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SSD System Drives

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:35 am
by cerwillis
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.

Re: SSD System Drives

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:48 am
by Sabindeus
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.

Re: SSD System Drives

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:18 am
by Chunes
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.

-_-

Re: SSD System Drives

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:26 am
by cerwillis
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.

Re: SSD System Drives

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:02 pm
by Vrimmel
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.

Re: SSD System Drives

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:18 pm
by cerwillis
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.

Re: SSD System Drives

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:58 pm
by Sabindeus
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. :/

Re: SSD System Drives

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:12 pm
by cerwillis
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.

Re: SSD System Drives

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:20 pm
by Gerunna
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.

Re: SSD System Drives

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:40 pm
by cerwillis
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.

Re: SSD System Drives

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:22 pm
by masterpoobaa
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. :)

Re: SSD System Drives

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:44 pm
by inthedrops
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.

Re: SSD System Drives

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:02 pm
by rodos
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.

Re: SSD System Drives

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:25 pm
by masterpoobaa
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.

Re: SSD System Drives

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:56 pm
by rodos
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.

Re: SSD System Drives

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:36 pm
by Sabindeus
rodos wrote:
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.


If you let the launcher sit on "apply non-critical updates" what it's actually doing is defragging the MPQs.

Re: SSD System Drives

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:30 am
by laterna
Sabindeus wrote: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. :/


Its not necessarily a bad one, but its not the best. I have a crucial one too, but mine is the C300 series

The best SSD is currently considered the C300. It does an extremely smart trick, where it sacrifices write speed, for read speed(at small capacities. at larger capacities it recovers write speeds). Which is an 100% good thing. You'll only ever put your OS, WoW and whatever game you want on it, so essentially, your write speed is insignifigant. You read speed being even faster than normal SSD's, makes it awesome.

There's also talk about 2nd generation SSD's, but I haven't read any reviews, or any non-press talk about it so don't hold up on those for now.

So in essense, you sacrifice write spead (mostly insignifigant) for read speed (very importand). I have one of these on my own rig, and if anything although I have the 64gb version, it still is a powerhouse. Its got WoW,Windows and HoN on it with about 10gb empty space atm.

The other thing you can consider are hybrid SSD/HD drives. They bring the best out of both, and at a better price than a pure SSD.

Just one note to the folks talking about pc stuff, remember that you shouldn't say "A friends of mine SSD asploded, so they are bad". If its a 0.1% failure rate and they replace it for free, within 2 weeks its no biggie. It propably won't happen to you, and if it does, they will replace it.

Re: SSD System Drives

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:33 am
by Fridmarr
rodos wrote:
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.
Technically, you double your chance of failure, but mean time is not really affected. In fact, since SSD's have a fairly strong correlation between usage and failure, you probably increase the mean time to failure, since each drive gets less usage.

I'd bet the SSD performs noticeably faster than your raid.

Re: SSD System Drives

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:28 am
by Shyrtandros
I feel like a caveman...

I'm still running standard HDD's :| on both my 2yr old rig and my 4yr old.

Re: SSD System Drives

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:48 am
by cerwillis
Since I decided on a drive that was $100 more than I expected to pay, I think I'm gonna wait until the 15th to make my order, but I'll let you guys know how it goes.

Re: SSD System Drives

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:44 pm
by baleogthefierce
My first SSD was a Corsair 256GB, it has been trucking for almost 2 years now and I've never had a problem (even after multiple OS installs).
I built a new system in early 2010 and decided to try a cheap-o Patriot drive as the boot drive, but it corrupted the MBR a few times, forcing an OS reinstall (no recovery utilities were able to fix it). After that problem, the drive had serious throughput problems and eventually just failed outright.
I replaced it with an 80GB Intel, and I've been happy as a clam ever since. I basically just have the OS and WoW on the boot drive, so there's a good 20GB of free space, so a 64GB would probably have been fine for me.

Other than buying a cheap-o drive and having it fail on me, I've had nothing but great performance out of these things. Let us know how it turns out. You'll love the instant wakeup from sleep mode and ~30s boot from a cold system.

Re: SSD System Drives

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:13 pm
by theckhd
laterna wrote:Its not necessarily a bad one, but its not the best. I have a crucial one too, but mine is the C300 series

The best SSD is currently considered the C300. It does an extremely smart trick, where it sacrifices write speed, for read speed(at small capacities. at larger capacities it recovers write speeds). Which is an 100% good thing. You'll only ever put your OS, WoW and whatever game you want on it, so essentially, your write speed is insignifigant. You read speed being even faster than normal SSD's, makes it awesome.


How does this compare to SandForce drives, like the Corsair Force F-120? I've been thinking about buying a second SSD for my system drive, in the ~120GB range. I already have WoW on a separate SSD, which seemed to help with texture load times. I'm not sure if putting the system drive on an SSD will make much difference for WoW, but it might significantly speed up boot times.

Re: SSD System Drives

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:30 pm
by inthedrops
theckhd wrote:
laterna wrote:Its not necessarily a bad one, but its not the best. I have a crucial one too, but mine is the C300 series

The best SSD is currently considered the C300. It does an extremely smart trick, where it sacrifices write speed, for read speed(at small capacities. at larger capacities it recovers write speeds). Which is an 100% good thing. You'll only ever put your OS, WoW and whatever game you want on it, so essentially, your write speed is insignifigant. You read speed being even faster than normal SSD's, makes it awesome.


How does this compare to SandForce drives, like the Corsair Force F-120? I've been thinking about buying a second SSD for my system drive, in the ~120GB range. I already have WoW on a separate SSD, which seemed to help with texture load times. I'm not sure if putting the system drive on an SSD will make much difference for WoW, but it might significantly speed up boot times.


I was happy with my choice of putting the OS on an SSD drive. Just be aware that it's still probably a good idea to keep your "write" intensive tasks to real hard drives still. For me, that meant pointing my Firefox cache to a real drive (easier said than done, it's hidden commands to do that) and I set my swap file to a real hard drive. Also, I run Windows 7 and I remapped all of my "Libraries" such as "Documents" and "Pictures" and what not to also be a real drive.

Re: SSD System Drives

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:45 pm
by Chunes
I honestly had no idea SSD's were as prevalent on this board as they seem to be. I'm still in the stonage with like a 7500rpm hdd for storage and a 10krpm smaller hdd for the OS.

Granted I built my comp back in '07...

Re: SSD System Drives

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:29 pm
by Vrimmel
cerwillis wrote:
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.


I have http://www.ocztechnology.com/ocz-revodrive-pci-express-ssd.html . That thing is fast!!! You do need a stationary computer to use it though.

For a 2.5' in a laptop it depends what brand it is. Usually it's not too hard to open a laptop if you have the right tools (screwdrivers of different sizes). Any computer case will do if you have a stationary computer. There are usually brackets for it, but if you don't have one, it doesn't matter. The disk doesnt move, so you can just throw it wherever as long as it doesnt get in the way of anything.