PDA

View Full Version : Solid state drives



Paqman
October 31st, 2008, 11:51 AM
So, the biggest change in PC hardware since USB arrived seems to be on the horizon. Some of the SSDs are now reaching non-ridiculous prices. I'm quite tempted to get a 60GB SSD some time in the next year or so and shift my OSes onto it. The magnetic HD can be relegated to storage duty.

Drop-resistance for laptops is a nice side-benefit, too. Seems like all the drives in the shops at the mo are 2.5", so the manufacturers are clearly seeing the market for laptop upgrades as their first opportunity.

Anybody got any experience with these fast little beasties yet? Are you planning on switching yourself? Desktop or laptop?

gn2
October 31st, 2008, 12:28 PM
I have no plan to buy one until the price falls a long way further.

LaRoza
October 31st, 2008, 02:32 PM
I think they are best suited for small capacity drives on mobile devices.

I have on in my Dell 910.

billgoldberg
October 31st, 2008, 02:55 PM
I have one in my Asus eeepc 900.

The only advantage I have is that it's silent.

The ssd drives in here are to small to keep large files on so I can't comment on the speed advantages on file transfers.

But it does help the OS boot up faster.

Ub1476
October 31st, 2008, 03:00 PM
I have one on my Thinkpad. Boot seems very quick, it's silent and I'm not afraid how I carry my laptop. I would never go back to a HDD in a laptop.

Paqman
October 31st, 2008, 04:16 PM
But it does help the OS boot up faster.

That's what I was thinking.

You can get 60GB 2.5" SSDs for around 140 in the UK (or 30GB for 120) compared to about 40 for a magnetic HD. 30-60GB is plenty for the OS itself, file storage doesn't need to be fast so a magnetic drive can provide that.

Is 140 a lot of money for what would be a significant upgrade? I'll certainly be tempted when they get under 100, which shouldn't be too far off.

gn2
October 31st, 2008, 11:27 PM
You can get 60GB 2.5" SSDs for around 140 in the UK

Which makes them about eight times the price per gb of a conventional HDD.

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/110273

LaRoza
October 31st, 2008, 11:32 PM
Which makes them about eight times the price per gb of a conventional HDD.

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/110273

But they are lighter and have no moving parts. Which would you rather buy? A 4 GB SSD that does the job, or a bulky hard disk that has extra space on it?

tom66
October 31st, 2008, 11:33 PM
I have a 256 MB USB stick, but that's just about the only piece of equipment of mine which is used as a solid-state storage device.

Also, am I the one not hearing the supposed noise from HDDs? I have a laptop 35 GB HDD, and sure, you occasionally can hear it seeking, but it produces very little noise. I also have an external 80 GB Maxtor OneTouch III Mini HDD (no expenses spared on the name...) which you can hear spinning and seeking, but only if you listen really carefully. Very quiet. Also has a standby function, and goes to sleep after a while.

Hard disks are not bulky. My Maxtor is very light, and certainly not 'inconvenient' to carry around. I have an Iomega 100 MB Zip Drive which I carry around as a backup, and that's quite heavy for it's capacity. And really, unless you are prone to dropping your drive off the table, you shouldn't need to splash out. (Plus, flash drives have a limit of 100,000 read/write operations, and even with wear leveling that's very little in comparison to HDDs.)

gn2
October 31st, 2008, 11:46 PM
But they are lighter and have no moving parts. Which would you rather buy? A 4 GB SSD that does the job, or a bulky hard disk that has extra space on it?

The SSD definitely has advantages and disadvantages.
Until there are fixes for the disadvantages, when shopping for a storage drive, I would choose a conventional HDD.
Physical size isn't an issue, SSD's are built to standard sizes.

The only SSD that I would currently cosider buying is the standard fitment one in the Acer Aspire One netbook that's currently on sale in the UK for 179, which is significantly cheaper than any other Atom netbook available here.
But as I don't need a netbook I won't be buying one.

LaRoza
October 31st, 2008, 11:50 PM
The SSD definitely has advantages and disadvantages.
Until there are fixes for the disadvantages, when shopping for a storage drive, I would choose a conventional HDD.
Physical size isn't an issue, SSD's are built to standard sizes.

Then "weight", I meant.

I think for small capacity drives, SSD are well suited. I really don't see a point to having a larger more expensive one purely for storage.

smoker
October 31st, 2008, 11:56 PM
you can't get super-strong fridge magnets out of an old SSD :-)

gn2
November 1st, 2008, 12:04 AM
Then "weight", I meant.

