I put an SSD in my old laptop yesterday.

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by deusexaethera, May 15, 2009.

  1. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Ho-lee shit. :eek3: I always knew that random-access latency was one of the big issues with disk speed, but...I just went from a 4200rpm hard drive to FLASH memory. Shit just pops onscreen like it was already loading by the time I clicked on the icon. It's amazing!

    Transcend 64GB IDE SSD, using an Indilinx memory controller similar to the one in the OCZ Vertex, as I recall. I think it has the newer firmware that Anandtech helped spec out, because the sustained transfer speed doesn't seem that breathtaking, but the latency is...well...not there. Like, at all.

    To be fair, it does bog down a bit, but even at its worst it doesn't bog down as much as the old HDD used to, and if it seems any worse it's only because when it's not bogging it's so fantastically fast that it's like magic. This old P4 laptop now feels faster than the fastest dual-core laptops on the market. I can only imagine what it would be like to have a brand-new machine with a couple of these bad boys humming away inside.

    EDIT: For the record, I've already turned off Indexing, Write Caching, and Kernel Paging, and I've switched memory allocation to favor use of RAM over use of the pagefile, all of which have smoothed out the SSD's operation -- disabling Write Caching made the biggest difference, because that way write operations don't get stacked on top of each other, which compounds the bogging-down effect that multiple small write operations will have. I haven't disabled Prefetching yet, because I don't remember how, but as with Write Caching, it simply isn't necessary with an SSD since all of the data is instantly accessible already, without having to stage it in a convenient spot first.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
  2. CyberBullets

    CyberBullets I reach to the sky, and call out your name. If I c

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  3. 95vr4

    95vr4 OT Supporter

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  4. DigiCrime

    DigiCrime If Only!

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    I had to get data off of one of those drives I didnt really see a difference in the speed vs a sata drive just me I guess
     
  5. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    I was just reading a bit on a new Samsung 256gb ssd that's out now. So far it's oem only, but the reviewer was practically in lust with the thing. The review showed it pretty much blew away the OCZ drives. The only thing faster is the Intel drive.
     
  6. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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  7. lowfat

    lowfat 24/Mac/SciFi/PC Crew OT Supporter

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    Interesting, I didn't know a Indilinx-based IDE SSD existed. Although that is a severe bottleneck for the drive. The Indilinx based drives are capable of read/writes significantly higher than what ATA133 can handle. Nearly twice as much in some cases.

    The new Samsung drives do not blow away a Vertex either. That review they have an OCZ Apex, which is a shitty drive. Jmicron-based garbage. From what I've seen the Indilinx drives still are higher when it comes to 4k writes which a lot more important than sequential read/writes.

    deusexaethera, welcome to the world of SSD's. But be warned it is highly addictive. :noes: Soon you'll be putting them in every system you own.
     
  8. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    I guess it depends on what is important to you.
    I really don't care at all about small write speeds.
    For me a pair of those drives getting 176mb/s large file writes would trump the small write speeds by a mile.
     
  9. lowfat

    lowfat 24/Mac/SciFi/PC Crew OT Supporter

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    you say that until you use one. If you want sequential read and writes then use a RAID0 array. I use to have an array with 4 x 30GB Patriot Warp V2s. The array would do 450MB/s sequential read/writes. I moved to a single 120GB OCZ Vertex and it is a HUGE improvement for an OS drive, because of the higher IOPS and faster 4k read/writes.
     
  10. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    I run Raptors now, and I wouldn't change unless I got faster writes out of the deal.
    And also, this isn't an issue of the Samsung having slow 4k read/writes. It's the OCZ having fast ones. And anyway, even at 256gb it's still too small for me.
    When they get to around 750gb, then i'll consider it.
     
  11. AeroSquid

    AeroSquid New Member

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    I got a Vertex to compare against my X25 and it was close. I'm still rolling with the Intel drive though.
     
  12. lowfat

    lowfat 24/Mac/SciFi/PC Crew OT Supporter

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    Which Vertex do you have? If a 30GB or 60GB they are substantially slower than the X25-M. I have a 30GB + 120GB Vertex and the X25-M. I couldn't tell between the 120GB and the X25-M. 30GB was a tad slower though.
     
  13. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I finally got around to some benchmarking last night; both HD Tach and HD Tune are in agreement: the old drive topped-out at 28MB/s with an average of 21MB/s, and the new SSD tops out at 70MB/s with an average of 63MB/s. Bottleneck my ass -- IDE certainly isn't as fast as SATA, but when you take the huge latencies introduced by moving parts out of the equation, it pretty much doesn't matter anymore.

