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Old 06-22-2010, 12:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default SSD Boot Drive?

I have noticed lately a lot of people are using traditional HDDs for storage ect, and a small SSD to install windows on. I am curious as to what advantages a SSD boot drive offers, besides loading windows faster on initial boot. Does windows run faster? Do people install other apps on their SSD as well? As a guy who uses steam, would there be any advantage at all? Would i get a better performance increase out of getting a SSD boot drive to use with my 1TB 7200, or would it be better to get 2x 500gb 7200 drives for raid, with my current 1tb as pure storage.
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Old 06-22-2010, 01:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: SSD Boot Drive?

I just ordered one of the new intel SSD's for my new build, to give you an idea its about 9 times faster then a 7200 rpm hard drive. so anything you do on it will respond faster, be it loading windows opening an APP installed on it.

I think, if I remember correctly when I looked at doing raid it would take 4 drives in raid 0 to get to the read speed of the SSD

the downside is its only 80 gigs
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Old 06-22-2010, 02:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: SSD Boot Drive?

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Originally Posted by zero4o3 View Post
to give you an idea its about 9 times faster then a 7200 rpm hard drive.
Not entirely accurate, but the effect is the same Insane speed!
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Old 06-22-2010, 03:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: SSD Boot Drive?

If only prices on the bigger versions would go down, a smaller one for Windows only and a bigger for apps/games and two (or more) normal drives in raid for storage. Yummmm
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Old 06-22-2010, 03:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: SSD Boot Drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Like2game View Post
I have noticed lately a lot of people are using traditional HDDs for storage ect, and a small SSD to install windows on. I am curious as to what advantages a SSD boot drive offers, besides loading windows faster on initial boot. Does windows run faster? Do people install other apps on their SSD as well? As a guy who uses steam, would there be any advantage at all? Would i get a better performance increase out of getting a SSD boot drive to use with my 1TB 7200, or would it be better to get 2x 500gb 7200 drives for raid, with my current 1tb as pure storage.
The main advantage SSDs offer is random read and write speeds that are an order of magnitude faster than 7200rpm hard drives. This results in a incredible difference in system responsiveness and application loading times. IMO the performance difference is every bit as large as going from a Pentium 4 to a Core 2 Duo.

I have Windows 7, MS Office, Visual Studio, several browsers, and my media player of choice on my SSD and all of my games and data on a 500gb mechanical drive. Aside from WoW and a few other exceptions most games do not benefit from a SSD so you would be better off putting them on your storage drive.

A single good SSD will be considerably faster than two 500gb drives in RAID. The AS SSD Benchmark thread has the results of several members systems with SSDs as well as mechanical drives in RAID listed so you can see how the various setups perform.

Here are a couple of good SSDs roughly listed from best to worst if you are interested. (in this case even the worst is still blazing fast)

Newegg.com - OCZ Agility 2 OCZSSD2-2AGTE120G 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Newegg.com - Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2MH080G2R5 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Newegg.com - OCZ Agility 2 OCZSSD2-2AGTE60G 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Newegg.com - Intel X25-V SSDSA2MP040G2R5 2.5" 40GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
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Old 06-22-2010, 04:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: SSD Boot Drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puddle Jumper View Post
The main advantage SSDs offer is random read and write speeds that are an order of magnitude faster than 7200rpm hard drives. This results in a incredible difference in system responsiveness and application loading times. IMO the performance difference is every bit as large as going from a Pentium 4 to a Core 2 Duo.

I have Windows 7, MS Office, Visual Studio, several browsers, and my media player of choice on my SSD and all of my games and data on a 500gb mechanical drive. Aside from WoW and a few other exceptions most games do not benefit from a SSD so you would be better off putting them on your storage drive.

A single good SSD will be considerably faster than two 500gb drives in RAID. The AS SSD Benchmark thread has the results of several members systems with SSDs as well as mechanical drives in RAID listed so you can see how the various setups perform.

Here are a couple of good SSDs roughly listed from best to worst if you are interested. (in this case even the worst is still blazing fast)

Newegg.com - OCZ Agility 2 OCZSSD2-2AGTE120G 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Newegg.com - Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2MH080G2R5 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Newegg.com - OCZ Agility 2 OCZSSD2-2AGTE60G 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Newegg.com - Intel X25-V SSDSA2MP040G2R5 2.5" 40GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
If he is on a budget, he may want to consider this Kingston 64 GB SSD Package, on sale at Fry's right now for $99. It is half the price of some of the SSD's you listed:

64GB SSDNow V Series Drive second-generation SATA2 2.5 Desktop Bundle, Kingston part# SNV425-S2BD/64GB (desktop bundle***)

Here's the link to the Fry's website:

FRYS.com*|*Kingston

Here's the link to see some impressive reviews by users from NewEgg:

Customer Reviews Of Kingston SSDNow V Series SNV425-S2BD/64GB 2.5" Desktop Bundle 64GB SATA II Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

And here is a pic of the entire package:

I just bought one of these yesterday, but I am still trying to figure out how to set it up and install it so it works most efficiently.

