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Second-Gen SandForce: Seven 120 GB SSDs Rounded Up

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July 25, 2011 4:30:50 AM

The Corsair force series 3 drives should be instantly disqualified due to BSoDs etc. Go look at their reviews on newegg, it is horrifying.
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6
July 25, 2011 4:33:28 AM

Nice review. You left out the corsair Force GT 120gb however which would have compared equally to the vertex as other sites have scored it. Also I own one, it ROCKS.

On the force 3, it got horrible reviews because of a production issue. Corsair issued a full recall and now the issues with that particular drive have been cleared up which is why it was not disqualified. Very old news.
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July 25, 2011 4:44:43 AM

Quote:
On the force 3, it got horrible reviews because of a production issue. Corsair issued a full recall and now the issues with that particular drive have been cleared up which is why it was not disqualified. Very old news.


You are wrong sir.
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5
July 25, 2011 5:56:33 AM

Googling told me that SSDs are almost impossible to use with Linux (EXT4). My netbook & notebook drives are in MS NTFS-COMPRESSED partitions (not Linux NTFS-4G, 'cos no compression). MS claims compressions has 'negligible' speed costs. Is that true, for about twice then storage space?
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2
July 25, 2011 7:21:44 AM

why not include the max iops editions?
anands benchies showed that 120gb vertex3 max iops ~= 256gb vertex 3 for quite a less price
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0
July 25, 2011 7:26:16 AM

This article mentions installing the OS and applications to SSD, and the rest (movies, music) to conventional hdd's. But I'm not sure how to do that. I've google'd it and there are many suggestions how to do it. I would like to know the best way to go about this.
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0
July 25, 2011 7:47:52 AM

HellboundThis article mentions installing the OS and applications to SSD, and the rest (movies, music) to conventional hdd's. But I'm not sure how to do that. I've google'd it and there are many suggestions how to do it. I would like to know the best way to go about this.

WTF?

Step 1.) Install SSD.

Step 2.) Install OS on SSD and everything you want to access and run quickly.

Step 3.) Install HDD.


Step 4.) Send files to E, F, G, H, I, J or whatever drive the HDD is. Performance orientated apps go to the C, or whatever drive your SSD is.


It's literally no different than if you were to plug in an external HDD via USB. You direct files and applications as accordingly.

We'll dismiss the Z68 - which allows you to use a small SSD to boost your normal HDD - otherwise if your SSD is large enough, it's actually a worse route, and just instead use the SSD.
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3
July 25, 2011 8:00:17 AM

This is a superb review because it deals with real-world performance. I commend Tom's for providing a thorough review - one of the most thorough that I have read on any computer site. Tom's is right, the 120 GB size SSD is the sweet spot in SSD drive performance Vs cost.

If you read similar reviews on other sites, the Patriot Wildfire, The Corsair Force 3 GT and possibly the OCZ Vertex 3 are the top performers in the 120 GB drive performance. The Wildfire uses 32 NM Toshiba toggle flash memory which is the best. The Force 3 GT uses 25 NM memory but somehow manages to keep up with the Wildfire. Note this is not the Corsair Force 3 listed in this review, it is the Corsair Force 3 GT - emphasize the GT. The GT and the wildfire are the two fastest 120 GB drives available right now based on real-world performance benchmarks.

The real important benchmarks to watch for are the real-world benchmarks at the end of each review. These really are the only ones that count. The other benchmarks are synthetic and they are not very accurate. The OCZ drives win all of the synthetic benchmarks but their real-world performance falls behind the Force GT and the Wildfire.

Another critical factor is that "fill-rate" performance of the drives. This is the performance of the drives as they fill. Again, the Wildfire and the Force GT rise to the top with the Vertex 3 coming in third place.

This review lists the Mushkin as a top performer, but it is not listed in many reviews (none that I have read) and so I have not included it in my comments. It is possible that this is a top performer also but I would like to read other reviews about it to confirm.
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1
Anonymous
July 25, 2011 9:03:27 AM

Same thing with OCZ, to be honest. They got an error rate of 33% over at Newegg. Honestly I won't buy a single drive from them, no matter how fast, until they've fixed their issues that have lasted for two bloody generations.

Crucial m4 for performance and Intel 320 for value is the best.
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6
July 25, 2011 10:12:44 AM

HellboundThis article mentions installing the OS and applications to SSD, and the rest (movies, music) to conventional hdd's. But I'm not sure how to do that. I've google'd it and there are many suggestions how to do it. I would like to know the best way to go about this.


