SSD advice please

Discussion in 'PC Purchasing Help' started by suryad, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. Davros

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    diskeeper sell a peice of software called hyperfast for ssd's
    what do you think of their claims
    "Increases SSD lifespan by up to 3 years
    Enables 6x faster reads & 20x faster writes"

    http://www.diskeeper.com/hyperfast/
     
  2. Pressure

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    I would remain skeptical as the only press I can find on it are the press releases they did themselves.
     
  3. BRiT

    BRiT (>• •)>⌐■-■ (⌐■-■)
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    Read up in the OCZ SSD Support forums where consumers and even OCZ themselves put some of their claims and other defrag software to the test.
     
  4. Blazkowicz

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    it sounds like a utility that does manual TRIM (claiming back performance on older Windows after a lot of use)
     
  5. pcchen

    pcchen Moderator
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    I've heard about this when I had an old SSD without TRIM support (there was no TRIM back then). It's claimed to be able to "reclaim the performance of your SSD." However, I was skeptical and decided not to try it out. Since TRIM support is now very common, I guess that's why they shift their claim to "increases lifespan."

    Since there is no way (at least no standard way) to know a SSD's internal mapping table from the outside, it seems to be impossible to do real "defrag" for a SSD. However, if it tries to write in blocks of the page size, a good enough SSD controller may be able to cluster these blocks into a physical page. If done properly, it's possible to cluster most static data (mostly read only files) into pages and reduce erase and write when modifying smaller files.

    The downside is, of course, since it's impossible to know whether some blocks are already in a single page, there could be some waste relocation. But since relocation is mostly for static data, ideally there will be only one relocation for each block, so the waste should be quite small.

    It'd be interesting to see real test results, of course. :)
     
  6. Frank

    Frank Certified not a majority
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    If you want to buy an SSD at the moment, the choice is actually very easy: buy a Kingston SSDNow V+100 96 GB. Or more than one and put them in RAID 0 if you need the space. And if you want a single, large one for a laptop, a Crucial M4 is your best bet.

    Some explaining:

    The new Sandforce controllers are fast on paper, but REALLY unreliable. And anything from OCZ might look fast on paper as well, but there is a massive amount of complaints about them. The new Vertex is the worst of the bunch. On tweakers.net, there are even emails with OCZ where they acknowledge that.

    Intel is fine (and often fastest in benchmarks), but pretty expensive. And, as said, those benchmark numbers don't say much when it comes to SSDs: they tend to miss the point as they only look at sustained throughput and IO-ops. Interesting if you have a server and require every last bit of performance 24/7, but not for home use.

    For home use, you want reliability and a low price. And, if you want to do RAID, an aggressive garbage collector. Which brings us to the Kingston V+100 SSDNow.

    You will experience it as just as blazingly fast in daily use as any other SSD, and you get a lot of bang for your buck. It has by far the best GB/$ ratio of all the available SSDs. And an aggressive garbage collection, which makes it very good for RAID.

    It's a bit older tech (it actually uses a heavily redesigned JMicron controller, the same one that made some older SSDs look bad), but with the new firmware from Toshiba, it's actually a pretty decent SSD, without any bad marks.

    Oh, and did I mention it's really cheap? ;)

    You can buy the upgrade bundle kit for about $10 extra, which includes a 3.5" bracket, cables, an USB casing and Acronis HD cloning software.


    If you want a bigger one for your laptop, the Crucial M4 is the best choice. Reasonably cheap, very reliable and available in sizes up to 512GB.

    And if you really want a Best Brand one, Intel is good, but they use the same controller as the Crucial M4 one, which is cheaper. I would get that one instead and save the difference.

    Interesting enough, the Intel ones use Flash with the least amount of erase cycles: only 3000 of them for each cell! So they will stand the least amount of heavy usage.
     
  7. tabs

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    Is there a definitive list of things I'd need to configure in Windows 7 when having my OS on an SSD, in order to prolong the speed/lifespan?
     
