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General Chat Thread, SSD drives in education in General; Originally Posted by sonofsanta ...is a fair point. You lot don't make this easy do you :/ We try Seriously ...
  1. #151

    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    ...is a fair point.

    You lot don't make this easy do you :/
    We try

    Seriously though, I have had to deal with the aftermath of people buying rubbish/underspeced gear. It is a stark comparison, stuff that I speced 7/8 years ago in several schools can still run Windows 7x64 with aero at a reasonable performance level with just a RAM upgrade. Other schools I have ended up working for have had machines 3-4 years newer than that unable to run aero and needing RAM upgrades plus downgrading to 32bit. One place even has 2-3 year old machines that still only had 1GB of RAM and 100mbit NICs, I don't see them being useful for too long at all. Its all down to the initial build of the machine as to how long they are useful. Do it right and things can last a long time.

  2. Thanks to SYNACK from:

    sonofsanta (14th June 2012)

  3. #152

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    We try

    Seriously though, I have had to deal with the aftermath of people buying rubbish/underspeced gear. It is a stark comparison, stuff that I speced 7/8 years ago in several schools can still run Windows 7x64 with aero at a reasonable performance level with just a RAM upgrade. Other schools I have ended up working for have had machines 3-4 years newer than that unable to run aero and needing RAM upgrades plus downgrading to 32bit. One place even has 2-3 year old machines that still only had 1GB of RAM and 100mbit NICs, I don't see them being useful for too long at all. Its all down to the initial build of the machine as to how long they are useful. Do it right and things can last a long time.
    I'm working off an i3-2120 (i5s are overkill as far as I'm concerned, except in specific circumstances) with 8Gb of RAM and 128Gb Crucial m4s, so these should be good for a while. Shame that IVB wasn't ready in time for the better onboard graphics but that one was rather out of my hands & above my payscale, I fear. Once this lot is in, the lowest spec here will be HPs with Core 2 Duos @ 2.8Ghz or more, so with some more RAM and SSDs next year I think every machine will be in a good enough condition for anything that will be thrown at it and we'll only need to replace machines as they die from old age going forward.

    Just going back to suppliers now with these fine tuning details so we'll see what comes out of it, another evening with my brain churning work stuff around ahead I think...

  4. #153
    zag
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Its a very noticeable difference I found. I put an SSD in my laptop at home, and then in my desktop (same SSD) and the difference in speed was considerable. Eg. Startup time on laptop was 25 sec. On desktop it is 8 sec tops.

    I'd be uneasy about buying out of date tech now - SATA3 has been out for several years now...
    Thats very interesting, are you sure thats related to the SATA interface though?

    I would have thought the boot speed would have had nothing to do with the that since its random access files thats important when loading windows.

    8 Second startup is pretty awesome I must admit

  5. #154

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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    Thats very interesting, are you sure thats related to the SATA interface though?

    I would have thought the boot speed would have had nothing to do with the that since its random access files thats important when loading windows.

    8 Second startup is pretty awesome I must admit
    Yup, definitely down to the interface. On a normal HDD, the laptop took a good 1 min 20 seconds to turn on.

    I've got an Intel 330 SSD here at the moment. On a SATA2 port, I get 200Mb/s out of it, on a SATA3 port, I get 450+ out of it...

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    You just prompted me to check a spec our supplier sent us. They've put an SSD upgrade on but the motherboard only has SATA 2 ports, so asked them to spec again with a motherboard that has SATA 3 ports!

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    Scan doing 120gb Kingston HyperX drives at 64.99 - inc VAT. Shade over 54 quid excluding.

  8. #157

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    Scan doing 120gb Kingston HyperX drives at 64.99 - inc VAT. Shade over 54 quid excluding.
    Ouch. That hurts. I paid £160 for mine barely 3 months ago.

  9. #158

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    Well our new PCs arrived on Friday. Core i5 2320 with 4gb RAM and 64gb Crucial M4 SSD. Intel DH67BL motherboard so SATA 3.

    Think I'll do a little video tomorrow of just how fast they boot up! And all I did was chuck on my Windows 7 image from last year not even done any tweaking yet!

  10. #159
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    Had confirmation our new PCs were on the way on Friday (should be with us in a week once they are built) - AMD E-350 CPU, OCZ Agility 3 SSD, 4GB DDR3 and SATA3

    Tiny little machines as well about the size of 2 DVD cases stuck together!

    Have some extra money after the summer to spend as well - thought so far is thin clients for what will soon be our RemoteFX setup (SSD in both the host servers and the clients).

