SSD System Drives

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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby theckhd » Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:58 am

I never have to put in a password for those alerts, just have to hit the "Allow" button. However, I tweaked my setup to automatically log me in when I boot up, so maybe that's why?
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby Punkss2 » Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:38 am

If you are using an account with admin rights, then it won't ask for a password, just the "are you sure" prompt. If you are logged in with a user account and do a "run as" then you will be prompted for username and password.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby Bluedragon » Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:28 pm

theckhd wrote:Aside: the biggest gripe I have about re-installing Win7 is shortcuts. There's no (or wasn't a year ago, anyway) easy way to make a shortcut run in administrative mode.

I can just check the shortcut properties, compatibility tab, then check "run as administrator" at the bottom.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby theckhd » Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:29 pm

I'm fairly sure that didn't work for Ventrilo, at least when I was setting up my shortcuts (which was shortly after Win7 released). The box was there, but it just didn't work. I had to use a guide like this one to get it to work.

Again though, this may be related to the level of UAC you have applied - I do remember it worked with everything turned off, just not with UAC enabled. And for all I know, it's been fixed/changed since release, because I haven't fooled with it since.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby theckhd » Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:19 pm

Anyone seen any Vertex 3's for sale yet? I read somewhere that the release date was March 23rd, but I've yet to see any on newegg.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby gibborim » Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:31 pm

theckhd wrote:Anyone seen any Vertex 3's for sale yet? I read somewhere that the release date was March 23rd, but I've yet to see any on newegg.


Thoughts on getting a second SSD the same size as your WoW one and just running them in RAID 0? That is, if your mobo has support for a system drive RAID. Presumably, all you need from your SSDs is space for your OS, WoW, and whatever 1-2 other games/data intensive applications you may be using. The speed boost from data striping should be enough to give it that bleeding edge feel you would get from a Vertex 3 without all the bleeding.

To answer the question you posed, I can't find them either. Also, I haven't seen any benchmarks go up for them on PassMark, so I imagine no one has them yet.


Pre-posting-edit:

Taken from one of the sites with the release date of the 23rd: "*Update* The 3/23/2011 date was actually when OCZ plans on beginning the shipments to vendors. You will probably have to wait to the end of the month to get your new drives. We apologize for the confusion."
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby theckhd » Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:26 pm

gibborim wrote:Thoughts on getting a second SSD the same size as your WoW one and just running them in RAID 0? That is, if your mobo has support for a system drive RAID. Presumably, all you need from your SSDs is space for your OS, WoW, and whatever 1-2 other games/data intensive applications you may be using. The speed boost from data striping should be enough to give it that bleeding edge feel you would get from a Vertex 3 without all the bleeding.


My WoW SSD is one of the old OCZ Agility drives. Even striping those in a RAID formation is probably not going to keep up with a Vertex 3. Plus I'd rather keep WoW and the system drive separate.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby Tev » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:21 am

Anyone have a link to some recent benchmark testing on current SSDs?

My MoBo is currently limited to 3GB/s SATA, so I've been looking at some of the new Intel 320 series drives, (supposedly up to 220 MB/s sequential writes and 270 MB/s sequential reads). Price wise the 120G seems the best cost per Gig, but I wanted to see what else is out there. I'm also debating how much it would cost in all if I were to upgrade my MoBo for SATA III and what level of difference I could see.

In all I'd like to get 2 SSDs, 1 for my OS, 1 for my Games, converting my other 3 drives for storage. Now that I'm seeing SSDs up to 600G in size, I'm getting tempted to wait for a while and see how much drives of that size start to push down the price of smaller drives.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby theckhd » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:03 am

In the next day or two I plan on buying a 120GB vertex 3 to serve as a new system drive. The 240GB version is more expensive than I can justify (I doubt my entire C: drive is larger than 120GB right now anyway, but I'll have to check that when I get home). In any event, the goal will be to put Win7 and a few programs (maybe Adobe and Matlab, but not much else) on that drive. All of the other programs will be stored on a HDD, and all media/documents are already on a separate HDD.

The question I have at this point is what to do about WoW. My WoW install is on an old 60GB agility-series drive. It has that drive all to itself, more or less, after being moved there from a HDD.

