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General Chat Thread, SSD drives in education in General; Originally Posted by synaesthesia With the current pricing of 120gb drives, I am now absolutely certain you'd be fairly daft ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    With the current pricing of 120gb drives, I am now absolutely certain you'd be fairly daft to buy anything lesser, capacity-wise unless you're running a fat VDI client then it'd just have no benefit.
    I don't know - XP certainly could fit Windows, Office, CS5 and others into 60gb, Windows 7, well... I'd be more comfortable with 80, but it should fit. After all, there's no reason not to fill an SSD - they don't slow down as they near capacity, unlike mechanical.

    a 120gb drive will perform faster than a 60gb anyway, of course, but not to the same difference as SSD v HDD in the first place.

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    I entirely discount XP on SSD's on purpose - not for TRIM or anything of the sort as it won't be a problem in the machines lifetime however with XP's grave being dug, it's not worth factoring it in.

    From experience, 7 on a 60GB drive is a squeeze unless you're really careful with profile sizes and what-not. At home even with all apps installed on a HDD, 60GB gets filled very quickly indeed thanks to much of the cack Windows soon builds up which ended up in me making a lot of symlinks for folders like winSXS, Installer folders etc. In a network environment you'd need to narrow down a lot via GPO to stop or limit caching of profiles, windows updates and what-not. It can certainly be done but the price difference is less hassle than the hassle

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    sonofsanta (11th May 2012)

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    zag
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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    With the current pricing of 120gb drives, I am now absolutely certain you'd be fairly daft to buy anything lesser, capacity-wise unless you're running a fat VDI client then it'd just have no benefit.
    We've bought 40gb drives for all our workstations and its been fine.

    Our main windows 7 image with all software is 12gb and we don't store anything locally so whats the point?

    Laptops we are putting 80gb in now and have never had any complaints.

    And to those who continue to insist that CPU's are the bottleneck, go have a try of the new Raspberry PI to see what that means. Its CPU is the bottleneck but thats not suprising as its 300mhz!!
    Last edited by zag; 11th May 2012 at 08:47 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    a 120gb drive will perform faster than a 60gb anyway, of course, but not to the same difference as SSD v HDD in the first place.
    Not really. The random access time is exactly the same on all SSD's. That's the thing that matters in a real world environment.

    Those benchmarks you see on review sites are for sustained transfer speeds. Unless you are copying DVDs from one machine over USB 3 to another with equivalent SSD drive its a pointless statistic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    Not really. The random access time is exactly the same on all SSD's. That's the thing that matters in a real world environment.

    Those benchmarks you see on review sites are for sustained transfer speeds. Unless you are copying DVDs from one machine over USB 3 to another with equivalent SSD drive its a pointless statistic.
    I thought the random would be higher as well? As there are more chips used so when pulling in all the various DLLs etc. to load Photoshop, it can grab them from 8 baskets instead of 4, like some kind of mad silicon octopus.

    I wouldn't expect most people to particularly notice the difference between capacities of SSDs, though. I'm more just concerned about fitting everything on (with a little bit of space left over for some additional over-provisioning, ideally)

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    No idea on speed side of things - I do have to ask @zag though if the size of those drives remains useable even with windows updates etc? Update cache on a 6 month old PC (looking at it currently) is nigh on 10gb on it's own!

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    No idea on speed side of things - I do have to ask @zag though if the size of those drives remains useable even with windows updates etc? Update cache on a 6 month old PC (looking at it currently) is nigh on 10gb on it's own!
    Is there any way of clearing out that update cache? Always frustrated me how much it bloats, as it's never clear exactly which files you can rid yourself of and cleanmgr doesn't touch it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    Is there any way of clearing out that update cache?
    Not sure about the update cache, but there is a workaround for the Windows Installer cache.

    What Changes in Windows Installer 5 (Windows 7 and later)
    Windows Installer version 5 (Windows 7 release) caches the entire .MSI package to its cache location - including any internal application source files. So if you have 1.5 GB .MSI, you will find the entire 1.5 GB file in the cache with a random name. So you may start finding some very large .MSI files in c:\Windows\Installer on Windows 7.

