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Hardware Thread, SSDs - which one? in Technical; Originally Posted by LosOjos That's the only thing making me hold back at the moment: I simply cannot justify buying ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by LosOjos View Post
    That's the only thing making me hold back at the moment: I simply cannot justify buying an SSD large enough to become my main form of storage, it'd be purely for the OS and most used software...

    Amazes me that I still remember getting my first gigabyte HDD and wondering how on Earth I'd ever fill it
    You can get the hybrid drives which have 500/1000/etc GB of HD storage with a 4gb SSD attached which apparently learns which are your most used files and keeps them in SSD for quick retrieval. I'm not convinced though as 4gb is nothing when you take into account windows7 is 20gb + your page file + your apps...

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    Well I went for the Vertex 3. OMG this thing is quick! I'm just in teh process of installing all the drivers after rebuilding windows 7 for teh 2nd time - forgot to enable AHCI

    Apps open instantly, 1gb files can be copied in a second or 2, Windows 7 was installed in around 5 minutes!Well and truely completes my new(ish) PC. Windows performance index gives me a 7.5 as the lowest score for CPU, the rest being 7.9s

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j17sparky View Post
    Well I went for the Vertex 3. OMG this thing is quick! I'm just in teh process of installing all the drivers after rebuilding windows 7 for teh 2nd time - forgot to enable AHCI

    Apps open instantly, 1gb files can be copied in a second or 2, Windows 7 was installed in around 5 minutes!Well and truely completes my new(ish) PC. Windows performance index gives me a 7.5 as the lowest score for CPU, the rest being 7.9s
    Where did you get your Vertex 3 from? I'm still waiting for Dabs.com to get them in stock let alone put it in my new AMD Fusion PC

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesfed View Post
    Where did you get your Vertex 3 from? I'm still waiting for Dabs.com to get them in stock let alone put it in my new AMD Fusion PC
    MemoryC.com - Computer Memory, Solid State Disks, Flash Memory Cards and Drives, Hard Drives, Worldwide Shipping do them I think but might be slightly more on the money side

    www.scan.co.uk

    CCL Computers - PC, Laptop, PC Monitors and Computer Component Specialists - CCL Computers

    Aria PC - Computer Hardware, Components, Monitors.. at lowest prices

    Cheap Laptops, Computers and Cheap LCD TVs | Ebuyer.com

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    with the vertex 3 does it matter if its on a SATA 2 port - I presume id lose a lot of speed / bandwidth w/e u wanna call it

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    All showing as out of stock Guess I'll just have to keep waiting
    I've got one of the new Zotac Zboxes with the AMD E-350 APU in it - so 6Gb/s going to be one meeean machine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesfed View Post
    Where did you get your Vertex 3 from? I'm still waiting for Dabs.com to get them in stock let alone put it in my new AMD Fusion PC
    CCL Computers - PC, Laptop, PC Monitors and Computer Component Specialists - CCL Computers

    They got around a dozen in one morning and I was lucky enough to spot them before they all went (within the space of a few hours). Posted next day = me a happy bunny
    Last edited by j17sparky; 7th April 2011 at 07:02 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    with the vertex 3 does it matter if its on a SATA 2 port - I presume id lose a lot of speed / bandwidth w/e u wanna call it
    On paper it does 550/500mbps so in theory you will lose nearly half teh bandwidth you are paying for. In practice I doubt very much you would actually get near that figure anyway... From a technical pov, no it doesn't matter which sata it goes in, they are all backward compatible.

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    Vertex 3's on Sata 2 are slower than Vertex 2s. Not by much, but enough to not warrant the extra spend if you only have sata 2 motherboards/controllers.

    We've been playing with both SSD and Hybrid drives at our school, and as impressive as the hybrids are (I'd choose one over a WD Raptor by a country mile) the overall gain by going SSD is far higher. Might be tiny capacity but as everything is done server side anyway, it's certainly worth a shout

    I still tend to favour the Vertex 2/2E over most the others (like the Crucials and Kingstons) however we've based our testing on older Kingston SSDs. Just be aware of the IOP ratings on some of the drive - there's an OCZ model which looks identical to the Vertex 2 but suffers with 10,000IOPS as opposed to 50,000 - for the sake of £10 less.

