SSDs (Solid State Drives)


B

Brianm

I found a couple threads on SSD's which were somewhat helpful, but am
looking for more info. Does Windows7 support them sufficiently? What's
people's REAL-WORLD experience with them--mainly as far as reliability?
I'd rather not consider it if it's gonna crap out in 6 month's time.
I've read about write speed issues, and are they ANY faster than SATA
III?

Again, hope to hear from those who have had SSD's for awhile. I am about
to buy a new desktop PC (not constrained by $) and am considering SSD at
least for the system drive (not via USB).

TIA in advance.
 
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T

The poster formerly known as 'The Poster Formerly

I found a couple threads on SSD's which were somewhat helpful, but am
looking for more info. Does Windows7 support them sufficiently? What's
people's REAL-WORLD experience with them--mainly as far as reliability?
I'd rather not consider it if it's gonna crap out in 6 month's time.
I've read about write speed issues, and are they ANY faster than SATA
III?

Again, hope to hear from those who have had SSD's for awhile. I am about
to buy a new desktop PC (not constrained by $) and am considering SSD at
least for the system drive (not via USB).

TIA in advance.
They are awesome! They are expensive because they have no moving parts.
This makes them extremely fast and reliable! Win 7 works great on
SSDs too.
 
K

Ken Blake

I found a couple threads on SSD's which were somewhat helpful, but am
looking for more info. Does Windows7 support them sufficiently? What's
people's REAL-WORLD experience with them--mainly as far as reliability?
I'd rather not consider it if it's gonna crap out in 6 month's time.
I've read about write speed issues, and are they ANY faster than SATA
III?

Again, hope to hear from those who have had SSD's for awhile. I am about
to buy a new desktop PC (not constrained by $) and am considering SSD at
least for the system drive (not via USB).


I've had my SSD for about a year and a half. It's my system drive,
running Windows 7. It's been completely reliable, and it's very fast.
 
J

Joe Morris

Brianm said:
I found a couple threads on SSD's which were somewhat helpful, but am
looking for more info. Does Windows7 support them sufficiently? What's
people's REAL-WORLD experience with them--mainly as far as reliability?
I'd rather not consider it if it's gonna crap out in 6 month's time.
I've read about write speed issues, and are they ANY faster than SATA
III?

Again, hope to hear from those who have had SSD's for awhile. I am about
to buy a new desktop PC (not constrained by $) and am considering SSD at
least for the system drive (not via USB).
Depends on the model SSD. The early OCZ models had major hangup problems;
the later ones appeared to be better but my shop wasn't interested (once
burned, twice shy and all that). We're currently using Samsung disks in all
of our new systems and have had good luck with them, although the latest
firmware update is impacting performance for certain workloads...we're
working with our supply chain to figure out why.

I can't offer comments on SSD products from other vendors; I wasn't directly
involved in the evaluations.

Despite the above caveat, if you can afford to pay the premium price per
gigabyte, get an SSD. Response times on Win7 aren't instantaneous
(bloatware does take a nonzero time to be processed) but they are far better
than anything you'll get with a TTS (Thing That Spins). How much of a
performance increase you'll see depends on your system layout and how you
use it.

And, of course, you avoid the battery drain required to keep the disk
spinning.

On the downside, the price for the larger capacity drives is still rather
high. Consider getting a 128 GB internal disk, and use a high-capacity USB-
or eSATA-connected TTS for the files you don't need when undocked.

Joe Morris
 
D

Drew

Running a Intel ssd and have been for quite awhile.(2 years possibly) This
drive is my main os drive and is blazing fast (like changing channels on a
tv) I use two Seagate barracuda's for my doc's and such. I simply do not
have any issues with it and would buy another in a heartbeat and will if and
when the economy improves. As fast as I can click on a program it is open!
When I originally purchased they were quite expensive but they have come
down quite a bit. If you have the money get a good one!
 