I think for small capacity drives, SSD are well suited. I really don't see a point to having a larger more expensive one purely for storage.

I don't find conventional 2.5" drives all that heavy.

A bunch of these (http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/8GB+Arianet+Silver+Ghost+Tiny+Ultrafast+Pendrive+? productId=32373) is cheaper than an SSD (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/146928) :)

handy
November 1st, 2008, 07:36 AM
you can't get super-strong fridge magnets out of an old SSD :-)

I got multiple blood blisters the first time I pulled a HDD apart & removed the magnets.

They really bite! :lolflag:

Paqman
November 2nd, 2008, 10:13 AM
when shopping for a storage drive, I would choose a conventional HDD.



So would I. But for running the OS, an SSD would be a significant advantage.

I wouldn't be surprised if you saw SSDs being taken up in large numbers by the PC gamers. They'll pay virtually anything to squeeze more speed out of their systems. Eventually that'll filter down into other people custom-building systems. I don't think you'll see SSD-only in pre-built desktops for several years, but the laptops will probably switch over well before that.

blueturtl
November 2nd, 2008, 11:52 AM
Does anyone know if the new Solid State Disks suffer from the same "limited amount of writes" problem as do regular usb memory sticks?

The problem I'm referring to is the fact that a USB stick can only be written a limited amount of times and then it will become effectively a brick. The amount of times is fairly many, but the problem would be more pronounced in a desktop computer where you constantly read and write files.

I wouldn't want to buy a hard-disk if it had a little counter that would constantly be counting down. Yes, I know regular hard-disks aren't eternal either, but they can outdo their expected lifespan by a big margin - the component life is the only limiting factor AFAIK.

Paqman
November 2nd, 2008, 12:52 PM
Does anyone know if the new Solid State Disks suffer from the same "limited amount of writes" problem as do regular usb memory sticks?


They do, but they manage this through a technique called wear levelling. Bascially the drive keeps track of where it writes to, and spreads the love evenly over the whole volume. Since SSDs don't get fragmented there's no performance hit for this.

Over and above this, there are tweaks to extend SSD lifespan (http://www.brighthub.com/computing/linux/articles/9170.aspx).

Bottom line: MTBF for SSDs is many times higher than HDDs, even with this in-built self-destruct system that this type of memory has. That's even before you take shock-resistance into account. I recently did a poll of component reliability (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=962689), and currently HDDs are the least reliable systems in a PC.

MadsRH
November 3rd, 2008, 10:42 PM
Not sure if this is related to the question in the first post, but it's always fun to read what Linus has to say:

http://torvalds-family.blogspot.com/2008/10/so-i-got-one-of-new-intel-ssds.html

//MadsRH

Paqman
November 6th, 2008, 03:58 AM
Very interesting link MadsRH, cheers!

He seems to suggest that there's a lot of variance in performance between different SSDs. I suppose that's to be expected with emerging technologies.

Pity the Intel drives he was raving about are over 400. You could build a whole computer for that!

Paqman
August 30th, 2009, 10:19 AM
Just bumping an old thread here. Got my eye on the Crucial 64GB M225 disks that seem to provide a good trade-off between performance and price.

t0p
August 30th, 2009, 10:42 AM
Solid state drives are really robust. I've dropped my EeePC several times (butterfingers!) and it's still working fine.

I think flash is the storage technology of the century. They are becoming increasingly common in laptops and netbooks. And look at all the video cameras that use flash rather than magnetic drive/DVD/DV cassette.

t0p
August 30th, 2009, 10:53 AM
Solid state drives are really robust. I've dropped my EeePC several times (butterfingers!) and it's still working fine.

I think flash is the storage technology of the century. They are becoming increasingly common in laptops and netbooks. And look at all the video cameras that use flash rather than magnetic drive/DVD/DV cassette.

YeOK
August 30th, 2009, 11:38 AM
I just recently put an OZD Vertex 30GB in my machine. Its got Fedora 11 x86_64 on (my main OS), I put my /tmp in memory and /home is separated anyway, I also have /boot on separate drive.