Besides just manually managing your files on the HDD, there is another method you can use. It's more complicated to set up, but if you can google and follow directions, you'll find it may be easier.

With Windows 7 you can basically take your "My Documents" folder (the \Users\ stuff) and symbolically link the folders to the mechanical HDD. Everytime an application wants to save to one of your document folders, which would otherwise be on your system drive (in this case a SSD) will just end up on the HDD. From a file management perspective, you may find it easier.

I do it manually -- just install Windows, Office Pro 2010, Pantone, Google Chrome, iTunes, ect. to the SSD. All of my music, movies, backups of my SSD (I'm only using about 22GB of my Intel 510's 111GB) end up on the HDD. My Steam folder is about 200GB as well, so it goes on the HDD.

You just have to do stuff like change iTunes folder in advanced options to the folder on the HDD. It's really easy to do. That way, when I want to use another SSD, I have all the Steam games and media on the HDD. Fresh installs are really easy this way.

I tried installing some of my games on a few of the SSDs I own. Some games can really benefit, but mostly the increase in speed over a fast HDD isn't worth it.

I bought an original WD Raptor 36GB drive in 2003 that I used for many years, so I was completely comfortable trying to manage the stuff that ends up on my HDD. I ended up moving from a 60GB SSD to a 120GB SSD that is faster but I just can't bring myself to put much on it.
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2
July 25, 2011 11:10:24 AM

nice work guys :) 

I do have a question though: for my own use, I need to encrypt the system drive using TrueCrypt (128bit AES). When I did that on a Vertex 2 60GB, the performance went down a hundred-fold! This apparently had to do with the fact that the data was in-compressible (bad for SandForce controllers) and the drive was completely "filled" by TrueCrypt's encryption (so you won't be able to see how much data is on it).

This meant that the performance was actually LOWER than an encrypted mechanical hard drive, and actually almost unusable. Is there any way for you to devise a test that looks at this effect on SSD performance? This situation is not very rare, a lot of business users must encrypt their drives in order to comply with Company Policy..

I've used AS-SSD for testing, with read/write results at around 3.5MB/s :S

Thank you,

Chovav
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0
July 25, 2011 1:52:00 PM

Tiger Direct's selling the Solid 3 for $165. That's only about 50 bucks more than a Velociraptor. I think it might be time to pull the trigger. Are these things reliable enough now to use them as the only drives in a RAID?
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July 25, 2011 2:12:17 PM

garage1217On the force 3, it got horrible reviews because of a production issue. Corsair issued a full recall and now the issues with that particular drive have been cleared up which is why it was not disqualified. Very old news.

Nope, I had a new force 3 120gb, model 1124 (which was the one that is supposedly fixed), and I was still getting BSODs so I returned it. I waited for the whole early fiasco to be over but still had problems. Go check the Corsair forums, tons of people are still having issue. I'm staying away from any ssd that is using the SF 2281 but I'm keeping my eye on the Wildfire to see how reliable that one is.
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1
July 25, 2011 3:13:49 PM

Rocking mine just fine with no bsods or issues of any kind and tons of others are rocking their 120gb force drives with no issues. The editors of this review did not find or have issues as well, nor have other reviewers since the recall. So does that tell you anything at all?

Sort of comes down to that old story about the girl that just cannot keep a man. She complains and moans about how it is always the guys fault or she cannot find the right guy and they all suck. She never thought it was her retarded self that was the real issue things never worked out lol So along those lines, have you ever considered it is YOUR equipment and setup, not the drive that is causing the issue? I hear crap like this every day from people with oc'ed systems that they claim is stable when it really is not causing issues that really show themselves with ssd drives. Or people that really have no clue what they are doing in the bios mucking things up and causing problems that may be tolerable to one piece of equipment and not another so when they switch, issues arise. Or a ton of other combos of crap that just do not workout at all together like a junk power supply causing instability issues, or trying to install the latest equipment on quite old hardware.

Bottom line, I am not seeing any issues at all, tons of others are not seeing any issues and if you care to look at other reviews on say newegg of other brands, you will find the same thing across all ssd manufacturers, not just one in particular. You also find the same thing with mobos, standard drives, optical drives, power supplies, video cards. Really throws up red flags when the person claims in a review "i have tried 5 of these and not a one works!!!" Duh morons, wake up and realize what the real issue is, a lack of troubleshooting skills and the knowledge to properly use a device.
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-2
July 25, 2011 3:29:13 PM

SSDs are more problematic than just about every other piece of hardware. It's like a Jenga puzzle, you remove one block and something else goes wrong. Just look at the Solid 3 and Agility 3. Identical hardware, different performance due to firmware.

