SSD System Drives

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SSD System Drives

Postby cerwillis » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:35 am

I think my next project is going to be to put Windows 7(64), WoW and DC Universe on a SSD for teh fast lode tiemz, and I want to get some advice before I buy.

I was going to buy This One but with the aforementioned 3 programs, I'm already pushing 70GB. I want to get something of equal reputation, possibly in the 120/128GB size.

I'd like to hear your thoughts and experiences on the matter.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby Sabindeus » Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:48 am

My gaming box has a 256GB SSD with Win7, WoW, and Starcraft 2, as well as a couple misc apps. I have tons of space left. I will probably throw Dragon Age II on there when I get it.

SSDs are ridiculously great. Totally do it.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby Chunes » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:18 am

Just hope you don't get unlucky with your hardware. Our holy pally's SSD shat out on him and he was forced to raid on his laptop while they replaced it.

-_-
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby cerwillis » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:26 am

Chunes wrote:Just hope you don't get unlucky with your hardware. Our holy pally's SSD shat out on him and he was forced to raid on his laptop while they replaced it.

-_-

Yes, there is quite a bit of variation in regards to quality, if you go by the reviews on newegg. The one that I linked had a remarkably good set of reviews.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby Vrimmel » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:02 pm

SSDs are incredible. Of course don't buy just any disk on the market. Check reviews and recommendations. My disk is at 120 gb. I wouldn't go any lower.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby cerwillis » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:18 pm

Vrimmel wrote:SSDs are incredible. Of course don't buy just any disk on the market. Check reviews and recommendations. My disk is at 120 gb. I wouldn't go any lower.

What brand is yours? Also I would like to know if there is anything to know when setting one up. I know that I'll need a bracket, because they only come in 2.5". I'm considering cloning my current install over to it because I'm pretty happy with it, I wonder if you guys think that's a good idea.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby Sabindeus » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:58 pm

I have a Crucial
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

I got it because I found a deal on it but the reviews on NewEgg are kind of terrible.... now I'm concerned. :/
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby cerwillis » Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:12 pm

Yeah, but the newer crucials are great apparently, like This One. Funny enough, I browsed drives for about an hour yesterday, and newegg sent me a special "shopping helper" email today with an ad for exactly the drive I wanted.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby Gerunna » Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:20 pm

cerwillis wrote:Also I would like to know if there is anything to know when setting one up. I know that I'll need a bracket, because they only come in 2.5". I'm considering cloning my current install over to it because I'm pretty happy with it, I wonder if you guys think that's a good idea.


If you plan on cloning your current install, the main settings you'll want to adjust on the new drive are to disable automatic defragging and indexing as the extra read/writes they perform will noticeably shorten the drive's lifespan. There are some other tweaks you can do if you like; this is the guide I followed for my SSD.

In the end, you might be better off doing a fresh install as Win7 has supposedly gotten a lot better at detecting SSDs and automatically adjusting settings to accommodate them.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby cerwillis » Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:40 pm

Gerunna wrote:
cerwillis wrote:Also I would like to know if there is anything to know when setting one up. I know that I'll need a bracket, because they only come in 2.5". I'm considering cloning my current install over to it because I'm pretty happy with it, I wonder if you guys think that's a good idea.


If you plan on cloning your current install, the main settings you'll want to adjust on the new drive are to disable automatic defragging and indexing as the extra read/writes they perform will noticeably shorten the drive's lifespan. There are some other tweaks you can do if you like; this is the guide I followed for my SSD.

In the end, you might be better off doing a fresh install as Win7 has supposedly gotten a lot better at detecting SSDs and automatically adjusting settings to accommodate them.

Great info thanks! Edit: That guide is awesome.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby masterpoobaa » Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:22 pm

If you are feeling game, you can get 2 SSD's of half the capacity you were considering, and run them in raid 0 for truly uber performance.

Me, Ive got a run of the mill 128Gb SSD (Gskill sumthing MkII). Before I got it i Made sure it was TRIM enabed, as many drives then did not have this feature.
Today all drives have it.

I don't play many games, so even with Windows 7, apps, WoW and a few other games Im sitting at 50-60% of the drive used.

Everything loads fast, with the progress bar speed in WoW limited by my connection to the server.

O and yes, Defragging should not be done on a SSD. There is no point. Infact the OS should prevent you from doing this. The firmware of the SSD will naturally spread out the data over time anyway as part of the 'spread the wear' algorithms.

For storage purposes i stuck 2x 2tB drives into a raid 1. :)
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby inthedrops » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:44 pm

masterpoobaa wrote:Before I got it i Made sure it was TRIM enabed, as many drives then did not have this feature. Today all drives have it.


This is very important.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong but haven't some manufacturers/models improved Trim and GC over the last year or two?

I have a couple older SSD drives (striped) and every so often I go through the whole secure erase process because their performance degrades in an extremely measurable manner from any Disk Benchmarking utility you can get your hands on. I do this about once every 4 months or so whether I notice a difference or not. I've done what I can to reduce writes to the SSD drives (browser cache, swap file, all document locations, etc. all live on a standard internal drive).

I basically just have my OS on the striped SSD drives and have a third SSD drive that I have only WoW installed on. Everything else lives on standard internal drive.

I'm just wondering when it'll be time to upgrade my SSD's to something that has better Trim/Garbage Collection operations.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby rodos » Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:02 pm

masterpoobaa wrote:If you are feeling game, you can get 2 SSD's of half the capacity you were considering, and run them in raid 0 for truly uber performance.

Just remember that if you do this you halve your mean time to failure.

Anything I put on RAID-0 is just stuff that can be re-installed (OS, apps, games, etc.), but you're still looking at down-time when one of them dies. That said, it's totally worth the risk in certain situations. I've got WoW running striped across a pair of old 36 GB WD Raptors (10k rpm drives). Performance is really excellent.

Recently the laptop that I put an SSD in (a G.Skill Phoenix) died for unrelated reasons. I'll probably pull the drive and put it in my desktop this weekend, so I'll be able to run some performance comparisons between SSD and 2xHDD, which will be interesting.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby masterpoobaa » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:25 pm

SSD vs 2xHDD?
Depending on the drives i would say the transfer rates would be comparable (maybe better for the HDD's), but seek times would always win out on the SSD.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby rodos » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:56 pm

masterpoobaa wrote:SSD vs 2xHDD?
Depending on the drives i would say the transfer rates would be comparable (maybe better for the HDD's), but seek times would always win out on the SSD.

That's what I reckon, and given WoW does a lot of random reads and not many writes, it should be better, but it's always nice to see real-world results from the apps you're using.

Side note: A lot of people complained about bad performance in Cata, especially on Mac. Some of this was down to what Blizzard did with the GFX quality sliders (what was maximum before is now about the middle of some sliders). However, what I think killed things for me was the new streaming downloader causing internal fragmentation of the MPQ databases. The problem was rotating the camera in a crowded city causing massive fps loss. I'm convinced this was due to slow texture loading, and WoW being too aggressive in pushing off-screen textures out of the cache (particularly problematic with low GFX memory on a lot of Macs). SSD provides a huge boost in that department.

Short version: My old Macbook Pro (Radeon X1300 gfx) became almost unplayable in Dalaran after the pre-Cata patch, but after I put a SSD in it things were fine again.
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