B

Brian Gregory [UK]

Brianm said:
I've read about write speed issues, and are they ANY faster than SATA
III?
I'm puzzled by that question.

Most SSDs use SATA II, a few newer ones use SATA III.
 
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B

Brian Gregory [UK]

Drew said:
Running a Intel ssd and have been for quite awhile.(2 years possibly) This
drive is my main os drive and is blazing fast (like changing channels on a
tv) I use two Seagate barracuda's for my doc's and such. I simply do not
have any issues with it and would buy another in a heartbeat and will if
and when the economy improves. As fast as I can click on a program it is
open! When I originally purchased they were quite expensive but they have
come down quite a bit. If you have the money get a good one!
I've seen people recommend that you move the busier files off the SSD (such
as the swap file) but that seems to me to somewhat defeat the whole object
of the exercise.

What are people doing in practice?
 
J

Joe Morris

Brian Gregory said:
I've seen people recommend that you move the busier
files off the SSD (such as the swap file) but that
seems to me to somewhat defeat the whole object of the exercise.

What are people doing in practice?
Since most SSDs are in form factors for laptops, and laptops typically have
only one internal disk, you don't really get much opportunity to relocate
critical system files.

Of course, disks today have only one data path, so if your system is beating
the swap file to death you're going to see performance problems...but that
typically means that you're trying to do too much at the same time, or have
insufficient real memory, or both.

Joe Morris
 
B

Brianm

Brian Gregory said:
I'm puzzled by that question.

Most SSDs use SATA II, a few newer ones use SATA III.
What I meant was is it overall faster than a hard disk using sata III.
 
R

Rob

Brianm said:
I found a couple threads on SSD's which were somewhat helpful, but am
looking for more info. Does Windows7 support them sufficiently? What's
people's REAL-WORLD experience with them--mainly as far as reliability?
I'd rather not consider it if it's gonna crap out in 6 month's time.
I've read about write speed issues, and are they ANY faster than SATA
III?

Again, hope to hear from those who have had SSD's for awhile. I am about
to buy a new desktop PC (not constrained by $) and am considering SSD at
least for the system drive (not via USB).
Much faster than hard drives as there is no rotational latency.
I've been using 2 x Corsair 64GB SSDs in RAID 0 as boot drive on Win7x64
for a year or more and it is blindingly fast to boot and run applications.
However, I have a lot of data (4TB), so that is saved on conventional hard
drives (4 x 2TB in RAID 10 for fault tolerance.) No issues at all.
 
M

Mark F

What I meant was is it overall faster than a hard disk using sata III.
Current state of commercial products is:
. you can get PCIe SSDs that are a few times faster than the SATA III
BUS, but they cost several times more than SATA SSDs, so you are
unlikely to take that route.
. SSDs run at slightly less than full out SATA II speed (300MB/s),
about 2 time the fastest rotating SATA drive speed. (I'm not
sure if SAS rotating drives are much faster, but they cost
alot more than SATA rotating drives, so you are unlikely to
take that route.
. All current SSDs do static wear leveling (Note that static,
meaning even unchanging pages are wear leveled, is better than
dynamic.)
. Some SSDs do background clean up, so you won't see significant
slow down unless you write a full disk's worth of data without
giving the SSD time to cleanup. (240GB/275MB/s is about 15
minutes.)
. No current stuff will "wear out" with any normal load, but
you could setup something to do so.
(240GB/275MB/s is about 15 minutes, 1000 passes means
you could wear it out in 10 days.)
. Some current stuff optimizes out writing 0's or even redundant
data in general. This speeds them up and increases their
lifetime.
. SSDs may run 20 times or more the speed of rotating drives
for small files.
. You may be able to wear out an SSD in a few months
if a paging file is on it, but you will have done a few
year's work if you do, so it is sort of like the
drive lasted 3 years. (The difference being that
the replacement costs just a much instead of 1/4 as much.)

