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Thread: SSD hard drive performance A+++++

  1. #1

    Thumbs up SSD hard drive performance A+++++

    I just wanted to share. I assume everyone knows an "SSD" is a "solid State Drive", which is just a fancy way of saying "hard drive that uses memory chips instead of platters".

    There were Kingston SSD's on Woot the other day for $149 after mail in rebate. It was a 128GB SSDNOW "V" model, which is the value line, but supposedly great.

    I was skeptical, reading that you could see upwards of a 50% performance increase in boot time, app load time, etc.

    Well, let me tell you - I upgraded both my personal laptop (a Latitude D620) and my HTPC (custom built).

    Both are running Win7 64, HTPC has Ultimate, laptop has Professional.

    Boot time was cut nearly in half, in fact, I basically wait for the cutesy window to form and the computer is loaded, if that wasn't there, I think it would boot even faster than what it does.

    It took about 4 seconds to load Internet Explorer with my old WD Caviar 200GB magnetic drive, now it takes barely one second with the SSD.

    Photoshop CS4? 10sec to load before the drive. Less than 3sec after.

    This upgrade is probably one of the best decisions I've ever made. I had no idea that my 7200 RPM hard drives were such a bottleneck.

    It was a real hassle getting everything ported over correctly. Apparently, there are certain offsets and sector sizes you must respect when using SSD drives. If you use Acronis (pre-2010 version) or other cloning tool that isn't "SSD aware", performing a straight clone from a magnetic/platter hard drive to an SSD will actually result in not getting the full performance you should get out of your drive - in fact, I've read numbers reported as a 20-50% performance hit (but you still get better performance than a magnetic disk). I performed a clean install on my laptop, and used Apricorn EZGIG III on the HTPC, which is SSD-aware, but the worst POS software I've seen if you have a multi-boot system.

    While I am 1,000% happy with the results I am seeing - both computers feel like I spent $3,000 on a new system, and that's not an exaggeration - I am going to tinker with this SSD performance tweaker utility I read about at Techspot:

    I just wanted to keep y'all filled in. This is the single most impressive upgrade I've done on any computer I've owned. It feels like I just put a couple 15,000 RPM SCSI drives in my laptop, striped, but it's dead silent and actually .... read/write times are even faster than SCSI.

    It's pretty incredible. This whole time, my hard drive has been my bottleneck.... who knew?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ranshackle
    I like Hasselhoff's ass better.

  2. #2


    And those are the slow drives.

    It will be one of the first things I will upgrade in the future. I plan on putting the OS and games on, and use HD's for storage.

  3. #3


    That is a solid plan. And yes, this is one of the slow ones. I want a faster one, but ... I mean, this was almost a buck a gig, and that's in my price range right now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ranshackle
    I like Hasselhoff's ass better.

  4. #4


    Yea, price is the major deterrent. Toms hardware put a few in RAID0, blazing fast.

  5. #5


    I can only imagine. I would, but again - cost prohibitive, and I would hate to see what happens in the event of data corruption.

    About the cost being high, I think that's crazy, someone will pay $500 for a cutting edge video card, which is a 5% or 10% increase in graphic speed, but they won't spend half as much on a nice 128GB SSD and get a 50% performance increase from your OS?

    BTW - that SSD Tweak utility is insanely easy to use if you don't want to research every damn thing you should tweak. i need to go read up on TRIM support, i believe WIN7 supports it. the "Pro" version of the tweak util ($$) will setup and tweak all the TRIM stuff for you, but ...

    after picking up those two 9800GT cards the other day for $100, i'm seriously considering building a new rig just to see how fast i can get it. touch part is finding a really kickass case. I want something more cubic that i can load up with drives so it can double as a network server. something with SATA6 support, toss in an SSD for the OS and run SATA6 drives for the storage .... i wonder if SATA6 would let you open up the SSD more?

    as anecdotal observation only, you know how Win7 has that Windows Experience Indexd thing or whatever, to show how fast your stuff is? my old seagate 7200 RPM SATA2 drive scored a 5.8, which is the highest I've seen on anything i own. i put in the SSD, and that score went up to a 6.9

    i've done little hacks here and there - went to faster RAM, more RAM, faster CPU, all kinds of stuff. I've never seen a 1.1 (~20%) increase in any of those scores. usually a half a point for a major upgrade.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ranshackle
    I like Hasselhoff's ass better.

  6. #6


    Sounds awesome shift.

    I have been sitting and waiting for one of these for a while.

    It usually takes a good 3 minutes for a full boot up of my XP machine these days (all the AV and such, then strting up Steam when I want to play).

    Surprisingly, games take less time now... I do not know why exactly, but TF2 has been loading up in about 15 seconds rather than 30... I think they just trimmed the startup in the patch....

    But it would be nice to be able, even with all the boot bloat, to be able to load up in 30 seconds or so. Looks like the prices are getting nicer and hopefully there will be a free cloning proggie to be able to get this to swap over.

    As for Dual.... I tried that way back when with Ubuntu (you may remember). After trying to get both on there, I ended up with a disk that had half of its space completely unreadable. I might try again some other time, but DB is not a concern for me right now......

    Good to hear that swapping out can improve things that much. The only other thing I would be worried about would be longevity... I have heard that these drives are not to be used for repeated access. They CAN be re-written, but they have less durability for this? (Articles I have read recommend this for boot up and start up, but not storage or processing....)....

    Let us know how these fare shift!

  7. #7


    RE: Longevity, think about it like this. .... they use the same chips as your sticks of RAM, with a bit more intelligence programmed in. When was the last time you had a stick of RAM go completely bad?

    I think if you were worried about longevity, you'd be worried about anything with a platter, magnets and an arm. That's a lot of moving parts to fail. The larger drives have gotten, the more clumsy and prone to failure they are. Having a magnetic drive arrive DOA from a vendor these days is a common occurence.

    If I had to choose, I think I would go with less moving parts. But, I am a realist and will be backing up my drive every month for the first year.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ranshackle
    I like Hasselhoff's ass better.

  8. #8
    ﭢ p+ha+ta+l ﭢ Cerwin_Vega's Avatar
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    Damn you Shifty... I'm trying to save money for my move but this sounds like the old school "cheap mans upgrade (ram)". You know what I mean?

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by Ranshackle
    I like Hasselhoff's ass better.

  10. #10


    funny, cause i had a WD HDD kinda go bad.

    Some sectors got corrupt, but i figured i would buy a 750gig HDD to replace it anyway. I've stopped storing anime on dual layer DVD's (dont have a BR drive/burner), but man, if i the price was good, i would definitely use a SSD for my OS and games and offload all other types of media to normal HDD's

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