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Topic Starter Topic: Looking for a relaible SSD

Insane Quaker
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PostPosted: 04-21-2011 05:08 AM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


I've been looking at a few 256GB SSDs lately, but no matter how good some people say they are, there's someone else who says they're horrible. They don't often really elaborate on why they feel the way they do, so I'm trying to get more opinions or suggestions. I've been considering:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

Anyone have any experiences or horror stories about these or others?




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PostPosted: 04-21-2011 06:27 AM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


OCZ Vertex 3 (or 2 if your mobo doesn't support 6GB/s SATA transfer speeds).



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Insane Quaker
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PostPosted: 04-21-2011 06:56 AM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


I checked the Vertex 2 250GB out on Newegg and the number of 5 stars and 1 star reviews is split 50/50. It seems like with buying SSDs there's a very high failure rate after a few months of use across pretty much all of the brands I've seen. Is this just because the technology is still...newish?




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PostPosted: 04-21-2011 07:25 AM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


People without problems don't usually review products, while people with problems will always complain.

Yes, the technology is newish, but I think the limitations have to do with (very) long term rewrites. Move your swap and other frequently written files and cache to a secondary HDD and you'll be fine. If failure rates were really as high as 50%, manufacturers would be selling at a massive loss trying to produce replacement units.

Long term failure rates are probably lower than traditional HDD drives due to a lack of moving parts. I think those people who do have problems are "dead on arrivals", so you can just get it swapped by the retailer.

I haven't gotten an SSD yet (been meaning to but can't be bothered to shuffle all my data around just yet) but I know plenty of people who do and not one has reported any problems.



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Insane Quaker
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PostPosted: 04-21-2011 07:29 AM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


That's very true about when people choose to complain vs. compliment...I hadn't thought of that.

Unfortunately this is for a laptop so It'll most likely be just the one drive. However, I do have a miniPCIe port which I was hoping to put a 64GB SLC SSD in. Originally I'd thought I'd just use the SLC drive for linux, but I suppose it'd be better put to use if I had an ntfs partition which I'd use for windows swap. As far as I've seen, SLC is supposed to allow for more r/w cycles so it should be better suited to swap type applications.




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Glayven?
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PostPosted: 04-21-2011 09:43 AM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


The problem with SSDs is the limited re-writes. That's pretty much it. In terms of failure rates due to manufacturing glitches, they're about the same as normal harddrives.

Since you're getting it for a laptop, I really wouldn't recommend it. SSDs aren't really intended for "normal hard drive" work...again due to the limited writes available to it. I'm currently using an SD card in my netbook for "SpeedBoost" (Windows 7) and it improves performance somewhat due to my unit's 5400 RPM HDD. But again, Microsoft warns you this could wear out the SD.

If, however, you want to get an SSD for a desktop, I recommend you get a PCI-E SSD, use it as your system drive for OS and programs (you can boot from them as well) and - from everything I've read - an SSD is the single best upgrade from improving performance. But, as obsidian has mentioned, you should still get a second normal drive for data storage and files.




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Insane Quaker
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PostPosted: 04-21-2011 09:54 AM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


Why a PCI-E SSD over just using a Sata one? (for desktops)

I wish Super Talent would hurry up and release their SLC netbook storage devices, they come with a 3 year warranty and are supposed to be able to re-write far more than MLC SSDs can. I think I'd use that SLC device for the OS, swap, and then have everything else that didn't change as much on the bigger, MLC SSD.




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PostPosted: 04-21-2011 10:54 AM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


PCI-E has much higher bandwidth than SATA so faster speeds (theoretically).



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foolproof
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PostPosted: 04-21-2011 11:33 AM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


Don't want to derail thread, and realise VolumetricSteve's query is on another usage level, BUTT:

If you only use the SSD drive for the OS (win 7), is it really worth getting?
Think win 7 is pretty efficient with disk mem already, and if it just shortens boot time it doesn't really justify the extra 200 bucks.
Thoughts?




