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Questions with SSD drives

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by Roy, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. Roy

    Roy Guest

    Hello group
    I want toknow more about the beneifits for newer solid state drives
    for laptops.
    if the C drive is SSDS ( Flash type) would the boot upspeed increase
    dramatically if compared to the standard Disk type Hard drive.
    This is my concern as I want to get a laptop with SSD drive and don't
    know if the price for a laptop having that is worth it.

    Aside from being shock proof( IIRC) what are the other advantages of
    this so called Solid state drives versus their disk type counterpart?
    How about durability and risk of drive failure are there already known
    issues with these kind of storage facilties?
    How about supposing a desktop replacement system is equipped with
    three drives and one or two are SSD type, what are other benefits can
    it confer. Could it still be configured to Raid 5 assuming the drives
    have equal capacities?

    Roy, Jun 10, 2009
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  2. Roy

    BillW50 Guest

    Roy typed on Wed, 10 Jun 2009 15:09:47 -0700 (PDT):
    SSD are generally faster for random access and usually slower for
    sequential access. And booting falls under random access.
    Well defragging is futile with a SSD. So no need to do that.
    Hard drives can fail in a couple of days (rare, but it happens) and SSD
    can fail in a couple of days too (also rare, but can happen). The
    important thing is SSD longevity is mostly govern by write cycles. A SLC
    SSD lasts for 100,000 complete writes. Meaning if you overwrote the
    whole SSD 24 times per day, it would take 11 years to burn it out.
    Normal use though, it would take 227 years to get there.

    The MLC SSD is a cheaper version and has far worse going for it. It only
    last 5,000 to 10,000 complete writes. Worse it has an erase cycle and it
    can take like 20 seconds to write 2kb if it needs to use the erase
    Boots faster, no need to defrag, and vibrations isn't a problem (they
    use them for Space Shuttle launches).
    Got me there Roy. I never tried that.
    BillW50, Jun 11, 2009
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  3. Roy

    ~misfit~ Guest

    I am amazed at how much Windows (XP Pro in my case) actually reads and
    writes to disk. I put a new Seagate 160GB 5400.3 HDD in my R51 ThinkPad at
    the end of last year and also have Hard Disk Sentinel (HDS) installed. HDS
    is an excellent disk monitoring utility that I highly recommend.

    I've just checked it's logs and, bearing in mind that my boot and programmes
    partitions are 10GB and 15GB respectively and that the rest is for data
    storage and doesn't get written to or read all that often I was surprised to
    find the following:

    Power on time: 183 days 18 hours.

    Average reads per day: 117.3GB
    Average writes per day: 70.42GB

    Total data read since installation: 25,271.25GB
    Total data written since installation: 15,210.19GB

    Considering that, as I said, most of the drive is storage, that data log is
    essentially for a 25GB HDD!

    Ok, I do use my laptop for bittorrents but I have a daily data cap with my
    ISP of 1GB and I don't alwasy use it all by any means so I don't think that
    it impacts hugely on the above figures.

    ~misfit~, Jun 15, 2009
  4. Roy

    BillW50 Guest

    In ~misfit~ typed on Mon, 15 Jun 2009 12:11:16 +1200:
    Hi Shaun! Odd, I am amazed how little my Windows XP systems actually
    writes to the disk. As mine writes 100MB to 200MB a day. Using HDS shows
    that Windows 2000 actually writes a tad bit more than XP does. Although
    my XP versions are indeed tweaked to write less, while my Windows 2000
    is not.
    So you have three partitions? If so, how does that work out for you? I
    find anything more than one partition per drive to be counterproductive.
    As to use the free space effectively, you must resize the partitions all
    of the time. Thus what's the point?
    Wow! That is like a thousand times more writing than I do on my systems.
    I only get numbers like that when I am doing video or audio editing.
    I have no idea why you are writing so much on the OS and application
    partitions. But say you had a 32GB SSD for the OS and applications. You
    would use up two of those 100,000 lifetime writes per day. Double that
    two to four for the worse case wear leveling. So that would mean if you
    had a SSD, it would last for 25,000 days or for 70 years. Which still
    beats most hard drives longevity. <grin>
    BillW50, Jun 15, 2009
  5. Roy

    ~misfit~ Guest

    That's interesting to know. Oh, I should have mentioned, I have swapfile
    turned off too as I have 2GB of RAM I don't need it.

