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Solid State HDD as a SYSTEM DRIVE - Does it make a big difference?

Posted on 2011-09-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I am building a new system for the home.  This will make use of all of the latest and greatest hardware available:

- Intel Core i7-2600 Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600
- DDR 3 memory of the highest speed compatible with the above processor
- Matching ASUS motherboard
- 1GB crossfire dual display cards

Basically the best of the best, and I was wondering what people's experience was with Solid State Hard Drives?  I'm thinking that if I got a larger solid state drive to be the Operating System hard drive ("C" drive) and store all of my large files and archive data on slower drives that this could increase performance significantly.   Does anyone have any experience with this?  Does it actually speed things up, or are there issues with this?  I would keep all data on SATA HDD's in this system, but the "C" drive would be SSD.  

How much is there to gain in this situation?

Thanks!
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Question by:jkeegan123
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14 Comments
 
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tmwsiy earned 144 total points
ID: 36544079
Yes SSD's make a HUGE difference and you totally have the right idea about putting your OS and programs on it and then use a slower spindle drive for data.

The writes can be slightly slower but the read times more than make up the difference.

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by:Kyle Abrahams
Kyle Abrahams earned 143 total points
ID: 36544080
Huge Difference.  I recommended one to my father and he loves it.  Total time to boot is about 30 seconds (from power up to Ready for action).

Programs load much quicker as well.  The HD is one of the biggest bottlenecks with current computing and the SSD goes a long way towards getting data faster.

See the following article:
http://techreport.com/articles.x/19162/1
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Expert Comment

by:Amitabh Singh
ID: 36544124
Hi i would not recommend you to use SSD as OS drive if you going to use Windows for example ,
you will not feel any difference in this case as your system not going to use such speed ,i think SATA 4 is great for you .

SSD is always best for Server hardware wear system able to reach such speed , Example : file servers , and ESX (visualization multiple OS in a single hardware  )

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by:Kyle Abrahams
ID: 36544150
http://techreport.com/articles.x/19162/12

"We can, however, draw some general conclusions about the value proposition offered by today's solid-state drives. Because SSDs aren't substantially faster than their mechanical counterparts with sequential transfers, it's hard to make a convincing argument for them on that front. For the most part, SSDs do have a huge performance advantage with randomized access patterns, and it's there that solid-state drives are able to overcome their comparatively high cost per gigabyte. As our multitasking workloads in particular show, there's a lot of performance to be gained by moving to an SSD. That's why we've been recommending them as OS and application drives for some time."

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by:tmwsiy
tmwsiy earned 144 total points
ID: 36544151
I disagree... I think desktop/laptop systems can benefit greatly as well...

I have put SSD's in laptops that by all accounts should be mothballed and able to make them feel like a machine years newer.

Just by adding an SSD.
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by:jkeegan123
ID: 36544334
So mostly YAY's with a single NAY.  Can anyone think of anything negative with regards to SSD?  Is the lifetime something to worry about?  What about the limited amount of WRITES per block?  I heard that the aging algorhythm in the newer drives makes this a non issue, but has anyone had any experience with reliability of these drives, or longevity?
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by:Kyle Abrahams
Kyle Abrahams earned 143 total points
ID: 36544976
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by:aleghart
ID: 36546800
Longevity should not be an issue with a home desktop.  Two years from now, you will want a new "top of the line" system.  The SSD will still have some life in it, but there will be a newer, bigger, faster drive on the market.

Nowdays, planning for more than 2 years out is useless.  My laptop drives and batteries last around 1.5 years.  I'll replace it once it breaks, then immediately start looking for something newer.
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by:nobus
nobus earned 142 total points
ID: 36547661
i have one installed 160 Gb x-25 intel drive
result : system boots up in 20 sec (after bios phase)
i have never had such a performance boost on a pc
so definitely a YES (but it costs more)
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by:nobus
nobus earned 142 total points
ID: 36547665
if you want  - here some comparison charts :  http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/hard-drives,3.html
and do look at OCZ vertex drives also!
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LVL 69

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by:Callandor
Callandor earned 71 total points
ID: 36548709
Whoever says SSDs don't make a difference over regular hard drives never tried one themself or has a strange configuration.  I have both a Corsair ForceGT SSD and OCZ Vertex2, and they are both much faster than the WD Velociraptor, the fastest consumer grade hard drive available.  The latest reports http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/display/corsair-kingston-ocz-patriot-ssd_7.html#sect2 show speeds of almost 500MB/sec, faster than typical 100MB/sec hard drives and even faster than RAID 0 setups.  For the first time, you can take advantage of SATA3's higher speed, which you will need to get the maximum throughput in those charts.

The caveat is that you need an OS like Win7 that supports TRIM to manage the even wearing of the memory.  SSDs with synchronous NAND are the higher performing models, but they cost more.  The async NAND models are still capable performers, though.
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Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 36561029
You ought to just throw out the single "nay", as he has clearly never used one.  Desktop, laptop, server ... this is the one upgrade that you are guaranteed to notice a difference.  With 5-year warranties on SSD's nowadays, drive manufacturers are becoming increasingly confident in the drives' lifespan.  
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Expert Comment

by:cdesigner
ID: 36951264
If you are worried about SSD lifespan, you can check it in your conditions before upgrade! There is a special software Ssd Ready which will show you the average SSD lifespan in your situation.
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by:aleghart
ID: 36951393
I calculated our Crucial m4 @72TB lifespan, that's 40GB/day for 5.05 years.   20GB/day = 10.1 years

Even at 100GB/day, that's 737 days, or 2.02 years.

Enough to last for 2 years, then upgrade to the latest & greatest.

Keep in mind that 40GB would cover a re-install of Terminal Server & apps every day.
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