Unfortunately some (most, all?) current SSDs have problems some
sequences of operations. I haven't much testing for these problems
in the reviews of devices, so it they are a possibility with any
of the SSDs. Therefore I recommend that you run benchmarks with
any SSDs before you use them in production.

You should specifically check for problems with programs that
you use a lot or folder structures that you use that might
be unusual. For example:
.. lots of small files (say 10k totaling 1gB or less)
.. lots of files (say 100k or more)
.. virtual disks, including encrypted disks.
.. downloading USENET files. (This may involve lots of disk
to disk copying and merging of small files into large files,
with 10 or more streams running at the same time, all on the
same disk.


A good disk will be able to run at about 1/2 of it's initial
speed even if you keep running the test long enough to write
an entire disk's worth of data.

speed Assuming that you have already determined that your I/O
load
 
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K

Ken Blake

What I meant was is it overall faster than a hard disk using sata III.

Because you don't have to wait for the mechanical movement (rotation
and head movement) an SSD is faster than any hard drive.
 
B

Brian Gregory [UK]

Mark F said:
Current state of commercial products is:
. you can get PCIe SSDs that are a few times faster than the SATA III
BUS, but they cost several times more than SATA SSDs, so you are
unlikely to take that route.
. SSDs run at slightly less than full out SATA II speed (300MB/s),
That's top of the range drives. There are smaller/cheaper ones that go a lot
slower than that,

about 2 time the fastest rotating SATA drive speed. (I'm not
sure if SAS rotating drives are much faster, but they cost
alot more than SATA rotating drives, so you are unlikely to
take that route.
. All current SSDs do static wear leveling (Note that static,
meaning even unchanging pages are wear leveled, is better than
dynamic.)
. Some SSDs do background clean up, so you won't see significant
slow down unless you write a full disk's worth of data without
giving the SSD time to cleanup. (240GB/275MB/s is about 15
minutes.)
. No current stuff will "wear out" with any normal load, but
you could setup something to do so.
(240GB/275MB/s is about 15 minutes, 1000 passes means
you could wear it out in 10 days.)
. Some current stuff optimizes out writing 0's or even redundant
data in general. This speeds them up and increases their
lifetime.
. SSDs may run 20 times or more the speed of rotating drives
for small files.
. You may be able to wear out an SSD in a few months
if a paging file is on it, but you will have done a few
year's work if you do, so it is sort of like the
drive lasted 3 years. (The difference being that
the replacement costs just a much instead of 1/4 as much.)

Unfortunately some (most, all?) current SSDs have problems some
sequences of operations. I haven't much testing for these problems
in the reviews of devices, so it they are a possibility with any
of the SSDs. Therefore I recommend that you run benchmarks with
any SSDs before you use them in production.

You should specifically check for problems with programs that
you use a lot or folder structures that you use that might
be unusual. For example:
. lots of small files (say 10k totaling 1gB or less)
. lots of files (say 100k or more)
. virtual disks, including encrypted disks.
. downloading USENET files. (This may involve lots of disk
to disk copying and merging of small files into large files,
with 10 or more streams running at the same time, all on the
same disk.


A good disk will be able to run at about 1/2 of it's initial
speed even if you keep running the test long enough to write
an entire disk's worth of data.

speed Assuming that you have already determined that your I/O
load
....?
 
B

Brian Gregory [UK]

Ken Blake said:
Because you don't have to wait for the mechanical movement (rotation
and head movement) an SSD is faster than any hard drive.
A fast hard drive can easily beat a middle/bottom of the range SSD on
sequential writes (writing just one large file on an unfragmented disk).

But you are right for typical use as the system disk in a machine running
Windows or similar an SSD will probably be much faster than any hard drive,
even one than has recently been defragged and optimized.
 
B

Brian Gregory [UK]

That's top of the range drives. There are smaller/cheaper ones that go a
lot slower than that,
should have said "...WRITE a lot slower than that".
 
M

Mark F

That's top of the range drives. There are smaller/cheaper ones that go a lot
slower than that,
I didn't consider the very cheapest nor the most expensive.^
Oops - left over lines from something that got to me too complicated
to say, and which I meant to delete entirely.

