SSD vs HDD Video - Booting & everyday tasks

vbimport

#1

I just posted the article SSD vs HDD Video - Booting & everyday tasks.

We compare a typical Solid State Disk (OCZ Agility 60GB) against a high end consumer Hard Disk (Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB) with some tedious everyday tasks. This PC has been in use for almost 4 months since installing the OS and has quite a lot of software installed, including Windows XP mode and ~100 portable applications in a folder on the SSD.


Click to watch the video

Read the full article here: [http://www.myce.com/article/ssd-vs-hdd-video-booting-everyday-tasks-26588/](http://www.myce.com/article/ssd-vs-hdd-video-booting-everyday-tasks-26588/)	

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#2

Nice “silent movie” soundtrack! :smiley:


#3

The Speed and load shows differences. But I have to say for the masses HDD will be here for long time to stay and I I have said previously HDD capacity outweights SSD until SSD can come down in price and be out longer on the market and tested for failure rates HDD is here to stay. And we also have to remember Euro and US isn’t the only place where HDD are sold and made so we need world wide views not just in our backyard thinking that the HDD hardware will go away anytime soon.


#4

Sure HDD’s won’t go away anytime soon but I think the point (for me anyway) is how completely spectacular these SSD drives are for a OS and Applications drive.

Now I own one for each of my desktops and I couldn’t be happier with how fast everything is and I don’t even have the fastest drives made.

Also keep in mind quoting from Seán’s first post “with some tedious everyday tasks”, it’s so true and very well shown in the video.


#5

Even in my video, I use the SSD strictly for the OS and applications and have my desktop, documents folder and e-mail redirected to the 2TB hard disk, which I also use to store everything else. 60GB may not sound like a lot, but you would need to have a serious amount of software used to gobble it up. If one has bulky costly programmes such as several 5GB+ plugins for recording studio software, I’m sure that user can afford a larger SSD. :slight_smile:

On my last Windows XP based PC, I reckon I would have got away with a 30GB SSD, as I had a 40GB OS partition and only used about 25GB of it after 2 years of everyday use. On my current Windows 7 based system, the OS & software takes up ~24GB, Windows XP mode uses ~10GB and the portable app’s directory is almost 6GB in size. After just checking now, I’ve about 8GB used between the swap and hibernation files and freed about 4GB straight away by disabling the hibernation file. :wink:

Here’s how to redirect your documents and desktop in Windows (XP, Vista & 7) after a clean installation, such as after installing Windows on an SSD. Don’t try this with an existing installation as it will potentially cause problems with any software that indexes stuff, such as pictures (e.g. Picasa), music (e.g. iTunes), etc.:

[ul]
[li]Create new folders on the hard disk where you would like to redirect to, e.g. “Documents” for your documents, “Pictures” for your photos, “Desktop” for your desktop content and “Music” for your msuic.[/li][li]Unless you’re experienced with using the registry editor, please make a backup of your PC.[/li][li]Move any existing pictures, documents, etc. into the new paths.[/li][li]In the registry editor, go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Software -> Microsoft -> Windows -> CurrentVersion -> Explorer -> User Shell Folders.[/li][li]Edit the following keys:[/li][LIST]
[li]Desktop - New desktop path, e.g. “W:\Destkop”[/li][li]My Pictures - New pictures path, e.g. “W:\Pictures”[/li][li]Personal - New documents path, e.g. “W:\Documents”[/li][li]My Music - New music path, e.g. “W:\Music”[/li][/ul]
[li]Reboot the PC.[/li][li]If you don’t plan using hibernation, click Start, type in ‘cmd’ and press Shift+Ctrl+Enter (for an elevated command prompt), then type in “powercfg -h off”, press enter and close the command prompt. This will free up disk space (based on the PC’s RAM) that was used for the hiberation file.[/li][/list]

Finally, I would strongly recommend setting up Windows backup to create a weekly backup to the HDD and create a Windows Recovery CD. From my experience, the backup barely has any noticeable effect on the system performance as it takes place during its scheduled time.

The advantage of redirecting your documents, music, etc. is that in the unlikely event that the SSD fails, you’ll not lose these. If you have a backup set up and should ever need to replace the SSD, just install the new SSD, boot the recovery CD and select the full system recovery option. Once it completes, the most you’ll have lost is any new software or updates installed since the last backup.


#6

Hi,

won’t any Windows version before Win7 cause more “wear” on the SSD since these don’t support TRIM feature?

