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Does size really matter?

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June 22, 2011 7:45:43 PM

I guess it depends on who you ask
Really, though I do have a question about SSD and size. It has been asked over and over but I have not seen any threads that really answer my question.
What size SSD would be the best option for me? I do your normal computer operation but do a lot of serious video work. I have many programs that I need to use for different things that I do. Several different things for video(large programs) office, programs that I have for home automation, hundreds of gb of music, hundreds of pictures, tb of video. Large programs for pictures. I know I won't store any of the music, pics or video on the SSD.
I have read many, many, many conflicting reports on what to do with your SSD. My big question is will I get faster video rendering if the program is on the OS drive? Where is the best place to put my programs. On another drive or on the same partition as the OS? I want what will be best for video work.

More about : size matter

a b G Storage
June 22, 2011 8:04:56 PM

An SSD only speeds up the program loading process. Once the program is loaded, it runs from RAM, therefore the more ram you have the faster video rendering will get. (assuming you have a 64-bit operating system.) Your video work will be at its fastest when you are able to load the program and all the video files that you are rendering into RAM at the same time.
a b G Storage
June 22, 2011 8:33:27 PM

If you're going to have a mixed setup (SSD and HDD), make sure any frequently changed temporary files such as Scratch Disks and Pagefiles are only on the HDD. Putting Scratch Disks and Pagefiles on an SSD can decrease the life of the SSD.

In my experience the best setup is a 120GB SSD for your OS and important Applications and data, and a large capacity HDD for everything else. For faster transcoding, put your Scratch Disks and Temp files on a HDD RAID 0 array.
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a b G Storage
June 23, 2011 3:32:07 PM

Not to be disrespectful at all.. but I disagree with just about every tip given here. I too fell prey to the "oh no.. don't do that!.. it will kill your drive faster" advice and moved as much as possble off my SSD array. Big mistake if you are after productivity with larger files and access intensive programs. My vid/gfx workstation is modeled after that very requirement.

Is like moving the most required aspects of a fast vid/gfx machine to the slowest portion of the hard disk. Not really the most preferred method if you think about it and would be like downgrading your systems speed potential after having spent the money to make it as fast as possible and quite counterproductive.

I use the crap out of my system(even scratched well over 100 gigs worth of vid workflow per day on occassion) and keep all the programs on the SSD. It's what they were designed for with ultra low latency and huge small random performance being their strong point.Need to keep in mind that an apps typically accessed files are not contiguously written any more than an OS's.

And lifespan concerns with SSD?.. that's fast becoming a major fallacy due to the fact that many are even going well beyond their PE/c ratings and there are also some tests starting to surface around the net where some are purposely trying to wear out the drives to find these limits. http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?2710...

PE/c ratings for nand are "minimum" ratings and the math is very simple to do for rough estimates. Capacity x PE/c = total writes in GB's. On a 120GB drive they are WELL into the hundreds of Terabytes. I've got 5 Terabytes written to EACH one of my Vertex 2's in a 6 drive arrays and do not worry about the write endurance one little bit anymore. By the time it's even a concern?. I will have moved these things into netbooks(that is, if those drives aren't already faster) or put them into an external e-SATA/USB3 enclosure. They will seem like small overpriced USB sticks before I have the chance at burning them out. Seriously dramatized issue and many are starting to realize it more and more as time goes by.

And as for scratching the temp stuff to HDD?.. well?.. I too tried that and the latency of HDD can and does show up when you rely on HDD too often. Most often underestimate the storage speeds read/write requirement as the SSD can only write as fast as it can read from the HDD(although the access times are still miserable once you get spoiled form actually having the files stored on the SSD itself), and write to the HDD as fast as the SSD can read. Have to balance out the OS and storage volumes capability to really optimize the balance.

So,.. having a 6 drive array on my system wouldn't give much benefit(unless I store all my data ON the SSD which would require another line of equity to implement.. lol) if I didn't have an 8 drive HDD array to pair up with it. Not saying everyone needs that kind of speed but I know for a fact that no one dislikes it when they can transfer/scratch 5 gigs in just 7-8 seconds.

