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-   -   ssd questions (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/storage/54433-ssd-questions.html)

t0m June 3, 2012 05:48 PM

ssd questions
right now i am one step away from finishing my new pc (waiting for out of stock video card) and im doing some research on the 'new' things my new pc brings that i dont have any experience with. having an ssd (vertex 4) is one of them. i have been told a lot of things from a lot of people/sites regarding setting up and using an ssd, and a lot of it seems contradictory. im hoping some locals can clear this up for me, or at least give me the info i need to make my choices 'properly'.

first off, i have been told to move my user data off the ssd (/docs & settings/username). the logic behind this is that the temp folders/app data etc see a lot of write activity/wear and tear on an ssd. after being told that, i looked it up and found sites which both agree and disagree on this. it sounds logical enough, but moving stuff off the ssd also means you are not getting the benefit of using one in the first place doesnt it?

another one was the page file. i read that when using an ssd that you should move the page file to a storage drive, or disable it completely if you have enough ram (i have 32 gb). again, its a matter of having the ssd and not using it, or trying to balance wear/lifespan/actually using it for things. i cant imagine dipping into the page file at all with 32 gb of ram but who knows...never hurts to ask right?

the last one, which is the most important to me, is adobe creative suite. i have seen people online recommend that you move photoshop (ae/premiere too) onto storage drives because they heavily cache to their work directories and (theoretically) chew up ssds in the process. again though, if im working with a 4 gig chunk of video, i want to access it as fast as possible.

so can anyone clear this up for me? i want to try to maximize the lifespan of this drive, but i dont want to park it in my case and not get any benefit from it...are the above 'tips' i have gathered even remotely valid? is everyone talking out their ass? what is the average lifespan of an ssd? if i follow all the advice on prolonging its lifespan, how much longer would it live compared to me just beating on it all day with no regard?

thanks for any advice :thumb:

AkG June 3, 2012 06:22 PM

For your first enthusiast grade SSD I would recomend the Intel 520. Its basically bullet proof in that the toolbox will ensure that the drive stays fast...even if TRIM gets messed up (and it does happen).

User data...meh. Not worth it. Leave it on the SSD. Back in the day when we were dealing with 20-50+ write amplification...every little bit helped...now...meh. .6 - 1.6 write amp is nothing to worry about. :)

Page file. Yeah this one I still do. Its wasted on the drive, BUT if you have 16GB of Ram its unlkely to ever be really used all that much so YMMV.

Adobe Photoshop...no need to move IT off...all you need do is config it to NOT use the SSD for its cache drive (its in the settings. set it to use D. E....X...all the hdds you have attached). It only takes a couple seconds.

With all that being said....with modern SSDs you really do not have to do ANYTHING and its unlikely that you will kill it while it is still under warranty (ie 5 years for a 520)....and if you are unlucky enough Intel/Crucial/etc have down right PAINLESS rma's. ;)

t0m June 3, 2012 07:12 PM

thanks for the advice AkG :thumb: i already bought the vertex 4, so hopefully that was an ok choice.

so what about lifespan then? what would the difference in overall lifespan be between a person who carefully manages all the cache and temp stuff and makes an effort to follow your good advice, and someone who is doing the opposite and putting all that stuff on the ssd intentionally so it will be faster. would those two people even be able to see the difference in performance on a day to day basis?

also, can i do anything with all this ram to help the situation further? shouldnt having a ton of ram automatically reduce the amount of caching software needs to do? what about a ram drive? could i point photoshop/ae/premiere at a ram drive for its work/cache directory? seems smarter to move things 'up' into fast memory than to move them 'down' to a slow hdd...