Here’s how to redirect your documents and desktop in Windows (XP, Vista & 7) after a clean installation
At least for NT5.x (W2k and XP) it’s much simpler: using an answer file (like winnt.sif from a Floppy, there are other methods also) during setup, you can assign another profile path which is then on another HDD or Partition of your choice :wink:

Michael


#8

[QUOTE=MegaDETH;2497537]Sure HDD’s won’t go away anytime soon but I think the point (for me anyway) is how completely spectacular these SSD drives are for a OS and Applications drive.

Now I own one for each of my desktops and I couldn’t be happier with how fast everything is and I don’t even have the fastest drives made.

Also keep in mind quoting from Seán’s first post “with some tedious everyday tasks”, it’s so true and very well shown in the video.[/QUOTE]

That’s what I would use the SSD for O/S and Apps software not for constant access and deleting that I will leave for a HDD to do. But cost is one prohibiting factor and that SSD are still to new to the market to really find the pros and cons of them. I will wait for them to be test by other users and then come back after few years and see if they are worth for my needs.


#9

It’s not clear that TRIM cuts down on wear, but it does cut down on read>modify>write, so keeps the drive fast. Things get quite complicated when trying to calculate if that means less wear.
The best thing to prolong the life of an SSD is to have some over-provisioning of NAND. That’s one reason that there is NAND in reserve on an SSD, and not available for user storage.

Wear levelling and garbage collection within the drive should prolong the life of the drive, but it’s also important to get a drive that is large enough, the more free NAND there is on the drive, the longer it will last.

I would never recommend a 30GB drive for a Win7 install, or anyone getting an SSD and filling it to capacity. If you fill it, there isn’t much free NAND for wear levelling.

What Sean’s video does show is how much faster an SSD is over an HDD as an OS drive, and you get that performance boost all the time, for everything you do that requires disk access. Even browsing the Internet is faster if you have caching on in IE or Firefox, as the cached pages and images are accessed and loaded faster.

HDD will certainly be around for a while yet, but the HDD’s days are numbered. Don’t be surprised when SSD does take over, that it isn’t using NAND as we know it now, and write cycles will be perhaps 100 fold of what they are now, and speeds will be even greater.

You can also make SSD in a larger form factor, without any hit in performance. Optical drive size formats could be done without performance taking a hit, unlike an HDD, where the larger the platter is, the larger the seek time becomes.


#10

Just about everyone (including myself) doesn’t want to pay the higher cost but when looking at the performance gains I found it worth it.

For example I was going to upgrade my Core2duo to a i7 system. Now after adding the 60GB SSD I am not even thinking about doing it.

So for my situation I figure I saved 100’s :slight_smile:


#11

[QUOTE=MegaDETH;2497610]Just about everyone (including myself) doesn’t want to pay the higher cost but when looking at the performance gains I found it worth it.

For example I was going to upgrade my Core2duo to a i7 system. Now after adding the 60GB SSD I am not even thinking about doing it.[/QUOTE]That’s exactly what most people find when they get their hands on a good SSD. The performance gain is jaw dropping.

The thing is, you get used to the extra performance, and it’s not until you have to go back to an HDD, that you really appreciate how much faster an SSD is.
The cost per GB of SSD is high at the moment, but IMO, that extra cost is worth every penny.


#12

Awesome video/demo/explanation! :slight_smile:


#13

[QUOTE=Dee;2497611]
The cost per GB of SSD is high at the moment, but IMO, that extra cost is worth every penny.[/QUOTE]

For those who can afford it yes but those on budget one has to way the cons and pros to make it beneficial overall to their budgets and future expansions. Especially in these hard economic times one has to priorities everything that involves money.


#14

I was originally going to do an SSD vs Laptop HDD vs Desktop HDD video of these everyday tasks, but ran into a few big problems the 2.5" laptop hard disk. With at least the WD Scorpio Blue 160GB I was using, it took nearly three times longer than the desktop hard disk for each part! For example, it took over 5 minutes for just the upgrading OpenOffice 3.1 to 3.2 process. So if I put the parts together, It would also break YouTube’s 10-minute limit two or three times over. Basically, you would have no problem baking a frozen pizza and have it eaten by the time the video ends. :stuck_out_tongue:

I will compile a video comparison of the boot and multitasking part between the 3 drives in the coming days.