That said, I believe that each SSD manufacturer is experiencing their own unique issues. I personally haven't experienced any BSOD issues in the lab. As an example, our workstations are allowed to sleep, which has been a cited issue with the new OCZ SSDs. Anand has the same experience - no BSOD errors in his lab. That's a similar sentiment shared by other reviewers.

Overall, SSDs are kind of like cars. You may experience something on the road, but once you bring it to your mechanic, nothing seems wrong. Problems with SSDs are highly correlated with configuration and how they are used (what is written, how fast it is written, how much is written, etc...). And I'd go so far as to chalk 99% of the "soft errors" to be related to the flash translational layer (FTL).

If you're looking for rock solid reliability, you're better off with a hard drive. It doesn't matter if you own a hard drive or a SSD, everyone should practice good backup practices.

Cheers,
Andrew Ku
Tomshardware.com
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-1
July 25, 2011 3:51:02 PM

Current Cost per GB on newegg for the reviewed drives

OCZ agility 3 120gb $1.50/gb (includes rebate. $1.75/gb without )
OCZ solid 3 120gb $1.62/gb (includes rebate. $1.79/gb without)
Crucial M4 128gb/256gb $1.67/gb
Corsair Force 3 120 $1.75/gb
Intel 320 120gb $1.83/gb
AData s511 120 $1.91/gb
OCZ Vertex 3 120 $1.91/gb (includes rebate. $2.08 without)
Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 120gb $2.16/gb
Intel 510 120gb $2.30/gb
Patriot wildfire 120gb $2.50/gb

Going through your benchmarks, it actually looks like the Crucial M4 drives are the best choice with consistent good performance and very low cost/gb.
In fact, the 256 gb M4 particularly stands out for having the same $/gb as the 120gb M4, yet top of the pack performance throughout the benchmarks.

Edit: Forgot the Deluxe in Mushkin Chronos. Price/gb was correct though.
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0
July 25, 2011 3:55:32 PM

That's because we test with 4kb transfer sizes in random accesses. The 256 GB and 512 m4s have a native 8kb page. We're going to cover all of that in another article dedicated to m4s.

If you want nothing to do with compression and still want a performance SSD, m4s are probably the best choice. That's why they're often included in the best SSDs for the money.

FYI, we used a Chronos Deluxe ~= Wildfire. The regular Chronos is the async stuff, same as Force 3 and regular Vertex 3.

Cheers,
Andrew Ku
TomsHardware.com
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0
July 25, 2011 3:56:09 PM

acku said:
SSDs are more problematic than just about every other piece of hardware. It's like a Jenga puzzle, you remove one block and something else goes wrong. Just look at the Solid 3 and Agility 3. Identical hardware, different performance due to firmware.

That said, I believe that each SSD manufacturer is experiencing their own unique issues. I personally haven't experienced any BSOD issues in the lab. As an example, our workstations are allowed to sleep, which has been a cited issue with the new OCZ SSDs. Anand has the same experience - no BSOD errors in his lab. That's a similar sentiment shared by other reviewers.

Overall, SSDs are kind of like cars. You may experience something on the road, but once you bring it to your mechanic, nothing seems wrong. Problems with SSDs are highly correlated with configuration and how they are used (what is written, how fast it is written, how much is written, etc...). And I'd go so far as to chalk 99% of the "soft errors" to be related to the flash translational layer (FTL).

If you're looking for rock solid reliability, you're better off with a hard drive. It doesn't matter if you own a hard drive or a SSD, everyone should practice good backup practices.

Cheers,
Andrew Ku
Tomshardware.com


I will agree to that :)  SSD drives in general are not perfect, but they are not the horrid plague that some make them out to be.
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-1
July 25, 2011 4:01:07 PM

chovav said:
nice work guys :) 

I do have a question though: for my own use, I need to encrypt the system drive using TrueCrypt (128bit AES). When I did that on a Vertex 2 60GB, the performance went down a hundred-fold! This apparently had to do with the fact that the data was in-compressible (bad for SandForce controllers) and the drive was completely "filled" by TrueCrypt's encryption (so you won't be able to see how much data is on it).

