SSD Performance: One Cog In The Wheel
It's easy to lose perspective after getting into the minutia of SSD benchmarking. Our PCs are comprised of multiple components, though. Storage is but one variable in an overall performance picture that is also affected by processor, graphics, and memory performance, too. That’s why upgrading to an even faster SSD won't always cut into the time it takes to boot Windows, launch Photoshop, or load a level in Crysis 2. Given the speed-up from SATA 3Gb/s to 6Gb/s or first-gen SandForce to second-gen, you'd expect massive improvements. That simply is not always the case, though.
The idea of diminishing returns in the storage world makes good sense. In order to illustrate why, let's look at the vital statistics of loading a level in Crysis 2.
|Overall Statistics||Crysis 2: Level Loading|
|Read Operations||9 493|
|Data Read||755.01 MB|
|Data Written||26.49 MB|
|Disk Busy Time||2.27 s|
|Average Data Rate||345.00 MB/s|
Using a 240 GB Vertex 3, it takes us 58 seconds to load into the last level of Crysis 2 (including the intro scene). Yet, the disk is only busy for 2.27 seconds. Why? Because the computer is doing other things the remainder of the time. Data has to be loaded into memory, operated on by the processor, loaded into the graphics processor's on-board memory, and so on.
This isn't limited to gaming-related scenarios either; it applies to everything. We're not saying there isn’t a noticeable difference between a 64 GB m4 and a 240 GB Vertex 3, because there is. However, looking at boot times and level load times isn't a pure measure of storage performance. If you measured drive responsiveness over the course of a week doing different tasks, you would feel the total effect of a faster SSD. And that's why we focus on long traces. Our Storage Bench v1.0 is a two-week trace, yielding a satisfactory gauge of responsiveness.
lastly, wanting to upgrade will mean having to upgrade both, instead of one. I think this is one of the reasons why the XT was never so popular...
O.T - nice read. It did feel a bit as though it was stopped in the middle..
That was exactly what I was thinking. I was looking for the "next page" button but couldn't find it. I was like wtf? went back to the first page to look at the index finding it really ended there :(
LOL me too!!!
For me personally I am willing to drop up to $120 on a SSD but that is the breaking poing for me and I am not willing to settle for anything less than 120GB due to the performance drop in smaller SSD's and also how much space I need for my OS and other apps (and no I am not counting data like movies or pics).
The main thing holding me off on purchasing a SSD right now is the lack of confidence in reliability. The bugs in Intel, Sandforce, and whatever controller crucial uses in the m4 makes me worried. Just looking at articles here and user reviews on NewEgg was enough for me to get gun shy and wait. There are few things I hate more than having to setup my system and even though I can ghost my boot drive there will always be some loss in a drive failure and that is just something I want to avoid if I can. Unfortunately it just seems like owning a SSD right now leaves too high a risk of drive failure. Plus it does not help reading how manufacturers refuse to comment or give any real hard data on reliability.
When prices and size ratio meet this price standards then I would take a serious look into SSD's.
Have in mind that current 2TB hard drives are under $100 dollars (true they are green drives). But when a SSD per GB cost 10 to 20 times as much a hard drive is just not right to me.