The boot up is a lot faster, the BIOS and a few seconds for grub hold it up. The apps load a lot faster too, well worth the money. (95 @ scan.co.uk)

Bootup Video (http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/109740/V190809_18.45.AVI)

I also did some speed tests using : http://www.linuxinsight.com/how_fast_is_your_disk.html

My results are:



# hdparm -t /dev/sdd

/dev/sdd:
Timing buffered disk reads: 496 MB in 3.01 seconds = 164.68 MB/sec


and



./seeker /dev/sdd
Seeker v2.0, 2007-01-15, http://www.linuxinsight.com/how_fast_is_your_disk.html
Benchmarking /dev/sdd [30533MB], wait 30 seconds..............................
Results: 7301 seeks/second, 0.14 ms random access time


The last result repeated on a standard Maxtor 250GB SATA2 16mb Cache:



./seeker /dev/sda
Seeker v2.0, 2007-01-15, http://www.linuxinsight.com/how_fast_is_your_disk.html
Benchmarking /dev/sda [238475MB], wait 30 seconds..............................
Results: 72 seeks/second, 13.72 ms random access time


Well worth it if you can afford it and have a fast system already.

stinger30au
August 30th, 2009, 11:46 AM
out of interest do the ssd drives get hot ? i would assume they would generate a bit of heat though

just curious as never used one

YeOK
August 30th, 2009, 11:54 AM
out of interest do the ssd drives get hot ? i would assume they would generate a bit of heat though

just curious as never used one

This drive is stone cold, I think they are until you start getting the bigger drives. They use a lot less power too.

stinger30au
August 30th, 2009, 12:14 PM
This drive is stone cold, I think they are until you start getting the bigger drives. They use a lot less power too.

cool, thanks

hobo14
August 30th, 2009, 12:30 PM
I plan on buying an ARM netbook when they come out, and I'm really hoping they squeeze a small ssd in there, maybe just 16 gig.

hwttdz
August 30th, 2009, 04:56 PM
What Paqman said about fragmenting is not really entirely true or untrue. Fragmenting usually means a file is not stored in consecutive blocks, and it is true that an ssd will store files in non-consecutive blocks, but the only reason the consecutive blocks thing matters for conventional hard disks is because their read speed of contiguous data is higher than noncontiguous, which isn't the case with ssd's (if you can really even consider the blocks to be ordered). So it's not so much that they fragment or don't fragment, it's just that fragmentation doesn't apply with ssd's.

Also what was said about them running cool is quite true, they generally pull less than a watt at idle (compare to 5-20? for standard hd, with laptop 2.5 drives being closer to 5 and 10-15 being a more reasonable range). And they're only at maybe 2 watts at max power, and they have more than enough surface area to comfortably blow off such a tiny amount of heat.

They still do have a finite number of write cycles, but it has increased multiple orders of magnitude since not very long ago (maybe 6 years), so now even if you were to continuously record data at the maximum rate (say you hooked it up to some sort of seismograph or huge telescope, overwriting the oldest data when you ran out of space) you still wouldn't need to worry about write cycles. And this is a very unrealistic usage anyways.

Personally I can't wait to be using one. What people have said about the price drops is already being realized.

aikiwolfie
August 30th, 2009, 05:10 PM
I bought my Dell M1330n with the SSD option. It boots in seconds! Compared to my desktop which is booting from a HDD which takes at least a minute. If you can swallow the price tag it's well worth the investment.

I have no complaints at all.

insane_alien
August 30th, 2009, 05:19 PM
i use a small one in a HTPC so it'll run silently. all the data is stored on a NAS in another room. really helps bring the noise down.

racerraul
August 30th, 2009, 05:30 PM
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/256gb-samsung-ssd,2265-2.html

a good read

cascade9
August 30th, 2009, 05:44 PM
Also, am I the one not hearing the supposed noise from HDDs? I have a laptop 35 GB HDD, and sure, you occasionally can hear it seeking, but it produces very little noise. I also have an external 80 GB Maxtor OneTouch III Mini HDD (no expenses spared on the name...) which you can hear spinning and seeking, but only if you listen really carefully. Very quiet. Also has a standby function, and goes to sleep after a while.

Depends on your ears and the surrounding enviroment. I never really heard my hdds untill I got watercooling and did a bit of soundproofing on my box, then, suddenly the hdd noise was realy nocitable. Also 2.5'' Hdd in a laptop tends to be quieter than a 3.5'' in desktop case.


This drive is stone cold, I think they are until you start getting the bigger drives. They use a lot less power too.