This meant that the performance was actually LOWER than an encrypted mechanical hard drive, and actually almost unusable. Is there any way for you to devise a test that looks at this effect on SSD performance? This situation is not very rare, a lot of business users must encrypt their drives in order to comply with Company Policy..

I've used AS-SSD for testing, with read/write results at around 3.5MB/s :S

Thank you,

Chovav


I actually hadn't thought of using TruCrypt with a SSD. But your experience with a SandForce drive makes a lot of sense. Near to no compression being done, which is horrible for SF's garbage collection which relies on "extra" space made available by compression. Basically, you're completely throttling the drive and every write leaves little to no time for idle garbage collection because everything written is encrypted. This would be the same as running Iometer with completely random data over the course of weeks at a time. That's why performance is going to be better on a hard drive. I'd recommend trying an m4 if TruCrypt is a must.

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July 25, 2011 4:40:09 PM

gregzengGoogling told me that SSDs are almost impossible to use with Linux (EXT4). My netbook & notebook drives are in MS NTFS-COMPRESSED partitions (not Linux NTFS-4G, 'cos no compression). MS claims compressions has 'negligible' speed costs. Is that true, for about twice then storage space?


The compression algorithm used by the NTFS system can at best compress text and various uncompressed stuff down to about 50% of the original size, with little CPU usage.

It will not compress at all the most often found files such as mp3, avi, mkv, docx, which are already compressed. Also, the majority of games' files are already compressed so enabling NTFS compression really won't save a lot of disk space.
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July 25, 2011 4:47:01 PM

hey,all, I was wondering if anyone could tell me what the most important spec. is for one of these SSDs for an average user; I am thinking about buying one but don't know which one.

I am stuck between the Wildfire,Chronos Deluxe, or the ol' faithful m4 128gb that I've heard so much about.
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0
July 25, 2011 5:30:02 PM

zepfan_75 said:
hey,all, I was wondering if anyone could tell me what the most important spec. is for one of these SSDs for an average user; I am thinking about buying one but don't know which one.

I am stuck between the Wildfire,Chronos Deluxe, or the ol' faithful m4 128gb that I've heard so much about.


There is no ONE holy grail benchmark. Our Storage Benchmark v1.0 is our attempt to provide a singular ranking system by subjecting a SSD to "average desktop use" (low qds, mostly sequential, reasonable amount of compressible data).

YMMV depending on workload. For example, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is mostly random data. Crysis 2 is mostly sequential. Then we have to start picking apart transfer sizes and queue depths....

If you need to look at one ranking system, that's the page I would recommend looking at.

Cheers,
Andrew Ku
TomsHardware.com
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-1
July 25, 2011 6:27:12 PM

Crucial M4 64gb would be the smartest purchase. Fastest latency time and good Read and write. Just buy a second one for Raid and BAM!
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1
Anonymous
July 25, 2011 7:42:04 PM

There is an issue you missed about steady state performance. Apparently SF drives also have a "lifetime throttling" which limits their speeds to preserve warranty-friendly endurance. It takes a good while to get there, but sustained writing will trigger a slowdown to roughly ~6mbps or so until a sufficient amount of time has passed. Admittedly, for a home user this isn't like an issue but it is definitely something to be aware of for anyone wishing to use SF drives in a more business or server oriented role.

There is a (relatively long) forum post about this here:

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?2710...
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1
July 25, 2011 7:55:45 PM

Newegg has been having the odd sale on the M4 64GB, which for being a 64GB SSD is pretty awesome. Last week it was selling for $90 and sold out, then went on shell shocker for a hundred and sold out. I should point out that it probably SHOULD be $100 with it's cheap IMFT 25nm nand, but none the less looks like a good deal. I picked one up. When the time came two weeks ago to invest in a new 6gps drive, I went with the intel 510, despite it's lacking encryption like the 300 series and with its high price. If I were to do it over again, I'd get the Corsair P3 probably and save $50.

chovavnice work guys I do have a question though: for my own use, I need to encrypt the system drive using TrueCrypt (128bit AES). When I did that on a Vertex 2 60GB, the performance went down a hundred-fold! This apparently had to do with the fact that the data was in-compressible (bad for SandForce controllers) and the drive was completely "filled" by TrueCrypt's encryption (so you won't be able to see how much data is on it).This meant that the performance was actually LOWER than an encrypted mechanical hard drive, and actually almost unusable. Is there any way for you to devise a test that looks at this effect on SSD performance? This situation is not very rare, a lot of business users must encrypt their drives in order to comply with Company Policy.. I've used AS-SSD for testing, with read/write results at around 3.5MB/s :SThank you,Chovav