I'd like to keep it on the 60GB drive, since I don't have much other use for the drive and it keeps it separate from the OS. However,
-it's only a SATA II interface
-read/write access is significantly slower compared to the new drive (at least a factor of 2 by spec), and
-I'm not certain that it has TRIM support, which means read/write access is probably a LOT slower than the specs would imply.

One of my minor gripes at the moment is how long WoW takes to load everything the first time I choose a character. I run 150-200 addons, and from the time I hit "enter world" for the first time until the blue bar is done loading can be 30s to a minute. Subsequent loads are relatively fast (5-15 seconds, it varies based on day/time/phase of the moon/etc.).

So the question is whether it makes sense to move WoW to the system drive as well (and if so, what to do with the old SSD), or whether to leave it on the old drive (and if so, are there ways to improve the performance?). If anyone has a suggestion for a good (preferably free) benchmark program I can run to evaluate how well my Agility drive is operating, I'd be happy to fool around with it this evening and post results.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby gibborim » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:47 pm

theckhd wrote:The question I have at this point is what to do about WoW. My WoW install is on an old 60GB agility-series drive. It has that drive all to itself, more or less, after being moved there from a HDD.

I'd like to keep it on the 60GB drive, since I don't have much other use for the drive and it keeps it separate from the OS. However,
-it's only a SATA II interface
-read/write access is significantly slower compared to the new drive (at least a factor of 2 by spec), and
-I'm not certain that it has TRIM support, which means read/write access is probably a LOT slower than the specs would imply.

One of my minor gripes at the moment is how long WoW takes to load everything the first time I choose a character. I run 150-200 addons, and from the time I hit "enter world" for the first time until the blue bar is done loading can be 30s to a minute. Subsequent loads are relatively fast (5-15 seconds, it varies based on day/time/phase of the moon/etc.).

So the question is whether it makes sense to move WoW to the system drive as well (and if so, what to do with the old SSD), or whether to leave it on the old drive (and if so, are there ways to improve the performance?). If anyone has a suggestion for a good (preferably free) benchmark program I can run to evaluate how well my Agility drive is operating, I'd be happy to fool around with it this evening and post results.


For benchmarking your SSDs: http://www.passmark.com/products/pt.htm It is trialware, but should be more than sufficient for testing your SSD drives for now.

This is what I would do: WoW and Windows 7 on the good SSD, other programs on the 'slow' SSD. Make sure you backup your WoW installation if you are not already.

Also, make sure you have an actual SATA 3 cable, otherwise your read speed will be limited to ~255 MB/sec.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby theckhd » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:52 pm

Hm... I didn't realize there was a difference. But I think my motherboard came with some SATA cables with little clips, those might be the SATA III cables. I'll have to take a look when I get home.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby gibborim » Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:35 pm

theckhd wrote:Hm... I didn't realize there was a difference. But I think my motherboard came with some SATA cables with little clips, those might be the SATA III cables. I'll have to take a look when I get home.


I am not completely sure if the is an actual difference or if it is a marketing scam, but I didn't find any posts on tech forums newer than June of last year saying it was marketing. I should have mine for testing on Monday.


Hrm, after trying a few more HDD benchmarking tools, I am starting to suspect there is no difference. I guess I should rescind my rescind my reccomendaion of the PassMark benchmarking software since it seems to be greatly underreporting my SSD's performance. I guess I may find out more when my cables get here.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby theckhd » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:35 pm

Ran some tests with ATTO like the ones two pages back:

C: (320GB SATA II) - maxed out at around 60 MB/s with WoW running, 75 MB/s after exiting.
E: (500GB SATA II) - 100 MB/s
M: (750GB SATA II) - 100 MB/s
W: (60GB Agility SSD, SATA II) - about 60 MB/s read and 150 MB/s write with WoW running. Exiting wow bumps the reads up to 75 MB/s, no change in writes.

