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SSD drive verses SATA600 in desktop PCs

Posted on 2014-02-10
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Last Modified: 2014-02-12
I'm building a few systems with following spec:

i5 3330 gen 3
ASRock B75 r2.0
1 x 8GB 1600MHz DDR3
1TB SATA3
M-ATX case
Samsung DVDRW
Windows 7 Pro 64

Would adding a small SSD drive (120GB) give me any bursts in performance bearing in mind SATA bottlenecks?

Never used SSDs before!


Thanks
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Question by:bill2013
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16 Comments
 
LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:dlethe
ID: 39848326
How do you normally use the machine?  A SSD excels in RANDOM I/O.  If you aren't doing database with lots of indexing and joins and such, then save your money.

Instead get a 2nd HDD and use the native Win7 SOFTWARE mirroring.  Not only will it almost double read performance, but it protects against data loss.
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Author Comment

by:bill2013
ID: 39848335
Hmmm. probably fairly repetitive work in Office 2010. Word, Excel, Access, Outlook.

Didn't know about the mirror performance. Wouldn't hardware SATA RAID which I believe the boards are capable of, be faster than software?
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39848418
Your onboard RAID is still software, not hardware (also called fake raid).

Better use windows RAID, cause in the event your mobo goes bad, you don't have to hunt for a similar one.

HTH,
Dan
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39848434
BTW, I don't agree with dlethe that a SSD is only useful for database work.

I've been using SSDs since the original Vertex and the OS (Windows 7, 8 and 8.1) is way more "snappy".

In day to day usage, it matters (to me at least) if applications open almost instantly.

Dan
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

by:dlethe
ID: 39848446
The deal with the SSD is that you also take a big performance hit if I/O isn't an exact multiple of 4K or 128KB and it isn't aligned.  For the type of work this machine is doing, unless you need protection against vibration then real-world you'll be better off having nearly 100% of read I/Os be twice the speed as they are now, and the data protection FIRST.

Then after you have your RAID1, add a SSD if you wish.
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Author Comment

by:bill2013
ID: 39848499
OK, for future projects most systems will use a large Access or SQL database.

So, if say 1 x 1TB SATA3 on a cheapish m-ATX motherboard with SATA3 gave read and write times of 5 (on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is fast), what would:

1. Adding 1 x 120GB SSD drive give
2. Adding 2 x 120GB SSDs mirrored
3. 2 x 1TB SATA3 mirrored

Only a rough gues based on experience, thanks.
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:Dan Craciun
ID: 39848531
You can compare desktop performance of HDDs and SSDs

Worst case scenario: a SSD will be *only* twice as fast as a HDD. Even with the performance hit on I/O not being multiple of 4/128K.

Do you really need 1TB of storage? Cause you can buy a 240GB SSD for ~$150.
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Expert Comment

by:dlethe
ID: 39848574
I've seem consumer SSDs with such poor write amplification that HDDs can easily outperform them on even a PC, it is also the offset that gets you and the inherent differences between 4 and 128KB I/O.  

Also in mirroring config we're talking read load balancing, which you won't get with a single SSD.
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LVL 92

Accepted Solution

by:
nobus earned 350 total points
ID: 39849372
what i do is use a 160 GB SSD for OS and software
i keep the data on a separate drive, 1-2 TB
and imo the SSD is the best investment i made the last 20 years regarding PC performancs - i i don't run databases ! !
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Author Comment

by:bill2013
ID: 39849437
I was thinking along the same lines as Nobus.

In my case 120GB or 240GB SSD drive only on networked units (mentioned 1TB as only slightly more expensive than smaller ones) and they keep their data on the server.

For independent PCs 240GB SSD and larger SATA3.

All units are cloned when built so mirroring not an issue, just fed up with fast PCs that become donkeys when others start using them.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39849826
i have - after 5 years of using the SSD  - only used about half of it (80 GB)
so, unless you really need a larger drive, an 160 GB, or even 120 Gb should be enough.
this reduces the cost
but i advise to get a good brand; i'm a fan of intel drives : http://www.ssdcenter.be/category/208068/intel-ssd.html#!ref=71159&mkwid=sSR6ct9tj_dc&pcrid=31159992750&pkw=intel%20ssd&pmt=e&gclid=CJmPqv79w7wCFSTmwgodfwwA4g

select sandForce drives if you need the most speedy ones
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Author Comment

by:bill2013
ID: 39849889
What about Kingston 120GB SSDNow V300 SSD? £60 inc tax and delivery from ebuyer.com

Interface: SATA Rev. 3.0 (6Gb/s); SATA Rev. 2.0 (3Gb/s);  SATA Rev. 1.0 (1.5Gb/s)
Sequential reads:  up to 450MB/s
Sequential writes:  up to 450MB/s
Max Random 4k Read/Write: 85,000 / 55,000 IOPS
PCMARK Vantage HDD Suite Score: 49,000

Any good for network PCs on it's own?
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LVL 34

Assisted Solution

by:Dan Craciun
Dan Craciun earned 150 total points
ID: 39849921
Pretty much any SSD will do. You won't really feel the difference between a "regular" ssd and a top of the line one, apart from bragging rights.
I recently switched my 5 year old 120 GB Vertex for a 240GB Intel 530 and my system works as fast as ever.
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Author Closing Comment

by:bill2013
ID: 39849972
MAny thanks - great advice
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 39850373
i use intel ones - they also give you a toolbox, and other software, and are very reliable.
and i said : "select sandForce drives if you need the most speedy ones "
if you want to use Kningston, look up the reviews on it
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Author Comment

by:bill2013
ID: 39852654
I did a search on sandForce and among several brands Kingston came up saying it used an LSI SandForce controller.
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