    I find that it works really well. One partition for the OS and (what I class
    as essential) stuff like AV and Lenovo system tools and one for programmes.
    I've found from experience that 10GB and 15GB suit me just fine, with the
    rest of the drive being for data.

    As I have a home server with more than 3TB of storage I don't need every
    little bit of space on my laptop's 160GB drive so a little 'waste' doesn't
    worry me. I find that I can defrag the OS prtition (I use PerfectDisk) every
    few days and it only takes seconds and defrag the programmes partition every
    couple of weeks, likewise it doesn't take long. It keeps my system tidy and

    I don't defrag the data partition at all. Also, having smallish essential
    partitions I'm able to keep a goodly number of Acronis disk images as
    they're quite small so that, if I develop problems, I can restore back to
    the latest that isn't bad. (Not that I've had a problem for ages.)
    Odd. As I mentioned, I use bittorrent quite a lot but, as my data cap is 1GB
    / day I can't see that much of that is due to bittorrent.
    LOL, it'd beat me too, unless I live to be 118!

    I daresay I'll live long enough for SSDs to be mainstream and cheap.
    However, the way prices are trending it'll be a good few years yet before I
    swap from mechanical disks. I'm intending on using this R51 for a while yet
    and, while a good SSD would probably benefit it (it's a bit 'bus bound'), I
    can't afford a 'good' SSD of sufficient size. While I do have the server I
    still like to carry the 160GB of data with me (actually, more would be
    nice), without lugging external devices.

    When good quality 250GB SSDs in 2.5" format are of a similar price to their
    mechanical cousins I'll buy one. <g> Care to estimate when that'll be?

    ~misfit~, Jun 15, 2009
  6. Roy

    BillW50 Guest

    In ~misfit~ typed on Tue, 16 Jun 2009 00:55:11 +1200:
    Hi Shaun! Well there are utilities out there that will tell you what is
    doing all of that writing. AnVir Task Manager has both a free version
    and a commercial version. The free one shows you in real time what
    applications and services are using the drive while the commercial
    version does this and keeps a running tally. I have both.
    Okay that makes sense. Although do you really see an improvement with
    all of that defragging? I wait a couple of years before I do it and I
    haven't seen any performance increase since the old MFM hard drive days.
    I always suspected the real bottleneck is the bus, not the seek time.
    Yeah that 70GB a day is a lot. I would be really curious what is doing
    all of that writing. That AnVir Task Manager is one utility that would
    tell you what it is.
    Fair enough Shaun. And that is just a few years away. ;-)
    BillW50, Jun 15, 2009
  7. Roy

    ~misfit~ Guest

    [Big Snips]
    Hi Bill.

    I find that, using PerfectDisk set to 'Smart Defrag', it makes a big
    difference. Smart Defrag puts all the files needed for booting at the
    fastest part of the drive, then categorises the remaining files into three
    groups, depending on when the were last altered. 'Rarely Modified' are put
    next, "Occasionally Modified' follows with 'Freqently Modified' left at the
    end of the data on the drive so that, when it is modified, it's not squeezed
    into little gaps left where, for instance, you may have deleted a file that
    had been on the drive since the begining.

    The times for the different groups are user-adjustable but I find that the
    defaults work well. The bus isn't the bottleneck. For instance this R51 has
    an ATA100 IDE interface that is theoretically capable of moving
    100MB/second. The HDD, even though it's been upgraded from the original
    4,200rpm to a 5,400rpm, would be hard-pressed to hit 40MB/second on a
    sustained read and far less that that when seeking all over the disk for
    scattered (fragmented) files. Therefore, IMO, the bus isn't the bottleneck.
    Cool! Thanks for the estimate. I *do* hope that they make them
    backwards-compatible (or a small enough adapter) so that I can fit an SSD
    into my R51 that *is* capable of saturating the bus at 100MB/second. That
    would be a massive improvement over the current set-up.

    ~misfit~, Jun 16, 2009
  8. Roy

    BillW50 Guest

    In ~misfit~ typed on Tue, 16 Jun 2009 19:17:04 +1200:
    Hi Shaun!
    Well if the I/O isn't a bottleneck, then why do they put buffers on hard
    drives for? As there is no need for buffers. Remember the I/O chips has
    to handle other things too. So the hard drive has to time share with
    other devices. Thus makes the I/O the bottleneck in most cases IMHO.