I would recommend the Intel 320 series. They have built in encryption, AES 128 I believe. If you MUST use TrueCrypt (or some other encryption), I second Andrew's M4 recommendation, but if you just need the drive to be encrypted with AES 128, you don't even need to use true crypt with the 320 series -- not the more expensive 510.
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1
July 25, 2011 8:06:21 PM

With so many candidates, the graphs use colors for the performance curves that are sometimes very close and hard to differentiate. The reader cannot always tell which color is for which candidate.

I have a suggestion. For the lists of candidates and colors below the graph, order the list in order of performance - high to low (as best you can). This would in most cases allow the reader to tell which curve color and which candidate go together.
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1
July 25, 2011 9:22:39 PM

ackuThere is no ONE holy grail benchmark. Our Storage Benchmark v1.0 is our attempt to provide a singular ranking system by subjecting a SSD to "average desktop use" (low qds, mostly sequential, reasonable amount of compressible data).YMMV depending on workload. For example, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is mostly random data. Crysis 2 is mostly sequential. Then we have to start picking apart transfer sizes and queue depths....If you need to look at one ranking system, that's the page I would recommend looking at.Cheers,Andrew KuTomsHardware.com


Well, thank you, but what I meant was that I've heard a lot about 4k random writes/reads to be only important to server use, so whichSpecification[/b} is most commonly used in a SSD under average loads
*goes back to page I to look at graphs*
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0
July 25, 2011 9:47:45 PM

I wonder what is best: 2 x 64GB RAID vs 120GB (would be an interesting review).Well, looking at the benchmarks (sorry didn't search for prices, don't know if it is worth or not) it makes sense go for a 2xCrucial M4-64GB RAID setup for a system drive.
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0
July 26, 2011 12:22:12 AM

I picked up an ocz agility 3. I run it on a sata II connection, on a nvidia chipset. My benchmark results are very similar to these so my initial worries are for the most part, gone. In the near future, I'll probably give it to my mother though, and opt for a larger vertex 3, maybe max iops version or something. idk. Until I graduate to a sata III connection, the agility is more than agile for my needs.

Thank you for this article.

(I just wish I wasn't colorblind, some of those charts gets confusing lol)

P.S. When you realized the main site's link was going to the UK version of the article, why'd you then kill all the comments made there?
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July 26, 2011 1:41:24 AM

clonazepamI picked up an ocz agility 3. I run it on a sata II connection, on a nvidia chipset. My benchmark results are very similar to these so my initial worries are for the most part, gone. In the near future, I'll probably give it to my mother though, and opt for a larger vertex 3, maybe max iops version or something. idk. Until I graduate to a sata III connection, the agility is more than agile for my needs.Thank you for this article.(I just wish I wasn't colorblind, some of those charts gets confusing lol)P.S. When you realized the main site's link was going to the UK version of the article, why'd you then kill all the comments made there?


A lot of men are vs women - of which it is EXTREMELY rare to find a colorblind woman. It's a XX vs XY chromosome defect if any of you are wondering. It only needs to take effect once for a man, and he'll see the effects. It would have to be defective in both for women, which is extremely rare.

I usually use the term color deficient. Reason being - most people literally think color blind means you cannot see color, or certain colors. That obviously is not true; you merely just see the color as dull, and have difficult times differentiating certain colors on top or close to each other.


I'm red/green color blind and I can see the submit comment button and "feedback" to the right is the color red. So as you can see, I'm not literally "color blind".



Fun fact for people who are color blind: Notice how you're unable to see certain slides on the Ishihara (bunch of dots in different colors that show shapes or numbers) test? Well, color blind people likewise can see certain slides that people with normal vision cannot. So ideally, you could "hide" codes and etc in certain combinations of colors. The person with normal vision wouldn't be the wiser - though it'd stick out instantly to a color deficient person.
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2
July 26, 2011 2:07:48 AM

Love the review.

Newbie here !!

Quote:
We'll dismiss the Z68 - which allows you to use a small SSD to boost your normal HDD - otherwise if your SSD is large enough, it's actually a worse route, and just instead use the SSD.


