Got an SSD?


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I'm thinking about upgrading my PC over the Easter holidays, and I've been looking at going for an SSD which seems like it could give the biggest performance boost.

Because they are so expensive, I'm looking at the OCZ 30GB Core V2. I should be able to fit my primary OS on that drive, and then all of the rest of my apps on a 2nd drive.

Would the increase in disk performance be noticeable over a Maxtor 250GB SATA (16MB Cache)?

Now that I've typed it, I'm unsure about buying it as it seems hardly worth while for only 30GB.
 
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Your boot and shutdown times will be noticeably faster, but not much else will be. Normal Windows disk transactions fall short of the maximally efficient 1MB mark.
 
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I thought about this overnight, and it seems too expensive for just a small boost in performance. I'm going to save up a little more and upgrade something bigger later on in the year.

What do you mean by "Windows disk transactions fall short of the maximally efficient 1MB mark", is that the rate at which Windows reads data per second? So a slower hard drive won't make much difference?
 
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Thrax and I both run OCZ Apex SSDs. They're better than the V2 and should be cheaper. With the Apex, I've noticed improvements in start up times, program and OS installs, and game loading. In TF2, I'm almost always first person a map when the server changes while everyone else is still loading the level.
 
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I can mirror what Thrax and BuddyJ have said. I to own an Apex 60g SSD. I thought I had done all the research in the world before I bought it, but after installing it and not seeing a lot of improvement, I found the OCZ forums, and saw all the tweaks that have to be done to optimize it. I'm very familiar poking about the registry, but had never heard of partition alignment, guess I'm just old and dumb.

Anyway, after all these tweaks, like you guys above have said, I do see a difference in boot and shutdown, and the only game I'm playing at the moment is HAWX, and it does load a LOT faster. But you know, if I didn't know I had an SSD under the hood, besides my computer being almost totally quiet now, I probably wouldn't know the difference in my SSD and my 7200rpm, (but all I do is play games and surf the net). To make a long story short, I wish I had spent that money on a 10,000rpm VolicRaptor.

This is strictly just my opinion, but I think if you are going to get a SSD, get the Vertex model. It's getting a lot better reviews, plus, again in my opinion, OCZ is giving it a lot better support on there forums. Not as much help there for other models.
 
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Thanks for the detailed responses, I'm glad I held off buying an SSD after reading these comments. I was hoping for a big boost in overall performance by using one of these, so I think I need to give it a couple more years before embracing it.

Out of curiosity, what tweaks can be performed HaiDan? I've not heard of partition alignment either :)
 
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spearace, I don't want to give you the wrong impression, and I guess I did. I need to add, that there are a lot of people who are very happy with there SSD's. I just don't happen to be one of them. I read about someone booting up Windows in 10 seconds and I kind of expected to at least come close. After the bios screens, the best I've done is about 35 seconds. While that's nothing to sneeze at, it's just not what I expected. Maybe I expected to much.

I think the main thing I'm disapointed in, is that I didn't get a Vertex. By all accounts that I've read, it's leaps and bounds ahead. But when I got my Apex, it was all I could afford, $189, at NewEgg. Since I bought mine, I've seen it as low as $142, today it's back up to $164 I think. The Vertex was $229, I've seen it since as low as $189, but it's back up some now, and again, I'm talking about NewEgg.

I also think that what apps you run make a difference in what you might see. As I said, for me it's just net browsing and games.

If I were you, I'd go to NewEgg and read a lot of reviews, and also go to OCZ forums SSD section and do a lot of reading there, (would give you a link, but not sure if that's approved of here). They have tons of info there that you can learn from and help you decide. There are actually OCZ people there that take a great interest in there product. Ask Thrax, he hangs out there also.
 
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I've spend the last hour having a read about SSDs at OCZ, and I read up about partition alignment, and it looks like it can be done on any storage device. I'm not motivated enough to use diskpart.exe on my current drive, but if I do a fresh install then I'll try it.

In the UKa 60GB Vertex is almost expensive at £170, so almost the same in dollars! :eek: Probably cheaper for me to buy one from NewEgg using international shipping!
 
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Hanging out on the OCZ forum is a great way to learn. The folks there are top-notch. The only thing better than hanging out on the OCZ forum is hanging out with Tony and Ryder at CES. ;)

If you do a fresh install Spearce, be sure to try alignment, etc. It can have a good impact on disc performance.
 

Ian

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I wonder how SSD's would perform as a database server, your thread has got me thinking :) I'll have to have a google on this and see how it would compare to the Raptors powering my MySQL servers.
 
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There are very few SSDs certified for or able to do the job of transactional work of a database. I recommend sticking with those Raptors for now.
 
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Ian

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There are very few SSDs certified for or able to do the job of transactional work of a database. I recommend sticking with those Raptors for now.
Thanks Thrax, I'll SSDs for now then. I had to repair a DB table yesterday (thread on the slowness here) and it completed about twice as fast on the raptors than it did on my own PC (7200RPM SATA 250GB Hitachi drive, 16MB cache). I'm sure the dual Xeons helped, but it was faster than I thought considering it was still serving 10 other sites at the same time.

It would be nice if they were suited to database work, but I can imagine it would burn through them in no time if they degrade slightly (like normal flash drives do).
 
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SSDs are way to pricey for me now.I'll wait till the prices come down a bit.Meanwhile i'm happy with my Sata drives.
 
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Kougar

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Heh, SSD's can be well worth it, but there are only two I'd currently recommend for a consumer level desktop drive for that uber fast system, namely the Intel X25-M or the OCZ Vertex. Both of these commend a price premium because they offer the best, most reliable performance and don't have the stuttering drive controller problem.

This article explains how SSD's differ from hard drives in storing their data, why most current SSDs are not as good an idea as they seem, and some of the few shortcomings of SSDs currently on the market. Anandtech's SSD Anthology

Anyone that has read the above article should read the follow up here, which shows OCZ fixed the issues with the Vertex. The SSD Update PCPR and Anandtech both currently recommend either the Vertex or the X25-M drives.

Hanging out on the OCZ forum is a great way to learn. The folks there are top-notch. The only thing better than hanging out on the OCZ forum is hanging out with Tony and Ryder at CES. ;)

If you do a fresh install Spearce, be sure to try alignment, etc. It can have a good impact on disc performance.
Sector alignments aren't needed for Windows 7. Vista and Windows 7 are smart enough that they do this automatically for SSD's and will begin writing at sector 0 (as opposed to Windows XP which uses sector 63). For anyone curious, the anthology article above illustrates why XP doing this is bad for performance.

I wonder how SSD's would perform as a database server, your thread has got me thinking :) I'll have to have a google on this and see how it would compare to the Raptors powering my MySQL servers.
The only SSD I know of designed for server workloads is the Intel X25-E. The results can be quite staggering if your servers have a very heavy workload consisting of random reads, many small random writes, and very high I/O.

If you have not seen it yet, here's one review that should peak your interest. The above links I gave use Raptors, but this one uses 15K RPM SAS Seagate Cheetah's and other drive setups in various configurations. http://it.anandtech.com/IT/showdoc.aspx?i=3532

I've never operated MySQL databases, so I'm curious of your thoughts on their IT-oriented review. I wouldn't know enough to spot any potential issues, enthusiast hardware is more my forté. :p
 
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