AkG June 3, 2012 07:38 PM

The V4 is a good drive with a lot of potential. Only time and firmware updates will tell IF that potential is reached...but yeah its a GOOD drive.

when it comes to lifespan...there is no hard and fast rules...other parts besides the NAND can die....but yeah I like to reduce needless writes as just 'cause it comes with a N year warranty does NOT mean that I want to replace it at N+1 day. Most things I recommend dont impact performance all that much...but can reduce needless writes. So its win-win. If you are REALLY worried about lifespan...over-provision the drive. IE make your partition smaller than its full capacity. I routinely turn 240GB'ers (which are really 256GB'ers) into 200GB'ers. That way the drive has PLENTY of free nand blocks to use as blocks "die". 56GB's is EXTREME and there is no need of it...but I doubt I will run out of free blocks before I replace the drive....as i am VERY hard on ssds. For most peeps 8-10GB and leave 15% free (hard MINIUM) will leave plenty of room for the wear leveling routines to work their magic.

Ram drives are fun to play with...but mainly meh. Will you notice 1 second load time vs 2 seconds? I doubt it outside some very specific niches. Same for scratch disks...I have NEVER noticed a dif between using a SSD and a HDS in Photoshop CS5....maybe for movie making it makes sense but that falls under the heading of USEFUL writes. Ie...Basically dont be afraid to USE the ssd....just dont do stupid things like have your "downloads" get written to the SSD. Keep time sensitive data on the SSD and the rest on a HDD. You will get a FAST system that should last a long time. TBH the only "hard" decisions when it comes to what to put where (most are no brainers when you think about them) are games. Stick the games you use the MOST on the SSD the rest on HDDs and move them as necessary. :)

t0m June 3, 2012 08:48 PM

ok that makes sense. so on my 128 i should be good with a ~115 gb partition for windows (and just leave the rest unallocated during the windows install?)?

thanks again for the very helpful advice :thumb: i think the 'problem' here is that the pc is just waiting for my video card to show up (for two weeks and counting). its all assembled and there is no more i can do or play with until that card gets here...so im stuck with nothing to do but overthink every detail, potential issue and question that could arise once its finished and running (sometimes referred to as 'going insane' :bananafunky:).

AkG June 4, 2012 06:19 AM

Its all good. Glad to help. :)

Yeah 115GiB will give you over 4GiB of OP (119GiB'ish == "128GB"). Keep it to less than 85% full and you will be golden.

I agree nothing is worse than the WAIT. :P

If you run into probs drop me a PM and i'll help ya out as best I can.

d3m0n5 July 2, 2012 06:24 AM

First off, Vertex 4 is bad choice, Tomshardwareguide has a good review on the 4kB random write performance drop of the drive once it's filled past 50%.

See OCZ Vertex 4 128 GB: Testing Write Performance With Firmware 1.4 : Testing The Effects Of Vertex 4's Firmware 1.4

OCZ did dump a new FW on their forum last friday to 'help' but you'll be getting the same drop in perf at a certain point when you've filled up the drive. Likely their scrambling mechanism isn't very efficient and the large overhead once the write buffer (NAND+DRAM) is used up starts hitting the random writes past QD 1.

Not something I like seeing in a product that's supposed to be mature.

SF-22xx drives are better in all aspects including SMART output if your one of those people that like to keep an eye on the SSD.

Regarding write endurance, don't worry about it, and if you do, then get a bigger capacity drive. The bigger the drive, the higher the TBW endurance over it's expected lifetime.

Alternatively, most SF-22xx based drives w. 5k PE drives with 25nm NAND at 128GB have approx 128TB TBW. Not something you can hit in 3 years expected life unless your driving a server.

As for optimisations, not worth it, again THG has a good study on this.

See http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...weak,2911.html and weep for all those foolish 'tweaker tools' and 'tweaker enthusiasts' that think they know better.

Overall I recommend the following as per MS own tech blog and benchmarking guide.

Please remember that this is advice for best performance possible, not usability, system restore is usefull as are most functions in Windows. Disabling Indexing or moving your Pagefile is a waste of time for most users.

Either way, SF-2281 or Samsung 830 are the way to go. Just please don't buy a cheap SF-2281 from a low quality OEM, make sure the OEM you buy from has a good customer service / tech support reputation! It'll pay off in the long term rather than being on a TS phonecall to india or china.

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