#15

[QUOTE=coolcolors;2497708]For those who can afford it yes but those on budget one has to way the cons and pros to make it beneficial overall to their budgets and future expansions. Especially in these hard economic times one has to priorities everything that involves money.[/QUOTE]It goes without saying that people can only buy what they can afford, but that is hardly the point. No one is saying that at the moment you should discard all your HDD and go completely SSD, at the moment that would be way to expensive for most people. The point is, as an OS drive an SSD makes a lot of sense if you’re looking for a faster system, and one shouldn’t only look at buying a new faster CPU to get the speed.

There are graphics cards that cost a lot more than a suitably sized SSD, there are CPU’s that cost twice as much, and more, as a suitably sized SSD. We already had one person say they won’t need to update to a faster CPU, motherboard, and memory, because they got the desired speed from fitting an SSD.

It’s horses for courses, if you can’t afford a suitably sized SSD to install your OS and applications too, then you probably can’t afford to update to a faster CPU, RAM, motherboard anyway.

if you can afford an update, then it makes sense to budget for a good SSD for your OS and applications, as you will get a lot more performance, as the video clearly demonstrates.


#16

I want this SSD:

http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=026930&cid=HDD.859

Sure, I won’t be able to pay my mortgage for the next four months, I’ll probably lose my home, and my family and I will have to go live in a shelter… but I’m thinking it’ll be worth it.


#17

[QUOTE=DukeNukem;2497948]I want this SSD:

http://www.canadacomputers.com/index.php?do=ShowProduct&cmd=pd&pid=026930&cid=HDD.859

Sure, I won’t be able to pay my mortgage for the next four months, I’ll probably lose my home, and my family and I will have to go live in a shelter… but I’m thinking it’ll be worth it.[/QUOTE]Be sure to let us know what it’s like sleeping in the street in a cardboard box.


#18

nice lil vid music wasnt my taste though :stuck_out_tongue: and dee is right i have a graphics card and cpu costing excess of 600 pounds :slight_smile: its what you prefer/ require i myself go for the mechanical approach as my gaming pc needs the space not so much the speed as samsung spinpoint F3’s in raid 0 make up for that as my raid setup bursts in excess of 380 meg which is more then adequate for map changes for online games.


#19

Sorry, but ImO the seconds lost over time don’t make up for the huge price difference upfront and yet flash SSD drives haven’t been trusted with huge volumes of data yet. Also, mass production of products usually will find the pitfalls of what’s to come in terms of long-term storage reliability once 1-terabyte PLUS SSD drives begin enmass at prices well under $200 whereas today if you could even find that capacity-- it’d be priced well over $1500-- about enough for a top of the line system and a raid set of hard drives.


#20

awesome video, man I really want a ssd now!

my problem is I would have trouble choosing which apps to have on the ssd and which to banish to a platter :stuck_out_tongue: I’d really need at least a 256gb drive


#21

I bought a Kingston V Series desktop kit (128GB) recently at a clearance sale to use the SSD in the family laptop and the mounting kit to properly mount the Agility SSD in my desktop PC. As pretty much expected with this being a clearance sale, the SSD turned out to be the first generation model, e.g. slower read/write and no TRIM support - model SNV125-S2BD/128GB with firmware B090522a.

For curiosity, before I pop this in the laptop, I decided to clone my Desktop PC’s OS to the Kingston SSD to give it a quick test run. Apart from a few seconds added on to the boot time compared with the Agility, most applications load up just as quick as with the Agility, like the above video. Also, just like with the Agility SSD, Firefox loads up within a few seconds of the desktop appearing, unlike the HDD where the OS needs to finish loading most of the processes that automatically run at startup. The slowest one is Windows XP mode, but even this still loads up significantly quicker than with the HDD. :slight_smile:

What this basically means is that even a decent performance SSD than can handle 100MB+/s and a decent IOPS will give a very noticeable improvement over a hard disk.

As SSDs need some free space to perform wear-levelling (which is where TRIM comes in to help), one thing worth doing for SSDs that don’t support TRIM is leaving a few Gigabytes of unpartitioned space when preparing the drive. This way, even if all the space in the partition ends up being used up, there will always be some space left over for wear-levelling. For example, when I clone the laptop’s existing 120GB to the SSD, I’ll not resize the partition, which will leave 8GB for wear-levelling. In fact, most 120GB SSDs actually have 128GB of capacity, but with extra reserved (not available to the user) for better wear levelling.