These seem low for SATA II, no? I'm on a r3 Asus P8P67. Interestingly enough, C: and W: are on the on-board SATA III ports, while E: and M: are on the SATA II ports. Nothing's on the Marvell controller (also SATA III) at the moment.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby gibborim » Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:03 pm

theckhd wrote:Ran some tests with ATTO like the ones two pages back:

C: (320GB SATA II) - maxed out at around 60 MB/s with WoW running, 75 MB/s after exiting.
E: (500GB SATA II) - 100 MB/s
M: (750GB SATA II) - 100 MB/s
W: (60GB Agility SSD, SATA II) - about 60 MB/s read and 150 MB/s write with WoW running. Exiting wow bumps the reads up to 75 MB/s, no change in writes.

These seem low for SATA II, no? I'm on a r3 Asus P8P67. Interestingly enough, C: and W: are on the on-board SATA III ports, while E: and M: are on the SATA II ports. Nothing's on the Marvell controller (also SATA III) at the moment.


You don't really give enough information. I assume E & M are 7200RPM platter drives and C is a 5400RPM platter. If these statements are true, those drives are working pretty much perfectly. Are your numbers for W: correct? It kinda looks like a copypasta gone wrong, since the sentence is largely identical to the one after C:. Also, 60 MB/s read seems unimaginably slow for an SSD.

/e/

I'm not sure I understand your question about SATA II. The maximum possible data transfer over a SATA II connection is ~275 MB/s. No HDDs that are not SSDs are going to come close to using that full connection.

/e2/

I guess maybe some super expensive 15000RPM enterprise quality platter drive could come close, but that would cost almost as much per GB as an SSD and get completely crushed by them in every category.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby theckhd » Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:18 am

C: 320GB, 7200 RPM, SATAII
E: 500GB, 7200 RPM, SATAII
M: 750GB, 7200 RPM, SATAII
W: 60GB Agility SSD, SATAII

W: is definitely not a copy/paste.

Read/Write for C: was more or less identical at 75 MB/s after exiting WoW (and 60 or so while it was running). Reads for W: are significantly lower than writes in both cases.

The writes is what confuses me, as I expected reads to be faster based on the benchmarks I've been looking at. However, those benchmarks have all been newer drives, mostly SandForce, and this is a very old drive that has a different controller and firmware. I'd write it off as just that, except that the spec for the Agility is 230 MB/s read and 130 MB/s write (but only 80MB/s sustained write according to their product page). So it's actually writing faster than spec, but reading slower.

My best guess is that W: doesn't have TRIM turned on, and the performance has just degraded from use? The product page says it does support TRIM.

Alternatively, it looks like there's a new firmware for the drive, so I could attempt to update the firmware and see if it helps. But I'll wait to do that until my new system drive is in place and WoW is safely backed up.

I guess I underestimated the limitations that a standard HDD imposes - I thought it would use more than 1/3 of the SATA II bandwidth.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby gibborim » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:04 am

Reads for W: are significantly lower than writes in both cases.


You may want to benchmark it with a few programs to see how consistent the marks are. The read speed you reported for the SSD is really, really low, to the point where you shouldn't even be able to tell WoW is on an SSD. If you have more than just WoW on the drive, there may be space issues with trying to benchmark the drive.

The writes is what confuses me, as I expected reads to be faster based on the benchmarks I've been looking at. However, those benchmarks have all been newer drives, mostly SandForce, and this is a very old drive that has a different controller and firmware. I'd write it off as just that, except that the spec for the Agility is 230 MB/s read and 130 MB/s write (but only 80MB/s sustained write according to their product page). So it's actually writing faster than spec, but reading slower.


Sustained vs Burst: Sustained writing limits are actually firmware imposed. This allows the controller maker to charge more for 'better' chips that don't have the same arbitrary limits. Sustained limiting only kicks in after a fairly significant amount of writing, so it is possible that the test you are running is simply not long enough.

My best guess is that W: doesn't have TRIM turned on, and the performance has just degraded from use? The product page says it does support TRIM.