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Insane Quaker
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PostPosted: 04-21-2011 11:59 AM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


I think it would be, the boot times are much faster, in my case, I hope to be doing this on an SLC drive, so I'll have the swap there too...and actually...the primary reasons I want to do this are because my last laptop's hard drive was destroyed by magnetism(non-issue with SSDs), and I want the longer battery life that an SSD will provide. Also, never having to defrag is pretty sweet, plus, the all-around speed increase. I should also point out that SSDs make short work of programs that are HORRIBLY written from an I/O perspective, such as Yahoo messenger which throws hard drives into a frenzy when it opens and makes multi-tasking a pain, but on an SSD this issue is circumvented.

For the PCI-E SSDs, I always thought that they were merely bridges...what I mean is, they're adapting PCI-E -> SATA -> Flash Controller -> Flash
So all they'd really have to do is re-print the existing SSD drive module onto a differently shaped circuit board with a PCI-E bridge.

I've never seen PCI-E -> Flash Controller -> Flash

I've never seen a flow chart for it, but knowing the laziness of manufacturers, it'd be easier to get a product to market faster if they use parts that are readily available. I'd actually be really curious to see references for either production method....Honestly, I'm not sure how they do it....but it would be really cool if they cut out the middle man with PCI-E SSDs.




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Immortal
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PostPosted: 04-21-2011 05:16 PM           Profile   Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


I bought a SSD a while ago.

I use it for OS files and for large programs that perform a lot of i/o operations (Visual Studio C++ while compiling, for instance)

The boot times are significantly faster and compile times are damn good too.

Note that for things like videogames, the SSD won't really do much. Sure, it'll improve level loading times but that's about it. So for people buying SSDs for a better WoW experience, they'd find their money better spent elsewhere.




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PostPosted: 04-21-2011 06:04 PM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


Silicone_Milk wrote:
Sure, it'll improve level loading times but that's about it.

I thought this was widely known and accepted as being a worthwhile reason [even if it is the only reason] to upgrade to SSD if you do a lot of gaming. Of course it's not going to improve your ingame framerate much, if at all.




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Immortal
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PostPosted: 04-21-2011 06:11 PM           Profile   Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


U4EA wrote:
Silicone_Milk wrote:
Sure, it'll improve level loading times but that's about it.

I thought this was widely known and accepted as being a worthwhile reason [even if it is the only reason] to upgrade to SSD if you do a lot of gaming. Of course it's not going to improve your ingame framerate much, if at all.


For the price of an SSD it doesn't seem like a reasonable upgrade for gaming. You go from a 60 second level load time to a 40 second? Amazing. How often are you actually loading a game vs playing it though?

The main point, for me at least, in buying a SSD was to have my OS feel super snappy and responsive as well as to cut down compile times on some large projects I'm working on.

For gaming, I'd rather spend the money on better ram, a better cpu, a better videocard, or hell, even a sexier monitor.




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PostPosted: 04-21-2011 06:18 PM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


Bear in mind that many games these days [due to console influence] have lots of tiny levels and therefore lots load time when you switch zones. Like Dragon Age 2 for example. As well, caching assets on the fly would be much improved as well. In those free roaming type games where it's just one large game world, it still doesn't load and cache EVERYTHING in memory, it's going to dynamically load stuff as you get near it.

The definition of exactly what constitutes a "reasonable upgrade" is very subjective ;)




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Insane Quaker
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PostPosted: 04-21-2011 06:35 PM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


For my purposes, i'll be doing a little bit of everything, but like I said, my primary interest is in the overall system responsiveness, longer battery life, and being largely impervious to magnetic damage.

I'm doing more in linux all the time...I'm always tinkering with VirtuaBox, I'm likely to end up compiling a lot of code in the months to come, I move around a lot so operating shock is a concern as well, I've got some projects that stay the same and others that never stop changing. Sometimes my laptop is nothing more than a netbook, other times I need it to be a mobile server.

I'm also going to have a backup solution in place, so if either flash-based drive craps out, at a minimum I shouldn't have any data loss.

