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Hardware Thread, Solid State Drives in Technical; Since SSDs are coming down in price so much, I wondered if anybody had experience of using them in desktop ...
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    Solid State Drives

    Since SSDs are coming down in price so much, I wondered if anybody had experience of using them in desktop machines and how they perform? Mainly I'm interested in the older (cheaper) drives such as the 30GB OCZ offering. How do they compare for speed and reliability compared with a standard 3.5" desktop drive?

    Basically I'm fed up with dealing with failed hard drives and I like to think that SSDs are the answer to my prayers. I now invite everyone to poke holes in my logic

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    They;'re great as an OS drive performance wise. Reliability though, they're definitely more reliable than the typical desktop drive currently but thats a fairly worst-case scenario. For reliability it's probably more cost effective to get a decent backup solution, or RAID setup with redundancy.

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    I have read that SLC drives have great performance, but the cheaper ones tend to be MLC drives. Backup and RAID are fine for servers but in my mind are a bit over the top for desktop machines with a standard image. I know SSDs cost about £85 compared with £30 for a standard drive (retail) so I'm wondering if I can justify the extra cost with time saved replacing and reimaging failed drives, and reduced noise, energy consumption, and heat generation.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Fine line in my eyes - the noise and energy useage is probably the biggest thing going for them. I personally use a RAID5 system which thankfully is just about silent. I would be very worried if you were replacing hard drives at a particularly high rate though, unless 1. you have a penchant for buying tosh like Maxtor or 2. there's something else wrong - power supply, motherboard controller or cabling more notably. For instance, the 3 drives in my RAID array are second user - coming from a 24/7 useage environment where they were in use for 18 to 24 months. They've been sat in my box for a further year with no failures, reallocations or anything untoward.
    It's certainly worth looking at the lifespans of those SSD's though - some of them are surprisingly short, a few I looked at a little while ago when shopping for them myself fell way underneath the warranty period I was being offered for home/soho specification hard drives.

    So, laptops - fantastic. Desktops - fantastic for gamers and people eeking out performance and/or silence. For normal use, I can't yet think the price is good enough to seriously consider them. However the prices, as you will be aware are coming down thick and fast, mostly due to OCZ's constant pushing.

    But of course thats my tuppence (and incidentally if you find one of those OCZ Vertex SSD's floating around, I'd be a grateful benefactor )

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    We have some 4-5 year old machines running in some fairly hot rooms..several of the drives are either developing bad sectors or conking out completely. Either fault results in some lengthy downtime for either mapping out bad sectors, or replacing a drive and reimaging. I don't think faults in drives that old are unreasonable, but we're now looking at replacing about 45 of those machines and I'm wondering if OEM prices and buying in bulk make it a viable option.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Could well be - might be an idea to grab a few prices from as many different folks as you can. Would probably be appreciated if you could give some people an idea of what discount, if any to expect if buying that sort of bulk as I'm sure you're not alone in that sort of environment.

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    Sorry to bump this, I just wondered if anyone else had any thoughts on this?

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Been using SSDs in some of our thinstation machines (via an IDE converter thingy) works a treat.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    Been using SSDs in some of our thinstation machines (via an IDE converter thingy) works a treat.
    You sure you're not just using compact flash cards?

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    ICT_GUY's Avatar
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    will the swap file kill an ssd? Constant rewrites are usually a bad thing for flash storage. Though I have read about putting the swap file onto a ram drive (???? a kludge and a half) or on a non SSD drive (again with the kudge).

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    Quote Originally Posted by ICT_GUY View Post
    Though I have read about putting the swap file onto a ram drive
    That's a ridiculous idea, the whole point of a swap drive is to get stuff out of RAM!

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    I have heard of some issues with the maximum rewrites to a SSD is that still true? Some are claiming around 100 000 rewrites before failure, but I have heard of people complaining of a shortened lifespan compared to HDD for intense use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by powdarrmonkey View Post
    That's a ridiculous idea, the whole point of a swap drive is to get stuff out of RAM!
    If you have a lot of RAM though disabling the swap drive will decrease the writes and reads to a HDD and technically increase performance.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamo View Post
    I have heard of some issues with the maximum rewrites to a SSD is that still true? Some are claiming around 100 000 rewrites before failure, but I have heard of people complaining of a shortened lifespan compared to HDD for intense use.
    Here's a table for life span for the SSD in an eeepc...

    eeepcmemorywear.jpg [EeeUser Eee PC Wiki]

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    Jamo's Avatar
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    lol yeah seems im about 3 yrs out of date with the SSD tech now!! lol Seems good though, some are up to 1 000 000 write cycles!

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