The z68 motherboard I purchased asus maximus IV-Z recommends to set up the cache in RAID 18.1GB - 64GB and the rest of the space on the raid can be filled with other data. Are you saying that setup will cause my performance to be worse than just using my OCZ Vertex 3 240GB as my main drive with no SSD caching?

I can't understand how the vertex 3 240G can perform worse with ssd caching as opposed to straight full boot drive. Maybe I missed something in the review. Can someone send me a link to a benchmark or to the theory as to how a setup with SSD caching (with say a 40G cache + 200GB in raid - for example) .. will be slower than full SSD to mechanical with no SSD caching?

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0
July 26, 2011 1:49:32 PM

badger1194Love the review.Newbie here !!The z68 motherboard I purchased asus maximus IV-Z recommends to set up the cache in RAID 18.1GB - 64GB and the rest of the space on the raid can be filled with other data. Are you saying that setup will cause my performance to be worse than just using my OCZ Vertex 3 240GB as my main drive with no SSD caching? I can't understand how the vertex 3 240G can perform worse with ssd caching as opposed to straight full boot drive. Maybe I missed something in the review. Can someone send me a link to a benchmark or to the theory as to how a setup with SSD caching (with say a 40G cache + 200GB in raid - for example) .. will be slower than full SSD to mechanical with no SSD caching?


Yes, read the first paragraph in the article. That should sum it all up. Feel free to ask more questions, though.

Cheers,
Andrew Ku
TomsHardware.com
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0
July 26, 2011 5:29:39 PM

Hi there, Andrew. I have a couple of quick questions :) . What do you think of the AMD SB950 SATA600? Or ASM1061? which connector do you consider is more "mature" for the SSD? and what's your recommandation for the swap (SSD or HDD/or both)?
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0
July 27, 2011 2:34:49 PM

I passed on the OCZ SSDs because so the OCZ SSDs failed for way too many folks who bought them at newegg.com. I've been thrilled with the performance of the Crucial SSDs we bought instead -- fast and reliable. I was able to clone my old C drive to the new SSD without any glitches. And contrary to what salesfolk will tell you, you can clone an SSD to a conventional hard drive as backup and the hard drive backup works just fine. (Me thinks the sales people just want to sucker you into buying two SSDs when one will do - but that's just me being cynical....)
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1
July 28, 2011 2:33:01 AM

HellboundThis article mentions installing the OS and applications to SSD, and the rest (movies, music) to conventional hdd's. But I'm not sure how to do that. I've google'd it and there are many suggestions how to do it. I would like to know the best way to go about this.

Can't you find the forums?!
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0
July 28, 2011 2:36:34 AM

serendipitiI wonder what is best: 2 x 64GB RAID vs 120GB (would be an interesting review).Well, looking at the benchmarks (sorry didn't search for prices, don't know if it is worth or not) it makes sense go for a 2xCrucial M4-64GB RAID setup for a system drive.

Apples vs. Oranges

You're comparing absolute speed, using 2 connections, and using a hand-grenade (RAID0) to one single drive.
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Anonymous
July 28, 2011 2:58:30 AM

Installing OS & Software to SSD is great. What about the Win7 OS pagefile. Does the page file due to its constant read/writes dramatically reduce the SSD's overall m/Long term performance.
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-1
July 28, 2011 5:00:53 AM

We need a comparison of the more affordable 60GB SATA3 SSDs, to understand how they perform vis-a-vis the 120/240GB SSDs.
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1
July 29, 2011 6:17:43 AM

It's very odd that Tom's Hardware seems to ignore the OWC brand of SSDs...they offer industry-leading warranties, excellent support and unparalleled data loss prevention techniques including space reservation as well as special editions for use in RAID arrays...the SSD-specific sites report this, but Tom's does not. Interested in slightly lower speeds that OCZ Vertex 3 in exchange for much greater reliability and support? See independent reviews at bottom of http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/OWC/Mercury_6G/" target="_blank">...Move over OCZ, Intel, Crucial, et cetera...OWC stands by their gear! And no, I don't work for them!
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-1
August 1, 2011 11:25:07 AM

Andrew Ku: First of all .. very nice article .. like always in Tom's!