    Why does it do this? It turns out that a 1.5 GB package that is signed will give a nice blue UAC prompt indicating that everything is cool - the package is signed! If, however, the files are stripped out of it during caching, the signature is broken and an uninstall from Programs and Features gives the nasty alarming Yellow UAC prompt indicating that software from an unknown source wants to elevate on your system.

    This is, in fact, exactly how it works on Vista. Microsoft struggled with how to fix this situation all during Vista's lifetime. The solution chosen was caching of the entire package.

    There is no way to disable this behavior and simply take the yellow UAC prompt hit. Even if you are a corporation who never let's users uninstall software from Programs and Features!

    This behavior also happens even if the package is not signed.

    How Do I Prevent Full Caching?
    If your company made the packages, then change your package format to have external .CAB files. The external cabs are not copied into the cache. (Source)

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    If they used one in anger rather than than merely passing one by in the corridor, they might appreciate the actual machinery and the issues particularly the working limitations. But perhaps they can chip in with tooling, materials, bits, spindle, feed speeds and attained accuracy? Not that it matters much - solid state drives yield several orders of magnitude of possible performance increase over processor and those improvements are smack bang in the zone where users actually likely to notice them.
    Yup used to do all of that, setting the start of material (zero axis iirc?) where you had to have the drill bit *just* touching the surface of the material in 0.1mm steps, choosing correct speeds so the material \ drill bit didn't shatter and so on. Had hours of fun milling aluminium for injection moulding n 6th form where I had to keep squirting the drill bit with white spirit to stop it melting into a gloopy mess during the mill

    Thinking about it the machines weren't even 233Mhz, they were old Apricot PCs either 120Mhz or 133Mhz but never had a problem with the milling itself. Granted I wouldn't run any other program while it was going but I'd still do the same today even if an i7 was running it as it was more of a distrust of Windows \ other app not crashing than the speed of the box doing the milling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    No idea on speed side of things - I do have to ask @zag though if the size of those drives remains useable even with windows updates etc? Update cache on a 6 month old PC (looking at it currently) is nigh on 10gb on it's own!
    Yes, We've used 40gb SSD's site wide for 2 years now. Never run out of hard disk space on any of them. Infact we've never been above 20gb that I know of on our Windows 7 machines fully loaded with software.

    I never quite got why people buy computers in a school with 300gb drives in, doesnt make sense to me for client machines.

    EDIT: Obviously you need to be sensible and remove old profiles ect. once a year or something.
    Last edited by zag; 11th May 2012 at 01:17 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    I thought the random would be higher as well?
    Nope! Its exactly the same speed for every SSD. 0.1ms or something like that.

    I have an old PATA samsumg 16gb SSD that loads photoshop in exactly the same time as my 600GB Intel SSD in my new machine.

    Check it out. I bought it in early 2008 I believe Has a sustained transfer rate of 20mb/s or something but in the real world its exactly the same as the new drives.

    SSD drives in education-imag0288.jpg
    Last edited by zag; 11th May 2012 at 01:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    I never quite got why people buy computers in a school with 300gb drives in, doesnt make sense to me for client machines.
    If you look at eBuyer you can't even get them smaller than 250gb now, iirc. The price difference at the bottom end is minimal, an a 320Gb drive should outperform a 250Gb drive simply due to data density - albeit it's a pretty small difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    Nope! Its exactly the same speed for every SSD. 0.1ms or something like that.

    I have an old PATA samsumg 16gb SSD that loads photoshop in exactly the same time as my 600GB Intel SSD in my new machine.

    Check it out. I bought it in early 2008 I believe Has a sustained transfer rate of 20mb/s or something but in the real world its exactly the same as the new drives.
    Check it out, I dun learned something new today. Does that mean I get to go home early for the weekend now?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    Really?
    Yes, really. But never mind, so long as you're happy.

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    I've asked for a quote for PCs including SSDs and they have specified OCZ drives. Should I insist on Intel or Crucial or go with what they recommend?
    On one hand I'm thinking that if I get failures then it is their job to replace them anyway, but then I still don't want failures because it means downtime for a computer.

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    Mixed feelings about OCZ - we had one batch that has been fine, no problems at all. Another batch with 25% failures.

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