  8. pcchen

    pcchen Moderator
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    If you have a relatively recent SSD you don't need to do anything. Windows 7 should automatically remove it from the defrag schedule (if you are not sure you can check it) and use TRIM if supported.
     
  9. tabs

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    What about the pagefile? Should I just leave it as is?
     
  10. Lux_

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    There exists a strategy "preserve the limited write capability as long as possible": disable pagefile, redirect temp folder to another drive etc. IMHO, on the contrary, page and temp files are exactly for SSD-s: small, random and time critical reads and writes.

    You might want to reduce the limit for restore points and clean up windir\softwaredistribution\download, in order to free up couple of GBs. Try running a free program WinDirStat, save some screenshots in order to see if some dir eats up space over time.
     
  11. Davros

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  12. suryad

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    @Frank: Informative post cause I definitely want to go raid 0 with a pair of 256 gb drives for space purposes. Was thinking Kingston Sandforce but I am thinking they have GOT to sort out their issues or else they are just not going to move product! Here is hoping they get all that sorted out by Christmas :)
     
  13. pcchen

    pcchen Moderator
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    If you want absolutely longest possible lifespan (which is probably pointless, as SSD tech is advancing fast) you'll want to do that (and what Lux_ said). However, in most case pagefile is fine, as pagefile is generally written in large chunks, so it rarely generates waste erase.

    Personally I see SSD as a cache. I put my OS and common used applications in my SSD to make them fast. For larger applications and games which can't be fit in my SSD, I use another SSD as a cache for my larger HDD (using Z68's SSD cache function). I think this is a balanced approach.

    Also you don't want to fill up your SSD. It's bad for normal HDD (from the perspective of file system fragmentation) but it's extremely bad for SSD. Allow your SSD to have at least 10% ~ 20% empty space for better wear leveling.
     
  14. Pressure

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    SSDs already have reserved 8 - 15% of the total capacity for wear-levelling, no?
     
  15. pcchen

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    Yes, but it depends on brand and products. For example, I've heard that some Intel SSD have only about 7%, from the disparity between binary GB and decimal GB.

    Also it's not just for wear leveling, it's also for performance. More free space means less time spent on waiting for erasure, which takes a long time for MLC flash (generally in hundreds of milliseconds). TRIM do help but they can't help much in some heavily fragmented case. In general, if you have more empty space you are less likely to be heavily fragmented and you'll get better performance.
     
  16. Malo

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    What about from a HTPC perspective? I build a new HTPC recently running a Crucial M4 on a Zacate platform find the SSD really helps in MC7 & XBMC. I pointed my pagefile and temp directories to the green WD HDD which is used to store all the WC7 streaming and recorded tv so the SSD is only for the applications.

    So what is being said here is that I should leave those pagefiles and temp on the SSD instead? I'll never fill over 50% of the drive, I believe I have around 48gb free of the 64gb.
     
  17. Frank

    Frank Certified not a majority
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    Temp files are debatable, but if you want a page file, do put it on the SSD, as Lux_ and pcchen said. It makes a big difference in perceived speed if used, and the SSD can take it.

    And if you don't want to bother with a RAM drive, put the temp files on the SSD as well. Simply clean them up every so often.
     
  18. homerdog

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    Yes, pagefile goes on the SSD.

    I had some more experience with my friend's T420 with the 160GB Intel G3 inside. Gotta get me one. My beastly desktop feels slower than his puny IGP sporting laptop just because he has an SSD and I don't.
     
  19. tabs

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    Thanks for all the info. This thread's been worth its weight in gold. Just ordered a couple of Kingston SSDNow V+100 96 GB with the 3.5" kits as per Frank's recommendation for myself and the missus' machines. I'll be keeping the OS, pagefile and temp files on them (plus BF3 of course). I'll see how that goes before plonking more ram in for a ramdrive.

    It sure feels good now the old beast has an upgrade on the way. That's my PC, not the missus.
     
  20. homerdog

    homerdog donator of the year
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    Dude you won't regret it. The speediness is legendary.
     
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