbage collection to do the job, provided you set them up correctly.

Hope it helped.


Very helpful. Thank you.
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June 13, 2011 11:29:05 AM

Quote:

If you want to know the reliability track record of the various vendors, just do a little research. OCZ has the worst track record right now. For instance:

http://www.behardware.com/articles/831-7/components-ret...


Not to hijack the thread, but that was definitely insightful, thanks for the link. Now I feel a bit uneasy about having a Hitachi 7K2 2TB as my main desktop HDD...
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June 13, 2011 8:43:49 PM

Kralnor said:
Not to hijack the thread, but that was definitely insightful, thanks for the link. Now I feel a bit uneasy about having a Hitachi 7K2 2TB as my main desktop HDD...


Meh, OCZ is fine I believe, but you will defiantly want to steer clear of the Corsair Force 3 series for awhile.

They have just recalled ALL of their 120GB Force 3 drives to replace parts of the PCB and change the firmware.

The only good thing is they admitted that they let them out without testing them enough and did not try and blame the users.

But at the end of the day all of the new gen of SSDs have not been out long enough for every single problem to appear and as the old saying goes, buyer beware.
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June 14, 2011 9:46:09 PM

I would like to add a link to an article I read and I too am looking to make the best new purchase decision on an SSD. Since reading this Article I am on a quest to find what drives would fit the catagory below:


Link to the full article: http://thessdreview.com/ssd-guides/buyers-guide/the-ssd...



SOLID STATE DRIVE ….FACTS....


Top 5 Most Frequent Drive Accesses by Type and Percentage:
.
-8K Read (7.60%)
-8K Write (56.35%)
-1K Write (6.10%)
-16 Write (5.79%)
-64K Read (2.49%)

Top 5 account for: 78.33% of total drive access over test period
Largest access size in top 50: 256K Read (0.44% of total)


In the end, it confirms something we always thought but just didn’t really understand.  Large sequential read and write access is utilized by the average user less than 1% of the time yet the most used method of access is smaller random write access as shown by the 8k write at over 50%.
Manufacturers showcase the disk access method that is actually used the least (0.44% total) in order to get you to buy their SSDs.

In other words, the 4-8 kb random write access is the single most crucial access that results in better visible ssd performance. simply find the ssd with the best transfer results at the 4-8 kb random access level.


Now I believe the answer to the above advice in bold will lead to the best SSD . hope someone has this answer.
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June 15, 2011 12:01:11 AM

OCZ and Sandforce controller = Best SSD drives out right now.
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June 16, 2011 5:43:37 AM

sdep777 said:
I would like to add a link to an article I read and I too am looking to make the best new purchase decision on an SSD. Since reading this Article I am on a quest to find what drives would fit the catagory below:

Top 5 Most Frequent Drive Accesses by Type and Percentage:
.
-8K Read (7.60%)
-8K Write (56.35%)
-1K Write (6.10%)
-16 Write (5.79%)

In other words, the 4-8 kb random write access is the single most crucial access that results in better visible ssd performance. simply find the ssd with the best transfer results at the 4-8 kb random access level.


Now I believe the answer to the above advice in bold will lead to the best SSD . hope someone has this answer.



I would really encourage you to reconsider your position.

First, go back and read the source of his "data".
It consists of some random dude he knows doing what he considers his typical usage, without listing what that is, other than using the internet and running applications (what applications?). How do we know he was not using write heavy software or doing other things that should not be done on an SSD? We don't and it is no accident that the article was not more specific. It also never mentions if the test was even done on an SSD, he uses the term drive instead.

Secondly, it makes absolutely no mention of how he has his drive set up.
Is his pagefile, internet temp, PS scratch and windows temp etc. kept on the SSD?
I am willing to bet that it is, which is something that no sane person would do unless there was a specific reason for doing so, in this case making it appear to support his claim.

The article is also from May 2010 and was only updated in March 2011, not written.

I could go on and point out other obvious ways in which the author tried to purposely mislead the readers, such as the laughable list of drives he used to show speeds and how he tried to compare very large drives in raid against smaller single drives and pass that off as in some way comparable or the way he..... but I digress.

What you have had the misfortune of stumbling upon is a "writer" making a ridiculous statement in order to get attention for his article, which he did apparently, without any regard at all for those who would take his post as serious.
I urge you to purge that bit of marketing fluff from your brain before you start looking for an SSD, as it has no basis in reality.

Not to say write speed is not worth note, it is but it is not the determining factor of a good SSD.

This sums up how I feel about it.
"Real world performance is a complicated mix of random and sequential read and write speeds at different files sizes and queue depths. Latency and controller specific behavior will also influence the end result. Try and look for real world benchmarks." - notebookreview.com

If you are writing to your SSD 60% of the time you are using it, then you are doing it wrong. Way wrong.

Here is a better site with some good in-depth reviews of the most popular SSDs.

http://www.anandtech.com/tag/storage

Hope it helps. :) 
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