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General Chat Thread, SSD drives in education in General; Originally Posted by dave.81 After reading this thread i bought a Crucial M4 and installed it into one of the ...
  1. #121
    zag
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave.81 View Post
    After reading this thread i bought a Crucial M4 and installed it into one of the 3 year old pc's in an IT suite. Comparing the 2 machines there is not enough of a speed increase to justify the cost. Boot/login/logoff are quicker, maybe a second or 2 than the SATA machine. Opening of office applications i could barely see a difference, actually on some test the SATA was quicker. At the moment i am yet to be impressed.
    Never used Crucial drives before but opening applications is about 300% quicker on our ICT room desktops. I did some tests with adobe photoshop when we first installed them.

    Boot should also be about 25 seconds compared to over a minute on our old machines. And shutdown instant with an SSD as opposed to about 15 seconds before the upgrade.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dave.81 View Post
    Opening of office applications I could barely see a difference, actually on some test the SATA was quicker.
    Something must be wrong because I recently installed a 64GB Crucial M4 in a six year old Dell Latitude 131L running XP and the difference in speed was immediately noticeable despite being severely bottlenecked by the SATA to PATA adapter I used.

    Have you installed the latest chipset drivers from Intel or AMD?


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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    To be fair some of those older chipsets had real problems with SSDs as they drove them in exactly the wrong way but even so it should have been quicker, for the three weeks it would last till the chipset cooked it.

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    To be fair some of those older chipsets had real problems with SSDs as they drove them in exactly the wrong way but even so it should have been quicker, for the three weeks it would last till the chipset cooked it.
    That or the mode the drive was set to in the bios would of slowed it down ie IDE Compatability mode in comparison to using AHCI or SATA Mode. Also ensuring the OS was installed with AHCI SATA Drivers aka Latest Chipset drivers or possibly Intel Matrix Storage or device drivers ??

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    @zag You're right - they do have a limited write amount. No different to any other similar device including RAM though. It's not a set amount, it's no different to the MTBF rating on hard drives.
    Assuming you're not XP'ing with them and TRIM is working properly, you are not likely to see a failure in it's lifetime.
    @dave.81 - being very blunt, as above, something is very wrong. The difference between HDD and SSD is huge on any properly configured system. And that doesn't take much (nothing) if you're using Win7.
    P35/38 chipsets have major problems with SSDs but most can be fixed with (unofficial) bios updates to update them to the ICH10/10R southbridge which is fine. (problem lies with ICH9/9R)

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    @zag You're right - they do have a limited write amount. No different to any other similar device including RAM though.
    RAM does not have a measurable read/write failiure point as far as I have ever learnt, would be interested to see any data to the contrary though.

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    I believe it's measurable, I just don't believe it's used because it's (nearly always) guaranteed to last beyond it's lifetime. Same with most such chips; I've only ever seen numbers quoted in military application.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    RAM does not have a measurable read/write failiure point as far as I have ever learnt, would be interested to see any data to the contrary though.
    Although RAM doesn't appear to have a read/write failure point, the amount of errors seems to increase with age - as Google found out in a study they carried out three years ago. Obviously their servers get more of a pounding than the typical home user's laptop so for most people it doesn't matter. The laptop will probably break first!

    DRAM Errors in the Wild: A Large-Scale Field Study
    In this paper, we analyze measurements of memory errors in a large fleet of commodity servers over a period of 2.5 years. The collected data covers multiple vendors, DRAM capacities and technologies and comprises many millions of DIMM days.

    The goal of this paper is to answer questions such as the following: How common are memory errors in practice? What are their statistical properties? How are they affected by external factors, such as temperature and utilization, and by chip-specific factors, such as chip density, memory technology and DIMM age?

    [...]

    Given that DRAM DIMMs are devices without any mechanical components, unlike for example hard drives, we see a surprisingly strong and early effect of age on error rates.

    For all DIMM types we studied, aging in the form of increased correctable error (CE) rates sets in after only 10–18 months in the field.

    On the other hand, the rate of incidence of uncorrectable errors continuously declines starting at an early age, most likely because DIMMs with UEs are replaced (survival of the fittest). (Source)

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    Has anyone seen SanDisk's SSD prices? They are unbelievable!

    Ultra - 33.32 for 60GB, 54.15 for 120GB
    Extreme - 66.65 for 120GB, 133.32 for 240GB
    Last edited by Arthur; 23rd May 2012 at 10:02 PM.

  11. 4 Thanks to Arthur:

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    Just read a couple of reviews, and they're Sandforce devices like the majority on the market (Crucial and Samsung are the odd ones out here), but the reason they can price so well is that they make their own flash memory! They've only just released them too - so potentially they could upset the apple cart and we could see significant dropping in price.

    Their performance is up near the top of the grid too. Photographers swear by their high performance CF/SD cards so it'll be interesting to see just how good they are!

    Oh, and they make a 480GB one too - Amazon have it at around 400. http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B006EKIQY...SIN=B006EKIQYM
    Last edited by localzuk; 23rd May 2012 at 09:20 PM.

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    Good lord that's incredo-cheap. Think I'd rather wait to see what reliability issues they have - some drives have been a bit flaky recently by all reports *cough* OCZ *cough* - but if they force the entrenched players to drop prices, it could be a big push towards making SSDs properly mainstream.

    If all this can be done in the next month when I order the new PCs for work, as well, then I'm all smiles

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    Good lord that's incredo-cheap. Think I'd rather wait to see what reliability issues they have - some drives have been a bit flaky recently by all reports *cough* OCZ *cough* - but if they force the entrenched players to drop prices, it could be a big push towards making SSDs properly mainstream.

    If all this can be done in the next month when I order the new PCs for work, as well, then I'm all smiles
    From everything I've read, the reliability of the OCZ Vertex 3 is much better than the old Vertex 2 (the numbers I've seen were about 4.6% failure rate for the 3, 9.8% or thereabouts for the 2), so the rates are getting better. Intel are in a league of their own though, with a 0.1% failure rate it seems! They focus on reliability over speed I think - which is what their main target market (business) is looking for.

    Its going to be an interesting year all round for storage - as some of those hard disk manufacturers who lost facilities during the floods might be building flash fab sites instead of hard disk sites. And on top of that, memristers look to be set for a mainstream appearance soon.

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    I see intel are now using sandforce controllers not there own in some of there lower end ssd drives like the new 330 so I think the only real difference will be in the quality of the memory used and the firmware applied.
    You have to be careful with the stats as a lot of the ones floating around for intel SSD's are for there previous generation drives which used SLC memory (more expensive and more reliable) not the MLC drives that are now mainstream.
    OCZ and Intel drives generally attract a different customer base as well and so will see different kinds of data and handling by customers.

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    zag
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    I don't think Intel was using SLC memory in those tests. I have one of their original SLC SSDs and they were triple the price of the standard x25's at the time which were much more popular and just as reliable from my experience.

    What makes Intel different is they used the older more reliable memory chips, while other manufacturers were installing the latest small die chips that were not as reliable.

    And WOW those sandisk prices are amazing. I wouldn't touch them with a barge pole but nice to see competition entering the market. It will bring all the other prices down.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Have put our drive orders on hold because prices are dropping like flies. 54 quid for the 120 Sandisk Ultra from ebuyer - it's "only" SATA2 but it's still a HUGE improvement on hard drives.
    I see buying Intel's instead as an insurance policy - it's just gambling. Twice the money for what? Buy the Sandisks (or other brand of your choice), buy a few more just in case, claim on warranties if need be - and you still save a STUPID amount of money if buying in bulk.

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