Reasonable.....that's kinda up for grabs.....for me...living within my means is reasonable, for all legal purposes, i'm gainfully employed, no kids, no spouse, all I'm paying is rent, gas, food, internet, power, and taxes, the rest is funzies.

..And then funzies kinda funnels down to "I wanna do stupid project X, can I allocate funding for it, yes or no" and this month, thanks to our good friends at the IRS, I got a fat return which I thought had "laptop pimping" written all over it.




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PostPosted: 04-21-2011 07:46 PM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


Read up on TRIM or similar support on your Linux distro. Some may have implemented some sort of support, others have none at all. This will be a factor in your SSD's long-term performance. Yes, you can "refresh" this degradation, but it's kind of annoying having to wipe off the drive completely every time to do this.



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PostPosted: 04-21-2011 08:36 PM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


I was under the impression that TRIM comprehensively bypassed the "limited rewrite" problem. Is this not the case?




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PostPosted: 04-21-2011 09:33 PM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


Yes, but not all Linux distros have support for TRIM currently.



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Insane Quaker
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PostPosted: 04-22-2011 05:36 AM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


Based on feedback I got here actually, I'll either be using Debian, Ubuntu (that damn Narwhal song is still stuck in my head), or openSuse 11.4+

I think openSuse has had trim support since...11.2? I'm not sure, but I've seen it mentioned. Ubuntu as popular as it is probably has it I'd imagine.

To my understanding, trim is a command which is interpreted by modern SSDs to help intelligently store data so that storage cells don't need to be rewritten all the time, naturally, sometimes the act of a cell-rewrite is simply unavoidable, so trim doens't *totally* circumvent the issue any more than defragmenting a hard drive once keeps the disk /permanently/ defraged. However, once you have trim enabled, it should stay on unless something disables it. Storage cells within any flash based media still have a maximum number of rewrites before they start crapping out, but clever drive use and trim support should delay the death of memory cells significantly.




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Elite
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PostPosted: 04-23-2011 12:17 PM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


obsidian wrote:
PCI-E has much higher bandwidth than SATA so faster speeds (theoretically).


I've done 5 builds with the OCZ revo drive, and done 5 returns...

if they are alone, they are great.

But they do not play nice with others, ( other hdd, other raids, etc. )

Raid some Vertex2's.




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PostPosted: 04-23-2011 01:19 PM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


...Though, I don't think TRIM is supported in conjunction with RAID.



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Elite
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PostPosted: 04-23-2011 01:56 PM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


You're 100% correct, But I've also setup about 12 Raided Vertex 2 setups in raid 0 with no issues in W7.

If they're installed on XP/Vista with no trim, the installs usually last just over a week raided or not..... Not sure what to think about that one.




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Insane Quaker
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PostPosted: 04-25-2011 12:40 PM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


Having read only fantastic things about Samsung's 470 series SSD, I think I've settled on that one.

Trim is just a command like any other that's interpreted on the drive's controller board...I'd think if most commands are transparent to RAID, trim should be too, but I've never seen a reference document proving or dis-proving this.

Also, what the hell do you do for a living that you could buy 12 Vertex 2s and RAID them? :confused: What would you even DO with that much I/O with that short a lifespan? I've gotta say though, the idea is as cool as it is insane. Give the Cray people a call.

How do Revo Drives not play well with others? I'm confused....I mean if you have the Revo Drive, it'd present itself to Windows as a drive, and then you had some other SSDs or HDDs...Windows should just see them as different drives, no differently from throwing a bunch of different hard drives into the same computer back in the day. I don't see where an opportunity comes up for it to interfere with other devices.




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Elite
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PostPosted: 04-25-2011 04:28 PM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


I'm a tech for a living, they are not mine.

I have a Vertex 2 60GB as my boot drive on my desktop, and a Corsair F60 in my old Dell laptop.

The issues that are known, and i've seen with the revo drives are simply:
Random not detecting other hard drives, Unable to boot off of anything OTHER then the Revo.
other Raid arrays randomly not detecting/crashing.
etc.

When the card was in the computer by its self, it worked flawlessly and fast.

