Storage Upgrade Time, Finally

Yep. My questions will never end. ;)

To go along with a new CPU cooler, I'm about to upgrade my storage. This is going to make some of the enthusiasts out there lose their lunch, but right now, I'm running a Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 80GB HDD (ST3808110AS). Yep. It's noticeably slower than the rest of my rig, and here are some benchmarks to prove that:

I figure everyone likes benchmark pics... :D
It scores 5.4 in the WEI. If you didn't count the HDD, the rest of my system would score 7.4.

As I said, I'm looking for an upgrade. That's the extent of my knowledge when it comes to the advantages and disadvantages of different forms of storage.
I'd love to get a 60GB SSD and just keep the Barracuda for other data (It's not going to die any time soon... trust me... ;)), but I keep on reading things about permanent performance degradation, and I want my $140 drive to work like new whenever I want it to. Someone will have to explain this to me. Also, I've heard equally negative things about the lifespan of these drives - I hate to say it, but I basically want an HDD with the speed of an SSD.
If I decide to get an SSD, that's the one. Matches my 8GB G.Skill kit of RAM, too. :D

Anyway, my other option is to go with an HDD.
There's my favorite HDD option.

And there you have it. I hit a brick wall as to which one would make a better upgrade. I'd love for it to stay running like new, but from what I've heard that's just not the case with an SSD. Maybe I'm wrong. I DO know that they're noticeably faster than your standard HDD, though, and maybe performance will only sag so far down before it hits a limit and stops degrading. I'm running Win7 64-Bit, so TRIM should work fine on my system, whatever that means...

Any help for a storage novice?

In case you're wondering:
AMD Phenom II x4 965 BE
MSI 790FX-GD70
12GB DDR3-1333
Radeon HD 5770 (Will be upgrading)
CoolerMaster CM 690 II Advanced
Will be buying a Thermaltake MUX-120 or Corsair H50 with this upgrade, too.
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  1. I just read this on OCN, which at the moment, appears to be a more active forum than TomsHardware judging by my reply rate recently...
    Sorry... anyway...
    Alright... here we go:

    so lets say you had one of those 100GB products linked in the OP

    lets say that each cell could write 10,000 times

    so that means roughly you could write 10,000 x 100GB to it, which is: 1,000,000GB
    Yes, you would need to write 1 million gigabytes onto it...

    Of course since it's a Sandforce, it compresses the data, so lets just assume the compression wasn't very effective, and it only compressed like 80%... or your data was quite random... that means at 80% writes we're up to 1.25 Million Gigabytes...

    lets say you wrote 10GB per day... I know I don't lol, but lets say... so 10GB per day.. that's 125,000 days, or 342 years...

    So I don't think endurance of MLC is really a problem... in fact the components on the PCB would probably die of old age before you ran out of write cycles...

    Credits to TheDreadedGMan for that.
    I'm assuming he knows what he's talking about. In that case, there should be no PERMANENT performance degradation on a 100gb drive for around 340 years given that I would be writing 10gb per day. Wow.

    So if I don't have to worry about wearing the drive out, are there any other non-correctable factors that would degrade your performance over time? I'm not worried about short-term issues, I'm talking about things that will prevent me from getting the drive back to 100% of its factory state...
  2. You've got that slightly wrong matt, I believe he's talking about the lifespan of the drive and specifically the NAND flash. Obviously if the NAND is out of lifespan then it will have nil performance, but apart from that it doesn't have much impact.

    Maintaining performance is achieved through TRIM and garbage collection. Sandforce is known for being good at maintaining performance and being resilient to performance degradation, so if you want a drive that can get back to factory state - I'm don't know if that's possible btw, but your best bet probably would be Sandforce because it also has consistently good performance compared to other drives.

    In storage terms SSDs aren't very good value for money, which is mainly why I'm not interested in buying one yet. So out of those two I'd choose the Samsung, which is a very good single platter drive. But if you don't need or want storage and want to pay for performance then get the SSD.
  3. Exactly. You should be able to maintain your performance up until your NAND flash completely runs out and the drive dies.
    You'll have to excuse my lack of NAND-Flash knowledge right now... I've always been an HDD guy up to this point. :D

    I'm leaning towards the single-platter Samsung, too, just for reliability and the extra space. That brings me to another question: Would I notice any performance improvement over my old 80GB Barracuda 7200.9?
  4. I don't really know, but considering that it's read performance is probably at least twice what was in those screenshots up there^, I think it would be reasonable to expect a noticeable performance increase.
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