TRIM does absolutely nothing at all for Read speed. It erases unused data on the drive, not just the windows indexing, but the actual data. It does this because to write to an SSD block, it must be 'blank'. If TRIM is not garbage collecting, then writes are slowed down by first deleting data in the target blocks.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby fuzzygeek » Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:20 am

So my SSD is getting long in the tooth (an older Intel G1) and the benchmarking on it is atrocious. Can I image this thing to a modern SSD (with trim support etc.) or am I going to have to do a full reinstall?
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby theckhd » Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:47 am

theckhd wrote:Ran some tests with ATTO like the ones two pages back:

C: (320GB SATA II) - maxed out at around 60 MB/s with WoW running, 75 MB/s after exiting.
E: (500GB SATA II) - 100 MB/s
M: (750GB SATA II) - 100 MB/s
W: (60GB Agility SSD, SATA II) - about 60 MB/s read and 150 MB/s write with WoW running. Exiting wow bumps the reads up to 75 MB/s, no change in writes.

These seem low for SATA II, no? I'm on a r3 Asus P8P67. Interestingly enough, C: and W: are on the on-board SATA III ports, while E: and M: are on the SATA II ports. Nothing's on the Marvell controller (also SATA III) at the moment.


Update: I just ran the test again with nothing running, and W: clocked in at 60-80 MB/s write and 120-160 MB/s read. So I must have transposed those numbers when copying them down. Still seems low, but there's a performance tool on OCZ's website that they suggest you run monthly, so I'm going to try that to see if it boosts read speeds at all.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby theckhd » Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:37 am

Installed the new Vertex 3 last night, and am quite impressed. I made it the C: drive, and ended up putting WoW on it as well. ATTO benchmarks it at around 500 MB/s for both read and write, which blows the rest of the drives out of the water.

Now I have to decide what to do with W: (the Agility). The software utility from OCZ wouldn't recognize the drive for some reason, my best guess is that it requires the updated firmware. I may try that and see if it improves anything.

Interestingly, despite being on the faster SSD, the initial load time for WoW (the blue bar loading screen for the first character you log in) is still pretty slow. It's better than it was, but not by a factor of 5. My guess is that it has to do with the type of reads going on (maybe random read vs. sequential?).
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby gibborim » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:04 am

theckhd wrote:Interestingly, despite being on the faster SSD, the initial load time for WoW (the blue bar loading screen for the first character you log in) is still pretty slow. It's better than it was, but not by a factor of 5. My guess is that it has to do with the type of reads going on (maybe random read vs. sequential?).


I would assume that loading WoW is mostly getting data from those giant, (presumably)contiguous MPQ data files. How much data do you have to load from the addons?
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby Fridmarr » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:40 am

It's probably just that HDD access isn't the only bottle neck. Those large files are internally made of up lots of small files, kind of like a zip file. There is going to be lots of random reads within the file, but during the initial load there is a lot of other processing going on too.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby theckhd » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:53 am

gibborim wrote:I would assume that loading WoW is mostly getting data from those giant, (presumably)contiguous MPQ data files. How much data do you have to load from the addons?


Not sure offhand, I can check my memory usage in-game when I raid tonight. If I had to make a guess, it'd be around 100 MB or so (though usually not that much on the initial load).

I think Frid is probably right though. Since the really long blue bar only occurs the first time I log into any character, it's probably related to loading the entire world rather than addons. Logging out and logging back in on a separate character yields a fairly short blue bar load time (5-10 seconds at most, probably all attributable to addons given how many I run).

It's just odd, since I don't remember it taking this long in the past (i.e. years ago). It's possible that things have just gotten slower with Cata, or with my installation over time. I'm still running the same WoW install from BC, I think, though it's been updated for each patch and repaired once or twice.
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Re: SSD System Drives

Postby gibborim » Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:56 pm

theckhd wrote:Logging out and logging back in on a separate character yields a fairly short blue bar load time (5-10 seconds at most, probably all attributable to addons given how many I run).


5-10 sec is how long my initial load takes on my first login. I am running ~20 addons including memory hogs like auctioneer and carbonite. I imagine my WoW install is about as bloated as yours @ 27.8GB in size. I'm not really sure at what all would affect load time, so I'll list the relevant components in my computer.

System:

Crucial C300 CTFDDAC128MAG-1G1 128GB
16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM 1600(probably running at a board native speed of 1333)
GTX 470
2600k SB chip running at stock speed
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