So far I've seen it 5 times so as it sits, i dont recommend it IMO.

Then again, my words mean little to nothing here so have at it :D




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Insane Quaker
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PostPosted: 04-26-2011 05:56 AM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


ohhh ok, that...makes some more sense, what are those work-related Vertexs being used in?

That's very strange about the Revo Drive....I don't know what it's doing to make it act like that. Or rather, HOW it could act like that. I guess we'll all have to settle for the Fusion I/O.

http://www.fusionio.com/products/iodrive/




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Timed Out
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PostPosted: 04-26-2011 11:40 PM           Profile   Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


AmIdYfReAk wrote:
I'm a tech for a living, they are not mine.

I have a Vertex 2 60GB as my boot drive on my desktop, and a Corsair F60 in my old Dell laptop.

The issues that are known, and i've seen with the revo drives are simply:
Random not detecting other hard drives, Unable to boot off of anything OTHER then the Revo.
other Raid arrays randomly not detecting/crashing.
etc.

When the card was in the computer by its self, it worked flawlessly and fast.

So far I've seen it 5 times so as it sits, i dont recommend it IMO.

Then again, my words mean little to nothing here so have at it :D


I respect your opinion on these as you've had hands on experience.

I'm considering a RevoDrive X2 240Gb as my only internal drive, and moving my 1Tb drive to an external USB that I'll only power up when needed.

Sane or likely to cause issues?




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Aneurysm
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PostPosted: 04-27-2011 10:30 AM           Profile   Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


obsidian wrote:
OCZ Vertex 3 (or 2 if your mobo doesn't support 6GB/s SATA transfer speeds).



this...or anything with the newest SandForce controller...thats what really matters, the controller and reputable company that will supply controller firmware updates.

I bought a Mushkin SSD a few months ago.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820226152
I use it for Win7 and games. 0 problems so far.




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Elite
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PostPosted: 04-27-2011 08:49 PM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


Foo wrote:

I respect your opinion on these as you've had hands on experience.

I'm considering a RevoDrive X2 240Gb as my only internal drive, and moving my 1Tb drive to an external USB that I'll only power up when needed.

Sane or likely to cause issues?



100% sane, and stupid fast.

Try it out with the 1tb drive in there as well, if you run into issues, you know what to do :)




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Elite
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PostPosted: 05-01-2011 07:17 PM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


Vertex 3's are starting to hit the retail shelves, and man, are they selling.




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PostPosted: 05-01-2011 07:19 PM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


I picked up a Vertex 2 for $149. Good enough for me (older mobo, not going to push 6GB/s).



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Elite
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PostPosted: 05-01-2011 07:41 PM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


Nice, what model?

I've been looking at this, wondering if i'd like to raid 0 it with my current for no good reason...

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_ ... _id=032114




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PostPosted: 05-01-2011 08:29 PM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


120GB OCZ Vertex 2. Bought on NCIX's anniversary sale on Thursday, seems to have gone significantly up in price since then.



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Elite
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PostPosted: 05-02-2011 04:55 AM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


Indeed it did, i payed about the same for my 60GB one a little while ago.

But hey, thats the way Tech works. :D




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PostPosted: 05-04-2011 12:35 PM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


BTW...

Swap file: keep on SSD or move to different drive?
Superfetch and Indexing: on or off?

I see lots of contradicting guides.



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Last edited by obsidian on 05-04-2011 12:44 PM, edited 1 time in total.

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Insane Quaker
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PostPosted: 05-04-2011 12:42 PM           Profile Send private message  E-mail  Edit post Reply with quote


if you have a bunch of ram, I'd say 4gb or more, you might as well keep it on the SSD, hopefully your swap file won't be in constant use.

Alternatively, if you have an SLC based SSD, you could keep it there under any circumstances as SLC has a much, much higher re-write tolerance than MLC based SSDs.

edit:

Indexing, very off. I think indexing was partially invented to circumvent the slower seek times of Hard drives. I can't think of any reason to have this on, even with the faster hard drives coming out now.




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