I need to buy an SSD for my April 2011 Macbook Pro. Almost buy the Vertex 3 120 Gb, but after i saw a lot of forums with people getting BSOD, low performance, problems with firmwares, etc i stop to think again. In OCZ forum, lot of people still have problems even with firmware 2.11 and 10.6 drivers from intel. I don' care about price of SSD, just want the fastest and most stable SSD in the market with 120 GB. I look at the benchmarks results that u post, i Patritor Wildfire and Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 120 GB looks nice, but in some tests far behind OCZ Vertex 3. In your opinion, what's the best SSD at the moment, speed vs stable. thanks a lot in advance.
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August 1, 2011 5:02:32 PM

Another question Andrew ... i see a lot of tests with AJA system and Quickbench 4.0 for osx since the other benchmark software used in this article don't work for OSX and the random 4k reads/writes are way fast.

http://barefeats.com/ssd6g.html ... don't want to make pub, but in this site, they test some SSD with Quickbench 4.0 and the results are pretty impressive. OSX file system could be the reason ? thanks in advance
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August 9, 2011 7:10:02 PM

Dear Bros... I just wondering and little desperate.. Whats is the best SSD in the market right now.. Best mean(Reliable, Fast, Not too expensive my budget 500or less for 240.. and 300or less for 120).

I just so confuse.. because last time I read all the reviews in Newegg, Amazon, OCZ Forum.. They are makes me disappointed (because all of fast ssd are involved in Freeze and BSOD).

Please help me out...
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-1
August 13, 2011 7:42:22 PM

Right now in the 120GB size there are three to SSDs to consider as the "best":

1. OCZ 120 GB Max IOPS
2. Patriot Wildfire
3. Corsair GT Force 3 (I own this SSD and it is wicked fast and it does not have any problems with BSOD or reliability issues)

The OCZ Max IOPS and the Patriot Wildfire are the fastest 120 GB SSDs on the market and the Force 3 GT is right behind them. I chose Corsair because they stand behind their products better than any other manufacturer and they honor their warranties. Avoid the Corsair Force 3 (non GT) for now until the QC problems are worked out.

Note that Intel is coming out with new SSDs that supposedly will double the speed of the SSDs listed above and Intel is widely considered the most reliable SSD manufacturer.
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August 16, 2011 5:38:02 PM

For what i saw in many reviews, Mushkin Chronos Deluxe, Mach Xtreme MX-DS TURBO Series SSD and Kingston HyperX are way fast than any Corsair SSD and equal or better then OCZ e Patriot ... i think the SSD market with the new SandForce controller is now moving, so we have to wait to see new benchmarks. Other very nice SSD is OWC Mercury Extreme Pro .. i saw benchmarks for MBP 2011 and they are fast than OCZ.
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August 18, 2011 5:56:51 AM

syntetikFor what i saw in many reviews, Mushkin Chronos Deluxe, Mach Xtreme MX-DS TURBO Series SSD and Kingston HyperX are way fast than any Corsair SSD and equal or better then OCZ e Patriot ... i think the SSD market with the new SandForce controller is now moving, so we have to wait to see new benchmarks. Other very nice SSD is OWC Mercury Extreme Pro .. i saw benchmarks for MBP 2011 and they are fast than OCZ.


I just read a review of the Kingston Hyper X and it is indeed impressive. The Mushkin and the Patriot Wildfire are about equal and also are very fast. The Corsair Force 3 GT 120 GB (emphasize the GT) is very fast and beats the OCZ 240 GB SSD in many real world tests. I own the GT and it boots Windows 7 in less than 20 seconds (from the moment you push the start button). It is wicked fast. The Kingston Hyper X 120 GB is similar in speed and may be faster but not by much. The Mach Xextreme is embarrassingly slow and so I am not sure what you are talking about or why you even mention it.

To give you some perspective, in real world tests, the Corsair Force 3 GT 120 GB outperforms the OCZ 240GB in many benchmarks and even the 240GB Max IOPS in some benchmarks. But more importantly it has the Corsair name behind it and their legendary customer service. I have first-hand experience with their customer service and it is truly amazing.

When Corsair puts out their 240 GB Force 3 GT it may be the fastest drive on the market - however the Kingston Hyper X 240 GB is very impressive. It has the fastest benchmarks I have read to date.

Remember to look at the real-world benchmarks; they give you a much more realistic understanding of how the drive really performs. Also remember to look at the "fill" benchmarks. The real-world performance of many SSDs falls like a rock as they start to fill.
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August 18, 2011 6:05:36 AM

Sorry you are talking abut the Mach Xtreme MX-DS TURBO (as opposed to the non-turbo)- and it is right there with the other drives we are talking about.
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