    I'll try defragging my Gateway laptop again, but I swear I never see any
    speed improvements. So I don't know what the big deal is all about. On
    old MFM drives, they were so slow, it *did* make a huge difference
    there. But I never seen any improvement on IDE drives yet.
    BillW50, Jun 17, 2009
  9. Roy

    John Doue Guest

    BillW50 wrote:

    Me neither. Defragging is very satisfying for the mind, but its actual
    advantages are non perceptible and the risks are non negligible. I have
    gradually stop defraging my machines.

    The only thing which actually seems to make it beneficial might be in
    case of a file crash. It is probably easier to recover one continuous
    file than one spread all over the place.
    John Doue, Jun 17, 2009
  10. Roy

    BillW50 Guest

    In ~misfit~ typed on Tue, 16 Jun 2009 00:55:11 +1200:
    Hi Shaun! I found something wrong with Hard Disk Sentinel. As I was
    averaging under 400MB writes per day under Windows 2000 until a cloned
    one of my 16GB SDHC cards yesterday. Now it reports my SSD is
    experiencing 1.5GB worth of writes per day. Although it is dropping
    again down to 1.2GB so far. And as far as I know, cloning a SDHC to a
    backup USB hard drive doesn't write anything on the SSD (drive C). So I
    have no idea why it added a bunch of extra writes when I don't believe
    they occurred.
    BillW50, Jun 17, 2009
  11. Roy

    BillW50 Guest

    In John Doue typed on Wed, 17 Jun 2009 13:44:54 GMT:
    Hi John! Yes I agree.
    BillW50, Jun 17, 2009
  12. Roy

    P.V. Guest

    Oh yes, regular defragging most likely did help a lot in recovering files
    after I had lost the partition with all my study papers and other documents
    a few years ago (Hey, what happened to my documents partition? What, it was
    _not_ OK to delete the unnecessary partition between my OS partition and
    documents partition? Gaah!).

    P.V., Jun 17, 2009
  13. Roy

    Roy Guest

    Sorry Bill, just my keen interest to know how far with the SSD could
    go with regards to performance.
    Anyway I am looking forward in getting a core i7 run, triple
    channel RAM ,desktop replacement system by the end of the year with
    one SSD among the hard drives.....
    Roy, Jun 19, 2009
  14. Roy

    BillW50 Guest

    Roy typed on Fri, 19 Jun 2009 04:42:48 -0700 (PDT):
    Remember there are fast SSDs and slow SSDs, just like HDD Roy. So choose
    carefully. I am also thinking of upgrading one of my 702G8 with a 16G
    SSD. I don't need one that big yet, but I am curious to play with one.
    Although it seems the SLC types are quickly being replaced with the MLC
    BillW50, Jun 19, 2009
  15. Roy

    Roy Guest

    Huh? really...could you please tell me about it...
    I thought that in solid state structure everything is simplified<grin>
    Never did thought about the SLC and MLC, .....
    Could you please elaborate .....
    Roy, Jun 19, 2009
  16. Roy

    BillW50 Guest

    Roy typed on Fri, 19 Jun 2009 15:52:22 -0700 (PDT):

    Basically, SLC stores 2 bits per cell, while MLC stores 4 bits per cell.
    A MLC costs half as much as a SLC is to produce. So what's the downside
    of MLC?

    Their lifespan is a tenth of SLC types. Also an area has to be erased
    first before it can be written too with MLC types. So at first, your MLC
    can appear very fast. As all areas has been erased already. And writing
    to the MLC, will use up all of the erased areas first. Thus the speed is
    doing quite well right now.

    But at some point, all previously erased areas will be all gone. Now
    before a write, it must now do an erase cycle before any new writes. Now
    the write speed of the MLC type goes down the tubes. As your write speed
    can be halved or even far worse.

    You would think they would have the controllers busy using the erase
    cycle during idle times to make more quickly writable areas. But they
    just don't do this as far as I know. Thus you can avoid all of this by
    getting SLC types. But SLC types are quickly disappearing and are being
    replaced by the cheaper MLC types. Worse, the manufactures are now
    hiding whether it is a MLC or not. <sigh>
    BillW50, Jun 20, 2009
  17. Roy

    Roy Guest

    Thanks for that valuable information Bill!
    I keep that in mind...
    Roy, Jun 21, 2009
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