They do run cool, but power consumption varies (and can be worse than a hdd)-

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-hdd-battery,1955.html

I'm sure that the power consumption will drop. Sometime in the future, when prices get better, I will be looking at a SSD, if only for quietness. 0 moving parts, yay. :)

hwttdz
August 30th, 2009, 05:46 PM
Those power consumption figures seem a little far fetched, silent pc review has a forum about green computing where power consumption is a popular topic. Additionally many drive manufacturers publish their own numbers.

Here's an article that mentions power consumptions for traditional hard disks that quotes 22 watts peak and 11 watts idle, and a greed hard drive being at 5 watts idle. This is compared to far under 1 for an ssd.
http://www.futurelooks.com/western-digital-caviar-green-20tb-wd20eads-sata-hard-drive-review/

Here's a chart with power consumption at max throughput, and most ssd's fall in the 2-3 watt neighborhood http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-flash-ssd-charts/Power-Requirement-at-Max.-Throughput,922.html

So hard disk, 22 watts peak, 11 idle
ssd 2-3 watts peak, less than 0.5 idle

HappyFeet
August 30th, 2009, 05:51 PM
This drive is stone cold, I think they are until you start getting the bigger drives. They use a lot less power too.

SSD's do not generate any heat no matter what the size.

hwttdz
August 30th, 2009, 06:03 PM
Well, they generate far under one watt at idle and it's dissipated over a large surface area, so the surface temperature stays very close to the surroundings. So it's a pretty fair approximation to say they generate no heat.

RabbitWho
August 30th, 2009, 06:06 PM
Remember moores law and wait till they're giving them away free in magazines.

Paqman
August 30th, 2009, 06:07 PM
So it's not so much that they fragment or don't fragment, it's just that fragmentation doesn't apply with ssd's.


That's pretty much what I meant, but I could probably have been clearer. From the point of view of the user, it's no longer an issue. Which the Windows folks are likely to be very happy about. I welcome them warmly to the world of not having to defrag your drive every five minutes! :)

cascade9
August 30th, 2009, 06:24 PM
Those power consumption figures seem a little far fetched, silent pc review has a forum about green computing where power consumption is a popular topic. Additionally many drive manufacturers publish their own numbers.

Here's an article that mentions power consumptions for traditional hard disks that quotes 22 watts peak and 11 watts idle, and a greed hard drive being at 5 watts idle. This is compared to far under 1 for an ssd.
http://www.futurelooks.com/western-digital-caviar-green-20tb-wd20eads-sata-hard-drive-review/

Here's a chart with power consumption at max throughput, and most ssd's fall in the 2-3 watt neighborhood http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-flash-ssd-charts/Power-Requirement-at-Max.-Throughput,922.html

So hard disk, 22 watts peak, 11 idle
ssd 2-3 watts peak, less than 0.5 idle

Umm....yeah, well. My 1TB/32MB Green power drive uses under 5watts at idle (3.36watts idle/ 6.79 random read according to xbit labs) . None of the 1TB drives they testes hit over 16watts max power. :)

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/display/1tb-14hdd-roundup_21.html#sect0

Toms hardware did admit that the testing method they used could have been wrong, there is a newer test-

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-hard-drive,1968.html

Still some of the SSDs use more power than HDDS. They are 'early' model SSDs, newer ones do get better in power consuption. But dont think that a SSD will always use less power than a HDD.

BTW, xbit Has a nice comparison between an SSD, a 7200RPM SATA drive, and a 15K SCSI drive

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/display/ssd-iram.html

The SSD does use the least power, but its not as much of a lead over the HDD as you might think. Idle- SSD - 0.9 watts, HDD - 0.96 watts, Random read/write- SSD- 0.97/1.41 HDD- 2.86/2.41.

BTW, the toms tests and the xbit labs testes are really compatible (different testing methods). Be wary of combining benchmarks/power tests/any other test results from one website to the next. Just because one website says 'HDDs uses 11 watts idle' and another one that says 'SSDs use less than 0.5 watts idle' doesnt mean they have testing methods that are comparable.

init1
August 30th, 2009, 07:58 PM
SSD's do not generate any heat no matter what the size.
Any metal with current flowing through it generates some amount heat, though I'm not sure how much an SSD would produce

Jesus_Valdez
August 30th, 2009, 08:09 PM
I'm planning buying a small one for the OS, including /home as soon as I have some money to spare, wich mean december.

One with 32 GB should be enough.