    However, as I'm just about to buy a drive for myself the Samsung 470 mentioned in the Register review looks rather tasty for the price. I was hoping the Vertex 3's release would drop the 2's price somewhat. It did by roughly £10 last week but it's shot back up again for reasons unknown.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    With the Vertex 3 does it matter if its on a SATA 2 port - I presume id lose a lot of speed / bandwidth w/e u wanna call it
    Here are some benchmarks showing the difference between SATA II and SATA 6Gb/s for the 240GB Vertex 3...





    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    Vertex 3's on SATA 2 are slower than Vertex 2s. Not by much, but enough to not warrant the extra spend if you only have SATA 2 motherboards/controllers.
    One reason to buy the Vertex 3 over the Vertex 2 would be to avoid the issue described below.

    The Performance Degradation Problem

    [...]

    In bit-tech's SandForce SSD reviews they test TRIM functionality by filling a drive with actual data (from a 500GB source including a Windows install, pictures, movies, documents, etc...). The drive is then TRIMed, and performance is measured.

    If you look at bit-tech's charts you'll notice that after going through this process, the SandForce drives no longer recover their performance after TRIM. They are stuck in a lower performance state making the drives much slower when writing incompressible data.

    You can actually duplicate the bit-tech results without going through all of that trouble. All you need to do is write incompressible data to all pages of a SandForce drive (user accessible LBAs + spare area), TRIM the drive and then measure performance. You'll get virtually the same results as bit-tech:

    [...]

    The question is why.

    I spoke with SandForce about the issue late last year. To understand the cause we need to remember how SSDs work. When you go to write to an SSD, the controller must first determine where to write. When a drive is completely empty, this decision is pretty easy to make. When a drive is not completely full to the end user but all NAND pages are occupied (e.g. in a very well used state), the controller must first supply a clean/empty block for you to write to.

    When you fill a SF drive with incompressible data, you're filling all user addressable LBAs as well as all of the drive's spare area. When the SF controller gets a request to overwrite one of these LBAs the drive has to first clean a block and then write to it. It's the block recycling path that causes the aforementioned problem.

    In the SF-1200 SandForce can only clean/recycle blocks at a rate of around 80MB/s. Typically this isn't an issue because you won't be in a situation where you're writing to a completely full drive (all user LBAs + spare area occupied with incompressible data). However if you do create an environment where all blocks have data in them (which can happen over time) and then attempt to write incompressible data, the SF-1200 will be limited by its block recycling path.

    So why doesn't TRIMing the entire drive restore performance?

    Remember what TRIM does. The TRIM command simply tells the controller what LBAs are no longer needed by the OS. It doesn't physically remove data from the SSD, it just tells the controller that it can remove the aforementioned data at its own convenience and in accordance with its own algorithms.

    The best drives clean dirty blocks as late as possible without impacting performance. Aggressive garbage collection only increases write amplification and wear on the NAND, which we've already established SandForce doesn't really do. Pair a conservative garbage collection/block recycling algorithm with you attempting to write an already full drive with tons of incompressible data and you'll back yourself into a corner where the SF-1200 continues to be bottlenecked by the block recycling path. The only way to restore performance at this point is to secure erase the drive.

    This is a real world performance issue on SF-1200 drives. Over time you'll find that when you go to copy a highly compressed file (e.g. H.264 video) that your performance will drop to around 80MB/s. However, the rest of your performance will remain as high as always. This issue only impacts data that can't be further compressed/deduped by the SF controller. While SandForce has attempted to alleviate it in the SF-1200, I haven't seen any real improvements with the latest firmware updates. If you're using your SSD primarily to copy and store highly compressed files, you'll want to consider another drive.

    Luckily for SandForce, the SF-2500 controller alleviates the problem. Here I'm running the same test as above. Filling all blocks of the Vertex 3 Pro with incompressible data and then measuring sequential write speed. There's a performance drop, but it's nowhere near as significant as what we saw with the SF-1200: (Source)

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    Arthur - good call on that one, wasn't aware of that

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    SSDs using sandforce controllers are having problems with sleep, apparently. OCZ and Corsair seem more affected (especially OCZ).

    Ask Ars: Do solid-state drives cause problems with sleep mode?

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