Hey PJ, have you any suggestions for me?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Kingston 64 SSD.JPG (39.0 KB, 1307 views)
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Old 06-22-2010, 05:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: SSD Boot Drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by soarwitheagles View Post
If he is on a budget, he may want to consider this Kingston 64 GB SSD Package, on sale at Fry's right now for $99. It is half the price of some of the SSD's you listed:

64GB SSDNow V Series Drive second-generation SATA2 2.5 Desktop Bundle, Kingston part# SNV425-S2BD/64GB (desktop bundle***)

Here's the link to the Fry's website:

FRYS.com*|*Kingston

Here's the link to see some impressive reviews by users from NewEgg:

Customer Reviews Of Kingston SSDNow V Series SNV425-S2BD/64GB 2.5" Desktop Bundle 64GB SATA II Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

And here is a pic of the entire package:

I just bought one of these yesterday, but I am still trying to figure out how to set it up and install it so it works most efficiently.

Hey PJ, have you any suggestions for me?
I think that Kingston drive uses the new Toshiba controller which I have mixed feeling about. It's still faster than conventional hard drives and is affordably priced but on the other hand it's considerably slower than other "budget" models like the X25-V and original Agility/Vertex. Personally I would spend a bit extra for the Intel X25-V since it has more proven performance at this point.

As far as setup goes if you install Windows 7 with ACHI enabled in BIOS you should be good to go. Windows 7 takes care of most tweaks for SSDs automatically but once it is up and running you can use this to finish setting it up for maximum performance.

Also since you are the first person here to get a SSD using that controller it would be great if you could run and post the AS SSD Benchmark in that thread I mentioned earlier so we all have a better idea of how the Kingston performs.
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Old 06-22-2010, 05:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: SSD Boot Drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puddle Jumper View Post
I think that Kingston drive uses the new Toshiba controller which I have mixed feeling about. It's still faster than conventional hard drives and is affordably priced but on the other hand it's considerably slower than other "budget" models like the X25-V and original Agility/Vertex. Personally I would spend a bit extra for the Intel X25-V since it has more proven performance at this point.

As far as setup goes if you install Windows 7 with ACHI enabled in BIOS you should be good to go. Windows 7 takes care of most tweaks for SSDs automatically but once it is up and running you can use this to finish setting it up for maximum performance.

Also since you are the first person here to get a SSD using that controller it would be great if you could run and post the AS SSD Benchmark in that thread I mentioned earlier so we all have a better idea of how the Kingston performs.
PJ,

Thanks for the great info. I definitely want to enable the AHCI in BIOS as you mentioned but not sure how to do that...

I found these read/write speeds from a reviewer at NewEgg for this Kingston SSD:
IDE mode vs. ANSI mode

Read min: 160.5 MB/s Read min: 196.9 MB/s
Read max: 198.8 MB/s read max: 223.3 MB/s
Average: 196.9 MB/s Average: 221.6 MB/s
Access time: 0.2 ms Access time: 0.2ms
Burst rate: 100.1 MB/s Burst rate: 106.2 MB/s
Cpu usage: 5.4% Cpu usage: 3.1%

What shocked me the most and the reason I purchased it was that several of the people that posted reviews on this SSD mentioned that it is faster than the specified ratings...I thought that was unusual...and let me not forget the price...$99 after rebate is another big reason why I purchased this model...

How do the above mentioned speeds compare with the Intel and OCZ SSD's?

Yes, I would much more prefer to purchase an Intel or OCZ [I have been monitoring the prices for over a month now], but I am on a very strict and tight budget, and I am doing a new build and did not want to use the platter drive, nor wait another few months for the SSD's to drop in price...

So that is my predicament...

Soar
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Old 06-22-2010, 06:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: SSD Boot Drive?

The speeds listed in that review are sequential read/write speeds which aren't especially useful since all SSDs perform well in that regard. The best way to compare drives is using 4KB random read/write speeds since most drive usage on a system is reading and writing small files. Random read/write speeds also do a superb job of showing the difference between an average SSD and a great one.

Anandtech only compared the 30gb version of your drive to the Intel X25-V however the 64gb version shouldn't be that different.





The Anandtech storage bench is more of a typical workload and does a nice job of showing how much better all SSDs are than mechanical hard drives.



If your budget doesn't permit spending an extra $18 on the X25-V and the choice is between the Kingston and a mechanical drive I would absolutely pick the Kingston.

I can't offer any advice on setting ACHI as my board doesn't even support it.
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Puddle Jumper View Post
The speeds listed in that review are sequential read/write speeds which aren't especially useful since all SSDs perform well in that regard. The best way to compare drives is using 4KB random read/write speeds since most drive usage on a system is reading and writing small files. Random read/write speeds also do a superb job of showing the difference between an average SSD and a great one.

Anandtech only compared the 30gb version of your drive to the Intel X25-V however the 64gb version shouldn't be that different.





The Anandtech storage bench is more of a typical workload and does a nice job of showing how much better all SSDs are than mechanical hard drives.



If your budget doesn't permit spending an extra $18 on the X25-V and the choice is between the Kingston and a mechanical drive I would absolutely pick the Kingston.

I can't offer any advice on setting ACHI as my board doesn't even support it.
PJ,

You are amazing! Your depth and breath of knowledge on SSD's are commendable. I never realized how much of a difference between the Intel and the Kingston until I read your post...those benchmarks make it radically clear...

Well, after reading your post here I am considering returning the Kingston [I haven't opened it nor have I peel off the UPC label for the rebate] since Fry's offers a 15 day return policy...

The Intel X25-V is only 40gb...would that be enough for me to run Windows 7 Ultimate and the new MS Office 2010 on it? How many GB's would I have left? And would I need to alter settings such as Page File, etc?

Please help me to make an educated decision on this.

Thanks again for opening my eyes,

Soar
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