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Two 120 gb or One 240 gb SSD? Does it matter?

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April 30, 2012 1:49:33 PM

Hello all,

I'm building a new system for my office.

I won't be putting media files on the system, only datasets that I'll be analyzing (I'm a statistician). I've decided to only use SSD, no more spinning platters.

I know I'm getting a 120 Crucial M4 for my OS and Apps. I figure at a maximum I need another 120 of space, so here is my question:

Is there any difference in having a single 240 versus two 120 SSDs? i.e., in terms of speed, garbage collection (I'll be moving data files on and off pretty regularly, which is why I always kept separate HDs in the past for defrag reasons).

Thanks!

More about : 120 240 ssd matter

a b G Storage
April 30, 2012 2:41:17 PM

The single 240 will be faster than either of the 120s individually, I would just get the 240, you can assign seperate drive letter to the single physical volume if you raelly want to, but I would just leave it as a single drive for maximum flexability.
a b G Storage
April 30, 2012 2:41:41 PM

BTW defragging is not needed or suggested with SSDs
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April 30, 2012 4:08:42 PM

Thanks much. Another question...

So the statistics package that I use loads a data set into RAM and works on it in RAM (i.e., it's much faster than the approach SAS uses). Given this, I'm back to thinking that the only speed advantage I get storing datasets on SSD is the file open and save times. Given SSDs deteriorate with each write, maybe it's not worth it?

Thoughts on this?
a b G Storage
April 30, 2012 4:45:51 PM

If you're working with a dataset in memory, the speed while it's in memory will not be affected but the speed to load the dataset into memory will be much faster. I would not be concerned about write deterioration unless you do a massive amount of writes. Modern SSDs use wear leveling to ensure you get the most out of each cell.
April 30, 2012 4:53:05 PM

Wonder what is considered "massive".

:) 

a b G Storage
April 30, 2012 4:59:35 PM

mayan50 said:
Wonder what is considered "massive".

:) 


Years worth of abuse. :) 

If you're app is working out of RAM, therefore only opening and saving from SSD, this is going to be a very rare occasion (in comparison to the R/W transactions of a standard OS frequency). Therefore, your datasets are not going to add that much extra to the "abuse" the drives are designed to take.

Most SSDs are rated to sustain several 10's of GB of written* data per day and still sustain their respective warranties of 2 - 5yrs. (read transactions do not count against wearing out the drive)

EDIT: More pragmatic answer to "massive", 25-50GB of written data per day, 7 days x 365
Also, it's a best practice to leave the physical drive (regardless of how you divvy drive letters/partitions) with at least 30-35% free space. This allows that wear-leveling and garbage collecting to do it's job properly
a c 256 G Storage
April 30, 2012 7:22:23 PM

The general consensus is to purchase the single largest solid state drive you can afford.

Modern ssd's are fast. A RAID array really isn't necessary unless you are doing some sort of very special professional or scientific work. Some of the veteran posters indicate they can't tell the difference between a RAID array and one large ssd.

Back in 2007 and 2008 when consumer ssd's were first introduced deterioration was a concern. With modern ssd's, that it no longer a problem.
April 30, 2012 7:29:21 PM

Is there any advantage (other than cost) to keeping with a smaller SSD just for OS/apps and another HD for data (i.e., forgo the 2nd SSD), so as not to "disturb" the OS/apps primary drive?
a c 256 G Storage
April 30, 2012 7:40:04 PM

Cost is the primary reason.

What I found interesting is that individuals don't seem to require a 1TB or 2TB ssd for their Operating System, Software applications, and Utilities. Generally a 128GB ssd is sufficient. It is considered to be the the "sweet spot" right now.

However, this does not apply to hardcore gamers who might have a lot of games that require an awful lot of space. Same goes for movie and music lovers. I have a friend who has saved almost 6TB worth of movies just in case someone comes over and wants to watch a movie.

Do you know how much capacity you need for your OS, applications, and utilities?
April 30, 2012 8:15:24 PM

My current system has about 80 gb of OS/Apps, but a lot of that is junk. So 120 gb is about right for that.

a b G Storage
April 30, 2012 8:44:35 PM

mayan50 said:
Is there any advantage (other than cost) to keeping with a smaller SSD just for OS/apps and another HD for data (i.e., forgo the 2nd SSD), so as not to "disturb" the OS/apps primary drive?


Just as JohnnyLucky said, it's cost. If the price point was right and/or cost was no matter to you, having it all on one massive SSD would be the best of the best. But most people aren't rich, and those massive SSDs aren't cheap. So that's why almost all of us split the data set. But there will be a day in the future where we just stick it all on an SSD.
May 1, 2012 12:22:12 AM

WOW!

I literally came on here to ask a similar question.

I want to make the jump to an SSD and with my research I've decided I'd go with the Crucial M4. I'm still on SATA 2 because of the X58 build that I have. If anyone has other recommendations as to a better and RELIABLE SSD, please let me know.

But I have a similar question as I said.

I'm an IT college student and while I do heavy sets of work I do dabble with productivity software.

ie Office 2010, Visual Studio 2010, -- a suite of a lot of Office products, Dreamweaver and Photoshop.

I of course do a lot of gaming. But with school I have been limiting myself to playing a select number of games and not as often as before which was 3-4 times a week.

I have money right now to get a Crucial M4 128 which is going for $125 on New Egg.

But my thing is for future proofing somewhat should I make the jump to a 256GB for that bit of extra NAND boost.

Just wanted to know other peoples opinions and suggestions.

Best solution

a b G Storage
May 1, 2012 9:55:25 AM
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Quote:
I have money right now to get a Crucial M4 128 which is going for $125 on New Egg.

But my thing is for future proofing somewhat should I make the jump to a 256GB for that bit of extra NAND boost.

Just wanted to know other peoples opinions and suggestions.


If you can afford the 256, get it. Always go with the biggest you can afford. But if that's not feasible, then 128 it is. The biggest rule of thumb is, as I said earlier in this thread, to insure you leave 30-35% free space, minimum. Ideal is 50% free, but most of us want more performance, so we load them a little more. :) 
May 1, 2012 12:19:33 PM

Alright thanks. Definitely will do. Buying a 256 this weekend.

I know it will be the most ideal thing to do too, just wanted a solid reason to justify the buy.

I'm starting to wonder if Crucial has some type of new SSD under the hood that they haven't mentioned anything. Looking at the price point of some SSD's Crucial is still one of the best rated and the lowest priced at many sites/locations.

But thanks for the responses albeit it was only one, the previous responses helped as well.
May 2, 2012 10:31:49 AM

That made me really happy. Don't know if I should jump ship on a small sized one just to give it a test run as I am running an older X58 Mobo with SATA2, and then get some big guns as I do plan on doing a new full build with the next Intel CPU's.

Hmm tough decisions.
May 2, 2012 9:08:38 PM

I bought the Crucial M4 256 gb to be my one and only drive on this machine. Thanks everyone!
May 2, 2012 9:08:56 PM

Best answer selected by mayan50.
a b G Storage
May 2, 2012 9:29:03 PM

mayan50 said:
I bought the Crucial M4 256 gb to be my one and only drive on this machine. Thanks everyone!


One day I'll be able to cram all my *** on a single SSD. Oh the day... until then I'll be jealous. :p 
!