Same with pagefiles. Even Intel themselves says where better to put the page file then the next fastest file system on the machine. Ram,.. then SSD,.. then HDD. If you have 6 or 8 gigs of ram anyways?.. don't even sweat it as you'll rarely bump into the usage of the swap file anyways. I have 12 gigs but VERY rarely ever ran out even with 6 gigs and even then?.. I had to have just about every app imaginable open on my machine to ever run into the need for a swap. In fact.. I have not used swap files for many years with only some temp config testing in the last year and a half due to all the SSD tweaks advice/dramatization being perpetuated.

My moto is.. "buy em'.. use em'.. burn em'. You'll be looking at full system upgrades before they're even fully burnt, anyways.
a b G Storage
June 23, 2011 4:07:31 PM

@groberts101
If you're doing this on a business computer then your usage model makes sense as the cost of new drives can be written off as a business expense. Many of us are using our SSDs in home computers and would prefer to get the maximum lifespan from our expensive purchase. My occasional Photoshopped image or video transcode might not affect my SSDs very much, but as this is my home computer I'd rather not take the chance. My opinion might be different if I was making money on this machine.
a b G Storage
June 23, 2011 4:27:04 PM

I hear ya. My system is used for both and while it is a writeoff?.. I too am not made of money.

You and many are being far too over conservative was the main point above. These SAME drives will NOT be in your system for much more than a scratch disk or some other alternate storage solution in the next 3 years.

Most are simply too hooked on speed/time saved and will easily and willfully upgrade before lifespan becomes a concern. You'll figure it out eventually and look back and laugh. I'm not quite laughing yet.. but I'm already beginning to chuckle a bit.
June 23, 2011 7:54:45 PM

LordConrad said:
@groberts101
If you're doing this on a business computer then your usage model makes sense as the cost of new drives can be written off as a business expense. Many of us are using our SSDs in home computers and would prefer to get the maximum lifespan from our expensive purchase. My occasional Photoshopped image or video transcode might not affect my SSDs very much, but as this is my home computer I'd rather not take the chance. My opinion might be different if I was making money on this machine.


If you're a home user you'll "never" burn out the drives, unless you're doing a massive amount of file sharing and are essentially a server. I would definitely put my swap on a SSD - that's exactly what it's for. Operating system for fast loads and the most commonly used disk-intensive programs for fast processing. It's incorrect to say that "Once the program is loaded, it runs from RAM, therefore the more ram you have the faster video rendering will get." Yes, RAM is excellent and if the program and data can all fit in your RAM (or better yet, onboard cache) of course it will run faster. But if all the program and data fit in RAM, there'd be no need for a swap file at all - which is obviously not the case for 99.99% of windows users. Additionally, many programs don't completely load at startup...various plugins or non-essential portions of the program aren't loaded until demanded.

Another reason for only having your OS and core programs and swap files on the SSD is if it DOES fail, you won't lose your data (assuming you have a fixed storage space and are near-limit). Your swap files are useless for data and OSes CAN be restored if you have good backups in place (not like I do though... :p  ).

The basic principle of fastest performance says you should store things most commonly accessed/computed in L1-L3 cache, onboard RAM, SSD, fastest RPM fastest data transfer drive, slightly slower HDD, and I suppose finally your external HDD, flashdrive or tape:p  Doing things out-of-order in that chain increases your latency and dramatically negates the effect of the technology. If you're not going through huge quantities of read-writes, you'll never burn through your drive in 3-5 years (unless it's completely defective). And in 3 years your current drive will be laughably cheap to replace if still available, so unless you're within a couple years of retirement I wouldn't worry about it. Basically costs will drop dramatically and capacities will increase for commensurate costs.

If your primary concern is system longevity and keeping costs down, you wouldn't have bought an SSD to begin with. You don't NEED it (unless your job position demands it for graphically intensive work), it's just nice to have. And even if you bought a $500 drive - once you've purchased it, it's largely a sunk cost. Use it to its best advantage, and that is doing stuff fast. Otherwise it's just a fancy paperweight that you can brag to your friends about.
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