General Chat Thread, SSD drives in education in General; ...
9th May 2012, 11:56 AM #1
SSD drives in education
Has anyone here made the jump to SSDs in class / staff rooms?
This year I have put a proposal forward that for one classroom which currently has Pentium D machines in (About 4/5 years old) rather than replace all the systems at a cost of around £300 each (15 PCs so £4500) we buy 64GB Crucial M4 SSD drives at a cost of approx £60 each (£900).
Theoretically this should extend the life of the base hardware by at least 2 years, just trying to see if anyone else has gone down a similar route!
9th May 2012, 12:01 PM #2
Not exactly the same route, but I have installed some of the Momentus XT Hybrid Hard Disks in one or two places and found them to be excellent.
Being hybrid you get the real speed for most frequently used files, on windows boot for example, but you also have 500GB of storage.
9th May 2012, 12:02 PM #3
I have had demo units from Stone computers and RM, both with SSDs. They are very quick as standalone even with AV etc installed, but we don’t think the speed benefits of them are worth the extra premium when running on our RM network.
As for laptops, we are still in two minds, we have some older Acer machines that are still in use and I am sure they would benefit from SSD, but then again the laptops are 4.5 years old and I dont know if its worth throwing money at them.
9th May 2012, 12:04 PM #4
Don't get this. On a usual machine replacement cycle the hard drives don't get faster, so why would buying smaller, faster drives extend life?
Originally Posted by googlemad
Unless i'm missing something.
If you were to be replacing the processors and upgrading RAM i might agree.
9th May 2012, 12:07 PM #5
- Rep Power
I've started buying them as replacements for knackered laptop HDs for staff laptops, and really want to stick them in a suite of Dell Optiplex's we have, alongside a RAM upgrade, to get a couple more years out of them.
9th May 2012, 12:10 PM #6
The thinking is - at least, my thinking is - that the biggest difference in performance right now is to be gained from moving to SSDs. It will speed program loading times (which is really what people will judge machines on) much more than a processor upgrade from Pentium 4 > Ivy Bridge would do.
Originally Posted by Greenbeast
With school networks having most files stored on a server, small SSDs are actually perfect - I'd say 80% of available HDD space in this school is wasted because computers just came with 250/320Gb as a baseline, even though only 40-60 will ever be used.
To answer the OP: my plan this year is to get my new machines with SSDs in, then going forward, just to replace HDD with SSD in the Core 2 Duo machines that'll be the baseline spec. Some rooms need a bit more grunt than that for Photoshop etc., and they'll be the rooms with the more modern dual cores. For most needs, though, we really have hit "good enough" territory.
Crucial m4s are excellent as well
Last edited by sonofsanta; 9th May 2012 at 12:11 PM.
9th May 2012, 12:14 PM #7
Your 4-5 year old computers will not had SATA3, so your M4 SSDs will still only connect at SATA2 (or even SATA1 if that's what they have). So, your speed increase may be limited significantly by this.
9th May 2012, 12:19 PM #8
Random IOPS will be the main benefit for loading random DLLs etc.; I wouldn't expect there to be many big file transfers in and out of the C drive for the SATA 3Gbps limit to be too significant, not on a networked school machine.
Originally Posted by localzuk
Certainly worth getting SATA 3 going forward, mind, and USB3.
Last edited by sonofsanta; 9th May 2012 at 12:19 PM.
Thanks to sonofsanta from:
9th May 2012, 12:25 PM #9
Intel SSDs will be far more reliable than the Crucial M4 SSD. The Intel 330 is 60Gb and is about the same price if not cheaper.
9th May 2012, 12:28 PM #10
I'd say pentium D machines are just a little too old to benefit from this. We've put some in some earlier core 2 machines and noticed a considerable speed increase. (we even tried crippling one with only 256mb ram and it was still pleasant to use on xp. May be best to get one and try them side by side to gauge what sort of benefit they will have.
9th May 2012, 12:51 PM #11
What CPU is it in those machines? It might be worth looking at some refurb machines with C2D's in?
9th May 2012, 12:57 PM #12
I bought 300 Stone Desktops with the Crucial M4 SSD's last summer - have to say they where very quick! Not a bad failure rate to be honest - may 2 in 9 months that i can recall.
9th May 2012, 01:00 PM #13
have you considered recycled machines in your itsuite, I was a tiny bit sceptical at first but it turns out to be an excellent choice ?
Most places give decent warranties and the machines work very well, school I work in has some dealings with ict-direct who are also on here, it works out £180 a base station for a decent specced base unit.
9th May 2012, 01:00 PM #14
I'm strongly leaning towards SSD for staff laptops, for increasing responsiveness and because one less moving part reduces the scope for Jeff, Destroyer of Laptops.
Whether I push them across the board depends on cost/benefit and whether manufacturers are charging way over the odds for SSDs.
9th May 2012, 01:13 PM #15
Yea, the P4 stuff is probaly just a bit old to really get the benifit from this and it would not be worth spending money on them that could be spent on newer machines.
You'll probably have an older SATA interface on the motherboards and slower memory, it may even be DDR1. If they were Dual core Core2 and had DDR2 then it may be more worth it as these will handle a lot more.
You will get a speed increase but I think you will be better off with newer hardware which will be less prone to breaking from old age too.
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