    Doc, I thought the same thing you think about the Raptors, and for data storage I still agree, but since a good RAID controller costs $400+ and Raptors cost $200 apiece, you can easily buy an SSD to install Windows on that will blow the Raptors out of the water in terms of responsiveness.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The only downside for this drive is that I seem to have gotten one of the very last of its kind; they came back in stock on Newegg for ~12 hours, long enough for me to order one and get a shipment notice, and then they vanished.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2009
  14. lowfat

    lowfat 24/Mac/SciFi/PC Crew OT Supporter

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    IDE is most definitely a bottleneck. Instead of the 70 mb/s you are seeing you would be pulling 200mb/s.

    I have no doubt it is substantially faster, I am just saying it could be even faster with a SATA 3Gbps capable system.
     
  15. lowfat

    lowfat 24/Mac/SciFi/PC Crew OT Supporter

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    Also HDTach is a very shitty benchmark for SSD's. Use CrystalDiskMark or even ATTO 2.34 for more accurate results.
     
  16. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    From what I've read, you'd only get 200MB/s on an SSD with single-layer FLASH, instead of multiple-layer FLASH, and that would've put this upgrade well out of my price range even if this laptop had been able to use an SATA drive in the first place.

    In any event, while IDE is certainly a bottleneck compared to the fastest SATA-based SSD available, it's not a bottleneck compared to the rest of the machine. Transferring all that data is useless if the CPU can't process it all in time, and as stated before, this isn't a Core 2 Quad machine with 16GB of RAM, it's a Pentium 4 with 1GB of RAM. Given the machine's specs, this is about as good as I could possibly hope for.
     
  17. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    My next macbook pro will have they SSD. I'm tired of being terrified of dropping it, and latency is horrible when playing with databases.
     
  18. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I ran CrystalDiskMark and its results were about the same: Sequential read 70MB/s, Sequential Write 40MB/s, Random Read 40MB/s, and Random Write 2MB/s.

    Obviously the random write speed is shitty, but given the design of SSDs right now there really isn't any way around that without spending a shit-ton of money. Anyway, with write-caching and prefetching turned off, the random writes get handled in the order they arrive, instead of getting bundled together, which means any hesistation I experience is momentary instead of long and drawn-out. I'm still happy with the upgrade.
     
  19. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    I don't often get pissed off at slow random writes. I get pissed off at slow sequential, and occasionally slow random reads. I probably spend an hour a day waiting on my computer.
     
  20. lowfat

    lowfat 24/Mac/SciFi/PC Crew OT Supporter

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    how do you know it is sequential writes? Open Activity Monitor and look at disk activity. Take a look at IO and Data. I bet you the Data doesn't peak at all that high unless transferring large files around.
     
  21. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I think what he means is that there aren't that many programs that write a zillion sub-4kB files instead of a few large files, so in the case where one or two tiny files do get written, they are so small that they still get taken care of in a fraction of a second even if the random-write speed is shitty.
     
  22. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

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    If I was buying today, I would go that way. But I already have a a bunch of raptors.
     
  23. OniMinion

    OniMinion ...recalls when this forum was actually about cars OT Supporter

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    Update your firmware on it, there should be newer drivers for it online. It should take care of that latency on loading up.
     
  24. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Because I'm moving large files or tables around?
     
  25. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    I woke up late for a doctor appointment today (because my fucking iPhone alarm did not work), and stepped on my computer. Got home from the doc and opened it up and... I'm typing on it right now and the screen is shattered. Cracked right in the middle top. In fact, these: teageagae cannot be seen by me, just black :)

    So, I just dropped $4400 on a new Macbook Pro with 4GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. From the demos I've seen it makes the Macbook boot in 50% of the time. People have told me to expect about a 50% decrease in 'disk latency' (time waiting on shit) at first, decreasing to 30-40% as it slows down. Worth the $750, as I literally spend hours a week waiting on my fucking hard drive.

    Although I think from now on I'm just gonna do all database work on an extra large EC2 instance. Whats $0.80 an hour for 8 hours a day, really? Not shit.

    God dammit I hate paying that much for a computer. But I literally spend half my life on it, so it certainly makes sense to get the best. I held off on 8GB of RAM, it was $1000 extra. I'll get that in a month or two from someone else. But from looking around, seems that 8GB notebook ram 1066mhz is $1000 most anywhere, which sucks. Oh, and this time I got fucking Applecare. Had this thing repaired 5 or 6 times at several hundred bucks each time.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2009

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