An additional point about SSDs:
If you:
. have a work flow that runs several processes at the same time
. are used to the processes taking about the same time to run
. After you add the SSD one process uses SSD while the others
continue to use spinning drives,
the following scenario is possible:
1. The process using the SSD runs
much faster (this part is immediately obvious)
2. If the speed up of one process causes CPU time to be
a bottleneck, the other processes will slow down (obvious)
3. You may find that the total running time increases even
though one process runs much faster. (Perhaps 1 process runs
in 1/5th the time, but the other ones, take 90% their
original time, but only after the 20% of the time that
the process using the SSD takes, so the running time
is 10% longer.

However, for most use the SSD will speed things up
 
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A

A. K.

I found a couple threads on SSD's which were somewhat helpful, but am
looking for more info. Does Windows7 support them sufficiently? What's
people's REAL-WORLD experience with them--mainly as far as reliability?
I'd rather not consider it if it's gonna crap out in 6 month's time.
I've read about write speed issues, and are they ANY faster than SATA
III?

Again, hope to hear from those who have had SSD's for awhile. I am about
to buy a new desktop PC (not constrained by $) and am considering SSD at
least for the system drive (not via USB).

TIA in advance.
I'm not specifically running this Drive on Windows 7 (though I do run a
VM off it). I replaced the boot drive of my Mac Pro with a 240Gb SSD
from OWC
(http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/internal_storage/Mercury_Extreme_SSD_Sandforce/Solid_State_Pro)
a while back. It is significantly faster than the original drive. I've
had no issues with the unit, and it will boot my Win 7 VM in a matter
of seconds instead of minutes. I believe the OWC drives are high
quality compared to others on the market.

Alex K.
 
A

Alex K.

I'm not specifically running this Drive on Windows 7 (though I do run a
VM off it). I replaced the boot drive of my Mac Pro with a 240Gb SSD
from OWC
(http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/internal_storage/Mercury_Extreme_SSD_Sandforce/Solid_State_Pro) a

while back. It is significantly faster than the original drive. I've
had no issues with the unit, and it will boot my Win 7 VM in a matter
of seconds instead of minutes. I believe the OWC drives are high
quality compared to others on the market.

<image>Alex K.
Images didn't attach... Here's the speed tests I intended to originally
include.



htt
://img98.imageshack.us/img98/2614/ajasystemtestscreensnap.jpg

http://img441.imageshack.us/img441/2614/ajasystemtestscreensnap.jpg
 
C

Char Jackson

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

----------------10980141981095730853
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1; format=flowed
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
There's little or no reason to post in MIME format. Plain text is the
best choice for discussion groups.
Images didn't attach... Here's the speed tests I intended to originally
include.



htt
----------------10980141981095730853
Content-Type: application/octet-stream; name="(null)"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64
Content-Disposition: inline; filename="(null)"

----------------10980141981095730853
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1; format=flowed
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

://img98.imageshack.us/img98/2614/ajasystemtestscreensnap.jpg

http://img441.imageshack.us/img441/2614/ajasystemtestscreensnap.jpg
----------------10980141981095730853--

This isn't a binary group so it's fortunate that your images failed to
be attached. Simple publicly-accessible links (like your imageshack
links) are the best bet.
 
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B

Brian Gregory [UK]

A. K. said:
I'm not specifically running this Drive on Windows 7 (though I do run a
VM off it). I replaced the boot drive of my Mac Pro with a 240Gb SSD
from OWC
(http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/internal_storage/Mercury_Extreme_SSD_Sandforce/Solid_State_Pro)
a while back. It is significantly faster than the original drive. I've
had no issues with the unit, and it will boot my Win 7 VM in a matter
of seconds instead of minutes. I believe the OWC drives are high
quality compared to others on the market.
Yes I believe the sandforce controllers are regarded as a top performers
with excellent compatibility.
 

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