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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    I would have thought the boot speed would have had nothing to do with the that since its random access files thats important when loading Windows.
    You are correct Zag. The majority of the Windows boot process is random reads and writes (as you can see below, mainly very small reads). Newer SATA 6Gb/s SSDs in most cases have better random read/write speeds compared to older SATA 1 & 2 SSDs (and obviously HDDs).

    If @localzuk have done a comparison between the Intel 320 Series and 330 Series SSDs he would have found there isn't much of a difference in terms of 4KB random read performance. In fact, the older (SATA II) Intel 320 SSD would have been a bit faster depending upon the size of the drives involved. Comparing a laptop HDD to any SSD is like the difference between a galloping donkey and a Lamborghini Aventador.

    If you want to check your own PCs, download the trial version of hIOmon and then read this thread on the XtremeSystems forum for a few tips on how to use it.

    Boot up
    The bootup process involves three stages: (please see post #255 for more details).

    1. Hardware enumeration to enable the OS loader to take control
    2. Main Boot Path Time - Essential services and drivers to load desktop
    3. Post boot time - Drivers, processes and applications that arenít critical for user interaction and can be loaded with low-priority I/O that always gives preference to user-initiated actions that execute using normal I/O priority.

    By default the hIOmon software is configured to automatically begin monitoring when the services are started during stage three. There is also an option, however, whereby the hIOmon software can be configured so that it instead begins monitoring very early within the "Main Boot Path Time" (stage 2). Please see post #32 for details

    The amount of data loading during the boot process can vary significantly depending on the type of applications that have been installed. The time it takes to fully load can also vary significantly depending on user-initiated actions, automatic updates and AV activity.

    During boot all the data has to initially be read from the physical disk.

    Typical read transfer sizes during boot can be found in post #190. The vast amount of read transfer sizes are 6,000 bytes and below. Only 16 read transfer sizes were above 1MB and the largest read transfer sizes was 11MB.

    The boot process was monitored on three different storage systems. HDD, SSD & SSD Raid 0 (please see post # 105).

    Key storage load metrics (approximated)
    • 95% random reads and writes.
    • 20,000 I/O operations overall.
    • Overall average IOPs = 190
    • Overall average transfer size 20,000 bytes (19KB)
    • Total read data transferred 420MB
    • Total write data transferred 24MB

    Key storage performance metrics
    • HDD Percentage of fast read/write IOPs performed = 1.2%
    • SSD Percentage of fast read/write IOPs performed = 98.3%
    • SSD Raid 0 Percentage of fast read/ write IOPs performed = 98.9%

    • HDD busy time = 1min 58s
    • SSD busy time = 8.54s
    • SSD Raid 0 time = 6.59s

    • HDD average response time = 53.40ms
    • SSD average response time = 0.49ms
    • SSD Raid 0 average response time = 0.33ms

    Whilst the performance difference between HDD & SSD is significant the difference between a single SSD and SSD Raid 0 is marginal. (Source)

  12. 2 Thanks to Arthur:

    mac_shinobi (15th July 2012), zag (16th July 2012)

  13. #161

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    Comparing a laptop HDD to any SSD is like the difference between a galloping donkey and a Lamborghini Aventador.
    Have to confess, I have never seen a donkey gallop or go any faster than a walking pace. Either way love the description , made me chuckle a bit

  14. #162

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    Quote Originally Posted by googlemad View Post
    Well our new PCs arrived on Friday. Core i5 2320 with 4gb RAM and 64gb Crucial M4 SSD. Intel DH67BL motherboard so SATA 3.

    Think I'll do a little video tomorrow of just how fast they boot up! And all I did was chuck on my Windows 7 image from last year not even done any tweaking yet!
    If windows 7 detects a SSD does it not automatically adjust its settings?

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    We've bought a couple of SSDs (Intel 330 & Crucial m4) to quietly slip into a few machines over the summer hols to see if anyone notices.

  16. #164
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    You can get 60GB Sandisk Ultra drives for £33 at the moment by the way, bargain.

  17. #165

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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    We've bought a couple of SSDs (Intel 330 & Crucial m4) to quietly slip into a few machines over the summer hols to see if anyone notices.
    I've bought 6 Samsung 830's (which are not much more than the Crucial's and absolutely brilliant) to go into the SMT PCs over the summer. It's not cheating and giving a false impression, it's just targetted improvements...

    On a related note, I was fudging about with my PC last night after it started running slow as molasses (bad SATA connection I think) and ran the Samsung benchmark on my SSD and hard drives. My Steam drive is a 640Gb WD Caviar Black, cracking hard drive, 7.2k rpm, good areal density, ample cache, and got some 250 IOPS read/write. Ran it on the 128Gb Samsung 830 and it was about 27,000 IOPS. Astonishing.

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